Let’s take it back a few years in terms of subject matter, and take a look at soldiers of a different era. A couple years ago, Unimax brought out a line of figures that I don’t know if it EVER hit store shelves in the U.S., Ages of Action, a toy line based on historical soldiers. For this review, we’ll be looking at the Templar Knight, Jacques Martel.
I gotta say, I LOVE the idea of making 1/18th scale of accurate, fully articulate historical warriors. Knights, Ninjas, Samurai, Roman Legion… These are awesome bases for action figures. Not only that, but there’s such a span of different types of warriors that could be used, the list could be virtually endless. I picked up the Templar knight for one reason… I love the Assassin’s Creed property, and if they ever release an Altair figure, I’ll have a guy for him to fight. That, and the whole mystique surrounding the Templars is interesting. But nearly all of the figures from this wave of fighters were interesting.
If you’ve ever seen or purchased the Forces of Valor line from Target, the face sculpt is similiar. It’s a nicely detailed sculpt, while the rest of the head is covered in textured chain mail. The detailing went as far as to show draw strings on the back of the neck. The arms and legs are also covered in the textured chain mail. I’m kind of disappointed that he doesn’t have any glove lines to separate the glove from the arm chain mail, just to give it some depth. The tunic is worn and dirty, and the bottom is draped open to allow for some leg movement. He has a belt that has both a long sword and dagger attached to it. They’re both stuck there, they cannot be removed. The long sword is molded into the scabbard, which is a real downer, as I love it when figures can wear their weapons on them. The scabbard and sword handle are nice, not really detailed, but nice in it’s modest design. The bottom of his chest chain mail hangs down almost to his knees. The knees have an armor piece covering them, while the heel has spurs, but otherwise is covered in the textured chain mail.
Articulation is pretty decent, for the most part. The head has a swivel point at the neck to allow for side to side movement. Up and down motion is not an option. The shoulders have a ball joint to allow full motion. There is a swivel point just above the hinged elbow joints. The wrists has a swivel point, which adds up to fully functioning arms. The torso has a swivel point. Mind you, the paint was caked on, so I had to “bust” the joint loose, but, it’s there. The legs are a source of frustration. The figure has a T-crotch, but you cannot move it if the tunic’s covering the leg. The T-crotch only allows for forward and backward motion, so advanced posing is not an option, even if the tunic wasn’t in the way. You can swing the opening in the tunic around to allow either leg to move, so that’s something. There is a swivel above the hinged knee joint, as well as a hinge at the ankles.
The weapons are plentiful, with some really nicely done, to others boring. The knight has a removable helmet that goes on and fits tightly. The helmet has plenty of details to it, from the holes around the mouth, the the rivets covering the helmet, to the battle damaged cuts. The long sword is a basic one-handed sword that has a pretty boring hilt. The small dagger is a wooden handle with a silver edge. It’s a shame, the dagger that’s fixed on his belt is much more interesting, I would have much rather had that one. The mace is MUCH more interesting, with the unique striking head and gold and black handle. The knight also came with a pike with a bladed tip. The shield is pretty slick, it has a strap that he can wear it over his shoulder, or he has straps behind the shield so that it can be held snuggly on the arm. The front of the shield has damaged cuts on it, while the back has rivets around the frame. To finish up, he also come with a detailed and ridged figure stand.
The paint apps are basic, but efficient. The chain mail is silver with a black wash to bring out the details of the links. The tunic is a white/creme color with the bottom a brown for dirt. There’s a Templar cross on the chest that’s cleanly applied. On the back, part of the paint on the tunic was either chipped away or scratched off. The weapons have basic painted apps, as well. Brown for wooden parts, silver for metal parts. The handle of the sword have a black and gold handle, but that’s the extent of the detailing on the weapons. The shield has a dark greenish-brown on the straps and underside, while the outside has a white and black design. The figure stand is gray with a black wash.
The figure is extremely nice minus some flaws. It’s a shame that the dagger and sword is not removeable from their scabbards. I wish the tunic below the waist was cloth to allow for posing with the legs. The arms have great points of articulation which allow for nice posing above the waist. I absolutely love the helmet and shield, and the fact that the helmet is removable is awesome. I also love that the shield can be stored over the shoulder of the figure, too. They marketed the figure as “museum quality”. While I wouldn’t go that far, I do think it’s a nice figure, and will probably track down some of the other fighters they have. If you’re able to find one of these, if you have a favorite era that they’ve covered, pick it up. I think you’ll be pleased!