Northern Cheyenne Warrior

This is pretty obvious to most folks that know me, but I collect western action figures.  Quite a few western action figures.  Way too many western action figures.

Mike Gauldin at Dog Soldiers has been doing custom figures for some time.  His work uses amazing detail and historical accurateness that you don't see in most customs. Demand seemed high, so he made the next step and produced his first 'production' figure.  This is the 12" Northern Cheyenne Warrior.

You can buy them directly from his site for $40 plus shipping.  He plans to produce several more figures, and I believe an Apache Warrior is next.  I have no idea just how high the production runs are on these.

Packaging - ***
Pretty nice work for someone starting out.  There are only five twistie ties holding the figure in the box, so you don't have to ruin anything to get him out.  The graphics on the box are also on the web site, and the insert has some terrific historical information on the Native Americans represented by this figure. 

Articulation - **
The body that's being used is not up to the standards of our current expectations.  Dragon and 21st Century have ruined us!  He has a cut joint neck and waist, ball jointed shoulders and hips, elbows, wrists, knees and ankles.  Think early 90's Joes.  But even then there's good news - swapping the head to most other bodies would be pretty easy.

Accessories - ****
There are three accessories - a spear, tomahawk and shield.  All three are extremely nice.  The shield is made of a very strong material, painted in Cheyenne colors and design.  The tomahawk is a British style pipe/tomahawk combination.  But the spear is the real standout here!  It is wrapped from top to bottom, and has eagle feathers along it's length.  The spear head is excellent, and the material used is very stiff, sturdy plastic.  Exceptional! 

Sculpting - ***1/2
Mike has been doing custom heads for awhile now, and his Native American sculpts are certainly better than anything currently on the market.  The head material is softer than most currently on the market, but it makes swapping the head on to other more articulated bodies easy.

The hair is rooted, very tight and very well done.  The braids are tight, and the paint work on his face is nicely done.

Also newly sculpted are the hands and feet.  The oversized hands of the early Joes weren't appropriate of course, and Mike resculpted new hands based on the Johnny West line.  The feet are intended to be more accurately sized for a figure that would be barefoot, or only wearing moccasins.  Both sculpts are well done.

Value - **1/2
Part of the problem in doing very low run figures like this is that it's tough to produce them at the same kind of price that large production, main stream products can.  Forty bucks is a little steep - but it's really not that bad.

Outfit - ***
The best part of this outfit is the embroidery.  The beadwork has been embroidered, and the quality is excellent.  The material used isn't quite as good as I'd like, particularly the moccasins. But the style is authentic, far more authentic than anything I've seen on other retail figures.  The stitching is great, particularly on the 'leggings', and I'm really impressed.

Overall - ***
 I'm quite impressed with this first result from Dog Soldiers.  I'll be ordering the Apache Warrior as soon as possible, and expect that things will continue to move upward from here.  The body needs to improve, and perhaps some of the cloth materials could be a little higher quality, but overall it's an excellent figure.






Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour