Ignite's Knight of Outremer

In the modern military, the uniforms are just damn dull.  Oh sure, they server their purpose, and some might argue that keeping the soldier alive and well is more important than style.  And I'd have to agree.

But that doesn't make the uniforms - at least combat uniforms - any less dull.  And that's something those old world warriors had going for them.  They might have gotten slaughtered on the battle field, but they looked damn good doing it.

Obviously, I'm joking.  But it is true that in ancient military battles, being hidden or difficult to see wasn't a priority.  You (and your opponents) were simply going to march up to each other and start wailing away.  For them, color and symbol were important, and that really makes the sixth scale representation of these early warriors stand out in the collection.

Ignite has been doing an exceptional job of producing detailed, museum quality 12" action figures for the past couple years.  I've reviewed a number of them - the Crusader and Viking, the Gladiator, and the Napoleon Guard - and have always been impressed by the quality.

The latest release is the Knight of Outremer.  The actually have two versions, and the one I'm reviewing here is version I.  Prices for this figure range from $60 - $75, depending on the retailer.

Packaging - ***1/2
The packaging from Ignite is well done, with nice graphics, great text, and a collector friendly design that allows everything to be removed and put back if you so desire.

If there's one thing I would change, it would be making the box a little sturdier.  They still tend to be a little too easy to damage and crush, and with attractive boxes such as these, that's too bad.

Sculpting - ***
Ignite's strength isn't their sculpting, but they do a decent job.  Most of the head sculpts are designed to look like someone famous, but if that's the case this time, I'm not seeing it.  That's not a problem though, and I actually prefer when they go for a generic look that matches with the time and place of the warrior.

They've used a moderate expression, not showing too much emotion, but not coming off as a zombie.  It's not extremely detailed, but certainly has an appropriate level for this style of figure.

Paint - ***1/2
Again, while the paint ops are solid, they aren't the shining moment for this figure or really any others from Ignite.  Now, I'm not talking about the paint work on the accessories here - I'll get to that later - but rather the figure itself.

The face paint is well done, especially the eyes, and there's not a glossy appearance.

Articulation - ***1/2
The Ignite bodies are very light weight, highly articulated, and a great example of the high end in the sixth scale market.

In past reviews, they haven't scored quite as well as this time, because of loose joints.  I'm happy to report that was not an issue at all this time around, even with the metal accessories.  I had no trouble with the figure standing in a variety of poses, and keeping the pose for long periods of time.

Accessories - ****
Ah, yes, now we start getting into the beauty of an Ignite figure.  I love die cast metal accessories, when done right.  Done poorly, and they are too heavy, often out of scale, and difficult to use.  None of those problems exist with this figure.

This knight comes with a sword (metal) that fits nicely in a plastic (not cloth!) scabbard.  The scabbard attaches to a belt that works best around the shoulders, rather than around the hips, and all the belts come with well designed buckles.

He also has a knife (metal), that fits perfectly in another plastic sheath.  The knife is intended to simply slip inside his belt.

There's also his funky hat (metal), which looks like it could easily withstand a pretty serious blow, and his shield (plastic) that has a terrific crest painted on the front of white lions on a red background.  The shield also has one of the most complex belt/buckle/arm padding designs I've ever seen in this scale, and has a belt that allows it to be slung over his shoulders.

The accessories are all excellent, and I'm particularly impressed with how light weight the sword and knife are.  The metal is very thin, and therefore pretty dangerous as well - these are not toys for young kids.

Outfit - ****
The next big area of strength is in the historically accurate costuming.  I've already mentioned the hat, but there's so much more to this figure.

Clearly, the Knights of Outremer were like ogres and onions - they have layers.  Under his removable cloak is his faux chain metal tunic, which extends down his legs to protect the outside of his thighs.  Under this is another red tunic, and under that, ANOTHER third, white, long shirt.  This guy is definitely bundled up for the harsh weather.

His faux chain metal leggings are actually that, and only go up to the top of his thighs.  There they attach to a leather garter and belt arrangement, and underneath is a pair of undies and black cloth leggings to protect his delicates from the harsh metal.

The material used for the fake chain metal works great, because it's thin.  While I like the look of the rubber chain metal used by Dragon, that wouldn't have worked with multiple layers like this because it's simply too thick.

Fun Factor - ***
If you have an older child who could be responsible with the very sharp weapons, and who is fascinated by the history of warriors, this figure would be great.  But this is not a toy for children, and someone could easily stab someone else with the knife or sword.  Hell, I stabbed myself with the knife just being clumsy!

Value - **
These figures are definitely 'high end'.  At $60, the value isn't too bad, but I've seen them selling for as much as $75, and that's a tough pill to swallow.  Of course, this is directly due to the exceptional outfits and accessories, and you won't find many figures nicer than these.  But you have to be a real connoisseur of ancient fighters to be able to justify picking up many of these.

Overall - ***1/2
You shouldn't throw the term 'museum quality' around lightly, but it's something that can easily be said about this figure.  It's tremendously detailed and historically accurate, with very few corners being cut.  That's reflected in the price however, and with Dragon knocking on the door with figures in the $40 price range, it puts a crunch on Ignite.  What you're getting for your extra $20 or so is the kind of detail work in the layers of clothing that you rarely see, and the die cast metal accessories.

Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ****
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy - 
None of my sponsors carry these, but the Ignite web site has a listing of a variety of on-line retailers.  They also have photos of some of their other recent releases, including the second version of the Knight of Outremer, and a terrific Viking Mercenary!

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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