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Review ASR Sculpture - Björn Ironside King Of Kings 1/9th Bust

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by PropBlast, Aug 8, 2021.

  1. PropBlast Active Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi and welcome to my first ever review for PlanetFigure.
    Today we are looking at a fantastic bust of Björn Ironside from the massive TV hit drama 'Vikings'. If you haven't seen it yet then I highly recommend that you do as you as certainly missing out.
    Björn Ironside is played by the very talented actor Alexander Lugwig who really is the main character in the sage despite his formidable father Ragnar Lothbrok who's legendary exploits at the time earned him immediate hero status. We see Björn Ironside grow from a young boy to a fierce warrior yet maintaining diplomacy and opening new trade routes to benefit their way of life.
    Vikings-12-1-TP-1383269.jpg
    Background on the real Björn Ironside....
    Bjorn Ironside (also spelt Björn Ironside; Old Norse Bjǫrn Járnsíða) is a legendary Viking who in the stories surrounding him raids alongside his brothers and his father, the Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok. While the legends mentioning Bjorn are set in the 9th century CE, they are most extensively known from three sources, all from around the 13th century CE: The Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok, The Tale of Ragnar's Sons and Saxo Grammaticus' Gesta Danorum. Here, he is the son of Ragnar and Aslaug (or Thora, in the Gesta), and his most frequently named and most famous brothers are Ivar the Boneless, Hvitserk and Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye.
    On their adventures, it is his crippled brother Ivar who leads the gang, while Bjorn is described as a capable and ferocious warrior who with his prowess can turn the tide of battles. His epithet seems to be quite literal and refers to the strength of his sides, which were like iron (i.e. modern fitness enthusiasts could learn from him). These trips take the brothers from across Scandinavia to Anglo-Saxon England and, in some of the stories, to Normandy, the Frankish Kingdoms, Lombardy and up to a town called Luni or Luna which was supposedly on the way to Rome. Bjorn either becomes the ruler of Sweden (or part of it – Uppsala, central Sweden and all its lands) after his father's death at the hand of King Ælla of Northumbria (r. c. 866 CE) or is gifted lordship over Sweden and even Norway by his father while he still lives. His death or manner of death is not recorded and neither are any possible wives, despite the popular TV series Vikings – in which Bjorn is portrayed by Alexander Ludwig and is the son of Lagertha, not Aslaug – creatively filling in these blanks for us. With regard to children, only the 13th-century CE legendary work Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks mentions any at all: Eirik and Refil. In this story, the former rules Sweden after his father's death and is succeeded by his brother Refil's son, who is also named Eirik.
    Onto the release and the resin....

    Details of the release -

    Title: Björn Ironside: King Of Kings

    Reference: ASR Sculpture - ASR090165 (Limited Edition of 99)

    No of Parts: 5

    Scale: 1/9th

    Sculpted By: Sergey Alekhno

    Casting: In house

    Box Artwork: None

    Country Of Origin: Ukraine

    This is the first kit I have purchased in a while. You see to me a miniature or bust has to have that special 'something' that others do no have. Yes there are plenty of Viking busts, figures, etc, on the market but many fail to capture the mood, intensity, and feeling of the character. I find this especially true when film characters are portrayed but not so with this one. It really is a diamond in the rough.

    The kit comes very well packaged in its box. Each individual piece is placed in a seperate sealable bag and is then generously wrapped in bubblewrap to ensure no damage occurs during transit. Very well sculpted by the talented Sergey Alekhno (PF member and also on Facebook)

    IMG_1645.JPG

    The five parts that make up this bust beautifully are cast in light grey resin. It's really hard to find fault with this (and believe me I tried!) so apart a single very very faint mould line on the back of the head which would be covered by the hair plait and the formers on the main body, head, and a few of the other parts, preparation is virtually non existent.
    IMG_1622.JPG
    General comments
    • Resin is of a high quality very smooth and no blemishes or air bubbles
    • Definition of all details are sharply defined
    • Very good folds and creases
    • Casting quality is exceptional
    Prep
    • Very faint casting line of back of head
    • Formers to remove from head, main torso, and very small ones from hair plait and forearm
    Lets look at the pieces....
    Torso
    The main part of any bust is the torso and this is really well formed and balanced. The shoulders are covered with bear skin that Björn single handedly killed when he spent a winter in the wilderness to prove to his father that he was a man. Following the death of the bear, Björn skins the bear - a true status symbol amongst his peers. I also really like the addition of the bear claws. It also looks like that part of the inner bear skin is slightly visable so another part to look at. We can also see that the bear skin is covering Björn's armour which is made of from pieces of dark leather and held together by metal studs. Plenty of different textures to paint here!
    IMG_1646.JPG
    Also if we take a qiuck look at the back of the torso you will find that your bust is unique to you and as such is cast with your corresponding limited edition number and the makers mark.
    IMG_1649.JPG
    Head & Hair Plait
    To be perfectly honest I really don't know what to say about the head apart from it's absolutely perfect in every way. Brilliantly smooth casting that perfectly captures the charactar and actor at the same time. All features are very well defined and with head like this it will almost paint itself!
    IMG_1628.JPG
    IMG_1631.JPG
    IMG_1651.JPG
    IMG_1632.JPG
    Forearm, Hand & Axe
    The arm is made up of two parts which are the forearm and the hand and axe which are cast together.
    The forearm piece is wrapped in what appears to be leather or buckskin. The hand is holding the axe again all pieces are exceptional. It's nice to see an axe rather than a sword as it makes it just that little bit different to other. I also noted that on the bottom of axe handle (vertically) that is appears to be cast around a small metal rod. To me this seems a great idea to keep it rigid so it does not become damaged, warped, or bent easily. Other manufacs take note - its the little things like the this that matter.
    IMG_1634.JPG
    IMG_1639.JPG
    IMG_1640.JPG
    IMG_1641.JPG
    IMG_1653.JPG
    Final Thoughts
    This is a fantastic bust from my point of view and its soooooo good that its almost a crime to paint such a beautiful piece of art, and that is exactly what you are getting. Not only that but this bust is very limited edition (only 99 cast) so there may not be many left (if any) so I would say get in contact with Sergey as soon as possible via PF or Facebbook if you wish to purchase one for the very reasonable £40 (inc. P&P to the UK).
    When the bust was first released there were problems with the fact the Sergey could only accept Payoneer in the Ukraine when he lives (due to legal technicalities) and not Paypal like so many of use. However this problem can be overcome by asking Sergey to send you a Payoneer payment request which can be paid for using a credit card.
    I should also like to point out that every bust comes with a certificate of authenticity that is numbered and signed by Sergey himself. I feel that this is a very welcome personal touch that is refreshing to see these days and it makes you feel like you have an object in your possession that is exclusively unique to you.
    Redcap, Edorta, Trep and 5 others like this.
  2. Babelfish A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Great review, lovely bust. I'm still waiting for Season 6 Part 2 to appear on DVD.

    - Steve
    Redcap likes this.
  3. PropBlast Active Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Me and the wife have watched it all and are now re-watching it all over again! :)
  4. Steve Brodie PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Looks great, like the 'number' stamped into the base of the bust.
  5. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi

    Thanks for the very comprehensive review , good pictures as well , highlighting the quality of this piece

    Hope we see your version of this

    Thanks for sharing

    Nap
  6. Kevindunne Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Messaged hi on FB 3 days ago...no reply.
  7. Henk Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    A great release, a very good likeness to the character . The cast in number is a nice touch. Lots of nice textures to paint.
    Is that a mold line underneath the hand that grips the axe?
  8. Capt. Warren PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-States
    How does one go about acquiring said bust? I have sent an email to ASR, but have heard nothing back yet.
  9. Sergey Alekhno Well-Known Member

    Hi, Kevin.
    Sorry, I just saw your message in this thread today. There were no letters from you either in the Facebook messenger or to the mailing address asr.models@gmail.com. Please write again. I have a few copies left and I reserved one in your name.
  10. Sergey Alekhno Well-Known Member

    Hi.
    We answer all emails within a few hours. Perhaps Google sent your letter to the wrong place.
    Please write again - asr.models@gmail.com.
    Reserved a copy.

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