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ROME Imperial Army: Centurion by HH Model/HaoYu Toys review

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GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
For the legionary infantryman from the same line, see HERE

military - ROME Imperial Army: Centurion by HH Model/HaoYu Toys review Iac0110

For the legionary infantryman from the same line, see HERE

Introduction

I just managed to finish and post my review of HH Model and HaoYu Toys' Rome Imperial Army Reloaded Infantry (legionary), but the next figure in the same line, the centurion, had already arrived. Given the natural interest in comparing the figures and the fact that the legionary quickly sold out in some of the most common venues, I have rushed ahead to supply a review for the new product. The figure is already available in Asia and on eBay, and is expected for immediate arrival in most US stores that will carry it (some appear to have it already).

military - ROME Imperial Army: Centurion by HH Model/HaoYu Toys review Iac0210

Packaging - 4/4 stars

The Roman centurion comes in a solid cardboard shoebox-type container very similar to but a little narrower than the one for the infantryman (legionary). The face and side panels are decorated with a single continuous promotional image of the product and bear the HH Model and HaoYu Toys logos, while the back side has the requisite cautionary warning about small parts and choking hazard. When you pull off the top cover and remove a relatively thin sheet of black foam, you get to the first of two black foam treys, containing the figure, helmet, hands, and some of the accessories. Below this lies the second black foam trey, containing the shields and other accessories. Everything is collector-friendly and safe, and I appreciate the use of foam rather than plastic treys, all the more so after recently revisiting the ACI and Kaustic Plastik Roman legionary figures for a comparison to the HH and HY legionary. As with the legionary set, the box includes a one-page cautionary sheet.

military - ROME Imperial Army: Centurion by HH Model/HaoYu Toys review Iac0310

Sculpting - 4/4 stars

This category includes both the head sculpt and the various sculpted or molded parts of the set. The face bears some possible resemblance to Gerard Butler (King Leonidas in The 300) and/or Michael Shannon (General Zod in Man of Steel). Perhaps it's just the beard; or the agitated, toothy grimace. I am not aware of who in particular (if anyone) the face is supposed to be, so I cannot judge whether it succeeded or not. Nevertheless, the sculpt is very good and seems a little more realistic than the one that was selected for the legionary figure. I might have preferred a more neutral expression, but it doesn't bother me much. The figure stands about 12 in (31 cm) tall, slightly taller than the legionary that preceded it in the line.

The other sculpted or molded items are all very well done, with plenty of fine detail on the decorations of the armor, weaponry, and military belt. The longer shield is sculpted in such a way as to convey the natural surface of wood, much like the one that came with the legionary; the smaller round doesn't have as much detail on the inside; both are finely executed on the front side. The detail on the phalerae (circular metal disks affixed on a harness over the centurion's chest and abdomen) is excellent, as is that on the helmet, on the belt plaques, on the greaves, and on the rather delicate gold-colored double hook for attaching the shoulder flaps to the chest (in fact, it hangs magnetically from them) and even more delicate torques. The vambraces feature an incised image of a "Roman" eagle (it looks rather medieval, but then again the vambraces are fantasy additions to what is otherwise a fairly convincing historical figure -- see in more detail in the legionary review). The sword scabbard also features a little delicate sculpting, but to me it looks less impressive than its counterpart that was provided for the legionary. The vine staff is sculpted convincingly but appears to be a little too short. As with the helmet that came with the legionary figure, it is missing the loop handle at the back of the neck guard, although it was designed to be there (this appears to be the case with all sets, not just mine).

military - ROME Imperial Army: Centurion by HH Model/HaoYu Toys review Iac0410

Paint - 3.5/4 stars

The paint application is generally very good, although I was a little disappointed in the sword's scabbard (which looked more poorly painted than worn) and the inside of the smaller, round shield. On the outside of the shields, the smaller round shield is given a perfect, realistic look, whereas the larger shield seems painted a little too impressionistically to look convincing for a Roman shield. The vine stick and hair are given a perhaps overly flat paint job in brown, but on the other hand, the face and eyes are painted beautifully and realistically. The painting on the helmet and vambraces is impeccable, which is impressive, given the small details involved. As with the legionary figure, which has the exact same footwear, there are some minor imperfection on the straps of the boots (caligae), a common problem with strapped footwear that is sculpted with the foot.

military - ROME Imperial Army: Centurion by HH Model/HaoYu Toys review Iac0510

Articulation - 4/4 stars

The product utilizes the CooModel body (or something based on it), which allows for very good articulation and reasonable sturdiness. Despite the heaviness of the cast metal and plastic elements, the overall articulation is not overly impeded. Unlike the legionary figure, there is no stiff armor to restrict even the ab crunch here, so the centurion is even more poseable. The legionary can take wide stances, sit, kneel, raise his arms fairly far, etc. The only obvious improvement would have been double-jointed elbows, but I suppose appearance won over articulation, as it did with the legionary figure.

military - ROME Imperial Army: Centurion by HH Model/HaoYu Toys review Iac0610

Accessories - 4/4 stars

The Roman centurion comes with the same action figure stand, decorated with an image of a Roman eagle above the acronym SPQR, as the legionary. There are also four extra hands, making a total of six: a pair of relaxed hands, a pair of grip hands, a slightly different right grip hand, and a left fist. Then there are the dagger (pugio) and the sword (gladius), both with metal blades fitting into scabbards, each of which is suspended from its own baldric. There is also the vine staff, which is a bit undersized. I have already mentioned the easily-removable harness with the seven phalerae, the double hook which attaches to the chest via magnets, and the delicate plastic torques suspended from a strap of cloth worn around the shoulders. ACI did those better, from soft metal (as did Kaustic Plastik, but theirs could still snap easily). The choice of lightweight and probably brittle plastic was a poor one -- I feel that they could easily break, and moreover they do not hang naturally. I resorted to magnet magic (made possible by the magnet already in place for the double hook), slipping a couple of small magnetic disks into the cloth. There are two shields (although the promotional images only showed one, the round one): one is smaller and perfectly flat and round, while the second is a larger curved rectangle, but with curving lateral sides. In popular culture the legionary shield is normally imagined as a curved rectangle (like the one that came with the legionary), but the present shield seems to be more representative of the most widespread type used in the Roman army. The helmet and its transverse crest are two separate pieces, and you need to attach the stem of the crest onto the helmet (sliding it into the fitting from the front) -- or you can forego the crest altogether.

military - ROME Imperial Army: Centurion by HH Model/HaoYu Toys review Iac0710

Outfit 3.5/4 stars

All the outfit items that come with the centurion set are very well made. These include the tunic, the military scarf (focale), and the cloak; all are given in stereotypical (but not historically universal or invariable) red. The "chain" mail corslet is actually made of silverish sheer fabric, with sown on brown leather (or pleather) straps (pteryges) ending with gold-colored tassels. In reality, the leather pteryges would most likely have formed part of a separate garment worn under the mail corslet.

As with the legionary figure, the centurion also comes with pants (braccae or feminalia?), which are a little out of place if the centurion is going to wear greaves, as he does here. The problem is that by the time pants were adopted as standard legionary equipment, even centurions had stopped wearing greaves (some cavalry units do appear to have worn both pants and greaves, but that is a different story).

The centurion has been outfitted with vambraces on both forearms (the legionary only had one, on the left forearm, since the right was covered in his case by the rare but less fantastical manica). This type of equipment is the result of giving in to screen fantasy and aesthetic preferences over historical evidence (only archers appear to have worn a vambrace, on the hand holding the bow). Unlike the vambrace that came with the legionary and was made of leather (or pleather), the centurion's vambraces are made of molded plastic; they are very finely sculpted and painted. I suppose those of us striving for historical accuracy could easily remove them as needed.

Finally, there are the Roman military boots (caligae), same as with the legionary (see that review for details and the image of the sole).

military - ROME Imperial Army: Centurion by HH Model/HaoYu Toys review Iac0810

Fun Factor - 4/4 stars

Like the legionary before him, the centurion is is generally well executed, well articulated, and fairly sturdy, which makes him a good figure to pose and display. And since the legionary is already out there, the two can interact, team up against vile barbarians (Kaustic Plastik has produced a couple of Roman-period Celts), or the centurion could scold the legionary for improperly tied caligae-laces or what not. These figures do integrate well enough with earlier Roman military personnel produced by other companies.

military - ROME Imperial Army: Centurion by HH Model/HaoYu Toys review Iac0910

Value - 3/4 stars

As I wrote about the legionary figure from this line, retailing at $200 and not being a super-popular licensed character from the leading blockbuster of the year, this is not a low-cost product. On the other hand, it is a very good one. While it has fewer regular accessories than the legionary (also one less weapon, but then again one more shield), the centurion comes with more "bling," allowing for more variation when it comes to display. This sweetens the deal somewhat, and since this is an officer, you will probably not "need" to pick up more than one (the way you might be tempted to do with a rank and file soldier).

military - ROME Imperial Army: Centurion by HH Model/HaoYu Toys review Iac1010

Things to watch out for

Generally, very little, just apply the same amount of caution that is always appropriate for handling higher end collectibles of this type. The only thing that made me nervous were the little plastic torques which I didn't want to break. Although I was too lazy to do it myself, it is always a good idea to use a hairdryer (or hot water) to soften the plastic of the hands before swapping. Unlike some other companies, HH Model and HaoYu Toys have not provided spare parts for products in this line (if you do break a wrist peg, your natural choice for replacement would be CooModel, since that seems to be the body they used).

military - ROME Imperial Army: Centurion by HH Model/HaoYu Toys review Iac1110

Overall - 3.75 stars

With all the variable options (cloak on or off, phalerae on or off, torques, vambraces, choice of shield), I found this figure quite fun. And it doesn't hurt that he has the legionary to play with... err... boss around. Without going as far as to declare this figure perfect or its price unobjectionable, as with the legionary, I am very pleased with the quality, sturdiness, and range of accessories in this set.

military - ROME Imperial Army: Centurion by HH Model/HaoYu Toys review Iac1210

Where to buy

You can find it below or look for it on eBay.

Big Bad Toy Store for $200 (pre-order)

Cotswold Collectibles for $200 (pre-order)

Ekia Hobbies for $200

Monkey Depot for $200

Timewalker Toys for $194 (pre-order)

Toy Origin for $200 (pre-order)

military - ROME Imperial Army: Centurion by HH Model/HaoYu Toys review Iac1310

I hope this was useful and informative. What do you think?

For the legionary infantryman from the same line, see HERE

military - ROME Imperial Army: Centurion by HH Model/HaoYu Toys review Iac1410

#rome #roman #legions #infantry #centurion #military #ancient #historical #male #hhmodel #haoyutoys


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Now that is some equipment! Those phalerae (Thanks for refreshing all The Latin) look quite nice with all the leather strapping. The vambraces are there to cover the joints? They could have used something more accurate. Like a wrist watch.

It might be the teeth or expression, but the face reminds me of Eli Wallach's 'Il Brutto'. *insert Ennio Morricone vocals*

And that gnarly wood looks a bit out of place I think, like something from a fantasy world. Speaking of wood, I wonder what kind oft 1/6 wood would be used to BuildThatLimes.

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GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
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Ovy wrote:Now that is some equipment! Those phalerae (Thanks for refreshing all The Latin) look quite nice with all the leather strapping. The vambraces are there to cover the joints? They could have used something more accurate. Like a wrist watch.

It might be the teeth or expression, but the face reminds me of Eli Wallach's 'Il Brutto'. *insert Ennio Morricone vocals*

And that gnarly wood looks a bit out of place I think, like something from a fantasy world. Speaking of wood, I wonder what kind oft 1/6 wood would be used to BuildThatLimes.

Thank you very much. The phalerae look great indeed, and if memory serves work more securely than what we've seen before. The vambraces don't hide any joints, unless maybe you move them as far down as possible, close to the wrist. I think they are adherence to the look promoted by film depictions of fantasy warriors seeping into the supposedly historical genre. In theory it would make sense that the lower arm (or any exposed limb) is protected, and arguably it looks better with something like that on rather than some little torque bracelet for "bling." But it is fantasy. I don't have a permanent display, but if I did, I would remove the unhistorical elements from these figures and recycle them on fantasy warriors.

I can see some resemblance to Eli Wallach now that you mentioned it, though I am not sure it is supposed to be that either. But I love that movie. Best Western ever (in my book).

As for gnarly wood, that has struck me as odd ever since I learned of the practice. Centurions did carry a vine staff as a symbol of their rank, but would it have been left so natural and gnarly looking or is this just an artistic convention to betray its nature/origin? Given the rapidity with which centurions went through them (often breaking them while beating a soldier -- one centurion was nicknamed "Gimme Another"), natural vine sticks make sense. Apparently there is some debate as to the exact shape(s). At any rate, it should have been a little longer (about a meter long in 1:1), long enough to be used as a walking stick (for example).


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Another excellent review. This guy seems nicer than I was expecting, admittedly. I do like that you have options and can alter his look a bit. Wish the headsculpt wasn't so specific in terms of the expression, but again... I guess if it was a huge issue one could always swap heads. 

Maybe it's just me but I don't mind the sculpted sandals so much... from a distance they don't look that bad, and I think they end up seeming more to-scale than the faux leather ones, which can seem a tad bulky. But I can understand what you mean re: the issues with the paintjobs on those, especially on the toes. ;p

I love the poses you have him in, and I think they really show off the positive features of the figure.


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GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
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skywalkersaga wrote:Another excellent review. This guy seems nicer than I was expecting, admittedly. I do like that you have options and can alter his look a bit. Wish the headsculpt wasn't so specific in terms of the expression, but again... I guess if it was a huge issue one could always swap heads. 

Maybe it's just me but I don't mind the sculpted sandals so much... from a distance they don't look that bad, and I think they end up seeming more to-scale than the faux leather ones, which can seem a tad bulky. But I can understand what you mean re: the issues with the paintjobs on those, especially on the toes. ;p

I love the poses you have him in, and I think they really show off the positive features of the figure.

Thank you very much. He was nicer than I expected, too, although the first (legionary) figure already made a good impression on me. So true about the head sculpt -- it is nice, even if annoyingly specific, but one could always swap it with another head. I actually liked the sculpted sandals (though on principle separate ones would have been preferable), and the paint job is still better than on many other ones of its kind (one has to really look to spot the tiny slivers of unpainted straps right next to the skin).


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Stryker2011

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Well, at least the vambraces can be removed if one wishes. I do agree about the head sculpt — very specific. I do wish these companies would provide a neutral head sculpt as well — a constantly snarling head just seems wrong. Thanks for another thorough review, Guv.


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GubernatorFan

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Stryker2011 wrote:Well, at least the vambraces can be removed if one wishes. I do agree about the head sculpt — very specific. I do wish these companies would provide a neutral head sculpt as well — a constantly snarling head just seems wrong. Thanks for another thorough review, Guv.

Thank you and welcome! I'm with you on the head sculpts. Although I like it in and of itself, I don't want a snarling/shouting/yelling face all the time. I do wish every time we got a set with one of these, they would include a neutral one as well. I'm not saying we should get half a dozen head sculpts with each set to illustrate different emotions and expressions (though that would be awesome, and given the prices we already pay ought to be justifiable!), but a neutral one plus any expressive one would make good sense every time.


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can clothes be stripped and body be swapped with ease and w/o permanent damage? I hate the obvious glaring elbow joint

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GubernatorFan

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agentghost wrote:can clothes be stripped and body be swapped with ease and w/o permanent damage?  I hate the obvious glaring elbow joint

Funny, one of the reasons they used this body (with a single-jointed elbow) was to cut down on obvious joints, but you are of course free to dislike it still (I prefer seamless myself).

As to your question, if I understand it correctly, you are asking if one could swap the Coo body with a seamless one (TBLeague or Jiaou). The outfit can be taken off (as you can see it parted out, for example on eBay). I'm not going to mess up my set to experiment, but I did pick up a few of the parted out items. So the answer is: maybe/kinda. A TBLeague M31 (easiest but not recommended for aesthetic and functional reasons), M32, and M33 would fit in the pants and tunic, and (probably!) the "chain" mail -- the rest should be easy enough, and if something is tight, you can probably "massage" the silicone muscles into it. I tried it out on my go-to M33 I have lying around for those purposes, and you can see the result below. The feet are sculpted with (or otherwise permanently attached to) the sandals, but can be put on a TBLeague body. However, the construction is such that you would have the metal peg showing (you could try to hide it with the pants and greaves) and the ankle joint will be rather weak. You might do better trying to fit removable Kaustic Plastik or ACI sandals onto the TBLeague feet or, if they are too large for them (which can be a problem at least with more modern/conventional footwear), other feet that fit (I recommend World Box or ACI). I didn't have a parted out "chain" mail from this set to try out on the M33, but since it doesn't look very tight and obviously fits on top of the tunic in the set, I am assuming it will fit. The rest is a tight but, as you can see, possible fit.

military - ROME Imperial Army: Centurion by HH Model/HaoYu Toys review Iac2010


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