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MELO Round 2: Mark McPeek vs. John Smith: Balin Son of Fundin
Barad-dur Bracket.
About this creation
Link to the 2015 Middle-Earth LEGO Olympics
My talented opponent, John Smith, and his wonderful entry.
Our category: Balin.

Hello everyone,

Here is my entry for the second round of the MELO. As soon as I saw the category, I knew I had to build a brick-built figure. The immediate challenge was our tiny collection of dark red for Balin's scarlet garments - A few red 1x2s from PAB and the red pieces from an A-wing starfighter. It was a bit tricky, but I'm very happy with how Balin turned out. This build uses the character and sword designs from the movies, details from the book, and some elements from my imagination, namely Balin's more stocky shape. I think PJ and co. did a fantastic job with the scales in the movies, but one thing I noticed is that the dwarves kind of looked like small men. I had always imagined them much stockier, so that's the route I decided to go.

Just a quick note: I included the unedited versions of most of the pics. Balin's hair and beard really mixed up the editing program, so I had to do a lot of it manually. ;)

Also, here is link to my WIP Journal where you will find a couple work in progress shots.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy!


Balin son of Fundin, companion of Thorin Oakenshield and Lord of Moria.





The book says Balin preferred ale over wine and tea, hence the colour of the liquid in the glass. Yes, yes, ... I know it should be a mug, but the glass looks so much better. The funny-looking object next to the parchment is Balin's eye-glass from AUJ.



I also included Balin's viol (thanks to Thomas for pointing this out). It looks pretty big compared to him, but that's on purpose. The book mentions it being "nearly as tall as him."







I also included a bit of lettering in the base. Originally, I was going to do it in Moria script, but I decided on English in the end. ;)

There you have it. Good luck to you, John, and thank to the judges for their hard work!

Thank you all for viewing and have a great day!

~Mark




Comments

 I like it 
  April 6, 2015
That is such an amazing recreation of Balin. And what makes it even more awesome is that you have successfully made him very recognizable.
 I like it 
  February 12, 2015
Great looking figure. I like how you did his beard the best. And I love his stuff.
 I like it 
  January 27, 2015
I never commented on this huh? Anyway, spectacular work! Balin himself is shaped really nicely, and even without a lot of dark red bricks you pulled it off rather nicely. All of his accessories are splendid, my favorite being his instrument. I like the base and lettering, but the only weak point in the build seems to be the pillar. The base of it is great but there isn't a ton of texture, save profile bricks, in the main part. But even that isn't a huge minus. Good luck in round 3!
 I like it 
  January 26, 2015
The shaping on Balin is well done, but I love the accessories even more. Nice work!
 I made it 
  January 24, 2015
Quoting Thomas of Tortuga Now, pedant mode activated: the instrument Balin plays is actually a viol, not a viola. Along with Dwalin, he played the viol in the book (and the movie turned all the dwarves into a male choir). The two instruments look a lot the same, but there are some differences; the biggest one is that a viol is played like a cello, and a viola is played like a violin. That's one reason why Tolkien described it as being so tall, since it was standing on the floor in front of Balin.
Quoting Thomas of Tortuga Lel, it's all cool. You've still read the Hobbit several more times than I have. One of my friends is a really good violist, though, and I googled it just because I was curious :P
Wow, I've read the Hobbit 13 times, and I've always missed that "a". Thanks for pointing that out! Makes a lot more sense now. Guess I'd better start reading it again. ;)
 I like it 
  January 24, 2015
Lel, it's all cool. You've still read the Hobbit several more times than I have. One of my friends is a really good violist, though, and I googled it just because I was curious :P
  January 23, 2015
Now, pedant mode activated: the instrument Balin plays is actually a viol, not a viola. Along with Dwalin, he played the viol in the book (and the movie turned all the dwarves into a male choir). The two instruments look a lot the same, but there are some differences; the biggest one is that a viol is played like a cello, and a viola is played like a violin. That's one reason why Tolkien described it as being so tall, since it was standing on the floor in front of Balin.
 I like it 
  January 23, 2015
This looks really, really nice, Mark. I love the sculpting of Balin's beard, and the setting he's in is perfect. The furniture and accessories look great, especially your viola design. I'm going to have to remember how you did that.
 I made it 
  January 23, 2015
Thanks for your comments, everyone!
 I made it 
  January 23, 2015
Quoting Grant Davis Very nice! You get my vote.
Quoting Ian Spacek Your quality figure and excellent details won me over! You've got my vote.
Quoting Mark Murphy Well, as I said to John "Oh my goodness." These were both stellar entries. You get my vote Mark because you included the Viola. Well done.
Thanks a lot, guys!
 I made it 
  January 23, 2015
Quoting Nick Barrett Beautiful figure, and the viola / cello? is a very nice touch. Good luck, may your judges be as efficient and fair as you yourself :-)
It's a viola, albeit a bit one. Thanks a lot!
 I made it 
  January 23, 2015
Quoting John Smith I know this is late, but congratulations on advancing! Your entry was stellar! Can't wait to see what else you got in store!
Thank you very much! Yours was as well and it was a pleasure competing against you!
 I made it 
  January 23, 2015
Quoting Alex Rode Cool build with very effective details. Nicely done!
Thanks, Alex!
Quoting Freeling ++ The only reason that I know what the word stellar is, is from seeing people write it in the comments because they saw some other person write it down.
Interesting. ;)
 I like it 
  January 23, 2015
Cool build with very effective details. Nicely done!
 I like it 
  January 22, 2015
  January 22, 2015
The only reason that I know what the word stellar is, is from seeing people write it in the comments because they saw some other person write it down.
 I like it 
  January 22, 2015
Looking good!
Mark McPeek
John Smith
  January 21, 2015
I know this is late, but congratulations on advancing! Your entry was stellar! Can't wait to see what else you got in store!
 I like it 
  January 21, 2015
Beautiful figure, and the viola / cello? is a very nice touch. Good luck, may your judges be as efficient and fair as you yourself :-)
 I like it 
  January 20, 2015
Amazing job, Mark!
 I like it 
  January 19, 2015
Well, as I said to John "Oh my goodness." These were both stellar entries. You get my vote Mark because you included the Viola. Well done.
 I like it 
  January 19, 2015
Amazing build! Great Balin and his viola. Good luck!
 I like it 
  January 19, 2015
Your quality figure and excellent details won me over! You've got my vote.
 I like it 
  January 19, 2015
Very nice! You get my vote.
 I like it 
  January 19, 2015
marvelous
 I like it 
  January 18, 2015
Fantastic job Mark!
 I like it 
  January 18, 2015
Absolutely fantastic work Mark! That Balin is amazing. Best of luck!
 I like it 
  January 18, 2015
Sweet! Love the instruments!
 I made it 
  January 18, 2015
Thank you all for your comments!
Quoting Michael Kringe Awesome! Balin is my favorite dwarf! Btw, have you already posted this entry in the MELO group? (Because I can only find it in FOB)
Thanks Michael! I figured as much! :) No, it's not in the group yet. I might want to change a couple things still, but I haven't decided. Thanks for reminding me, though!
 I made it 
  January 18, 2015
Quoting Clayton Marchetti Absolutely brilliant Mark! I love every part of this figure. The eyebrows and beard are amazing. Such fantastic parts usage. The belt buckle and the shoes are awesome. I love his Viola, glass goblet and his other accoutrements. You truly captured the character perfectly!
Thank you Clayton!
 I made it 
  January 18, 2015
Quoting John Smith Fantastic job, Mark! Love how you took the liberty to make him more stock (it makes him much more accurate).The pillar also looks great - you captured the Dwarvish architecture perfectly. Good luck! (though I doubt you'll need it.)
Thank you John! Good luck to you as well!
 I made it 
  January 18, 2015
Quoting Mathieu Dupre I love that cello!!!!!
Thank you! It's actually a viola, but it's about the size of a cello for a dwarf. ;)
Quoting P. Andrei Excellent figure, I love the eyebrows so much. The accessories are really neat as well.
Thanks! Yes, they eyebrows are my favorite part. :)
 I like it 
  January 18, 2015
Absolutely brilliant Mark! I love every part of this figure. The eyebrows and beard are amazing. Such fantastic parts usage. The belt buckle and the shoes are awesome. I love his Viola, glass goblet and his other accoutrements. You truly captured the character perfectly!
 I like it 
  January 18, 2015
Awesome! Balin is my favorite dwarf! Btw, have you already posted this entry in the MELO group? (Because I can only find it in FOB)
 I like it 
  January 18, 2015
Excellent figure, I love the eyebrows so much. The accessories are really neat as well.
 I like it 
  January 18, 2015
Great job Mark!
Mark McPeek
 I like it 
Graeme Straughn
  January 17, 2015
Very cool build, Mark! Amazing brick built 'fig! Great work with teh details on his sword!
Mark McPeek
 I like it 
John Smith
  January 17, 2015
Fantastic job, Mark! Love how you took the liberty to make him more stock (it makes him much more accurate).The pillar also looks great - you captured the Dwarvish architecture perfectly. Good luck! (though I doubt you'll need it.)
 I like it 
  January 17, 2015
I love that cello!!!!!
 I like it 
  January 17, 2015
Cool build!
  January 17, 2015
Random statement: My dad is playing the cello as I type this.
 I like it 
  January 17, 2015
Very nice! I quite like all the character-specific details (viola, eye-glass, etc.) The fig is great, too!
 I like it 
  January 17, 2015
Wow! That's Awesome! My favorite Dwarf! Good luck!
 I like it 
  January 17, 2015
the beard!
 I made it 
  January 17, 2015
Thank you all very much!
 I like it 
  January 17, 2015
Wow! The vignette is awesome. I really like Balin's head, but his torso is a little too broad. Good luck. Noel ~
 I like it 
  January 17, 2015
Fantastic! Awesome details, that viola is great!
 I like it 
  January 17, 2015
Yeah, I think the movie dwarves were too slim also. Nicely corrected here. Glad to see the inclusion of ale as well- a dwarven staple!
 I made it 
  January 17, 2015
Quoting Mariner 1000 Fantastic job, Mark! I think he looks just a tad too wide in the shoulders but that's just a minor complaint. :P Good luck.
He's been working on those triceps. ;) Thanks Mariner!
 I like it 
  January 17, 2015
Very impressive! You capture the look of Balin very well.
 I like it 
  January 17, 2015
Fantastic job, Mark! I think he looks just a tad too wide in the shoulders but that's just a minor complaint. :P Good luck.
 I like it 
  January 17, 2015
Very good figure! The little cow horns in the eyebrows look sweet and so does his instrument!
 I like it 
  January 17, 2015
Excellent work! It is very book-accurate. Good luck!
 
By Mark McPeek
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop MELO Round 2: Mark McPeek vs. John Smith: Balin Son of FundinLord of the Rings


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