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In-Box Review
75mm
Montezuma
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by: Andrzej Snigorski [ ENDRJU007 ]

Introduction

Montezuma II Xocoyotzin (also known as Moctezuma II, Motekosoma, Motecuhzoma or Moteuczoma) was born in 1466 and died 30th of June 1520. He was last Tlatoani (ruler) of Aztec (Mexicas) before arrival of Hernán Cortés and his conquistadors.
Montezuma was considered to be absolute monarch – he ruled Aztec people during the period of greatest power and prosperity of city-state Tenochtitlan. During his reign Mexicas’ Empire reached its maximal size.
Unfortunately he was hesitant and superstitious ruler. Prophets and diviners surrounding Montezuma foretold arrival of Quetzalcoatl – The Feathered-Serpent god. Arrival of Cortés in foretold and expected time made Montezuma believe that Cortés as actually a god.
Conquistadors hoping for great loot marched to Tenochtitlan where Cortés and Montezuma finally met. Montezuma realized that he is not facing Quetzalcoatl but he couldn’t definitely withstand Spanish leader.
He did not support uprising against invaders and was killed by thrown stone after trying to calm down rebelling Aztecs. Other version says that wounded Montezuma has been suffocated along with rest of Aztec nobles by conquistadors.
Year after his death Tenochtitlan has fallen. It resulted with fast Spanish conquest of whole Mesoamerica and fall of art and culture in that region of America.

The Figure

Pegaso Models offer very nice figure sculpted by Andrea Jula.
Figure shows Montezuma standing with his right feet on a step, shield in his left hand, wielding a sword above his head. His face shows determination or anger as he shouts with his mouth wide open.
His head and black hair decorated with turquoises are covered by eagle headed helmet made of wood, leather and metal (even silver), ornamented with turquoise and gold. Helmet is beautifully decorated with huge crest made of feathers of quetzal bird.
Face is painted with red and yellow ochre with black stripes on both sides, pierced with lip plug called tentetl and nasal discs. Montezuma wears also golden disc earrings.
Jeweled necklace with huge round pendant visible under the cloak is made of gold, turquoises, and claws.
On his shoulders he wears a cotton cloak called tilmantli. Its internal lining was red and external side was a masterpiece mosaic made entirely of multicolor feathers forming emblem of warrior’s tribe or military order.
His loincloth called maxlatl is made of jaguar skin with carmine fringes.
He wears golden, turquoise and jade rings and bracelets around arms and legs.
His feet are protected with leather sandals also ornamented with turquoises and gold.
In his right hand he holds maquabuitl – wooden mace-sword with pieces of volcanic glass used as blades. Wooden part is sculpted and painted in sky blue and gold.
The Chimalli shield which he holds in his left hand is made of wood, roots and covered with cotton. It is ornamented with feathers and long fringes or actually colorful straps.

The kit

Kit comes in standard Pegaso Models cardboard box with three pictures of figure and its details assembled and painted by Pietro Balloni.
Parts are protected by two thick slabs of polyfoam and no damage was observed in reviewed kit. Several smaller parts are also packed inside plastic bag.
Inside the box, beside the parts one can find short note in English, German, Italian and French prepared by Marci Giuliani on Montezuma’s history. There are some useful tips concerning paint scheme of the figure.
Kit contains 17 parts:
Body:
- main body (head, torso, left leg)
- right leg
- right arm with hand holding sword
- left arm
- left hand holding shield
Helmet:
- eagle head piece
- quetzal feathers crest – left side
- quetzal feathers crest – right side
- quetzal feathers crest – upper inner part
- quetzal feathers crest – lower inner part
- quetzal feathers crest – middle inner part

- cloak
- nasal disc
- pendant
- loincloth knot
- cloak knot
- base (stone step)

Assembly and painting

Although the kit includes many parts (for a figure) assembly is quite obvious and picture of finished figure on the box is absolutely enough to identify where each part goes.
Cover art showing figure painted by Pietro Balloni along with information on a leaflet placed inside the box are great help in painting. Additional pictures available on Pegaso Models website are also great painting reference material.
Big amounts of jewelry, ornaments on sword, cloak, shield and jaguar skin loincloth are very demanding but extremely interesting objects for figure painters – figure will require precision and patience to be painted properly but result may be really stunning.

Detailing and quality

Figure is made of high quality white metal. Details are crisp, clean and sculpted with great care. Feathers of the crest, jewelry, textures of shield and cloak are great base for painting. Bigger surfaces are flawless and only few seam lines require cleaning. Only area that may require some more attention is left side of the main body (figure’s left, not “camera” left). Seam line is quite big there and cleaning is necessary especially because it on Montezuma’s chest so the seam line would be perfectly visible on the ribs.
Fitting is very good and dry check gave satisfying results. Joint requiring most work is the one of main body and right leg – it is almost totally covered by the cloak but still requires correction. Pin-to-hole joints are used for most of bigger parts making positioning easier and helping to hold big and heavy parts. One may want to use better glue for this figure anyway – parts are big and quite heavy so standard cyanoacrylate glue may not be enough to hold them in place.

Conclusion

Very nice and interesting figure perfectly sculpted by Andrea Jula. Both the subject and the sculpture allow colorful and eye-catching painting. High quality of figure is its great advantage and required corrections are low price one have to pay to receive nice result in the shape of figure. Painting scheme is definitely a challenge, but the result should be proportional to time and effort put in this subject.
Highly recommended!

Our webside published photo features consisting a lot of pictures of this figure painted by Pietro Balloni [PEGASOMOD] (some of these pictures were used as cover art for the figure box) and Alguhan Aksar [WAMPUM].
There is also forum thread showing very interesting modification of this figure made by Costas Rodopoulos [Major_Goose].
There are some other examples of painting of this figure available on the forum.

Pictures of painted figure are taken from Pegaso Models website.
SUMMARY
Highs: Great number of beautiful details, high quality, dynamic pose.
Lows: Requires correction of seam line on left side of body and some filling.
Verdict: Eye-catching figure sculpted with great care, allowing very colorful painting. Highly recommended!
Percentage Rating
97%
  Scale: 75mm
  Mfg. ID: 75-042
  Suggested Retail: 37,50€
  Related Link: Figure on vendor's website
  PUBLISHED: Apr 28, 2011
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 85.58%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 89.80%

PHOTOS
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About Andrzej Snigorski (endrju007)
FROM: WOJEWODZTWO PODKARPACKIE, POLAND

My first contact with model making took place over 20 years ago – I’ve made few models of planes when I was 9. They were all destroyed in one disastrous accident. Pain after loosing results of my own work was so big that I’ve left model making for about 15 years ;) . I’ve returned to building models...

Copyright ©2018 text by Andrzej Snigorski [ ENDRJU007 ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Great figure and I think after this one released, many aztec figures on market followed him. Very nice review Andrzej.. Thanks
APR 29, 2011 - 11:43 AM
Thanks for great review!
APR 29, 2011 - 12:07 PM
Thanks for reading and comments friends! It sure is great looking figure and it is going to be fun to paint it. The only problem is that I will have to extend my paint pallet to show correct colours. I usually don't paint anything so colorful with so many bright colours.
MAY 05, 2011 - 07:04 AM
Hi Andrzej, This figure is painted by many HFM members and posted on forums. search on HFM may bring you many posts that can be useful. A photo feature of the boxart painting of Pietro Balloni was published before. keep safe
MAY 05, 2011 - 09:13 AM
Thanks for a hint Engin. I've search after some of the HF Montezumas and as you can see I've updated the review a little bit. Andrzej
MAY 07, 2011 - 10:10 AM
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