Lord of the Rings Strat: “One does not simply ROCK into Mordor…”

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

This guitar was commissioned for my best friend’s brother (by his fiancee). She was able to sneak his old Squire Strat away so that I could revamp it. I had previously created a Middle Earth map on an electric bass for my friend (his brother).

This was a matter of repainting and refinishing the body; I don’t think I replaced hardware or messed with the electronics. The concept I eventually came up with was Sam and Frodo walking into Mordor, looking across the plains of Gorgoroth at Mount Doom, with Barad Dur and Sauron looming in the distance. Some Nazgul fly above and Gollum sits on a rocky outcrop waiting for the right chance to strike. I did some 3D carving that was enhanced by later painting; I etched the entire script from the Ring around the perimeter of the guitar. I airbrushed the sky and plains.

For the peghead, I did a relief carving of an eagle fighting with a fell beast. Around the perimeter I wrote the Dwarvish text from the Lonely Mountain map in the Hobbit. (Not completely appropriate for the scene, but it looks good.)

In addition, I ordered some “Eye of Sauron” eyes on eBay to make custom knobs with some cut down Strat knobs and Sculpey. Finally, I inscribed Tolkein’s symbol at the 12th fret.

Lord of the Rings – Middle Earth Map Electric Bass

I made this bass for my best friend.

I painstakingly painted the map from visual references. It would be more accurate had I projected it onto the surface, but I did it freehand instead- not to be some kind of art hero, but because I didn’t have a decent projector handy. I do the best with what I’ve got.

The process was simply repainting the body.  I used a tan / beige base color for the body, then dry-brushed leathery highlights on to make it more “mappish.” Afterward, the day-long process of painting the map on began (literally spending a whole day sitting and painting. Actually, it was pretty great).

Later on, I decided to spice up the peghead. I did a relief carving of Treebeard and the Ents attacking Orthanc. It’s painted in a black gloss resembling Orthanc’s exterior.

I thought about buying Lothlorien Leaf clasps to pin on a custom leather strap, but I haven’t gotten to that part yet. Maybe for Christmas…

(See the LOTR-themed guitar I made for his brother.)