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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is a follow-on from my two previous:
IGNITE 'Retianus' (sic) Review
http://www.onesixthwarriors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=63382&highlight=gladiator

IGNITE 'Retianus' (sic) Review Pt. 2
http://www.onesixthwarriors.com/forum/showthread.php?p=652418#post652418

Fully ten months after posting my first comments about the then-new IGNITE 'Retianus' (sic), we finally have his mate, the Myrmillo. Frankly, for what we get, I just do not understand what the delay was about!!!

Like the previous gladiator, I would once again say that AFAIAC it is "at once a joy & a disappointment both IN and OUT of the box." Like my earlier review, this may be a bit lengthy, and I apologize for that in advance. I'll take the same tack I did before; box art & descriptors: weapons: clothing: armor. Interspersed in the 'rant' will be some comments about the figure, but as it is a standard "ver. 2.0" IGNITE body, there isn't much (good) to say.

BOX ART
As with more recent releases, IGNITE portrayed the figure directly, i.e. as a photo. He is superimposed over the same two-tone Renaissance drawing of the ruined Coliseum in Rome as seen from an upper level (or the air) as used on the 'Retianus' box.

IGNITE did not try to use an artistic rendering of a "fish man," either of their own, or from ancient or modern art [e.g. from the Osprey volume Gladiators, 100 BC-AD 200 (Warrior #39)] - and a good thing too, as you shall see.

The inside cover has virtually the same generic description of life and conditions in the gladiatorial sub-culture as was inside the 'Retianus' box. The inaccurate first paragraph saying gladiatorial combats were staged by/for the "Kings" of Rome that so offended me from the earlier box has been deleted.

The remaining several paragraphs from inside the 'Retianus' box about gladiatorial life remain. Although a new concluding paragraph has been added, NOTHING on the flap describes anything at all about the murmillo, just as nothing was described about the Retiarius, which remains a disappointment. The back of this new box is merely a rehash of the legends of Rome (Romulus, Remus, Aeneas, etc.) that has appeared on all previous Roman boxes.

HELMET
The "Myrmillo," or "fish man," was the normal opponent of the retiarius or "net man." Unfortunately this "Myrmillo" lacks ANY of the fishing motif he should display.

His helmet at a MINIMUM should DISPLAY something a 'tad more at LEAST of that fish-sense evoked by his opponent's use of the net and the trident as his normal "weapons." He is after all the "fish" being hunted by the retiarius. One way this was done was to "chase" the helmet in a "chased work" fish-scale pattern. Surely, being die-cast, IGNITE could have managed that?? [Osprey's volume by Stephen Wisdom, Gladiators, 100 BC-AD 200 (Warrior #39)] I will say that in my not-so-unbiased opinion, IGNITE MAY be hedging its bets and using a much less unique form of base "basin" or "skull" so as to be able in future - if the spirit moves them - to release a second helmeted gladiator?

I would note in this respect that the "dorsal fin" on mine came right off with only the slightest tug, so a new "crest," for a "Thracian" for example, could be made of plastic at reasonably low cost and fitted…

WEAPONS
The figure comes with the bog-standard Centurion and Legionary figures' gladius. It was (according to Wisdom) the only offensive weapon carried by the murmillo, and so should be attached to his wrist by a cord. It's not, of course!! No expense spent!!! But one can easily be added, and I will when I get a moment.


The basic "defense" of the murmillo was the heavy legionary style scutum. I was worried about this as NONE of the IGNITE "propaganda" prior to the release showed him coming with any shield. Fear not; he has one. He comes with the same, the EXACT SAME, legionary shield that came with the "Republican" Legionary; right down to the face design.


I would have thought they could have spared a little paint and a new decal to differentiate him. He ought to have a design that evokes what Susanna Shadrake in The World of the Gladiator describes as "symbols of virtus, fortune, and victory." Lacking any ideas of their own, why not pirate the designs found in Angus McBride's plates in Wisdom's Gladiators?

CLOTHING
The figure comes with only two pieces of clothing. First off he has a simple red tunica. This is, IMNSHO, a happy choice of garment --- to a point!!! It is NOT the short-sleeved pattern that comes with the Centurion and Legionary figures, or the early Greek releases.


It is the same much nicer sleeveless garment that evokes much better the "style" and form of the Mediterranean tunics which we got on the latest two Greek figures.


Why am I NOT happy with it? In a word or two about the murmillo, WHAT tunic? The murmillo, as with many of the Roman gladiatorial types, went bare-chested and his exposed skin was often oiled to glisten in the sun, the better to titillate the females in the audience -- and maybe the males as well.

Since I didn't say I would deal with the sculpt (and didn't with the retiarius), let me just insert here one quick thought: I think the sculpt is, in certain light and at certain angles, an approximation of Patrick Stewart (Excalibur & Star Trek: The Next Generation), with a dark beard…


Returning then to the main discussion, as with the retiarius the normal wear of the murmillo was the subligaculum, a Mediterranean-area loin-cloth made of white material, probably linen, but also possibly soft light wool. Gladiators appeared in the arenas wearing subligacula of a wide variety in colors and ornamentation. Our guy lacks his… :sadshake

This leaves the second piece, a wide black unadorned leather belt with three wide strips hanging down, each ornamented with four metal stud ornaments.

This is, at least from the archaeological record as demonstrated by extant monuments, a-historical. But I have no complaint. The piece is difficult to get on/off as it is tied on, but that was how the originals went on so this piece at least is actually "accurate" in so far as it goes. It is useful as "spare" kit for other purposes, and I suppose, since we must base our understanding on currently extant monuments, we cannot completely exclude the chance that on one given day, in one given arena, in one given province, in one given year, one editor might not have varied the murmillo costume in order to add spice to his games?

At least this figure obviates the "panty" of the earlier retiarius.


ARMOR
This brings me at last to the defensive equipment. First, there are two padded cloth pieces. These are two fasciae, worn on the legs.

These are identical to those that came on the earlier retiarius, and are fair replications of the type of padded protection which were probably made of coarse linen-covered wool.
http://depthome.brooklyn.cuny.edu/classics/gladiatr/images/gladcmbt.jpg As with that earlier figure, it would have been nice if some cord had been added to indicate the normal fastening, which was to tie this to the legs. Instead these are "slip-ons" as before, and lack them. And, as before, as they are slip-on, they are quite tight around the leg. Having learnt my lesson trying to fit these to a DML body last time, I used a deferent body this time - more on that shortly. As to "why?" I have complained in the past that ALL the IGNITE figures' joints are too loose, especially at their hips and waist, and one of my Hoplite Greeks is VERY "floppy." This gladiator figure is SO tight at the knees and the FEET, now so stiff, that I fear that too much movement/pressure will break knee joint or the pin of the ankle ball joint!!! Mean-when, the hips and waist are ludicrously floppy!!! :( I can't win!!

What is sadly MISSING is the obligatory manica, worn on the exposed or right arm!! In this case, as the IGNITE "propaganda" prior to the release showed him coming with-OUT this critical piece, I picked up a spare retiarius and cannibalized him for this defense. In this instance, where the retiarius comes with his on the WRONG arm, that meant I merely had to remove it and put it right on to the murmillo, without modification.

Sometime around the end of the 1st Century AD the manica could be augmented by a defense of overlapping metal plates, or possibly leather, strapped on over or perhaps affixed to the outside of the defense. These segmented plate defenses were the inspiration for the extra armor that made "super heavy" legionary troops used by Trajan against the Dacians. Two versions are illustrated in McBride's plate "D" in Wisdom's Gladiators. At some point I may try to fabricate something to indicate a segmented plate defense for this, or a second figure.

Beyond these the figure is provided with two additional pieces; greaves. These are the bog-standard Centurion and first-issued Greek figures' strap-on ocreae. In this case they have been "painted" or made in a matte brushed iron metal finish which matches an additional piece I shall discuss in a moment. They look very aesthetically pleasing actually, but they are wrong. Gladiators' greaves were bronze. I really wish they had issued these in a bronze finish instead!!!! :sadshake

SPARE PARTS
This completes the discussion of the base figure and his proper "kit." What follows is a discussion of the stuff he came with he didn't need, as I have already discussed the stuff he came with that should have been modified.


To start off simply, the murmillo only wore one ocrea, not two. Thus the second is superfluous. If, like me, you find the pair aesthetically pleasing, I suggest substituting one of the older version, as I have done, from your parts box (I got some spares a long while back from BattleRhino), and set these aside for another project. The murmillo only wore one, on his advancing left leg. Given his helmet and large shield, this meant he could project a totally armored visage from head, almost to toe, to his opponents as he advanced on them in normal combat stance.

Second, he comes with a superfluous metal torso defense, a Greek-style metal corselet that is nearly identical to that issued with the first Greek figure. This differs in that it is completed in the same matte brushed iron metal finish as the two ocreae.

It also differs in that it has two tiny holes drilled into the center of the upper chest above the rippled abdomen and between the two nipples. To this IGNITE has affixed one of the lion's head decorations that came on the Centurions' phalerae.

Beyond these the figure is provided with an additional weapon, an AX!!!!

Now had this been a dagger I would have said it would have been appropriate, despite Wisdom's comment about the gladius as the only offensive weapon carried. I'll admit "I" thought all gladiators carried one as it was the preferred weapon to dispatch one's opponent, and NOT the sword or trident of the retiarius.

As to the AX!!!! OK, axes are certainly known from ancient time. But to suggest that therefore a "fish man" would drag one around the sand is out of order!!

No surviving Roman funerary or other monument to gladiators that "I" am aware of shows a murmillo with an AX!!

My own suspicion is they got this idea from Russ Crowe's Gladiator. I can't recall any gladiatorial combat scene with one, and I don't have time to watch the movie again right now to check. So, I'll just blame Crowe, and let one of you guyz set me straight!! :thumb

OUT OF THE BOX
So, here is my RE-interpretation of IGNITE's figure compared to an Osprey image. He's shown with the proper placement of all the equipment, and with a scale subligaculum.





I sewed up a new subligaculum the other night using the instructions found in Susanna Shadrake's The World of the Gladiator of how it was created from a single piece of cloth. Admittedly I made a few "adjustments" to try to make it "hang" on the body better (more esthetically). I think I failed. It may have to do with trying to adapt a 1:1 scale pattern to 1:6 and/or, using the wrong material. In this case in trying to simulate soft wool I used a felt I am quite pleased with, as it has a nice red color.

Regardless, it is STILL much closer to a scale piece than the "skirt" of IGNITE.

As I noted earlier, I used a different body this time due to the poor "steadiness" of the supplied body. This was a problem with my earlier "net man" and there I used a DML body which, if you review my earlier posts, caused me issues with getting the leg defenses on/off, which I solved with some adaptation. So, this time I used the new Barrack Sergeant nude body. "Booby" might be a more apt description.


As was noted elsewhere on this and/or other forums, the body has a wide range of pose-ability --- as long as you keep it naked! Put any weight onto those limbs, the arms (more specifically the shoulder joints) and you will find the arms drooping alarmingly!! For example I had to cock the shoulder VERY carefully to prevent the shield, which I wanted to pose held "out front" as it were, from dropping to the "floor" of my shadow box.





Over the next few weeks and/or months I will be working at refining him. For example, I cannibalized the spare retiarius not only for his manica for right arm, but for his belt, ILO the one that came with the murmillo. The belt hangs quite loose and too low, as is apparent (to me at least). Since this is fit over the much less bulky subligaculum I made (vice the "skirt") it has too much slack in it, even when tied tight. I will probably remanufacture my own version soon to replace this IGNITE piece on all my gladiators. I may also see if I can find a more suitable pugio…


…and Bill has given me an idea! ;).
http://www.onesixthwarriors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=64795&highlight=gladiator

:nerd
 

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It's amazing how historically off these are considering how much specific information is available on the classes of Gladiators. I have to say though, I don't mean to sound nasty, I enjoy your reviews... but that SB body looks rediculous so naked. You would probably be much better off with a Hot Toys body... or even a DID body or something. Or even better the new ACE body if you can find one.
 

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dedguy said:
I don't mean to sound nasty, I enjoy your reviews... but that SB body looks rediculous so naked. You would probably be much better off with a Hot Toys body...
I didn't want to say anything... :rolleyes Really enjoyed the review, even though ancients aren't really my thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
kenslc said:
Thanks for Share, But i pefer the figure have MORE muscle !! :shades
Pivot said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by dedguy
I don't mean to sound nasty, I enjoy your reviews... but that SB body looks rediculous so naked. You would probably be much better off with a Hot Toys body...
I didn't want to say anything... :rolleyes Really enjoyed the review, even though ancients aren't really my thing.
No problem amigos. I didn't make myself clear enough! That SB body is NOT what I intend to use when i solidify what I am doing here!! :lol I should have warned you I posted it for the "shock value!" :eek Or, said another way, a back-handed way of reviewing the figure, and the verdict: :razz I'm sorry I bought five now...

I didn't buy any Hot Toyz "True Bodies" when they came out. :cry I managed to grab an AA version the other day and was MUCH more impressed. I am trying NOW to get some of the "Asian" and "Bronze" versions, but as I left it so late, they are proving hard to come "buy!" I don't understand why HT would do those as a limited release!!?? :sadshake They could make a MINT selling these alone as replacements for all the crappy bodies put out by the other figure companies! :clap

Anyway, keep the constructive criticisms coming!! They help a lot! :thumb

:nerd
 

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If you don't mind having an African in there (I think there where some African Gladiators kicking around right?).
http://www.goodstufftogo.net/html/body_product1.asp?ItemID=18505

I'm sure you may also be able to find some on ebay. I must have gotten lucky with the one bronze body I did get. Kroenen has an African body on him just because that's all I could find and you never actually see his body.

Edit: There's a TON of nude bodies on ebay for fairly cheap. $14.99 including shipping. Only problem is none of them come with feet, heads, hands, or neck posts. I have no idea where to get feet or neck posts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
dedguy said:
If you don't mind having an African in there (I think there where some African Gladiators kicking around right?)...

Edit: There's a TON of nude bodies on ebay for fairly cheap... Only problem is none of them come with feet, heads, hands, or neck posts. I have no idea where to get feet or neck posts.
I was saving the one HT AA I do have for another project. I do think he's pretty good (remember, I think I did say, I only just got him in?). I AM planning on dropping an order here "most skoosh" for a couple more, so while I'm not "way ahead of you," I had thought about that myself.

I agree; I do believe that some of the surviving gladiatorial mosaics show "Nubians" and "Moors" (darker and lighter skins) as gladiators. In fact, tho' I think the thread long ago evaporated, I once posted my early retiarius interpretation. I have one of those "tall" DML football players stashed somewheres, and I kitted him out as a retiarius with all scratch-built gear --- I made him up long before IGNITE's attempt finally hit the streets.


Yes, I have seen those el-cheapos in my eBay "hunts." But as you say, "what good is a body without the feet, hands, or [especially the] neck posts[?]" I am not concerned with the sculpts as I hate clones, and so would need no more than one each.... I want to use the neck adapter that came with each carded figure that allows one to adapt DML sculpts -- since there are what, literally hundreds of different DML sculpts around... Anyway, appreciate the suggestions!!! :thumb

:nerd
 
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