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In-Box Review
54mm
Crusader XII c
Crusader XII century
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by: Andrzej Snigorski [ ENDRJU007 ]


Originally published on:
Historicus Forma

Historical Background

In XI century Europe was overpopulated. Differences between social groups get stronger every day. Aggressive politic of Muslim rulers started to be considered a serious threat for The Byzantine Empire.
Need for some idea that could unite and strengthen quarreled Europe was obvious. Idea of fight against the common enemy appeared and search for the target did not last long: Holy Land, Jerusalem and Church of the Holy Sepulchre held by “infidels” were a perfect goal that could unite all Europe under the flag of Christianity and Holy Roman Church.
Between XI and XIII century thousands of knights, soldiers and pilgrims moved to Holy Land in seven great crusades. Pope’s blessing and absolution on the one side and possibility of gaining land and wealth on the other moved both: true believers and greedy scoundrels to fight.
Participants of crusades were called crusaders.
Consequences of crusades are still discussed. Among them were deaths of tens of thousands on both sides of conflicts, stronger enmity between Christianity and Islam, increase of fanaticism in Europe and stronger dislike for infidels, creation of military orders which fought also in Europe against Islam or pagans in later ages, pope’s authority fall causing Western Schism, Church’s wealth increase, strengthening of Christian religion in Europe, closing of three civilizations: Latin, Arabic, and Greek, great growth of Italian cities (mostly Venice and Genoa), development of culture, science, seafaring and speeding up economical and social transformation in Europe and many, many more.

The Figure

The kit shows mounted crusader from XII century. Crusader wears nasal helm on a chain mail hood, face is partially covered. He also wears full body chain mail. On the mail soldier wears short sleeve, hooded tunic. His right hand is bare, mail gauntlet is hanging attached to sleeve. Crusader holds it above his head waving to someone or greeting somebody; maybe he is calling his companions to arms. Left hand holds reins. Spurs are attached to his mail boots.
Sword in scabbard is attached to his belt and shield is hanging on a strap at his right arm.
Horse is pacing in place wearing chain mail housing. Head is fully covered with quilted hood and the tail is showing. Reins are plain with no decorations. Saddle is of military type with tall pommel and cantle and simple heavy stirrups. Lance with flag is attached to a saddle on the right side.
Horse stands on a base sculpted as a rock representing desert ground of Holy Land.

The Kit

Kit is packed in hard black cardboard box covered with dust jacket made of nice glossy paper with M-Model logo and company information printed on it. It’s a standard dust jacket of M-Model and specific kit information and picture of painted figure is nicely glued to it giving very good first impression.
Inside the box are parts closed in plastic bag and wrapped with bubble wrap. Outside the bag are only base, metal wire for lance’s pole and piece of aluminum sheet for flag, straps, reins and stirrup leathers.

Parts

Crusader
- torso with head in mail hood and helmet
- legs
- feet
- right hand
- left hand
- shield
- sword’s hilt
- scabbard
- lance’s tip
- spurs

Horse
- torso with saddle and part of housing
- head
- ears
- front right leg
- front left leg
- rear right leg
- rear left leg
- tail
- front right part of housing
- front left part of housing
- rear right part of housing
- rear left part of housing
- stirrups
- cheeks of curb bit

Other
- base
- metal wire for lance’s pole
- aluminum sheet for flag, reins, stirrup leather and straps.

Assembly and painting

No assembly instruction is attached (few general hints are available on vendors website) and the pictures on the dust jacket is only assembly and painting instruction.
Cutting of aluminum sheet is required to make flag, reins, straps and stirrup leather. No master sample is present (even on paper) so cutting it may require some trials and preparation of masters from other material to avoid destroying original material.
Suggested painting of figure is mainly in different shades of metal (helmet and huge surfaces of crusader’s mail and chain mail horse’s housing). Tunic is black with white crusader’s cross on it (it may be some military order servant-brother’s tunic, but flag suggests rather laic soldier). Scabbard is leather and horse’s housing hood is of quilted cloth. Flag is painted red with white cross on it. Shield is not visible but it probably should be painted in ether tunic’s or flag’s colors.

Detailing and quality

Parts are made of good quality beige-grey resin. Chain mail of crusader is far from greatest available kits but in comparison with older M-Model figures it is quite improved. Same thing concerns horse’s neck which in few other M-Model kits has quite odd shape – it is still far from perfect natural look but it finally doesn’t hurt when you look at it.
Cloths are sculpted smoothly and deep gathers should break monotony of single-colored tunic.
Details like straps on horse’s housing, hood and scabbard are nicely sculpted. Leather cuffs of mail sleeves are also visible.
Tail is rather too simplified and hair is almost not detailed – part is quite smooth with few gathers representing hair in move.
Base’s texture nicely replicates a rock.
Flesh is present on few parts but it should not leave visible marks after removal. Seam lines are almost not present. Surfaces are smooth and clean. Bubbles or other marks were not spotted.
Dry fit of parts was not possible – resin pour blocks are placed mostly on join surfaces.

Conclusion

Nice and quite cheap figure from M-Model. It sure is not of highest quality and several issues know from their older models are present also in this kit (chain mail is not still not best on the market and horse’s neck is still a bit strange) but it sure is worth buying for beautiful pose of the crusader and hidden dynamism of simple static scene. Lack of handle for a lance on the saddle (it’s up to modeler to figure out how to attach it to the figure) and no attachment points for strap on a shield may hamper the build a little as the lack of masters for flag’s shape and straps.
In spite of all the kit is rather recommended at least of its price-to-quality factor and previously mentioned pose.

Click here for additional images for this review.

SUMMARY
Highs: Very nice pose, good price-to-quality factor.
Lows: Simplification of some details, chain mail still far from perfect .
Verdict: Considering highs and lows the figure is worth buying for very nice, majestic pose and low price that compensates few sculpting issues.
Percentage Rating
79%
  Scale: 54mm
  Mfg. ID: 32101
  Suggested Retail: 19,15EUR
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: May 26, 2009
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 85.58%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 83.40%

About Andrzej Snigorski (endrju007)
FROM: WOJEWODZTWO PODKARPACKIE, POLAND

My first contact with model making took place over 20 years ago – I’ve made few models of planes when I was 9. They were all destroyed in one disastrous accident. Pain after loosing results of my own work was so big that I’ve left model making for about 15 years ;) . I’ve returned to building models...

Copyright ©2019 text by Andrzej Snigorski [ ENDRJU007 ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Thanks for the review Andrzej! This figure looks much better than the older kits. I think that a lot of modelers will have problems to cut out and shape the flag from a piece of metal. But nevertheless a good kit if you are looking for low prized model. Marcel.
MAY 26, 2009 - 09:25 PM
Marcel, this metal sheet is extremally soft - I don't think it will be a big problem for anyone. Thanks for reading and comment. Andrzej
MAY 26, 2009 - 10:27 PM
   

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