Monday, March 21, 2011

Bowen's Black Widow spins a beautiful web

As any reader of AFB would know, I am a very keen collector of busts and statues from Bowen Designs. I love how much Randy Bowen loves the Marvel Universe and how well his products generally capture the characters that I love too. I have quite a number of new statues and busts to review in the coming weeks, but I’ll try to space them out between other reviews so no one suffers Bowen overload (not that I would personally consider that a bad thing!).

Most Bowen sculpts are generally well received, but something that’s been getting the fans excited is Tim Miller’s design efforts with the recently released Black Widow full-sized statue. Right from the initial preview photos, collectors were excited to see Tim bringing his great skills, previously used for pieces like the Sideshow Rogue and Mystique comiquettes, to Bowen’s rendition of one of the Marvel Universe’s leading ladies.

With The Avengers being the main theme of my Bowen Collection (with X-Men being second, and Whatever Takes My Fancy third), I was delighted to see this version of Natasha Romanoff as it captures her in her earlier Avengers look – the Bronze Age Avengers era is my favourite! Black Widow is now sitting happily on a shelf with Beast, Vision and other heroes I associate with that era.

While this is quite a simple piece on the surface, it’s actually a rather skillful accomplishment for a number of reasons. What’s most impressive about Tim Miller’s work here, and I think one of the main reasons collectors have been clamouring for him to take on more Bowen pieces, is that he not only has a strong handle on sculpting the female form – he also crafts the female face quite beautifully. Black Widow is quite striking to look at, even on multiple viewings. Her hair is also beautifully sculpted.

I like the pose of this statue. It’s powerful, but not in an overt way. Black Widow is shown being in complete control, not needing to flaunt her power – just quietly confident. Her weapon is held in an almost careless manner, but it’s still there as a real threat as required.

Even the best sculpt can be let down by a lackluster paint job, and Bowen has been having some disconcerting paint issues lately. Thankfully that’s not the case here, with only a minor niggle. There are different levels of sheen used here, from the matte of her skin to the metallic gold elements, that create a rich picture despite the limited range of colours present. The black of her outfit catches the light nicely to provide much needed depth through light and shade. Miller’s excellent effort on Black Window’s face is supported by an excellent paint job. Her left eye is slightly to the left of center, however at the angle the statue is posed at it doesn't create an issue.

The base of this statue is worth commenting on, because it is quite a compact base that is rectangular in size. While many statues call for a more elaborate base, I quite like Black Widow’s as it really draws attention to the incredible piece itself. Being a rectangular shape as opposed to the usual round shape most Bowen bases have also makes it easy to place between other statues to fill out a display. I’d like to see a few more of the lower price statues come with this type of base to help make the most of the display real estate available!

I’m looking to more Tim Miller-sculpted Bowen goodness, like the Bowen Exclusive X-23 and a Scarlet Witch statue which has been teased. Mark Newman has great skills when it comes to Marvel’s Fantastic Females, but some competition in that department is never a bad thing!

You can see more pics at Facebook, discuss this at the AFB Forum and comment on this post to enter the March AFB Comment of the Month Contest!

Also, don’t forget to check out the two contests we have going at the moment: the “That ‘70s Custom” Custom Contest and our first “Toy Lines!” Caption Contest!

Until next time!


ryanlb said...

That statue looks amazing! I wouldn't mind getting it myself.

chrismandesign said...

this statue is gorgeous, a fine piece of sexy art... i cannot imagine a more charming widow... i love that silky black suit surrounding those dangerous curves... this is a hot statue, period =O

Unknown said...

Sharp and Sexy looking i like it.

Westy said...

She's clearly too sexy for my wallet. Sniff.

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