Packaging - ***1/2
With each release, Dog Soldiers have improved their packaging. For such a
small company, this really is an impressive effort. There's a ton of
great, informational text on the back, with useful illustrations, and the box is
very sturdy. It's not super collector friendly, as there are a ton of
twisties, but it would be possible to put him back in the box if you wanted to
spend a little effort. Overall the packaging looks great, is very sturdy,
and a very solid effort from such a small company.
Sculpting - ***
The head sculpt is fairly generic, but the look is somewhat blank. A
slightly more intense or personal look would go a long way to improving the
head. However, there's no technical fault here, but more of an issue of
design and feel.
He has rooted red hair, a nice change of pace from the traditional blonde
Norsemen, but a sculpted beard. I don't mind the contrast of the two types
of hair, but I'm betting some folks will have an issue with it. He also
suffers from VPB - Viking Pattern Baldness - but I'm surprised they had any
scalp left at all wearing these helmets. The beard has a very historical
style to it, once again proving how wacky men have been with their facial hair
through the years.
The hands are a hard plastic, sculpted to handle the accessories well.
One is more open than the other and better designed to hold the shield.
In comparing with with the Ignite version, I'd say that this head sculpt
isn't quite as attractive, and lacks the quiet intensity of the Ahnold sculpt
they used, but is clearly far more historically accurate in it's
You'll also notice in comparing the two just how varied 'sixth scale' can
be. This figure is a good half-head shorter than the Ignite version.
Paint - ***1/2
The majority of the paint ops are on the face and accessories. In both
cases, they are extremely well done.
The definition between the beard and face is very clean, as is the edge of
the eyebrows. The eyes are well centered and straight, and the skin tone
looks realistic, with no sign of the 'zombie' look.
All of the detail work on the accessories looks great, and is clean and
even. The use of silver paint on the weapons instead of real metal is
never quite as convincing of course, but they do a decent job with it.
Again, comparing to Ignite's version, the paint ops are close but not quite
as good. It's not a major difference, but worth noting.
Articulation - **1/2
The Dog Soldiers bodies fall below those used by many of the top end companies
like Sideshow or bbi, but that's not surprising considering the comparable cost
and size of the operation.
For the person looking for a historically accurate figure though, who may not
consider articulation their top priority, there's probably enough. With
neck, ball jointed shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, ball jointed hips,
knees and ankles. The knees are clickers, which helps give them more
strength than other lines. In fact, all the joints are nice and tight, and
I had no trouble keeping him standing.
Accessories - ***1/2
There's no shortage of accessories here, and the quality and accuracy is
There is the helmet, with a strap to hold it on, spear, axe, knife with
scabbard, sword with scabbard, shield, and amulet. All these accessories
are molded plastic.
The shield fits nicely in his left hand, and looks great painted in red and
black. All the other weapons except the knife fit nicely in one of his
hands. The knife and sword also look great in the sheath or scabbard on
the belt, and there's a ton of detail work in the sculpting of the axe and
For a thirty dollar sixth scale figure, you're getting a very good assortment
of well sculpted, nicely painted and well designed accessories. No, they
aren't the real metal accessories that Ignite provides, but they don't cost
nearly as much either.
Outfit - ***
This score is *this* close to another half star. If Ignite's stuff
didn't exist, I'm betting it would have made it.
There's the pants, cloth wrap boots, shirt, 'chain mail' tunic, and
belt. The quality of the materials is all very good, and the tailoring is
well done. The material used for the chain mail isn't as heavy or
realistic as what was used by Ignite, and the edges aren't hemmed, but in
comparing to lines OTHER than Ignite, these fair very well.
There's also a cape included with a nice snap. The cape is hemmed, and
made from heavy material. It looks great, and works fine. While
Ignite had more layers to their clothing, including a pleather tunic under the
mail tunic, they didn't have the cape.
My only disappointment in the costume was the boots. The wrapped material
didn't look quite as good as I'd hoped.
Value - ***
At thirty bucks, this figure is a solid value. It's not a steal, but
you can't expect to get a steal from a small company producing a limited number
of figures. In fact, that Dog Soldiers can do these at this price is a testament
to their savvy.
Ignite barely managed a three star score here, but there's no doubt that
these deserve at least three stars.
Overall - ***
This was a tough call, and this figure is awfully close to making that jump
to ***1/2. Had the head sculpt been slightly more impressive, or the
quality of the mail tunic just a little more like the Ignite version, it would
have made that extra half star.
Still, if you're not interested in spending $50 - $60 on the Ignite version,
this is a more than adequate substitute. You're getting a solid value
here, and he looks great on the shelf. He'll hold his own with your other
figures including those by bbi and Dragon, and add a little variety.
Where to Buy -
I picked him up directly from the company off the website
- that's your best bet!