The Arethyr Wave not only introduced a gaggle of Demons to Mythoss, but it also gave us the first two horses as part of the Mythic Legions line. The showpiece horse of the wave was Aethon, companion steed of Arethyr himself, and I’ll get to them soon enough, but we also got Balius, a brown horse that’s perfect for carrying any Knight into battle!
Balius comes in a large window box, which is basically a landscape orientated version of what the large Trolls come in. It’s got some great artwork and a little Mythoss Lore printed on the back, but it’s mostly dominated by the giant window that shows you the horse and accessories. The box is collector friendly, although there are a lot of wire ties securing Balius to his tray, and I advise caution when clipping these, because I clipped one of Balius’ stirrups when getting him out!
Despite being a big fan of mounted knights and cowboys, I’m no horse enthusiast or equine expert, but from what I can tell T4H did a damn fine job on this sculpt and the proportions of the figure. And yes! Balius is indeed a fully articulated figure. The last time I had a horse figure close to this scale was when my Uncle gave me his old Gabriel Lone Ranger toys, and handling this guy is really bringing back memories! Balius has a chocolate brown coat, which turns black toward his hooves, as well as a black mane and black tail. The body is covered with a great looking fur texture and you also get some great detail in the various muscles, veins and sinew.
Balius is a solid and hefty steed with strong jointing, and as with the regular figures, his joints are all modular (mostly pegged hinges) so that they can be pulled apart and swapped out for easy customization. Each leg is jointed in three places, the tail is jointed at the base, and the neck and head are also articulated, but more on that later. The joints are smooth and easy to manipulate, but he has no difficulty holding up his weight as well as the weight of a figure. He can even hold gallop and a rearing pose on his back two legs with the tail serving as a sort of tripod support. Very nice!
The head sculpt is quite beautiful, and I’m really blown away by the realism in the face and how lifelike the eyes are. His ears stand straight up, and his bushy mane is sculpted as a separate piece, and he has a white stripe running down to his nose. The bridle is also sculpted separately from the horse, and features some great leather-like texturing and nickle-painted fixtures. What I did find disappointing is the articulation design for the head and neck. It allows for some movement, but if I try to tilt Balius’ head too far up, the joint just pops off the peg. The design was no doubt intended to avoid putting visible pins in the head, but I would have liked more range of motion there.
The saddle, includes more of that great leather texturing, as well as a sculpted strap securing it under Balius’ belly, and a red blanket with gold borders under the saddle. There’s a removable bedroll on the back of the saddle, and four looped straps which can be used to attach equipment. Balius even comes with a sword and a shield to place on him. These loops can also be used to secure a spear or halberd, but neither are included.
I am using the Red Shield Soldier, which I reviewed last Monday, to showcase how well Balius can carry a figure. I will note that I removed the groin armor piece when placing him on the saddle. Although strictly speaking it probably isn’t necessary, I just think it makes for a better fit, and it’s easy enough to pull off and tab back in again. The stirrups are made of soft plastic and are large enough to loop around the feet, but they don’t hold all that securely, especially the one that I cut getting the figure out!
I came really close to omitting Balius when I ordered my Arethyr figures, mainly because he’s so big and I’m trying to account for limited space. I was also worried about falling down a deep hole with how many horses, T4H are likely to pump out based on this mold. But in the end I threw him in there, and I’m glad I did. He’s a fantastic looking figure, and really the only thing I can nitpick is that I wish the neck articulation offered better range of motion.