by: Andrzej Snigorski [ ]
Spanish figure company Andrea Miniatures offers figure from Medieval Knights Series. It is 2005 SM-F50 „Crusader, XI century” figure representing knight from Kingdom of Jerusalem period. It’s hard to miss resemblance of figure and Balian od Ibelin as he was portrayed by Orlando Bloom in Ridley Scott’s “Kingdom of Heaven”
The Kingdom of Jerusalem was a Christian kingdom established in 1099 after the First Crusade. It lasted nearly two hundred years, from 1099 until 1291 when the last remaining possession, Acre, was destroyed by the Mamluks. At first the kingdom was little more than a loose collection of towns and cities captured during the crusade but later kings expanded its size so it finally covered almost territory of modern-day Israel, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories.
One of the important nobles of Kingdom of Jerusalem in XII century was Balian of Ibelin. After surviving battle of Hittin he led the defense of Jerusalem. Balian negotiated capitulation conditions with Saladin. He took part in third crusade and once again helped in negotiations with Saladin.
Kit shows XI century crusader right after a battle. He stands straight holding his nasal helmet by the straps in left hand and his sword in right hand. His arms are loose and straight, close to body. He wears mail armor with hood, gloves and shoes with spurs. On the armor he wears a tunic with his coat of arms. One belt is holds his tunic and second belt supports the scabbard.
Shirt is visible below the mail armor. Knight’s hair is arms long. On the little finger of left hand he has a signet ring.
Crusader stands on a small base representing desert soil of Holy Land.
Kit comes in Andrea Miniatures box with picture of painted figure on the front and five additional pictures of the same figure and its details from different angles on the back. Parts are well protected by foam completely filling whole box. Biggest parts are placed directly in the foam and several smaller parts are in additional plastic bags.
Box contains 11 parts which are
- torso with left leg
- right leg
- right arm with sword
- left arm
- nasal helm
- two helmet straps
- one block with two spurs
- small base
assembly & painting
No assembly instruction is present but with figure is simple and detailed instruction is not necessary. Spurs are not shown on pictures but is rather obvious where to attach them.
There is basic Andrea Miniatures painting instruction in the box but it doesn’t show this kit, just basic techniques of painting faces and shadows/highlights. Since the box-art shows the painted figure from all angles it may be painted basing on these pictures. Painting matches Balian of Ibelin as presented in “Kingdom of Heaven” but actual coat of arms of Ibelin was red/yellow, not red/white.
deatiling & quality
Casting is almost flawless, some delicate seam lines are visible on some edges and on sides of left arm. Delicate flesh may also be found but it doesn’t need too much cleaning.
Rings of mail armor are sculpted with care, so are other details like seams on gloves, belts, buckles or signet ring. Cloths look realistic as well.
Face is nicely sculpted as well so if you like Orlando Bloom, you can have his miniature without any problem now.
Parts fit well so there file should not be necessary. On the other hand some putty may be useful to fill very small gaps between some parts (especially between right leg and main body).
Simple but very nice figure for either middle ages or movie lovers. Figure may require some minor adjustments but not enough to dim the shine of possible final result. Coat of arms painted on the tunic may be real eye catcher. Crisp details should give any painters a good starting point.