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From the movie Lord of the Rings

Click onto the image to view the large version.

The kit comes in six pieces, main body, trunk, separate arms and legs with a scenic base. It is cast in resin which is quite hard and brittle; I have never encountered this medium before. The kit is a limited edition of 500. A wooden base and plaque and hair is also supplied.

The general feel of the figure is a good representation, I felt that it would benefit from some rubbing down all over with wet and dry paper to lose sculpting work and casting marks. Also some facial detail was cut back, such as eyelid surrounds, lip edges, I reworked the eyes, eyebrows and forehead areas with Milliput and went over the entire model filling joint lines and some minor casting defects. I supported the main body on temporary mount and gathered some pictorial history, mainly from video. 

It suddenly occurred to me that one of those modelling moments had arrived! The face was all wrong and that feeling of total doubt fell upon me – decision time. Do I just carry on or attempt to rework the face, neck and ears? Anybody who knows me knows the answer – so rework it, it is.


The iris lines were filled in to smooth out the eyeball in general, the eyelids were cut back, but it still needs much more work. Onward into the unknown!

I took A4 pictures from the TV to help with remapping the face with my digital camera. To my surprise this worked quite well. With the help of the photos and Milliput, the face was reconstructed.

This will seem a step too far to some people, but I recommend trying, at least, two or three times on your various model projects just like I did with some limited success. I always try to get photos of the subject, front, sides, top and bottom elevations if possible. Study them in detail and model each elevation in turn, be objective and persevere. I finally clipped and slightly reshaped his ears and breathing a sigh of relief I had accomplished a more pleasing appearance.


The main body parts assembled, I sprayed the entire figure with Halford’s white primer and when dry the whole model was sprayed a mixture of Humbrol 94 brown/yellow and 61 flesh and left to dry for at least 24 hours. A mix of flesh tint and raw sienna oil paints were worked into the low lights and dry brushed to form subtle tones after approximately one hour. This was followed by a mix of flesh tint, olive green, ultra marine blue and white to the high spots and dry brushed as before. The final tones are grey, green and white, a mixture of painting, merging and dry brushing. Artistic license is unavoidable as there are so many colours evident in this subject. The eyes were painted white with a tint of blue and left to dry. The iris was painted dark blue/black to position each iris and determine size and direction. It is essential at this stage to get the look correct before finally working with fine lines of medium blue to white from the centre iris radiating outwards. Finally finishing with a black central dot applied with a cocktail stick. Several coats of Humbrol clear for that wet glazed look.


The hair was applied in straight strands from the centre of the skull outwards with super glue. Matt varnish was applied and allowed to set for rigidity. 



There was no visible flash, went straight for the Halford’s spray white primer. When dry, earth areas were painted Humbrol matt brown 62 and matt grey 31 toned with black oil paint to darken. A dark wash of matt black around and between the stones and the upper surfaces of the earth were dry brushed with lighter tones.

I stepped into the garden and picked up half a dozen pebbles, washed and cleaned them. Using a mixture of matt enamels and oil paints I matched the colours, tones and textures to match the pebbles. Where each pebble meets the earth a really dark wash was applied to enhance the crevices. Finally, the fish bones are painted with a mix of white enamel and yellow ochre highlighted with white oil paint.



This project was meant to be a quick assemble and paint job, but it wasn’t to be. I was fairly pleased with the final result and perseverance paid dividends as it has done so many times before. This model was first exhibited at this year’s Milton Keynes ModelKraft 2004 show. It did well in competition and was received favourably by the public. 


Last updated 04 November 2007

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July 2009, Milton Keynes Scale Model Club