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Chrome Samurai's Bowen Designs Thanos MB Review

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Bowen Designs Thanos MB Edit

Thanos 300 dpi 2

The 24th Mini-Bust in Bowen's Marvel line, Thanos was sculpted by Seth Vandable.

Sculpt Edit

This piece is sculpted by Seth Vandable, who went on to do some great statues for Hard Hero. This bust, while it IS still good, is not quite as impressive as his later works. This is actually a complement to Seth, who has grown leaps and bounds as an artist. The face is the best part of this bust, and it definitely feels like a Jim Starlin Thanos. The rest of it seems a bit rough, however, and the turn of Thanos's waist makes his ribs look a bit awkward and his abs a bit sunken in. It definitely looks like it suffered from some quality control issues from some of Bowen's early factories and the detail on the sculpt looks like it shallowed out a bit from the casting. It's not bad at all, and it's faithful to the character, but it doesn't exactly jump off your shelf visually.

Design Edit

This is another armless bust, that Bowen produced fairly often during the beginning of the Marvel contract. One of his shoulders is up, as though his left arm is outstretched, but considering how close to the shoulder it's cut off, it seems a little awkward and/or unnecessary. If the bust is displayed looking straight ahead, it makes you look into the large black underside of the cut off arm and it's kinda distracting. The cut off parts have the classic "chiseled out" design and it works fine, like it always has. I understand it might seem more generic, but if Thanos didn't have the torso twist and raised arm, it might look less awkward.

Paint Edit

Here's my biggest problem with this bust. The factory paint apps on this piece are pretty bad. Only the ribs under the pecs and the side of the head have any color shading and it's only on the blue color. While the shade of the blue and gold colors are fine, it's the physical application of the paints that are bad. There are lots of areas of bleed over where one color goes into another section where it shouldn't. There are lots of sloppy, unfinished looking parts. The gold parts look brushed on, and are inconsistent, with visible brushstrokes. The creme-de-la-crap, however, is the face. Thanos's skin tone is a color I can only describe as Hubba-Bubba Grape. The details on his face were painted on VERY BADLY with what might look like an ink wash. Problem is, it also looks like it was applied with a Bic ink pen. Not at all consistent or sharp. I wish it looked as good as the gallery pic.

Base Edit

The base is very plain, with a design that vaguely alludes to Thanos's gauntlet design. The Infinity Gems on there, are small, glued on, and cheap looking. It's simple and doesn't take away from the sculpt, yet, there's almost nothing on it to appreciate. The gold parts on the base are not quite as bright as they are in the preview pics. The gold paint was put on in what looks like a very thin drybrush layer. Because of this, from a distance, it looks to be almost the same color as the black on the base.

Overall Edit

While I would have no problems with the piece if they CHOSE to create a rough, almost unfinished style, (see the Hellboy museum bust) that was obviously not the case here. Quality-wise, this is not the best example from Phase 1. It's not a bad bust at all, there's just things about it that bother me. The sculpt is sufficient, but Seth is so much better now, I'd love to see what his Thanos would look like nowadays. It looks fine in my Thanos collection, but I'm kinda hoping for a re-visit from Randy. If you manage to get your hands on one that has been repainted, or that somehow has better paint apps, I'd probably even kick it up a point on the rating scale. But the bust overall is solid and classic, plagued by sub-par paints.

On a scale of 1-5:

  • 1 - Avoid!
  • 2 - Look but don't buy!
  • 3 - Buy, if you're a fan of the character.
  • 4 - Buy, it'll look good in any collection!
  • 5 - Phenomenal piece! A Must-Buy!

Bowen Designs' Thanos Mini-Bust is a:

3 - Buy, if you're a fan of the character.

--Chromesamurai 08:41, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

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