Mythic Legions (Covenant of Shadows): Baron Volligar by The Four Horsemen

We still have a loooong while to wait until the “Advent of Decay” figures from the last Mythic Legions Kickstarter ship, but it looks like T4H are gearing up to offer some more figures for pre-order later this month. To celebrate, I decided to open up another one of the handful of “Covenant of Shadows” figures that I’m sitting on to hold me over until next April. So, come on… let’s check out Baron Volligar!

It’s the same old packaging I’ve shown here dozens of times: Attractive, serviceable, and ultimately collector friendly. As always, you get a little bio blurb on the side panel of the bubble insert. I didn’t care about these at all in the beginning, maybe because the figures were still so new to me, but I’ve come to really appreciate exploring the lore and backstory of this action figure line. The bio here describes Baron Volligar as ancient vampyric royalty, and basically tells us that he is a pretty bad hombre, even as far as vampires go.

And oh, boy does he look the part! Volligar sports a suit of armor, which is a hybrid of Sir Godfrey’s and many of the pieces common to the Orcs’ armor. Mating Templar and Orc designs may sound like an unlikely marriage, but fear not, T4H really know what they’re doing and the results are pretty spectacular. Digging deeper, we can see that Volligar features the knightly tabard torso, hip armor, and upper legs and arms of Sir Godfrey, all of which is given a rather sinister twist thanks to the lower legs, grieves, shoulder armor, and collar of the Orcs. It almost looks like Volligar might have had a respectable suit of hero armor and gradually tweaked it after succumbing to the vampire curse. Of course, none of that is spelled out here, but rather just my own little musings.

As always, the shoulders are removable, and actually come packaged separate from the figure. I definitely prefer him with them on, but taking the armor pieces off does improve the range of motion in the shoulders quite a bit. The jagged and primitive look of these pieces mates beautifully with the similarly designed boots and grieves. There are some wonderful little nicks and pitting sculpted in as well to make them look well worn.

We last saw this helmet on Sir Godfrey, although it’s popped up a few times before him as well. It’s a very classically styled Great Helm with reinforced strips forming a cruciform pattern. Yeah, I find that a little odd for a vampire, but I’m willing to let that go. The helm features sculpted bolts and breather holes, and the deep set eye slits reveal only mystery. The helm is further customized by the rather imposing dragon crest at the top. I really dig the way the helmet sits deep in the center of the collar. It just further adds to the darker nature of a helmet that has so far only been used on the good guys.

And speaking of darker, the deco on this figure is superb. Besides knowing all the right ways to mix and match their system of parts, T4H are also adept at putting together some truly amazing color combinations. OK, so this one in particular is kind of a no-brainer and for me it really evokes a lovely Decepticon deco that I love so much. Yup, it’s all about the black and purple on that tabard. It almost looks like a primitive ribcage or ideogram for the undead. Lovely! The armor itself features both matte black and a rich, charcoal gray with a brushed metal finish. You also get some metallic purple applications on some of the ornate panels on the armor, which look quite striking under the light.

For armaments, The Baron relies on his trusty sword and shield. The sword is the two-handed variety that we’ve seen many times before. This design always reminds me of Glamdring from Lord of the Rings, probably because I saw an illustration of Gandalf carrying a similar looking sword. It’s a nice mix of classic and fantasy and I really dig the shape of the crossguard and that skull-crushing pommel. It has a sculpted black grip and the blade and other fixtures are painted with a charcoal gray to match those parts of Volligar’s armor.  The shield is also the same standard sculpt with his black and purple coat of arms painted on the face. Wait? You mean that’s it? These guys usually come loaded for bear. He just has a sword and shield? Yeah, Volligar is a little light on the weapons, when compared to other Mythic Legions figures, but that’s probably because he comes with…

…this enormous battle standard. T4H did a bunch of these representing the different factions of Mythic Legions. I think they were all available in one pack, but every time pre-orders go up, I’ve been budgeting to get as many figures as possible, so this is actually the first time I’m getting one of these standards into my collection. It’s a very cool piece with a pole so long it comes in three separate pieces. The flag itself is painted with Volligar’s coat of arms and there’s a pretty rad set of wings angling off of the top. Unfortunately, it’s way too tall for me to display him holding it on the shelf, but I may yet find a way to display it somewhere.

And so, to the surprise of absolutely no one, here’s another Mythic Legions figure that I can’t stop gushing over. What can I tell ya? I adore this line and I don’t see that changing any time soon. It’s probably worth pointing out that when I pre-ordered Volligar, I didn’t bother to read his bio and I thought he was just an awesome evil knight. The fact that he’s a vampire pleases me greatly, because the decision to chop the vampire, Carpathias from my original Kickstarter Backer Rewards remains a sore spot for me. At least now I finally have a vampire to tide me over until “Advent of Decay” arrives.

Mythic Legions (Covenant of Shadows): Silverhorn Sentry by The Four Horsemen

Last week, the Backer Kits for the second Mythic Legions Kickstarter, Advent of Decay, went out. I put in for 35 figures and now there’s nothing left to do but wait. Wait thirteen agonizing months. And that’s not accounting for the inevitable delays that often occur with these things. Thankfully, I still have a few figures left to open to tide me over. Not to mention a giant Troll that has not yet tasted sweet freedom from his window-box prison. Nope, no Troll today. Today I’m checking out a figure that I came very close to passing on, The Silverhorn Sentry.

In the beginning, I wasn’t at all into the bios or the fiction of this line, but with each successive assortment of figures, the canon of Mythic Legions interests me more and more. For example, this fellow’s bio notes that The Sentries of Castle Silverhorn are under the command of The Forest Elemental, Faunus. Why is that relevant? Because Faunus is one of the figures I’ve got coming in the Advent of Decay series and he’s already got a place in the continuity of my shelves. In the meantime, The Sentry will be taking his orders from Captain of the Silverhorn Guard, Asterionn, a figure that was issued in the original Kickstarter.

Silverhorn Sentry represents the usual reshuffling of parts that we’ve been seeing out of the later run figures. That’s not a dig or a complaint, mind you, because just look at this guy… he’s amazing. He uses a combination of the full chest plate torso from the knights with the lower tabard piece to make a belt sash. In fact, everything below the waist is re-purposed from Sir Gideon, with the exception of the hooves for feet, which I first encountered on the Minotaur, Asterionn. The deco consists of a rich, metallic brown, almost like a very deep copper color, for the armor. When you pair that with the gold and pale emerald decorations, and the hunter green sash, the whole figure has a very earthy flavor that meshes perfectly with the antlers and his task of guarding the forests around Silverhorn Castle. As always, the shoulders are optional, but in this case I think they’re a must, for reasons I’m going to get into right now…

One of the things I liked most about this figure when T4H first showed him was the fact that it uses the helmeted Dwarf head on a full body and it looks splendid. The shape of it, however, makes it a little hollow in the back, but these shoulders with the high ridges help to fix that a bit. Those antlers, which are the same ones we saw on Gorgo’s helmet, also make him out to be quite the imposing chap. I would not want to be up to mischief in the forest and run into this guy. And if, for some reason, this helmet doesn’t do it for you…

T4H were also generous enough to toss in a variant head with this figure. It’s something that they seem to be doing a lot with the Advent of Decay figures, and I’m not about to protest extra heads! In this case, it’s a repaint of Gorgo’s helmet. I like it, it looks great, but I’m really too sold on the stock helmet here to even consider swapping it out for display. Also, combining the same antlers with the same helmet as Gorgo makes for too many similarities for my taste.

Weapons! What good would a forest sentry be without them, eh? This guy comes with the two-handed sword that we’ve seen plenty of times before. The hilt is painted gold and It features a down-turned cross-guard and a pointed, skull-crushing pommel. I love this sword a lot and it really suits this figure. I might have opted for a different color hilt. Maybe green to match his sash? But now I’m nitpicking. Of course, the sword comes with the standard brown belt so it can be worn on his hip or slung across his back.

The spear is another very familiar piece and one that I think really goes well with this figure. I also really appreciate that they painted the shaft a different color from the head. The single colored spears have been one of my very few bugaboos about this line.

And finally he comes with a brand new shield! Well, it’s actually one that was released among the weapon packs, but I didn’t get any of those, so this is the first time I’ve seen this shield among the twenty-seven or so Mythic Legions figures I own. The sculpted wood face with the painted, reinforced metal is a welcome change from the same knightly shields we’ve been seeing over and over again. And like his weapons, this shield feels like it’s perfect for the Sentry. This is a great piece, and I wish that T4H had included it with a couple more of the figures.

Before wrapping up, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a few QC quirks with this figure. Firstly, the hip joints were totally loosey-goosey out of the package. I know that this has been a problem for some collectors on several figures in this line, but this is the first time I really encountered it. It’s an easy fix, just a little floor polish on those ball joints and he’s right as rain. Secondly, the paint came off the back of the knee hinges very quickly. I’ve had some rubbing on other figures, and I think that’s inevitable, but here it wore down to the plastic almost immediately. It’s a minor cosmetic flaw to me, in a very discrete area, but still worth mentioning.

Passing on The Silverhorn Sentry the first time around cost me a little, as I got this one from a re-seller and paid an extra fifteen bucks for him. That’s quite the mark up, but the reality is that most of the figures from the first Kickstarter are going for crazy money now, and I’m betting it’s only a matter of time before the Covenant of Shadows releases catch up to those. BBTS has some of these guys for $50, and that’s actually not bad considering the Ebay listings that are out there. Either way, I was comfortable spending it when I got the chance and now that he’s in hand, I glad I did it. This guy is a solid addition to my lineup, and he’s going to look damn cool standing off to the side of Faunus when he arrives next year.

Mythic Legions (Covenant of Shadows): Scaphoid by The Four Horsemen

After doubling down on Transformers Thursday last week, I’m taking a week off from the change-o-bots. Also, because I have nothing new to look at. Maybe something new next week? Maybe not. It all depends whether the Retail Gods are good to me. In the meantime… Mythic Legions!!!!

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A few days ago, the second Mythic Legions Kickstarter came to a close with an unprecedented $930,000+ pledged against a goal of $140,000. Needless to say it was a success, and needless to say I’ve had a lot of money hoovered out of my bank account to support it. And now commences the long wait until the projected shipping date of April 2018. Hoo boy, that wait is going to hurt! Luckily, I still have some unopened Mythic Legions figures to tide me over a bit. Today I’m opening another release from the Covenant of Shadows assortment. His name is Scaphoid, and don’t stop him now, he’s a necromantic skeleton waiting to reload, like an atom bomb about to oh oh oh oh oh explode! Seriously, read the bio on this guy! It’s metal.

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At his core, Scaphoid borrows a fair amount from the excellent (and personal favorite of mine) Skapular The Cryptbreaker. Most notably the tabard-wearing torso, the bony arms, the segmented bicep armor, and the the high collar, which I presume is to protect against decapitation at the hands of Sir Gideon and his band of do-gooder knights. The hip armor is different. Sure, we’ve seen it before, but I really like the buckles on this style, and his angular gauntlets and boots come from the Orcs. It’s a wonderful combination with a lovely ancient patina on the armor and a deep purple paint on the tabard that transitions to an eerie green down towards his feet, giving him a bit of a spectral glow. And speaking of spectral glows, it’s the unbelievably spooky and ethereal green paint on the bones that makes this figure truly (and almost literally) shine. It’s the magical necromancy energy that’s baked right in! I really can’t say enough great things about the paintwork on this figure. As always, even the individual rivets on the armor are painted!

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As is almost always the case with these figures, Scaphoid comes with a set of optional shoulder armor, which pegs into those holes on his back. I originally wasn’t going to use these pieces, because I rather dig the armor on his upper arms, but once I put these on I knew I had to keep them. It has the same great coppery finish as the rest of the armor and the emerald inlays really look spectacular along with the green deco of his bones.

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Scaphoid includes two portraits and they’re both so good, it’s damn hard to choose. The stock skull is in pretty good condition and beautifully sculpted. Why would you ever want to change this out for another one? Because the other one includes a hinged jaw and a lot more cracks and a couple of missing teeth. Do you like your skulls to be clean and fresh or roughed up and beaten around? The choice is yours! This would be an opportune time to have doubles of a figure, because if you change up the shoulders and heads, they’d each still look pretty unique even standing next to each other.

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Scaphoid comes with a collection of gear that we’ve seen before. The mace is still the freshest piece in this arsenal. I only own one of these and it came with Sir Godfrey. This one is painted with a greenish hue around the mace head. It still features some really nice sculpted wood grain in the handle and the head looks like it could do some serious damage.

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The dagger is familiar too, it seems like a majority of the skeletons have come with daggers. It sports the same greenish tint to both the blade and the hilt and looks absolutely bitchin. He also comes with the standard brown belt so he can wear the dagger on his hip or slung across his belly. It also doubles as a shoulder strap if you want to give Scaphoid another sword and sling it across his back.

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And finally we get a standard shield, which we’ve seen many times, here with the surface painted purple to match his tabard. I really dig this piece, but I think it’s the one accessory that I’m starting to get a little tired of seeing. I also would have liked some kind of coat of arms on his. Maybe at some point, T4H could release sticker sheets to allow us to customize some of the blank shields. That would be cool!

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The Skeletons in this line have all become non-negotiable for me. I’ve got them all so far and I’ll keep buying any and all they release. God help me if they ever start selling these skellies regularly on StoreHorsemen, because I’d probably be ordering more every month. With that having been said, Scaphoid here still feels like something special and a lot of that just comes from the distinctive magical deco and the crazy story behind him. I’m done trying to assign favorites to this line, because they’re all so damn good that whichever one is in my hand at the moment is usually my favorite, but right now I’d rank Scaphoid right up there among the best. He’s just gorgeous and he compliments my skeleton ranks beautifully.

Mythic Legions (Covenant of Shadows): Gorthokk by The Four Horsemen

In case you were wondering, that loud sucking sound is the veritable money vacuum that is the new Mythic Legion Kickstarter going on right now. As I write this they’re closing in on the $400,000 mark against the $140k they needed to fund this thing, and they still have 12 to go! And I can say with all honesty, that I’m doing my part as my pledge grows with each new stretch goal that’s revealed. It’s only natural that all this excitement has me hankering to open some new Mythic Legions figures, and luckily the Wave 1.75 figures hit my doorstep a week or so ago.

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I’ll admit, I was really tempted to start with the mammoth Deluxe Stone Troll, but I’m going to save him for later and instead start with one of the regular figures. Here, you see Gorthokk in all his packaged glory. Despite being a Wave 1.75 “Covenant of Shadows” figure, there’s nothing new about the packaging. It’s attractive and serviceable and, as always, collector friendly. The blurb on the bubble insert tells us that Gorthokk is a Cavern Orc, sometimes called Shadow Orcs, and these are the worst of the worst of them!

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The new variety of Orc is distinguished by his gorgeous dark skin and some splattered mud (or blood?) on his chest and face. As a late release in the line, he’s comprised entirely of parts that we’ve seen before, and yet somehow manages to still look like a fresh figure. That’s the beauty of this line’s inventory of swappable parts. The boots and gauntlet are the same ones we’ve typically seen on the previous Orc releases. They’re jagged and clunky and have that rough and primitive flavor about them. The waist, hip, and groin armor are all pulled from the regular knights of the line and the bare chest and arms we’ve seen on a few different releases.

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As is often the case, the figure comes with optional shoulder armor, and these are the standard Orc pieces that match the jagged look of the gauntlets and boots. They simply peg into the holes on the back of the figure and displaying him with one, both, or none offers some nice variety. The paintwork on all the armor pieces is superb. The shoulders, gauntlets, and boots have an enchanted blue sheen to them, while the rest of the armor features a deep, rich rusted brown. The individual rivets are all neatly painted, as are some of the decorative inserts. All of it is properly weathered.

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Gorthokk comes with two heads, helmeted and un-helmeted, which was a fantastic surprise, as I purchased this figure assuming it only came with one. He comes packaged with the un-helmeted head and it looks great with the new darker deco. It’s very sinister and brimming with personality. The creases in his face give him a ton of personality and I love the upward jutting tusks and those beady yellow eyes. I can just imagine those peepers coming out of the dark at me.

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The helmeted head has a deco that matches the rusty brown and metallic blue of his armor. Once again, the paint on this piece is just exquisite, especially the weathering on the cheek plates. The comb on the top looks aggressive and it features a nasty nick from a sword or axe attack. I really wish I picked up a couple more of these, two of them with the helmet and shoulders flanking the one without would look amazing. But then I remember, oh yeah, I don’t have all the money in the world. Let’s move on to weapons!

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Up until now, we’ve been seeing repaints of the same handful of weapons, but Gorthokk breaks that tradition with a couple that are new to me. I’m sure these were released in the original Weapons Packs, which I would have loved to pick up, but I decided from the beginning to funnel all my available budget into the actual figures and take whatever accessories come my way with them. The new sword has a rough looking blade, which is like a cross between a scimitar and the Uruk-Hai blades we saw in the Lord of the Rings films. The hilt has more of an Fantasy Eastern Barbarian flavor and the sculpted wear and tear in the blade is just phenomenal.

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The hand axe is another great little sculpt with the primitive blade fastened to a curved and blackened bone. It’s a refreshingly unique looking weapon considering previous Orcs have been coming with the same conventional style of swords as some of the heroes of the line. I think this piece really suits the more savage nature of the Shadow Orc.

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You also get this standard cruciform sword, which is a great piece, but feels out of place with this guy, and will likely be doled out to one of my other figures. Maybe it’s a trophy he took off a slain enemy. And as always, you get the standard brown sword belt, actually in this case I got two of them, which can be worn on the hip or as a cross-strap on the shoulder. The scimitar is a tight fit when passing it through the loop, but it will go through with a little patience.

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Gorthokk brings my Orc forces to four, and that feels like a good number for now. They’ll be getting some reinforcements of the female Orc variety next year when The Advent of Decay figures ship. Don’t get me wrong, if these figures were swinging on the pegs down at Target or Toys R Us, I’d have a lot more Orcs than I do now, and I’m still hoping that one day Store Horsemen might have a permanent page devoted to these guys where I can pick up a few here and there as my budget allows. As a Pre-Order, Gorthokk set me back $33 and while that may seem like a premium for a 6-inch action figure these days, the quality and workmanship here make it worth every penny. I keep reminding myself that when I factor in shipping, I was paying more than that to have the average Masters of the Universe Classics figure from Matty. I still love my MOTUC collection, but comparing the two lines hardly seems fair.