Powhiri, Maori Warrior – the PRELUDE
Oh man I have been sat on this for a while, so much going on at the moment what with the magazine and my own painting projects for the rebirth of Folkestone in the form of Euro Miniature Expo in September, some things have gone on the back burner. So what do we have here? The kit from DG Artwork, depicts a Maori Warrior from New Zealand displaying the ritual greeting of Powhiri and is cast in 1/9 scale and consists of 14 polyurethane resin parts, all of superb sculpt and cast quality. This is a traditional bust in the true sense, being that it comprises head and shoulders and comes with an optional piece in the shape of the fibre made cloak. We then have 11 further parts plus a pedestal rod to attach the bust to your chosen plinth. These parts were sealed in ziplock bags and everything is nestled safely between layers of foam. We also have a printed sheet of Moko (tattoo) designs which is a nice touch, these are also available to download as a PDF, to keep as a resource, from DG Artwork’s site.
The box is black and sturdy, adorned with the box art by Dae-Hyeong Kim, who also sculpted the piece. We have further art on one side and on the reverse too, showing the painted version from several angles and close ups. It is a very nice tribute to these tribal people.
SCULPT AND CAST
Starting with the main piece we have our Maori Warrior in full display, eyes wide, neck muscles straining and tongue fully extended, an image we would all have seen at the start of a Rugby match involving the All Blacks. These are a proud, warrior people who were feared in the past for their ferocity and courage, fighting many battles against the British, especially during the Victorian era and Powhiri the bust captures all of this strength and aggression in its’ cast. The anatomy looks particularly well done, attention taken to the muscle groups, broad shouldered, barrel chested and corded muscle to the neckline.
There is excellent texture to the hair which is pulled up high into the “man bun”, the hair that doesn’t reach is left lying down to the base of the neck another nice touch of realism. Around the neck we have the cord and directly below this we have a hole to receive your choice of pendant for the necklace. The facial features are particularly expressive as everything is so extreme in this exaggerated expression. The work to the eyes, nose and mouth is particularly impressive, the mouth going the extra mile showing gums and perfectly rendered teeth. We always talk about the face being the focal point and it should not be too difficult to achieve that with this sculpt! The ears again show nice detailing, something I missed on first viewing is the delicate rings that pierce the lower lobe edge, very nice, these will be used to attach the ear ring decoration, take care.
The cloak again displays very nice textures with neatly worked braiding along its sewn edge. This is the piece that can be added or left off, giving the painter a choice on where to focus his efforts with the brush. Then we are on to the “headdress”, the collection of feathers and combs, will be interesting to see how tricky these prove to affix in the correct manner! Pay attention to what goes where too, it may have been a good idea to have cast similar parts on the same sprue, so for instance, keep the pendants together, likewise earrings and also feathers and comb. That way you would know immediately which parts needed going where, but I am being quite pedantic. Attaching the choice of earrings and feathers will require time and care, I would also suggest pre drilling holes to the hair ready to accept the feathers and comb. The feathers are a good shape and size, showing nice detailing too as does the wooden comb. The pendant displayed in the box art is a very nice design indeed.
The casting is good also although there are one or two mold lines and the resin plugs will need cutting away and filing smooth. Take care removing the small parts from the sprue so as not to damage them, there are no major defects such as air bubble holes or casting slippages. Highly recommended!
DESIGN AND ORIGINALITY
The design is straightforward depicting the traditional bust styling, everything is added for a reason, there is no redundancy in the design whatsoever. The addition or not of the cloak is a very nice touch, particularly for this bust. By that I mean that if you add it, then you get to add additional contrast and texture, whereas if you forego the cloak then you can really go to town with the tribal tattooing. Most tattoos do not appear as black, they are more of a blue green black and if I remember correctly, the Maori did not use black ink, so a little research on this would be beneficial. This is a subject that we don’t really see much of and DG has done an admirable task of representing and at the same time paying tribute to the proud Maori people.
Anyone that has an interest in New Zealand history and culture will surely love this piece as will anyone else who enjoys painting warrior/barbarian type sculpts. This bust offers a range of painting options and the opportunity to try your hand at some Maori tattoos could be an interesting exercise in its own right! DG Artwork have an ever growing eclectic catalogue of interesting historical and fantasy sculpts.
As always the releases from DG Artwork represent good value for money and at $55 this is another great kit for a competitive price, let’s face it we all know by now that any new release is going to have a similar price point. The quality of sculpt, cast and packaging along with their own original designs makes DG quite a force in the miniature market.
Dates, Figures and Stuff
Material Polyurethane Resin
No of Pieces 14
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?
Powhiri is a wonderful tribute to the Maori people of New Zealand, expressive, detailed and full of texture. A1/9 bust full of painting possibilities with the addition of freehand tattoos. Highly recommended.