Monday, July 22

A new Twist on Fagin? We review Miniaturas Fortes “Fagin” Resin Figure in 1/24 scale (75mm)

Miniaturas Fortes have now made a string of releases and no they are not sticking to just the regular “Germans pointing” lines like many others have – there is a lot in their figures to look at apart from a healthy choice of subjects however – and today we review their “Fagin” figure that matches their earlier “Bill Sikes” statue from the movie “Oliver Twist”. Let’s have a look at it..

Miniaturas Fortes
Sculpted by: Diego F Fortes
Resin Figure - 9 pieces
1/24 scale (75mm)
Limited run of 200 only
Buy from Miniaturas Fortes Directly for 35.00 € + P&P

Diego Fortes has made a lovely bunch of figures for his new line of home grown products “Miniaturas Fortes” – they are in 75mm or 1/24th scale, all feature some nice engineering and intricate sculpting and casting work – we have been impressed at their efforts so far – When we found out they were making a second figure from the movie “Oliver Twist” (the first being Bill Sykes”) we thought maybe it was Diego’s favourite movie or something..
But then I thought again – maybe these two together make a good couple for a vignette? Especially with such another interesting character played beautifully by the late Sir Alec Guinness? Well with a fresh way of looking at this figure we thought we would build and review it…

Oliver Twist is an English novel, written between 1837 and 1839 by Charles Dickens, and first published monthly in serial form at the magazine Bentley's Miscellany. The story is centred on the adventures and misadventures of the orphan Oliver Twist, but also has a number of colourful characters. Probably the most complex character of the novel, Fagin presents two kinds of facets: one as a fatherly figure for Oliver when he joins his “army” of children thieves in the low neighbourhoods of London, but also as a villain, accumulating all the spoil for himself and not improving the lives of his companions in any way.

“A shrivelled old face, mean-looking and ugly, peered through the darkness. A cold, bony hand reached out and touched Oliver’s face, making him shiver.
As Oliver’s eyes grew used to the candlelight, he saw that the ghastly hand and face belonged to a stooped man with long, matted red hair, a sharp nose and thin mean lips.”

The figure:
This figure is cast in medium (non-smelly)  resin with no bubbles or casting flaws, it came in a zip loc bag with the constructed figure on the front and the parts secured inside – the head and hat secured in cushioned packing – mine arrived quite safely inside a box as well so no dramas there.

There are nine parts of grey resin representing the torso, 2 arms, a leg and a head and a hat.  There is also an interesting little ready to make vignette with a rough-hewn wooden plank floor and some nifty stairs Fagin is climbing in this pose. The wood grain looks nice and finely detailed with not “too much” on the texture – it will come along well with some paint and weathering.
The figure is mainly a torso with a thick looking coat – the coat has some glorious details like the flaps on the back that waves as he walks up the stairs. Also the folds in the rear of the midriff and creases on the arms and the way the coat drapes over the body and puffs out on the shoulder seams show off the talent and the good eye of the sculptor.

The left leg of the sculpt fits easily into the joint in the one direction thanks to some good engineering as well. You will notice the ratty shoes and trousers of this sculpt in keeping with the character.
The arms of the sculpt fit into the shoulder joints with no gaps in the seams of note. The left arm carries Fagin’s precious money safe which looks great and the right arm matches up with the hand which is moulded to the bannister on the steps.

I was a bit worried that this would not fit correctly in construction – you only have to be a bit out and things do not meet up – but I needn’t have worried as the hand fit perfectly in the cuff of Fagin’s sleeve – nice work Diego! I really like the ratty thin hands and fingerless gloves which people identify with this character portrayed here as well.
I loved the hat as well – it is beaten and weathered and looks like it has seen some dark alleys – it came on a small casting block which took some delicate carving to remove but the end result is worth it.

Now we come to the last but most important part – the face of Fagin: I feel that Diego has cast this figure as the Sir Alec Guiness character in the original movie – you can see his long nose, thin and dirty demeanour and hawkish features all here in this sculpt. Long ratty hair and sallow old cheeks are sculpted here to good effect
I did not know this but apparently Guiness copped a lot of flack for making him look very “semetic” in the transformation to Dickens’ character (Dickens referred to him in the book as “The Jew”) all of the characteristics of this stereotypical semetic look are here in this sculpt. I think Diego has captured the character - and specifically Guiness’ interpretation of him very well.
Here he is – all together – it took me only a very short time to cut him fee of any excess casting blocks and clean him up  - the engineering is very good
Well what more can I say about this figure? I was really surprised to like this so much as it is a character I did not identify with at the start – but now after making it I am very interested in – the fine sculpting and little attentions to little details – the pose of the figure and the fact that you have a companion piece now to the excellent “Bill Sykes” character make him a great choice and a very well executed figure.

Consider yourself "in the know!"

Here is our figure - 20 out of 200 - signed by the sculptor - excellent!
Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Miniaturas Fortes for sending us this great figure to make..

Here is the completed Fagin, painted masterfully by Jorge Fano – this is very close to the sculptor’s vision..
Considering that a lot of people didn't have the chance of buying Bill Sikes, Miniaturas Fortes have decided to sell it together with Fagin for those interested in collecting the Oliver Twists’ characters. Check the Minituras Fortes for more info on this set.