Isengard Mine

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bozoderek
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Location: United States

Isengard Mine

Post by bozoderek » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:42 pm

Hey everyone! First post on here. Been following the facebook page for quite a while though. Hopefully this is the right place for this post!

So I posted this earlier on fb, but i'm not sure if that's a great place to critique.

Honestly it looks fantastic (like everything you guys have been creating) but I am having trouble getting in board with the wick. Now, I realize that said wick makes it look more like a bomb, but in my opinion, I feel like it takes away from the Uruk hai mentality originally considered/conceptualized when WETA created the bomb design for the movies. the issue is that it doesn't make much sense if you think about it in the context of a suicidal berserker. Per their though procosses/design, It's easy to conclude that the top of the mine was deliberately left open so that it would be easy for sparks/flames to make contact with the powder. It needed to be an instantaneous so the Berserkers wouldn't be standing there trying to light something. I'm not sure they would even have the sense to be able to do such a task while being awoken and driven mad by the pouring of human blood over their heads. In my humble opinion, the wick just doesn't make sense for the way they think.

What are your thoughts?

See also: https://youtu.be/Afw8e-abVa8
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Picture of WETA mine for reference
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Solethria
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Re: Isengard Mine

Post by Solethria » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:08 pm

First of all welcome to the forum!

I do see where you are coming from and although i don't know for a fact the reasoning behind the decision to have a wick, i have a clue.

In the BFME games the mines are not just detonated by the Berserkers, but also function single handedly (carried and placed by the Uruks). You have the option to 'lit' the mine, after which it takes a certain amount of time for the mine to explode (BFME had an animation of a fire arrow hitting the mine). For this instance something like a wick would be very logical. And if you want to detonate the mine at once, you can still use the Berserker but the flame of the torch would be enough to burn through the wick at once. At least this makes sense to me.
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bozoderek
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Re: Isengard Mine

Post by bozoderek » Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:56 am

I can understand that logic.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I feel like it would be more authentic to the... Uruk-hai culture... if you will, to leave it as an open top and either include an animation which allows the bomb carriers to stick a fuse in and then light it, or to follow/slightly modify what BFME did and have an arrow fly from somewhere into the bomb to detonate it.

Maybe its just a personal thing, but I still feel pretty strongly that the wick takes away from some of the menace of a suicidal berserker. Also if I am not mistaken, a wick is also a mostly natural, carefully crafted product that in this case, is put in a very machine based and crude culture. Perhaps I am overthinking it, but as I have been explaining, I think it just feels out of place.
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Lostir
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Re: Isengard Mine

Post by Lostir » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:05 pm

I'm not exactly sure in which version of BFME it was the case, but in one of them archers with Flaming Arrows could light up mines too. (I believe it was BfME1.) Would be another possibility to get them working without a wick.

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Zagloba
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Re: Isengard Mine

Post by Zagloba » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:18 pm

bozoderek wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:56 am
Also if I am not mistaken, a wick is also a mostly natural, carefully crafted product that in this case, is put in a very machine based and crude culture. Perhaps I am overthinking it, but as I have been explaining, I think it just feels out of place.
A wick is just a piece of rope moistened with oil or any other kind of a flammable liquid. It is not anything carefully crafted. Uruks could make ropes, or couldn't they? And the fact they used torches tells us they had access to oil.
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bozoderek
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Re: Isengard Mine

Post by bozoderek » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:19 pm

Well, I do know it is at least a touch more complicated than this. Perhaps we should start being more specific though as a wick and a fuse are technically different things though. The real trick is getting a traditional wick to become a fuse, that is, that it will last long enough so that you can run away if you are, say, a bomb carrier. If you were to soak it in oil and light it on fire (like a torch) the whole length of it would go ablaze more quickly than you could get away. (Try looking up someone lighting a medieval style torch for reference)

After a quick google search, it appears that making a slow burning wick, like the kind that would be required, requires the correct mixture of KNO3 and Sugar added to boiling water. Once the water is boiled down and the mixture has become frothy, you introduce a quality spool of cotton to the mixture ensuring that the entire length is equally exposed to the frothing elements. It becomes knotted easily so care must be given to ensure it does not stick together. Once the mixture has evaporated, it must be transfered to an oven pan in a non stick solution where it is then baked at a medium-high temperature for a period of time.

I'm not sure about you guys, but that doesn't sound very uruk-hai ...ish.. to me.

Honestly though, I feel like we could discuss the qualities of a wick all day long. However, I still contend that at the end of the day, even if through experimentation the Uruks found a more simple way of creating one, and if the animators included an "adding a fuse" animation that is preferable to the current mine design, a fuse just doesn't seem. . . to me. . . to be in line with their style and methods of warfare.
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Lostir
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Re: Isengard Mine

Post by Lostir » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:44 pm

Is the problem really only the wick? What about the rest of the mine? I dont know any details but creating the explosives should be even more complicated and dangerous.

I always imagined Saruman creating those throughout years of research and alchemy for that single purpose only. So, if he creates the bombs himself, he could very well create the wicks too.

bozoderek
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Re: Isengard Mine

Post by bozoderek » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:54 pm

Lostir wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:44 pm
Is the problem really only the wick? What about the rest of the mine? I dont know any details but creating the explosives should be even more complicated and dangerous.

I always imagined Saruman creating those throughout years of research and alchemy for that single purpose only. So, if he creates the bombs himself, he could very well create the wicks too.
A great point! and also sort of along the same line of thinking as the last paragraph in my previous post. You're right! I really don't think it's as much about the qualities and plausibility of a fuse as much as it is about the idea/mentality of a fuse fitting with what we already understand about the Uruk-Hai.
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