Friday, March 6, 2009

Return of the Mumak (extended edition)

It took the length of the extended edition of Return of the King to get the Mumak built. In fact, the credits are still rolling and will likely follow me into retirement. I wonder if they had someone whose job it was to keep track of everyone?

You open the box and think, ha! This is for children! The elephant is a red herring. It's the funky howdah platform system that's tricky. It's a combination of pieces not quite molded properly and of a funky design (or both). For example, there are platform legs that just kind of get glued on somewhere, somehow. That's how I experienced it anyway.

The elephant torso is built before the big battle even starts. I might even finish this thing before the disc change.

These howdah assemblies got a little tricky. You know, the kind of assembly that requires three hands? But nothing too difficult. Poor Frodo.

These side platforms (I hate sponsons) were probably the trickiest part of the build. You needed to build the smaller assembly first, then attach it to the side of the mumak, but you couldn't tell if it would fit until you attached it. I broke off the inserts on both sides before I finally got it glued. This was my first time using Zip Kicker (glue accelerator) on a plastic model, but it ended up becoming increasingly handy as the build progressed.

The scene before Aragorn chops the head off The Mouth of Sauron. Sort of like my annoyance when I realized these support pillars just kind of glued in some place in some sort of angle. The front projecting platform similarly was meant to defy gravity and logic. The zip kicker was used liberally on this part of the assembly, and the support pieces were re-installed several times, including trimming columns that were too long. One will need a little putty to reach the platform.

By the time Aragorn was crowned, the model was mostly done.

There was much weeping and goodbyes, at least in the movie. I was glad to be finished. The extended version's goodbye scene even allowed me a cup of coffee and some crackers while I waited for the glue to dry. Total run time for this project: 251 minutes. That's before painting, of course. Oh yeah, and don't forget the 13 man crew.


  1. And how the hell do you transport 3 or even 1 of the things, much less transport it without breaking it.

  2. Beats the hell out of me. It's 7" across and 13" tall.

  3. I built mine last night in about 15 minutes... but I didn't do the howdah thing, just the Oliphaunt itself.
    I figure to do the howdah afterwards, and may modify the design a bit.

    - Joe

  4. I don't watch movies when assembling complex models. Too much temptation to stop and watch.
    I listen to old time radio serials, music, or conservative talk radio...
    Speed Gibson (of the International Secret Police) has been instrumental in getting WoTR minis assembled.

    I listened to the entire series (minus the episodes I'm missing) while working on models in the garage in 2003/4.

  5. Just to balance things out, when I start working on my pulp minis, I'll probably listen to the BBC radio serial of Lord of the Rings...

  6. I can't believe you made me Google image "elephant penis." It's not an exact match, but good enough:

  7. I can't believe you made me Google image "elephant penis." It's not an exact match, but good enough:

  8. There is, in every gamer, the Junior High boy who will not go away.

  9. That thing is massive. Can it be killed? I assume ranged weapons and/or pikes would be useful.

    I got a box of Minas Tirith guys in the mail the other day. 24 nice figures, 23 bases....d'oh!

    They're based, primed, and ready for paint, and will take up most of my time next weekend.

    It'll be a lot less challenging than painting 100+ 15mm SS figures in three different types of camo, thankfully.


  10. You can kill it, but it uses an "incredibly hard to kill" table. It has a tendency to go on random rampages of death, which is why I like them. They basically kill everything in their path or die when they run into terrain. Fun.

    We cam ship you models, if you want to buy them from us.