by: Peter Ong [ ]
Originally published on:
ARES’s 54mm “Excelsy” represents a human female fantasy knight in full battle armor. She poses for the picture, clutching her battle helm in her left hand. Obviously a character of high ranking and wealth, Excelsy sports custom-fitting armor and cape and is armed only with a broadsword. Her armor has a flourish of curves and motifs that look decidedly feminine and also encases her hourglass female figure well. She has long slender curvaceous legs and arms and a good height and yet a somewhat slender and petite torso. Her proportions just look natural and correct, separating her from the squat wargaming miniatures that dominate the other size of the fantasy figure realm.
This is my first kit from ARES. My kit came in a paper envelope with wrapping to protect the box. Opening the envelope, I saw a beautiful box, clear evidence that ARES took the time and effort to present Excelsy in the best marketing manner possible. The front of the gloss black box shows a color photo of the figure whereas the back has text in several languages denoting that this kit is not a toy, is intended for ages 12 and up, and requires paint and glue to complete.
The box comes with a pull tab, a nice feature used to open the box lid. Opening the box reveals two gray foam pads enveloping the white metal parts. This is not a hybrid kit; there is no resin whatsoever. Whereas the body and small parts are in clear plastic bags, the base and cape are not and rest on the foam pad.
The white metal parts are:
• Circular base with cobblestone texture
• Body from the neck to the armored boots
• Battle helm
• Left arm
• Right arm
• Left hand and forearm
The parts appear exquisitely cast. I found no imperfections or seam lines whatsoever. Do note that the armor around the thighs is angled so the line in the middle represents the bend in the armor and is not a seam line.
The Excelsy kit comes with no instructions, but assembly appears pretty straightforward for those who have some experience assembling figures. The white metal feels light and strong, just right to give the figure some weight while capturing all the fine intricate details and engravings.
The body from shoulders to boots has all the armor, designs, raised motifs, and clothing molded onto it. The armor quality looks awesome, very crisp and detailed. The chain mail torso looks intricate and crisp with rings raised and defined; the piecemeal outer battle armor smooth and curvaceous, not too thick and yet having symmetrical pieces. The piecemeal outer armor consists of boots, lower legs, thighs, hips, chest, arms, and shoulders, and provides adequate protection, yet has no armor over the knees, elbows, and pelvic area to enhance mobility.
The head has a youthful attractive complexion and has all the curly “bob-style” hair molded onto it. The bottom of the neck comes with a pin that fits into the hole between the shoulders. I testfitted the head to the body and found a “sweet spot” that makes the head level and look towards the viewer. However, this leaves a slight gap between the armored collar and the bottom of the neck. The gap looks pretty natural and most viewers wouldn’t think much of it since it denotes the thickness of the armored collar. If the neck pin goes all the way into the hole for a more secure fit to eliminate the gap, the head will be either looking down or cutely tilted to the side. Figure modelers should pay attention to angle of the head they want to represent when gluing this piece.
The battle helm comes as a single piece with armored crest and all the raised curving motifs molded on it. The carved designs appear crisp and balanced. The helm has a slender front but it’s hard to tell if this is a generic helm or a custom female one. In any case, obviously, the helm will not fit over the head and is not designed to take the place of the head on the body. Partially filled inside, the helm has enough material taken out of the eye slit and the bottom to give the illusion of being hollow.
The cape has soft curves and wrinkles molded on the backside whereas the front has a strip (sword scabbard) and groove to indicate where the partial sword should be glued. Glue the sword to the inside of the cape, not the outside. The plain cape lacks any designs, patterns, or motifs; enterprising figure modelers could add their own. I testfitted the cape to the body and the cape’s two prongs fit well on the armored collar. The back armored lower legs rest perfectly into the indentations on the cape, giving the cape a natural snug fit around the armored body. Two slight vertical tears adorn the bottom of the cape, giving this piece some character of being used.
The sword comes as a partial, the handle and tang being fully cast and the blade just a little piece. The sword gets glued to the inside slot of the cape, right behind the armored left shoulder.
I testfitted the remaining pieces, the arms, front of the cape, and lower arm and the pieces fit well using their cast pins and holes. Again, there is a “sweet spot” that the figure modeler must pay attention to when gluing so that the pins-to-holes line up to the angle the modeler wants.
The circular base, four centimeters in diameter, has a rough cobblestone texture. Excelsy’s boot soles come with front pegs and there are enough divots and groves in the base to have the boots’ pegs rest in any number of them for a secure fit.
ARES Mythologic’s Excelsy assembles well and looks great. I am impressed by the attention to detail and the engineering and design talent that went into making Excelsy—the small pin-to-holes fit well, the cape hugs snugly, the sword has its own grove to slip into, and the boot pegs could rest on any number of indentations in the base. The completed figure measures about 68mm when completed.
Special Thanks to ARES Mythologic for the discounted review sample.