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Predatorstuff Reviews the Black Heart Enterprises’ Elder Predator Wall Mount Bust!

October 4th, 2010

September’s Ragweed season is finally over, home renovations have calmed down a smidge and Spookfest is coming in a few weeks, you know what that means –  October is here!  That means TONS of Predator and Sci-Fi collectible related news is coming to Predatorstuff.com as I get back in the saddle and start posting like a madman.  We start off my favorite month with a GORGEOUS new kit by Black Heart Enterprises simply called The Elder… enjoy!

Oh sweet mamma does it feel good to see a new build-up from Joe Dunaway, it’s been WAY too long since the smell of fresh paint and the buzz of perfection has wafted in to my office within seconds of cracking the tape on a box with Joe as the ‘from’ address.  As I unpack this stunning piece from the generous bubble wrap and padding, the only downer is that this piece of kickass Predator collecting grail goodness isn’t mine, it’s a loaner and it has to go back to his daddy in a couple of weeks.  It’s still worth it, and it is a tremendous honor that Black Heart founder George Stephenson has entrusted me with one of his prized collectibles just long enough to share it with thousands of fellow Predheads like you and me!

Black Heart Enterprises is a garage kit organization with some big industry names… George has recruited the awesome casting talents of Earthbound Studios and the amazing skills of guys like Mark Brokaw, Joe Simon, David Fisher and many other big names in the GK community.  Heavy hitters in the industry, so you can imagine the mess I made drooling all over the place when I first heard about their P2 Elder Predator project and my mind was totally blown when George contacted me after Wonderfest to see if I would like to review this piece.  I did warn him that I review all pieces honestly, and if the kit wasn’t up to par, I wouldn’t be afraid to say so… I think he just smiled to himself knowing my jaw would hit the floor.

So, my reaction when I cracked the box open?  Mind was blown, drool and jaw were transferred the the floor, and I was filled with the same kind of love I had when I first saw Jessica Rabbit…  You knew it wasn’t real, but you felt lust anyhow! And best of all, George was extremely generous and provided me with a raw casting to see how the unpainted product looked before Joe Dunaway did his magic.  Let’s break it down!

THE SCULPT

If there was anything that worried me about this piece, it’s the previous experience I’ve had with wall mount 3D relief style statues or kits.  All of the bust style wall mounts I have seen to date suffer from a loss of perspective, meaning that it looks too squished depth-wise and looses the realism and proper proportions of a Predator.  The best comparison I can make is expecting the head of a German Shepherd dog but it ends up looking like a Pug.  In my mind, a wall mount relief should basically look like it was once a full size, fully sculpted bust and someone sliced it right down the sides and voila, you have your relief.  Too often, they end up looking like someone took a full bust and quashed it in a vice.  So, that was really my only worry, but it’s damn hard to go wrong with Joe Simon at the sculpting helm.  Joe has dipped his toes in the Predator and Alien world before (He sculpted the Geometric Designs Predator busts, a bare Predator warrior for Nightmare Collectibles and a Predalien concept design under his own company) so this is familiar territory for him, but that honestly didn’t prepare me for what I was going to see.

This is easily the most stunning Predator piece Joe Simon has ever done, the full scale head is mind-blowing, with tremendous amounts of detail on every square inch.  The piece overall measures 22″ in height, 15″ wide and pops out from the wall somewhere around 8″.  At nearly 2 feet in height, the piece has the perfect size factor to it and with the high detail factor, it’s the perfect combination.  Everything looks in scale and the dreads look fantastic.  The perfect sculpt… as far as I’m concerned, this is the best piece I have ever seen from Joe Simon.

THE CASTING

The castings are made up of a high quality matt white resin, perfect for dremeling in extra details or jewelry and for paint adhesion. The main head and dread sections are hollow cast, but still thick enough for a solid feel without excessive weight, not to mention strong enough that you can drill in to the back of the head to mount it to a nail or screw in the wall with no fear of it break off.  The castings are extremely clean, with the tiniest seam-lines you could dust off with a finger nail and immediately start to paint.  Not a single bubble or imperfection anywhere, the casting work is as impressive as the sculpt.  The kit is broken down in to 44 parts, 30 of which are quills for the face and jaw line, the head, two dread sections and the rest are teeth and mandibles.  I should also mention that the sculpt includes all the quill holes, so you just have to dab a bit of glue on the end of a quill and it pops right in to place with no fuss or having to hold it as the glue sets.  Earthbound Studios knows their stuff and it shows, this rates right up there with the extreme high quality of the high end Narin kits, I’m totally impressed.

PAINT APPLICATION

While this is a raw kit only and NOT available in a pre-paint format, I still have to mention the AMAZING talents of Joe Dunaway…  I’m not sure I can say anything original about him and his work that hasn’t already been said or typed in prior reviews, but I am still completely blown away every time I see one of his buildups for the first time.  No one can touch his Predator paint applications, no one.  If you have the budget to have a piece built by Joe, know that you will have the best of the best in your collection, it really doesn’t get any better than him.  Congratulations Joe, another amazing piece.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I love the GK community… GK artists from around the world provide collectors with some of the most unique, exciting and AMAZING statues available and I am so proud to be a part of it and it always makes me feel so excited to see a group getting it right.  This is my first experience with Black Heart Enterprises and there is no question that this is the kind of company that provides fellow collectors with the best of the best, both in terms of sculpt and final casting quality.  There’s a professional feeling to dealing with George and his group, from the boxing materials the kits ship in, the wrapped parts, the instructions, to even shiny mini posters for their products that include product character origins and information on the back.  Congratulations to Black Heart Enterprises on a phenomenal release, I would recommend anyone that digs the Elder Predator to pick one of these up, I promise you won’t regret it!  Even if you can’t paint models yourself, just finishing this in a simple faux bronze paint application (it’s really easy, google it and you’ll see what I mean) would look stunning on any collector’s wall.

The kit retails for $195.00 and costs $20 to ship within the US… no worries though, Black Heart ships worldwide, so don’t be shy and contact them for a shipping quote.  Please bear in mind these kits are only cast as ordered, so please allow 2 to 4 weeks after payment has been sent for your kit to go out.  You can visit Black Heart Enterprises by clicking HERE, and they can be contacted by clicking HERE!

Video Available on YouTube!

Be sure to check out my HD video review on YouTube and you can see just how huge this piece is standing next to me, it’s extremely impressive.  And I am ABSOLUTELY sure you want to pay attention to this video, as it may come handy in the not-so-distant future *wink*  Check out the video review by clicking HERE or clicking the YouTube icon above.

OK who’s ready for some sexy pics?  I had a BLAST photographing this piece because there is just so much detail I wanted to capture from every possible angle.  I tried to get some close-ups so you can really get a sense of the quality of this sculpt and of course so pleasure your retinas with Joe Dunaway’s paint skills!  Click the icon below to view the gallery:

I loved this piece so much, I even made some wallpapers to share with you guys!  Click on the resolution you need for your PC and have this guy taking over your desktop in seconds!


To download a wallpaper, simply right-click on the appropriate resolution for your desktop size and click “save as” to save it to your computer.

1920×1200   1920×1200
1680×1050   1680×1050
1440×900   1440×900
1280×800   1280×800
1920×1080   1920×1080
1600×1200   1600×1200
1280×960   1280×960
1024×768   1024×768
800×600   800×600
640×480   640×480
1366×768   1366×768
1280×1024   1280×1024
1280×768   1280×768

Overall, I am extremely pleased with this statue, it’s a gorgeous piece that is extremely well done, both in terms of sculpt and the final painted product. 

Hop you enjoyed the review gang, and I’m glad to be back at the helm!  Stay tuned for tons of content of the coming days and week, I promise you a steady stream of wallet killing goodies and eye candy for all!  Please coming VERY soon we’ll find out who walks away with prizes from our last contest and we might have a small scavenger hunt for you that could score you some swag if you’re quick enough!  Enjoy, and remember to share your thoughts and comments by clicking the comment button below.  Comments = goooood.

Peace out dawgs!
Dan

Post a Comment!

 

12 Responses to “ Predatorstuff Reviews the Black Heart Enterprises’ Elder Predator Wall Mount Bust! ”

  1. Jason Says:

    Mmmm…swag. I absolutely love swag. Its absolutely awesome. PS – love the awesome video review – it was absolutely wicked awesome!

    😉

    PS – I actually don’t mind how many times you used the word absolutely. I know when you get excited about something by how enthusiastic you get! Keep up the good work – and keep the goodies coming 😉

  2. Joe D. Says:

    Cool review Dan!
    Glad you like my paint up!
    I absolutely loved painting it…lol!
    Seriously, its a fantastic piece!

  3. Predator Costumes, Models, Kits and Collectibles – Predator Stuff! » PredatorStuff Tweets! Join us on Twitter and get the Latest Predator News as we Twitterate it! Says:

    […] notice that little blue icon tab that showed up the same day we posted the Elder Predator review?  If not, then you may be interested in knowing that we are now part of the Twitter Army, […]

  4. David M (Australia) Says:

    Excellent review Dan! I was lucky enough to grab one of these a few months ago and it is an amazing piece as your review shows.

    Look forward to seeing more in the future and you’re right about the T-800 – it is fantastic too.

    David M

  5. Patrick Says:

    Amazing!
    Love to get one..
    Only their contact option is not working..
    What to do now?

  6. David M (Australia) Says:

    Hi Patrick,

    Did you go here http://www.blackheartmodels.com

    Did you use this email address goblackheart@comcast.net

    George NEVER sleeps! I’ll let him know you are looking for him.

    David

  7. George Says:

    Patrick: Sorry you are having trouble contacting us. You can email us at goblackheart@comcast.net and we’ll make sure to get you taken care of.

    George Stephenson

  8. pagodahell Says:

    Although the paintjob is outstanding….it just doesn’t have the ‘elder’ feel to it….doesn’t seem like an old creature. There is a comic book essence that comes through more than anything. I may be in a minority, but I don’t really like the sculpt either. The huge flair of the upper mandibles is kind of cartoony and throws off the balance and symmetry. It makes the perspective seem forced. Just one guy talking. I hope it does very well.

  9. George Says:

    Dan: Thanks for the great review, both here and on youtube. We think we’ve put out a pretty good product and your review confirms that for us. I should also mention that the responses (sales) we’ve gotten from your subscribers have been excellent. That kind of positivity from die hard Pred fans is exactly what we were hoping for. Thanks again, Dan.

    George Stephenson
    Black Heart

  10. Faken Says:

    My pleasure George, it’s an amazing piece and I REALLY look forward to more releases from you guys 🙂

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