March 4, 2013

REVIEW - Halberdier of the Spanish Guard


SUBJECT

Halberdier of the Spanish Guard - 16th Century
Pegaso Models - Ref. 75/066
75 mm - Metal
Sculpted by Angel Terrol
Box art painted by Lorenzo Bartholomei

This figure must be one of the most underrated 75 mm figures in the Pegaso Models' catalogue. I make this presumption because it is hardly ever seen on the contest tables or in the figure modelling magazines. I myself fell in love as soon as I lay my eyes on the box art photos though.



One often wonders what it is that makes a figure attractive. If a certain magic recipe existed, it would be very easy for the figure producing companies with each release becoming a bestseller. In the real world there is no such secret however. The old Latin proverb "De gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum" (there is no accounting for taste) is also applicable here more than ever.


HISTORICAL NOTES

As usual with the Pegaso Models' figures a leaflet with some historical notes is included with the research being done by Marco Guiliani. And so we learn that "The guard of Charles V was formed by halberdiers of the Spanish guard, archers of Burgundy and halberdiers of the German guard. Our subject represents a halberdier of the Spanish guard of Charles V of Habsburg, who was King of Spain in 1516 and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519. His long reign lasted until 1558 and our halberdier is clothed in Spanish fashion popular in the middle of the 16th century, characterized by voluminous breeches and the typical form of the jerkin."


PARTS

Although this is a rather straightforward figure there are still 14 parts in the kit (+ 2 parts for the base). The casting of parts is quite stunning. Mould lines are hardly notable and they run along the contours of the parts in such a clever way as to never interfere with detail. Pegaso's expertise on the matter is impressive indeed.

To start a photo with an overview of all 14 parts that make up the halberdier.


Let us now take a look in detail.

First the main part of the torso and legs all cast as one entity. As can be seen all detail is finely rendered with clean and sharp undercuts.


Over to the head with the cast on typical starched linen collar. This may seem as an odd choice but in reality it is a clever idea enabling a snug fit on top of the torso. I do not think that the collar will hamper the painting of the face. In my opinion the face is just beautiful and my first thoughts were that Angel Terrol did a magnificent job in capturing the facial features of the portrait paintings of the old masters like, amongst others, Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641), born in my beloved city of Antwerp (Flanders/Belgium). Like all the other small parts, the plume of the hat has been left on the sprue to avoid loss. It is shown in one of the photos below. 


The right arm with the pike. I cannot imagine that someone would dare to close in on a determined soldier wielding this terrible weapon. As always I will replace the soft metal pole with a piece of brass rod of the right diameter.


The cloak has been cast in two seperate parts. Test fitting did not show any problems here, the two parts matching very well. The stripes on the cloak are rendered as raised detail which will facilitate their painting a lot.


The rapier is a fragile part but beautifully detailled. Another wonder of Pegaso's casting technology. It took me some time to figure out the purpose of the two parts in the upper right corner. However, after close examination of the box art photos I discovered that these are part of the guard of the rapier. The construction and gluing will have to be executed with the utmost care and patience.



The last three parts. The plume that will complete the hat, a dagger and the left hand that will rest on the hilt of the rapier.


To finish the two parts of the base. A small oval representing some tiles and a raised block of stone which  is meant to support the left foot of the halberdier.


MY PERSONAL IMPRESSIONS

I will come straight to the point: this is a figure that I can warmly recommend without any hesitation and it is really one of my favourites of the Pegaso Models' releases. Yes, it is very static but generally that is how I like figures to be. In this particular case I was enchanted by the very natural and relaxed pose. Look how the left hand is resting seemingly carelessly on the hilt of the rapier. But although the general impression is one of calm and ease, the halberdier is radiating a certain proudness and determination nevertheless.

The only drawback - as I may call it that way - is that the possibilities regarding the colour scheme are probably limited to yellow and red, unless you are talented enough to do some conversion work of course. At least that is what I have understood from the answers  kindly given to me by Roger Newsome, Javier Hueso, Steve Drew and Martin Rohmann on the PlanetFigure forum. But if you want a figure that, given its casting quality, will only need minor prep work before you can start to paint, and if you do not want to break your head over a special colour scheme, then this figure will be your cup of tea. No doubt that the painting of the yellow and red colours will prove to be challenging enough on its own.


BOX ART PHOTOS

(c) Pegaso Models - Painted by Lorenzo Bartholomei

(c) Pegaso Models - Painted by Lorenzo Bartholomei

(c) Pegaso Models - Painted by Lorenzo Bartholomei

(c) Pegaso Models - Painted by Lorenzo Bartholomei


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