Some of you may well have seen the picture above of the Battle of the Last Alliance, which we featured on Facebook a little while ago. Martin Weber, the man behind this stunning diorama got in touch with us to tell us a little more about it and share a few pictures of his other dioramas based on scenes from The Lord of the Rings.
"Ever since I was a little boy I've loved creating battle scenes with toy soldiers," says Martin."After reading The Lord of the Rings I knew that I wanted to do the same thing with the battlefields of Middle-earth. This is the result of my work."
"The board for the Battle of the Last Alliance was constructed using styrofoam board with rocks made from tree bark. I then covered most of the ground in a heavy layer of glue and sand before spraying it with Chaos Black Undercoat. I then used pretty much every grey paint in my collection to give the blasted earth a varied, realistic appearance. I also used this diorama as an opportunity to experiment with the poses of models. Many of them have been repositioned at the shoulders and wrists to imply interaction with each other."
This diorama shows the Rohirrim ambushing the Uruk-hai near Fangorn Forest as they make their way back to Isengard with Merry and Pippin. Of particular note are the leaves on the trees, which are actual plants that have been dried out and painted with a Spray Gun. Similarly all the tree trunks are twigs taken from real trees.
In the gallery above you can see the charge of the Rohirrim lead by Éomer, while in the background Grishnakh pursues Merry and Pippin into the depths of Fangorn Forest.
"With regards to painting, I honestly can't remember what colours I used," comments Martin. "There are so many models on my dioramas that it's hard to keep track of them all. I do recall that I used a lot of drybrushing and Shades in order to get the dark, dingy tone of the Orcs right."
In Balin's Last Stand the backdrop of the board was again constructed from styrofoam, but this time combined with parts from The Lord of the Rings scenery set. Curiously the doors and the wooden chests are all made of cardboard, but with the wood grain scored into it.
Martin is now hard at work on his next two dioramas - the ambitious Helm's Deep and the ultra-ambitious Battle of the Pelennor Fields featuring the arrival of Aragorn and the Army of the Dead at the port of Harlond. We're certainly waiting with anticipation to see them.
And in other news: