Re: United Cutlery's - LOTR & The Hobbit - Movie Props!

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Ronin wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 9:26 am Hey, Kit. Assuming UC did opt to revise the standard Anduril and Narsil to have a longer fuller, would that be a relatively easy change for the factory to implement since the tooling has already been done for MC Anduril? Assuming you're happy with MC Anduril's corrected fuller of course.
There is no new tooling for the MC Anduril. What allows them to make a longer fuller is just a bigger milling machine that can handle the longer blades. They did not have that in the early days, so there was a limit on the fuller length. I'm not even going to bring it up with them again for the other versions until I at least see a finished MC Anduril blade.
KRDS

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N2darkness wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 9:11 am That's sad news. It's things like this that scare me and that in the future all the United Cutlery items will be sent to the cheapest factory Budk can find.
I highly doubt that for LOTR. UC has been pretty firm on making all the old LOTR swords and scabbards in their two original Taiwan factories. That's where most of the line is still made. Unfortunately, I think that's one of the reasons the MC is taking so long. They are very slow.

The Faramir sword is being made in UC's China sword factory, like the Eomer and Bard swords were. As fast as that's coming along, I am starting to think I'll have a complete sword before Anduril!
KRDS

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Nasnandos wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:15 am I highly doubt that for LOTR. UC has been pretty firm on making all the old LOTR swords and scabbards in their two original Taiwan factories. That's where most of the line is still made. Unfortunately, I think that's one of the reasons the MC is taking so long. They are very slow.

The Faramir sword is being made in UC's China sword factory, like the Eomer and Bard swords were. As fast as that's coming along, I am starting to think I'll have a complete sword before Anduril!
So all the legacy items have tooling made for the specific machines in Taiwan and non transferable to the factory in China? All new items are being made in China now due to cheaper cost? If tooling has to be remade, would that be an opportunity for them to switch factories?

I'm all for them to keep things the same as long as the quality stays good. I'm sure costs are always considered when evaluating any new item or rerelease of old ones. And explains why the MC is at the old factory with the original tooling.

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Not exactly. Any of that old casting tooling could be moved and retrofitted to work on machines in China, but there is no point. The sword costs are not that different in China vs Taiwan, especially when you factor in the China tariffs UC has to add to add in. Plus, if it's a regular line item, it would have to be taken out of production for nearly a year to move and retrofit.

The main reason some of the newer swords are made in China is really just the tooling cost. It's very high there too, but it's the only place where the prices are still workable. The problem comes in when those old Taiwan toolings break, like the Gimli bearded axe.
KRDS

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Nasnandos wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:03 am
Ronin wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 9:26 am Hey, Kit. Assuming UC did opt to revise the standard Anduril and Narsil to have a longer fuller, would that be a relatively easy change for the factory to implement since the tooling has already been done for MC Anduril? Assuming you're happy with MC Anduril's corrected fuller of course.
There is no new tooling for the MC Anduril. What allows them to make a longer fuller is just a bigger milling machine that can handle the longer blades. They did not have that in the early days, so there was a limit on the fuller length. I'm not even going to bring it up with them again for the other versions until I at least see a finished MC Anduril blade.
Gotcha. Interesting. So, it sounds like there's really no reason why it can't happen (again, assuming the corrected fuller meets your standard).

Unfortunately, and I hope I'm wrong, I would imagine UC is not that interested in changing a sword design -albeit a minor change- that has sold very well and continues to sell well. I'm sure most of their customers aren't as finicky about prop accuracy as we are. I admit the fuller as is doesn't look bad on its own but when you know what the original prop looked like, you naturally prefer that.

Thanks as always for the insight, Kit.

Re: United Cutlery's - LOTR & The Hobbit - Movie Props!

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Valkrist wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 5:25 pm
TMcLim wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 5:18 pm Btw if you guys did a limited run of like 100 of these in a scale that is 1:1 with your shards I would buy one in a heart beat. And actually if you doubled the size of this one to be in scale with the actual mini shards a d gave it a accurate paint job that might do really well.
There is at least one 1:1 replica of this statue somewhere out there. I'm not sure if the artist (Andrew/Thranduil) was ever able to sell it off before he sadly and unexpectedly passed away. I hope whoever handled his estate didn't simply throw it out, unaware of how unique it was.
That is very cool! I have always wanted to make one, does anyone have any pictures of it?
Image

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Nasnandos wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 3:48 pm I briefly toyed with enlarging the statue to match the scale of the sword, but that would nearly double the size.
That was another hope of mine. What if the sword is reduced to match the scale of the statue, is that a possibility?

Nasnandos wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 3:48 pm I have hopes that Weta will one day do something like a 1/12 scale Masters Collection version of the whole statue with real cloth, along with Aragorn holding the hilt.
It's a great idea, indeed. However being a Masters Collection, I'd prefer it to be made at 1/6 scale.

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TMcLim wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:17 pm That is actually a really great idea for a MC, that moment after he picks it up and is holding it and you can see the self doubt on his face.
I like the moment in the movie; I despised the fact that they portrayed Aragorn as full of self-doubt and spurning his heritage by not wanting to be king. It was a complete 180 from the character he is in the books. Like Faramir, I think PJ and crew dislike the idea of trying to portray someone without flaws. I guess they thought modern-day audiences wouldn't buy it.
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Valkrist wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:52 pm
TMcLim wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:17 pm That is actually a really great idea for a MC, that moment after he picks it up and is holding it and you can see the self doubt on his face.
I like the moment in the movie; I despised the fact that they portrayed Aragorn as full of self-doubt and spurning his heritage by not wanting to be king. It was a complete 180 from the character he is in the books. Like Faramir, I think PJ and crew dislike the idea of trying to portray someone without flaws. I guess they thought modern-day audiences wouldn't buy it.
I think they opted to go that route to give him more of a story arch and so that he would be more appealing to American audiences. The idea of rejecting power to actually end up receiving power is as old as George Washington. Or atleast the assumption that you want to reject power. Suffice to say that it is a well established arch/trop in American culture. Perhaps they also worries that modern audiences would have found a book faithful Aragorn a tad arrogant. It is interesting that Aragorn who doubts himself, and who believes that he has an inherited weakness towards the ring and power is the one mortal that we see being able resist the rings temptation. Which is why I think they changed Faramirs arch. Boyne has said that by the time we meet Faramir we've spent one whole movie explaining why the ring is the most evil object in existence, and for Faramir to just outright reject it and not even be tempted undercuts alot of the previous work they have done to show how evil the ring is. So it makes sense.
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Jamie Shakespeare wrote: Tue Aug 16, 2022 9:52 pm Kit - I received the Eomer spear yesterday - just want to say I love it! Slightly odd question - I’d like to remove the wooden shafts and add my own, solid one - can I ask how are the spear tip and end cap fixed? Are they just glued, or is there some kind of rod passing through?
The wood is glued to the poly parts with epoxy. It's going to be very tricky to separate them without breaking the poly parts. The epoxy is stronger than the poly. Maybe you got lucky and they did not use a lot of epoxy to bond them, but it's a big risk.
KRDS

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Nasnandos wrote: Wed Aug 17, 2022 4:22 am [quote="Jamie Shakespeare" post_id=118920 time=<a href="tel:1660726348">1660726348</a> user_id=5225]
Kit - I received the Eomer spear yesterday - just want to say I love it! Slightly odd question - I’d like to remove the wooden shafts and add my own, solid one - can I ask how are the spear tip and end cap fixed? Are they just glued, or is there some kind of rod passing through?
The wood is glued to the poly parts with epoxy. It's going to be very tricky to separate them without breaking the poly parts. The epoxy is stronger than the poly. Maybe you got lucky and they did not use a lot of epoxy to bond them, but it's a big risk.
[/quote]

Kit hi, thanks for the fast response!
That’s good to know - I’ll first try a little heat and see if they’ll loosen, however I know how brittle resin/fastcast can be. I suspect the best approach for me will be to cut off the wood near the fixing points then carefully drill it out

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This one is so out of left-field that I'd completely forgotten it was even a thing. Such an odd choice to spend resources on when there's so many other things in 1:1 that we want to see.

I guess anything to do with Sauron has been a good seller for UC, and rather than screw fans over yet again with a third release or the supposedly LE helm, they're sliding this weird 1:2 scale one under the radar to quietly make some side cash like a shady backalley deal. :crazy2:
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I decided to do a quick modification to the Eomer spear plaque as I felt it was too orange and needed to closer match something seen in Edoras.

Here is the before on the left and after on the right. I used antique walnut gel stain to darken it, after that dried, matte clear coat. Then gold rub'n'buff for the design details. Much improved in my opinion.
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Looks great, as always....(running out of superlatives to describe your work :D ) and a definite improvement.
Why did you use gel stain?
Not criticizing your choice, but I always wonder why people use gel stain and not "normal" :laugh: penetrating stain.
The only reason I can think of is that there is a coating already on the wood (like a polycoat) that would prevent a liquid stain from penetrating.
There must be an art to using gel stain... I've never had much luck with it. It always looks streaky or spotty/clumpy when I've used it.
It seems like I mostly keep pushing it around on the surface :(

Also, is that Thrandy's (Andrew's) scabbard next to Herugrim?
Last edited by Deimos on Tue Aug 23, 2022 10:19 am, edited 2 times in total.


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

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Deimos wrote: Tue Aug 23, 2022 10:12 am Looks great, as always....(running out of superlatives to describe your work :D ) and a definite improvement.
Why did you use gel stain?
Not criticizing your choice, but I always wonder why people use gel stain and not "normal" :laugh: penetrating stain.
The only reason I can think of is that there is a coating already on the wood (like a polycoat) that would prevent a liquid stain from penetrating.
There must be an art to using gel stain... I've never had much luck with it. It always looks streaky or spotty/clumpy when I've used it.
It seems like I mostly keep pushing it around on the surface :(
Thanks!

Gel stain is much thicker and also used on fiberglass woodgrain doors. It stays on the surface and leaves a more even coat. I have used it on all of my interior house and display woodwork and prefer it to penetrating stain (which I find way too blotchy)
Paint definitely could have been used here, but decided to give this a try. The plaque is made of polyresin and penetrating stain would not have worked. When using it on wood you still have to have good surface prep and prepare the wood to get the desired finish. In my case with alder, I would sand everything to 120g or 180, then 320 and then water pop the grain right before staining. Gave me the most consistent color.
Deimos wrote: Tue Aug 23, 2022 10:12 amv
Also, is that Thrandy's (Andrew's) scabbard next to Herugrim?
Yes! The one and only! RIP Andrew

Re: United Cutlery's - LOTR & The Hobbit - Movie Props!

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I got two Theoden helms from production last week. Happy to say they both look great. No finish or paint flaws at all that I could find. I was actually surprised at how good they looked.

My only complaint is that the helm shells are too thick. Over 1/2" in places, which I assume they did because it makes them less prone to breakage in shipping. I know most collectors would never wear these, but it makes them feel heavy and impossible to put over your head because it made the inside too small. On a shelf it looks awesome though.
Last edited by Nasnandos on Tue Sep 06, 2022 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
KRDS

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Nasnandos wrote: Tue Sep 06, 2022 4:54 am I got two Eomer helms from production last week. Happy to say they both look great. No finish or paint flaws at all that I could find. I was actually surprised at how good they looked.

My only complaint is that the helm shells are too thick. Over 1/2" in places, which I assume they did because it makes them less prone to breakage in shipping. I know most collectors would never wear these, but it makes them feel heavy and impossible to put over your head because it made the inside too small. On a shelf it looks awesome though.
Eomers? Or Theoden's?

I thought Theoden's was due this week to ship. I'm looking forward to mine.

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N2darkness wrote: Tue Sep 06, 2022 6:37 am
Nasnandos wrote: Tue Sep 06, 2022 4:54 am I got two Eomer helms from production last week. Happy to say they both look great. No finish or paint flaws at all that I could find. I was actually surprised at how good they looked.

My only complaint is that the helm shells are too thick. Over 1/2" in places, which I assume they did because it makes them less prone to breakage in shipping. I know most collectors would never wear these, but it makes them feel heavy and impossible to put over your head because it made the inside too small. On a shelf it looks awesome though.
Eomers? Or Theoden's?

I thought Theoden's was due this week to ship. I'm looking forward to mine.
Theoden's. UC's warehouse received them last Monday. I had Eomer on the brain as I almost posted that I wish they would update that paint finish like this, but then I remembered I already asked them to do that over a year ago. Not sure if they did.

Here are some crappy iphone pix. I saw a couple at UC last week too. They looked the same as these two I just opened.
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KRDS

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That's a cramped sample room that I can barely walk through :)
Jamie Shakespeare wrote: Wed Sep 07, 2022 1:57 am Come on Kit, the sneaky Gondor flag and plaque to the right - what is that?
MC Andy. Not any closer to seeing that one yet I'm afraid. The carbon steel blades are made in China and the rest in UC's Taiwan factory. Tensions between the two countries have thrown a monkey wrench in getting it made as originally intended.
Last edited by Nasnandos on Wed Sep 07, 2022 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
KRDS

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I just received my shipping notice for Theoden's helm and should be here next week.

This had me thinking, what is the next item in line for release? Probably nothing else this year, but the scabbard for Guthwine by next summer?

And we still have Faramir's sword, Boromir's dagger and the Rohirrim Ax for new items. MC Anduril and blue Sting for special editions. And Isildur's sword and helm, HEW helm, Gondor helm all reissues.

Not sure if I'm forgetting anything that's been confirmed.

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N2darkness wrote: Wed Sep 07, 2022 6:45 pm And we still have Faramir's sword, Boromir's dagger and the Rohirrim Ax for new items. MC Anduril and blue Sting for special editions. And Isildur's sword and helm, HEW helm, Gondor helm all reissues.

Not sure if I'm forgetting anything that's been confirmed.
And the end of the run of Elendil Helm and the reissue of Strider's elvish knife and Fili's sword. :P

I just received Théodred's sword and Glamdring's scabbard from Castle Kon today... very happy and looking forward to something else being released so I can place another order.

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N2darkness wrote: Wed Sep 07, 2022 6:45 pm I just received my shipping notice for Theoden's helm and should be here next week.

This had me thinking, what is the next item in line for release? Probably nothing else this year, but the scabbard for Guthwine by next summer?

And we still have Faramir's sword, Boromir's dagger and the Rohirrim Ax for new items. MC Anduril and blue Sting for special editions. And Isildur's sword and helm, HEW helm, Gondor helm all reissues.

Not sure if I'm forgetting anything that's been confirmed.
The Guthwine scabbard should be shipping before the end of the year. I expect most of the other new items will ship mid to late 2023. Isildur's helm is not being worked on. I just saw some final Isildur hilt part photos and its looking good.

I can't remember if I confirmed it here, but UC does want to proceed with Aeglos. I showed them the revised designs to make it workable with a steel blade. They disliked the design changes as much as I did, so it will be wood and poly like the Eomer spear.

There are other things in the works that I think I have mentioned, like the Gimli throwing axes, Herugrim scabbard, Sauron sword, war banners, but nothing confirmed.
KRDS

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Nasnandos wrote: Thu Sep 08, 2022 5:08 am
The Guthwine scabbard should be shipping before the end of the year. I expect most of the other new items will ship mid to late 2023. Isildur's helm is not being worked on. I just saw some final Isildur hilt part photos and its looking good.

I can't remember if I confirmed it here, but UC does want to proceed with Aeglos. I showed them the revised designs to make it workable with a steel blade. They disliked the design changes as much as I did, so it will be wood and poly like the Eomer spear.

There are other things in the works that I think I have mentioned, like the Gimli throwing axes, Herugrim scabbard, Sauron sword, war banners, but nothing confirmed.
That's awesome news on the scabbard arriving this years and the go ahead of Aeglos! I'm sure it will make many collectors very happy, including myself!

The war banners I don't recall hearing about, like the ones inside Edoras? or something symbolizing each race on a pole/spear?

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Nasnandos wrote: Thu Sep 08, 2022 5:08 am The Guthwine scabbard should be shipping before the end of the year. I expect most of the other new items will ship mid to late 2023. Isildur's helm is not being worked on. I just saw some final Isildur hilt part photos and its looking good.
What do you mean with "is not being worked on on Isildur's helm", that it's ready to be re-released, that they haven't started working on it yet, or that they're not going to release it?

I ask because it's on preorder everywhere, including BUDK website.
Nasnandos wrote: Thu Sep 08, 2022 5:08 am I can't remember if I confirmed it here, but UC does want to proceed with Aeglos. I showed them the revised designs to make it workable with a steel blade. They disliked the design changes as much as I did, so it will be wood and poly like the Eomer spear.
It's true, I didn't remember. Yes, you had mentioned it to us, you even showed us images with the two versions of the design in metal or polyester. Thanks for all! :D

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N2darkness wrote: Thu Sep 08, 2022 5:51 am That's awesome news on the scabbard arriving this years and the go ahead of Aeglos! I'm sure it will make many collectors very happy, including myself!
Yes, this are very good news. For my, very happy! :D

I will buy the scabbard as soon as it is released.

Aeglos is going to be a dilemma for me, I haven't bought any resin replica yet, I was convinced to buy only the metal ones ...but it's Aeglos... that may be the replica that makes me break my word. :P

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Valkrist wrote: Thu Sep 08, 2022 6:20 am N2, do you think UC's Aeglos will be better than the ones you made for the two of us? I rather like the fact that yours and mine is a single pole, and there's no way that UC's won't be in two pieces. That, plus the fact that the two halves will likely not even match, as is the case with the Eomer spear. That alone makes me weary of getting this version of Aeglos.
I do! As much time and care as I put into the sculpting and recreation of my replica I'm sure there are some details I may have missed. I was going off of photos versus having the actual piece to replicate and I'm sure this one will be more accurate.

As for the pole seam, it is there. But not that noticeable from a few feet away. Yes the wood grain does not match and look continuous, but being dark really helps hide that fact unlike the Gandalf the White staff.

I think Aeglos should be similar in color to Eomer's spear so should be minimal or hardly noticeable.

Here is my spear and staff as examples.
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King Theoden arrived today from BUDK!

More pics to come...I'm planning a display with the three UC swords and this helmet along with Eomer's.

It's a real beauty. I think it's one of my favorite UC helmets! It's just so stately!
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darthwhitey wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 11:42 am King Theoden arrived today from BUDK!

More pics to come...I'm planning a display with the three UC swords and this helmet along with Eomer's.

It's a real beauty. I think it's one of my favorite UC helmets! It's just so stately!
I love your display for the helmet, a very elegant minimalist museum-style stand, which makes it look like a real priceless antique. Very good idea. :D

I have pre-ordered the re-release of Elendil's helmet, It will be my first and only helmet I guess and I can't wait for the day it will arrive, and I wish I had space to display it that way, but i will have to settle for display it on its wooden stand at the top of the shelf, in the only space I have left to fill ...and I hope it fits me and doesn't hit the ceiling. :P

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N2darkness wrote: Wed Sep 14, 2022 7:47 am Received my Theoden's helmet yesterday. I really like this piece, only a couple of small paint issues and the upper horse crown/spike has a small bend. It feels like worn or old metal compared to Eomer's. Very glad UC decided to make this!
Maybe it's just the lighting, but the silver metal paint on yours looks very different from the two I got from this run and the ones I saw at UC a few weeks ago. Is the steel finished dull/matte?

Can you send me a photo showing the bend clearly? I'm trying to let the factory know any time I see any potential issues.
KRDS

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Nasnandos wrote: Wed Sep 14, 2022 9:56 am
N2darkness wrote: Wed Sep 14, 2022 7:47 am Received my Theoden's helmet yesterday. I really like this piece, only a couple of small paint issues and the upper horse crown/spike has a small bend. It feels like worn or old metal compared to Eomer's. Very glad UC decided to make this!
Maybe it's just the lighting, but the silver metal paint on yours looks very different from the two I got from this run and the ones I saw at UC a few weeks ago. Is the steel finished dull/matte?

Can you send me a photo showing the bend clearly? I'm trying to let the factory know any time I see any potential issues.
It's probably the lighting in my room. They are all warm LED spot light, but can sometimes make things too bright in photos. It is a gloss dark grey with a flat/matte black wash over everything.

Here are a couple of pictures of the bend and one of the paint defect. Not sure if it is a spot missed with the wash or a touch up after the fact. If you need more or something higher resolution I can email them to you.
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N2darkness wrote: Wed Sep 14, 2022 10:27 am It's probably the lighting in my room. They are all warm LED spot light, but can sometimes make things too bright in photos. It is a gloss dark grey with a flat/matte black wash over everything.

Here are a couple of pictures of the bend and one of the paint defect. Not sure if it is a spot missed with the wash or a touch up after the fact. If you need more or something higher resolution I can email them to you.
Thanks for the photos. Uhg. That's a pretty severe warp. That silver dab of paint is obviously a fix added after the initial painting, and does not match at all. Overall the paint job on that one does not look as good as the ones I saw from production and some of the helm pix I have seen online that others received.
KRDS

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Jamie Shakespeare wrote: Sat Sep 17, 2022 8:28 am Kit - I’m finally getting round to working on my Rohan spear. I plan on cutting off the wood shaft and drilling out the wood (extremely carefully) before shaping and inserting my new pole. Could you tell me roughly how long the piece of wood inside the spearhead is? Wondering if it goes in 5, 10, 20cm etc. Thankyou in advance!
It is supposed to extend all the way to the end of the braided leather part, on the spear tip end. The pre production samples I received from the factory were all assembled, so whether or not they extended it that far, I do not know.
KRDS

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Nasnandos wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 4:27 pm [quote="Jamie Shakespeare" post_id=119179 time=<a href="tel:1663442881">1663442881</a> user_id=5225]
Kit - I’m finally getting round to working on my Rohan spear. I plan on cutting off the wood shaft and drilling out the wood (extremely carefully) before shaping and inserting my new pole. Could you tell me roughly how long the piece of wood inside the spearhead is? Wondering if it goes in 5, 10, 20cm etc. Thankyou in advance!
It is supposed to extend all the way to the end of the braided leather part, on the spear tip end. The pre production samples I received from the factory were all assembled, so whether or not they extended it that far, I do not know.
[/quote]

So - interesting bit of info Kit - there is a steel rod! It extends from inside the resin part about 55mm into the wooden shaft. This is great!
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Jamie Shakespeare wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 12:27 am And even more interesting …. The depth the wooden rod goes is about 4mm! It then narrows, goes a further 16mm then stops. The steel rod will help a lot in allowing me to add a new rod, this is interesting !
I thought I had mentioned that a few times already, but all the the polyresin replicas have a steel rod inside. They just don't necessarily always follow the lengths I indicate in my CAD drawings. For example, I know the rod does not extend as far into the blade as this. It only extends about halfway.
Image
KRDS

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I must have missed that post - good to know. I’m glad the wood didn’t go far, it certainly made my modifications easier.

I’m just asking some paint finishes to the shaft then I’ll share pictures - pretty pleased so far!

Looking forward to many more replicas to come, Theoden helm next I think!
Nasnandos wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 5:02 am [quote="Jamie Shakespeare" post_id=119245 time=<a href="tel:1663673231">1663673231</a> user_id=5225]
And even more interesting …. The depth the wooden rod goes is about 4mm! It then narrows, goes a further 16mm then stops. The steel rod will help a lot in allowing me to add a new rod, this is interesting !
I thought I had mentioned that a few times already, but all the the polyresin replicas have a steel rod inside. They just don't necessarily always follow the lengths I indicate in my CAD drawings. For example, I know the rod does not extend as far into the blade as this. It only extends about halfway.
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Re: United Cutlery's - LOTR & The Hobbit - Movie Props!

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Hi Kit,

I have to assume you've seen this announcement? https://www.purearts.com/products/lord- ... ve-edition

Will this in any way affect UC's plans to release an updated version of the old Witch-king Helm? I believe you said some modifications would be made because the old mold is gone, and it probably wouldn't have the hood anymore, but will the PureArts version change things? You mentioned the original run was never completed, so in a way UC could say it's their 'obligation' to finish it off, but on the other hand, this wouldn't be the first time a competitor being first to market with a product put a stop to their own plans. I believe the Crown of Elessar was one such, as was Deathless also?
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