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Review: Solomon Kane


  • Review: Solomon Kane

    FeR miniatures is becoming one of the go-to sites for larger scale miniatures in recent times, developing a reputation for producing stunning busts and figures, and collaborating with sculptors such as Raffaele Picca and David Zabrocki. It is run by the equally talented painter Fernando Ruiz, who in fact painted the box art for the kit we're looking at here. Chances are that if you've seen a historical figure/bust on Facebook or Putty & Paint over the last 12 months, it's from this site!

    This 75mm kit caught my eye as it was the start of a new line. Through no fault of FeR miniatures, it has taken me too long to write this up. Delivery time was actually fantastic, and the miniature arrived safely in a jiffy bag, complete with FeR minis sticker. However, I must add that Fernando's patience has led to some apt timing. Halloween is the perfect occasion to look at a model who is based on a puritanical character seeking to banish evil. The character in question is Solomon Kane, who is the first of FeR's 'Icons of Literature' range. The second release, Ahab, is out this month.

    The reason this initially stood out was that although it was a historical figure, it also had an air of fantasy about it. This certainly appealed to me more as a painter, and may possibly work as a gateway drug to other large scale figures.

    It is certainly an interesting and arguably lesser-known icon of literature, which perhaps makes it more appealing. In fact, apart from lots of references to the apparently rather poor movie of the same name, there is little beyond a fairly detailed Wikipedia page to discover more about this solemn, lonely figure. Importantly, all the key features of the character from the Robert E. Howard series are included, which we'll look at later as they crop up.

    You can find out more about the literary adventures of Kane here:

    Now, onto the mini!

    As you can see in the first picture, the figure comes in a sturdy plastic box, with a copy of the box art on the top. The parts were also well-protected by a layer of sponge which didn't make it to the photo shoot. Having ordered a bust as well, this is consistent with other FeR releases, and gives you great confidence as a buyer that your purchases will arrive intact. It certainly adds to the overall quality feel to the product as well.

    The kit is made up of 10 pieces altogether, and is produced in a light grey resin that most modellers will be familiar with. The first surprise and the largest piece is the base, as seen below. Often a figure will be shown on the box with an elaborate base, and it makes a change to see it included with this kit. The base has an eerie face built into it, and a couple of skulls are left in the rubble too. As with the mini itself, the cast is of a good quality and can just go straight onto your plinth of choice. What's even better is that the base comes ready prepared with slots not only for tabs on Kane's feet, making it fit securely, but also a hole for his staff and a smaller indent for his left heel. This leaves the painter with no work whatsoever to integrate it into the base, something I really appreciate as it just speeds up the process!

    The next large piece in the kit, and possibly one of the main focal points (certainly as a painter) is the leather cloak. This is a fantastic piece, full of folds and ripples in the leather along with notches and holes for extra detail. Of all the pieces, I would say this is the weakest in terms of casting. That sounds pretty negative, but to be honest it's still very well done, and certainly hasn't affected my overall opinion of the quality of this miniature. I only spotted some slight air bubbles on my third time of looking, and in fact I think some of them, perhaps all of them, won't be noticed at all when primed. Some of the resin vent pieces are very simple to remove, apart from the one near the collar which is slightly more challenging to remove without damaging the collar. As can be seen in the picture, the inside of the cloak has a plug to insert into the top of the main body piece, as well as two sockets for the arms.

    The body is almost flawlessly cast. I have found one very faint mould line (and had to look very hard for it!). He cuts quite a lean, gaunt figure, and it connects perfectly with the cloak piece, leaving no noticeable gap between them (again, fantastic for the less-enthusiastic preparer!). The fabric is well sculpted, and the raised knee just helps to guide your eye up towards the head once assembled. These small details in composition make a big difference to the final figure, and sculptor Paul Deheleanu clearly understands this!

    The puritanical, witch hunter vibe is in full effect too, with buckled boots, and Kane's documented pistol and dirk clearly on show (no giggling please!). Combined with the belts, ropes and sashes, there is lots of potential to play with different textures as a painter.

    The next photo contains the two arm pieces and Kane's juju staff, which he acquires along his journeys. This makes the figure clearly based on the literature and not just a generic Puritan sculpt.
    As you can see, there are a couple of casting plugs but nothing difficult to remove. In fact, any work on one of them will be hidden when the arm is slotted in place under the cloak. The sculpting on the folds is crisp, and despite being a bit of a challenge to paint, again allows another area of contrast on the figure. There are sockets for the hand pieces to ensure a snug fit too.

    The staff itself has a slight mould line around the glove and across the cat's head, which should be no problem to remove. Where it crosses the strapping at the top of the staff might prove a bit of an issue, but most modellers will be used to this. Having read up what I can of Kane, these features like the metallic spike on one end, and the Egyptian cat head on the other, really start to bring the figure together.

    That leaves us with the final four components to look at. Kane is described as being a Ďsolemn maní and with a Ďpale, gaunt face.í I think itís fair to say that this hits the brief pretty much perfectly! The hair also moves in the same direction as the cloak, adding to the movement and silhouette. His hat is also well cast, as with the other pieces, and all the parts connect with little work required for a snug fit. The Puritan look is enhanced with the witch hunter hat and obligatory buckle.

    Finally, we look at the sword hand and scabbard, which tucks neatly into a groove on the body piece. The sword hand is the weakest component of the kit, and may well not be a common error. As with everything else, there is little to speak of in terms of mould lines, but the sword itself is pretty badly warped. In a follow-up article I will be checking out whether this is a quick easy fix or not. Having seen a friendís version with a much straighter sword, I cannot say how common this is as I stated before. In theory, itís an easy fix and doesnít detract from the overall kit.

    So, in summaryÖ
    • The kit is a 75mm resin figure
    • It comes with a sculpted base
    • The sculptor is Paul Deheleanu, who has produced a large number of fantastic historical pieces
    • The box art was painted by Fernando Ruiz
    • It consists of 10 pieces altogether
    • It comes in a sturdy plastic box, which clearly protects all the components
    • It costs 45 euros (plus shipping), good value for the quality of the material, size and the fact it comes with a display base
    • This model could be a stepping stone for those looking to move from fantasy to historical painting
    • Kane is the first in a new line of sculpts for FeR miniatures. The second, a bust called Ahab, is now available.

    You can buy the kit here:

    Thanks for reading, and to FeR miniatures for the opportunity. Look out for the follow-up article about the preparation process. Youíll get a better idea of how all those pieces slot together.
    Attached Files

    • vegascat
      Destroyer of Ladders
      vegascat commented
      Editing a comment
      That's a great review! He's on my wishlist(tm) and its nice to see a review like this to let me know I won't be dissapointed when I get him one day.
    Posting comments is disabled.

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Darklord Wamp creator, painter (when I find time) Find out more about Darklord

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