Man Jin Kim is like a brother to me and he has supported me on everything I have tried to achieve within our miniature world, I am really happy to continue our collaboration and look forward to his future releases in 2017. MJ Miniatures, in a similar vein to Nuts Planet, release a prolific amount of high quality and eclectic miniatures and busts covering a wide range of genres.
The kit arrived in a sturdy brown box adorned with the boxart by MJ himself. The kit is secured within ziplock bags wrapped in bubble wrap, the kit only comprises of four parts, including a turned pedestal to mount to a plinth.
It is cast in brown, polyyurethane resin, which was a bit of a surprise. First impressions are very good and seeing the sculpt in real life makes me realise how versatile the piece truly is giving the chaotic and somewhat illustrative feel that MJ achieved with his paintjob.
Chaos is a concept which has been around for many decades, appearing in various game systems, roll playing games, cinema, comics and literature. For me Chaos involves disorder, evil, corruption and is entwined with Lovecraftian concepts of godlike tentacled abominations, cults and mysteries unfathomable to the human mind. The basis of Chaos over the decades has changed to mirror the current affairs of mankind and society. Many of us will be familiar with the Chaos pantheons as laid out by Games Workshop and their Warhammer and 40K game play.
“The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.”
SCULPT AND CAST
This piece is sculpted by the incredible Romain van den Bogaert and displays his trademark signature; character, emotion and life! It is traditionally sculpted and is of the head and shoulder version of bust, with just two further pieces, an axe and the top knot of hair.
The sculpt depicts what appears to me to be a hulking chaos marauder, a warrior of immense strength and prowess, a warrior I can imagine, raping and pillaging, murdering and committing despicable crimes, all in the name of Chaos. Romain has crammed the piece full of details and textures, the facial features are expressive, in my opinion he seems brooding and thoughtful.
His eyes are hooded, the nose strong and broad, high cheekbones and solid jawline, the ears, oversized and protruding displaying attention to detail and correct anatomy. He has a bull neck, cords of muscle reaching from the neck down upon his muscular chest. with folds of skin along his nape. Moving down to his shoulder, the musculature again is anatomically correct.
There are textures throughout the skin surface, veins, wrinkles, folds, creases, stubble, scars and imperfections. Textures are one of the prevalent traits of Romain’s sculpts and this is evident throughout the other elements, the armour has so many planes, surfaces and details it should be a great canvass to paint upon.
The large armour to the right shoulder has a texturised surface with scratches and blemishes, it is multi faceted with harsh delineations created by sharp ridges. It could be surmised that this armour, may be a segment of hardened bone, dragon hide, or some other organic, skeletal form. It could just as easily be metallic in form, iron or steel. Same with the rather ornate chest armour with the engraved skull motif.
The chest armour also boasts a nice decorative trim to the edging and is held in place by a pair of leather straps, complete with buckles. The straps show really good undercuts as do the other elements of armour. There is a small section of ridged armour across his upper back with a hole to receive the peg to attach the section of axe.
The axe is really easy to attach and has quite a unique shape with the haft being flat and angular rather than round. The weapon looks crude and brutal with chips and scratches to the surface of the blade. The topknot is nicely rendered but rather plain and there is not much I can say about it, the fit to the head is good with no need for gap filling. I am undecided if I were to paint this bust whether I would include the topknot at all or merely fill the hole in the head.
The cast is great, the colour of the material was a bit of a surprise, yet when I removed the excess resin blocks, the resin behaved exactly the same as always, the quality is very good. There is one slight mold line than runs down the centre of the shoulder blades but should pose no issue to remove and sand smooth. There are some casting plugs to remove from the axe head, along the bottom of the armour and at the very edge of the sculpt but there are no major defects such as casting slippages or air bubble holes.
DESIGN AND ORIGINALITY
The style of the bust is traditional in the sense that it consists of just head and shoulders but the general design is well balanced, it is anatomically correct, great volumes, with lots of details and textures. Romain is a great character designer and the sculpt is full of life and passion, barbarians and the such are not particularly unique, being the mainstay of the fantasy genre, yet Romain always manages to sculpt in a way that makes his creations unique each and every time.
I particularly like the armour, the chest armour offers much scope to create something unique and original with the painting. The axe being attached and at an angle over the left shoulder balances the oversized shoulder armour on its’ right. It has been sculpted in a meticulous manner, paying attention to volumes and good design.
MJ’s boxart of this bust is particularly expressive, brave and bold. It clearly draws inspiration from a selection of various Jokers from Batman’s DC universe. As much as I can appreciate the creativity and uniqueness of this paintjob I can not help but think in some ways it detracts from how good the sculpt actually is. I hope that hasn’t put people off purchasing the bust as it really is very nice. This is a 1/9 scale bust sculpted by perhaps the greatest figure sculptor alive on the planet today and for $60 offers good value for money.
I believe it will make for a very interesting and rewarding paintjob and is another great addition to the MJ Miniatures catalogue.
At $60 it is at the upper end of what I would pay for any other bust, however, with free airmail shipping on orders over $30 and baring in mind the expense involved in commissioning one of the greatest sculptors on the planet, I still think this is good value for money.
DATES, FIGURES AND STUFF
Material Polyurethane Resin
No of Pieces 3 plus pedestal
Release Date Available Now
Where Can I Get It? HERE