Timeline 12" Lord Arnaut

Everyone loves Michael Crichton books.  Okay, not everyone, but enough people to make him a very rich man.  Unfortunately, they've mangled every one of his books when translating it to the screen.

Jurassic Park was a decent film, but bore little resemblance to the book.  Other attempts like Congo were simply awful.  But fans had high hopes for the newest - Timeline.

I haven't had the pleasure of seeing it yet, but the critics have not been kind.  However, Dragon picked up the license to produce a set of 12" figures based on the film, and for those of you into period figures, it's a dream come true.

There are actually 5 figures in the lineup.  It includes Andre Marek, DeKere (another very cool knight), Kate Erikson, and Chris Johnston. They retail for around $33 - $40, depending on the character and the store.  Today, I'm covering Lord Arnaut, one of the two very cool knight characters.

Packaging - ***1/2
Dragon does very good sixth scale packaging, often with great graphics and collector friendly.  This package follows that trend.

They've used photos from the film, and made sure that if you want to replace all the parts and figure, you can do so without causing any package damage.

Sculpting - ***
You won't be buying this figure for the head sculpt.  It's not terrible, but it's not exceptionally close to the source material.  Like many Dragon sculpts, he has a bit of that zombie appearance, and the hair - which is a separate removable piece - is pretty average.

Paint - **1/2
The biggest problem the sculpt has isn't the sculpt - it's the paint ops.  They don't do much to compliment the figure, and he suffers from a pretty common problem with Dragon.

The paint on the face is quite shiny, and not a particularly realistic tone.  The brown of the hair is consistent, but with no variation or shading.  They did try to go with some gray shading in the beard (which I don't see in the photos of the character, oddly enough), but this doesn't turn out very well.  Heads just aren't Dragon's strong suit.

Articulation - ***1/2
Arnaut has all the joints you've come to expect from a high end 12" figure, and the majority are unrestricted.  Some of the armor does block a few of the joints, but that's to be expected with this kind of figure.  It's not as bad as a photo might make it appear - the shoes are separate from the leg armor, and all the ankle articulation can be used, and the top of the leg armor is not attached to the leg, so the knee still has a wide range of motion.

He doesn't have floppy joints either, something that still plagues Ignite.  You'll have little trouble getting him standing, and he'll hold his pose, at least the basic ones, easily.  The joints are 'clicky', and hold their position well.

Outfit - ***1/2
There will be comparisons between this figure and Ignite's Crusader - it's bound to happen.

Rather than use material to simulate chain mail, the Dragon Arnaut uses rubber.  The rubber chain mail tunic works pretty well, and there's a rubber cowl as well.  The hair is removable, so that the chain mail cowl and helmet can fit on the head.  This works pretty well, and both the cowl and hair fit the head nice and tight.

The rubber chain mail is actually in several pieces.  The arms are separate from the body tunic, so that there is no restriction in the movement of the ball jointed shoulders.  Likewise, the leggings are separate, allowing the legs to have full range of motion.

The blue cloth tunic over the chain mail is well designed and tailored, but the edges aren't hemmed.  I'm sure they couldn't figure out how to do that with such small cuts on the shoulder pieces, but without the hemming they will eventually have unraveled threads.

The sculpting on the helmet and various armor is good, and the armor fits the body well.  It's a rubber as well, although it is stiff enough to appear more 'metallic'.  The belt has a hole to attach the sword's sheath, and that's a pretty neat design idea.  It works much better than threading the belt through the back of the sheath.  It pops on and off easily, and looks great.

There's also some interesting mud and dirt effects on the armor, which work fairly well.  Overall, the sculpting, paint and tailoring of the whole outfit is extremely good.  The only thing stopping this one from four stars is the lack of a hem around the decorative edge.

Accessories - ***
Another area that will be compared to Ignite's figures is the accessories.  While Ignite goes with die cast metal in most areas, Dragon stuck with plastic.

That's not a huge problem here though.  The sword is a tad brittle, but it's certainly not suffering from the droopies.  He also has a small knife and sheath that can be fit into his belt, but the black painted blades on both the knife and sword aren't nearly as impressive as the buffed metal of Ignite.

The shield is very similar, although it's slightly smaller than I would have expected.  He also comes with a amulet that goes around his neck, right out of the movie, which looks okay, but doesn't fit as well with the hair as it does without.

There are two cowls to take advantage of the with hair vs. without hair look.  One has the cowl up over his head of course, while the other has it down around his neck.  It's this second cowl that the necklace does not fit on quite as well.

Value - ***
I paid $40 for Arnaut, and I like him enough that I'll be buying DeKere - the other knight - for $40 as well.  Considering that the Ignite stuff tends to run $50 - $60, this is a decent price.

Overall - ***1/2
This figure was a boderline ***1/2, almost dipping down to ***.  The head sculpt and shiny paint ops on the face are it's biggest problem.  The accessories aren't quite as nice as what you'll get with Ignite, but they are decent and acceptable.  And I really like the uniform and the design of the overall outfit.

Where to Buy - 
I don't have any local stores that carry these.  Online options include:

- Red Planet Toys carries a wide variety of sixth scale items.  They haven't gotten this one in stock yet, but do have Ignite's version of the Crusader and Viking.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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