Monkey King – the PRELUDE
Monkey King is the latest bust release from the always prolific NutsPlanet, sculpted by Romain van den Bogaert, the kit comprises five parts (plus a turned mounting rod), sculpted to 1/10 scale and cast in polyurethane resin. It arrived in its now customary blue box, adorned with the boxart by Myeong-Ha Hwang, with additional angles of the boxart along the reverse side of the box. The parts are nestled between layers of shaped foam and first impressions are very good indeed, the casting is also incredibly well done!
“The punkiest monkey that ever popped”!
SCULPT AND CAST
So many of us grew up with one incarnation or another of Monkey, whether from the original TV series back in the seventies or the more recent big screen releases including Monkey King 2. Romain has taken inspirations from throughout the characters’ history and added his own touch to create a unique rendition of our popular, cult hero.
Assembly is straight forward and the joins are good, we may need a little green stuff for the join of the neck, a putty wash maybe. The head is wonderful, Simian and anthropomorphic in nature, the hair of the jaw line and head is swept back and flowing, replicating the effects from the series and movies as he flies acrobatically through the air. The extended lower jaw and teeth that fill the mouth really are reminiscent of Chimpanzee anatomy and the clumps and strands of the hair are perfectly rendered. One of the major strengths with the sculptors’ works is the level of texture to all the elements, which provides the painter with a wonderful canvas to paint upon.
The Monkey King (Sun Wukong) bust is almost the traditional type, consisting predominantly of head and shoulders (plus left upper arm) and the anatomy seems particularly well done, with the small ribs nicely detailed and the stretch of the chest muscle to the shoulder, a great observation with the raised arm. The bust displays strength and agility and little details such as the exposed gums, veins, wrinkled nose and stretched skin across the lower chest are all indicators of a seasoned pro.
The cloak does not have any natural location pins but still should not be an issue and the folds and textures are natural and realistic looking. The gem necklace sculpted around his neck and under the strap is beautifully presented with sharp undercuts throughout. The staff is presented as a small section and attached across the back and sits under the cloak, nice level of detailing here too. Yet the most impressive detailing is reserved for the Oriental inspire shoulder guard, the intricate pattern is sublime and perfectly captured by the cast. In fact as always with the casting by NutsPlanet the quality is very high indeed. Preparation will largely consist of removing any excess resin and casting plugs, filing them smooth, a quick bath in some soapy water and you are done!
DESIGN AND ORIGINALITY
As always our little world of figure painting is heavily influenced by what is big and popular with “pop culture” yet I have not really seen to many figures depicting Monkey, although Limbo Miniatures have recently produced a very nice kit of their own, you can get yours HERE. The design is quite dynamic and creates a flowing silhouette, I do think though if the staff was held in the hand and across the shoulders, in the pose that we saw so often in the series and is particularly iconic, it may have created something instantly recognisable. However, this decision may have come about to ensure a good design and thematic to make the bust as original as possible. I really like it!
NutsPlanet have a large back catalogue and every new release is met with warm regard, add to the mix the amazing talents of Romain and I am sure this kit will be particularly successful. The level of detailing, the textures, the beautiful cast and presentation, the iconic and Cult character, should all contribute to another wonderful release.
At $60 I consider this a competitive and attractive price point, even more so for those not living in the UK! It always comes down to personal taste and the disposable income you have available for your hobby, yet in this case the price does seem incredibly good. Highly recommended!
Dates, Figures and Stuff
Material. Polyurethane Resin
No of Pieces. 5
Release Date Available Now
Where Can I Get It? HERE[ABTM id=3764]