Glorfindel’s horse

MMP Mithril in Middle-Earth The Prancing Pony Glorfindel’s horse

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  • #721
    Arthadan
    Participant

    Reading the Tolkien letters, I have stumbled upon this:

    Quote:
    ‘Question 1’: Why (in the first edition, I. 221) is Glorfindel’s horse described as having a ‘bridle and bit’ when Elves ride without bit, bridle or saddle?

    Question 1. I could, I suppose, answer: ‘a trick-cyclist can ride a bicycle with handle-bars!’ But actually bridle was casually and carelessly used for what I suppose should have been called a headstall.1 Or rather, since bit was added (1221) long ago (Chapter 112 was written very early) I had not considered the natural ways of elves with animals. Glorfindel’s horse would have an ornamental headstall, carrying a plume, and with the straps studded with jewels and small bells; but Glor. would certainly not use a bit. I will change bridle and bit to headstall.

    Letter #211 To Rhona Beare

    So yet another inaccuracy in the Mithril range. Since the horse had no bridle, I doubt it had a saddle (not to mention stirrups). Someone should do his homework before sculpting…

    Now, from the Mithril introduction page:

    Quote:
    Mithril was founded in 1987 and has been dedicated since then to the creation of miniature figures, inspired by Middle-earth as portrayed by J.R.R. Tolkien in his books, ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’. It has been our intention to faithfully recreate the characters from these works and imbue the miniatures as much as possible with the atmosphere and feel of Middle-earth.

    Taking in account major deviation such full armours and the occasional mistake as this one, they should consider rewording that part.

    And now a noble Elf riding a horse from Thunderbolt Miniatures:

    [img align=L]http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0118/3042/products/8025_1024x1024.jpg?0[/img]

    Clearly more true to Tolkien vision than Mithril’s. In fact, Mithril has not a single Elven horse without bridle, as far as I recall. As I see things, part of the high price of a Mithril miniature comes from the added value of being “official” and so supposedly true to the books. But if they don’t care much about the books, not doing a serious research before sculpting, then why bother paying the rights to Tolkien Enterprises? Just release more Prince August or Phaeton miniatures.

    #25423
    Arthadan
    Participant

    Reading the Tolkien letters, I have stumbled upon this:

    Quote:
    ‘Question 1’: Why (in the first edition, I. 221) is Glorfindel’s horse described as having a ‘bridle and bit’ when Elves ride without bit, bridle or saddle?

    Question 1. I could, I suppose, answer: ‘a trick-cyclist can ride a bicycle with handle-bars!’ But actually bridle was casually and carelessly used for what I suppose should have been called a headstall.1 Or rather, since bit was added (1221) long ago (Chapter 112 was written very early) I had not considered the natural ways of elves with animals. Glorfindel’s horse would have an ornamental headstall, carrying a plume, and with the straps studded with jewels and small bells; but Glor. would certainly not use a bit. I will change bridle and bit to headstall.

    Letter #211 To Rhona Beare

    So yet another inaccuracy in the Mithril range. Since the horse had no bridle, I doubt it had a saddle (not to mention stirrups). Someone should do his homework before sculpting…

    Now, from the Mithril introduction page:

    Quote:
    Mithril was founded in 1987 and has been dedicated since then to the creation of miniature figures, inspired by Middle-earth as portrayed by J.R.R. Tolkien in his books, ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’. It has been our intention to faithfully recreate the characters from these works and imbue the miniatures as much as possible with the atmosphere and feel of Middle-earth.

    Taking in account major deviation such full armours and the occasional mistake as this one, they should consider rewording that part.

    And now a noble Elf riding a horse from Thunderbolt Miniatures:

    [img align=L]http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0118/3042/products/8025_1024x1024.jpg?0[/img]

    Clearly more true to Tolkien vision than Mithril’s. In fact, Mithril has not a single Elven horse without bridle, as far as I recall. As I see things, part of the high price of a Mithril miniature comes from the added value of being “official” and so supposedly true to the books. But if they don’t care much about the books, not doing a serious research before sculpting, then why bother paying the rights to Tolkien Enterprises? Just release more Prince August or Phaeton miniatures.

    #25461
    Thingol
    Participant

    Very interesting comment and annotation Master Arthadan…. there is a lot of truth in it…. but perhaps Chris Tubb likes horses that have bridles… Only one horse without bridle is [mith]MS460[/mith] Eorl and Felarof….

    #25467
    Mornedhel
    Participant

    The Noldor in Beleriand also used saddles. Curufin known as a cunning horseman, lifts Luthien to his saddle.

    #25474
    Gildor
    MMP Elder

    the creativity of the artist…. If you consider the vignette “passing of elessar” with a stone carving of Elessar king, this stone carving does not exist either in the books. Elessar dying scene is well documented.
    but Chris’ answer was that sometimes, for sculpting purpose the sculptor has to derive from the original… for the beauty of the final result… Indeed in the case of Glorfindel horse that is not “justified”… but once a reference is made, the continuity for further release of the same character has to be respected throughout all the range… (some exception like Radagast do indeed apply…)

    I don’t see a single derived product of Tolkien that can do 100% justice to all the books universe. Unlike Star Wars which is Primarily a visual creation , Tolkien did not “design” and put everything into images so all designers, sculpters and painters have their own way to render the universe… and this is admitted

    Nobody’s perfect

    #25487
    Arthadan
    Participant

    Here we differ, Master Elf. Something branded as official should be faithful to the books and the creativity of the artists should be restricted to the many grey areas we have in Tolkien descriptions when it comes to clothing and equipment. In the Mithril introduction they say so (“It has been our intention to faithfully recreate the characters from these works”), but in my opinion they have relied more on secondary sources (such Angus McBride illustrations for ICE) than in serious research of the books. And continuing to give us a flawed interpretation of a character once they know it’s wrong only because they did it once… well, as we say here “everybody makes mistakes but only the wise amend them.”

    #25488
    Tolwen
    Participant
    Arthadan wrote:
    Here we differ, Master Elf. Something branded as official should be faithful to the books and the creativity of the artists should be restricted to the many grey areas we have in Tolkien descriptions when it comes to clothing and equipment. In the Mithril introduction they say so (“It has been our intention to faithfully recreate the characters from these works”), but in my opinion they have relied more on secondary sources (such Angus McBride illustrations for ICE) than in serious research of the books. And continuing to give us a flawed interpretation of a character once they know it’s wrong only because they did it once… well, as we say here “everybody makes mistakes but only the wise amend them.”

    I know what you mean Master Arthadan, and I agree with your approach to priorities in making derivative products (of whatever sort) of the books. For the Mithril range however, it is as it is with other priorities than those you explain above. IMO it is moot to blame the company or the artist for their views as they are the ones to decide what is done and how it is done. And beside any differences in interpretation, the craftsmanship skills of Chris are beyond any criticism IMHO. The easiest way to avoid issues with your vision is not to purchase anything you deem not fitting. In addition, looking to other companies is worthwhile since for some topics they might (IMHO they do indeed) offer better solutions for an approach orientated closer to the books.
    Personally, I greatly enjoy to look at different companies and take from them what I deem appropriate and mix them with other companies’ products to get the best end result. I don’t care what is printed on labels or packaging boxes. I evaluate the content and then decide what this mini could best represent. Here the label is a first help or guide but in no way mandatory. And this is what you should then print or write on your dioramas or minis without caring what the issuing company names it :)
    For example, personally I deem some minis from GW much better suited to Tolkien’s descriptions than the Mithril ones, so I use them for this purpose and either don’t buy the Mithril version or re-label it as something else.

    Cheers
    Tolwen

    #25489
    Arthadan
    Participant

    That’s exactly what I do, Master Tolwen! My Middle-earth collection comes from many different companies, it could be nice to compare our collections (I see an article for Other Hands coming?). But what upset me about this particular case is that I purchased the miniature before knowing it was innacurate. Well, I guess I can remove the bridle myself…

    #25493
    Gildor
    MMP Elder

    i am in the same case as you are arthadan as I discoevered mithril at the same time I first Began reading the LOTR..

    anyway when I read ‘our intention is to be as faithfull as possible…’ I do not read “we ARE strictly faithfull… it would have been hard since they had a partnership with ICE at first and the range was made for MERP before anything else… it gives a “style” then you are free to like and enjoy the style… or not indeed :)

    In my case I decided I really did like the “style” even if sometimes inaccurate.. the same way I prefer Nasmith work and don’t like a lot of John Howe work… personnal preference… no matter the accuracy

    #25495
    Mornedhel
    Participant

    Any known all the companies which produced LOTR figures over the years.
    I will start with the one I collect
    – Grenadier
    – Harlequin
    – Citadel (GW)
    and of course Prince August

    #25497
    Arthadan
    Participant

    You’re forgetting the oldest, Heritage:

    Big scale (54mm?)

    25 mm

    #25511
    Mornedhel
    Participant

    Thanks dear traveller,

    I share your point of view. For my part I collect Chris Tubb fantastic sculpting be it tolkien related or not (as art…) and Tolkien figures regardless of the issuing company.

    #25526
    Arthadan
    Participant

    You’re welcome, Master Mornedhel!

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