OneSixthFigures
Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.
OneSixthFigures

An online community to discuss and share news about sixth-scale figures, with an emphasis on either custom or commercial articulated figures.


You are not connected. Please login or register

A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review)

Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
It is a week of reviews, by the looks of it. If interested, check out my review of Peggy Carter and Michael Crawford's review of Selene from Underworld.

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) Agdt0110

Introduction
Alexander the Great (Alexandros III of Macedon, 356-323 BC) is one of those iconic historical characters that everyone seems to know or name, to the point where one is tempted to take him down a notch. And there were plenty of issues with him and his character, not least his relentless ambition, competitiveness, rashness, and delusions of grandeur. He was certainly a conqueror with an unprecedented scale, speed, and rate of success, and for that he was idolized for generations of Romans and those who took their cultural cues from Rome (elsewhere he was demonized instead). From a modernist or humanitarian perspective there are sides of his character that are less often mentioned but perhaps even more commendable: most notably, although a successful Greek conqueror, he chose not to treat his conquered enemies as the subhuman beings he was taught they were by his society (and by his teacher, the philosopher Aristotle), but instead sought to pacify, unify, and merge the societies he had come to rule, on a remarkably even footing for any time. He probably would have failed even if he hadn't died prematurely at 33, but this suggests that, contrary to popular belief, he had a talent not only for conquering, but also for governing.

At any rate, this is not what this is about. TBLeague (formerly Phicen) has just released its sixth-scale figure of Alexander the Great, occasioning this review. And since Dragon did the only other high-end Alexander in this scale (that I know of), back in 2004, it is a natural point of reference. Both figures are based to a significant degree on the Oliver Stone film Alexander (2004), starring Colin Farrell. Another point of reference for the TBLeague version is a larger scale statue by ARH (HERE and HERE), as confirmed by the ARH logo on the box. Neither the film nor the figures are entirely historically correct.

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) Agdt0210

Packaging
Dragon's Alexander comes in a box that opens up like a book cover to reveal the figure and its accessories through a clear plastic cover; the back side of the cover contains a shallow clear plastic trey containing the cape and the two-part spear; the figure and the rest of the accessories are contained in a clear plastic trey in the box proper.

TBLeague's Alexander comes in a typical container for TBLeague boxed sets, one where the cover and side flaps are held by magnets and can be removed and propped up like a triptych. There is a missed opportunity here, as they could have followed other companies' lead and printed an appropriate background on the back side (which is just plain black) that could have worked as a backdrop to the figure. The figure and its accessories are held in a couple of black foam plastic treys, each with its own thin black foam cover.

Everything comes safe and collector friendly in both sets.

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) Agdt0310

Sculpting
Here time of production makes a difference. Standards and possibilities were very different in 2004 from what they are today. Dragon's Alexander obviously is less finely and realistically sculpted, although it is not bad at all for the time when it was made. The face does not look like Colin Farrell, and might be an attempt at the actual Alexander (if so, not very successfully) or possibly Richard Burton's Alexander (from 1956); to me it really looks like Tom Jane. The head is bald, allowing you to swap between a soft plastic hair wig and a lion-head helmet that is fairly accurate to the 2004 film, except for its sculpted plumes and crest. There is plenty of fairly fine sculpted detail on the armor, including a lion's face over the chest, the sword (especially its hilt), and the soft plastic riding boots. The head and rear spikes of the long spear are very sharply sculpted. The body's legs are covered in seamless rubbery material with appropriate sculpting, although they might be a little too skinny.

TBLeague's Alexander has a very finely sculpted head sculpt that also does not look like Colin Farrell. As far as I can tell, this is a generic pretty boy with a possibly "Eurasian" look. The head vs helmet problem has been resolved by resorting to "real" hair, which works well enough with the lion-head helmet. The helmet is a little less accurate to the film in at least some details, but its crest and plumes are more on target. Once again, there is plenty of fine detail to the armor, including a gorgon's head over the chest, sword (especially its hilt), "wrist armors" (sic!), and even more detailed soft plastic boots, and there is also a gorgeous shield carrying a sun or starburst design found on the lid of a box in what is almost certainly the tomb of Alexander's father; the design has been adopted in stylized form as the state symbol of the modern (Slavic) nation of (recently Northern) Macedonia, much to the annoyance of modern Greeks. The sculpted items are given an even more detailed treatment, making them look more weathered and worn, most notably in the case of the scratched and dented shield. The body used is the seamless M35, which has finely sculpted muscles and veins; it is, however, incomplete, missing both the feet and the genitalia.

Historicity. There are no known contemporary portraits of Alexander, but his successors legitimized themselves through him and produced plenty, which were copied in the Roman period. They are consistent in his basic appearance, with a high forehead, somewhat sunken heavy-lidded eyes, and a very Greek nose (almost no indent below the forehead). Neither set has a head sculpt that looks like this (on the other hand, I had a high school classmate named Kingsley who did). The sculpted hair in the Dragon set is more accurate to the traditional portrayals of Alexander than the longer straight locks of the TBLeague set. In both cases, the armor is based on the 2004 film, and that in turn on two sources: the famous Issus mosaic from Pompeii (agreed to be based on an earlier Greek painting) for the armor (see HERE), and the so-called "Alexander" or "Abdalonymos" sarcophagus from Sidon, now in Istanbul for the lion-headed helmet (see HERE). The mosaic shows a painted head of the gorgon Medusa over the chest; the Dragon set replaces this with a sculpted lion's face, while the TBLeague set has a gorgon head, but sculpted in relief in a rather modern, abstract style; this does seem to be based, at least loosely, on what was seen in the 2004 film. Alexander was considered to be fairly short, but both bodies used here translate as just over six feet in 1:1.

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) Agdt0410

Paint
Here again we are dealing with apples and oranges, if nothing else on account of the year of production. The Dragon set has a fairly basic paint application, flat treatment to the hair (which does not help the already relatively simple sculpted locks), and the dreaded "doll dot" in the glossy eyes. The paint treatment is not extended to the remainder of the figure's body, much of which (excepting the rubbery seamless legs) is shiny and toy-like. The paint application to the rest of the sculpted items is pretty neat, though not overly so. Metallic items are given a dull silverish color, non-metallic ones are in tones of brown and beige. The overall effect is rather drab, but there isn't much, if any, actual weathering (except perhaps a little on the boots). TBLeague has done better, but then again it is doing so almost 16 years later. The eyes are glossy, the eyebrows painted seemingly with individual strokes for each hair. The painted sculpted detail is sharper, and there is more weathering (rather too much on the white plumes); in fact, it is near perfect. The TBLeague helmet's color is more accurate to the 2004 film.

Historicity. Alexander was considered to be relatively fair and ruddy, where the Dragon set makes him a bit yellowish, while the TBLeague one quite tan. Alexander's hair was light for a Greek but still something we would consider light brown, possibly auburn; both sets make him look blonde -- and even more so than the bad dye job on Colin Farrell in the film. The armor from the Issus mosaic appears to be white colored, and that is more accurately conveyed by the TBLeague set.

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) Agdt0510

Articulation
The Dragon set uses a body that has very decent articulation. However, the head and neck are one piece, and if there is an ab crunch, it is rendered impossible by the armor. The seamless rubber-covered knees can bend to about 90 degrees. The TBLeague set uses M35, a very muscular but also very fully articulated body. It is only slightly hindered here, and for the most part performs very well. There is one significant drawback, shared by both sets: the one-piece sculpted boots. Although in both cases there are molded from soft plastic, that is enough to hinder ankle articulation and to make achieving sure-footed poses difficult. Dragon has the excuse of having made this in 2004, but TBLeague should have known better.

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) Agdt0610

Accessories
The sets are both fairly limited in accessories. The Dragon set has the lion-headed helmet with two plumes and a crest (which you have to attach), the sword, the scabbard on its leather (or leather-like) baldric, and the long spear (you fit the two halves together), as well as the removable molded hair wig. The TBLeague set has the lion-headed helmet (crest and plumes come attached), the sword, the scabbard which buttons onto the outfit, and the shield (on which see above), as well as the extra pairs of hands, making three pairs total (relaxed, grip, and fists).

Historicity. The lion-headed helmet is an odd piece known from the Alexander Sarcophagus, which can be shown to take various liberties with reality -- Alexander fights in a long-sleeved tunic but no armor, while his troops are shown heroically nude. The lion-headed helmet is a blatant reference to Alexander's much advertised descent from Herakles (Hercules), although that does not mean he didn't have and wear such a helmet at least on occasion. More typically, we would expect Alexander to have worn a Boeotian helmet (the shape of which is derived from a sunhat, see HERE), and he is in fact portrayed wearing one in at least one statue; it was also standard for his fellow cavalrymen. The two plumes on the helmet, however, are attested in the sources. Neither sword resembles what is shown in the Issus mosaic, but the TBLeague set's sword and scabbard are accurate to what is seen in the 2004 film. However, they should have been suspended on a baldric, as in the Dragon set, instead of being buttoned to the outfit. The ARH Alexander statue also has a baldric. The TBLeague shield is gorgeous, but questionable. For one thing, the rope that goes around inside the circumference of the shield's inner side is sculpted as part of that surface. For another, it is unclear that the sun or starburst design would have been found on a shield, and if so, that it would not have been simply painted on. Alexander's father's tomb does contain a very elaborately decorated shield (probably a parade piece, as it is likely to have been impractical in battle), complete with a sculpture group in the center and geometric decoration round the edges. As a cavalryman, it is possible that Alexander did not carry a shield, strange as it is for us to imagine. On the other hand, the long spear (22 inches in 1:6 = 11 feet in 1:1) might be appropriate for a cavalryman's lance (kontos); it is perhaps too long for a standard hoplite spear (about 8 feet) and too short for a Macedonian sarissa (about 16 feet). But there is room for variation here, and all this assumes (perhaps wrongly) that the companies did their homework.

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) Agdt0710

Outfit
Dragon's Alexander wears what appears to be a beige long-sleeved tunic with pleated fabric pteryges (flaps) at the waist and shoulders; there are also beige boxer shorts. TBLeague's Alexander appears to be wearing a sleeveless short tunic (khiton) which is actually a sort of muscle shirt and white briefs, with a leather skirt of pteryges on top. Dragon's cape is beige and clean; TBLeague's is white but distressed (tattered and weathered) and blood stained, in what seems to me a somewhat unrealistic fashion. The Dragon cape is better designed at the front, while the TBLeague one has too much material showing on the front and not realistically bunched tight under the fastening; it does, however, have a wire, allowing for some options in how it hangs (though it does tend to rise up in an annoying manner). TBLeague's Alexander has also been given "wrist armors" that appear to be as decorative as they are (allegedly) functional; you have to put these on the figure yourself. Both Alexanders wear riding boots, the main difference being added detail in the TBLeague set.

Historicity. In the 2004 film, Alexander wears a white long-sleeved tunic without pteryges at the shoulders, and a beige (but not very dark beige) cape; neither set gets this right, although in some scenes there is a sleeveless variant that would fit TBLeague's look. In the Issus mosaic, both the long-sleeved tunic and the cloak are a darkish color (certainly not white), but there are white leather pteryges at both shoulders and waist. The sarcophagus is not of much help, since it shows Alexander unrealistically fighting in just a long-sleeved tunic and boots; but it does confirm the long sleeves and the traces of color suggest a darkish, reddish hue. Again, neither set gets this right. The undergarments provided in both sets are for modern sensibilities -- the Greeks did have undergarments (like loin-cloths) of sorts, except they wore them instead of, rather than beneath, the other clothing. The "wrist armors" that come with the TBLeague set are pure fantasy (as so often, probably ARH's fault), although probably far more interesting and appropriate to our modern eyes than any more conventional bracelets that might have been worn as a sign of wealth and/or rank. On the plus side, neither set tried to put Alexander in pants, as some modern fantasy might imagine him. Late in his reign he made various concessions to eastern fashions in his dress (now that he was also king of Persians, etc., not just Greeks), but he drew the line at wearing pants... apparently that was considered both barbaric and effeminate!

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) Agdt0810

Fun Factor
I suppose that depends on your expectations and experience. Neither Alexander really has anyone to play with, both have some difficulty standing in any action poses, and the keen-eyed historian might spot a problem or two. Yet, for fairly simple sets, these are pretty fully kitted out figures with plenty of historical or fantastical detail. They can be fun in themselves, or as a basis for more creative kitbashing.

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) Agdt0910

Value
The Dragon set is almost 16 years old, so fairly difficult to find. Ebay listings have it to $90 (USD) or more, plus shipping. This is a very decent price today, although the set is both limited and has not aged particularly well. But an ambitious customizer could probably do a lot with it. The new TBLeague set can be found for as little as $145 (USD), plus shipping. This is relatively light for a high end figure today, then again the set doesn't have a ton of accessories, a stand, or a backdrop, unlike some of TBLeague's more ambitious offerings.

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) Agdt1010

Things to watch out for
Not much in either set. The items are either sturdy enough or flexible enough to be reasonably safe when handling with a modicum of consideration.

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) Agdt1110

Overall
I did not expect very much from either set. I knew the Dragon one was going to come with a dated body type and sculpting technique/technology, and I could see the shortcuts (pleats instead of pteryges, for example); and I could see how TBLeague's was a cross between the 2004 film version and some sort of ARH fantasy in TBLeague interpretation, falling far short of historical reality or plausibility. But partly thinking I might customize them, partly thinking of kitbashing, I got both and don't regret it. I haven't done anything to either yet, perhaps because I like them enough as is. Neither set is egregiously expensive at present, and if you like what you see, or the historical character (however mythologized), or want to customize the sets, you might find them worthwhile.

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) Agdt1210

Where to buy
As always, you can look or a deal on eBay, and that will likely be the only place where you can easily find any of the Dragon set; for the TBLeague set you can also check out the following:

Big Bad Toy Store for $145
Cotswold Collectibles for $146
Monkey Depot for $145
Timewalker Toys for $146

Hope this has been useful. What do you think?

#alexander #great #macedon #historical #dragon #tbleague #phicen #male #ancient #review


_________________
I'll be back!
https://onesixthfigures.forumotion.com

shazzdan

shazzdan
Nice, comprehensive review. I prefer these comparisons to the single reviews. It is clear to me that TBL simply copied the equipment from the movie and did a pretty good job as far as it goes. If I were to buy one of them, this is the one I'd get, though, as you said, Dragon's cloak is better.

The silly coupling sleeve on the spear has been debunked for a while now.


_________________
More of my work can be found at One Sixth Arsenal
https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/OneSixthArsenal

Stryker2011

Stryker2011
Founding Father
Interesting and informative review. Thanks for the added comparison and history.


_________________
Mark

He who dies with the most toys wins!

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) Bnp4ba10
Credit to greygoose for the signature card

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
shazzdan wrote:Nice, comprehensive review. I prefer these comparisons to the single reviews. It is clear to me that TBL simply copied the equipment from the movie and did a pretty good job as far as it goes. If I were to buy one of them, this is the one I'd get, though, as you said, Dragon's cloak is better.

The silly coupling sleeve on the spear has been debunked for a while now.

Thank you very much. I suppose one could always mix and match -- in fact, if you're going for the movie look, a beige cloak might be better. I forgot to point out that neither cloak-fastening brooch is exactly the same as in the movie, although Dragon's is closer.

I think this was simply a way for them to make a spear this long possible to fit in the box.

Stryker2011 wrote:Interesting and informative review. Thanks for the added comparison and history.

Thank you very much, and you're welcome!


_________________
I'll be back!
https://onesixthfigures.forumotion.com

skywalkersaga

skywalkersaga
Really nice review! Structuring it as a comparison review did indeed make it an even more interesting read. It’s helpful to put these figures into perspective, both in terms of the actual history they are based on and the history of action figure development. I had the pleasure of seeing the Alexander (Issus) mosaic years ago in Naples, so I appreciated the references.

I’m surprised they used the M35, as from the original promo I could have sworn it looked like an M34??
But regardless, this tbleague release seems to have turned out well— and yes, better than I’d expected. The only thing I’m not overly keen on is his hair (neither the colour nor style), but of course that could always be customised.

Now he just needs a Bucephalus.... Wink

https://the-far-bright-center.tumblr.com/

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
skywalkersaga wrote:Really nice review! Structuring it as a comparison review did indeed make it an even more interesting read. It’s helpful to put these figures into perspective, both in terms of the actual  history they are based on and the history of action figure development. I had the pleasure of seeing the Alexander (Issus) mosaic years ago in Naples, so I appreciated the references.

I’m surprised they used the M35, as from the original promo I could have sworn it looked like an M34??
But regardless, this tbleague release seems to have turned out well— and yes, better than I’d expected. The only thing I’m not overly keen on is his hair (neither the colour nor style), but of course that could always be customised.

Now he just needs a Bucephalus.... Wink

Thank you very much, I'm glad you liked it/found it interesting. Never having been to Naples, I had to make do with viewing a 1:1 color reproduction in the museum in Thessaloniki, where the finds from the tomb of Philip were displayed at the time. I was surprised by the use of M35, too, but holding up an M35 to this figure confirmed that's what it was (granted, certain aspects of M34 and M35 are pretty similar to each other). Either body is a bit of an overkill when it comes to reproducing Alexander; M33 would have been more realistic. The hair is probably my least favorite part, too, although (when it comes to style) it is difficult to see how they could have managed a more accurate "real" hair that will not get messed up by the helmet. I got a second head from a parted out set and am thinking of giving it a haircut.
And Bucephalus (which is apparently actually Boukephalas), how awesome would that have been as a fully-articulated seamless animal!? But TBLeague is not there yet, unless they are making that awesome dog we've been discussing. Also, I'm not sure we want a Boucephalus based on that ARH statue (it looks off to me) -- they had better copy a real horse. Incidentally, I like the horse on the Issus mosaic, but that does not appear to match the description we have of Bucephalus -- it is not black and doesn't have a white star on the forehead.


_________________
I'll be back!
https://onesixthfigures.forumotion.com

skywalkersaga

skywalkersaga
GubernatorFan wrote:

Thank you very much, I'm glad you liked it/found it interesting. Never having been to Naples, I had to make do with viewing a 1:1 color reproduction in the museum in Thessaloniki, where the finds from the tomb of Philip were displayed at the time. I was surprised by the use of M35, too, but holding up an M35 to this figure confirmed that's what it was (granted, certain aspects of M34 and M35 are pretty similar to each other). Either body is a bit of an overkill when it comes to reproducing Alexander; M33 would have been more realistic. The hair is probably my least favorite part, too, although (when it comes to style) it is difficult to see how they could have managed a more accurate "real" hair that will not get messed up by the helmet. I got a second head from a parted out set and am thinking of giving it a haircut.
And Bucephalus (which is apparently actually Boukephalas), how awesome would that have been as a fully-articulated seamless animal!? But TBLeague is not there yet, unless they are making that awesome dog we've been discussing. Also, I'm not sure we want a Boucephalus based on that ARH statue (it looks off to me) -- they had better copy a real horse. Incidentally, I like the horse on the Issus mosaic, but that does not appear to match the description we have of Bucephalus -- it is not black and doesn't have a white star on the forehead.

Agree that the M33 would have been a better pick, though I guess it was not 'dramatic' enough for tbleague. ;p

I'll be curious to see what you do with the hair -- how did I know you'd have already picked up a second Alexander head?? Wink

And omg, I have always loved Alexander's the Great's horse, whatever one prefers to call him. As an impressionable kid, the scene from The Black Stallion where the aptly-named Alec listens to his dad tell a dramatized version of the story of Alexander's first ride on Bucephalus made such a huge impression on me. And yeah, I do like the horse in that mosaic as well. I don't know enough about how equine coat colours were described back then to know for sure what is meant by 'black', but I guess there's always a chance the actual horse was just a very, very dark bay or brown. He also supposedly had a 'wall eye', aka one blue eye, which, if true, would have made him quite striking indeed.

Something akin to this:

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) D7e19510

or this:

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) 5a92d310


_________________
"The happy ending of the fairy tale, the myth, and the divine comedy of the soul, is to be read,
not as a contradiction, but as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man."

Focusing on the Prequels, Clone Wars, and Original Trilogy eras (NO 'sequels', thanks!)
https://the-far-bright-center.tumblr.com/

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
skywalkersaga wrote:Agree that the M33 would have been a better pick, though I guess it was not 'dramatic' enough for tbleague. ;p

I'll be curious to see what you do with the hair -- how did I know you'd have already picked up a second Alexander head?? Wink

And omg, I have always loved Alexander's the Great's horse, whatever one prefers to call him. As an impressionable kid, the scene from The Black Stallion where the aptly-named Alec listens to his dad tell a dramatized version of the story of Alexander's first ride on Bucephalus made such a huge impression on me. And yeah, I do like the horse in that mosaic as well. I don't know enough about how equine coat colours were described back then to know for sure what is meant by 'black', but I guess there's always a chance the actual horse was just a very, very dark bay or brown. He also supposedly had a 'wall eye', aka one blue eye, which, if true, would have made him quite striking indeed.

Yes, we can't have puny undersized heroes out there; what's intelligence, will, and character compared to looks and muscles! Smile Well, for better or for worse they are basing this on the ARH statue(s).

To be honest, I'm not sure about what to do with the second head -- the features don't really look too much like Alexander's, so is there a point trying to make it look more like him with an attempt at a more accurate hair (and if so, maybe I should just plain re-hair it)? Or just give it a shorter, maybe more modern haircut and use if for a different character...

I sometimes wonder how much of the information on Bucephalus is really traceable to early and reliable sources (and some relatively early sources, like what became the "Alexander Romance" are quite fabulous -- in the sense of full of fiction); that said, I haven't done my homework on that one. The horses you show are gorgeous animals, and I'm starting to think the ARH statue wasn't that far off after all.


_________________
I'll be back!
https://onesixthfigures.forumotion.com

dadrab

dadrab
Well done, GF.

Both are great looking figures albeit from different eras. I do admit to admiring the TBL version more, but that's just me. The Dragon offering was damn fine for it's time. A lot to love there, but the TBL version is just gorgeous. The helmet, the shield, hell, all of it is just damn nice.

Thanks very much for the comparison/contrast.

shazzdan

shazzdan
It was likely one of the more stocky/muscular breeds such as the Nisaean.

Note that the horse was in its twenties when it campaigned in Persia (according to Arrian, it died aged 30). Its original colouring doesn't really matter since it would have been primarily grey by then - especially around the head. It is rare for a large horse to live that long so Bucephalus was likely pony-sized.


_________________
More of my work can be found at One Sixth Arsenal
https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/OneSixthArsenal

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
dadrab wrote:Well done, GF. Both are great looking figures albeit from different eras. I do admit to admiring the TBL version more, but that's just me. The Dragon offering was damn fine for it's time. A lot to love there, but the TBL version is just gorgeous. The helmet, the shield, hell, all of it is just damn nice. Thanks very much for the comparison/contrast.

Thank you very much and welcome. And I agree with you on all counts.

shazzdan wrote:It was likely one of the more stocky/muscular breeds such as the Nisaean. Note that the horse was in its twenties when it campaigned in Persia (according to Arrian, it died aged 30). Its original colouring doesn't really matter since it would have been primarily grey by then - especially around the head.

I had no idea horses go grey, too! Interesting. And I do realize the Issus mosaic was limited by the four or so colors of the tessera and cannot be counted to convey the exact color of the original subject or even the original painting.


_________________
I'll be back!
https://onesixthfigures.forumotion.com

skywalkersaga

skywalkersaga
I was just showing an example of the possible coat/eye colour, not necessarily the 'type'. Bucephalus was described as 'of the best Thessalian strain', which at that point could indeed mean from Thessalian mares that had been bred with Nisean stallions. Nisean horses were highly valued [likely these were the 'Heavenly Horses' referred to by the Chinese] and I believe Alexander even demanded them as tribute while in Persia.

As for the meaning of his name, it could indeed be because of the fairly large overall head shape and/or muscular stature, but could also potentially be due to Nisean horses having prominent temple bones that protruded from their heads, and which looked a bit like 'horns':

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) 9k=

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) Moyle-horse-bossed-forehead-300x225-300x225


While obviously the Nisean breed is extinct, it influenced many breeds that still remain, including those of the Iberian type. I believe some of these breeds, such as the Carthusian, still have these 'horns'.

Regarding the coat colour, if it had indeed 'gone grey' due to old age, it may have been a grey horse to begin with [genetically speaking], as many 'grey' horses start out as a black or steel grey colour when young, and then get paler with age. Some go from dark grey 'dappled' colour to almost white. As far as I know, not every horse 'goes grey' with age, however, only those with a greying allele.


_________________
"The happy ending of the fairy tale, the myth, and the divine comedy of the soul, is to be read,
not as a contradiction, but as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man."

Focusing on the Prequels, Clone Wars, and Original Trilogy eras (NO 'sequels', thanks!)
https://the-far-bright-center.tumblr.com/

shazzdan

shazzdan
"ox-head" likely refers to some kind of mark on the horse, not temple bones. Pliny said it had an oxhead-shaped mark on its shoulder.

Arrian said this: "The mark by which he was said to have been particularly distinguished, was a head like an ox, from whence he received his name of Bucephalus. Or rather, according to others, because he being black, had a white mark upon his forehead, not unlike those which oxen often bear."

So according to Arrian it was originally black and either had an ox-head shaped mark somewhere on his body (Pliny says shoulder), or some kind of white mark on its forehead. However, Philoxenus of Eretria was contemporary with Alexander and depicted the horse as brown in his painting (assuming the mosaic is a faithful copy of the painting). However, the horse was in its late twenties during that battle and may have gone grey by then. So we have three plausible possibilities for its colouring.


_________________
More of my work can be found at One Sixth Arsenal
https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/OneSixthArsenal

shazzdan

shazzdan
GubernatorFan wrote:To be honest, I'm not sure about what to do with the second head -- the features don't really look too much like Alexander's, so is there a point trying to make it look more like him with an attempt at a more accurate hair (and if so, maybe I should just plain re-hair it)? Or just give it a shorter, maybe more modern haircut and use if for a different character...
I don't know why you got a second head either. It is just a generic blonde male and there are alternatives that are cheaper. If you want an Alexander head then find one that might actually look a bit like him.

As you said:
"a high forehead, somewhat sunken heavy-lidded eyes, and a very Greek nose (almost no indent below the forehead)."


_________________
More of my work can be found at One Sixth Arsenal
https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/OneSixthArsenal

Nekk-ra


I picked this head up as well, but I have a specific purpose in mind. I have the Mr. Toys Barbarian B/2 (He-man) on pre-order. If it turns out that I don't like the head, this one could work as a substitute. If I do like the Mr. Toys head, this would be great for a Prince Adam custom.

I agree the hair needs work. I plan to use a pair of thinning shears to trim the bottom of the hair so it has a little less pouf to it.

Also agree that an M33 would have been a better choice for the body. Guess TBLeague felt Alexander could conquer the world on 'roid rage alone.

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
skywalkersaga wrote:I was just showing an example of the possible coat/eye colour, not necessarily the 'type'. Bucephalus was described as 'of the best Thessalian strain', which at that point could indeed mean from Thessalian mares that had been bred with Nisean stallions. Nisean horses were highly valued [likely these were the 'Heavenly Horses' referred to by the Chinese] and I believe Alexander even demanded them as tribute while in Persia.

As for the meaning of his name, it could indeed be because of the fairly large overall head shape and/or muscular stature, but could also potentially be due to Nisean horses having prominent temple bones that protruded from their heads, and which looked a bit like 'horns'. While obviously the Nisean breed is extinct, it influenced many breeds that still remain, including those of the Iberian type. I believe some of these breeds, such as the Carthusian, still have these 'horns'.

Regarding the coat colour, if it had indeed 'gone grey' due to old age, it may have been a grey horse to begin with [genetically speaking], as many 'grey' horses start out as a black or steel grey colour when young, and then get paler with age. Some go from dark grey 'dappled' colour to almost white. As far as I know, not every horse 'goes grey' with age, however, only those with a greying allele.

shazzdan wrote:"ox-head" likely refers to some kind of mark on the horse, not temple bones. Pliny said it had an oxhead-shaped mark on its shoulder.

Arrian said this: "The mark by which he was said to have been particularly distinguished, was a head like an ox, from whence he received his name of Bucephalus. Or rather, according to others, because he being black, had a white mark upon his forehead, not unlike those which oxen often bear."

So according to Arrian it was originally black and either had a ox-head shaped mark somewhere on his body (Pliny says shoulder), or some kind of white mark on its forehead. However, Philoxenus of Eretria was contemporary with Alexander and depicted the horse as brown in his painting (assuming the mosaic is a faithful copy of the painting). However, the horse was in its late twenties during that battle and may have gone grey by then. So we have three plausible possibilities for its colouring.

Interesting discussion. I am learning so much about horses -- which is not something I'm particularly knowledgeable about.

shazzdan wrote:I don't know why you got a second head either. It is just a generic blonde male and there are alternatives that are cheaper. If you want an Alexander head then find one that might actually look a bit like him.

The head is not bad at all -- in itself -- though the hair is not working for me; I did spot it surprisingly low-priced (especially for a parted-out TBLeague), which is largely why I picked it up. By the way, if you come across a head that more closely resembles Alexander in this scale, by all means let me (and everyone else) know. Smile

Nekk-ra wrote:I picked this head up as well, but I have a specific purpose in mind. I have the Mr. Toys Barbarian B/2 (He-man) on pre-order. If it turns out that I don't like the head, this one could work as a substitute. If I do like the Mr. Toys head, this would be great for a Prince Adam custom.

I agree the hair needs work. I plan to use a pair of thinning shears to trim the bottom of the hair so it has a little less pouf to it.

Also agree that an M33 would have been a better choice for the body. Guess TBLeague felt Alexander could conquer the world on 'roid rage alone.

Very cool. I hope you will share photos of whatever you end up doing with these with us. I will be giving the extra head a haircut, just wish I knew what I was doing... Well, Alex's other ancestor, Achilles, did conquer Hector and a great many Trojans on rage ('roid or not) alone. Smile


_________________
I'll be back!
https://onesixthfigures.forumotion.com

Ovy

Ovy
Interesting type of a double review. The phicen one with his fancy blonde wig looks like a He-man cosplayer. Interesting that the body doesn't look that bulky/arnoldesque in that outfit. The old one reminds me of Martin Freeman somehow.

I will read the interesting horse discussion when I find the time, you guys always deliver when it comes to discussions. Very Happy

skywalkersaga

skywalkersaga
Shazzdan -- yes, that is true about the mark. Didn't Bucephalus have some kind of brand on him as well? Or is that the mark you were referring to? Apologies for my memory being so faulty on the matter. I always get excited when horse related discussions arise, especially in regards to breeds/genetics/coat colours. Though ancient history is certainly not my forte and never has been, and my main experience with it has been almost solely via art history, rather than written texts. ; )

Regarding the headsculpt, well I think one could still make it look a lot nicer with some natural hair. Might not look like the 'real thing', but would still look better than the tbleague factory hair. : )

ETA: And Ovy, I'm lol'ing at the mental image of Martin Freeman as Alexander the Great. Laughing


_________________
"The happy ending of the fairy tale, the myth, and the divine comedy of the soul, is to be read,
not as a contradiction, but as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man."

Focusing on the Prequels, Clone Wars, and Original Trilogy eras (NO 'sequels', thanks!)
https://the-far-bright-center.tumblr.com/

shazzdan

shazzdan
skywalkersaga wrote:And Ovy, I'm lol'ing at the mental image of Martin Freeman as Alexander the Great. Laughing
phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) MXyb5gp


_________________
More of my work can be found at One Sixth Arsenal
https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/OneSixthArsenal

skywalkersaga

skywalkersaga
Laughing Laughing Laughing


_________________
"The happy ending of the fairy tale, the myth, and the divine comedy of the soul, is to be read,
not as a contradiction, but as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man."

Focusing on the Prequels, Clone Wars, and Original Trilogy eras (NO 'sequels', thanks!)
https://the-far-bright-center.tumblr.com/

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Ovy wrote:Interesting type of a double review. The phicen one with his fancy blonde wig looks like a He-man cosplayer. Interesting that the body doesn't look that bulky/arnoldesque in that outfit.

So true (He-Man); perhaps the armor and outfit do a good job of distracting from the heft of the muscles.

skywalkersaga wrote:Regarding the headsculpt, well I think one could still make it look a lot nicer with some natural hair. Might not look like the 'real thing', but would still look better than the tbleague factory hair. : )

Very true. It would help to find a more realistic color and a more pliable, organic material.

So here is an in-progress photo. TBLeague Alex with a haircut on an M33 body. Not quite there yet, but certainly more plausible, I think...

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) Agdt1310


_________________
I'll be back!
https://onesixthfigures.forumotion.com

skywalkersaga

skywalkersaga
Lookin' good!


_________________
"The happy ending of the fairy tale, the myth, and the divine comedy of the soul, is to be read,
not as a contradiction, but as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man."

Focusing on the Prequels, Clone Wars, and Original Trilogy eras (NO 'sequels', thanks!)
https://the-far-bright-center.tumblr.com/

Stryker2011

Stryker2011
Founding Father
That’s leagues better, Guv.


_________________
Mark

He who dies with the most toys wins!

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) Bnp4ba10
Credit to greygoose for the signature card

shazzdan

shazzdan
Alexander was pretty small. Arrian said he was somewhat less than average height. Curtius said he was not of impressive physique or stature. His companions were all taller than him. Darius' wife confused Hephaistion for Alexander because he looked more regal.


_________________
More of my work can be found at One Sixth Arsenal
https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/OneSixthArsenal

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
skywalkersaga wrote:Lookin' good!

Stryker2011 wrote:That’s leagues better, Guv.

Thank you very much! I also thought it was an improvement.

shazzdan wrote:Alexander was pretty small. Arrian said he was somewhat less than average height. Curtius said he was not of impressive physique or stature. His companions were all taller than him. Darius' wife confused Hephaistion for Alexander because he looked more regal.

Agreed, although this is somewhat relative. Hephaistion might not have been very tall by modern standards. The famous story of Alexander being so much shorter than Dareios III (who is said to have been tall), for example, is potentially misleading -- he sat on Dareios' throne and his feet dangled in the air, so one of the Greeks placed a table Dareios had used for dining under Alexander's feet, causing some court eunuch to weep over the turn of fortune. Loyalty, irony, and Alexander's short stature are the usual morals of this story. But if you look at Persian reliefs, you would see that Persian kings used a footstool to rest their feet on while sitting on their thrones, so Alexander's feet dangling in the air is not in itself anything unusual (just some servant forgot to put the footstool where it belonged).

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) Darius-I-incense-burners-detail-courtyard-bas-relief

At any rate, I doubt we could attain accurate or consistent scale for ancient, medieval, or even early modern people with the action figure bodies and head sculpts that are readily available to us today. Short of the buffer (and therefore inappropriate) M30, the somewhat more average (though certainly quite buff) M33 is the shortest TBLeague available.


_________________
I'll be back!
https://onesixthfigures.forumotion.com

Ephiane

Ephiane
Thanks for the excellent review. Your last picture of an Alexander is fantastic.

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Ephiane wrote:Thanks for the excellent review. Your last picture of an Alexander is fantastic.

Thank you very much (and welcome), I'm glad you liked it. Still a work in progress...


_________________
I'll be back!
https://onesixthfigures.forumotion.com

Rogerbee

Rogerbee
Founding Father

The original TBL hair looked a bit girly, certainly better with a restyle. I've had the DML one for years and used the head for an old Jedi bash I did on OSW. It would make a decent Agent 47 sculpt actually. The rubber legs on that DML body on mine are still very much intact, possibly due to them never really being unboxed or used much.

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Rogerbee wrote:The original TBL hair looked a bit girly, certainly better with a restyle. I've had the DML one for years and used the head for an old Jedi bash I did on OSW. It would make a decent Agent 47 sculpt actually. The rubber legs on that DML body on mine are still very much intact, possibly due to them never really being unboxed or used much.

Thank you very much. I also think it's an improvement, although the features are certainly a bit too fine and not very Alexandresque (I'm making this a word). Interesting idea about the Dragon head. Yes, it is quite old but the rubber legs are in perfect condition, although I too have been keeping it in its box.


_________________
I'll be back!
https://onesixthfigures.forumotion.com

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
As I was re-hairing Theoden, it occurred to me that one of Asmus' other recent head sculpts, that of Thorin (Richard Armitage) lends itself pretty well to portraying an ancient Greek, so I popped it onto the M33 (had to increase the neck hole on the head sculpt) with the parted out bits from the TBLeague Alexander set to see how it looks. While certainly no Alexander, he does look (more) Greek. And it is a reminder that Asmus can do hair -- even though non-synthetic hair would be obviously better.

phicen - A Tale of Two Alexanders (Dragon and TBLeague Alexander the Great review) Throri10


_________________
I'll be back!
https://onesixthfigures.forumotion.com

skywalkersaga

skywalkersaga
That does look cool! I had no idea the Thorin headsculpt was 'full size' - I guess I presumed that since it was portraying a Dwarf, it would be too small to go on a regular sized body. Glad to see I was wrong!


_________________
"The happy ending of the fairy tale, the myth, and the divine comedy of the soul, is to be read,
not as a contradiction, but as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man."

Focusing on the Prequels, Clone Wars, and Original Trilogy eras (NO 'sequels', thanks!)
https://the-far-bright-center.tumblr.com/

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
skywalkersaga wrote:That does look cool! I had no idea the Thorin headsculpt was 'full size' - I guess I presumed that since it was portraying a Dwarf, it would be too small to go on a regular sized body. Glad to see I was wrong!

Thank you. I actually meant to point that out. Somewhere I had read that the heads tend to be about regular size so I took a chance on the head sculpt and it bears out.


_________________
I'll be back!
https://onesixthfigures.forumotion.com

Ovy

Ovy
Agree, looks great. Could be one of Alexander's best friends and companions. Maybe one of those poor best friends he stabbed in a drunken frenzy or something.

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Ovy wrote:Agree, looks great. Could be one of Alexander's best friends and companions. Maybe one of those poor best friends he stabbed in a drunken frenzy or something.

Agreed, even if a bit macabre -- but fitting. Methinks you are thinking of Kleitos the Black. Poor Kleitos was portrayed by Gary Stretch.


_________________
I'll be back!
https://onesixthfigures.forumotion.com

dadrab

dadrab
Mighty fine color match to the body, too.

Nice.

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
dadrab wrote:Mighty fine color match to the body, too. Nice.

Thank you very much. Yes, the deeper shades do come close to the TBLeague male suntan, so it fits pretty well.


_________________
I'll be back!
https://onesixthfigures.forumotion.com

Sponsored content


Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum