The latest kit from my little brother Man Jin Kim at MJ Miniatures arrived in a surprisingly large brown box adorned with the box art by one of my favourite, new age, figure painters Anson Chen, a Chinese artist who is starting to make a few decent impressions in the hobby. This is a 1/9, polyurethane kit traditionally sculpted by Choong Sik Lee and comprises of sixteen parts and a nicely tooled plinth. The parts come in ziplock bags inside lengths of bubble wrap.
First impressions are very good, the sculpt due to the nature of its subject, is quite raw, brutal and over large but on closer inspection you notice the smaller details (however, some details in my opinion still lack a degree of subtlety) and the incredible textures. This Orc is brutal in stature and makes me think of a nomadic, hunter type warrior, capable of bringing down the biggest foe or prey with his primitive yet deadly array of weapons.
SCULPT AND CAST
Despite the various armaments, this is a traditional, head and shoulders bust. Starting with the main piece of the kit, the torso, you witness a mixture of the brutal sculpting that creates the textures to the hair, skin and material and the more subtle detailing to the teeth, chain-mail and patterns to the waist-belt. There are many details to this bust that suggest our orc is a hunter of some description or another, with the teeth and bone fetishes coupled with the shrunken-skull necklace. The torso is the main piece and as such is studded throughout with pegs and holes to house the various other parts.
The torso shows a heavily muscled creature with an anatomy that seems accurate considering the various muscle groups across shoulders, neck and chest.
We have another large piece that fits to the back, covered in fur and houses the “quiver” of spears and the rather brutal looking, bone handled flat sword shaped chopper and strapped scabbard. We now start to the tell the story of The Orc!
Within the design of this piece we have an oversized “quiver” that has three holes present for each of the flint stone spears, take care gluing these as it is not obvious which spear goes in to which hole, to the right of this are the pegs that will fit inside the holes of the rather large bone handled broad sword looking chopper.
His left shoulder guard looks like the chitinous shell of some giant insect or crustacean with four holes to take the four variously sized spikes. The guard has a nice shape and design but again the finer details are quite “rough and ready” although the texture is really well done. The right shoulder guard, again looks chitinous in its nature but this time includes a skull mounted to its surface.
Again great textures and fits in with the hunter/warrior character of the Orc. There are a couple of small parts that look like teeth or bone splinters and are incorporated as fetishes in the Orcs top knot. The remaining parts include the two small swords/daggers, crisscrossed across his belt and again they fit via a selection of holes and pegs.
Due to the size of the bust and it’s individual components some parts may need a little gap filling, perhaps with a green stuff wash. Clean up of the parts is minimal with some small pieces of excess resin and plugs requiring removal and filing smooth, a quick wash in some soapy water to remove the casting residues and you should be good to go.
DESIGN AND ORIGINALITY
The design of the sculpt is very nice and well considered as is the composition. The face is framed wonderfully by the oversized shoulder armour, although you will need to pay particular attention to how you paint the face and armour so as to ensure the focus is not drawn to the less important areas.
The weapons upon his back offer a nice silhouette and keeps the sculpt balanced and adds the feeling of weight and mass to the strong, healthy orc. I can see the traditional influences in the design and it does have the ring of Moria (no pun intended) about it even though his build is larger and his teeth and tusks protrude.
Let us be honest here, another orc isn’t breaking the boundaries of what is currently considered original, there aren’t that many original sculpts coming out, it is almost as if “if it ain’t broken, don’t mend it”. However, looking beyond the fact that it’s an orc, it’s design, anatomy and attire all help to make this particular orc stand out from the crowd.
This is quite a large kit and provides us with a little dilemma, on one hand it could be a time consuming project and quite challenging to paint all of those different elements and yet maintain harmony, on the other hand one could argue that because of its size, the details should be much easier to paint and the large surfaces are perfect for painting textures.
The fantasy genre remains a very healthy sector of our hobby and I believe this piece will be very popular.
The kit costs $75 (approximately £55) which is a reasonable price point for this size of bust. MJ Miniatures have a variety of dealers and distributors worldwide, so finding one near you to keep postage costs down is a great way to keep costs down. In addition ordering direct through MJ Miniatures also provides you with free shipping on any order over $31! The bust comes highly recommended, MJ Miniatures continue to provide us with an eclectic wealth of figures and busts across the various genres!
DATES, FIGURES AND STUFF
Material Polyurethane Resin
No of Pieces 17
Release Date Available Now
How Did It Fare?
Another great release by Man Jin Kim at MJ Miniatures, although in my opinion it lacks the subtlety of some of their previous releases.