Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Lord of the House of the Golden Flower

I'm Here I Promise!

So I know I set some deadlines recently, but life got in the way as it tends to do, so my painting, as well as blogging, were delayed. But I went ahead and finished Glorfindel and Arwen's foot and mounted models, and I have to say I think they look pretty amazing. I re-learned a few things I had forgotten, mostly due to organization and efficiency when painting one-offs or characters. This post has a lot of words, and a lot of pictures, but I figure for a less than regular poster, I ought to at least give you a lot of content, so here we go!


I know I've talked about it a little bit in the past, but Glorfindel is probably one of my favorite characters in the Tolkien legendarium. A warrior so powerful, and so noble, that he was sent back to Middle Earth from the Halls of Mandos in order to aid the elves in their struggle against darkness.

He came to Middle Earth with King Turgon and was one of his chief captains, taking part in the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, and later becoming Chief of the House of the Golden Flower, one of the ten noble houses of Gondolin the Great.

His first death occurred in glorious fashion safeguarding the caravan of Tuor and Idril (and a young EƤrendil) as they escaped the Sacking of Gondolin at the hands of Morgoth's dragons. It was a Balrog which would prove to be his undoing, which snatched him off of a cliff-side after he skewered it in the belly with his sword. He fell to his death and his body was laid in mound, while his spirit fled to Mandos.

It was later, during the Third Age, that he was sent back, and eventually joined the House of Elrond in Imladris. In his second life he would fight the Witch King of Angmar in the wars of Arnor, driving him from the land, and eventually aid the Fellowship on their flight from the Nine.

I thought about talking about Arwen here, but she has no good background, and I simply painted her to be completionist. One of the greater mistakes Peter Jackson ever made was replacing Glorfindel with Arwen in the films.


Before I show pictures, I thought I'd mention that I think these models turned out wonderfully, with the exception of the white cloak on Glorfindel. I also think Arwen on foot is one of the best faces I've ever painted. The pics aren't great as some were taken late at night and my set-up isn't great, But they generally show the models. Again I don't really care too much about Arwen but I am happy with the face. Anyhow, I'll post pictures, then provide additional commentary below. I'm not going to include scheme as I used a lot of mixed colors to get the greys I wanted, but if you want to know something to emulate it, just let me know in the comments and I'll be happy to reply!

A note about Sculpts

The Arwen on foot model is known to be a popular model for competition and showcase painters. I believe this is because the sculpt has very exaggerated features, specifically on the face and upper body. While I was painting Arwen, I called my wife over to show off the face I had just finished and she commented on how unrealistic the proportions were on this model. Her waist is the same circumference as her head, which is kind of weird. I like to think this was done to draw attention to the models face as the scale is so incredibly small, and the face is a primary feature on a model that is typically wearing a grey riding jacket. But looking at other female models in some ranges, you can very clearly see many examples of unrealistic female body types. This is typical of fantasy and sci-fi depictions of women, but I found it a bit out of place in the Lord of the Rings, which is a decidedly un-sexualized example of high fantasy. Even looking at other female scuplts from Games Workshops LOTR range, such as Tauriel, Galadriel, and Eowyn, you see more reasonable proportions and realistic approaches. Who knows, either way it does make a striking model when done well, and I wish I could approach the level of some who have painted Arwen for competitions.


  1. You know if you want to learn competition painting level skills you have many friends that will teach. Greg is here in Raleigh now as well.

  2. I'm in Charlotte! I may decide to up the ante eventually. Once I make it to the Return of the King book I will be re-painting all of the characters in new poses, so maybe then. Maybe learn blending in the short term.