The Knight of the North arrived in a very nice, wrap around black box adorned with the boxart painted by Luca Olivieri. It is a twelve part white metal, 75mm scale figure sculpted by the incredible Antonio Zapatero. The kit includes a relatively simple base and the parts come in a ziplock bag nestled between layers of foam. First impressions are very good let us take a closer look.
The kit comes with two head options and depicts a knight circa 13th century although it seems relatively generic.
In addition, Luca definitely pulled off a Game of Thrones inspired paintjob. I believe this figure offers the painter a lot of scope and variety and indeed can easily act as a crossover between fantasy and historical genres.
SCULPT AND CAST
The sculpt is exquisite, well balanced, with good design principles and some very good details and textures. The main piece constitutes the abdomen and legs and two additional pieces (left and right) form the flowing tunic which attaches nicely via pin and socket assembly around the waistline. Beneath this is the chainmail hauberk and padded gambeson.
The belt shows sharp undercuts and cinches the fabric beneath nicely with flowing and natural looking folds and creases. There is nice detailing to the various trims also. The two parts of the cloak may need gap filling which would be a shame as painting this figure in sub assemblies and attaching the cloak pieces afterwards may have been the best solution.
Additional touches include the spurs at the rear of the boots, the cross pendant around his neck and the chainmail sleeves. Dry fitting the arms shows no need for gap filling which is great news as replicating the chainmail pattern with putty may have proven tricky. The arms attach via rather large square pegs and settle in natural positions, in other words there is only one way to attach them correctly.
Moving onto the head options. The bare head has a startling resemblance to Jon Snow with nice detailing to the hair. The facial features look delicate and well formed. The great helm ties this figure to the 13th century as it was only in use between 12th and 14th centuries, the Crusader era.
The helm wasn’t worn throughout battle, as it was too heavy and cumbersome, was generally discarded after the initial charge, this little piece of information is useful as adding it to the scenic base as extra detailing would help to tell a story and lend some historical accuracy to your work.
The shield is very nice with a great shape and shows attention to detail; the cloth wrapped over the rim of the wood and studded into place, the reverse showing the panelling and the padded area where the knights hand would hold and support the shield is nicely done too. Many times this particular detail is omitted in historical sculpts. There are two studs to the interior that fit nicely to the holes of the left arm, completing the illusion he is holding the shield handle and strap.
The sword is slender and to scale and fits nicely to the right arm, rested across his shoulder, a pause in battle perhaps? It arrived slightly bent and will need reshaping, take care to keep this piece as flat as possible whilst it sits in your stash! The scabbard attaches via a pin and hole assembly to his left hand side, oddly the little dagger has a pin yet I could find no hole in the position the dagger is shown in the boxart, but still shouldn’t pose any difficulty to attach.
The cast is wonderful, there are slight moldines or flash around the perimeter of some parts and a moldline down one leg but soft rubbing with some wire wool and a gently scrape with your hobby knife will easily fix this. A quick wash of the part, assemble, prime and you’re ready to start your new project.
DESIGN AND ORIGINALITY
The design and composition of the piece is well considered and balanced. The detailing is great and the sculpt allows you to blur the boundaries between fantasy and historical. The pose is attractive and adds a dimension of storytelling to what is otherwise a static figure.
It is always difficult to claim an historical figure is original as so many of the eras and peoples have been extensively covered and there are restraints to ones imagination and creativity. However, Antonio’s decision to sculpt the knight in the likeness of Jon Snow definitely opens up more options and creates a more original piece.
This kit can easily appeal to figure painters of several genres, Antonio Zapatero is a master sculptor, the detailing is exquisite, the composition is balanced.I believe this figure is highly desirable and definitely on my “to do” list!
At 45€, this kit represents good value for money and is priced fairly and competitively. The price shouldn’t be an issue for anyone in our hobby. Overall I firmly believe that the latest releases from BestSoldiers are some of the very best currently on the market!
DATES, FIGURES AND STUFF
Material White Metal
No of Pieces 12
Release Date Available Now
Where Can I Get It? HERE