Thursday, 11 September 2008

The Royal Armouries: Weta Exhibition

I have visited the Royal Armouries numerous times and I always find it interesting, probably because I have a keen interest in history and I just find the armour so amazing considering the technology at the time.

The museum is primarily organised by time period and in some places by country as well. I especially like the oriental armour and weapons – they are so decorative and so much thought has gone into the designs.

Anyway, I went this week to see the exhibition by Weta – the New Zealand based company that designed and produced the armour and weapons amongst other things for Lord of the Rings, Narnia & Hell Boy.
I am a huge Tolkien fan which is what drew me to this exhibition and I wasn’t disappointed!
The detail on the armour and costumes was outstanding and there was certainly a lot more than I was expecting to see.

The costumes were organised by race – Elves, Men, Rohirrim, Orks, Orakhai and right in the centre, Sauron and The Witch King of Angmar. Unfortunately, photography was not permitted in the exhibition space where the costumes were. However, there were two wax works elsewhere in the museum that could be photographed – an Orakhai and a Cave troll (as below) as well as Hell Boy’s gun (also below).

I was absolutely astounded at the amount of detail in these costumes and they were so beautifully made – if they had belonged to me, there would be no way that they would get used as props!

I really enjoyed this exhibition – it was very different seeing present day film costumes rather than historic items in a museum. Of course, there was the fictional history of Middle Earth with costumes from the first, second and third age of each race and I felt that this made the collection sit quite nicely and it didn’t feel out of place in the museum.

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