MUSCLE OF MORIA
(from: Cave Troll from
The Lord of the Rings - 2001)
Manufacturer: Needful Things
Sculptor: Mike Locasio
Material: Resin and vinyl
Scale: no scale
I think if JRR Tolkien had been alive to see the film adaptation of
his work he would have been very pleased. Peter Jackson and team
have created the world of Middle Earth with an obvious care and
affection for the original work. They have visualized Tolkiens
creatures as if they were their own creations. And of all the
figures in this film none stand out more than the Orc’s gigantic
Dark Carnival has done us the favor of bringing this big boy to life
in vinyl. He comes in 5 main body parts with a few resin pieces and
stands a whopping 20” tall when assembled. The vinyl has a good
thickness and weight to it but because of the pose I would recommend
filling the feet and lower legs with something to help stabilize
him. Don’t get me wrong – he’ll stand on his own. But you never
know. You wouldn’t want him to take a header off your shelf one
night while you’re snoozing.
The sculpt and design of the piece are just great. Locasio captured
all the detail and nuances of the beast and the pose is excellent.
It has a good sense of motion and is well balanced.
Assembly on this kit is straight forward and relatively easy.
Because of the sheer size of this piece I think the attachment at
the waist was a little more problematic than most vinyl kits but
nothing that couldn’t be handled with some careful thought. I had
some large gaps at the joints to sculpt in after assembly but I
enjoyed the challenge. Again, nothing too difficult to handle with
some patience and a tub of Aves!
The size also affected my order of assembly. I decided to go ahead
and put the teeth in the mouth and leave the head separate while I
painted them. I also took care of the eyes at this point. This
allowed me to hold the head in my hands and easily work on those
areas. I then masked them off and attached the head to the body,
puttied the joint, primed it and moved on. I was afraid the sheer
bulk of this thing would get in my way while trying to do detail
Painting this guy was a blast! The size does create some issues –
both good and bad. The good is that there is so much area to paint
and in such a large scale that you can really get into it and do
some nice detail work. The bad is that there is so much area to
paint and in such a large scale that it may seem like you’ll never
get finished. It’s like painting a child!
The only modification I made was to substitute the plastic chain
that came in the kit with some metal chain of the same size I found
at Home Depot. The chain was that kind of soft plastic that you
can’t really sand very well because it feathers up when it gets
scraped. Each link had seams that needed to be removed and I
couldn’t see myself tackling it all with an X-Acto knife. So I took
the lazy way out and made a swap.
As I came to a close on this piece I was bummed because I was going
to have to give him up. He was a commission and had to go home at
some point. He had turned out so well and was so much fun to do that
I wanted to keep him.
So, if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, grab one of these if you can.
It will make an impressive center piece to your collection. It will
certainly be the biggest!