Following on from my review of the Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarine Assault Primaris Space Marine Action Figure from McFarlane Toys, this post will take a look at the Artists Proof or Proof of Concept.
In many senses this action figure is all but identical to its painted counterpart, the only real differences being the weaponry and the fact that it isn’t painted in any livery or heraldry at all. This is ideal to allow the collector to paint the figure in whatever chapter or colour scheme they want too and already there are several showing up online that are totally outstanding and unique.
The figure comes in a matt grey hard plastic vynil and the same base as the regular figure, but instead of the bolt pistol and chainsword, this model comes with a bolter which is bedecked with a purity seal which adds to the figure emensly.
Again the figure has 22 point articulation with a great deal of posabiltiy, and also suffers from the same problem as the painted version. The weapon looks fantastic (just the few mould lines make it look like a toy) but trying to get the figure to hold the weapon is another thing entirely. The hands are very static and have very little give in them without heating them up with either a hair dryer or hot water. This is a pretty simple fix, but if you don’t know it could be very annoying, espeically if you are a young child wanting to play with your toy!
The more expensive Bandai Space Marine gets around this problem by having articulated fingers and even alternative hands, something that McFarlane could perhaps offer in the future.
And speaking of the future for the range. As I posted in my last review, there are all new figures due out in early Feburary 2021 and they are already available to pre-order from many toy stores. Added to the Space Marine Hellblaster and Sister of Battle is a artists proof of concept for the Necron Warrior, which again will allow you to customise and paint your figure as you see fit.
Speaking of painting! This artist proof already seems to be undercoated in a matt primer so painting directly onto it shouldn’t be a problem. I would suggest though that you follow the simple steps below.
Preperation: The action figure comes ready to play right out of the box, but if you plan on painting it, you will need to get it ready. First step is to wash the model in warm water with some washing up liquid or similar in. This will get rid of any excess mould release which is left over from the moulding process. Normally this is not something to worry about but if not cleaned off it will cause paint to pool or run off when applied.
Likewise its a good idea to seperate the pieces of the figure at this point and this is very simple to do. All you need to do to seperate the parts is just simply pull gently on both sides of the part you wish to release while its in hot water. The water will soften the plastic and allow you to easily manipulate it and its possible to break down the figure to almost every single part. Use firm but gentle pressure and pull and it should just pop apart as the marjority of the parts of the figure are on a ball and socket joint. The waist band which has the thigh guards and pouches is glued in place and should come loose with hot water, you may have to increase the temprature to get it to happen this way and its a good idea not to force it as it could snap.
Once you have taken the figure apart, its a good idea to place each piece at the side of its mate so you can remember where they came from, though it should be pretty straightforward to be honest.
Allow the pieces to air dry before moving on to the next step.
Mould Lines: Though this is an optional step it is worth noting and something that really should be done if you want to ensure a great looking figure. The manufacturing process involves the parts of the figure being squeezed together in metal moulds under great pressure and this process leaves small, but visible lines where the parts are joined together. They are pretty simple to remove but care needs to be taken. Using a sharp craft knife simply scrap along the visible mould line and it should end up sitting flush with the rest of the piece you are working on. Care needs to be taken not only with the knife, but also that you don’t scratch or gouge the surface you are working on to much or it could leave pretty bad marks that will show up. The most prominant mould lines are on the backpack, the legs, hands and the bolter.
Priming: Though I am concentrating on the artist proof figure, these steps can be used with all the figure in the range, including the painted ones. Once you have all of your parts seperated, washed, dried and mould lines removed you will need to prime them. You can just use a rattle can of primer or spray paint to do this or an airbrush if you have one and this should be done in a well ventalited room or outdoors if possible and take all PPE precuations due to the particulates from sprays and aerosols.
I would suggest mounting each piece of the figure on a piece of dowel or rod if possible. Lolly sticks are pretty good for this or tongue depressors and both are quite cheap to pick up. Simply place a good piece of blu tack or double sided tape on the inside of the part you wish to spray, attach the stick in place. This gives you something to hold onto while spraying and indeed while painting.
Spray each piece from about six to ten inches away with your chosen colour and make sure that you try to keep your passes over the parts even. If you move your hand in a sweeping motion from left to right (or vice versa) rather than just pointing the spray at the part, you should get a good coat. Once finished leave to dry.
Of course you can do all this with an airbrush or spray can and both can give really good and fast results.
Painting: There are so many chapters out there that you could choose to paint that its more or less impossible to list the all and each is down to personal preference. I would suggest that if you feel confident go for the one you like the most, though some of the chapters are pretty hard to master the colour scheme for their marines. Ultramarines are popular, perhaps the most popular of all the chapters as after all they are Games Workshops poster boys for the game of Warhammer 40,000, but you don’t have to paint your action figure as one of the boys in blue. Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Crimson Fists, Silverhands, Iron Hands, Space Wolves and dozens more are all options but its all down to you.
Once you decide your chapter, its best if you do some research and look for varations on the armour as each chapter has many and finding the right one could be a challenge in itself. Most chapters use a standard primary colour as the base for their armour, but some are two toned, or multicoloured so its worth checking out.
Whatever you decide use thin coats of your chosen paints rahter than just painting right out of the pot. For many seasoned gamers and painters this is a natural thing, but if you are new to the hobby there are so many paints to chose from and ways to paint that you may get confused.
Use a large brush to cover more surface area at a time, and a smaller brush for the details and most importantly have fun. Painting models of any sort is all about enjoying yourself so go for it.
There are hundreds of videos on YouTube that can help you learn to paint, but the only real way you are going to learn is to actually try it yourself.
Finishing Touches: Once you have painted up your marine (or Necron) you can add extra details to make it stand out. Damage to the armour in the form of scratches and dents can sell a battle worn warriour, and iconography from your favourite chapter such as chapter emblems, company numbers and litanies can make it really pop. If you don’t feel confident at doing the heardlry on the shoulder pads free hand, consider using decals from Games Workshop or another company. Most of the vehicle decals from Games Workshop will work well with the action figures as they are designed for larger models than the regular marines and such. You can often pick them up on Ebay really cheaply and ask around at your local games club or store if anyone has any spares for your chosen chapter.
Finally I would suggest that you protect all that hard work you have put in by hitting the entire action figure with a coat of matt varnish to seal everything in, or if you really fancy a shiny looking marine that is fresh to the battle use either satain or gloss varnish.
And that is a quick look at the Artists Proof Primaris Space Marine from McFarlane Toys. It is a fantastic action figure that for the price is a snip for collectors and fans alike and as a toy could bring hours of fun. Painting options are limitless and you can really go to town on your action figure (check out the Frog Lane Studios video for a great example).
You can pick up your very own action figure from Games Workshop and most good toy stores that stock McFarlane Toys now.