Archive for the ‘WETA Workshop’ Category
Once again it has been a long time since I posted in this series, but what with the run-up to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Adventure and the reaction to it, TheOneRing.net has been a busy place, and now we’re coming up on The One Expected Party on Oscar night! But I’ll delay no longer.
In the first entry I recalled getting the permission to interview the filmmakers and going down to start my work, back in September-October of 2003. The second one dealt with my first interview and tours of the Three Foot Six office building and the Stone Street Studios. Now, more of the facilities I visited.
The Film Unit
My third full day in Wellington was Wednesday, October 1. Melissa Booth called and said I could come to the new Film Unit building to meet Barrie Osborne. He, as I cannot stress often enough, was the one responsible for getting me New Line’s permission to interview the filmmakers for my book. This meeting, though, wouldn’t be for an interview. (I interviewed Barrie twice for the book, first a couple of weeks later and again during my third Wellington visit in December, 2004.) He was driving out to the old Film Unit facility that afternoon to give the people working there, sound mixers, editors, and other post-production crew members, a pep talk.
As most readers know, the race to finish The Return of the King was on by that point, and a lot of people were working long hours. I was told that Barrie often gave these pep talks, and the filmmakers really appreciated them; it was part of what gave the production that feeling of being one big family. I could at least introduce myself to Barrie and ride with him to the Film Unit; the half-hour drives there and back would allow us time to talk about my project. (more…)
Posted in Barrie Osborne, Daniel Falconer, LotR Movies, Models, Other production, Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop
In their latest newsletter, Weta Workshop featured yet another amazing collectible from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: the Out of the Fire – Eagles Rescue art print. This collectible captures the out of the frying pan and into the fire sequence of both the book and the movie. This beautiful art print is by artist Nick Keller, one of Weta’s talented designers. The print captures Gandalf in the trees as fire rages around him and the Eagles swoop down to save the day once more. The print is in-stock and should ship soon after ordering. Plus, from now through February 12th, Weta Workshop is offering free shipping on select prints. Be sure to order theOut of the Fire – Eagles Rescue art print today!
Posted in Artwork, Collectibles, Collectibles, Merchandise, Posters Prints, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop
Tonight a new item from Weta Workshop has been made available for order: Orcrist, Master Swordsmith’s Edition. If you’re a fan of what you’ve seen on-screen, and want to own an item that is truly as close to what was used in the film as possible, then this item is for you. Peter Lyon, Master Swordsmith, who helped create the amazing weapons you saw used in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, has created another amazing replica in Orcrist. Orcrist is the fifth sword Peter created for Weta giving fans a chance to bring piece of Middle-earth home to their collections. This replica is an outstanding blend of steel with a dragon’s tooth resin handle molded to look like wood. Orcrist costs $9,900 and when you place your order you can also get the amazing scabbard that Thorin wore in the movie.
Here is how Weta describes Orcrist:
Forged long ago in the lost Elf kingdom of Gondolin, Orcrist, the ‘goblin cleaver’, was a legendary blade, well known to the wise of Middle-earth and infamous among their enemies. Having disappeared for centuries, the sword would reappear in, of all places, a Troll hoard, where, among the detritus and ruin, it catches the eye of Thorin Oakenshield. To the Dwarf, well versed in the crafting of fine weapons, it is a sword of peerless craft, but it is Elrond, lord and lore-master of Rivendell, who is able to name the blade and tell Thorin of its prestigious lineage. No finer sword could a king of any race wish for.
Orcrist was designed by Weta senior concept designer Paul Tobin and made at Weta Workshop in New Zealand for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey by Master Swordsmith Peter Lyon. The fifth sword in Weta’s Master Swordsmith’s Collection, Orcrist takes swordmaking even further than previous swords in the series. The first single edged blade in The Master Swordsmith’s Collection, it encompasses a multitude of sword making, metal crafting and wood working techniques. It joins the previous swords in the series: Andúril, Strider’s Sword, Glamdring and the most recently launched sword, Sting – still available to order!
Orcrist is made with the same attention to detail that the swordsmiths of the lost realm of Gondolin would have required. Peter Lyon took Paul Tobin’s design and created a piece of art and a usable weapon wrapped in one. The blade is made from tempered spring steel and the dragon’s tooth grip is cast from CC60 urethane, painted and sealed under resin. On the cross is the name “Orcrist” etched in runes and the gently curvaceous blade, ground from spring steel, features etched elven runes stating ”The Serpent’s Tooth”. On the pommel are four cubic zirconia gemstones inlaid.
The scabbard is made from a combination of white oak and steel and connects to the leather belt with leather straps and buckles. The inscription translates as “Born from the Maws of Dragons I am Always Hungry and Thirsty”. The belt is made from embossed leather with steel buckle, loop and tip. It features straps for attaching the scabbard. Thorin wears his sword on his back and this belt is designed to be worn over the shoulder. This sword and its accessories are the absolute epitome of craftsmanship.
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop
On the heels of one of the best art books for a film that I’ve had the chance to add to my personal collection Weta Workshop has announced a second book to their art book range for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The second art book for The Hobbit covers the many creatures and characters that help populate Sir Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the first of three movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Within the Chronicles: Creatures and Characters are quotes from the actors who played the many roles on-screen and this book comes with a size chart, a great way to compare the various sizes of these characters in relation to each other. The book is on sale now for $39 and if you buy now from Weta, you can get a signed copy for your collection. This second book does not ship until April so in the mean time you can still buy the previous Chronicles: Art and Design book for the same $39.
Posted in Books, Books Publications, Collectibles, Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop
“By my beard! You are shorter and wider than last we met.”
-Dwalin to Balin as they meet up for the meeting at Bag End
Yet another one of the statues we saw at Comic-Con 2012 for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was for the character Dwalin. Dwalin joined Thorin, Gandalf, Bilbo, Balin, and Bombur (not yet released). Dwalin went up for sale the same day as his brother Balin, making them the fourth and fifth statues released.
In Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit, Dwalin was one of the many dwarves of the Lonely Mountain driven into exile by the dragon in the Third Age. Dwalin would join his brother Balin and Thrain in a group who would try to take back Erebor in 2841 of the Third Age. Dwalin would be one of the company who, one hundred years later, joined Thorin in trying to retake Erebor, and was successful in doing so. After the mountain was retaken, Dwalin would go on to be very successful with his brother Balin, and would live to be one of the oldest Dwarfs on record.
The graphics on the box follow the same pattern we’ve seen with both Thorin and Balin, keeping the now familiar Dwarven design. Per the format we’ve come to know, the front of the box gives you a great shot of Dwalin, graphic work for the title of the movie, and of course the Weta logo. The sides of the box for Dwalin also present a familiar format with different looks at the statue on one side, while the other side of the box presents some of the various products you can get for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, such as the Balin statue, Thorin’s Map, Key to Erebor, and Bilbo’s Contract. The back of the box contains a great story on Dwalin, as well as information regarding details of the character and statue. The styrofoam on the inside is typical with what we’ve come used to getting with these statues, but does have a special compartment for his arms holding his axes.
Greg Tozer is a name fans of Middle-earth collecting should know, if they own a certain statue of a Dark Lord of Mordor. That’s correct – the massive and awesome statue of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings statue line was created by Greg Tozer and David Tremont (who worked on Barad-Dûr). Dwalin is my favorite looking Dwarf design from The Hobbit, so I was super excited to get this into my collection. As is the case with his brother Balin, the likeness to Graham McTavish’s portrayal of Dwalin is fantastic. Not to be outdone is the work on the outfit of Dwalin; Mr. Tozer did a superb job of sculpting the fine details of the cloth part of his outfit with all the little lines in their place, and the fur of the outfit also wonderfully matches its onscreen counterpart. The leatherwork on the Dwalin statue is also exceptional. You have great detailed work in his chest guard and his belt, which lead into his sheath holding his knife. Dwalin, like any warrior, must have weapons which he takes into battle, and this warrior carries two nasty looking axes. These axes, named Ukhlat and Umraz, have all the Dwarven detail you see on the larger props in the movie, including the names carved into the axes. Any warrior must protect his hands, and Dwalin takes every precaution with two metal guards, which in the right situation could also be used as weapons. Finally, on his back, Dwalin has two holders for his axes, which are also sculpted very well.
Dwalin continues the streak of very well painted statues from Weta Workshop. The skin tones use the proper paint mixture to not only make the statue look like a miniature Dwarf but also very like the character appeared on screen. The painting on Dwalin’s outfit is equally good. All the pieces of cloth, fur, and leather look as they should and as they did when we saw them in the movie. One of the great things about the cloth aspects of the paint is the proper green tint, giving homage to the green hood he wears in the book. As with both Thorin and Balin, the metal paint look to his axes makes them very much like used versions of something he’d carry if the statue were real. Much like with those two Dwarves, the Dwarven details of his axes are still there for the world to see. Finally, Dwalin has tattoos in support of his Dwarven heritage. These tattoos are decals, allowing fans to get great clean lines and show no blurring at all on the statue (both his head and on his hands).
Dwalin retails for $249, and while he is more expensive than his brother Balin, he is still a good deal. As I said earlier in this review, I love the design of Dwalin, from the tattoos and weapons, to just his overall look; he’s freaking cool! So for me, the $249 was easy for that reason alone. He looks great with the other four statues and if you can add him to your collection, I say go for it! Dwalin, like the other statues so far, is an open edition.
Dwalin is an open edition statue with a retail price of $249. He’s also instock as of right now, so don’t delay.
9.8″ x 9.1″ x 5.9″ (H x W x D)
25 cm x 23 cm x 15 cm
4.3 lbs (1.9 kg)
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop
“Then at last his gaze was held: wall upon wall, battlement upon battlement, black tower of adamant, he saw it: Barad-Dûr, Fortress of Sauron. All hope left him.”
—The Fellowship of the Ring
How do you follow-up one of the coolest environments you’ve ever produced? Well, you go ahead and produce one of the next most coolest environments of course! Shortly after Comic-Con 2011 senior model maker David Tremont began the momentous task of transforming the original model of Barad-Dûr for The Lord of the Rings into a collectible we could all own. Finally, after a year of slaving, fans of Middle-earth got to see the result at Comic-Con 2012 when Barad-Dûr was unveiled to the world.
Sauron began work on Barad-Dûr during Middle-earth’s Second Age, when he chose Mordor as the place his dominion over Middle-earth would begin. Barad-Dûr was finished in the year 1600 of the Second Age and during that period Sauron would go on to create The One Ring, which would only help to make the fortress even stronger. During the War of the Last Alliance fortress was destroyed with the exception of the foundations as they could not be destroyed as long as The Ring was around. In 2951 of the Third Age Barad-Dûr’s reconstruction was started, but it would not last when Gollum fell into the lava of Mt. Doom destroying the Ring and the fortress.
The graphics on the front of the box for Barad-Dûr have kept virtually the same design we’ve seen with previous environments from Weta. On the front of the box a screencap of Mordor with an image of Barad-Dûr completes the scene. Of course, you also have the beautiful The Lord of the Rings logo in the upper right-hand corner with the name of the environment under the picture of Barad-Dûr. One side of the box contains images of Barad-Dûr while the other side features images of other Weta Workshop products. The back of the box contains a great picture of the environment along with a background story about the collectible.
Over 1,500 hours were put into Barad-Dûr to ensure the collectible on your shelf matches what you saw during The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I believe fans, once they have a chance to see the detail in this piece, will agree all of those hours paid off in spades. David Tremont and his team made very sure every window, spike, tower, ledge, bridge, and rock is included on this piece. Gazing upon this collectible, you can almost imagine Sauron or any number of his minions looking out upon Mordor from any of the many ledges and balconies. It truly is a great representation of the model we saw on film. What’s even more amazing is because of the material used it allowed these details to be captured and safely arrive to our homes. Rivendell had its beautiful river running through it and Barad-Dûr has something similar with its lava river flowing from Mt. Doom into the cavern surrounding the fortress. Even the rock areas of Barad-Dûr are exceptionally realized with the plains of Gorgoth looking like a place you don’t ever want to visit. Like Rivendell, this collectible is an achievement for Weta in showing off the amazing talent of their artists.
The paintwork on Barad-Dûr is fairly simple compared to say Rivendell, and much more in-line with that of Orthanc. It’s all black and the shading for the different levels in different places are all really well done. The color of the tower does not match the color of the rock within the piece. That was going to be the toughest part of the paint I think and they were able to create the proper level of separation. The lava looks really good and stands out like lava would with an all-black world of Mordor.
Barad-Dûr costs $700 but the level of detail you get and the size of this piece allows you to truly get value for money. This piece is a limited edition piece with only 1,000 of the fortress being produced. Barad-Dûr does not come with a flaming eye but if that is a potential issue for you all you have to do is download the iPhone or iPad app. Then you will have the eye of Sauron. Finally, I cannot implore you enough if you are a The Lord of the Rings collector to find a way to get this piece into your collection.
Also, if you’re truly interested in what it took to bring this collectible to life check out the three articles by David Tremont. In these articles he explains the ups and downs of making sure we got one of the best environments ever created.
Barad-Dûr is limited to 1000 pieces world-wide.
Barad-Dûr’s specs are as followed: 20.9″ x 18.1″ x 12.2″ (H x W x D)
53 cm x 46 cm x 31 cm Weight: 22 lbs
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, Fellowship of the Ring, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Return of the King, Shop, The Two Towers, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop
“Welcome, Master Baggins, to the Company of Thorin Oakenshield!”
-Balin to Bilbo as he welcomes him to the traveling company
At Comic-Con 2012 we saw six of the statues that will be released in Weta’s range of statues for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. One of the six statues at Comic-Con was of the character Balin who was a member of the traveling party and would later retake Moria (though many people’s introduction is of him in his tomb). Balin is the fourth statue released in this line. His brother, Dwalin, is the fifth (review to come) and he makes another fantastic addition to the growing line of sculptures associated with this great movie.
Balin was one of the many dwarves of the Lonely Mountain driven into exile by the dragon Smaug in the year 2770 of the Third Age. Balin would actually make two trips to try and retake the Erebor. One of a venture with Thrain (who was captured), and the second with Thorin Oakenshield in his successful quest to reclaim his legacy. After years of success once Erebor was reclaimed Balin cast his eyes on an even-greater prize — Khazad-dûm. He would be initially successful, but Balin’s new realm lasted a mere five years. The tragic fate of Balin and his kin remained a mystery until the Fellowship stumbled upon his tomb during their journey through Moria.
The graphics on the box with Balin are similar to those that we saw on the box of Thorin. The front of the box features great design work down the side. It even looks very Dwarvish, though the design varies to the one used on Thorin or the Dwalin box. Also on the front you have a great shot of Balin, graphic work for the title of the movie, and of course the Weta logo. The sides present a couple of different looks with one showing great shots of Balin from different angles while the other side show some of the other products that will be coming out for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey like the Dwalin statue, Thorin’s Map, and the Key to Erebor. The back of the box contains a great story on Balin as well as information regarding details of the character and statue. The styrofoam packaging on the inside is typical of what we’ve come used to getting with these statues.
Lindsey Crummett is a new name to me and I would imagine will be to most of you who have been collecting statues based on the characters of Middle-earth. However, after adding Balin to my collection I have to say I am eager to see what else Ms. Crummett has to show us. The spot-on likeness to Ken Stott’s portrayal of Balin is exceptional! The likeness is scary in a good way that it really feels as if he’s been ripped off the big screen and placed on a shelf. While the sculpt and likeness are excellent, Ms. Crummett did not miss a beat ensuring the rest of the statue was equally good. The embroidery work on his outfit is also very well done and you see the great Dwarvish design of his outfit, which looked beautiful on screen. The execution of Balin’s mace is also superb on this statue. The actual prop is finely detailed with Dwarvish designs. I imagine these must be difficult to transfer to a much smaller scale. Yet, having seen the larger prop replica and compared it to the statue, the quality of reproduction is fabulous. Even though we’re now five pieces into this line I’m still loving the Thror/Thorin’s map on the base. So glad that Weta decided to go with this design.
The paintwork on Balin is strong and I believe the best in this line so far (not that I think any of them have had issues). The quality of the paint job brings out the clean lines and the detailed work on the statue. The skin tones are exceptional with the proper use of tones making it look very much like real skin. The job done on Balin’s outfit is equally as good. The paintwork is what helps this look like it was screen used, with the proper coloring matching the outfit worn by Ken Stott. Even his boots show wear through the the paintwork. They look like they’re dirty. As with Orcrist, Balin’s mace came out looking fantastic. You get a great bronze look to the weapon which it had on screen and it looks like its been used in the real world. Critically, the paint enhances the mace’s sculpted details rather than consuming them.
Balin retails for $230 — a fair price considering the exceptional quality of this statue. This is some of Weta’s best work all around on any single statue and if you enjoyed The Hobbit and the designs of the movie you will want to add to your collection. Even with this statue being an open edition I wouldn’t wait too long to get it, as you never know when the open period could be closed. If Balin and the other four statues are any indication of how this line is going, we’re in for a real treat with the remainder.
Balin is an open edition statue with a retail price of $230. He’s also in stock as of right now so don’t delay.
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, Ken Stott, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop
This morning Weta Workshop added more amazing collectibles to their growing line of prop replicas from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Fans of Gandalf, Radagast, Thorin, and Fili are going to want to snag these limited edition collectibles before they vanish. Gandalf’s staff is a great representation of the character himself – weathered and worn by the years of mileage as he protects Middle-earth, but burning inside with a core of purity, power, and beauty. You will also notice the double G-Rune signifying Gandalf the Grey.
On the other hand the staff of Radagast has been fashioned from a sapling he found in the Greenwood, capturing the nature loving character we saw in The Hobbit. The twiggy protrusions give his fellow flying friends a place to rest as he makes his way through Middle-earth.
Both staffs are limited to 1000 pieces world-wide and a cost of $179, but since they will not ship until 1st and 2nd quarters of 2013, you’ll have a chance to save up. Each staff comes with a black metal bracket for display. The blue ‘crystal’ (acrylic) in the head of Radagast’s staff comes out of the staff – just as it does in the film – to create a bit of extra special magic.
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop
“Weta Digital has grown to now define state of the art in visual effects worldwide. Its dedication to storytelling and realizing director’s visions has lead to the company working with some of the best directors in the world. For The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Weta Digital continued to employ its exquisite attention to detail into helping to tell the story of the fantastical world of Middle-earth.” [Read More]
Posted in Hobbit Movie, Media Reviews, Production, The Hobbit, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop
As you all know, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has landed for audiences around the world and to go with that the amazing folks at Weta Workshop have a couple of brand new statues for fans to order.
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop
Ever wondered exactly what they do at Weta Workshop and Weta Digital? Richard Taylor talks about their work in this neat little clip. Plus there’s some footage and red carpet interviews from the Wellington premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey that you may not have sen previously. (more…)
Posted in Andy Serkis, Elijah Wood, Events, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Hugo Weaving, Martin Freeman, Peter Jackson, Premieres, Richard Armitage, Richard Taylor, Wellington, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop
Following the successful series of art prints from both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Weta Workshop is making another beautiful print available to collectors. The second print in The Hobbit art print series takes us to one of the most memorable moments in the story: the Riddles in the Dark sequence between Bilbo and Gollum. The print is priced at $50 U.S. and will ship shortly after purchase. Be sure to order today so you can have this before The Hobbit opens in early December.
Posted in Artwork, Collectibles, Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Posters Prints, Shop, The Hobbit, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop