Once again hidden amongst questionable health products, three week old produce and enough candy to put the Easter Bunny to shame the 99 Cent Only store provides me with yet another modeling product. It’s a Gimli knock-off toy from the Lord of the Rings trilogy of books / movies. Can you see the resemblance? It should provide a nice little painting project for my trusty brushes. Sharpen your blades its fighting time!
I am not a LOTR nerd, I have never read the books nor do I really care to, so sue me. After watching the three movies and playing through The Hobbit video game I can say it’s a very long interpretation of what Star Wars has done much better. If both LOTR and Star Wars could be considered war movies then ‘Wars does a much better job because we don’t lose sight of the main characters, not countless side characters all looking the same in a quest to gain a ring that could be picked up at any pawn shop in Middle-Earth.
Of the characters in the movies, none of them stick out to me as being a favorite. Maybe it’s because I too easily saw threw them to see the actors playing them. I accredit this to the over-done marketing the campaigns at the time of the movies releases. I saw tons of “behind the scenes” videos with the actors talking about how great it is to work on the Lord of the Rings movies. Enough of that crap, I don’t want to know who the actors are or how much they are bonding on set, I want to escape to a different world not thinking about Elijah Wood’s Hollywood life or who he might be dating.
Back to the figure, it will not get a high score from those hardcore toy collectors in the world. On its own it barely even seems like its being held together. Holding the figure I feel like I am going to crush it, the tension might be so strong in my arm when painting that it might break under the pressure like Frodo seemed to do in the movies. This dwarf, for lack of a better term, is about four inches tall and feels lightweight. He has some nice details and relief, as you can see, that’s great for painting. The quality is lacking and his arms and feet simply appear to be stuck into position rather than representing a real person.
If you look at the figure, for his size, his arms should be thicker even though they are very muscular, they should be bigger if he has that big of a beer gut. It seems impossible to have completely ripped upper body details and have a beer belly larger than a keg of the relaxing drink. The same can be said about his thin legs. The only thing I can think of is that he is on steroids, what a shame.
His face, helmet and beard all have great details, far more than in most dollar store items. I have seen bottles of soap with more details than most figures sold there. There is no mention of the sculpture of this toy and that is a shame. I hope in the future artists from around the world get credit for doing their work. Overall I am super happy with the detailing on this figure.
Some other weird things however are the very small belt and how his right arm does not have the same collar as on the left. I thought well maybe it’s a shield for shooting an arrow but he does not come with a bow. The other idea is that maybe he got his arm cut off fighting for the Rebellion…O, wait, wrong film series.
Going into this project I did not have any ideas of what to paint, or a scene to create, I just started to paint. Since the given paint application was pretty brisk it let my mind open up to new ideas. Sometimes when I work on a painting project I will cover it in primer and let it set for a while so I forget what the original figure looked like. Try that out sometime.
I spent the most time on the helmet, I wanted to wait till I blended the helmet more but I could not resist painting the small divots on it. If I had copper paint I would paint them in that color but since I am a poor-ass painter yellow it will have to do for now.
The character has, what looks like, a chain mail vest on. Now I decided to paint over it skin color because just having the center piece of the figure steel colored and the arms skin tone looked really bad – like eyeglasses bigger than your actual eye socket. You really don’t notice the error that much, or at least I don’t. He has some bumps on his chest that kind of look like chain mail but they spaces between them are too big to actual do any good against a charging orc’s blade.
As of this writing I don’t know what I am going to do for a diorama for this figure, until I decide what to do with him I am going to wait to paint more. You don’t want to spend hours painting and detailing just to turn the figure into a weathered bloody mess in a scene where he is fighting off a powerful dragon or wild beast.
If you have any ideas for this figure for me to paint please let me know. Also, have you shopped around at local dollar stores for toys to re-paint? If so, let me know about them and I will feature it on this site. Happy painting.