April 13, 2013

REVIEW - Celtic Warrior


SUBJECT

Celtic Warrior, 3rd Century B.C.
Art Girona - Ref. RG70/16
70 mm - Metal
Sculpted by Raul Garcia Latorre
Box art by Roman Navarro




PARTS











MY PERSONAL IMPRESSIONS

This is a very straightforward miniature made up of only 5 parts. It is also a very typical representation of the barbaric warrior we all came to know during our history lessons at school based on the descriptions left to us by their ancient Greek and Roman opponents: ferocious and brave, fighting savagely, unorganized and barely dressed, slashing with the terrible long sword - their weapon of choice - at any enemy. In that respect the bare torso and feet of the miniature fits this image. And the agressive and challenging stance, with the severed head of a slain enemy being held in the left hand, completes it all. 

Nowadays historians tend to adjust the picture of the Celtic warriors given by the ancient writers, but historical correct or not, I like the figure very much as it is being presented to us by master sculptor Raul Garcia Latorre.

When I opened the box for the first time, I noticed that the sword sat heavily bend in the little plastic bag containing the smaller parts. There was also a crack just above the hand and when I tried to straighten the blade the joint broke completely. Things like this do happen but luckily the piece was replaced most kindly by my usual model shop CA VA ALLER within a week.

The casting quality is generally excellent though a bit soft in some areas. For instance, on my copy detail on the torques around the neck and upper arms has lost its sharpness during the casting process. Although not really necessary, I decided already that these will be replaced when I start preparing the miniature. On the other hand, detail on the sword and scabard is great. Overall the fit of parts is good also but the joints will have to be filled a tiny bit to smooth them out, although this may be remedied already by the sculpting of the new torques. I also like the facial features and the representation of the starched and raised hair, which seemed to be a Celtic warrior tradition to impress the enemy. Finally I can only say that the cleaning up phase will be fast and without any problem.

Contrary to the preparation of this miniature, I think its painting stage will be less straightforward. In fact, it looks deviously simple as there is seemingly not much detail to paint. It is not an obligation but the trousers scream out to be painted in a tartan design. Colours will have to be muted, however, since the ancient plant based dyes were not as bright as the chemical dyes used in our modern age weaving industry. The skintone covering one halve of the miniature will have to be rendered convincingly too, not to speak about the Celtic tatoo designs to complete the overall picture. It does not happen frequently that one gets two heads for the price of one, be it a severed one and a grim reminder of the gruesome facts of ancient armed conflict. The painting of this decapitated head will be a challenge, but the rule of thumb is to keep it as 'tasteful' as possible. Less will be more... 

Since this is a miniature in a combat stance, it will pay off to spend a lot of care to the weathering process also. Adding dirt, bruises, cuts and blood will have to be carried out very thoughtfully. A nice excercise though!

I like this Art Girona release a lot and I can recommend it without any reservation. In my opinion this Spanish manufacturer has many very interesting miniatures in its catalogue.


BOX ART PHOTOS


© Art Girona - Painted by Roman Navarro

Sorry, sadly enough there is only one photo of the box art available, but I gladly refer to this version by the hands of Piotr Kalinowski.



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