A model maker’s dream house: A Hobbit Hole!
My Hand Crafted Lord of the Rings Dolls House
My Hand Made Hobbit Hole – Bag End from Lord of the Rings
Aerial View of Hobbit Dolls House
Background on Bag End:
My name is Maddie Chambers/Brindley and this all began when I was a young child and read the Hobbit for the first time. I believe I was about 10 and I was instantly hooked. My Nanan lent me her copy of the Lord of the Rings about 1 year later and I remember thinking that the trilogy leaped into a far more complex world and one that I completely lost myself in. I have read Lord of the Rings about 20+ times now and each time it holds as much magic as the first time. When they announced that they were making a movie, I was really concerned that it would not live up to my imagination and that I would be disappointed. As it happens, a lot of it DID live up to my expectations, and when Gandalf visited Bag End in the Fellowship of the Rings, I could have cried with excitement because it was PERFECT and nearly exactly as I imagined!
Anyway I decide to take on this project as part of a college course I was doing part time when my twins boys were 1 year old. The module was called ‘the importance of play’ and we had to make a toy to hand in at the end of the term. Of course me being me, I took it to the extreme and at first I decided to make a little hill with a front door like Bag End. I used to play Warhammer and make scenery and paint the little models so the idea was to make an A4 type size model hill using my Warhammer scenery stuff (foam, static grass etc) Yes I am a geek lol.
Then I thought, well what if I made the roof removable and had a little room inside? then of course I started drawing up plans and added more rooms and then decided ‘what the hell?’ I might as well make a replica of the one from the movie and make it big enough to fit in dolls house type furniture!
I decided to make everything by hand – the frame, the garden outside, the furniture (as much as I could), the food and it has been a real labour of love and I have found something I truly enjoy doing. I have always been ‘crafty’ and enjoy painting etc, but this captures my imagination even more!
You can follow me on Twitter: @maddsrocks
Bag End now lives in Australia with the Fortinbras Proudfoot Esq. Foundation, which supports children’s literacy. The model is available to hire and the profits go to a very good cause. http://www.facebook.com/ProudfootEsq
Lots of people have asked me how long it took to create – I have little twin boys who I looked after full time during the day (and sometimes throughout the night!!) so I worked on it a couple of hours a night or during nap times in the day. This was not an every day thing I hasten to add – I have many hobbies including electric and acoustic guitar, kickboxing, walking my 2 dogs, reading watching movies etc etc. I did work out once that if I had worked on it 9-5 with an hour for lunch it would have taken me 2-3 months!
Bag End front door
Bilbo Baggins Vegetable Patch!
I made this vegetable plot with nails and wire ‘twigs for the fence and I made the veg out of Fimo. The flowers are made from FlowerSoft and wire
No Admittance except on party business
Finally got the gate done! Fence still needs to be built and that is next on my list.
an attempt to take photo through the windows – didn’t come out very well but putting it on anyway because the fire looks all ‘homey’ lol
Bilbo’s front door
hallway view through front door
Hall Shelf with statue of Gandalf riding Shadowfax :-)
I got this orange top from a free gift of a weird looking doll from dolls house emporium – gave the doll away but kept the jacket so that my poor hobbits have something to wear! Hobbit clothing is on my list of things to start making!
View into living room/study from Hall
I need to hoover!!!!
Hobbit Living Room complete with paintings of Belladonna Took and Bungo Baggins
All the maps and documents you see are real middle-earth maps printed onto ‘aged’ paper. The scrolls all have writing printed onto them in Bilbo’s handwriting or Elvish. I made the tiny quills from feathers and the candles out of Fimo. The rug took me a LONG time to do. I looked everywhere for one similar to the one in the movie but couldn’t find one I was happy with so in the end I used good old Microsoft Paint and drew the design myself from the rug in the movie! then printed it onto cotton and sewed the rest of the rug.
The family tree you see on the wall is the actual Baggins family tree which I made in Paint using a family tree template
Statue of Frodo Baggins and Sam Gamgee
I love the little statue of Frodo and Sam – these are Warhammer models given to me in 2001 by my friend Claire (thanks Lu!) I never got round to painting them and so I made them a base out of Fimo and painted them in a bronze effect. I once made Claire watch fellowship of the rings and she sat through all of it, didn’t understand much of it and thought that the hobbits were called ‘gibbons’ I will never forget that haha!!!
Thror’s Map (and replica of Bilbo’s table)
Thror’s map – made a frame out of wood, varnished it and put the map in it :-)
The pictures above show the scene from the movie where Gandalf looks at Bilbo’s table and my recreation of it
Kitchen. I bought all the china plates but made all the food and ‘custom made’ the fireplace. The units were white wood unfinished when I bought them and I just varnished and filled them!
Close up of the fireplace. This was a free gift from Dolls House Emporium ( http://www.dollshouse.com/dhe/product-details.aspx?code=2845&ref=search) I re-painted it, hollowed out a hole and added logs and firebulb and then added the bricks round the outside. If I was being pedantic, it should really be curved, but I am happy with it for now till I have time to make another!
I made the table for the sink out of bits I cut off the dressers to make them fit in. My favourite bit of food I made is the string of garlic hung in the corner – well I’m pretty sure hobbits don’t like vampires anyway (it’s just me that does!)
Bag End Pantry
The pantry – I installed shelves and filled full of food – I made all the food in here from Fimo.
Close up of the shelves – many thanks to Angie Scarr for her wonderful books on making food out of Fimo which provided LOADS of inspiration and instruction for me. I hadn’t used Fimo since I was a small child so it was great to learn how to make mini food as an adult!
I made all the stained glass windows from thin perspex, glass paint and glass leading
Thanks to my Mum who sent over trinkets from USA where she lives – the blue and white specked crockery and pans are american. She also sent over cans of fanta, pepsi, 7up and Dr Pepper. They are cunningly camouflaged around the kitchen and pantry as I did not really think that hobbits were into the whole fizzy drink thing!!!
If you look closely there is an ‘anniversary edition’ plate from Dolls House Emporium on this dresser from March 2009 which was the month I started the project :-)
Barrel of Longbottom Leaf Pipe Weed!
check out the barrel in this pic – I bought a plain wooden barrel, varnished it and added a ‘longbottom leaf’ label – and filled it with hobbit pipe weed!!!! The label is a replica of the barrel of pipe weed merry and pippin (sorry typo put sam before!) find in the extended version of the movie (flotsam and jetsam scene)
PIPE WEED close up (not sure why the papers keep calling it ale lol)
View through to the bathroom
Mum and her partner David sent this rug from USA as a thanks for talking them through formatting their laptop – that was fun over the phone!!!!!
made the fire out of stones from my back garden (and I knocked the light off with the camera which is why it is hanging down – this has now been fixed so I better update photo at some point!)
I made the towels and flannels out of my twin boys babygrows (they had grown out of them!) the soap is fimo and the bottles are beads
view into bedroom
Bag End Bedroom
My mum made a lovely patchwork quilt for the bed but I changed the bed and it doesn’t fit on the new bed (hint hint mum I need a new quilt love you x)
I like the painting in here – it is a painting of Rivendell and the frame was a bargain cost 20p because it was smashed into little pieces when I bought it – superglue is my friend :-)
the castle on the shelf I bought from Miniatura show. I undercoated it in black and dry brushed in mithril silver (thankyou Games Workshop and my earlier years spent painting warhammer models)
The axes are from my Gimli doll which I bought in USA in 2000 (yes, again, I know I am a geek)
Ok well that is the end of the photos of the interior for now – please click on the link below to see how I made the hobbit house:
Just wanted to explain a few things that a lot of people have commented on. First of all and possibly most importantly – of course I know the walls should be rounded. I sat for ages working out how I would do it, but I could not have had it open at the top if the walls were circular. I would probably have had to make a long thin house and some how bored big holes into the side of the hill to make the rooms and have either the back or front removable rather than the top. I eventually decided against this for 3 reasons,
1. did not have any tools to be able to cut deep holes in wood
- Do not have the space to create something that long
- The project had to be finished by the end of term so I only had a few months to get it into a fit state to be handed in so I took the easiest and most sensible option that I could!
I have seen Tolkien’s sketch of bag end lots of times so I know how my bag end differs:
Again, I do not have the room to fit all these rooms in. In fact even this sketch doesn’t match up with the text in the hobbit: “bedrooms, bathrooms, cellars, pantries (lots of these), wardrobes (he had whole rooms devoted to clothes), kitchens, dining rooms, all were on the same floor”
There should be kitchenS and dining roomS instead of just one each – so I figure if the person who wrote the ‘atlas of middle earth’ can use artistic license, I can too! I did try to match the hall to his sketch though and even put in a circular table like Tolkien’s picture http://bitoflight.luminousbeings.net/keepsakes/BagEnd-final-small.jpg
I based some on the movie, some on the book and some on my imagination. The food in the kitchen and pantry includes everything mentioned in The Hobbit when the dwarves and Gandalf come to visit: beer, cakes, tea, seed cake, coffee, porter, scones, red wine, raspberry jame, apple tart, mince pies, cheese, pork pie salad, eggs, cold chicken, pickles and ham. (anything you can’t see on the shelves is in the little store cupboard behind glass doors or in drawers – couldn’t fit everything on the shelves)
I really believe that I did the very best I could given my time, space and money constraints and that any piece of work based on literature is going to be very debatable because every single person on this planet has a unique imagination and what a rich, varied, beautiful planet it is because of this.
So I am glad a lot of people like my version, and sorry to anyone who thinks it doesn’t match up with the book – believe me I know my own downfalls, but I am only human and maybe one day soon I will make another version that suits you better :-)