Ignite's Roman Vexillarius

Those crazy cats from Ignite keep on rolling out the cool warriors.  You remember the wild dude in the goat helmet?  Now, it was done by Ignite, so that means high quality outfit - but let's face it, wearing a goat on your head isn't isn't exactly a pants pissing appearance.

Well, here's another warrior, this time Roman, who knows a cool hat when he sees one.  This is the Roman Vexillarius.  Don't know who that is?  Ignite has you covered, with a long explanation of the historical significance right on the back of the box.


Packaging -  ***1/2
Ignite does an awfully nice job with their packaging, although the graphics could be a tad more appealing.  Still, there's lots of useful text, and a completely collector friendly tray inside holding the figure and the accessories.

My only complaint is that the boxes tend to be a bit thin, and crush a little too easily.

Sculpt - ***
I'm not sure who this is supposed to be - Ignite tends to *accidentally* end up with head sculpts that look like famous people, but I can't figure this one out.  My wife thought he looked a little like Leonard Nimoy...what do you think?

The head is rotocast, and is a little soft in sculpt because of it.  There's not a ton of definition to the wrinkles, folds or hair, but it's not too bad.  The head sculpts are not the main draw on these figures, and it's clear that's not where they are spending the moola.

Paint - ***
The paint ops are fairly short in number, focusing mainly on the head and face.  The hair line is pretty clean, the eyes are neat and straight, and the lips are well done.

Color is another issue though, as the lips are a tad too red, looking like he's been dipping into the concubine's cosmetic drawer.  He also has eyebrows that are distinctly different in color than his hair, but it's not as obvious in photos as it is in person.

Articulation - ***
The standard Ignite body is in use, with all the usual sixth scale articulation.  There's a ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders and hips, cut biceps and thighs, double jointed elbows and knees, ankles, wrists, chest and waist.

I do wish that they went with a better, more articulated wrist, but that may be a fairly minor issue for you.  My only real problem was a very loose chest joint, that allowed him to flop forward and made posing him difficult.  This was aggravated by the heavy wolf head piece.

Outfit - ***1/2
The outfit is a little less complex than some previous releases, particularly since that wolf hide is going in the 'accessories' category.

Still, he's pretty well outfitted.  He has a metal helmet (which we've seen on other Roman soldiers), faux chain metal tunic, and red cloth tunic.  He also is wearing lace up sandals, which we've actually seen several times in the past.

The most interesting piece of clothing is his intricate belt, with metal rivets.  It fits well, and looks terrific, although it's not really designed for weapons.

Now, since the tunic is pretty much a dress, I can already guess your next question.  Yes, he's going commando.  And the fact that I had to look really creeps me out.

Accessories - **** 
While many of his accessories are reused, the sheer number helps make up for it.

There's his knife, which comes with a sheath and belt.  The knife is very similar to previous ones, although not *quite* identical.  The same is true of the large sword, which also has a sheath and belt.  These weapons are made from metal, and fit in their cases nicely.

He also has a shield, similar in design to some previous versions.  This time however, there's no pleather straps on the back.  It does fit easily in his hand however, and looks great.

There's also a vexillum, which is pretty much a pike (metal on both ends) that carried the flag.  Their symbol was a bull - uncastrated.

Finally, there's his wolf skin.  It fits over either his head or his head wearing the helmet.  I took most of the shots without the helmet, but added one in for comparison.  Something about not having the helmet just seems so much more fear inspiring.

The sculpt on the wolf is great, looking much more like a dead wolf skin that a 'live' wolf.  There could be a little more detail in the fur, and I'm disappointed that the paint ops are so few.  The prototype had a much better paint application around the teeth, gums and claws.  It does fit well though, and looks pretty damn good.  Now, I'm calling it a wolf, although it could be a dog.  That would be one big dog though!

Fun Factor - *1/2
Don't get me wrong - these could be really fun toys.  However, those pointy metal blades make them a little too realistic for the kids to be playing with them.  Trust me, the cat will thank you for that.

Value - **
Ignite figures are never cheap.  They are looking for museum quality, and you pay museum prices.  If you shop around you may find this guy for around $60, but the suggested retail is closer to $75.

Things to watch out for - 
Nothing in particular.  Just don't put an eye out!

Overall -  ***
I was fairly rough on the last Ignite figure, mostly because I felt the paint and sculpt had both suffered.  This figure is an improvement, and does come with all the usual cool bells and whistles.

The addition of the wolf head cape really does add something to your warrior display too, 

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

Where to Buy -
Your best bet is online of course, and Ignite sells these figures direct.

Related Links:
I've reviewed quite a few of the past Ignite figures, including:

- there's the Greek Hoplight, Viking Bowman, German Knight, Knight of Outremer, Crusader and Viking, Gladiator, and my favorite, the Napolean Guard.

- Dragon has also done some early warriors, including the barbarian Atilla and the viking Olaf.

- and of course Sideshow has their Vlad the Impaler from a similar time frame.

- and if you want to check out Ignite's upcoming product, hit their website for details.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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