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Review "Deus Vult" bust from El Greco Miniatures

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Nap, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. Nap Moderator

    Hi to all on PF ,

    Time to have a look at another release , this is one which we have seen 2 wonderful versions of recently on PF ..one we will include in this Review ..the box art from Sergey Popoovichenko, the other was a Warior Monk version by Brian .

    What are we looking at this tim it is of course the latest from the stable of El Greco Miniatures , those that went to Euro would have had great difficulty getting to their stand they were always surrounded !!!!

    The bust depicts a Crusader knight gripping a wooden cross in fevour of his dedication to rid the Holy land of the infidels . EG.jpg 28th kev 003.jpg

    The title used is "Deus Vult" which according to my Latin references means "Gods wills it" and was the shout of the people at the declaration of the First Crusade by Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont in 1095.

    Also included in the title is Milites Christi (Latin for "Soldier of Christ") , at the time of the 1st Crusade they were dedicated to the fight in the name of God , nowadays Miles Christi is a Roman Catholic religious institute founded in 1984 by Fr. Roberto Juan Yannuzzi in Argentina.

    Since the time of Constintine Christians had gone on pilgrimages to the Holy Land. Even though Moslems had ruled Jerusalem since 638, Christians were still allowed to visit the city. By the 11th century, however, the situation had changed. Just as the number and frequency of pilgrimages to Jerusalem was at new peaks, the Seljuk Turks took over control of Jerusalem and prevented pilgrimages.

    The 1st Crusade

    Pope Urban II (1088-1099) was responsible for assisting Emperor Alexus I (1081-1118) of Constantinople in launching the first crusade. He made one of the most influential speeches in the Middle Ages, calling on Christian princes in Europe to go on a crusade to rescue the Holy Land from the Turks. In the speech given at the Council of Clermont in France, on November 27, 1095, he combined the ideas of making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with that of waging a holy war against infidels.

    "Deus vult! (God wills it) became the battle cry of the Crusader.

    "The day after Urban's speech, the Council formally granted all the privileges and protections Urban had promised. The red cross was taken as the official sign of the pilgrims, and Bishop Adhemar of Le Puy was chosen as papal legate and the spiritual leader of the expedition."2
    The First Crusade was the most successful from a military point of view. Accounts of this action are shocking. For example, historian Raymond of Agiles described the capture of Jerusalem by the Crusaders in 1099:
    Some of our men cut off the heads of their enemies; others shot them with arrows, so that they fell from the towers; others tortured them longer by casting them into the flames. Piles of heads, hands and feet were to be seen in the streets of the city. It was necessary to pick one's way over the bodies of men and horses. But these were small matters compared to what happened at the temple of Solomon, a place where religious services ware ordinarily chanted. What happened there? If I tell the truth, it will exceed your powers of belief. So let it suffice to say this much at least, that in the temple and portico of Solomon, men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins.

    Some of the results of the first crusade were not expected. Alexus I thought that the Byzantine territories would be returned to him and the Eastern Empire, but instead the European conquerors established four independent Latin kingdoms. In addition, three military orders (Hospitallers, Templars, and Teutonic Knights) came into power. The stated purpose of these orders was to protect pilgrims and holy sites.

    The 7 major Crusades were:
    1. 1095-1099, called by Pope Urban II and led by Peter the Hermit, Walter the Penniless, Godfrey of Bouillon, Baldwin and Eustace of Flanders,

    2. 1147-49, headed by King Louis VII who was enlisted by Bernard of Clairvaux, was a disastrous failure, including the loss of one of the four Latin Kingdoms, the Duchy of Edessa;

    3. 1188-92, proclaimed by Pope Gregory VIII in the wake of the catastrophe of the second crusade, which conducted by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, King Philip Augustus of France and King Richard "Coeur-de-Lion" of England;

    4. during which Constantinople was sacked, 1202-1204

    5. which included the conquest of Damietta, 1217-1221

    6. in which Frederick II took part (1228-29); also Thibaud de Champagne and Richard of Cornwall (1239)

    7. led by St. Louis (Louis IX of France), 1248-50

    All the crusades were fought with such vigor in horrific conditions not only of battle but of disease often causing as much death as the fighting .

    pic.jpg pic2.jpg pic4.jpg pic5.jpg pic7.jpg

    There is of course much literature to delve into , a couple that I have found useful include:

    pic3.jpg pic8.jpg (MAA 155)

    Continued in next post:

  2. Nap Moderator

    On now to the model itself :

    What are we looking at :

    Title: "Deus Vult" (God Wills It), Milites Christi

    Reference: EGM-BU19

    Scale: 1/12th

    No of Parts: 2

    Material: Resin

    Sculptor: Matt Grech

    Box Art (produced after release) : Sergey Popoovichenko

    Casting: YS Castings

    The warrior knight is depicted grasping a wooden cross with steel like determination , with his cloak wrapped round his shoulder , this is hooded as often seen in illustrations in books Name-of-God-collage.jpg

    El Greco have IMO stepped up their game with the revamped presentation of this and previous releases by putting them in a very nice metal tin 28th kev 003.jpg ....providing a focal point to the potential purchaser of what's inside ....a very nice touch and a useful tin when the model is in the display cabinet.

    Consisting of just 2 pieces the main torso and the hand with the wooden cross , the parts were secured in a plastic bag which was surrounded by "straw" like material ...good use of recycled materials here .
    28th kev 026.jpg
    There is a insert with history of the crusades (this sets the scene for the modeller very nicely) and also included is a small painting instructions for the various "Soldiers of Christ"
    28th kev 018.jpg
    Lets look at the main piece the bust itself , this is a piece which only needs a quick wipe with the sanding blocks on the underside edges , then washed to remove any casting residue ...primed and away you go ..its as easy as that .
    28th kev 054.jpg
    Our subject is as I said depicted wearing a cloak wrapped around his shoulders ..the folds and positioning of this is so natural you could almost take it off , depiction of the folds are smooth and really well done , this is without doubt a painters piece .

    The cloak is held together by a cord , again nicely defined , from one of the corners hangs a crucifix , also well sculpted, the surcoat does not have anything sculpted on it allowing for a plain canvas to choose the cross style used by the different orders ...a really good idea this.

    The cloak is hooded and this hangs very naturally at the back , peeking out of the cloak is the chainmail ..this is finely done ...a area of sculpting that is so easy to overwork ...not in this cae ...nice one Matt . 28th kev 056.jpg
    28th kev 055.jpg 28th kev 057.jpg
    Now to the face ....and what a character face this is 28th kev 058.jpg , bearded with long swept back hair ... I must say now that I consider Matt to have a particular skill when sculpting hair , it is so finely done .
    28th kev 061.jpg
    The facial features are rugged and with good area's in particular the eyes ..so important in a bust , they are looking straight ahead and slightly away from the cross he carrys ...this is a well campaigned soldier ...about mid 50's , he has seen much bloodshed and it should reflect in the painting IMO .

    On now to the 2nd piece ...the cross this is held in a hand , slight removal of some of the post is needed to fit snugly into the sleeve recesses ..once in its spot on , no filler or other prep was needed ...when added this simple cross gives so much to the piece ....it really emphases the religious beliefs of the man .
    28th kev 059.jpg
    28th kev 060.jpg
    The work on the cross shows what it is...... simply 2 pieces of wood tied together , these are very good , the surface of the wood is finely sculpted to reproduce the grain .

    The hand grasps the cross with strength , fingers wrapped round , these are again well sculpted , good work on the knuckles and the way the thumb has been worked .

    No base is included , although a hole has been thoughtfully provided to allow you to fit your own..I will use a brass rod .

    My final thoughts on this: Matt does not sculpt enough IMO , any releases he does is always full of skill ad character , good subject material , popular with many conversion possibilities .

    Sculpting is 1st class , wonderful details throughout , well presented (hopefully future ones will hae the box art from Alex included)

    Talking of the box art lets enjoy again the talents of Sergey :
    EG 1.jpg EG.jpg EG 3.jpg EG 1.jpg

    For more details and to purchase please go to the El Greco website : www.elgrecominiatures.co.uk or e mail : info@elegrecominiatures.co.uk

    Service and Quality of product is assurred from Matt and Celine

    Thanks for looking in

    MalcC, elgreco and sd0324 like this.
  3. sd0324 PlanetFigure Supporter

    I just ordered one of these after seeing this great review. Thanks for the time you take to do this,I always enjoy your reviews.
    elgreco likes this.
  4. elgreco A Fixture

    Great review as always Kev.

    Cheers Matt
  5. MalcC A Fixture

    Think I'll adding this one to my list.

    Good review Nap.(y)
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  6. polyphemus Well-Known Member

    Please anyone thinking of painting this as a Templar remember that the Knights Templar wore white surcoats and white cloaks, not a mix of one black & one white. The rules of the order were extremely prescriptive with regard to the appearance of the various levels of members of the order.

    Superb sculpt.

    napoleonpeart likes this.
  7. brian A Fixture

    Highly recommended.
  8. Frank Kelle New Member

    A very good review!! I will order the bust, as I know the quality from YS Casting from the superb "Hellenic Revolutionary Captain".
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  9. sd0324 PlanetFigure Supporter

    I recommend this bust highly!,....just received mine today and it truly lives up to the review. And also would like to mention El Greco's service, I ordered last Sunday and received it today,great service from the UK to the US.
    elgreco and napoleonpeart like this.

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