Friday, 23 November 2012

Review: Kingdom Death Twilight Knight Pinup


Well after reviewing my favourite Kingdom Death miniature the Flower Knight yesterday, I felt I really ought to end on my Kingdom Death reviews this week on another pinup miniature, before I post up an extensive interview with Adam Poots. What better pinup model to do that with than what I think was their very first pinup miniature in the range, the Twilight Knight Pinup.

Product Description

As with all Kingdom Death miniatures you'll get yourself a postcard sized piece of the concept art, which is a nice touch. As for the miniature itself it'll come in 7 pieces and the standard Kingdom Death resin base. There a tattered cape, her main body, her left arm carrying a lantern, her hooded head, and a sword with her hand. There's also a spare sword and what looks like a sword hilt, that I'm not too sure you're meant to use... but I could be wrong.

Update: The base I got with this miniature was the square resin one you see in this picture. However, if any of you have purchased any Kingdom Death miniatures recently you'll have noticed that they now come with flat plastic discs with an indentation in them where a second plastic disc can go, or a scenic base insert as is the case of the Illuminated Lady. I'm unsure whether these bases are now shipped with all miniatures in the range or just the latest stuff, but I thought it best to inform you all of it any way!

The new plastic Kingdom Death bases.

Character 8 out of 10

There was a discussion on the Grand Mother review as to whether or not Kingsom Death miniatures were Frazettaesque or not, it's made me want to re-write the introduction to this and qualify my statements. I'm honestly of two minds about this, on the one hand I think Kingdom Death miniatures do present women in a more voluptuous less skinny waif way than most modern media does today. With more curves than most, and the wider derrière's to go with them, much in the same way Frazetta did. But, Frazetta's work wasn't quite as exaggerated in some of his works as some of the Kingdom Death miniatures are. However, I do see the influences here with the Twilight knight from Franzetta. The slightly knock kneed stance, and the obvious battle bikini, but also the sword being held out casually to one side to support the weight of the stance, and kick those hips out at a jaunty angle. However, I'd like to bring the work of another artist who is famed for his fantasy females, Boris Vallejo, again with the pinup range of miniatures I can see more of Vallejo's influences on the pieces. For me I think the Twilight Knight Pinup doesn't actually have all that much character beyond being a sexy curvacious body, in a bikini with a sword. She's meant to be attractive and to titillate the viewer, that is purely her 'job' as it were. Given the obvious nods to the work of the likes of Vallajo and Frazetta I think it succeeds in its task. Sure there's still that little motif of the Kingdom Death lantern, but she wears her artistic influences on her sleeve... erm... well she would if she was wearing any clothes that is.

Detail 8 out of 10

This was one of the first Kingdom Death miniatures produced, and while it is still a step above on most miniatures it isn't quite at the same levels they are now achieving. That in itself should tell you how rapidly Kingdom death has evolved as a product line. Her facial features are as sharp, crisp and expressive as anything else in the Kingdom Death range, but the details on her boots, knee pads and bandaged up legs aren't quite to the standards currently being set by the likes of the Flower Knight. the cloak is a nicely detailed and tattered garment with crisp folds in its surface, but again the tears and worn holes in it are not as fine as they now are with other pieces. The sword though certainly hinted at the uncompromising stance Kingdom Death would be taking on recreating the finest details there are. It is very, very thin, so thin that if there is a light source behind it the light actually penetrates the resin. This was certainly a marker for things to come, they have continued to produce delicate scale miniatures and damn the consequences as they don't want to ruin their artistic vision, part of me admires the strength of character to stick with such brave design decisions... and part of me wishes they'd make things just a little bit more 'sturdy'.

Quality 7.5 out of 10

There is no question that I've had issues with this miniature, arguably more so than any other Kingdom Death miniature. That delicate sword I mentioned snapped at the hilt when I blew on it to help the glue dray... -_- ... it's not often I put emoticon type faces in reviews, but I think that deserved one. lesson well and truly learned there. Strangely painting it with a brush afterwards hasn't caused any problems... so God only knows what that says about my breath. There were also issues with mould lines being slightly more pronounced than I would have liked on the main body, cape and head. They required a lot of cleaning up, and as people who are used to working with resin will know, going a bit deeper into a resin miniature can reveal air bubbles. Thankfully this wasn't the case with the Twilight Knight Pinup.

Price 7.5 out of 10

Well the Twilight Knight Pinup was one of the first Kingdom Death miniatures that I brought. So the price of $25's or £15.50 didn't put me off from buying more from Kingdom Death. Yeah that's a lot of money I guess for any single 32mm miniature, but for a limited edition piece you can't really grumble too much, and I have to say that if you buy a Kingdom Death miniature you are buying a product of exceedingly high quality.

Overall 8 out of 10

Again like the Preacher Pinup before, this model does do it's supposed job. It presents an attractive fantasy female image that is meant to be sexy, in the vein of pinups. I personally think it works. The Twilight Knight is an attractive looking fantasy female, even if whenever I look at her I instantly think of the College Humor video. Is it sexist? Yeah, because pinups by there very nature are a little bit sexist, as is the portrayal of the female form in much of geek culture. But, I'll say it again, at least by labeling this as a pinup there is no pretense about it and pretending its anything other than an attempt to titillate, so Kingdom Death get brownie points again for being honest about it. Peace out!

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