by: John Pradarelli [ ]
kit contentsInside the cardboard box are two sprue trees. The sample I received had one sprue molded in light gray plastic and the other in a darker gray plastic. The plastic was of average composition leaning a bit on the soft side. There are a total of 36 pieces which make up the figure, weapon and shield. Also included are a sturdy, round plastic display base, a decal for the shield and an assembly/paint guide for the figure.
At first glance I was very pleased with the quality of the molds and the detail present in the pieces. Everything was relatively crisp. The face of the figure is very distinct and contains a lot of character. There was a bit of flash around the parts that comprise the Galea (helmet) and the scabbard as can be seen in images #4 & 5. The nature of the plastic however made for easy clean-up. Unfortunately, because my samples weren’t shipped in their actual box almost all the shoulder plating was either cracked or broken (see image #3).
One thing that stood out to me the most was the sheer number of parts involved in this kit. The head alone is comprised of three different parts, and all limbs were made up of two parts each.
Finally, because I received three different Roman figures from this line (the reviews for which are to come in the near future), I was able to do a cross comparison. I was a bit disappointed to find that the three kits use the same basic sprue for the legs, torso, and head. The only differences between them are the arms, helmet, weapon, and shield shape. Otherwise the basic pose, uniform, and face are the same which begs the modeler to make modifications for a more individualistic appearance.
assemblyThe assembly was straight forward with no real surprises. The included assembly/painting sheet shows the sprue layout on one side (image #7) and an illustration of the full figure on the other side with part numbers and paint colors called out (image #6). In image #8 you see the basic figure before any seam clean-up. After gluing the leg sections together I noticed what appeared to be a “short shot” on the front surfaces of the legs (see image #9). This was easily rectified with some Squadron Green Putty. Once the helmet was completed and place on the head, it seemed to be a bit large to me (image #10 & 11). Once I paint the figure and draw the cheek guards in closer to the face perhaps it won’t seem as oversized to me. After assembly and seam cleaning the next area to tackle was the weapon hand. Out of the box, the weapon hand doesn’t have fingers that actually grip the Gladius. The hand is too open to properly place the weapon in a realistic fashion. I glued the Gladius to the palm of the hand and allowed that to dry. I then took a sharp scalpel and separated the four fingers which are molded together. I then cut small V-shaped notches out of each finger where it would naturally bend. Then while running hot tap water over the hand for a minute, I gently bent the fingers around the Gladius. After a few attempts I was pleased with the results (image #12). I intentionally left off the balteus (military belt) to make painting the tunic easier. I also wanted to leave off the scabbard, but because of the complexity of attaching it to the front strap and the back strap I felt it would be too difficult to attach without marring a nicely painted surface.
conclusionOverall I was very impressed with the final look of the figure. The anatomy is well proportioned and the uniform details offer a nice painting surface.
I definitely recommend this kit to the figure painter with the patience for an involved assembly. If you take your time, you’ll end up with a figure you can be proud of at a price the fraction of what you would pay for resin.