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General summary, from Ty after seeing Te papa traveling exhibit

  • Uruk-Hai
    • These guys obviously got the good stuff, chain mail in good repair, plate armor that's relatively coordinated and not rusted, solid leather stuff mostly in black. There were a range of unpolished iron helms, most remarkably some that had two round holes cut out for eyes. This sounds goofy but the two small holes somehow looked very sinister.
  • Moria Orc
    • The Moria Orc armor followed basic "evil armor" guidelines, multi-plated with protruding curved claw-like spikes in parts. It was rusted, as if salvaged and adapted long ago, and the undergarments and associated chain were more ragged.
  • Generic Orc
    • In even worse shape than the Moria Orc armor. Mail was rusty and ragged, with holes in it; metal plates were laced together over a coarse fur backing; the ensemble had more leather parts and yet more of a random air of being looted. There was a leather chest plate, "faded" to brown, with ragged edges that looked like it had had the White Tree of Gondor embossed on it at some point, as if it had been looted from a hapless foot soldier of Minas Tirith.
  • Warg Riders
    • This was the most organic-looking orc armor. Organic in a bad way, that is, with pieces of bone and tooth incorporated into it. The armor was almost all leather plating and leather straps, there were unidentifiable and unsavory raised areas (reinforced with bone stitched between leather?) protruding fur and hair from a motley collection of hides underneath, and open, raw stitching. This suggested some sort of unholy co-operation with their Warg mounts, as if they constructed their armor from what was left of the Wargs' prey. One remarkable thing about the warg-rider armor was the BASKETWORK codpiece - woven of wood or rattan and colored faded black and red-brown.


Orc with horn, lightened for detail Orc armor, lightened for detail CU Orc at Forge
2 shot of orc armor, different contrast Orc at forge, different contrast  
  Orc mining tools forge a
axe from Whitcoulls display sword and shield Sword sketch from the London exhibit


Moria Orc sabatons    


Uruk-Hai armor

(click for high rez pic)

  Sword, note weird point
  Worg rider figure, FIDM 2003 Worg saddle, ROM 2002


Isengard Orc

(Click for high rez pic)

  Caverns of Isengard

Orc Axe Rusty sword Shield and Sword

Some Details

From: Designer Dressing for Orcs - An Interview with Matt Appleton from Massey News

  • Scrounging for Orcs: Appleton says he pillaged op-shops in the Wellington region for jackets, coats and furs, all of which he shredded, dyed and layered, in various combinations, under the Orc armour.  “The Orcs had been fighting, living and sleeping in their clothes for years, so we had lots of fun building up the characters, splicing in the stuff we’d imagined they’d be looting off the soldiers they’d killed in battles they’d fought. I found a nobleman’s jacket always added a nice touch – particularly if you dressed it down with mud.”
  • About coming up with 50 extra orcs on a moments notice: “So when the crew are all waiting on you - when you’ve put a jacket on someone that doesn’t fit - that’s when you’re whacking open those seams at the back that are not in shot, cobbling it all back together with safety pins. That’s when the really dodgy stuff happens"
  • More: http://masseynews.massey.ac.nz/_2001/publications_2001/Massey_News/August/Aug_13/stories/lord_of_the_rings.html

Quick bits

  • "Goblin Knickers"
    • Designer underwear covered with ragged loin-cloth

(or click for high rez here)  
(or click for high rez here)  
Side of of an orc Orc leg/footwear
Orc Gauntlet  



Other References

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This page was last updated 04/22/08