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Hello fellow elves, orcs, hobbits and humans, this creation comes directly from the second Hobbit movie: The Halls of Thranduil While watching the movie for the first time the capital of the Woodland Realm already caught my attention and with the first Comic Con in Stuttgart, Germany,last year I had the perfect chance to build and show my version. I had a few challenges to deal with while building, but I'm pretty happy how it turned out. One was the sheer size of the original halls. My layout is already quite big, but to fit in all elements, I had to scale down a lot. Next to the inside I built the outside of the halls with a few trees to indicate the location of the halls in the Mirkwood Forest. I hope you like it. For higher resolutions of all pictures check them out on Flickr. Jonas
Hey guys, I thought I would try my hand at a review! I haven't seen one for the Mirkwood Elf Army set pop up on Eurobricks yet so I figured I would cover that one. This is my first review so bear with me! Name: Mirkwood Elf Army Set Number: 79012 Pieces: 276 Price: $29.99, £29.99, €39.99 Ages: 8-14 Minifigures: 6 +Warg Theme: The Hobbit Year of Release: December 1st, 2013 Price Per Piece: $0.11 Official Description: The Orcs are trespassing on the lands of the great Elven king, Thranduil, and a thrilling battle is inevitable. Climb the rotating tree at the edge of Mirkwood Forest and keep watch. When the Gundabad Orc warriors draw near on foot or riding the ferocious brown Warg, defend the Elven stronghold with the Mirkwood™ Elf army. Watch out for Orcs using the ladder to scale the wall. Flick missiles from the wall, then grab a weapon from the rack and attack! Split the tree in two for ambush mode to send Elven warriors flying over the wall and shock the Orc invaders! Includes 6 minifigures with assorted weapons and accessories: Thranduil, Mirkwood Elf, 2 Mirkwood Elf Archers and 2 Gundabad Orcs. So there we have it, a thrilling battle from the movie! Because Thranduil was seen so many times fending off orcs and brown wargs at an elven wall Despite movie inaccuracies, this is still a great set and I am liking what we get here... Box The front of the box shows Thranduil kicking a ladder over which an orc was trying to use to scale the wall. We see a missile being fired in the middle of the box, 2 elf archers manning the wall, and a third Mirkwood Elf scout charging out on foot (probably to engage the brown Warg coming around the side). Very instense stuff! The box art, like the rest of the Desolation of Smaug Hobbit sets, is absolutely beautiful. We have the mountain with blue at the tops and behind the set what appears to be the edge of a forest where this wall would be set up. Defend those borders elves! On the back of the box we see several pictures of the Mirkwood Elves and Thranduil fending off the Gundabad Orc horde with their Warg. The back also pictures all the weapons included in the set as well as outlining the 2 main play features, an elf catapult and... surprise, surprise, a flick fire missile! We never see those! The top pictures all the beauitful minifigures in this set. From left to right we have two Gundabad Orcs, two Mirkwood Elf Archers, a Mirkwood Elf, and Thranduil. Contents Here is the manual. Nothing new here, the same scene we see on the front of the box. There is only one manual for this set seeing as it is smaller. Of course it was crumpled up pretty bad in the box since there is no cardboard to keep it flat. A Peek inside the manual. The second page of it shows the Lego boy dumping out the numbered bags and building everything in order. The next page shows what each bag builds. Pretty standard stuff. The fourth page has the assembly of the first few minifigures (Thranduil, the Gundabad Orc with shoulder pads, and the Mirkwood Elf with hair), as well as the brown Warg. Page 36 starts the construction of pieces from bag two and has the rest of the minifigures being built (Gunadabad Orc and two Mirkwood Elves with green hoods). The manual's pages have a nice blue tint to them with a slightly weathered look. The back features all the pieces in the set, two pages with all the minifigures from this wave, and a couple advertisements. The advertisement are for next years Hobbit wave, the Lego Hobbit video game, and all the other wave two Hobbit sets. Everything else we get still in it's packaging! Aka the GOOD STUFF. Sorry, I couldn't resist opening the brown Warg IMMEDIATELY. He comes in his own packaging All the pieces dumped out and ready to be built with. As you can see there are plenty of brown and tan pieces in this set. Kind of a nice break from all gray in the other LotR and Hobbit sets. There arn't a ton of unique pieces from what I can tell. You do get three light gray smaller archers seen in the Council of Elrond set, as well as three small olive green leaves. Here are all the weapons we get. We get a light gray longsword and broad scimitar with nicks, two PoP daggers, three longbows, a dark gray spear, and two elven oval shields with new print. This is a fairly nice assortment of weapons other than the spear. Some translucent green gems we get in this set which are hidden in a barrel. I can only assume this was taken from the Hobbit book because there it is stated the elves love emeralds, howevere in the film I could of swore Thranduil states he longs for clear gems? Minifigures Ahh, finally the good stuff, amirite?! Here we have a picture of all six minifigures assembled. The two Gundabad orcs are on the far left, Thranduil is in the middle, and the three Mirkwood Elves are on the right. We get two identicle Mirkwood Elf Archers with green hoods and one labeled just a Mirkwood Elf with elven ears and medium brown hair (the same color as the Mirkwood Elf Guard in the Barrel Escape set, not the darker brown found on Elrond and the Mirkwood Elf Chief). The Gundabad Orcs come in dark brown outfits adorned with bones and a loin cloth, while their skin is an orangish color. They have white war paint on their face and a very fiece look, as all orcs do dontcha know. Thranduil has an olive green torso and gray legs, both of which have a silvery metallic chain mail look to them. The Mirkwood elves have nice dark brown and green uniforms with stiching and leaves. The printing on these figures is amazing! Here we see the back of the Gundabad Orc. He has some dark brown blotches on his head with a few gray hair strands. No double sided face printing here unfortunately, since there would be nothing to cover it! It would of been nice had Lego thrown in at least one of the lovely hair/ear pieces found on the orcs in the Dol Guldur Ambush set. All well. His back has printing which features more skeletan pieces, including a spine and some bone spikes around his neck. There is no printing on the back of his legs. This is an identicle pair of Gundabad Orcs to those we get in the Dol Guldur Battle set. This is the back of one of the Mirkwood Elf Archers. All three have the same double sided face, also found on the Mirkwood Elf Guard form the Barrel Escape set and the polybag from last year. One facial expression is a somber look while the other is a fierce combat one. We get more beautiful printing on the back of the torso, but unfortunately the legs are blank. Thranduil with his red cape on. How regal! His hair hoesn't fit very well over the "hump" on the back of the cape, just like the other long elven hair molds. Other than that small issue he looks very movie accurate. Lego did a wonderful job on him. The back of Thranduil with his hair on. His hair coveres up most of the back printing. The crown is a solid orange all the way around despite us being able to see his hair strands underneath in a few places. It is made of the soft, rubbery plastic and well done overall. While Thranduil is never seen fighting or outside his keep in the film, it's nice to get him in a set this wave. I just wish it would of been in a different set instead of an army builder. Unlike Eomer in the Uruk-hai Army set, Thranduil does not blend very easily with an army because he looks very unique The back of Thandruil without his hair. As you can see he has more of the silvery metallic look found on the front of the figure and a few creases and seams on his shirt. He also has no back printing on his legs. He has a double sided face, one of which is a calm look and the other this fierce look. I love the bushy eyebrows on him, very accurate! A comparrison of the Mirkwood Elf Archer found in this set to last years Mirkwood Elf Guard polybag. This years version is a big improvement! The costume matches the dark green hood MUCH better than last years olive green shirt. Unfortunately this dark green cape does NOT come with the set. It's a real shame because I feel like it really completes the look of the Mirkwood Elf Scout. Of course it would be a pain with the quivers... but it's a sacrifice I would of made! Last but not least the brown Warg! This is one of the highlights of the set imo. He has black eyes with white pupils, unlike the last two wargs in the Attack of the Wargs set who had solid white eyes. Around his eyes is a lighter brown, almost mustard color. The dark brown matches the 2x2 brick a little better than this picture lets on, but it's not perfect. It's definetly nice to get another colored Warg, and one in an army builder to boot! Build The start of the tree base. More of the tree base built. The inside of the tree base where there is a barrel full of emeralds, and a back view of the tree. The rotating mechanism for the platform has been placed as you can see. A simple branch that goes on the top of the rotating platform. The elfapult (cataelf?) is ready to fire, sir! The tree section of the set completed. The front of the catapult pushes down to launch the standing minifigure in the back. The tree branch sitting on the catapult flips off when the catapult moves up using this piece which is connected to a 2x2 brick with a hole and pin in it. This whole platform can be rotated for a full 360 degrees of elf launching! Before we can start on the wall section of this build we first have to create this highly useless weapon rack. I am not really sure why it was included when the weapon holders could of easily been added to the inside of the wall. I would of rather seen the pieces for this used to raise the height of the wall a brick or so. You can connect this part to either side of the completed wall when you are done. The beginning of the wall. The right section of the wall. The middle AND right section of the wall connected. All sections of the wall connected as viewed from the inside. An outter view of the wall with all sections connected. The wall all completed! A close up of the wall flick fire missile. Those elves and their ingenuity, the orcs will NEVER expect a missile fired from the middle of a wall! The last build is the ladder used by the orcs to scale the wall, even though they could probably just climb over without it The wall and tree, both fully completed and connected! And inside perspective. There are a few stands for the archers and the cove for the gems. Not much room other than that! The set with it's walls straightened out and the ladder attached. A side view of the completed model, with all sections of the wall bent as much as they will bend. Three complete Mirkwood Elf Army sets attached to one another. This is the minimum amount you need to form a "complete" wall where all sides attach to one another and there are no openings. A top down view of three sets connected to give you an idea of the shape (which can be slightly changed). I kind of like this confirguration for a smaller outpost. Four Mirkwood Elf Army sets connected. In this formation you get a square shape, unlike the triangle with three. Now things are starting to feel more like a full blown fort! An overhead view of four set connected to give you an idea of the shape. Sorry the picture is blurry, you get the idea though! Extra Pieces There's not a lot of extras here, just a few headlights, 1v1 squares, an olive slope, and a few pins. Conclusion Overall this is a decent enough set. The walls are very short and this particular design was never seen in the film. It was probably based on early prelim images of the gate seen during the Barrels out of Bond scene in the film. As a stand alone army builder (it does not connect to a larger set like the Uruk-hai Army does, just connects to other Mirkwood Elf Army sets) I feel like Thranduil should have been left out and included in another set to give it more multiple purchase appeal. I also feel three elves all in their scout gear was one to many, I would of loved to of seen at least one elf in armor. I also feel like the Gundabad Orcs could of use the hair and ear head piece. Despite these small issues I feel this set is overall very good. The real stars of it are the minfigures and Warg who all have great prints and look spectactular! Playability: 8/10 There are a decent number of play features in this set considering it's on the cheaper side of things. You get a weirdly placed flick fire missile and the elven catapult launcher. I think people will have tons of fun with the simple good and evil conflict between the orcs, warg, and elves though. Design: 7/10 This set is never seen in the movie and the walls are FAR to short. Other than that the design seems alright. The tree doesn't look terrible and the walls adorned with the unique elven shields are fairly pleasing. Price: 8/10 The price per piece is pretty decent for this set considering it as a number of large pieces like the swivel plate in the tree and the Warg. Other than Thranduil's hair there are no new molds however. The lack of orc hair and ears is a real bummer. Minifigures: 9/10 Like with most of the LotR/Hobbit sets, the minifigures are the stars of this set. You get a good number of them since it is an army builder, and all except the orcs have unique prints. I feel like Lego really should of included an armored elf here, if they had done that this would be an easy 10. Thranduil is a nice addition, but I feel he would of been better placed in another set not meant as an army builder. The Warg is a nice color and a wonderful addition. Parts: 7/10 Nothing amazing here. The gray arches and small olive leaves are nice. It's also a nice change of pace to get some brown and tan pieces rather than more gray found in most of the other Hobbit and LotR sets. Total: 38/50 Thanks for reading guys! Let me know how I can improve future reviews! I hope you all enjoyed
Deathleech posted a topic in LEGO Historic ThemesI was going to ask this question in the LotR & The Hobbit 2013 Set Discussion Thread, but then I figured it might be better suited for it's own topic because a poll can be used here. This thread is also meant as a discussion about the pros and cons of buying each specific number of Mirkwood Elf Army sets. If mods disagree and want to merge it with the other thread then by all means. Personally I was planning on buying about 10 of the MEA sets in total. After taking a closer look though, I think 5 seems like a much more reasonable number. That way I can still get a good number of elves, orcs, and Wargs without going to crazy with the elves (or Thranduils). I will probably end up just buying another 10-20 Gundabad Orcs (with hair) on BL for hopefully under $4 a piece, 5 more elves to make it an even 20, and then buy 5 or so more of the dark brown Wargs. I am guessing the Wargs should easily be under $7 and closer to 6 since they are going to be available in such a cheap set (almost half the price of the Warg Attack set the gray Warg came in). Right now the gray Warg is barely over $8. As I already mentioned, I have no need for 30 more elves that 10 MEA sets would give me. I just got 20 of the Mirkwood Elf polybags last year so that would give me 40 green hooded elves and over 50 elves total! More importantly though, I don't want 10 Thranduils. Unlike Eomer in the Uruk-hai Army set, Thranduil's head piece makes him way to distinctive to serve as anything but Thranduil. With Eomer it was pretty easy to mix him in as a standard Rohan grunt. For this reason, and also the inclusion of so many elves, I don't see this set selling anywhere near as well as the Uruk-hai Army one did. I personally bought over 20 Uruk-hai Army sets and I know there were others who bought many more than that. People on average seemed to buy way more of that set than the 1-3 MEA they plan on buying too. So, how many Mikrwood Elf Army sets do YOU plan on buying and why?