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In-Box Review
Norman Knight (First Crusade)

by: Andy Herbert [ HERBERTA ]

This figure by Elite Miniatures of Spain was sculpted by Mike Blank. It's made of white metal, and is in the 54mm scale.I recently completed the figure, and it is a pleasure to paint. The figure has been available for a couple of years, and comprises 6 parts including the base.


The figure is one large casting of the head, torso and legs, with separate arms, scabbard, nasal protector and base. The right arm has the sword in hand, left arm holding a rag. Actually, these parts include the forearm only. The main casting includes the shoulders and upper arms as part of the mail coat. The detail of the parts is very nice, the pose is of a man at arms wiping \'something\' off his sword. He is leaning a little forward as he does this. The pose is very convincing once assembled. I assembled all parts except the nasal, scabbard, and left arm before painting. Before fixing the right arm I test fit everything to be sure that the hand holding the rag and the sword matched up nicely. The sword blade is quite fine, and after I\'d polished it up, it was very bendable! I pinned the arms and added pins to the feet to secure the figure to the base. I painted the base first, adding some static grass and putty to finish it and put it on a little plinth. I pinned the figure to the base, and used the plinth (covered in masking tape) to hold the figure when painting. One thing I noted is that the face was a little underdetailed compared to what was shown on the box top. I\'ll come back to that. There was a prominent mold seam on the leggings that was a pain to remove. I polished the helmet and sword blade with steel wool.


I did a couple of different things (for me) with this figure. First, I used a different method for the mail and armor than I had in the past. Second, I tried painting as much as possible with water-mixable oils.I primed the unarmored and flesh parts with a peach flesh acrylic color. I used masking solution on the helm and sword blade before getting down to painting. The water mixable oils were a mixed success! I have 6 colors, and with some judicious mixing, I was able to get all the colors shown in my figures posted in the Figures Forum. I went for a medium/light green surcoat, brown trews and beige leggings. Thus, I mixed up blue and yellow for the green, adding a bit of yellow for highlights, and more blue for shadows. The deepest shadows had a hint of black. I did the green in one shot, blending wet on wet. The color was good to my eye when dry. The leggings and trews were not as good. I ended up trying to save them with some shading using sepia and raw umber oils (regular, not water mixable). This failed. I ended up using some earth colored gouache paints for the base coats (over the water-mixable oils), then highlighted and shaded with oils.The flesh was painted with a mix of red, white and yellow water mixable oils. I was really unhappy with the facial detail at first, but once painted, the face looked more detailed. How odd. I used a spot of dark blue for the eyes. The shading was done with a tiny bit of sepia oil. I found the flesh dried too light (another zombie according to my wife!). I applied several washes of heavily diluted burnt sienna gouache paint, and once dry, the flesh had a nice sun-tanned/burned finish. The leggings were outlined with sepia. Note that the leggings leave some of the trousers sticking out at the top, and the detail here is a little vague. I managed to paint a reasonable finish there. Like the eyes, there is detail there, and it\'s a case of having to paint what you want to show!The belt and scabbard were undercoated with a tan acrylic craft paint (Apple Barrel I think). Once dry, sepia and umber oils were used to replicate leather. I used very little paint, and spread it thinly. The scabbard was first given a coat of burnt sienna over the acrylic, then sepia was used on the different leather parts. To my eye, the leather worked out well. I washed the belt tip with black and sepia oils, getting a plain metal finish. The buckle and hasp were painted with Humbrol gold, as was the tip of the scabbard.


Painting the Armor
I used a few washes of Lamp black oil on the mail. After allowing this to dry, I used the head of a pin to burnish the mail. Presto, instant cool-looking mail!! I used a bit of sepia oil in another wash, but very little. Mail would be in constant movement, and very unlikely to be rusted.The helm and sword blade were unmasked, then given washes of lamp black oils and Tamiya Smoke. There is some soft detail on the helm. I tried fixing it, but was left with a bit of a mark on the helm. I left that shiny - he took a knock in the head with something! I added the nasal, and that completed the look. The face and helm look MUCH better with the nasal in place. Nice job Mr. Blank!I glued the left arm in place, then painted the rag a variety of light and earth colors. Finally, I added some brown madder alazirin and cadmium red to the sword blade and rag. Very little was used, but you can see it there in person.The base comes with debris molded in place, including an axe shaft and head, some bricks etc. This was all painted in acrylics. After touching up a few areas, I gave the base and leggings a dusting of pastel chalks.


This is a very nice figure. I enjoyed painting him a lot. Very simple, but quite interesting nonetheless.I received the figure as a gift, and I believe it\'s about US$20. Well worth it. I\'ve seen this figure painted up in Figurines magazine. The tunic was painted with an ornate border, and if I ever get to that stage, it would be fun to try!

Click here for additional images for this review.

This is a very nice figure. Very simple, but quite interesting nonetheless.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 54mm
  Mfg. ID: MB/54.12
  Suggested Retail: US$20
  PUBLISHED: Aug 08, 2003

About Andy Herbert (herberta)

Copyright 2021 text by Andy Herbert [ HERBERTA ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.


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