Brown Art Gothic Armour

I am not a collector of 1/6 scale action figures, but this one caught my eye, seen in a pop up ad on a certain well known online auction site. It’s not a cheap figure; at the time of writing I have seen prices ranging from £121.51 to £187.99 plus p&p. I have often thought wouldn’t it be great if you could get a miniature suit of armour in a scale large enough to have some level of articulation. The world of 1/6 scale action figures would seem to be the obvious place to look, and while there are models of knights in this scale there aren’t many in full plate armour. Those that are available seem to be based more on fantasy than historical fact. Yet here we have a figure in full armour and not based on any movie or game franchise. The title on the box says it all, ‘Brown Art Gothic Armour’. I am sure that many Mil Mod readers will recognize this as being a representation of the suit belonging to Arch Duke Sigismund of Tyrol. Some fine examples of this style of armour are part of the Collection of Arms and Armour found at The Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

Brown Art is not a company I have heard of before, and I assume from the figure’s product code (B-A0001S) that this is their first figure. There is a web address printed on the box, (www.brownart.co), but this doesn’t seem to work. The figure is well packaged in a large box with soft grey foam inserts cut to surround and protect the contents within. The figure comes with some weapons and accessories. The weapons are a mace, pole-axe, and of course, what knight would be complete without a sword? The sword has a scabbard, which can be attached to the figure’s waste by a small leather belt and buckle.

The accessories include several detachable spare hands in different posses (see photo), as well as two pairs of metal gauntlets.  One pair of gauntlets has fingers slightly open to accommodate weapons, and the second pair has fingers in a more relaxed position. Other accessories are, a wooden stand with an extra length of chain to hang the weapons from, and an octagonal wooden plinth base. There is a metal tube that attaches to the wooden base via a pre-drilled hole held in place with a screw, which is also provided. The tube then houses a shaped wire support, which grips the figure from under the crotch.  Looks painful, but it works!

While the figure can be posed to a degree, and with care can free stand unsupported, he is best displayed standing on the wooden base held firmly in place with the wire brace.

The figure comes (mostly) clad in his armour, which is actually made of metal! The pauldrons (shoulder armour) have to be attached. This is a little bit tricky to do. I found it best to remove his head, and then feed the thin (leather?) strap through a loop of leather on top of the shoulder and then the small press-stud popper (snap) is pushed together. This is almost impossible to do without the aide of fine pliers! Once both pauldrons are in position it’s just a question of reattaching the head and putting on his sallet (helmet). I have a tip here, put the helmet on the head before putting the head on the body. The helmet has a lining inside, and elastic chinstrap. Place the elastic chinstrap under the chin and behind the ears, then pull the helmet up enough to slip your fingers under. Now you can more easily push the head down onto the peg inside the neck. The figure is now ready to pose and display.

As you can see in the photos the figure’s head sculpt looks quite good, but why Brown Art have given him a strange tattoo in the middle of his forehead I have no idea. As my intention had always been to display the figure in one set pose with helmet in place this wasn’t too much of an issue.

As already noted the figure’s armour is made from metal so this makes it quite weighty, and with the helmet in place a little top heavy. I found that my example could adopt some poses, but it was hard to get him to balance. I also noticed that the joints under his armour seemed to become loser the more they were manipulated. It’s great that the armour is metal, but in many ways if this figure is used as an action figure rather than a static display piece, the weight of the metal armour is its downfall. The pauldrons particularly do not articulate in the same way that the full size example would. Yes they ‘float’ on the shoulder a little thanks to the strap and press-stud arrangement underneath, but don’t allow full movement. Obviously there are manufacturing costs, and constraints of scale, which prohibit the exact reproduction of each and every separate component. I wonder how the figure would be if Brown Art dropped the extra hands and reproduced the armour plate in plastic.

Brown Art also offer this same figure in a ‘gold platted’ version (item ref. B-A0001G), this can be seen illustrated on the box cover. Ironically the head sculpt of this gold coloured version doesn’t have the tattoo, other than the lack of the tattoo and the gold armour the figures are identical.

To conclude, despite my dislike of the tattoo and restricted possibility, I am really pleased with this figure. I have always liked the aesthetic of ‘Gothic’ style armour, and for their first attempt at a figure in full armour I think Brown Art have done a good job. Once safely on its plinth the figure has a certain presence to it, and makes an impress desk ornament.

I really hope that Brown Art produce some more suits of armour in different styles in the near future.

Richard Dyer

 

Product: Metal & multi media

Ref: B-A0001S

Scale: 1/6

Parts: Figure plus multiple accessories

Price: Approx £122 - £188

Manufacturer: Brown Art

Website: www.brownart.co