So we continue our collaboration and support for Aradia Miniatures with this review of their latest fantastical beast Paganus (from Pagus pertaining to countryside, rustic and rural). The kit arrived safe and secure in their customary clampack, the lid adorned with the concept sketch, parts sealed in ziplock bags, the creature is sculpted by the talented Benoit Cauchies based on the Concept Art by Stefano Moroni.
Many of the parts are attached to sprues, the polyurethane resin is of a dark grey colour and is quite hard, the kit has been sculpted in 75mm scale and I was fortunate enough to receive the special edition that comes with the Queen of Satyrs. Paganus is depicted here as a bipedal, half man half ram, as a protective shepherd. First impressions are very good and will be my next fantasy project that I will personally paint.
SCULPT AND CAST
The sculpt is so exciting in my opinion and full of wonderful volumes, textures and details. The main piece consists of head, torso and legs. The head of the Ram and the furry lower leg, fetlock and hooves upon the brutish, muscular torso of a man represents either an anthropomorphic form or which I prefer due to Aradia’s take on mythology, this could be an example of therianthropy. The term comes from the Greek theríon, meaning “wild animal” or “beast” and anthrōpos, meaning “human being.” It was used to refer to the folklore of animal transformation during 20th century Europe.
The head whilst bestial has an almost peaceful, serene feel to it, the texture to the wool around the top of the head and shoulders is wonderful. The torso has accurately sculpted musculature, powerful and brutal but not overdone, the muscles to the back, unlike others I have observed, are not excessive and is also balanced. I am currently in the process of building the kit, having glued the arms in place it is evident that a small amount of gap filling will be required. My issue currently is trying to work which of the small set of legs belongs to the lamb in his right arm!
Our shepherd has a loincloth, front and back, wrapped around the waist using a thick sash, to the centre we have a canine looking skull, it is very easy to imagine this as another unfortunate wolf. The textures and detailing to the garment are really nice. The legs are powerful and display large muscles, fur begins from just below the knee and travels down to the hooves. Again the texture and rendering to these elements is first class.
The left arm ends at the wrist and we need to attach the hand clutching the dead wolf, detailing to the hand such as the rough knuckles and veins continues the detailing seen across the whole of the skin surface. The wolf, held by the scruff of it’s neck shows natural positioning, hanging limp and lifeless.
The fur pulled tight over it’s forehead and the tongue lolling from it’s mouth are nice touches and hint to the attention to detail that Benoit has invested in this kit. Because the join of hand to wrist is perfect with no gap filling needed, I am leaning towards painting this separately and attaching at the end of the project.
We also find two smaller parts that finish off the shepherd’s assembly, a horn and a brutal chopper. Both of which attach via small peg and hole assembly, once glued in place they look like they are attached via lengths of cord, which are sculpted directly upon the torso. My copy came with the Queen of the Satyrs, to sit across the shoulders, nonchalantly resting upon the shepherd, one finger of her left hand almost toying with her hair. My good friends also added in the other Satyr as a little gift and I am very thankful.
The casting is not as good as some other company’s work that I am use too, but nevertheless clean up should not be that much of an issue. I prepared and assembled mine within the hour, now I just need to fill the gaps around the joins of the arms, wash in some soapy water and prime the kit.
There was some flash and moldlines, in particular to the legs, the parts need removing from their sprues and filing smooth, there were no major defects such as air bubble holes or casting slippages.
DESIGN AND ORIGINALITY
I believe Aradia is THE company that has fully bought into the concept to create original and unique fantasy creatures based around a central concept i.e. their world of Aradia, more than anyone else in the figure painting world. Each new release is based on an original concept influenced by myth and folklore, no time for dwarves and elves here!
This figure tells more of a narrative than many of the new releases I have seen in the last couple of years and the design is well considered, the composition balanced. The pose whilst not in motion still manages to look dynamic as it carries one rescued lamb, cradled in the right arm, whilst the left holds the recently slain Wolf, clearly caught in the act of trying to maim the shepherds’ flock.
Even with the addition of the Satyr across his shoulders, the composition remains balanced. The boxart by Mirko Cavalloni perfectly encapsulates the character, atmosphere and environment imagined for the kit.
This is a highly original concept and sculpt, taking their premises of nature, fantasy and heroic creatures, blending them together to create something unique and interesting. I take my hat off to the team in doing this, it is certainly a risk in a market proven to always like and fall for the tired old genres of Orc, naked females and hulking barbarians.
I spoke briefly with the guys and they had this to say ” regarding the character simply, we wanted to represent a sheep not hunted by a wolf but…a sheep that has hunted a wolf! We wanted to give a touch of tenderness to the figure (lamb): the shepherd Paganus has saved his baby lamb from the jaws of a wolf”.
Aradia Miniatures have built quite the cult following with their catalogue and their ideas and each release is warmly received by the figure painting community. The concept for this particular piece I believe will be highly desired and the LIMITED VERSION should sell very well in my opinion, get yours soon!!
There are two price points, either €50 or €55, depending on whether you take the extra satyr. Either way, all things considered I still believe it offers good value for money. One thing I wish Aradia would do is include some sort of concept art card and/or stickers, many figure companies do this and it makes the purchase feel a little bit more special and tempting.
Dates, Figures and Stuff
Material Polyurethane Resin
No of Pieces 21 parts
Release Date Available Now
Where Can I Get It? HERE[ABTM id=3764]