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#1 Wed, Apr6 2016 11:24am

Barliman
The famous Innkeeper
From: Bree
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 4020

Comments on Mithril releases

It has occurred to me several times that we need a dedicated "page" for views and comments - good or bad - on Mithril releases, old and new. The problem with mentioning such matters in the Taproom is that the comments get lost amidst the general hurly-burly of noise and activity there.

A couple of weeks back, for instance, I raised a query regarding MS611 Sangarunya which has thus far not been commented on by anyone. My question was, why has Sangarunya only got a cheekguard on the left-hand side of his helmet? Is mine simply a poor casting? - though I see that the picture on the Mithril site seems not to show one either. Opinions, anyone?

Also, I'm wondering what other people think of the Gondorian shields in packs MS614, MS615 and MS619. Nice as it is to see some new Gondorian heraldry, I felt that the modelling of their shield patterns wasn't as crisp as I've come to expect from The Man. By comparison, look at the shields in the M296 shields pack - the sculpting of the stars on those shields is superb! Then look at the small blobs that represent stars on the latest releases.

Happily we can replace Golasgil's shield with the same one from M296, but we'll have to make do with those provided for MS614 and MS619.


"A worthy man, but his memory is like a lumber-room: thing wanted always buried."

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#2 Wed, Apr6 2016 11:53am

Thingol
Brave Sam the gardener
From: Republic of Croatia
Registered: Tue, Jul28 2009
Posts: 3325
Website

Re: Comments on Mithril releases

I'm completely agree with master innkeeper about Gondor's shields.... those small blobs totally sucks.... I think I'll replace the shields... but it is problem with MS619 there is no shield with such design... for replacement I mean...

I also notice this deviation in the appearance of his helmet.. but I did not comment... I,ve also seen similar deviations in sides of the figures before... but nothing particularly significant. Generally these were locks on the cloaks, some helmets, and somentimes bracelets. In MS619 is also different brim of his boots....


.... Farewell to Middle-earth at last. I see the Star above my mast!

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#3 Wed, Apr6 2016 3:43pm

Theobald
Wisest of Ents
From: the Osning in Germany
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 5381
Website

Re: Comments on Mithril releases

Well, Master Barliman, I agree that to open this new thread about Mithril releases really makes sense.

Even you did not realize that I answered to your question about that Sangarunya (MS611) figure. So this fact simply underlines the necessity of this thread.

I will gladly get back later to this but at the moment I am very busy.

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#4 Sat, Apr9 2016 2:21pm

Theobald
Wisest of Ents
From: the Osning in Germany
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 5381
Website

Re: Comments on Mithril releases

So, as I said some days ago I now get back to this. - I always liked the Gondorian shields (M296) though I never understood what they were meant for. I simply built a small wooden rack and placed the painted shields on it.
Barliman, concerning those "small blobs that represent stars" on the latest releases you are absolutely right. You forgot to mention MS618 (Earnur) also.
That is a figure I do not like at all because of the prancing horse. It is so obvious that if you cut off that supporting pillar below the left foreleg the figure will inevitably bend down. I already criticized that somewhere else but I think now here's the right place. I do remember well my anger when I once cut off such a support at the old M260 King Theoden figure. But all went even worse when I cut off the supporting parts of the M28 and M29 Rohir riders ... I went crazy and tried everything to stabilize those single legs afterwards. After that experience I did not touch the M30 and M31 Rohir figures. I simply did not dare. On the other hand I really dislike those idiotic support pillars and to me it is no alternative to hide them by adding some "bushes" or plants to the base. Then the original Mithril base would be "destroyed" in a way.

So what? I think such poses with the horses I referred to should be strictly avoided unless they are casted in good resin quality (which would not at all cause the problems of bending down) but that does not really fit to Mithril figures and their tradition.
What do you think? Could such poses justify the use of resin, at least for the horses?

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#5 Sat, Apr9 2016 2:55pm

Barliman
The famous Innkeeper
From: Bree
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 4020

Re: Comments on Mithril releases

You don't need resin - a stronger metal would do just as well (or even better, in my view). Mithril lead is a pain all round, though its softness does make conversions very easy.

There's no way that I can think of to strengthen the legs of such horses without destroying the base. When I've encountered this problem on non-Mithril figures made of soft metal, I've carefully drilled up through the leg from underneath the base into the upper leg or even the body, and inserted a length of brass rod, but that will only work when the horse's legs are in positions where it can be done "invisibly". And of course, it compromises the purity of the figure - not a good idea if you're a collector, but better than your figures falling on their faces.

The reason I didn't mention MS618 is because I don't have that figure yet - I'm waiting for another Mithril "sale"!

Another quibble I have with a new figure regards Angbor (MS619). Putting aside the fact that he's got blobs instead of stars on his shield, and is on foot when he should ideally be mounted, have you noticed that though he is armed with a curved, sabre-like weapon, his scabbard is for a straight-bladed sword?

I'm wondering if things like this and the blobs instead of stars on shields is the price we're having to pay for The Man working through his backlog as quickly as he can?


"A worthy man, but his memory is like a lumber-room: thing wanted always buried."

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#6 Sat, Apr9 2016 6:52pm

Theobald
Wisest of Ents
From: the Osning in Germany
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 5381
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Re: Comments on Mithril releases

So stronger metal also could be part of a solution indeed.
Yes, Barliman, I also tried drilling for applying an invisible metal rod inside (not with Mithril so far as for the reason you mentioned). Alas, still I think that if you're not able to calculate the weight to the pose you better leave it. Yes, I know that even Renaissance sculptures were in need of supporting parts at the base, not to mention figures that were sculpted earlier in time.
But, I am of the opinion that nowadays one should consider well which material fits better to achieve a certain balance in a special pose.

I just had a look at the Angbor-figure (MS619) and have to agree. The scabbard doesn't fit to a scimitar. (You're absolutely right about them "blobs" on the shield design, Master Barliman) I still cannot comment on the helmet of that figure as I am not sure about the design of it.

But ... err ... no, I don't think that all this can be explained by The Man trying to cope with his backlog (or better: that Company's backlog). The price we have to pay you can always find on a receipt by the Company.

"Mistakes" there have always been, I think. Just tell me why that "Mannish captain of Orthanc" (M182) despite of his proud pose carries no sword in the scabbard? I never could tell.

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#7 Sun, Apr10 2016 10:02am

ddaines
Skilled Artisan
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 1657

Re: Comments on Mithril releases

I will have to look more closely at these figures in future, interesting points raised.

Re Théoden, I suppose you could also use a thin acrylic rod to act as a support if you felt it worth the effort or the need. I think mine may have lost a rear hoof as well in the metal strain process.

Agree with the use a stronger metal comment, or why not simply add a bit to the base that blends in and supports the horse, or just don't design them that way wink

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#8 Sun, Apr10 2016 10:13am

Barliman
The famous Innkeeper
From: Bree
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 4020

Re: Comments on Mithril releases

Not designing the horse that way in the first place would be the best solution - the integrity of the figure then wouldn't need to be compromised at all.

I must admit, I would have thought Chris would be fully aware of the limitations of Mithril lead by now. He's been designing for them for enough years. So perhaps there's another factor of which we're unaware. Since not all lead acquires "lead rot", presumably not all lead has the same inherent strength either - by which I mean that perhaps not all castings of the rearing Theoden figure are necessarily doomed to collapse!

Where's Master Caster when we need him?


"A worthy man, but his memory is like a lumber-room: thing wanted always buried."

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#9 Sun, Apr10 2016 2:36pm

Theobald
Wisest of Ents
From: the Osning in Germany
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 5381
Website

Re: Comments on Mithril releases

Barliman, I do absolutely agree. Better not designing a pose that couldn't be casted appropriately with the material being available. That's exactly what I meant. And therefore, ddaines, I cannot accept having to use additional and completely different material just to stabilze a pose of a figure. Be honest, please, you also would at once see that "thin acrylic rod" as a support, as I also tried to save the figure that way very many years ago. And it still annoys me very much.

Let me try to explain a bit.
That wonderful Dragon MB345 "The vengeance of Smaug" had to be stabilized at the upper part of the tail. Alright, such a pose is weird and hazardous enough to be casted in metal. But there, for example, the rocks on the base are necessary to balance that tall piece and are not witnessed as a supporting part at first glance.

A combination of metal and resin in the Mithril production? I have heard that the base of the MB297 (The Lord of the Nazgûl) had been casted in resin. That might be a rumour, as the one I keep is not (and it's "the old one"), pure metal, so to say.

Does anyone have the "Destroyer of Dwarves" vignette (Phaeton Design) by Chris Tubb right now have in the hands? Only the 7 Dwarves are metal, the base and the figure of the "Destroyer" are resin. - Alright, once you have assembled that vignette and sprayed it with "Mithril"-grey-primer you cannot tell which is resin and which is metal unless you lift it all up.
"Mené mene upharsin" said the writing on the wall. But that was a long time ago.

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#10 Sun, Apr10 2016 3:59pm

ddaines
Skilled Artisan
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 1657

Re: Comments on Mithril releases

I absolutely agree Master Tree regarding not having to use any form of 'un-natural' support to support what is inevitable wink; the problem shouldn't be there in the first place.

The suggestion of acrylic was really based upon observations of modellers of other subjects, who have resorted to using acrylic rod to support 'flying machines' sci-fi and otherwise to depict said machine either in-flight or landing/taking off etc. where the use of something more solid would be more noticeable or could not be hidden, it still looks like what it is, acrylic rod, albeit more see-through than solid plastic or metal sprue hmm.

I would still prefer to see either the figure design done different, or as I mentioned, a part of the base 'sculpted' to act as a support and blend in (you could have some fairly dramatic poses I guess).

Re the Destroyer, once primed and painted not easy to tell the difference from a visual inspection, maybe the resin is a crisper casting.

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#11 Mon, Apr11 2016 8:01am

Milo
The Attic Warden
From: Toulouse, France
Registered: Tue, Mar30 2010
Posts: 4075

Re: Comments on Mithril releases

Wow, many thoughts are put here. I need more spare time and a breakfast before reading this carefully.wink


Milo Gamgee-Took of Bywater
________________________
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
J.R.R.Tolkien

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#12 Mon, Apr11 2016 3:31pm

Theobald
Wisest of Ents
From: the Osning in Germany
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 5381
Website

Re: Comments on Mithril releases

Just don't haste, Milo.

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#13 Mon, Apr11 2016 9:47pm

hsf62
Master Caster
From: Germany
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 2602

Re: Comments on Mithril releases

I just say nothing wrong with the design of the figure. Love to see more horses like that. The problem only lies with the metal the figur is cast with. Tooooo sooooft! There is alloy around you can cast a horse standing on one foot only carrying two other horses including riders and the leg will not give in!
Figures like that should be cast in a harder alloy... I think the price for a MS figure is high enough to include the higher price for a harder alloy!


Where there is a will there is a way, just as there are no problems, only solutions! Guess it depends on ones own perspective of the matter at that time big_smile

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#14 Mon, Apr11 2016 11:43pm

Theobald
Wisest of Ents
From: the Osning in Germany
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 5381
Website

Re: Comments on Mithril releases

Thank you, Master Caster. That's it.

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#15 Tue, Apr12 2016 9:17am

Barliman
The famous Innkeeper
From: Bree
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 4020

Re: Comments on Mithril releases

hsf62 wrote:

Figures like that should be cast in a harder alloy... I think the price for a MS figure is high enough to include the higher price for a harder alloy!

I think we're all agreed on that.


"A worthy man, but his memory is like a lumber-room: thing wanted always buried."

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