by: Darren Baker [ ]
Originally published on:
Satyr and Silenus, in Greek mythology, creatures of the wild, part man and part beast, who in Classical times were closely associated with the god Dionysus. Their Italian counterparts were the Fauns. Satyrs and Sileni were at first represented as uncouth men, each with a horseís tail and ears and an erect phallus. In the Hellenistic age they were represented as men having a goatís legs and tail. The occurrence of two different names for the creatures has been explained by two rival theories: that Silenus was the Asian Greek and Satyr the mainland name for the same mythical being; or that the Sileni were part horse and the Satyrs part goat. Neither theory, however, fits all the examples in early art and literature. From the 5th century BC the name Silenus was applied to Dionysusí foster father, which thus aided the gradual absorption of the Satyrs and Sileni into the Dionysiac cult. In the Great Dionysia festival at Athens three tragedies were followed by a Satyr play(e.g., Euripidesí Cyclops), in which the chorus was dressed to represent Satyrs. Silenus, although bibulous like the Satyrs in the Satyr plays, also appeared in legend as a dispenser of homely wisdom. In art the Satyrs and Sileni were depicted in company with nymphs or Maenads whom they pursued. (Their amorous relations with nymphs are described as early as the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite.) The Greek sculptor Praxiteles represented a new artistic type in which the Satyr was young and handsome, with only the smallest vestiges of animal parts. Hellenistic artists developed that concept into humorous or forceful representation of half-animal subjects as an escape from the merely human.
MasterBox have now released a Satyr in 1/24th scale for the fans of Greek mythology.
The model is packed in the usual carton favoured by MasterBox and this contains a single sprue in a plastic bag. The box presentation is a little dark as regards the artwork, but it is well represented as regards the subject matter. On the rear of the box are black and white images of the assembled model which are supplied as a construction guide. Also supplied are paint colours for the model from Vallejo, Lifecolor and Mr Color but I feel the painting is entirely up to the modeller with this offering as a look online reveals huge difference in the interpretation of the Satyr.
An initial examination of the model parts reveals little in the way of concerns, just a few seam lines that will need to be addressed carefully for a pleasing finish and to avoid damage to the surface detail. No base is supplied with this model, but a nice touch is a substantial pin as indicated in the photographs that will make it a simple case of drilling a hole in the base material of your choice; I am considering a nice piece of slate as a base.
The finished pose of this model tends towards that of a warrior rather than the erotic nature portrayed most often where the Satyr is concerned in mythology. The piece also has good movement moulded into it which gives the impression of a powerful creature charging forward towards archers. An arrow has pierced the stomach of the Satyr and the face does a great job of portraying anger and pain.
Building the Satyr
Removal of the parts from the sprue is an easy task as the sprue gets are small in number, easily accessed and small in size. The clean up of the parts only really consists of care with a sharp knife and the removal of the seam lines, with a lot of the model being bare flesh and fur this task benefits from taking your time with the knife. The parts go together fairly easily, but as can be seen some small gaps are present and will need to be filled. I have to say that I do not consider the gaps to be excessive in number or size and should be easily dealt with by most of us. The only joint I was unhappy with is the left arm, I just could not get a nice joint and so settled for nice at the front and work for me at the rear. The shoulder shield on the right arm was dipped in boiling water in order that I could add a greater curve to it and obtain what I considered to be a better look. I should also add that I connected it lower down than indicated in the instructions as it was fouling the right horn. I have not added the weapon as I want better access to the model first.
I am quite pleased with how this turned out and was reasonable pleased with the construction of the model. I accept that not every joint is perfect and so filler will be needed, I feel that a mix of the liquid fillers will result in the finish I am looking for without destroying or damaging the surface textures to any great extent. For those interested in Greek Mythology this I suspect will be well received, but I think I would have preferred this piece in a much larger scale with a higher parts count and I suspect that would also have made it attractive to many figure modellers out there. I also think that the quality Master Box is capable of could also gain them a following in this area of the hobby.