While there are certainly companies out there that are producing great statues for slightly lower prices, I can't see myself giving up Bowen Designs Marvel busts and statues any time soon. Apart from the generally very high quality, the way in which Bowen's character selection presents the necessary amount of the big guns while at the same time mining the depth and breadth of the Marvel Universe is more than enough to keep me making mine Bowen!
A case in point: the recent release of the Warriors Three Mini-Bust Set. Thor's regular allies Volstagg, Fandral and Hogun are important characters to me, and I am sure many others, but hardly A-list characters in the wider scheme of things. The fact that we are seeing them in this form is a testament to Randy Bowen's interest in the broader MU - and I love that we're benefiting from it!
Volstagg is brilliantly executed and quite simply is pure fun. From the wonderful tassels on helmet to his voluminous belly to the playful glint in his eye, this is pure Volstagg all the way. An excellent sculpting job supported by perfect paints, and a piece that is going to immediately go on my list of favourite busts. Pure magic.
Fandral was based on Errol Flynn, and this bust certainly channels that feel and look. I really like the different tones and depths of green used in this piece. He's been sculpted with a sword - statues with swords always make me nervous, but particularly one like Fandral's which is pointing out at a right angle from the statue - the risk of snapping it off as it's moved. The one real improvement I'd like here is a more lively facial expression that really captures the glint in Fandral's eye. He's a beautifully done piece, but perhaps just missing that spark of life that would really bring the bust to life.
Hogun is as well sculpted as the rest of the set, but he's my least favourite of the three pieces. Firstly, he's positioned looking ever so slightly down, and this means that his face is overly shielded by the fur lining on his hat. I ideally want these busts on one of my lower shelves, but this means not really being able to see Hogun's face. Also, I've always seen Hogun as slightly bigger than Fandral, and the positioning of Hogun on a lower base makes it look the other way around. These issues don't actually take anything away from my enjoyment of the set, but there's a bit of a design choice and comic accuracy niggle here that takes a bit of getting used to. On the plus side, sculpt (apart from the angle) and paint are excellent, and he has his mace which offset's Fandral's sword nicely.
A band of sidekicks would be pretty useless without someone to sidekick, for, wouldn't they? Following on from the release of the Warriors Three set, two new Thor busts (classic and modern) have also been released. These have been sculpted by Randy Bowen himself. As much as I do like his new gear and chainmail costume elements, I decided on classic Thor because he fits in with my classic Avengers busts. I quite like the new costume, but since you never know how long such changes will last and the pose of both statues is the same, I decided that the original was best - and enough.
The musculature on Thor's arms seems a little strange to me. Maybe I'm just jealous! Overall, I am very impressed with the sculpting and painting work on this piece - especially the flowing cape - but a bit dubious on the pose of both arms out - simply because it limits display options when put alongside other busts. I'm going to need to get a little riser to put Thor on to make it work alongside his Asgardian friends.
The Bowen-related Asgard attention is far from over. As well as some new Thor and Loki full sized statues which are obviously going to be timed to tie in with the film, there are amazing looking busts of The Enchantress and Hela (Bowen Web Exclusive) also on the way. This is only going to serve to make the Asgard Bust section of my display even more amazing than it already is I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to track down the Odin Bust to try to keep them all in order!
Until next time!