Having finished the box of Warriors of Erebor I have rashly taken on another box of plastics for The Hobbit. My daughter (it's her first pole dancing class tonight!) got me the Mirkwood Rangers for Christmas as a total surprise and she keeps demanding to see a painted one so I'd better get some done! They are now assembled and based, ready for undercoating. These figures are, for want of a better term, very 3D, moving away from the typical two plane approach to nearly all model soldiers necessitated by the moulding process. These are two or three part models with, usually, a separate part for the coat tails which when fixed on the back takes them out of the two plane approach into something more dynamic. I didn't like them when I first saw them as I thought they were too animated but now I am coming around to their very different look and wonder if the Perry twins will employ what they learned in the design process for these on some of their plastic historicals.
Tauriel has a particularly impressively sculpted posterior which is, sadly, hidden under her coat tails
For my birthday, two weeks after Christmas, my daughter the gave me the plastic Tauriel figure. She is a five part model and literally stands out from the other elves because she is standing on a tree branch. Now I can't stand scenic items on bases like this but, again, when assembled she looks rather fine. It is, however, a staggeringly expensive plastic kit (more expensive than the Airfix 1/48 Hawker Hurricane, for example). It makes you wonder what the future is for Finecast if they are going to make more characters as plastic kits, especially given the recent rumour that Games Workshop are shipping out all their old metal figures for scrap. It's going to send the cost of second hand old metal figures sky high. I just sold a set of metal Warhammer figures on eBay for more than I paid for them.
Now usually I undercoat my Lord of the Rings figures in black because it provides a good base for the very muted palette that Peter Jackson's designers use but my recent experience with the Warriors of Erebor was that I struggled to see some of the detail with black undercoat; especially given the bad light that persists in wind and rain riven Britain at present. Given that these figures have no armour, however, I am going to take a risk and undercoat them in white. My other issue with them is that I have no visual reference for them. I haven't bought the two Desolation of Smaug Chronicles books yet, which always give a lot of costume details. I don't trust the Games Workshop colour schemes.
More fundamentally, I haven't managed to watch the film itself as everyone I know who would have seen it with me has already seen it. I think I've missed it at the cinema now, which means it's the first of Peter Jackson's Tolkien films I haven't watched on the big screen. It's staggering to think that I first watched The Fellowship of the Ring on New Year's Eve in 2001 - more than twelve years ago. I saw it with friends in a cinema in Bath and they switched off the heating about half way through. The scenes in the mines of Moria still make me shiver as by this point in the cinema we were all frozen, as it was a bitterly cold night.
No date for the release of the DVD yet so I need to do some more research on the costumes. I think I will start with Tauriel as there are a few pictures on the internet of her, although she seems to have several different costumes in the film.