Art Figures - City Police - Review

Sin City, the 2005 crime thriller based on the graphic novels of Frank Miller, could be what is described a cult classic.  Although the film enjoyed widespread critical success in the cinemas upon its release, it is I feel a ‘marmite film’ – that being you either love it or hate it.  With an all star cast, the film was renowned for it’s unique cinematic colour processing which rendered much of the film in black and white whilst retaining vivid colouring for key aspects of the frame in shot, notably ‘the woman in the red dress’ in the opening sequences of the film for example.  The release is based on three of Frank Millers graphic novel works, and the figure we’re looking at today, although probably not one of the key characters in the film (certainly in terms of average on-screen appearance time), is most definitely one of the most popular; John Hartigan.

Portrayed by Bruce Willis in the big screen adaptation, tough city cop John Hartigan stars in the graphic novel ‘That Yellow B%stard’ who is an aging cop trying to protect a young woman from a disfigured predatory sex offender and serial killer.  His story line is split into two parts throughout the film; he appears initially at the start when the young woman whom he is trying to protect is just a girl, and then later on in the film about an 1hr and 20min in.  In total, Bruce gets about 40 minutes screen time, which considering the film is only about an 1hr and 55mins long and concentrates on three different parallel story lines, he gets his fair share of exposure.

And so, seven years after the release of the movie, we find ourselves presented with this latest release from Art Figures, entitled ‘CITY POLICE’ this figure embodies Bruce Willis as Detective John Hartigan in all of his cinematic glory. 

This was my first experience of an Art Figures release so I was very keen to take a closer look when we published this on our news pages as a pre-order item a few months ago, therefore I was thrilled when Art Figures asked whether I would like to review him – how could I refuse!

Art Figures have chosen the popular ‘shoe box’ packaging format with magnetic closures for their figure as used fairly widely these days, and I think it makes for a nice packaging choice from an aesthetic perspective whilst maintaining maximum protection for the figure thanks to the foam lined interior.  Certainly this particular release could be regarded as one of the better ‘shoe box’ style offerings which high quality poster art style front and rear, which spills into the inside cover also.  For those persons who like to keep their figures in the box, with the box contributing to the overall value of the figure; you won’t be disappointed with this one.

 

Upon opening and removing the inside foam cover piece, you are presented with the fully clothed (minus tie) Detective John Hartigan figure, and an array of weaponry and accessories down the right hand side of the package.  In total, this figure comprises of the following items:

Authentic Likeness Of Head Sculpt, Body, Blue Shirt, Blue Tie, Blue Dust Coat, Blue Trousers, White Underpants, Black Socks Black Shoe Leather, Shoulder Holster, Ruger Black Hawk, Walther P22 Magazine*2, Auto 9 Pistol Magazine*2, M9 Pistol Magazine*2.

It is only for a few brief moments around twenty minutes before the end of the film do we see our character John Hartigan in full colour, and even then the saturation is such that the clothing colours are not fully clear; therefore it’s open to a little interpretation.  What Art Figures has come up with seems faithful enough to the film, with the dark navy blue trousers and coat, slightly lighter coloured blue shirt and striped ‘oxford’ style tie.  I’m fairly certain these clothing items will be popular with kit-bashers looking for civilian items, as they are in the minority compared to the number of military items available.

DSCF9153The coat, which is fully lined, is made from a very soft velvet like material.  It comprises three functional pockets on the front, two at the sides and one on the left breast.  Five tiny silver buttons are affixed to the front of the jacket with corresponding button holes on the opposite side allowing you to close it should you wish, you will however need a pair of tweezers and a little patience to do so.  Two of the same silver buttons are found on the cuffs of each sleeve, and one on each shoulder lapel respectively.  The only criticism of the coat is that it’s not 100% accurate ‘trench coat’ such as the style of the film, this can be more easily observed by looking at the back shoulder area of the coat where it is missing that ‘flap’ of material found on most trench-coats.  Still, it is a lovely piece of 1/6th clothing and also incorporates steel wire sown into the hem of the coat to allow those styled poses which indicate speed and motion – a nice touch.

The long sleeved, blue cotton shirt is also a nice piece with a functional top breast pocket and kept closed by four tiny buttons with corresponding button holes.  Again tweezers will be required should you wish to take this off.  A further top button is found at the collar, but you don’t necessarily need to button this up as we found the tie keeps the shirt suitably closed.

The tie is nothing less than a tiny, 1/6th scale tie.  Usually scale civilian ties will be ‘fake’ in that there is a pre-tied and fixed knot, with an elasticated loop that goes around the neck.  Not this one, you actually need to tie it as you would a 1:1 scale neck-tie, not an easy task but we managed it on our first attempt!  Again, tweezers handy here unless you have tiny fingers.  If you follow the advice a little further up and don’t affix the top button it gives it that slightly ‘rough around the edges’ look that you’d expect a tough city cop to have.

The trousers again have front and rear pockets (a nice touch Art Figures on your pockets!) and had a Velcro fastener at the front where you would expect the zip and top button to be located.  They are a creased and pleated front trouser, as you would expect of a suit, the material of which scales very well.  A black leather belt with silver buckle finishes them off nicely, and the general fit on the provided body is very good being neither too long nor too short.

Some of the smaller items include a pair of white boxer shorts, becoming more frequently included on civilian figures these days and superbly accurate they are indeed.  It doesn’t stop there though, Art Figures have even included socks… not these little fake sock ‘sleeves’ that you see sometimes, but actually tiny 1/6th scale socks.  I was amazed; I’ve never seen any before – excellent work!  The shoes which are described above as leather are actually made from a soft plastic imitating leather-like effect.

DSCF9127Speaking of the body, as I mentioned at the very beginning of my review, this is my first look at any product by Art Figures, so I am uncertain as to whether this figure body has been used on any of their previous releases, but I must say, I am suitably impressed.  The body overall has excellent articulation, notable the elbow joints which allow the fore-arm to raise up to the shoulder nicely.  This in conjunction with the excellent rearward articulation of the shoulder make for more accurate rifle holding poses etc..  The neck is a standard ball-joint to accept a HT style neck adapter so no problems with compatibility if you use this body as a loose item, equally you will have no issues with hands as it uses HT compatible wrist joints too.  The feet are rather interesting in that they are not removable but comprise of joints that I’ve not seen before; they allow for an upwards and downwards movement, along with a pivoted side-to-side motion but no rotation.  If you think about it that is entirely accurate as to what the human foot can achieve and is certainly no disappointment.  The overall proportions I would say I equal to that of a Dragon Neo 3 body, with slightly more muscular thighs and calves.   The rear of the body has what can only be described as ‘sculpted buttocks’ which all help contribute to a more realistic fit for the trousers as opposed to the flat back side of many figures.  The joints are not too stiff and hold their pose well, even against the resistance when fully clothed.  Art Figures ‘bendy’ hands are the digits of choice on this figure and they are nicely toned to match the skin colouring of the HS.  Overall I’m very impressed with this figure and will be looking out to purchase more of them as a loose item for my kit-bashes.

At this point I would like to say a few words about the head sculpt.  It really is very, VERY good and an extremely accurate likeness of our man Bruce from Sin City.  Anyone who says ‘I just can’t see it’, you need to get your eyes tested!  Not only is this sculpt, in terms of the likeness and proportions excellent, but the paint application is truly outstanding too.  I’m talking almost Hot Toys like quality here, and I think this is captured perfectly in some of my pictures throughout this review.  The HS may not prove as popular as a loose item as some others owing to the unique scar on the fore-head of the character, which kind of lends itself only to something from a Frank Miller graphic novel with its almost cartoonish unrealistic appearance.

DSCF9132Moving on from here we look at the weapons that this figure is supplied with, four in total, all pistols and all fantastic pieces in their own right.  The first two pistols, the revolver and the iconic Auto-9 were instantly recognisable from the film, but I must admit that the Walter P22 I did not notice throughout the movie and had to resort to looking it up just to make sure it did indeed make an appearance!  All three of the automatic pistols are provided with a spare magazine, and in the case of the Walther P22; also a silencer. The revolver is a Ruger Blackhawk chambered in .44 calibre and is not to be confused with the revolver we first see Bruce Willis wielding at the start of the film.  It is nicely weathered and satisfyingly detailed such that it even looks like the cylinder swings out, alas it does not.  For holstering the revolver the figure is supplied with a brown leather shoulder holster, which is a lovely piece and quite rare in the 1/6th world so I imagine this will be sought after as a loose item.

The next pistol is the ever popular Beretta 92FS.  It’s a really nice example with a functioning slide and two magazines.  Very nice weathering on the slide and frame of the pistol make it one of the best 1/6th scale ones that I’ve seen so far.

The absolutely huge Auto-9 is something of an iconic piece, Sin City being only the second film (or film series) that this fictional weapon has appeared in, the first being Robocop.  The Auto-9 is based on a modified 93R which we first saw sight of in 1987 brandished by Robocop officer Alex Murphy.  As with the 92FS this piece has a spare magazine and a fully functional top slide.

The last weapon, something of an odd one is the Walther P22.  Styled very much like the P99 of James Bond, the P22 is chambered in .22LR calibre, feeble compared to the 9mm P99.  Another nice and unique piece in the 1/6th world, again I imagine will be sought after as a loose item.  This one comes with a spare magazine and a silencer in nickel.  The pistol itself is two-tone, faithful to that of the film version.

Conclusion…

I have only good things to say about this figure.  Firstly, you need to appreciate that this has not been produced under licence.  We all know it’s Bruce Willis from Sin City, but of course Art Figures are not going to say that…  This keeps costs down, and this figure is indeed very affordable at only £84.99 over here in the UK.  Secondly, the head sculpt and paint application is amazing, a certainly the quality of something you would see on a more expensive ‘premium’ figure, my only disappointment is the fact that this HS only lends itself to this particular figure because of the distinctive scar, otherwise I would have loved to have used it on other kit-bashes.

The quality of the clothing items and pistols are superb and I really think you’d be hard pressed to fault this figure in general.  Even the body is something that I will be looking to try and get hold of as a loose item for further custom builds as it looks like a great platform to work with.

Overall, really impressed and I can’t wait to see future offerings from Art Figures!  A special thank you goes to them for providing this figure for review.

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