Sunday, February 23

Review: Diego Fortes' new figure of the Midshipman comes out of the box ready to fight!

Diego Fortes from Fortes Miniatures has clearly been watching a few maritime movies in the “Master and Commander” mode. As he has just sculpted and released the figure he has created of the young Midshipman of that movie – check him out in our review of Diego’s latest released work…

Minituras Fortes December/January new release
Scale: 1/24th
Grey Resin
35.00 €
Minituras Fortes keeps their release numbers small to maintain their quick turn over and variety in sculpts – they are fresh and usually follow the inspiration of the company’s creator Diego Fortes. IT seems Diego was clearly influenced by the spirit the film "Master and Commander" as he tried to represent a teenager midshipman in the time of the war against France – The movie was taken from the novels by Patrick O'Brian and made into a film set in the Napoleonic Wars.
Diego wanted to show the young man in the tense moments before a hand to hand fight with the French navy’s men in a life and death struggle with pistol and hatchet for the close in work.. Less about ol' "Rusty" and his film - more about this figure...

The kit comes in a zip-loc plastic bag with the cover art on a card which acts as a help while building the kit and the eight resin parts are inside. Mine arrived safely in a box from Fortes miniatures safe’n’sound
The resin: The parts are all connected to their pouring block and some need care in removal so as not to lose any detail. Now there is a fair bit of flash/extra resin on the kit and there are some seam lines that need to be removed.  This isn’t too much of an issue but please do be careful when removing the flash as especially around the pistol there are some delicate muzzle parts that can easily come straight off unless you are careful.

Now for a little look at the parts in isolation before we put them together. Starting at the top and going south…

The head is one single choice of the midshipman and his young man features along with his tall top hat. His high collar around his neck makes a nice seal that drops straight into the other jacket high collar on the torso.
There is a slight seam on the top centre of the head but it can be removed easily enough. The hair on the figure stands out and will be easier to paint.
Something else that stands out is the jacket of this young midshipman. His jacket has a high collar which the flat joint of the head sits in perfectly and without having to guess at an angle. The buttons and their hols in straight rows down the figure’s upper torso are really very well done. The buttons hold down the vest inside the jacket tightly and so there are points of tension and wrinkles on the vest that really add life and believability of this figure.

The folds of his jacket overlap as he stands at an angle and the jacket sits nicely over his rump while on the shoulders you can see his curved torso which along with the pockets of his jacket make this a really nice part of the sculpt
On a separate casting block ae the left and right arms. The left is holding a flintlock pistol with a hollowed out ended barrel. The hammer and the flint on this pistol are connected to some supporting rods of resin and this – along with the barrel need the utmost care in removing them from the pouring block. They will break if handled without care believe me!
The right arm sits straight down and the decorative buttons that ring the cuff are of note.
As are the holes for the hand which fits neatly into he joint. This helps secure it in place. Along with the neck joint this is very handy.
The small hatchet/ axe is a double sided affair of meanery – there is a nasty spike on the rear of the blade end which makes this twice as dangerous. The fingers are of note and you can see them all pretty clearly. There is a fair bit of thin flash on this I have only rudimentary cleaned off at this point.
Before we go any lower there is a handy third side arm – the long sword in it’s scabbard which rest’s on the midshipman’s hip. There is a steel end on the scabbard here and the sword in it’s sheath is pretty fancy – the hilt has two lumps on each end which help the hands from being cut off.
You can see on the inside the small diamond which  fits neatly into the torso of the midshipman – securing this a little more than if it was just glued there – it’s also a locating guide as well.
The lower torso is next on the way down to the deck - The pants bulge and wrinkle pretty life like and the buckled shoes on the Midshipman’s feet really do fit the uniform and time. When off the casting block he stands up straight without help.
But what better to stand on than a part of the ship? Diego gives us a small slab of resin deck to rest him on as well.
Here he is all made up – a bad-ass little man who is ready and willing to fight he enemy in the “final battle” as portrayed in the movie and books.
And on the deck – a nice little addition to the scene I think!
I like the size, stance and details of this figure. You must be a little careful when removing the pistol and there is a small seam to remove but otherwise this really is a great figure from Fortes and I think his work shows even more improvement in this release – It deserves to sell well.

 Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Diego for sending this figure to us - he is now available from Minituras Fortes directly 

This figure was recently painted by Diego and you can see what Is achievable from the base of his work through careful painting – You can see all the detail i have mentioned in this review even more clearly - he certainly looks ready for battle and armed to the teeth!