Collecting The Precious – Weta Workshop’s Orthanc – Black Tower of Isengard
“Who now has the strength to stand against the armies of Isengard and Mordor? To stand against the might of Sauron and Saruman and the union of the Two Towers?”
– Saruman to Sauron during The Two Towers
At Comic-Con 2011 the folks at Weta announced and displayed the newest environment to land in our collections. Then on July 31st 2011 this amazing collectible went up for pre-order to those wishing to purchase this collectible. If you were one of the first 400 people to order Orthanc, you would end up with a numbered addition, and a special gold-plated Eye of Sauron pin commemorating the day of sale. Originally, this collectible was named Orthanc Pre-Ruin but Weta and TheOneRing.net teamed up to give it an even cooler name. The winning name chosen by Weta was Orthanc – Black Tower of Isengard. This version of Orthanc shows this place as we see it when Gandalf the Grey arrives to talk with Saruman upon realizing that The One Ring has been found. This memorable moment has been amazingly captured by Weta. Follow after the break for my complete review.
The graphics on the Orthanc box once again have a simple but classy look with a picture of Gandalf the Grey riding up to Orthanc and The Lord of the Rings logo in the upper left hand corner. Also on the front of the box you have a great picture of the environment, full name of the collectible, and of course the Weta logo. On one side of the box you get a an additional shot of Orthanc and the other has more shots of many of the products you can get from Weta. No surprise that the back of the box contains another a beauty shot of Orthanc along with a brief history of Isengard.
A group of Weta’s most talented artist worked on this project and they did a superb job bringing this version of Orthanc to life. As was the case with the Argonath, there is the obvious challenge to take polystone and make it look like real stone. Well, mission accomplished! Orthanc, with all of its intricate detail, is captured nicely as well as giving that carved stone look. Another very cool detail is the film-accurate pattern seen when we get glimpses of the top of Orthanc. Finally, to complete the scene, and put the finishing touches on an amazing collectible, the trees are expertly sculpted and reminiscent of real trees. All of this comes together to make what is a must have collectible!
The paintwork on Orthanc is as exceptional as the sculpt work. Yes, Orthanc is all black on the tower, but none of the detail is lost on the sculpture. Also the other amazing thing about the paint job on the tower is the job to make the tower appear as it does on screen in the movie. The green work on the trees, grass, and the work done on the gravel are truly the cherry on top of another great paint job by Weta.
Orthanc costs $250 retail – a total steal at that price. I do not have the original Orthanc but having a chance to add this environment was a total no brainer. When you factor in the price, detail, paint, and importance of Orthanc within the story of The Lord of the Rings you must find a way to budget this item into your collection..
Orthanc has an edition size of 400 pieces worldwide for the first four hundred, but an open edition after that. Orthanc’s specs are as followed: 16.9″ x 118.” x 7.1″ (H x W x D)
43 cm x 30 cm x 18 cm