Back in August 2001 I was checking out Sideshow-Weta’s wonderful booth at Atlanta’s Dragon*Con. Here they had displayed many of their items: the stone trolls, the Moria environment, and lots and lots of busts and statues. As I made my way slowly through the booth, I came to a new item that I’d not seen or heard about, and I was immediately captivated by it. The Ringwraith on Steed prototype statue was on display and I fell totally in love with the exquisite detail and beauty (yes, beauty) of the piece. You’d think that one couldn’t find beauty in something representing such a malevolent character! I knew I had to have this piece.
When the statue was released this past month, I kept my word to myself and placed my order, then waited breathlessly for its arrival. When it came a few days later (in a huge box!) I carefully opened it. I must say, the folks at Sideshow-Weta have done their research when it comes to packaging. This piece arrived in absolute perfect condition. The 16″w x 15″H x 9″D statue comes with a heavy base that has a map of Middle-earth etched upon it. The polystone horse and rider are one piece and mount on the base by means of a pin protruding from the base.
The wraith sits upon his steed, turning slightly in his saddle, one hand outstretched as if he is reaching out for you. His silver hilted sword is by his side, sheathed in the silver tipped scabbard. His hands and feet are clad in armor, the scales of which appear to be a dark yet shiny metal. His robes have a coarse linen finish, and are stained at the bottom with mud, as if he’s been on a long journey. The robes, though solid statue, seem to flow with movement, as if he’s just reined his horse in to a full stop. There is a gaping hole of black emptiness where his head should be, though the cowl of the robe rises as if there is something there.
The solid black steed is also travel-worn. He has muddy feet and exhibits several small cuts, as if he’s been ridden hard through rough terrain. His chanfron and hide are speckled with water stains. His bridle is flexible, though I don’t think it is of leather. The detail on this statue is so minute that you can actually see the nail heads in the horse’s hooves and the fraying at the edge of the wraith’s cape.
I think what I like the most about this statue is the fluidity of movement captured in the statue. It is as if the wraith has just suddenly paused, and the motion of his hand, his robes, and the horse, have all been frozen in a malicious moment of time.
This limited edition collector’s item is by no means inexpensive ($275.00 US), but is well worth the investment to anyone that is searching for a unique piece to add to their collection of Tolkien memorabilia. This is definitely an item that should be considered for its artistry and detail.
RATING: Excellent 5/5 Rings ()
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