With the craziness of one holiday behind us, we can now start the slow march to the next one. Decent Black Friday sales for action figures seemed few and far between in my neck of the woods, but I did manage to pick up a few Marvel Legends for cheap and today’s figure is one of them. Let’s check out Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes in the original version of his Marvel Cinematic Universe War Machine armor. He’s also the second rung on the ladder to me building the magnificent Hulkbuster BAF!
There’s nothing new to say about the packaging. War Machine comes with the Hulkbuster head off to one side and a spare swappable portrait off to the other. It’s probably the lightest and least congested package of this entire wave, but hey… somebody had to come with the head!
Does this guy look familiar? Yeah, it’s basically a repaint of the Iron Patriot that was part of the Iron Monger BAF assortment, a figure that I looked at back in the Summer of 2013. In fact the only difference in the sculpt here is the left hand, which has gone from the open palm repulsor attack to being a simple closed fist. The sculpt was pretty damn solid to begin with as it features plenty of panel lines and just an overall nice 6-inch scale version of the armor seen in the film.
The paint is also beautifully executed. The black and silver deco looks sharp and reserved compared to the red white and silver of the Patriot deco. The black uses a subtle bit of glitter, which I really dig and all the paint lines are clean. This figure also features all the same tiny tampos as the original, which include Rhodes’ name stamped vertically on the left of the chest plate, the “FF 445” on the left shoulder and the Air Force emblem on the left forearm. These are all crisp and stand out nicely against the black paint. Considering the face plate paint on my Patriot was rather miffed, I’m much happier with what I got this time around.
The alternate portrait features the open mask showing Rhodey’s face. Overall the sculpt is pretty good, but the eyes on mine are uneven and do their best to bring the whole thing down. How ironic is it that these factories seem to get people who can’t see properly to paint eyes? At least it’s probably marginally better than the Tony Stark face that I got with my Mark 42 armor. Either way, this extra noggin is about to go into the Tote of Forgotten Accessories with that Stark head.
The articulation here is solid, but has some issues. The arms feature rotating hinges at the shoulders, and thankfully the shoulder armor is hinged so as not to inhibit movement. There are swivels in the biceps and nice double hinges in the elbows. The wrists have rotating hinges, but the sculpt there really limts some of the movement. The legs have ball joints in the hips, and again the armor sculpt interrupts some of the movement here. The knees are double hinged, there are swivels up at the hips, and while there appear to be hinges in the ankles, the sculpt allows no movement at all. There’s a ball joint in the torso and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. Honestly, the poseability here is probably totally accurate to someone wearing a suit like this in real life, but in the films, the wearers were a lot more limber.
While not really an accessory, War Machine comes with the same shoulder cannon as Iron Patriot. It is removable and can be pegged in two different positions, but it’s clearly intended to be worn to the left. It’s hinged so that it can be positioned in a prone position and then angled up over the shoulder when ready to fire.
Despite some limits to the articulation and some rough paint on the spare head, I dig this figure a lot. The armor sculpt definitely carries it and I find myself liking the more utilitarian deco a lot better than the flashier Patriot paint scheme. Most importantly, I’m just happy to be able to represent Rhodes on my Legends shelf because he is definitely one of my favorite supporting characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I love the fact that he was teased as being one of the core Avengers in a future Phase and I really hope to see Cheadle take the center stage at least once in the MCU.