Review – Sideshow Captain America Archive Set

20 11 2006

 

When a 12″ Captain America figure is not available in the market, what is the next best thing to get? Besides getting a bust or statue of Cap, one can consider getting Sideshow’s Cpatain America Archive Set. The upside of getting this set is that you can run your grubby fingers along a real scaled-down Captain America shield! The downside is that you are missing the Captain America person! When there is no 12″ Captain America, this is the trade-off we have to live with!

I must admit that I got the archive set because of the shield. Seeing that 2D vibranium-steel shield being wielded by Cap in the comics is cool enough. To face the prospect of owning a 3D version of that shield is way too tempting! I just had to get it! It’s ok that it is not life size!

To top it all, the Captain America Archive Set depicts the Captain is in da house! He is probably bathing or crapping and has hung up his cowl and shield. So if you have one of these at home, it does infer the resident is Steve Rogers! I must be nuts.

Well, on to the review…

Bottomline

Great Captain America set from Sideshow’s ‘equipment only’ line for Marvel heroes. It’s refreshing for a change from the usual full figure statues or busts. It looks great as a display piece. However, the paint for the shield is a little disappointing. One has to be careful in handling this piece since the shield is not secured to the base. It’s a must have for Marvel fans!

What’s good:

  • Refreshing concept for a collectible.
  • Beautiful sculpting of the cowl and with those little wings attached!
  • Magnificent shield for a centerpiece of this archive set.
  • Nice touch to include the leather straps behind the shield although the shield will most likely be displayed with the star fronting it.

What could be better:

  • Shield is not secured as a single display piece. It is just resting on the 2 winged clasps at the base.
  • The white paint on the shield is a little off white with a tinge of yellow.
  • Thickness of black lining between the concentric circles of the shield is uneven.
  • Cap’s cowl looks weird without the connecting chin piece.

Sculpt & Resemblance

I believe this has to be the second strongest point for Sideshow’s Captain America Archive Set. The first being concept. Captain America’s cowl looks really good. The nice round top with the captial ‘A’ in front did remind me a little of those minature American Football helmets. Proportions of the cowl are good and makes it a comfortable look. Add the two little wings on each side and it looks simply fantastic.

Creases to the cowl have been intentionally sculpted in the areas of the eyebrow and around the nose bridge. While this is a nice touch to add some expression to a faceless uniform, it is rather amusing that the creases are so chiselled even without the person! Captain America’s superhero muscles must have extended to his facial muscles to exert that kind of force to make a permanent mark on his cowl!

 

One gripe about the cowl is that its bottom is just two hanging cheek pieces. There is no connecting chin piece. It gives the impression that Captain America is supposed to tie a knot with both cheek pieces to secure the cowl! This is probably the weirdest part of the cowl’s sculpt. It does resemble one of those gladiator-type helms from the Roman era. Why did they leave out the chin? Maybe visually it was not appealing to include it and a decision was made to leave it out?

 

The base and its connecting pillar is hefty and provides the stability for display the cowl and the sheild. Etched into the marble-like pillar is a star. The base has ‘Captain America’ emblazoned over it. The base comes with two sets of wing-like clips for resting the shield on it. While its minimalist design is visually appealing, these clips do not secure the shield to the base. As a result, the collector is recommended to remember to carry the shield and the base separately. An imbalance could cause the shield to roll off the base!

 

 

 

The front of the shield is a beautiful with its blue, read and white colours. Everything you expect from the comic version of the shield is here. However, I would have thought that the shield from the comics always looked smooth. The Archive Set’s shield has circular grooves between each concentric band of colour on the shield.

Another nice touch on the shield is that Sideshow has included the leather straps that Cap uses to secure over his arms.

 

 

 

Paint

The paint job on Sideshow’s Captain America Archive Set is probably the area where differences in views will occur. The base is pretty much exempted from this debate as it is done up rather well. The parts in question are the cowl and the shield.

 

The cowl is nicely painted except the edges of the big embossed ‘A’ in front. On closer inspection you could see the third colour on the cowl – sky blue. I was expecting sharp lines separating the white and the cowl’s blue texture.

The white paint on the shield is more creamy than white. It has a yellow tinge to it making it off-white. I do feel that a pure white paint would make the shield more outstanding with its contrasting colours. On my piece there were some slight yellowish stains on the white part of the shield.

The grooves between the concentric circles of the shield mirrors the panel lines on a model kit. The black paint used to detail these grooves seems to be applied on using model kit techniques of letting the paint run by itself in the groove upon the touch of a brush’s tip. The black lines formed had inconsistent thickness and is prevalent across all the concentric grooves.

Herein lies the debate, I would liken the Archive Set to something of a work of art… like a statue. One cannot expect perfect straight lines from painted art unlike print art. For Captain America Archive Set, the paint job will not show up anything disconcerting from a distance unless you inspect it up close. Eventually, it comes down to the personal level of tolerance for the paint job. For me, the black lines could have been better.

Conclusion

I love this piece for its unique take on the superhero genre. The focus being on the equipment of these headlines-makers. The good sculpting of the cowl and the shield is another plus point. The base with its pillar serves as an elegant backbone to prop up the cowl and the shield. The flaws on the paint are not glaring and should not dissuade you from buying this artpiece!

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3 responses

1 05 2007
Lisa

Nice Site!!! (p)i

21 10 2008
Mike Vargas

The shield is exactly what I’m looking for, it’s also exactly how it should look, so I’m really curious to know how much dose it all coust with the mask, the shield and the stand all together.

21 10 2010
steve rogers

What is the price????????? need to get this

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