Gotta love the Mumaks. This is a piece I worked on about three years ago. Originally in the Veasey collection, it now resides in the swiftly expanding Blaxland-Walker collection, along with many other LOTR pieces. Many, many pieces.
I love this beastie, and it was great to get my hands on it again. I spent many hours with a pin-vised drill bit, superglue and a pile of satay sticks, but I think I got the look I was after.
The model as it comes from the box was intriguing but just didn't quite have the savagery I remembered from the movie. It needed sharp pointy bits and many of them. Basically I decided that wherever there was a bamboo pole terminating on the howdah, it was going to be extended and occasionally bulked out.
It was just a matter of drilling the holes to accept the satay sticks, and using superglue to hold them. Most of the satay bundles were simple, consisting of three sticks, two short, one longer, tied together roughly with a thick rigging thread used in rigging wooden model ships. Some were a little more substantial, but the method was much the same. Cut sticks, drill holes, insert sticks, wrap sticks with cord, holding sticks together and covering join between sticks and plastic.
The tusks were another story, but just as simple. I took lengths of cord and tied smaller satay sticks sharpened at both ends along the length of the cord at equal intervals, about 2 cms between each stick. I then wrapped the length of cord around the tusk. The cord length was about 20 cms.
I experimented with hanging banners from the howdah but it all looked too busy. Especially with the suitably savage-looking designs painted on the mumak's hide. Saved time and trouble. And with the crew installed the beastie was more than ready to instil fear in the hearts of the Gondormen.
The following are samples of the crew painted for the mumak. I chose a colour scheme different from the advertised GW and movie theme, as I wanted to represent one of the other wild desert tribes. A soft tan brown with blue accents and turquoise stone decorations seemed to fit the bill.
Here is a little taste.
I was going to do a little editorial about LOTR the movie, but I can't be bothered. We all have our opinions and they are never going to match up absolutely. I loved Lord of the Rings, loved Star Trek (the new one), I hated Harry Potter (all of them and the books, elitist, class-based fantasy rip-off of the Famous Five, Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden Chronicles kicks Potter in the head . . . sorry, ranting), I thought Avatar was beautiful to look at but sucked as a story (come on, let's be honest, unobtanium, what the hell, was it trying to be a Flash Gordon serial in the 1930's? . . . all the millions Cameron spent on his 3D experiment, would it have killed him to fork out $10 for a legal pad and a pencil and write a decent script . . . and don't get me started on Sam Worthington, what a black hole of talent . . . sorry again, sorry, another rant).
You see, I get emotional about these things. So occasionally I will drop in a little snippet of my opinions, but I will try to keep them in check.
That's the kind of guy I am.
So while I sip my last martini for the evening, I'll say goodnight and goodbye 'til next we meet. When you're this way again, join us here at the Starlight Ballroom and Grill where the girls are free but the drinks are not. Don't forget to tip your waitress and next time . . . try the veal.