Australian Light Horseman

Werbal returns tonight with another terrific Sideshow review, accompanied by beautiful photos from Hiroxion - take it away, guys!

Werbal_Kint from the Toymania forums again, with yet another Sideshow review! No, I do not work for Sideshow, but with all the free promotion I give them and all the products I buy they might as well have me on some sort of commission! Today, I take a look at the latest (I fear, possibly, the last for awhile) figure in the Bayonets and Barbed Wire line, the Australian Lighthorseman. Again, thanks to Hiroxion with photography help.

Australians today take great pride in their young nation's great personal sacrifice in World War I. The Australia/New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) troops suffered the highest percentage of casualties of ANY involved nation; a third of all troops were killed or wounded by the war's end in 1918. The heroes of the ANZAC are many, and they include the Lighthorsemen, one of the history's last successful cavalry units.

Packaging - ****
Sideshow always does great work on their packaging. This box follows in the B and B style by placing a recruitment poster on the front box flap, a stylistic choice I have always loved. The box is 100% collector friendly, and the inner flap has a volume of informative text about the Horsemen's service. No problems on this front.

Sculpting - ***1/2
I have always loved Sideshow's head sculpts. They have an attitude and expressiveness about them that is lacking on the stoic Dragon and BBI figures. For the Horseman they chose a somewhat keen-eyed, squinting expression that I think is just awesome, but other may not like it as much. The head has a somewhat obvious mold-line on it though, which detracts a bit, but it's not noticeable with the hat on.

(I think he looks a bit like Tim Roth, while Hiroxion thinks he looks closer Martin Sheen.)

Paint - ***
The paint on the head is excellent, but mine had a few spots of bleeding at the hairline. It's not major, particularly with the hat on, but at this price point is should be near-perfect.

The paint on the Enfield is a little sloppy as well, with lots of bleed over from the wood to the metal. I also don't care for the choice of color for the wood-grain; the original Enfield that came with the Scottish Black Watch figure (wayyyy back in Wave 1) looked much better in terms of paint ops, and I may end up switching it out.

Articulation - ****
This uses the standard Sideshow body; tight joints with a nice range of movements. Not the most articulated 6th scale body, but I'm not going to beat-down an already good thing.

Accessories - ***
I already mentioned the problems with the paint on the Enfield, but I thought I would also mention that when you open the bolt, you can see a tiny painted brass shell in the chamber. A nice detail. The canteen is well sculpted and is a major improvement over the canteen that came with the British Lewis Gunner.
One major problem, though, was that my bayonet can't fit into the scabbard! This is the first time I've ever had a problem like this in the line, so I assume I just got unlucky and ended up with a mold error.

Oh, and the stand is mine. He doesn't come with one. A shame.

Outfit - ****
The outfit consists of several different pieces; boots with spurs, riding pants, tunic, belt with pouches, ammo bandolier, and an Aussie felt hat.

The boots are a brand new sculpt and they look fan-freaking sweet. It was a good choice on Sideshow's part to sculpt the leggings instead of using pleather or something similar.

The riding pants and tunic both have exceptional tailoring with excellent little details. The pants are the same high-quality corduroy material that came with Pershing. The tunic fits great, and has a number of intricately stitched buttons that help to add to the figure's unique appearance. Some of the best details are the shoulder ranking. See those little gold bars at the edge of the tunic? They say "Australia" in teeny tiny lettering. A very nice touch.

The bandolier and belt are both done well, and faux leather finish on the bandolier is wonderful.

Do I need to say anything about the hat? This is a Sideshow figure. It fits great, as does the chinstrap, and the Emu feather is truly dashing. Sideshow should sell loose, generic hats for customizers.

Value - **
To quote my wallet "OUCH!"

The average high-end 6th scale figure runs about $30-35. Sideshow wants $50. You can do the math and see that this figure is overpriced by a fair amount. 

It is a very well crafted figure, and is limited to just 3,000, but there's no reason he should be more than $40. I've got some options at the end of the article to help you save some green.

Overall - ***
This is a great figure, but there's no way I can give him a higher rating when Sideshow's Pershing figure was just as good, more limited, and cost just as much. Military collectors should love this guy, but casual collectors are definitely going to do a double take on that damn price.

Where to Buy:
Believe it or not, Sideshow actually sold out of this guy when he was still in Pre-orders! Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives.

- Monkey Depot has him for $45. I've never ordered from them before, but 6th collectors I've talked to have nothing but praise.

- Voyager Toys is where I got him for $45. Not much cheaper, but they always have good service.

-War Toys has him for $36! That's a very good deal. They have very fast shipping too. Get him there before he's gone.

Figures from the collection of Werbal Kint.  Photos by Hiroxian.

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