Mythic Legions (Advent of Decay): Snagg by The Four Horsemen

I’ve been focusing on some of the new stuff for my first Advent of Decay reviews. So, I started with a female knight and vampire, and then showed off an Elf. Now it’s time to touch on what is easily my most anticipated addition to the Mythic Legions lineup… The Goblins! Hell, YEAH! I totally freaked out when T4H first showed off these deranged little beauties, and I knew right away that I would be getting all of them. It was impossible for me to decide which one to start with, so I just picked one at random. Let’s have a look at Snagg!

And isn’t that just one of the best Goblin names ever? Snagg! Even better, Snagg’s bio tells us that he’s a devious thief. And with his green face and blue sock cap, he kind of reminds me of Zarak, The Half-Orc Assassin from LJN’s old Advanced Dungeons & Dragons line. Not only is that not a bad thing, but I kind of demand a repaint as homage.

The Goblins are about the same height as the Dwarves, but they have a much leaner build. And like the Dwarves, they’re designed so they can borrow parts from the full-sized humans and elves. For example, Snagg has a completely repainted version of the belt and hip armor piece that we saw last week on the Elf Legion Builder. He also uses the wrist bracers that we’ll see on the Elves in future reviews. The body is rounded out with a simple set of plate armor for the torso and armored legs. I’d say that it’s a hodge-podge look that works well for a Goblin, but to be honest, I think all the pieces go together perfectly.

The paint here is excellent, particularly on the belt piece. The prominent disc belt-buckle, the individual rivets on the leather scales are painted in a rich copper. The plates on the tops of the hip-armor are mismatched with one side copper and the other a gun-metal blue. The brown belt has a great textured leather-like look to it and you get some fine silver paintwork on the buckles. Other highlights of the paint include the worn copper color of the leg armor, the metallic blue stones embedded in his arm bracers, and the heavily tarnished finish of his chest armor. Even the tiny buckles on his wrist bracers and leg armor are all neatly painted silver.

And that brings me to the head sculpt, and oh boy is it fantastic! Snagg features a cartoonishly pronounced nose and chin, balanced by the long, swept-back pointed ears. He sports a devilish grin, showing his tiny sharp teeth and two prominent fangs rising up from his bottom jaw. Two beady yellow eyes gaze out from under the stitched blue cap.

Snagg comes with a mismatched pair of shoulder armor, no doubt stolen from the dead on some battlefield. The right shoulder is pretty ornate with some blue panels that manage to match his cap, as if it’s a sad little attempt he made to accessorize. The left shoulder, on the other hand, is a simple, segmented piece with signs of rust setting in. I dig the idea behind these pieces being scavenged, but I may actually prefer him sans shoulder armor.

For a little guy, Snagg comes with quite the arsenal of weapons, which includes a standard cruciform sword, a two-hander, a dagger, and a rustic cleaver made by attaching blades to a piece of stag horn. With the exception of the last piece, I’ve seen all of these weapons before, and I love that all of these weapons are mismatched, again probably all taken from looting and thievery, as they look way too clean and shiny to have been owned by him for long. To carry his weapons, Snagg comes with two of the standard brown belts, allowing for one to be worn on the waist, and the other as a cross strap. Let’s take a quick look at each of his weapons…

The dagger is a repaint of the one that came with Lucretia, now with an entirely gold hilt. I really like the design of this one and the paint job does a good job of setting it apart. I actually had to double check Lucretia’s to make sure it was the same mold. It looks like it would be an excellent parrying dagger as well as serviceable for all the backstabbing that Snagg probably does.

The one-handed sword is the classic cruciform type we’ve seen over and over again in this line. I’m a big fan of the no-nonsense design of this piece and I’m always happy to get another. Oddly, this one is painted all in silver, which is something that T4H usually reserve for the Legion Builder figures, but I think it still looks fine. I would have liked it more if it had a rusty finish, like we’ve seen with some of the Orc weapons, but like I said, maybe he stole it.

The two-handed sword is very familiar from the previous series of Mythic Legions. I tend to refer to this one as a “Tolkien Sword,” because it reminds me of a design I saw of Glamdring once. Either way, I really dig the way the blade swells slightly toward the edge and the stylized crossguard, copper wrapped grip, and skull-crusher pommel are both nice touches. On the other hand, this sword looks totally out of place with Snagg. It’s really big compared to his height and he looks a little awkward wielding it. It just furthers the idea in my mind that he stole it somewhere and just carries it around to make a statement.

Only the stag-handled weapon looks like it might have been made for him, and it manages to be both crude and quite beautiful. The sculpt and paint on the stag handle is superb. The clever-like blade has some nasty gashes and scrapes in it and a serrated area near the grip. The back also has a metal piece with spikes sticking out of it. Now this looks like a Goblin weapon!

Snagg also comes with some other assorted bits, which confused me at first. You get a set of antlers, which are the same pieces used to adorn some of the other figures’ helmets. You also get a single piece of black horn. These aren’t compatible with the figure himself, as he doesn’t come with a helmeted head, but I’m chalking these up to being more loot that he’s scavenged. And it’s always nice to have extra pieces to share with my helmeted figures to create more display options.

And so while he may be small, Snagg is probably packing more personality than almost any other Mythic Legions figure I own. He’s also no doubt the first in what will be my serious love affair with the Mythic Legion Goblins. He’s a magnificent little figure with some superb paintwork, and clearly a lot of thought and love went into his demented design. I can’t wait to pit him against some of my brave warriors and have him try to bite their kneecaps off and steal all their shit. I’m really tempted to just keep going with the Goblins for the next month, but I promise I’ll try to be back with something a little different next week.

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Mythic Legions (Advent of Decay): Elf Legion Builder by The Four Horsemen

It’s Week Three of Mythic Legions Wednesdays‘ return and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m not following any particular order in which I open and review these figures, but I’m not going totally random either. Since I already looked at two of the regular figures, I thought this week I’d check out one of the Legion Builders. And since the Elves are introduced in the Advent of Decay series, let’s have a look at the Elf Legion Builder!

I’ll go ahead and show a packaged shot here, because unlike the named characters, the Legion Builders don’t actually have bios, because they’re just nameless soldiers. But you can name if you want to! Oh, go on… name them! The Legion Builders are cheaper than the regular figures because they involve less paint operations, usually on both the figure and the accessories, but as we’ll soon see, that doesn’t make them any less spectacular! And in fact, this Elf in particular doesn’t feel like your typical Legion Builder at all.

Behold the Elven armor of golden splendor! Yes, let’s remind ourselves that this is what the rank-and-file Elf Warriors are wearing and it’s pretty fabulous. In case you didn’t already know, Mythic Legions is all about mixing and matching parts, and here we get a great example of that in Advent of Decay. The torso here is new, but the arms and legs are lifted straight from the armored bucks we saw on Gwendolyn and Lucretia. It works well for the diminutive Elven build as well as the female knights, and even though we already saw those parts in gold on Gwen, I think this combination still makes for a pretty unique look.

And the sculpt here is absolutely beautiful. As always, it’s brimming with detail from the overlapping plates to the tiny rivets and sculpted buckles and straps. I particularly like the discs on the chest and belt. When combined with the coloring and the rather thin armored build, it gives me a little bit of a C-3PO vibe. And the armor sculpt that does just fine showing off its details with nothing but a sumptuous golden finish. And while we’re on the subject of paint, it’s worth noting that the past Knight Legion Builders featured only one color on their armor and no additional paint apps at all, except maybe on a helmet plume. The Elf breaks that trend by adding the green scaled armor below his belt with the individually painted gold rivets. It’s a great touch that breaks up all that gold just enough to make him feel more like one of the regular figures. Of course, the figure also comes with the ubiquitous sword belt and removable shoulder armor. And yup, those are the same shoulders we saw on both Gwen and Lucretia.

The Elf Legion Builder comes with no less than three different heads. He comes out of the package with dark skin, green eyes, and an open faced helmet, complete with nasal guard and a wonderfully organic sculpt to the helmet. The ears are quite prominent, but they stay close to the head, giving him more of a Tolkein-esque Western interpretation, as opposed to the ones we usually see in anime or mangas. There isn’t a lot of sharp detail in the face, but I still like it a lot and he has a bit of a dour but noble expression.

The other option is the lighter skinned head, again with green eyes, and the exact same helmet. Actually, it looks like the whole head sculpt here is identical, with just the lighter skin distinguishing it.

The final option is a completely enclosed helmet, but with green skin showing on the exposed ears. I think it’s likely that this is intended to be the open helmet with a mask on it, but I could be wrong about that. Either way, it’s a real sexy piece of design. I love the organic curves and the darkened visor. All three heads are great choices and they make me wish I had picked up at least one more of these guys to display them on. But we’ve also got a lot of accessories to talk about, so let’s move on to the weapons.

The Elf comes with a pretty standard sword and dagger, which can be worn on the belt. Well, there’s one loop so either the sword or dagger can be fitted through the loop and the other just has to be thrust through the belt. Either way it works just fine. We’ve seen both of these weapon molds before many times, but I really dig them a lot. The sword is a pretty no-nonsense weapon with a broad blade and a cruciform hilt and the dagger has a stout blade and a slightly down-turning crossguard. The hilts aren’t matched perfectly, but they’re close enough so that they look good together. Both blades are painted silver and the hilts are painted gold, which is notable because most of my previous Legion Builder Knights did not have any paint apps on their weapons.

Next up is the bow and quiver of arrows, both of which are accessories that are introduced in Advent of Decay. The bow has some really beautiful contours, is painted all in silver, and includes a string. The quiver is painted gold and the arrows have silver shafts and gold fletching. The quiver has a clip that can hook onto the belt, just like we saw on the dagger’s sheath that came with Lucretia. There’s also an attachment that can be used to put it on his back, but it sticks out too far and I don’t like it. The arrows in the quiver are all part of the sculpt, but you do get a single loose arrow.

The loose arrow is pretty thin and frail and he can’t really hold it, at least not without the help of a little blue-tack inside his hand. There are, however, two little nubs on the bow that the arrow can sort of clip into. With a little determination and trickery, I was able to get him to actually knock the arrow and draw the bow. It would have been cool if T4H created a hand for these guys with a slit between two of the fingers. I suppose it would be easy to customize with a good razor blade, but he only comes with the two hands and I don’t want to risk messing him up.

Finally, the Elf Legion Builder comes with a spear and this accessory is as old as Mythic Legions itself. It was a popular pack in accessory with a lot of figures from the first Kickstarter, and I’m not surprised to see it continuing to see service in Advent of Decay. It’s a very simple accessory, all molded from one piece of plastic and painted entirely in silver. The spear is also the thing the only accessory that feels like the weapons included with previous Legion Builders. I’m not going to gripe about it, because quite frankly this figure comes with enough goodies that the spear just feels like a gratuitous extra.

As I mentioned in the beginning, the Legion Builders are the  in this line, and that’s part of what makes this Elf Soldier so impressive to me. Sure he doesn’t have as many paint operations as the regular figures, but he still looks great. And with three different heads and a whole passel of weapons, he feels like anything but a budget figure. Alas, the secondary market prices on these figures preclude me from doing any kind of troop building when it comes to Mythic Legions, I just might pony up for one more of these Elves to make one an archer and the other a regular knight.

Mythic Legions (Advent of Decay): Lucretia by The Four Horsemen

Happy Halloween, folks! You’ll note that I’m sticking with Mythic Legions for my Wednesday content, but I still tried to go for that Halloween connection by checking out a vampire! Carpathias was actually the first vampire to hit Legions as part of the original assortment, but he didn’t make my budget crunch for the first Kickstarter and I’ve been regretting it ever since. Fortunately, he was part of the later All-Stars Sale and I was able to pre-order him, but who knows when those are going to be shipping.

So while not the first Vampire, Lucretia is actually the first female vampire. She also happens to be the daughter of Baron Volligar, who was released as part of the Covenant of Shadows assortment. Her bio makes her sound like a nasty piece of work.

And she looks like one too! Lucretia’s body reuses something like 95% of Gwendolyn Heavenbrand’s armored body, with only two key differences. The first is the sculpted purple sash that hangs down from the front of her waist. The second is the tall and sinister, gravity-defying collar that frames her creepy head. Even the shoulder armor is the same sculpt as Ms. Heavensbrand’s. I won’t rehash all the gushing I did over this sculpt last week, but suffice it to say I love all the little details like the tiny straps “holding” the overlapping plates together, the individual rivets, and the exposed chainmail in the joints.

Of course the new deco helps a lot to set this figure apart and it is indeed a beautiful coat of paint. The primary color for the armor is a glossy black with matte purple running through some of the decorative panels. We’ve seen a similar deco on her dear old dad’s armor and it looks as great as ever. You also get a flat gray outlining those panels. Other little touches include metallic silver for the tiny rivets, as well as for the buckles of the brown-painted straps. As with Gwendolyn’s armor, this is an absolutely sumptuous paint job, making the already impressive sculpt sing, even if that song is a fear-inducing dirge of death.

I’ve been in love with the vampire head design since first seeing Carpathias, and that certainly carries over to this new female head. The pale bald head features a rather distinctive nose and brow, which is very familiar. And when coupled with the sharply pointed ears and severe look, I’d say this one is an effective cross between the bloodsuckers of Salem’s Lot and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The earrings are a nice touch and there’s some subtle shading applied to her skin.

Lucretia comes with a flowing black cape, which as always requires the use of the shoulder armor to equip it on her, as the pegs pass through holes on the cape to secure it. That’s no problem for me, as I almost always display these figures with their shoulder armor. But since they are optional, and the figure displays quite well without them, it’s still worth noting that the cape does only work with the shoulders. I love the way it looks on the figure, but it can get in the way of her wearing her sword. And speaking of which, let’s check out her weapons.

Her primary weapon is a two-handed sword, which is new to me. It’s a decidedly vampyric-looking weapon with an elegant hilt featuring an extended, textured grip and a curved crossguard with ends that terminate in a flourish. The black hilt also features a purple stone embedded in the center of the guard. The silver blade is roughly leaf-shaped with a swell about three-quarters of the way down to the point. The configuration of the blade means it won’t pass all the way through the loop in her belt, but the fact that it rides high makes it look like it’s slung across her back and I kind of dig that. I do wish T4H would have started producing some of these belts in black by now, because I think it would have looked better on this figure. Or perhaps even in red, like they did with the Black Knight Legion Builder.

Next up, she has this stout-bladed dagger with a black hilt and purple stone in the center of the guard. It’s not a perfect match for the sword’s handle, but close enough to look good if she’s wielding them en suite. It would have been an especially nice parrying dagger, had they given her a single-handed sword.

Finally, Lucretia comes with a hooked dagger and sheath, and the sheath is something introduced in this Advent of Decay series. It’s plastic with a purple and silver deco and a clip on the back that hooks to the belt. The dagger fits in it quite well and is easy to draw out. It’s a great addition to the Mythic Legions armaments and it makes me wish even more that they will one day tackle scabbards for the swords. Hey, they could easily release a scabbard pack with different decos for the existing swords. I’d buy it!

Is this the part where I say Lucretia may be my new favorite figure in all Mythic Legions? Well, I’m trying not to throw that word around as much this time, but she is simply awesome and well worth a consideration as one of the better figures in this line. The black and purple deco of her armor really sings to me, the quality of the paintwork is gorgeous, the weapons are well-curated, and all in all this figure has a lot of personality. She makes me excited to know that I have two more vampires from Advent of Decay waiting to be opened and that Carpathias will eventually be on the way.

Mythic Legions (Advent of Decay): Gwendolyn Heavensbrand by The Four Horsemen

If you follow me on Twitter, than you know I spent this past weekend absolutely obsessed with Mythic Legions! It was back in February of 2017 that I backed Advent of Decay, The Four Horsemen’s second Mythic Legions Kickstarter. With something like 43 figures offered, this project was even more expansive then the first, and it introduced some new elements to the mix, like female characters, as well as Elves and Goblins. I gladly forked over my entire 2017 tax return (and maybe a little more) in what was the largest sum I had ever spent on a single toy purchase. Yeah, it was 34 figures, but still all in one lump sum. And then the long, hard wait began. The figures were originally planned to arrive in April of this year, but if you’ve Kickstarted anything, you know that delays are nearly inevitable. And that was fine with me. You can’t rush art, not even in 6-inch action figure form. And art is exactly what we got.

That’s not to say I got everything yet. The figures finally started shipping last week, and I got my first box this past weekend with 24 figures. T4H are shipping some larger orders separately, which isn’t a bad thing because it’ll give me time to really enjoy these before getting more. It took me quite a while just to open these figures and give them a once over for QC purposes. And while I admit, I’ll rest easier once I get that second shipping notice, I’m content to wait so that everyone can start getting their figures in a timely manner. Anywho… I thought I’d kick things off with Gwendolyn Heavensbrand, since she was the figure I chose as my backer reward, before adding 33 more to the Backerkit. I’ll note here that the above is the last packaged shot I’ll be doing for this series. These packages take up a lot of space and I’m going to be putting them away in storage for the time being, and probably eventually getting rid of them. Suffice it to say, the packaging hasn’t changed much since the previous series. It is collector friendly, there have been some minor art changes on the card, and you get a character bio printed on the side of the bubble insert. All you really need to know is that she’s Sir Gideon’s sister, so let’s get Ms. Heavensbrand out and see what we’ve got!

I have a running gag with my other Mythic Legions reviews, where each one I open is my new favorite. Here’s a case, where it may be true. No, I’m serious! Well, if she isn’t my favorite, then I have to say Gwen is one of the most visually striking figures I own in any line that I collect. The new female armored buck easily rivals anything we got in the first assortment, and nudges that bar up just a tad. The armor is just bulky enough to be convincing, and yet still keeps all of Gwen’s curves in tact. At the same time the sculpted detail here is just insane. Every over-lapping plate, every segmented hinge, every little rivet, strap, buckle, fastener, even the glimpses of chain mail exposed at the joints, it’s all lovingly crafted on this figure. To say nothing of the etched ornamentation present on the center stripe running down the chest plate. This is a fine example of T4H at the top of their game, and that’s really saying something, because their worst is on par with most other companies’ best.

Likewise, the paintwork on this figure has all the chops needed to compliment the sculpt. The sumptuous gold leaf paint used on the armor is rich and satiny with just the right amount of sheen. This stuff makes Sir Gideon’s gold armor look rather flat by comparison. Add to that the metallic purple used on the secondary panels, and you have a deco that really pops beautifully. And then we come to the finer details, like the individually painted silver buckles on those straps, the tiny silver painted rivets, and the slightly more gray finish of the exposed chainmail. The choice of colors, the quality of paint, and the precision of application are all excellent. One thing that’s different this time around is the joints on the figure are left unpainted. I think this was a good idea, as the painted joints in previous assortments would sometimes cause stuck joints and the paint would usually just rub off anyway as the joints were worked. In some areas, like the backs of the knees, it looks OK as the gray plastic sort of matches the chainmail. It’s a lot more obvious on the shoulder hinges, but only if you choose to display the figure without the shoulder armor.

Gwen comes out of the package wearing her helmeted head and it is a lovely portrait. The previous assortments of Mythic Legions didn’t feature a lot of human head sculpts, and I think that was a good thing, because I didn’t find any of the human portraits to be exceptional. Here, it feels like T4H upped their game a lot. Gwen is quite the looker, and I’m particularly impressed with the paint on display here. Both the eyes and lips have a really nice glossy finish to them and there’s a bit of rosiness to her cheeks. The form fitting helmet features the same luscious gold paint as the rest of her armor with a little of that metallic purple carrying over to the chin. And you can’t miss that monstrous purple plume spilling out of the back and flowing down the back of her head. It’s a separate piece that plugs into a socket at the back of the helmet.

While it’s a shame to mask all that beauty, the visor on Gwen’s helmet can be lowered into place to protect her from messing up her pretty face in the heat of battle. Between the classical design of the helmet and the gold paint, I’m instantly reminded of the vintage Marx Knights, and that’s not at all a bad thing. The protective bars on the visor are wide enough that you can easily see her face through the visor, and I really dig the pierced breathing holes down around the lower face. And since apparently two display options for the head aren’t enough…

We also get an un-helmeted head, and… Wow! Everything I said about the Gwen’s face on the helmeted head goes double here. I love the paint on her eyes and lips and I really dig the sweeping motion of her hair and the way it partially obscures the left side of her face. It adds some wonderful depth to the portrait, and I’m not even concerning myself with the fact that there’s no way she could get that coif contained within that form-fitting helmet of hers. I’m worried that deciding which head to display this figure with is going to keep me up at night. But then these are good problems to have. Let’s talk swords and belts…

Gwendolyn comes with the ubiquitous brown sword belt that we’ve seen with every Mythic Legions figure since the line began. Part of me wishes T4H had tweaked this design a bit, and maybe even worked on some proper scabbards, but then these belts work fine and I’m happy to keep them for aesthetic continuity. The belt rests loosely on her hips and the sword passes through the loop where it can rest on her hip, down the front, or as I like to do it, a little behind the hip. Any of these configurations work fine for her standard single-handed sword.

The sword itself appears to be new, but it’s extremely similar to the one included with her brother, Sir Gideon. Mythic Legions is a line that’s all about the economy of parts sharing and sometimes that’s more evident in the accessories than the actual figures. With that having been said, I like the no-nonsense design of the weapon. It’s got a classic cruciform hilt with a straight crossguard and a disc pommel. Gideon’s sword had a grip that swelled in the middle, whereas this one tapers toward the pommel. The hilt is all in gold with the blade painted a bright silver. Of course, when Gwen wants to make more of a statement…

She also has a much larger two-handed sword. As always, you have the option to use the belt as a shoulder strap to sling the sword diagonally across the back, which is great for Gwen’s larger sword. On the downside, this method works best when you remove one of the pieces of shoulder armor, and if you’re a fan of symmetry like I am, this may not be the look for you. It’s also worth noting that Gwen’s copious plume gets in the way a bit, but it will work.

This sword is a beautiful piece, with a golden hilt, extended grip, fluted pommel and down-sloping crossguard. There are even a pair of red painted crystals in the hilt. The long double-edged blade even features a pair of parrying flukes extending from the blade. One of the things about this line reusing so many weapons: When you get a new one like this, it sure is a treat!

Gwen also comes with a shield, and here we see some old and new. The shield itself is the same configuration we’ve seen dozens of times over. This one is even painted to match her brother’s although the size and placement of the crest is a little different. The edges are painted silver and the face is gold to match her armor. My shield has some notable scuffs and brush marks on it, which I’m going to assume is not intentional, although it does look like it could easily pass as weathering. So what’s different?

The grip! Gone is the plastic clip and in it’s place is this L-shaped grip, and I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, the old clips could be at risk of stressing and snapping the more you take them on and off the figure’s arm. Granted, I haven’t had that happen with any of mine, but it has happened with one of my Marvel Legends Captain America shields, and that works on the same design. Also, I sometimes worry about the clip scratching the paint on the figures when putting it on and taking it off. This new system definitely sets aside either of those concerns, and it certainly works, but it feels a lot more unwieldy. It looks fine when viewed from the front and you can still position the shield in almost any orientation, but when viewed from behind or the side I think it can look awkward. Of course, the peg it attaches to is the same, so you can feel free to swap it out with any of the shield clips from the older Mythic Legions figures.

I’d apologize for all the gushing, but when it comes to my Mythic Legions reviews, everyone should expect it by now. It seemed only right to start out with Gwen, since I started with her brother back when my Mythic Legions reviews began, and I think it was cool they offered another one of the Heavensbrand clan as a Backer Reward this time around. And thus begins what will be a long stretch of Mythic Legion Wednesdays as I work my way through this amazing collection of figures. I’m even going to do my best to squeeze another one in on a Tuesday or Wednesday when time allows. I know there have been smaller assortments of figures leaking out since the last Kickstarter, but damn it feels great to have a whole box of brand new Legions again!

 

 

Mythic Legions (The Coliseum): Black Knight Legion Builder by The Four Horsemen

The remaining stock from Mythic Legions: The Coliseum went on sale earlier this month and it reminded me of the old Matty Collector days. There were endless loading screens and in the end I got shut out. Now, I wasn’t all that upset, because I pre-ordered the figures I wanted the most, but with funds replenished, there were a few more I wanted to pick up. Luckily, a friend of mine double dipped on a few of them and instead of unloading them on Ebay at crazy prices, he sold me a couple at cost… one of those was the Black Knight Legion Builder!

I won’t dwell on the packaging, because it hasn’t changed at all. Instead, I’ll clarify for people new to Mythic Legions that the “Legion Builders” are basically figures with less paint apps that sell for a little less than the regular figures. These are designed as troop builders for people like me, or for customization fodder for people with talent in such things or, in other words, not me. I reviewed the Silver and Gold Knight Legion Builders way back in 2016, and what we’re dealing with here is more or less another repaint, this time in… you guessed it! Black!

Yup, from the neck down, Black Knight features the exact same body as each of the previous Knight Legion Builders, only this time covered in a rich and beautiful coat of shiny black paint. Despite being awash all in one color, I think the figure looks great, and that’s a testament to the incredible detail in the sculpt. You get sculpted chain-mail visible in the joints, panels of scroll work etched into the armor, and even all the little rivets and buckles and straps meant to be holding the plates on. I’ve considered having a go at his exposed chain mail parts with a silver Gundam Marker, but I’ll probably just leave him be and not risk messing him up.

As is always the case, Black Knight comes out of the package with his shoulder armor off, and honestly, he displays just fine without them if you choose to leave them off. Me? I like my knights with a little bulk to them, so I always display them with these pieces on. These pieces peg into holes in the back of the shoulders and can be angled a bit to allow for shoulder movement. To add a little pop to the all black deco, this fellow comes with a red plume for his helmet and a red sword belt. Yup, red! This is the first one of these that I got that wasn’t brown.

While the previous Knight Legion Builders came with only one head each, Black Knight comes with both styles: A Great Helm and a Renaissance-style Closed Helm. You only get one red plume, but it can be transferred to whichever helmet you choose to display him with. I adore both helmet sculpts, but I think the Great Helm works best with this black deco.

The Black Knight comes with two swords, a two-hander and a single-hand, and obviously we’ve seen these many times before. The two-hander has what strikes me as a very Tolkien-esque design and the other is just a stout and trusty cruciform broadsword. Typically, the Legion Builder weapons don’t have paint apps, and in this case, these swords are both silver. That works fine for me, although once again, I’m tempted to color in the grips.

As always, the belt can be used as a waist belt, to carry his sword on his hip, or as a shoulder strap to carry his sword (or swords) on his back. In fact, if you choose the shoulder strap, you can comfortably fit both swords in the belt slit. The downside here is that you have to remove the shoulder on the side that the hilts will be behind. It doesn’t look bad, and I’ve done this with some of my Orcs and Gladiator-style Legions figures, but I prefer my knights to have some symmetry.

The Black Knight also comes with a spear. Previous Knight Legion Builders came with shields, but this fellow does not. I’m guessing that’s because he came with the extra head instead. I’m cool with that. I’ve got plenty of shields in this line already.

I think this is a great figure, even if it is yet another recolor of the same old knight. I like that T4H mixed things up a bit this time by giving him an extra head instead of the shield, but with so many Mythic Legions figures dropping in each new offering, I wouldn’t be surprised if this fellow gets overlooked in favor of fresher characters. Indeed, Black Knight didn’t strike me as a “Must Have” when I was budgeting my pre-orders for The Coliseum, and as good as he is in hand, I still mostly feel that way. The main reason I wanted to add him to my collection was because I had the previous two Knight Legion Builders and it was bothering me that I wasn’t going to have a complete set. As it turns out, he’s probably my favorite of the three, or at the very least tied with Silver as my favorite. I’m certainly glad I was able to pick him up in the end.

Mythic Legions (The Coliseum): Brontus the Arena Troll by The Four Horsemen

Today, I thought I’d do a public service announcement by way of review. If you missed out on the Mythic Legions Advent of Decay Kickstarter, and you want to get in on some of these amazing figures, today is your last day to drop in pre-orders over at Store Horsemen. In the meantime, I’m opening the last of the figures that I picked up from small interim assortment called The Coliseum. These weren’t part of a Kickstarter, but rather went straight to pre-order and included a handful of regular figures and the third Deluxe Troll of the series. I already checked out Raygorr and Rahmulus, and now it’s time to have a look at Brontus the Arena Troll!

Brontus comes in a satisfyingly large window box that has a nice bit of heft to it.  The box is identical to the ones they used for the Forest and Stone Trolls and features some nice artwork and lets you get a good look at the big beastie inside. The packaging here is collector friendly, so long as you’re willing to practice a bit of patience when removing all the wire ties. I’ve actually been displaying my Stone Troll in the box up at the top of one of my display cases, and I’ll likely do the same with Brontus here. Sadly, I didn’t have the funds for the Forest Troll at the time, and unless T4H decide to do another run on him, I doubt he’ll ever wind up in my collection. There are usually just a couple on Ebay at any one time, and they sell for stupid amounts of money! Anyway, I’m not here to dwell on the past, so let’s get Brontus opened and check him out!

Here’s the big guy out of the box and in all his orange-y Troll glory. And damn, ain’t he pretty! Brontus uses a repaint of the exact same body as the Forest and Stone Trolls and it’s worth pointing out that this is an incredible sculpt. Every bit of him is covered with some kind of detail, including a leathery skin texture and various fissures and cracks here and there that suggest there is no word for moisturizer in the Troll language. The body is also studded with rock-like scales, which work pretty well on this guy and the Stone Troll, but felt a little out of place on the Forest Troll, which is why that one didn’t make the cut when I was budgeting what I was going to buy.

One of my favorite little details on the Troll body is the way his paunch that hangs over his belt, suggesting that this fellow is well fed on the bodies of his fallen foes. The belt itself is part of the body and has a cool hammered metal look to it as part of the sculpt, which matches his wrist cuffs perfectly. He’s also wearing a real fur diaper, which I believe is the same one that came on the Forest Troll. Under the fur there are leather-like strips that come down and these I’m not all that keen on. They’re made from a very stiff material and rather than hang naturally, they just sort of jut out in all different directions. I’m thinking I might be able to steam them to get them to fall more naturally, but that seems like a lot of work for something that is really just annoying. Brontus also comes with a rather long brass chain that goes around his neck and hangs down.

I can’t say enough good things about the coloring on this figure. The gradations of orange used for the body give him a real premium look and it looks like they used a subtle wash to really bring out all the little cracks and crevices in his disgusting Troll skin. Each of the rocky bits on his skin are individually painted too. His back reminds me of the Horta from the original Star Trek series, and that ain’t a bad thing!

The only new piece of sculpting on this guy is his head, and Brontus is indeed a cyclops, which meant I was powerless to resist this purchase. Why there aren’t more cyclops action figures is a mystery I will never understand. Whatever the case, this is a superb portrait and the paintwork T4H invested in Brontus’ one giant eye is absolutely superb. Couple that with the pointed ears, flat nose, and the broad down-turned mouth, and you’ve got a face that is brimming with personality. Brontus looks slightly pensive and more than a little sad. I don’t think he likes life at The Coliseum.

Because he uses the same body, the articulation here is identical to the previous Trolls. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, as well as swivels in the hips, ankles and wrists. The neck also has a swivel, but because of the way he’s hunched over it allows Brontus to tilt his head from side to side, rather than actually rotate it left and right. All in all, you aren’t getting a super articulated beast here, but the points of articulation are solid and useful, and strong ratchets in the shoulders mean that he can hold aloft his gigantic weapon, which in itself is no small feat. So let’s take a look at that weapon.

Brontus wields a giant troll skull mounted at the end of a tree and that’s one of the most badass things I’ve ever heard of. The handle is the same piece used for the Stone Troll’s giant boulder mace with a fresh coat of paint and sculpted iron bands with rivets to fortify the weapon. I really dig the way they have the nub of a branch coming off the handle, as this fits in between the fingers and helps him hold it securely. The skull itself has a bit of a wash to it, but overall looks like it was bleached in the sun before being converted into a weapon. Based on the configuration of the teeth, I’m thinking this is probably from a downed Stone Troll and love the fact that they put a massive iron spike at the end of it, as well as riveted a band of metal to help hold it together.

And there are a few shots of Brontus with Rocky, which is the name I chose for my Stone Troll. Considering that the bodies are shared 100%, I think they still look pretty distinctive from each other.

These guys also scale really well with the regular figures. Brontus towers over Rahmulus, and the troll hands are sculpted so that they can easily pick up and hold pretty much any Mythic Legions figure.

The Trolls were $100 at the time of pre-order and I’m pretty satisfied with that price, especially considering what they go for now on the secondary market. Yes, these are rotocast figures, and they would probably cost only a fraction of that if they were mass market releases, but it’s not like you’re seeing figures like this at retail these days. Plus, the quality of the sculpt and paint, along with how massive his weapon is, really justify the asking price here. If the Forest Troll went back up for pre-order, I’d grab one in a second and that should tell you just how much I love these big guys. And it might just be that the new Troll euphoria hasn’t worn off yet, but right now I’d say Brontus is my favorite of the bunch.

Mythic Legions (The Coliseum): Rahmulus by The Four Horsemen

Ah, there’s nothing like opening up a new Mythic Legions figure to give me a little boost of happiness in the middle of the week. As I mentioned last time, I only picked up two regular figures from The Coliseum assortment, and I checked out the first of those, Raygorr, last week. Today I’m opening up Rahmulus. I picked this guy up, mainly because he uses some of my favorite parts from other figures, and I also really dig the gritty deco. Let’s take a look…

I’ve got nothing new to say about the packaging and to be honest the bio here is a little on the dull side. Apparently, Rahmulus fought in the Coliseum beside his twin brother, until his sibling disappeared. Now Rahmulus plots to escape the Coliseum and find his lost brother. The bios in this line have always been hit or miss for me, and this one is definitely a miss. Based on the backstory, I’m guessing the name Rahmulus is a play on Romulus as in Romulus and Reemus from ancient Roman mythology, so that’s kind of cool. Hey, they can’t all be gems. Besides, I don’t need backstory to enjoy the figure.

And Rahmulus is indeed a beauty, there are a lot of easily recognized parts on this guy. The legs feature standard knight armor from the knees down and bare legs above the knees. The chest and back plate go all the way back to Gorgo Aetherblade, and was also used on the gladiators, Vitus and Pixxus. Instead of the ornamental gladiator belt worn by those champions, Rahmulus features the segmented leather scale armor skirt worn by some of the knights. His hands feature knight gauntlets, but the right arm is fully armored, whereas the left arm is left bare. Rahmulus features only one piece of shoulder armor, on the right, and he has a brown sword belt worn over his shoulder that allows his sword to be worn across his back.

The coloring here is comprised mostly of brown and black, with some cool flurries of other colors to keep things interesting. The leg armor has high gloss black and gold up near the knees and the boots gradually get brown and muddy as they go down to the toes. The skirt also features a gradient shift from black at the top to brown at the groin armor. All of the rivets are neatly painted in gold. The left gauntlet is glossy black with red and gold accents, while the right sleeve of armor is gold with red accents and gray chain-mail exposed in the joints. The torso armor is glossy black with red and gold striping, and the shoulder is brown with red and silver accents. I really like the way the glossy black paint on the armor is laid on like a thick lacquer and the tanned skin tone is nice and even throughout.

The Greek-style helmet is the same one we saw on Pixxus and Vitus, and it was probably this head more than anything else that instantly sold me on the figure. Besides just adoring this sculpt, I think it looks fantastic in the glossy black paint with the gold borders and scroll-work. The bright crimson comb on the top looks quite brilliant as well. For some reason, I thought I remembered an un-helmeted head coming with this guy, but that’s not the case. I was probably mixing him up with one of the others in the assortment.

You may remember that I felt Raygorr came up a little short in the accessories, but Rahmulus feels like he made out a little bit better. Both figures came with a sword and a sheild, but beyond that Raygorr only came with a dagger, but Rahmulus comes with a spear. I suppose you could argue that Raygorr came with an extra sword belt and two shoulders as opposed to Rahmulus’ one of each, but now we’re really starting to split hairs. The sword is actually the same one that came with Raygorr, only this time with the hilt painted entirely in black.

The shield is a real treat, because it’s not the usual heater-type shield with the groves in the side. Nope, this is the same circular shield that came with Pixxus, and when I say the same, I mean exactly the same, right down to the brilliant gold paint job. I’m not complaining, because even with all the Mythic Legions figures I have, I only owned one of these shields, so I’m quite content to have two now.

And that brings us to the spear, which is the same one that came with Vitus and Pixxus, this time painted with a black shaft and a silver tip. I’ve got no complaints about any of these weapons, they’re great, but I sort of wish T4H had dipped a little bit into the Weapon Kits from the first Kickstarter for this assortment of figures. Those are mostly only available now at crazy prices and it feels like some of those weapons haven’t gotten much circulation, whereas so many of the ones from the first Kickstarter figures have now been bundled over and over again.

While Rahmulus lacks a bit of the “wow factor” I got when I opened Raygorr, I still think this is an incredibly solid figure with a very cool deco. I love the selection of parts they went with here and I can practically see Rahmulus swinging his weapons against his foes in the dusty pits of The Coliseum. I won’t like, I’m already feeling those sharp pangs of regret about not getting more figures from this assortment, but I don’t feel any regrets over the two that I did choose. Rahmulus is yet another great addition to this line, and playing around with him is just making me want the Advent of Decay figures to get here all the sooner. In the meantime, I have one more figure to open from this assortment, and I hope to get to the big guy next week!

Mythic Legions (The Coliseum): Raygorr by The Four Horsemen

Advent of Decay is the next big set of releases for T4H’s wildly popular Mythic Legions series. I have about 35 figures coming to me from that Kickstarter and that’s not even everything. Unfortunately, it’s been delayed a bit and is now expected to arrive sometime in the mid to late Summer. In the meantime, T4H did a much smaller interim assortment called The Coliseum, which consisted of seven figures and one new Deluxe Troll. I was a little strapped for cash when these pre-orders dropped, so I didn’t go too deep here, but I did pick up two figures and the Troll. I may try to pick up a few more when the remaining stock goes up for sale, but those items usually go fast. Anyway, today I’m opening up what I suspect might be my favorite of the bunch, Raygorr!

T4H has yet to shake up the package design since the first figures shipped, and that’s fine by me. Raygorr comes on a generic Mythic Legions card with a large bubble, which can be opened without damaging anything. There’s an insert at the bottom of the bubble with the series logo and a little bio blurb on the side. The blurb on the insert tells us a little about Raygorr. Nicknamed “The Dragon,” Raygorr came to The Coliseum from a distant land and with a unique fighting style. Other contenders in the Coliseum are slaves made to fight for their lives, while Raygorr apparently goes for sport or some secret nefarious purpose. He’s just your everyday mysterious badass.

And oh boy, does he look the part! As you probably know by now, Mythic Legions uses a clever system of interchangeable parts, which allows T4H to mix and match to make new figures. In this case, Raygorr uses the torso and tabard from Sir Gideon, the belt, and bare arms and legs from Vitus, the boots and gloves of the Orcs, and the helmet and shoulders from Gorgo Aetherblade. It’s an eclectic mix that works beautifully and continues to prove that T4H still have some great looking combinations up their sleeves.

Naturally, everything has also received a fresh coat of paint, and I really dig the color combinations here. The tabard is crimson and matches the trim on his shoulders. The boots, gloves, neck guard, and helmet are all a striking deep metallic blue with some lighter blue to give it a little more variety. The belt is a mix of tan and brown with some lovely gold paint on the giant belt buckle and on the fixtures. Finally, the skin is cast in a tanned flesh color. The paint T4H uses on this line has always had a premium look to it, and that trend continues here.

Also evident here are all the extra little touches in the sculpt that I really appreciate. The armored boots and gloves have pitting and nicks from battle. The belt is textured to look like real leather with some frayed and worn edges, and the sculpting evident in that belt buckle is a work of art all on its own.

You have two display options for Raygorr’s helmet. He comes out of the package with these giant black horns, and I think they look great. And since they’re socketed into the helmet, you can even change the angles.

The other option are these bitchin’ wings, and these are what I’m going to go with most of the time. There’s something about this look that just sings to me. I think it makes him look like both royalty and a mighty warrior. Almost like some kind of Duke of War. Hmm… Anyway, the two tone blue coloring on the helmet really looks fantastic. Personally, I would have given him a couple of red eyes peering out from the black void of an eye slit, but either way, this head sculpt just looks grand.

Raygorr does show up a little light on the accessories, but what he does have is plenty good. For starters, he comes with not one, but two of the ubiquitous Mythic Legions brown sword belts. One comes on the figure, worn as a shoulder strap and I’ve opted not to use the other, because I don’t want to cover up that beautiful belt he has. His sword is the same sculpt that I first saw bundled with Gorgo Aetherblade. It’s a classical fantasy design with gold hilt and grip and a stout silver blade. If you opt to give him the brown waist-belt, he can carry it there. You can also remove one of his shoulders and have him wear it across his back. It looks pretty good slung back there, but I prefer he keep both his shoulders.

Next he comes with one of the cool little no-nonsense daggers. This one has a gold guard and pommel and the grip is painted blue to match his boots and gauntlets. There’s a loop on his main belt that he can tuck his dagger into. The loop is a little too snug to work that well with the sword, but you could probably make it fit if you really wanted to.

Finally, Raygorr comes with the typical Mythic Legions shield. The shield includes a pegged wrist clip, so you can angle the shield however you want and independent of the position of the arm. The border is painted silver with a red front surface and a black dragon emblem to advertise Raygorr’s nickname. The accessories here are all great, but it’s worth pointing out that these figures typically come with one more big weapon, like a spear, battle axe, or extra sword. But I’ve got a lot of extra weapons from this line if I really wanted to give him something else, so I’m not complaining.

The way The Coliseum was presented made it feel like a thrown-together ad hoc line of filler to bridge the gap between the two Kickstarters, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at this guy. I’ve now opened and reviewed over 25 Mythic Legions figures and this line continues to impress me. And despite being entirely constructed of parts pillaged from previous figures, Raygorr still feels like he was designed from the ground up. That’s the genius of T4H and their eye for design. I’m not going to say that Raygorr is among my favorite Mythic Legions figures, because I say that almost every time I open a new one, but… Oh, OK. He’s one of my favorites.

Mythic Legions: Templar Legion Builder by The Four Horsemen

There’s a lot going on with Mythic Legions these days. The Advent of Decay Series looks like it’s on course for a Summer release, I just got an email to confirm my shipping address for The Colosseum figures, and T4H will be reopening pre-orders for Advent of Decay at the end of this month. For a while, I was keeping a reserve of figures to hold me over, opening and reviewing one of them every month or so. But now I’m down to my very last one and I can’t hold off any longer. Let’s check out the Templar Legion Builder!

T4H has yet to make any notable changes to the Mythic Legions packaging. Will they for the new series? I guess we’ll find out this Summer. In the meantime, I still like what we got. The figure comes on a generic card with a very large bubble that lets the figure do most of the talking. There’s a bubble insert with the Mythic Legions logo on the front and the side panel has a little bio personalized for the character. These are totally collector friendly as well. If you’re unfamiliar with the subtleties of the line, the Legion Builders are slightly cheaper figures with fewer paint apps, and intended as army fodder for collectors who take the word Legions in Mythic Legions very seriously. Also, if this guy looks familiar, that’s because he’s basically the troop-builder version of Sir Godfrey.

Since I already reviewed Sir Godfrey, I’ll focus on some comparisons here. And yes, it’s easy to see that this Templar has more in common with Godfrey than not. Below the neck, the body is identical from the armor to the tabard. The only difference in the armor sculpt is the that this Templar comes with a rather pronounced neck guard. However, he also comes with the more diminished one that Godfrey has, so you can swap it out if you want to make them look even more alike. The tabard is painted identically to Godfrey’s, with a striking red cross against an immaculate white background, but this Templar does not feature the gold accents on the armor that Godfrey’s has.

The Templar wears the same Great Helm as Godfrey with the same reinforced gold strips forming a cross on the front. However, the individual rivets on the rest of the helmet are not painted gold. And while Godfrey’s helmet features a noble plume coming off the top, this Templar has a simple spike. I dig it a lot!

As with most Mythic Legions figures, you also get a pair of shoulders, which peg into holes in the back. These are completely different from Godfrey’s, so between the reinforced neck guard and these new shoulders, the Templar does start to look a little more distinctive. I really like the combination of the two, and while it’s nice to have options, I display almost all of my Legions figures with their shoulder armor on. And I’ve got to say, even with about a dozen Mythic Legions Knights in my collection, the novelty has yet to wear off. I find myself still falling in love with these when opening another. The sculpted detail is as superb as ever, from the tiny rivets and scrollwork etched on the plates, to the exposed chain mail in the joints. And the silver armor matched with the classic white and red Templar colors makes for a fantastic looking figure. Shall we move on to accessories?

Obviously, the Templar comes with the same brown sword belt we’ve been getting with just about every figure. The sword itself is the same mold as Sir Godfrey’s, but the hilt is painted all in one color and it’s more of a pale bronze than the deeper gold used for the pommel and cross-guard on Godfrey’s. It has a nice, stout blade and looks like a serviceable weapon for a rank-and-file knight.

The shield, on the other hand, is identical to Godfrey’s in every way. It’s sort of a Kite Shield only with the sides curving inward and a crest along the top edge. The face is painted white with a red cross to match the tabard. On the inside, there’s a swiveling clip to attach it to the Templar’s wrist. I still like this system a lot as you can orientate the shield whichever way you like independent of the position of the arm. I still wish T4H would release plugs for the figures’ back with pegs so they can wear the shields on their backs when not using them.

Next up, he comes with a really cool halberd, and this is the first time I’ve seen this weapon in the line. It may have been released in one of the weapons packs, but it wasn’t bundled with any of the figures in my collection. The shaft is gold with a pointed cap at the bottom and the silver blade on the op features a rather stylish profile. I hope we get some more of these bundled with figures in the future.

And last but not least, the Templar comes with his standard set atop a pole. It’s the same idea as the one that came with Baron Volligar, only with a different crest, and obviously a different flag. T4H released a bunch of these battle standards in separate sets, but like the weapons packs, I passed on them so I could funnel more money into the actual figures. I can’t say I regret passing on them, but I am glad to finally have a couple.

I’ve always been fascinated by the Templars, and Sir Godfrey is one of my favorite figures in the entire Mythic Legion line. I KNOW I SAY THAT ABOUT ALMOST EVERY ONE! SHUT UP! THIS TIME I MEAN IT!!! So it should come as no surprise that this Templar Legion Builder is up there pretty high too. For a while I thought maybe he was too similar to Godfrey and I shouldn’t have bought him, but now I’m kind of wishing I had picked up two, so I could have them flanking Godrey on each side, one with the battle standard raised high and another with the halberd, both poised to defend their Commander. And that brings me to the end of my run on the current Mythic Legions line. I’m hoping to get word on the Coliseum figures shipping soon, but I only picked up two figures from that set, plus the Cyclops, which won’t be shipping until later. Then it’s just a short wait until Summer when Advent of Decay hits and I’ll be swimming in these awesome figures once again.

Just a quick disclaimer, there’s a very good chance I won’t be posting any content tomorrow due to real life intrusions. If I do get a chance to whip something up, it’ll probably post later in the afternoon, but no promises. Either way, I’ll be back for Anime Saturday. 

Mythic Legions All-Stars 2.0 Final Eight Revealed!

The Four Horsemen have finally revealed the lineup for their All-Stars 2.0 Pre-Order and it’s made me a very happy camper. These are eight previously offered figures that will be once again made available to collectors later this month.

The eight finalists were drawn by fan votes, but all that matters to me is that Carpathias made the cut. This popular and illusive vampire was one of the figures that I had to pull from my original Kickstarter Add Ons, because I ran out of money and running out of money is stupid and lame, and I really wanted him. Of course, he was also one of the figures that shot up in price on the secondary market, but then you could say that about a lot of the Mythic Legions figures. The fact that T4H added more vampires to the second Kickstarter made me want him all the more.

Anyway, the complete list consists of Vorgus Vermillius (The Blood Armor), Attila Leossyr, Bog Goblin, Carpathias, Attlus the Conqueror, the Standard Skeleton Legion Builder, Pixxus, and Jorund Runeshaper! It looks like T4H are also tacking on two extra figures as first time offerings, and teasing the possibility of adding on two additional Legion Builders as well.

I’m only missing two out of these eight, so in addition to Carpathias, I’ll likely be picking up the Bog Goblin as well, and probably one or two more Skeleton Legion Builders. Besides Carpathias, I suspect Pixxus will be the other offering most people are happy to see. He’s a beautiful figure and another that has skyrocketed on the second-hand market.

If you’re looking to pick up any of these figures to fill out your collection, or your looking to dive in to Mythic Legions for the first time, these figures will be going up for Pre-order on Friday, Jan. 19th at 3pm EST at StoreHorsemen.com. Pre-Orders will be open for three weeks.