The General – the PRELUDE
BestSoldiers at the end of the first quarter of 2017 released this kit, The General, sculpted by the uber talented Antonio Zapatero, it is another incredible addition to their own back catalogue of historical subjects. This is a 75mm scale kit that comes with two alternative heads, one bare and the other with plumed helm, it also comes with a basic, textured square base and is cast in high quality soft, white metal. The kit arrived in it’s customary, wraparound black box adorned with the boxart by Danillo Cartacci. The parts were sealed in ziplock bags and nestled between layers of foam. First impressions on opening the box are very good indeed!
SCULPT AND CAST
The kit predominantly consists of two main elements the torso with legs and the heavy cloak. Then we have the two heads, a square textured base, arms and weapons. The General is full of details from the carefully rendered fur of the wolf pelt, to the ornate armour, leather pteruges, right down to the laced winter boots. From an untrained eye this looks incredibly historically accurate and the attention to detail is second to none with sharp undercuts throughout and believable and realistic folds and creases present where appropriate. The figure is posed with wide shoulders, broad chest and left leg forward, an imposing character and suitably heroic.
I dry fitted the arms and I have to be honest that there does not seem an intuitive fit, it will take time and a little preparation to make sure that you attach these correctly and I would definitely suggest pinning the arms. The Gladius is nicely sculpted too, with a suitable thickness to the blade with simple detailing to the handle and pommel with short hand guard. Again for securing the hand to the wrist I would suggest pinning is the best way forward. The broad and short scabbard attaches easily enough to the left hip via a peg and hole assembly and again sports some nice embossed detailing. The cloak is realistic once more in it’s design, no frivolous folds blowing in the wind, just a heavy fabric, draped over the shoulders and hanging low to the back of the calves. At the top we have one of the wolf pelt legs sculpted to the cloak and you will need to fill the gap between the cloak and pelt.
The two heads are both very nice sculpts, the bare head shows the muscular and determined features of a seasoned fighter with the regulatory short haircut, whereas the helmed version in my opinion shows a more tired and gaunt looking General. Both faces are expertly sculpted with clear and defined facial features. This gives you two very different versions of the same kit and the detailing to the helm is very nice, the plume sits directly atop via a small peg and hole assembly but care will need to be taken to ensure it is secure and correctly aligned.
The cast is very good indeed, some minor flash needs removing around the edges of various parts and there are no major defects whatsoever. As I mentioned before preparation will be vital, make sure you pin the arms and dry fit it several times to make sure you have everything lined up correctly.
DEISGN AND ORIGINALTY
The kit boasts a very nice design and offers an instantly recognisable silhouette. The design is balanced and realistic, there is no redundancy here, everything is needed to tell the narrative without the sculptor indulging himself. The relatively simple head swap totally changes the nature of the kit, on the one hand we have the somewhat challenging and aggressive bare headed version whilst that with the helm speaks of a beleaguered General in the midst of some campaign. Everything about the sculpt is balanced, the level of detailing is superb, Antonio has done another great piece for Best Soldiers.
Antonio Zapatero is a master of his craft, an award winning sculptor, whose work for Best Soldiers is always of the highest standard and is warmly received by their fan base. Everything about this latest release is of the highest quality, from sculpt, cast, presentation and in addition, as always the customer service is excellent. The kit will clearly appeal to the fans of Antonio’s work along with the historical genre, Roman subjects are without doubt one of the most popular of the eras and I believe this is another highly desirable release.
As with anything in life, you get what you pay for and if you expect high end products, you can expect high end prices. However, at €47 for a 75mm figure of this quality I believe that Best Soldiers have maintained a competitive price point. It always amazes me how companies can emply a sculptor, box artist, do the casting, packaging etc and still offer a great product to the community for a reasonable price.
Dates, Figures and Stuff
Material White Metal
No of Pieces 10
Release Date Available Now
Where Can I Get It? HERE
Jason Martin is an award-winning painter, student of the arts and head honcho at Figurementors. His heavy metal listening, ex-forces exterior belies his true passion – to help you succeed on your personal journey to become a better figure painter.
How Did It Fare?
A wonderful historical sculpt by Antonio Zapatero, The General, for BestSoldiers! A wealth of detail and a wonderful subject for the experienced historical painter!