Iron Studios X-Men Vs. Sentinel BDS Art Scale Series: Gambit Statue ReviewJose Lopez
In The Beginning
Iron Studios has been releasing two different types of statues in their 1:10 scale X-Men Vs. Sentinel Diorama line. One type has been the dioramas themselves, featuring a few X-Men or villains doing battle with a giant, robotic Sentinel. The second type have been proximity pieces, which are usually a single character atop a base that places them somewhere amidst the area where the larger dioramas have established they’re taking place.
A few of those single releases, like Gambit here, have been released in both categories. While Gambit is also in Diorama #2, facing off against the likes of Magneto, Juggernaut and a Sentinel, he’s also been released on his own, standing atop a detached Sentinel hand. Let’s take a look at the latter.
Created just before the comic book speculator boom of the early 1990s, Gambit almost seems tailor-made to be the hot, breakout character of that era. Mysterious past? Check. Questionable morals? Check. Cool, form-fitting trench coat with a popped collar? Check and check. Remy LeBeau is a smooth-talking, Cajun thief who befriends a de-aged and de-powered Storm (don’t ask.) in The Uncanny X-Men, Issue #266. He eventually finds himself becoming one of the preeminent X-Men of the 90s, even getting his own solo series. Using his super-powered ability to charge inanimate objects (like his iconic playing cards) with so much energy that they eventually explode, the roguish hero is probably best known in pop culture for his New Orleans accent and romantic relationship with fellow X-Man, Rogue.
The box is nicely done, this time being a smaller, more compact version of what we’ve seen before with other statues in this series. There’s some nice full and close-up promotional shots of Gambit on the front and back, with both set against the classic X-Men colors of blue and yellow. There is nothing really unexpected to be found here but a good-looking package nonetheless.
Gambit fits in perfectly with Iron Studios’ other proximity pieces and figures in the Sentinel series. The various costume bits, from the metallic boots to the long coat to the raised rectangles along the legs, are all sculpted extremely well. Gambit’s hair and portrait are solid, though the subtle smirk he’s been given is a bit too subtle for my taste. The character is rife with personality and this statue doesn’t really convey that as much as it could.
The folds, wrinkles and creases of the coat are perfection. The effect of the coat blowing in the wind looks great, as does the flipped-back collar and belt. Iron Studios has given the coat so much tiny detail, which makes sense considering how much real estate it takes up.
The power FX piece, sculpted onto the figure’s left hand and seemingly made of translucent pink resin, recreates Gambit’s energy abilities nicely. The playing cards are all attached perfectly and the whole effect is a successful one.
Gambit’s left hand and bo staff are packed separately and plug into place easily. You may want to give special care to the staff when sliding it into place between the figure’s fingers, but I had no issues doing so.
The sharp, clean lines of Gambit’s costume, particularly the silver piping around the edges, look superb. The crisscrossed upper torso section is well-done, despite all likelihood for it to come off messy. The metallic purple is vibrant, giving the many dark sections of the statue some much-needed pop. Even the black-washed silver of Gambit’s knee-high boots, complete with some brown “mud” splatter at the feet, are impressive.
The highlight for me with this piece is definitely Gambit’s coat. The mix of brown and black wash, along with what looks to me like some gentle dry brushing, sells the texture of the coat without relying on the sculpt, which is itself perfection. Even the silver of the buttons and buckles is cleanly applied.
If I nitpick anything, it would be that the stubble of Gambit’s portrait is a tad unevenly applied, making it seem like he did a sloppy job the last time he shaved. Otherwise, this statue is painted expertly.
Gambit stands atop a torn-off, robotic right hand of a Sentinel and it’s very well-done. The battle-damage of the hand is exceptional, from the cracks and slashes to the rubble underneath. The cables and wires hanging loosely where fingers and a wrist used to be look suitably trashed, giving the base some dynamism.
Gambit’s foot pegs into the palm of the hand well, hiding the rod naturally. I do wish that instead of rubble, we could have either had the hand resting on either the floorboards of the mansion or the courtyard, if only to get a better idea of where Gambit is supposed to be in the diorama.
Gambit comes with no swappable parts or extras. I would have welcomed some sort of bonus FX piece, but I’d be hard pressed to come up with one that would suit the pose given here.
Gambit has zero issues in the quality department, which is fairly impressive considering some of his accessories and how they fit together. Being able to comfortably slide the Bo Staff into his right hand with no scratching or resistance is great, as is his FX piece coming with no breakage. If I had to nitpick, I would mention that this piece is the only one one that wobbles a bit when it’s metal rod is inserted into the base. It’s secure despite that, so I’m not too worried, but it is something I noticed.
In The End
This is a truly great entry in this series. Gambit has always been a popular character in the X-Men and Marvel, but this statue itself deserves plenty of acclaim. From the well-done portrait to the clean paint job to the excellently-sculpted coat, Gambit is a joy to behold. I’m sure the figure is just as cool as part of the larger Diorama #2, but he’s allowed to truly stand out on his own with this proximity piece.