Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Product Review: Andrea Miniatures "Man With No Name"

"You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig."

Recently, I purchased this miniature vignette and I think this is a great little kit for anyone who likes Sergio Leone's famous "spaghetti westerns" or fans of Clint Eastwood's early roles.

This is a 54mm kit produced by the Spanish company Andrea Miniatures. It's a studio kit, meaning it's meant to be assembled, painted, and put on display rather than played with (and I'll get into the reasons why that is a little later...) and depicts the final scene in "The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly" (1966). Priced at ~$32 USD, this is a small vignette featuring the iconic "Man With No Name" himself, the hanging tree, and a small unmarked grave.

Above is a pic of the box and contents. I have to say that I was impressed with how well-packaged everything was. Though the box appears small, everything is packed well and tightly in a double layer of foam. For the environmentally-conscious, there's no excessive packaging here!

The one glaring problem with the contents is there are no instructions. For those of you who are veteran modelers or those of you who can build a kit just by looking at a picture, this shouldn't be an issue. I wouldn't recommend this for a beginning modeler however. There is a nice little generic booklet on how to assemble and paint your miniature (pictured below) which, while nice, wouldn't really help if this were a more detailed kit.

And the detailing here is very good. You'll notice a tiny baggy contained two very small (less than 1mm) spurs, which are to be glued unto "Blondie's" boots! The serape is nicely detailed, with the various designs raised for ease of painting. Additionally, the figure really does look like Clint Eastwood, especially in the face, where a lot of other kits tend to go awry.

There are some nice extra bitz here. The hanging tree is very well detailed, the grave marker is nice but not perfect (in the movie, the left spur is covered in rags), and the shovel is also nice but flawed (in the movie, the spade is square, not rounded). My once minor complaint is the base. It's much too small for all the scene (especially in relation to the tree) and I particularly dislike the small hillock "Blondie" stands on. I'll be leaving this out of my vignette but it might be useful somewhere else.

The kit itself assembles quickly enough. Most modelers should be able to have this piece cleaned, assembled, and possibly primed within a day. There are some small mold-lines on the figure itself but nothing that can't be removed with either an Xacto blade or small file. The only quibble here is the left arm. First, there really isn't much detail under the serape to represent an armpit and this had to be filled in with some GS. Second, the pose of the left arm is a bit un-natural, but nothing so glaring it would detract from the figure overall.

In closing, I think this is a very nice kit, well worth the money, especially for fans.


-Vignette truly captures the feel of Leone's masterpiece western 'The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly"
-Lots of nice little extra bitz (noose, dead tree, etc.)
-Amazing detail, right down to the spurs on Eastwood's boots!
-MSRP is fairly reasonable for everything you get


-Lack of instructions (shouldn't be a problem for veteran modelers or those with good visual cognition)
-Relatively soft metal captures detail well but can make small pieces "bendy", this kit is NOT recommended for gaming!
-The base is a bit small and I dislike the raised piece the figure sits on
-Gap in left armpit under serape needs to be filled in
-The kit's spade is rounded, while the spade in the movie is actually square

No comments: