Lothlorien Boats #2 and #3

MMP Mithril in Middle-Earth The Secret Vaults of Angrenost Lothlorien Boats #2 and #3

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  • #931
    twrich
    Participant

    Hello Mithril Friends! In a post a couple months ago I mentioned that I was considering the commission of two Mx projects, being the other two Lothlorien Boats that the Fellowship (minus Gandalf) travelled in down the Anduin River. Thank you mindx2 for suggesting the first boat with Legolas and Gimili, which inspired me to reach out to Lars and Chris about producing the missing two boats as Mx figures. My fear was that it might be months before we had another opportunity to even suggest the next Boat, and even then, it might not win the Fellowship voting. I m glad I did, as Chris mentioned that Mithril probably would not allow the missing Boats as Mounted figures, they being more in the category of a Vignette.

    Aside from busy travel schedules and other issues causing a delay in coming to an agreement with Mithril on this project, I must say that the discussions went very well and once agreed to have begun to move fast. The idea is to release the next Boat in October (hopefully) and the final Boat in December or January. The estimated cost for the Boats is still to be determined, but I have been assured that they will be in the mid e30’s range (not including VAT). Not bad, I think for three figure vignettes with a large base (the Boats).

    I brought up two main concerns (in addition to a reasonable sales price) with Chris and Lars before agreeing to this project and received reasonable responses, in my opinion.

    One was the quality of the casting process, which I had a long conversation with Chris regarding. As has been suggested elsewhere in the Pony, there was a steep learning curve for Chris in moving to this next type of figure sculpting/construction. He laughed and suggested that he’s spent many, many hours attending the “University of You tube” to learn about this process and improve his skills. I think most of us would agree that the end product has improved with each new figure released. And as cameosis (our beloved Troll member) observed, the design and sculpting skills of the artist are still very much required to produce good figures using this new process.

    Second was my concern, shared by many of our group, about the many small pieces that needed to be assembled and glued together to finish the first Lothlorien Boat. We also discussed the difficulty of these pieces fitting well together in the final assembly. Chris agreed, and shared with me that he is the one who has to cut all of these up at the behest of the Master Mould-maker at Mithril, quite a tedious job in the case of the first boat. Chris assured me that he prevailed in his argument with the Mould-maker that fewer pieces would cast just fine, and after his subsequent figures were produced they proved that he was correct.

    So I think the two main detractions from the first Lothlorien Boat have been addressed, and I am confident that these next vignettes with fewer small pieces will be easier to assemble, and be of the high finished quality we have come to expect from Chris. Already, I have seen design prototypes of the Aragorn, Frodo and Sam boat and am very pleased with the poses and figure details. And that brings up another point–gear in the boats. Chris has agreed to add more detail regarding ropes, etc. in these next two boats.

    I will keep everyone posted as things progress, and perhaps an October release may be optimistic for the first boat, but we shall see. Please feel free to ask questions or email me if you all would like.

    #37369
    twrich
    Participant

    Hello Mithril Friends! In a post a couple months ago I mentioned that I was considering the commission of two Mx projects, being the other two Lothlorien Boats that the Fellowship (minus Gandalf) travelled in down the Anduin River. Thank you mindx2 for suggesting the first boat with Legolas and Gimili, which inspired me to reach out to Lars and Chris about producing the missing two boats as Mx figures. My fear was that it might be months before we had another opportunity to even suggest the next Boat, and even then, it might not win the Fellowship voting. I m glad I did, as Chris mentioned that Mithril probably would not allow the missing Boats as Mounted figures, they being more in the category of a Vignette.

    Aside from busy travel schedules and other issues causing a delay in coming to an agreement with Mithril on this project, I must say that the discussions went very well and once agreed to have begun to move fast. The idea is to release the next Boat in October (hopefully) and the final Boat in December or January. The estimated cost for the Boats is still to be determined, but I have been assured that they will be in the mid e30’s range (not including VAT). Not bad, I think for three figure vignettes with a large base (the Boats).

    I brought up two main concerns (in addition to a reasonable sales price) with Chris and Lars before agreeing to this project and received reasonable responses, in my opinion.

    One was the quality of the casting process, which I had a long conversation with Chris regarding. As has been suggested elsewhere in the Pony, there was a steep learning curve for Chris in moving to this next type of figure sculpting/construction. He laughed and suggested that he’s spent many, many hours attending the “University of You tube” to learn about this process and improve his skills. I think most of us would agree that the end product has improved with each new figure released. And as cameosis (our beloved Troll member) observed, the design and sculpting skills of the artist are still very much required to produce good figures using this new process.

    Second was my concern, shared by many of our group, about the many small pieces that needed to be assembled and glued together to finish the first Lothlorien Boat. We also discussed the difficulty of these pieces fitting well together in the final assembly. Chris agreed, and shared with me that he is the one who has to cut all of these up at the behest of the Master Mould-maker at Mithril, quite a tedious job in the case of the first boat. Chris assured me that he prevailed in his argument with the Mould-maker that fewer pieces would cast just fine, and after his subsequent figures were produced they proved that he was correct.

    So I think the two main detractions from the first Lothlorien Boat have been addressed, and I am confident that these next vignettes with fewer small pieces will be easier to assemble, and be of the high finished quality we have come to expect from Chris. Already, I have seen design prototypes of the Aragorn, Frodo and Sam boat and am very pleased with the poses and figure details. And that brings up another point–gear in the boats. Chris has agreed to add more detail regarding ropes, etc. in these next two boats.

    I will keep everyone posted as things progress, and perhaps an October release may be optimistic for the first boat, but we shall see. Please feel free to ask questions or email me if you all would like.

    #37371
    Theobald
    Participant

    Now all this are really good news, Master Twrich. I am very much relieved that there will be an attempt to avoid too many small parts witht those new two boats. You have all my respect for that great project, Tom.

    #37373
    hsf62
    Participant

    Wow Master twrich! Very interesting news!:cool:

    #37374
    ddaines
    Participant

    Great news Tom as this (combined with the existing boat) will finally solve a long-standing problem of converting existing Mithril figures; Boromir and Aragorn, which to date I have not been happy with the result.

    Projected price-point sound very reasonable as well as I would be looking to (hopefully) get two of each ;)

    Good news re the parts-count as well as I have found the assembly a bit awkward.

    #37376
    imisel
    Participant

    Great news… I’ll be in!

    #37378
    Thingol
    Participant

    :D and no more words….

    #37379
    mindx2
    Participant

    Tom excellent news. I will be first in line to purchase these as I always envisioned these as a full set of three just as the Hobbit trolls. Your post also reminded me that I never contacted you earlier this summer. I apologize for that but will plead that I was away in Boston for most of the summer as my wife received medical care at Mass. General. I would still love to talk to you about this and perhaps future MX figures and your experience.

    #37381
    Milo
    Participant

    This is indeed a very good and great project. Thanks so much Master Twrich for sharing this with us.

    By the way, I may be wrong but I have always thought boromir was sent passing down the Anduinin on a Lorien boat.
    [imgz url=http://mmp.faerylands.eu/uploads/553_boromir_funerals.jpg]http://mmp.faerylands.eu/uploads/thumbs/553_boromir_funerals.jpg[/imgz]

    I wonder if you could ask Chris why [mith]MS583[/mith] and [mith]MZ645[/mith] boats are so different ?

    #37385
    ddaines
    Participant
    Milo wrote:
    This is indeed a very good and great project. Thanks so much Master Twrich for sharing this with us.

    By the way, I may be wrong but I have always thought boromir was sent passing down the Anduinin on a Lorien boat.
    [imgz url=http://mmp.faerylands.eu/uploads/553_boromir_funerals.jpg]http://mmp.faerylands.eu/uploads/thumbs/553_boromir_funerals.jpg[/imgz]

    I wonder if you could ask Chris why [mith]MS583[/mith] and [mith]MZ645[/mith] boats are so different ?

    This has been rather annoying as I have purchased 3-4 of the original Boromir boats with the view of Boromir going over the falls of Rauros, and a couple of small dioramas to represent the Fellowship at Lorien and sailing down the Anduin, and converting figures (happily to be abandoned in light of Tom’s news and assuming that all goes smoothly), but with the new Legolas and Gimli I have had to purchase 3 of the new ones to recreate Boromir going over the falls in the new style boat + creating the original ideas.

    That said, the spare Legolas as well as the spare Boromirs will all be used (theoretically) so not too bothered, and, I do prefer the new boats as they seem more ‘Elvish’ and graceful even if they could have included a bit more detail (and maybe have had higher prows like the illustrated ones below).

    Can’t wait to be honest ;)

    #37386
    Theobald
    Participant

    Thank you very much, Milo, to have published your criticism about the boats. I held back to do so as I don’t want to be remembered as the only one who criticises new releases.

    David also seems to be as annoyed as I am. – We know that he (David) spent some effort in realizing his plan (buying 3-4 of that “Boromir boats”) and now has to face the fact that the latest boat was completely different (which is good).
    The “Boromir boat” was a simple rowing boat provided for two rowers with a “steering gadget” at the stern which does not make any sense at all. I was once very much surprised (not to say angered) about such an idea of an “Elven boat”. Unfortunately/fortunately Chris did not stick to his self-made maxim not to alter any concept (e.g. late middle-age plate armour for “High-Elves”) when he provided that MZ-boat which clearly is more or less a kind of paddle-driven cajac as it can be better be associated with an “Elven boat” as described by Tolkien.
    So there now has appeared a very serious problem for to sculpt the other two boats to keep up the coherance Chris always has been resisting on.
    Sorry, but I just have to say this as I am not just simply annoyed, as David politely put it, I’m rather a bit more than just disappointed.

    #37388
    Milo
    Participant

    I do share same disapointment for both boats in fact.
    – I like the wooden aspect of boromirs boat, but its shape does not look elvish at all
    – I prefer the new boats’ shape, but it has none detail, meaning it does look like a “plastic contenent”.

    At the end, like you wrote gentlemen, there’s still time to improve this issue isn’t it ?

    #37390
    Thingol
    Participant
    ddaines wrote:
    Milo wrote:
    This is indeed a very good and great project. Thanks so much Master Twrich for sharing this with us.

    By the way, I may be wrong but I have always thought boromir was sent passing down the Anduinin on a Lorien boat.
    [imgz url=http://mmp.faerylands.eu/uploads/553_boromir_funerals.jpg]http://mmp.faerylands.eu/uploads/thumbs/553_boromir_funerals.jpg[/imgz]

    I wonder if you could ask Chris why [mith]MS583[/mith] and [mith]MZ645[/mith] boats are so different ?

    This has been rather annoying as I have purchased 3-4 of the original Boromir boats with the view of Boromir going over the falls of Rauros, and a couple of small dioramas to represent the Fellowship at Lorien and sailing down the Anduin, and converting figures (happily to be abandoned in light of Tom’s news and assuming that all goes smoothly), but with the new Legolas and Gimli I have had to purchase 3 of the new ones to recreate Boromir going over the falls in the new style boat + creating the original ideas.

    That said, the spare Legolas as well as the spare Boromirs will all be used (theoretically) so not too bothered, and, I do prefer the new boats as they seem more ‘Elvish’ and graceful even if they could have included a bit more detail (and maybe have had higher prows like the illustrated ones below).

    Can’t wait to be honest ;)

    Salaries in Croatia are not so high so I do not have such a problem like you have Master David…. I bought only one copy of those releases ;-)

    Also I’m completely agreed with your comments dear friends… I’m sure Tom will do the best in his communication with Chris and we’ll have in final two great releases…. about boats… Milo is right.. last boat looks like plastic toy from kinder surprise chocolate… I have been thinking of engraving the lines of a boat and in such a way getting a structure that might look like a boat or at least an hollowed timber.

    In the end, I gave up on that idea.

    #37392
    ddaines
    Participant

    Don’t worry Nino, I am not that wealthy that I purchased all three (or four :rolleyes:) at the same time – those periodic Mithril sales helped ;). I will ‘splash’ out for the remaining boats though as once I have an idea in mind I go for it (even if I never start or finish 😆 ).

    I am wondering if there is any ‘stuff’ out there that can be purchased in craft shops that might be of a fine enough scale to be attached to the boat/s that will give the impression of carved patterns. I will have to have a look at some point.

    #37393
    Milo
    Participant

    Carved patterns would be very good improvment.

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