(and a number of other manufacturers, big and small) have had some
serious issues with their paint operations lately, their sculpts
haven't had the same issues. Underneath the sometimes less than quality
paint work has been some great sculpts, unable to find their way out.
sculpting on Santiago is excellent, with tons of small detail work and
a very accurate head sculpt. Thankfully, the paint supports
terrific sculpt and allows it to come through. More on that
the next section. Santiago stands just a hair over 7" tall.
In many ways, capturing a video
is much easier than reproducing a real one. The look is a bit
more static, and is often given slightly excessive features to add
personality to the character. That allows the sculptor to have features
to focus on and highlight, allowing them to draw your eye to specific
That's very true here, but
a wonderful realism to the textured skin, stubble beard, and detailed
hair that takes this figure above the average.
To reproduce true
reality requires a lot of detail. Nothing should look like plain
plastic, no matter how minor it might seem. Here, NECA shows how that
works. They've given the metal plating a dimpled, carved look, with a
softer, wrinkled appeance to the clothing and bags. The skin
a slight texture, just enough to see in person but not enough to make
him appear pock marked.
They used softer rubber for the
holster, a very smart move. The gun fits nicely in side, and
the little pegs that hold the flap shut work correctly, and quite
They also went with the softer
rubber for the shoulder
pads, allowing the shoulders to have their full range of movement.
These pads look just like the rest of the armor though, with no
different in texture or detail.
This is one of the nicest
in this scale I've seen this year, and I can only assume that fans of
the game are going to be very pleased with the quality.
Paint - ***1/2
I honestly can't believe that this figure came out of the same plant as
the recent Cult Classis series 7. There's simply no
between the quaity of the paint on this figure and the work on
something like Stuntman Mike.
paint work here, on the eyebrows, hair line, facial hair, and even the
light stubble looks excellent. The skin tone is even and realistic, and
the quality of the facial hair and stubble continues to impress me.
If they'd done this with the Stuntman Mike sculpt, he would
scored so much higher.
The excellent work extends to
armor, where the weathering and damage is highlighted through the
exceptional paint applications. Some of the wash might be a little
heavy for you, depending on your tastes, and that's true for me.
There's a bit more wash on the clothing than I think they
need, but they have done an
excellent job bringing out both the fantastic small detail sculpting as
well as giving him a very realistic weathered appearance.
even used a variety of matte and gloss finishes to differentiate
various items that would be made from different materials. For example,
the boots and shin guards which would be a hard, protective material,
are shiny and glossy. The pouches on his legs, which would be
soft material, are matte. This adds to that realism.
have a couple minor issues. They put black paint down inside
ears to create false shadowing, and instead it just ends up looking
like he really, really needs to invest in some Q Tips.
also a slightly different finish to the top half of his hair and the
lower half. It's extremely minor though, and in fact both these issues
are extremely minor. Considering how bad much of the paint work we've
seen comng out of every mass market and specialty market company right
now, these nits aren't enough sully an otherwise outstanding figure.
The articulation on this figure is surprisingly good. Just looking at
the figure in the package, you might be led to believe that he's merely
a Nerd Hummel. That couldn't be further from the truth.
starts out with a ball jointed neck, which works fairly well although
he does have a very thick neck that restricts the tilting function a
He has ball jointed shoulders,
and the soft rubber shoulder
armor does not restrict the movement at all. There's a cut joint at the
top of the bicep, and hidden under the gauntlets is a unique pin joint
that allows the arm to move forward and back below the elbow, as well
as turn left and right. The arm articulation finishes off
ball jointed wrists.
All this arm articulation works
allowing for plenty of arm poses especially with the guns, and yet it's
all almost completely hidden from the eye.
There's a ball jointed
waist, with a V cut hip, cut thighs, single pin knees, and a ankle
joint that allows for at least very minor movement. This leg
articulation is enough to give him a nice, natural stance, and you can
adjust it enough by using all the joints together to get some very
different looks. He's not going to take any deep stances, but the leg
articulation was surprisingly useful.
There's not a ton of stuff here, but he has the most critcal items.
got the big Lancer Assault Rifle, with plenty of blood on the teeth of
the blade. While it's cast in some fairly bendy plastic, it still has a
tremendous amount of detail, and he can hold it nicely in one or both
He also has the COG Snub Pistol,
tucked away in the
rubbery holster on his chest. This holster works quite well, and I had
no issue getting the flap open or reattached. Like the assault rifle,
the pistol fits great in his sculpted left hand.
located in the sheath on his chest does not appear to be removable. I
tried, and almost completely tore the handle off.
There's a small
handle like piece that was also floating around free in the package. It
looks like it broke off of something else, but I couldn't figure out
where it was supposed to go - I'm sure one of my faithful readers will
tell me what it's for.
- as anticipated, my helpful readers let me know that the handle should
attach to the side of the assault riflle. Thanks!
Fun Factor - ***1/2
There's no reason - beyond content perhaps - that your average 8 year
old couldn't play with this figure. He's plenty sturdy enough
handle any sandbox battles, with solid joints and heavy plastic.
Value - **1/2 by
himself; *** as a boxed set
If you pick this guy up by himself, you can find him for around $15.
For specialty market figures right now, that's about the average price.
you can get these guys for as cheap as $10 each as a boxed set (minus
some accessories I believe), and that's a damn good deal right now.
Things To Watch Out For
I suspect that the paint quality will be pretty consistent, but it's
still a good idea to check it out in advance if you can.
And while it seems like that
knife should be removable, I don't think it is. I practically
ripped the handle off trying to get it out, so I'd leave it alone if I
Overall - ***1/2
This is a series that isn't on my personal radar, since I'm not a big
fan of the game. I thought they looked fine hanging on the peg, but as
usual, seeing something in the package is nothing like having it out in
your hands. This figure is surprsingly nice, with
that works much better than I anticipated, and excellent sculpting and
paint. Fans of the game should be very happy with these, and hopefully
NECA will manage to produce a broad enough range of figures to make
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **1/2 by himself; as boxed set ***
Overall - ***1/2
Where to Buy -
I want to thank the guys at Krazy Kings of Toys
for sending Dominic along for the review. You can get him
there for $15, or you can check out one of these fine sponsors:
- Things From Another World
has the boxed set of all four wave 2 figures for just $40.
has the set for $41.
- Urban Collector
has the boxed set of all four figures for $43.
Earth has the boxed set for $50.