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Review The Marauder

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Jazz, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. Jazz A Fixture

    Well, Christmas did me proud this year. Mrs Jazz, bless her heart, bought me “The Marauder” from War Griffon (MDP). This beautiful 90mm figure is sculpted by the very talented Gary Higgins.


    First things first, here’s a little background to the Vikings.

    The word Viking is from the Old Norse language VIKINGR meaning “To go on an expedition”. This later changed to mean the people who go on an expedition. The very word VIKING conjures up an image of the ultimate fighting warrior getting off a long ship to conquer our shores. They were an ancient Scandinavian sea-fairing race who raided and traded across vast areas of Northern and Central Europe from the late 8th to the late 11th Centuries.

    They were known by different names to other races. To the Germans they were the ASCOMANNI, to the Gaels they were the LOCHLANACH, and to the Anglo- Saxons they were the DENE (DANES). To the Slavic people and Arab races they were known as the RUS or RHOS, which meant Rowers. This was possibly the origin of the word Russia where these Vikings settled.

    The Norman race were descended from Vikings, which gave the Viking race a later influence in Northern Europe, such as King Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo- Saxon King of England who had Danish ancestors. The Danelaw significantly influenced Britain during the time of the Vikings, especially in York, Northumbria, Mercia, and East Anglia where the Vikings settled. Also many Viking words have been adopted into the English language, such as Anger, Bag, Dirt, and Gift.

    The Vikings were divided into three distinct social classes: THRALLS were the lowest class who were used as slaves. KARLS were free peasants who owned their own farms and would be used as soldiers when needed. The Karl’s would use mainly a spear and shield but most also carried a SEAX which was a knife used as a sidearm. They shied away from bows as these were considered to be less honourable weapons. The HUSCARLS were an elite guard to King Cnut and later King Harold ll and were armed with two handed battle axes that could be devastating when used. JARLS were the highest class of Viking and were considered to be aristocracy who owned large estates and wore fine silks and kept many Thralls as slaves.

    Warfare of the Vikings was motivated in many cases by their Norse religion which focused on such Gods of Thunder and War such as Odin and Thor. Sometimes Vikings engaged in a disordered highly violent style of fighting and were known as BERSERKERS. These were possibly fueled by the ingestion of hallucinogenic mushrooms and plants as well as copious amounts of alcohol.

    The Viking age ended when their extensive travelling in and out of Scandinavia caused them to be influenced by new religions and ideas, and by the end of the 11th Century Scandinavia underwent many cultural changes, not least being influenced by the Catholic Church.

    The model.

    The kit depicts a Viking warrior in an action pose after being attacked by an unseen enemy. There are an amazing 36 pieces to this kit, which is made of high quality resin and is sold for the very reasonable sum of £40. The kit arrived in a sturdy box containing several clear plastic bags to hold the smaller pieces. The box shows a photograph of the completed model which can be made in several different ways.
    Cimg5712.jpg View attachment 180838 Cimg5716.jpg Cimg5715.jpg Cimg5714.jpg


    The kit depicts a Viking warrior in action pose after being attacked by an unseen enemy. As can be seen in the photos his left arm holds a wooden shield while his right arm can hold either an axe, a spear or a sword. The choice is yours as this kit comes with three right arms. It also comes with a choice of two heads (clean shaven or bearded) with two helmets, a Viking spectacle guard style or a highly detailed Saxon helmet complete with ornamental boar on top.

    The detailing on the sword and dagger scabbards is excellent and it is easy to see that the making of this kit was a labour of love for the sculptor Gary Higgins as there is great attention to detail throughout. There is another helmet that is meant to sit discarded on the base. This helmet is even detailed on the inside showing the padding! There are nine arrow pieces and two spearheads to give a sense of sudden attack to this figure who could have just stepped off a long ship.

    The cape fits snugly over the figures shoulders before the head is attached and this cape comes with two separate brooches. The idea of having a choice of helmet is very good and a lot of thought has gone into this allowing each helmet to sit on either head. Also the spectacle guard on the Viking helmet makes it much easier to paint the eyes. I have always found this the hardest part to paint on Viking figures with this type of helmet when they are moulded together with the head. No problems like that here. Even the base is sculpted very well. There are two levels to the base making it higher at the back allowing the figure to stand in the correct defensive stance which gives it an interesting perspective. The base can be finished as a sea shore or a forest area.

    In conclusion this is an excellent kit and provides great value for money. Everything has been thought through including the addition of a piece of copper sheeting for use as straps and a length of brass pipe for use as a spear. It appears that this is a sculptor who has done his homework and knows what parts tend to be replaced by the modeler but he has already done it for us. I only hope that now I can do this figure justice by giving it a good paint job. I know that it will be a lot of fun to paint.

    The figure can be purchased from Martyn at War Griffon through www.modeldisplayproducts.co.uk

    Happy new year to all fellow Planeteers. Jazz.
  2. Helm A Fixture

    I had one of the first of these and can confirm it's a lovely kit and you're spoilt for choice with parts, I'm holding out hope of an opponent to go with him ;) hint hint
    garyhiggins likes this.
  3. Nap Moderator

    Hi Jazz,

    Well done on a very comprehensive review , looks to be a great kit, love the helmets and heads especially ...looking forward to seeing this come to life by 2015,

    As you said Gary has the skill in knowing what modellers want to see .....good on you Gary

    Nice one Mrs Jazz

    Nap and Mrs Nap wish you both a very happy 2015
    garyhiggins and Jazz like this.
  4. Jazz A Fixture

    Cheers Mr &Mrs Nap. Always nice to hear from the master. Have a very happy New year. Best wishes, Jazz.
  5. garyhiggins A Fixture

    Thank you John for a very gracious review, and thanks to Kev and Steve for their kind remarks. Happy New Year to all,
    best wishes, Gary.
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  6. Babelfish A Fixture

    This is a fantastic piece, and the box art photo doesn't do it justice at all IMHO.

    I first saw it in development at FW in 2011 where it blew me away, and I like to think that my 3 years of pestering him about it helped to spur Gary on to finally get it out there where it deserves to be, LOL!

    I got my eager mitts on it at Euro in September and it really was worth the wait. It's a quality cast & fit as well. If you like your vikings and Dark Ages stuff, make sure you pick one up, you will not be sorry!
    napoleonpeart and garyhiggins like this.
  7. swralph A Fixture

    Great review.
    napoleonpeart and Jazz like this.
  8. Jazz A Fixture

    Thank you all
  9. smudger1960 PlanetFigure Supporter

    I have seen this kit Close up and can say it's a great piece of sculpting by Gary
    napoleonpeart and garyhiggins like this.
  10. Tubby-Nuts2 A Fixture

    Now, this I really do like! Lots of options. A very dynamic posture, which tells a story! Great detail. Its all there!:D ..Oh My !!

    Thanks for the review, this is top-end work, by Mr Higgins!(y)

    Oh, come the end of January! :LOL:


    napoleonpeart and garyhiggins like this.

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