Iron Studios X-Men – Archangel BDS 1:10 Art Scale Statue ReviewJose Lopez
In the Beginning
Most of the joy for me about Iron Studios’ X-Men Versus Sentinel series of 1:10 Art Scale statues has been in the deep dive that the company has been doing into the history of the mutant superheroes and their villains. This tactic has given several characters that have never been made into statues their chance to shine, which is great for collectors, but there are other benefits to the line too. One of those is that we’ve been getting excellent versions of popular characters as well, like this Archangel. The winged mutant has been a staple of the X-Men franchise, and the collectibles based on it, forever. This time, he’s part of the larger X-Men Vs. Sentinel Diorama Statue #3, but we’ll be looking at the single release today, which is just as impressive.
Warren Worthington III was one of the five original members of the X-Men. The character, under the codename The Angel, first appeared in 1963’s X-Men, Issue #1, which was yet another creation by those workhorses Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The teenage superhero was basically a take on the Lonely Rich Kid trope. He came from a wealthy, yet disconnected, family, leading him to hide the truth of his feathered wings from them. He’d eventually evolve into a darker, even more tortured take once he was transformed by villain Apocalypse into the Archangel. Trading feathered wings for metallic, razor sharp ones and caucasian skin for an otherworldly blue complexion, Warren would struggle with murderous impulses supposedly brought on by his new wings. Eventually, he’d conquer his struggles and become a heroic elder statesman of the X-Men, which he continues to be today.
The usual design of this series shows up again with this art box for Archangel, though this is significantly larger package than usual due to the character’s wings. Several promotional photos of the superhero cover the packaging, while inside the pieces that make up the statue are held securely within two styrofoam trays taped together. Overall, collector-friendly and safely put together.
Archangel is another entry in this line that pulls double duty as a single release and a piece that is featured as part of a larger whole, that being the third X-Men Vs. Sentinel Diorama. Unlike some, though, his lends itself to being on it’s because of the unique nature of the character’s power of flight. While he’s sculpted flying beside the larger Sentinel robot in the diorama, here he’s in the same pose, just beside the remains of a Sentinel forearm and hand. The figure looks amazing, utilizing a peg in it’s knee to connect to the robot hand. The appearance of flight that this statue convinces you that you’re seeing is highly effective. Archangel’s wings are made of a softer, lighter plastic than the polystone used on the rest of the piece, allowing for the center of gravity to not be sacrificed for a dynamic wingspan. Iron Studios added some spreading and movement on one of the wings, which wasn’t in the original promotional prototype. I like this alteration as it gives the wings a more organic feel, which is comics-accurate.
The figure of Warren Worthington itself is another solid piece, translating the character’s iconic costume to a somewhat real-world aesthetic. The musculature poking through the suit, as well as the different textures found in the trim and wristbands, gives the outfit some welcome weight. The portrait is great, though I would have liked a cowled option in order to fully recreate the character’s iconic comic book appearance.
The metallic-sheen of Archangel’s wings pops triumphantly, bringing plenty of attention to them, as it should. The black wash in the folds brings out the details, as well as give the appendages some three-dimensionality. The figure’s costume is full of clean lines and very little to no paint slop, though I could have done with a tad less black wash in the pink trim, which unfortunately makes it look simply dirty, instead of shaded. The work on the Sentinel remains is solid, as always in this line, and the shading in the smoke plume is surprisingly effective.
The Sentinel remains that Archangel flies beside is sculpted to perfection. One half of a cleaved-in-two robotic forearm and hand, this piece actually perfectly matches it’s sister half, which is part of the single release Psylocke statue. Putting the two together creates a perfect match, giving these two separate releases some wonderful symmetry. The innards, now visible within, are meticulously detailed, as is every rivet and armored plate on the front half of the arm. Some nicely-sculpted smoke, possibly emitting from the damaged arm, conceals the bottom of the remains, though there are some noticeable seam lines where sections of the smoke meet.
Archangel doesn’t come with any accessories included, but I would like to reiterate my hopeless wish that they had thrown in a second portrait with the character’s cowl fully covering his hair. I enjoy seeing Warren’s golden locks as much as the next collector, but the cowled look is so damn cool. Ah well.
No complaints about the materials or the quality of this piece. Archangel was simple to assemble and the clever material and design of the wings allows for the complete statue to be perfectly balanced, as all things should be. The heavier polystone base maintains a good center of gravity, making this piece stress-free.
In the End
Iron Studios’ Archangel is definitely an eye-catching entry in the X-Men Vs. Sentinel line of statues, mostly due to an impressive wingspan and clever posing that really sells the character in flight. An amazingly-detailed base is the cherry on top of what many collectors will consider a delicious treat in their collection.