Thursday, 28 May 2015

Far over the misty mountains cold

This project was a New Year's resolution. I'm coming to it by the end of May, so cool, kinda as scheduled :S

Well, sarcasm apart, I was really looking forward to this. After the Hobbit movies I had a lot of mixed feelings. I'm not going back to the dispute about a trilogy, the narrative rythm or how much the movies go far away from the book. Many people have already written about that and I cannot bring anything new to the subject.

What I'm going to do is just about the concepts surrounding the characters. I'm aware that building up thirteen different characters and giving each one of them a distinctive appearance is quite an endeavour, specially if they all are dwarves (of course it's 'dwarves', not 'dwarfs'!). Once again, I'm not going into the movie thing about if that one deserved more attention or if you ended three movies without being able to recognise which character was each one. I'm tempted to do so, but I'm already disgressing...
The movies perform a major effort to make dwarves believable. You have to strip them out of the fantasy/cartoon appearance and make some actual humans fit in costumes and prosthetics. And they have to look like the real deal. They succeed in that, I think. But I'm afraid I don't like some of the designs. Not at all. I have maximum respect for concept artists; there are lots and lots of hours and creativity behind any scenery, any character or any piece of gear. But I think that some of the decisions which finally made their way into the movies don't work as well as others. Sorry, but dwarves without beards or trying to recover Erebor with a slingshot is more than I can peacefully bear.

That takes me to the minis! Finally! I got the Escape from Goblin Town box last year (there was a nice offer and I took it). I got it with a clear idea in mind: trying to make the dwarves a little bit closer to the book than how they are depicted in the movie. I will respect most of the work, as the minis are nicely sculpted and detailed, but I'll try to, at least, make every dwarf have a beard and a hood!

Grumpy grown guys with beards and hoodies... Hmmm... that scaringly fits my own description!

Let's begin with Thorin, son of Thráin, son of Thrór, king under the Mountain.

The conversion here is going to be quite simple. Sir Peter Jackson stated that he wanted a young leading character for cinematic purposes. Hence the choice of actor and characterization. But in the book, Thorin Oakenshield is quite a venerable dwarf lord, mature (if I recall it correctly, on the edge of the two hundred years), I really thought he deserved another appearance.

With his new beard he looks like Gandalf
In the book Thorin wears a sky-blue hood with a long silver tassel. So let's try a mighty, old, imposing warrior in sky-blue...

Still looking like Gandalf :D
The hood and the tassel
As I've begun with Thorin, let me show his nephews next. Fili and Kili. Kili, the dwarf with no beard; a detail included solely for romantic purposes. Apparently you can't write a romance story if there is a bearded guy involved. Well, Sir Peter, if you had to choose, maybe (just maybe) you should have kept the beard and forget about the lame love story.

A dwarf has a beard. Just by definition
We know that they both wore "blue hoods, silver belts and yellow beards; and each of them carried a bag of tools and a spade".

I find Fili's pose a little bit forced. Should have corrected that. Hm.
Fili's bag has a runic 'F'. All greenstuff and sticks. Also removed Kili's bow
Well, this is it for today. Now you know more or less what to expect from this project. I have already finished the conversion work on all of them and I'm painting the dwarves by batches, I'll be showing them as I finish the groups. I hope you like this approach, all thoughts are welcome!


  1. nice conversion work, yeah Jackson's take on the Hobbit got some things right and screwed others things up right royally :grr:

    1. Yup, some concepts and designs are totally out of place. LOTR had much better concepts and ideas, this is some kind of 'Peter Jackson unleashed', wich I sometimes find a little bit too much.
      Let's see what I get out of these minis, hehe...

  2. Totalmente deacuerdo con la idea!
    Dales caña!

    1. ¡Gracias, me alegra que te gusten! A ver si los llevo a buen puerto...

  3. It's great to see that you did not follow the predominantly brown hues on the original colour scheme. You made the colours much more interesting. :)

    1. Thank you! It's kind of a little bit more 'fantasy' approach. I would say that 're-imagining' the movies is a little bit exaggerated, but it's most certainly another approach more in the book flavour :)