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OMG! What a Turkey

September 28th, 2012

Never have I been this disappointed in a Predator product.  The recently issued Predator statue from Sideshow is just plain awful.  I received the box a few days ago and had to put it aside to deal with more pressing issues.  So this past Monday I finally got a chance to open the box and all of my anticipation and excitement went up in a puff of smoke.  Why?  Well let’s start with the paint job which is amateurist at best.  The head lacks virtually any detail, yes there are a few dapples along the center line of the skull but the whole outer perimeter of the skull is one color, kind of a brown-black without a hint of drybrushing to bring out the details.

The right hand.  It shows the black fingerless glove – a Predator trademark – but the edge of the glove is so poorly painted that it runs down into the flesh of the palm.  If you can’t stay within the line you really don’t belong painting anything!  The back is the most telling part.  The rear skirt is painted exactly the same color as the thigh and calf armor.  The feet.  Painted brown and the armor on the sandals…well it’s brown too.  Not aluminum or stainless steel or whatever type of metal they use on the Predator home world, but brown.  Even the detail on the torso and legs looks as if someone just used an air brush and sprayed randomly with no attempt to differentiate musculature.  Even the $100 NECA 18″ Predator has real netting covering the chest and legs.  But it is totally missing from this $300 statue, just painted netting.  The whole thing stinks of sloppy “who-cares” workmanship and is hardly worthy of anything from Sideshow or the whole Predator franchise.  I should have taken pictures as illustrations but I was so anxious to pack it up and ship it off that I forgot.  Recommendation from Predator Stuff:  Don’t buy it and if you already got one, send it back.  Really a shame.

 

 

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Predator Stuff Reviews Predator Legendary Scale Bust

December 3rd, 2011

I’ve noticed that trashing Sideshow has become quite the in-thing to do. I’ve seen/read comments like Sideshow has let the “quality of sculpting decline”, the paint jobs are “crappy”, the “poses are not realistic” and the proportions of the Predator are “all wrong”.  When I read these gripes I think that I really need to get new glasses as I don’t see most of those things.  But let’s take a look at some of these issues.

Now, I’m certainly not going to put myself in the position of defending Sideshow, they are doing okay without my help.  And please keep the “hey Rich we know that Predator Stuff is a Sideshow affiliate and as such you’ve sold your soul to the company store” riffs to yourself.  The amount of money we make from Sideshow wouldn’t pay for hosting this web site.

In reality, I actually find some of these complaints to be a bit amusing on a number of different levels.  There are those of you that think Sideshow charges too much and somehow that translates into “crappy” products.  There are those of you who think that if a statue is not an exact duplicate of the movie version, it is “crappy”.  And my favorite, “it doesn’t look real”.  Let’s take a look at that last one.   I have been a ‘Predaholic’ since 1987, it is my hands down favorite sci-fi movie of all time.  I have been collecting, building and painting Predator kits since 1990.  But even with that pedigree, I have to admit that at times I lose sight of the fact that Predators are not real, they are works of fiction.  I know, I can hear the screams of “heretic” but the truth is the truth.  So, as with anything that is fictitious, its realization is subject to artistic interpretation.  Besides, who says all Predators should look the same.  Imagine how dull our collections would look if every statue or kit looked the same.  As we found out in Predators, there are different tribes, different roles in the tribe, females, presumably Predator children, all different.  That’s what makes them cool.  So when we look at a Predator statue, we should look at it independent of who produced it and not lock ourselves into how closely it resembles the movie version.  Take a look at the Samurai Predator on this page.  Never made an appearance in any of the movies but it rocks.

Bottom line:  Sideshow has cranked out some badass statues and some not so badass ones. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and different beholders behold differently.

The Rant is over. Let’s move on to a review of the Predator LSB.  A couple of upfront admissions/rules/facts.  As I mentioned above, this site is an affiliate of Sideshow which means that every time you click through from here to Sideshow and buy something we get a small commission.  That is also true for Amazon, iTunes, Electronic Arts, and Google AdSense.  Running this site costs some money and these affiliate relationships help to offset those costs.  Having said that, it doesn’t mean I have any allegiance to any one of them nor have they bought me off.  Next, I do not get free kits or statues from any of those folks.  Anything I review is based on my purchase of that item.  Last, I call it as I see it.  If you agree/disagree with me, there is a comments section below and I encourage you to use it.  Those of you who have emailed me know that I love a good dialogue, so bring it on.

One of my favorite things is seeing the FEDEX guy pull up the driveway and head toward me with a box.  Seeing him/her struggle with the weight of the box is even better and seeing a big box wins top honors.  And that is exactly what happened when my Predator LSB arrived, big ass, heavy box, wooo hooo!  I brought it into my office and then heard the worst noise any collector can hear…something rattling around in the box!  Statues and kits packed in Styrofoam don’t rattle.  So, I opened it up and got the old approach-avoidance conflict.  The bust was bigger than I thought and initial impression was very favorable but there were a bunch of black things rolling around in the bottom of the box.  Turned out to be two broken dreds and a few broken/displaced quills.  Not a big deal you may say but when I am paying $350, I want perfection.  A quick email to Sideshow resulted in a UPS return label and about 10 days later a replacement arrived.  This was my first experience with Sideshow Customer Service and based on it, I give them an ‘A’, prompt, pleasant, apologetic and professional.

On to the bust.  It is fucking beautiful!  It is the perfect capture of the expression of the original Predator moments after he has removed his bio helmet and Dutch utters the immortal “You are one ugly mother-fucker”.  Mouth is close, eyes are piercing and head is slightly cocked to the left.  You can almost see him looking at Dutch and returning the complement.  As you can see from the photos, the eyes are amazing, They are the off-white/yellow combination and look slightly crossed just like the movie.

Next thing I noticed was the mouth, beautifully detailed with minute veins and gloss coated for that wet look.  The mandibles are perfectly proportioned with the upper mandible slightly opened and the bottoms closed.  The rest of the head is nicely detailed with the ‘liver spots’ running up and out from the center line and darkening nicely out to the dreds.

And the dreds!  One of my complaints with some kits and statues is that they go cheap on the dreds, that is, not enough.  Almost makes the poor Pred look like he is balding.  Not here.  I actually started to count the dreds – I do have a life but not much of one – got close to a hundred and quit because they are too densely packed in.  Nice, no balding guy here!  Ditto with the quills that run up from both eyebrows, out of the upper cheeks and down the center of the chest.

There are some very nice details.  There is a good looking ‘bone’ necklace hanging around the neck, the armor straps feel like they are leather and the netting across the chest is…well..netting, not a paint on

Now for the negatives.  While the dreds/quills are somewhat flexible, they should have been made with a rubber compound to add greater flexibility and realism.  Plus I wouldn’t have had to return my first one. Also, the dred rings totally suck.  They lack any detail at all, simple north-south indents and are way too black.  They look as if someone took a quick dry brush to them and as a result they do not stand out at all.  I will have to do a re-paint on them, not cool.

A few more issues.  The armor on the right shoulder looks out of proportion.  It looks like the big guy put on his kids armor by mistake!  And I think the painters could have taken a nice thin brown wash to the entire body not just to the top of the head.  It would have brought out more of the sculpting that is there but almost impossible to see from beyond a foot away.

Oh, and what is the deal with the “Sideshow Exclusive Base”?  What is it?  Where does it go?  Does it attach to anything?  It looks like they had a bunch of plaques from an old kit, didn’t know what to do with them and threw them in with this statue.  Lame.

 

So let’s take a look at the report card for the Predator Legendary Size Bust:

Subject

Grade
Customer Service

A

Pose

B+
Dreds and Quills

B-

Paint Job

C+

Details

B-

Would I buy it again?  Yes.  Do I recommend it for purchase?  Absolutely!  Is it worth the money?  A qualified yes.  Are you all going to disagree with me?  You bet!  Let the comments fly!

-Rich

Predator Legendary Scale Bust Specs:

Dimensions: Approx 1:2 scale – 16.5” (419mm) H x 10” (254mm) W x 7.5” (190.5mm) L

Weight: 10 Lbs (4.54 kg)

Editions: Comes in Sideshow Exclusive Edition with “additional nameplate” of questionable use and Standard Edition with nameplate.

Cost: $349.99

Availability: Both editions are currently available (12/11)

 

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Predatorstuff Reviews Narin’s 1:4 Scale Hellboy Kit!

March 11th, 2011

Happy Friday everyone, welcome to a new review of a pretty damn kick ass kit that was released back in July of last year…  have a gander at the awesome 1:4 scale Hellboy kit from our beloved Narin!


First off, I have to once again thank my kick ass friend Si Blair for hooking me up with this build-up that he comissioned from the always amazing Joe Dunaway.  Si has been extremely generous is allowing me to review his buildups before he even gets his hands on them so thanks so much for sharing your collectibles with me and the rest of the Predatorstuff fans!  So without further polishing of the derriere, lets have at it.

OVERVIEW

This kit is the first in a line of large 1:4 scale pieces that are being sculpted and produced by Narin, and Hellboy here is a stunner at just over 21 inches in height and weighing well over 5 lbs.  The kit comes with 25 pieces, including 2 sets of horns (the ground down version as well as full on demon horns of demony goodness!) and two sets of left hands (his left, not yours) – one with a static open hand pose and the other holding the kind of gun that would likely have any beast he faces decorating the interior of his monster pants feces brown.  Btw feces brown is really a color… it’s that color used for those yellow/brown cubicle office walls from the 90s.  He then includes 4 belt pockets, a ceremonial dagger, cross, horseshoe, holstered gun and a couple of rather phallic looking grenades or some kind of other devices.  The main body is parted at the waist and below the knees with the joints well hidden with the belt and boot tops.

SCULPT AND CASTING

My first thgought when taking this out of the box… “Holy crap this thing is HUGE!” I am so happy that Narin is doing a 1:4 scale line, I love this scale so I am really excited about this series and his first offering of Hellboy is a great choice.  The kit is beautifully sculpted with extreme detail in every piece of the kit…  even his gloves are topped with tiny grooves and details that are just mind blowing.  You can’t help but notice that the overall piece is a blend of Movie style Hellboy and comic book style.  He’s got a leaner look to him but still stacked and ready to kick ass and the look really works for the piece.  Even the boots are beautifully sculpted with tons of details and this cool tread pattern on the soles. So once again Narin does an amazing job on the sculpt and every millimeter is just killer.  The casting is equally kickass with the usual high quality resin that Narin uses that requires barely any clean up.  The only actual putty work you’ll need to do is when you connect his arma to the shoulders… you’ll need to pin and glue those in place and putty the joint lines.  Other than that, he’s ready to paint right out of the box!

PAINT-UP

Looks like Joe had a field day with his box of odds-and-ends because he’s added a ton of chains, crosses, bones and other little doo-dads all over his belt, including some kind of crayfish claw and even something nasty in some yellow liquid in a glass vile hanging from his belt… and it looks sooooo friggin cool.  The combination of Narin’s skill as a sculptor and Joe’s mind-blowing painting skills never fails to impress me.  Hellboy’s eyes are super detailed and beautifully painted, the skin tones are awesome and the subtle shading between the muscles is perfect.  Then you look at the weapons and clothing and you just marvel at how much detail Joe works in to each piece.  The weathering and metal work is so realistic and the little paint chips and nicks in the metal have you wondering just how the hell he does it.


 FINAL THOUGHTS

This is a no brainer for Hellboy fans and kit builders, the kit is killer and looks absolutely awesome when all built up and put together and is seriously going to stand out in your Hellboy collection.  I should ALSO mention that this is a limited edition kit at only 30 castings and there are a few left, retail is $300 plus shipping per kit, painting not included.  By the way for those of you that can’t build your own kits, we do have a list of professional kit builders here on the site you can use to contact pros that we love and get some build-up quotes.  You can check that list out by clicking HERE!  Should you need more information about this kit or how to pick one up, feel free to contact me at any time.

So another big congratulations to Narin on a kickass release and I can’t wait to see what’s next in the 1:4 scale line!

OK how about some eye candy folks?  First up, please click the photo icon below to check out all the pics of this beautiful piece… I took a ton of photo closeups to give you an idea of how cool the details are, hope you enjoy them! 

And of course we can’t have us a review without some video goodness right? My daughter and I decided to put a little something together while we waited for the Habs hockey game to get started so we strapped on our game jerseys and let the camera role!  Check it out by clicking here or click the icon below:

Video Available on YouTube!

I am really excited to see you guys are digging these wallpapers I started doing a few months ago for the reviews and it’s kickass when I see someone posting a pic of their desktop and one of my review backgrounds are on there!  So here’s the latest, hope you guys dig it!


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.

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Hope you guys enjoyed the review! Please be sure to click on the comment button below and let me know what you think of the piece of of this review and stay tuned for more awesome goodies coming up, including a kick ass Predator helmet that is the first piece of a complete Predator costume being released by a company in Europe this year.  Very professional stuff, I think you guys are going to like this a lot.

Enjoy and thanks for reading!
Dan

PS. If you’re a big Hellboy fan and collector, Sideshow has a KILLER Faux Bronze Hellboy statue that is limited to 200 units and they are down to their last 15 units and then it’s sold out!  So this is in-stock and shipping immediately… check it out by clicking HERE!  If you pick one up, remember to send me your T-Order number for this month’s contest.

PPS. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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Predatorstuff Reviews the Sideshow Berserker Predator Bio Helmet!

January 21st, 2011

HERE IT IS!  The review that I know many of you have been waiting for!  It’s been almost a year now since we’ve been waiting for the Berserker bio helmet to ship out from Sideshow central, and after a little FedEx fun and snow delays, this highly anticipated piece has finally arrived.  Join me while we tear this baby down and find out if Sideshow has returned to bio glory or do we have another meh AvP style release.  Enjoy…


Let’s start things off with a little spec review…  here’s the breakdown from the Sideshow product page:

Sideshow is proud to partner with KNB EFX GROUP to bring you the Predators Collectible line from the 2010 film release. Each prop replica is an exact full-scale reproduction of the original on-screen prop, as created by KNB. The Berserker Mask Prop Replica is cast in fiberglass and features a light-up targeting site and the Berserker’s trademark animal jaw. Each piece is complete with a polystone stand that can be displayed on a desktop or shelf or mounted on your wall. This detailed The Berserker Mask Prop Replica is an incredible addition to any Predator legacy display, an outstanding beginning to Sideshow’s new Predators collectible line.

Product Size: 13.5″ H x 17″ W x 12.5″ D
Product Weight: 18.00 lbs

Artists:
KNB EFX Group
The Sideshow Collectibles Design and Development Team

Before we go any further, I want to shout a HUGE HURRRRRRAAAAAAY to Sideshow for hearing us out and FINALLY using REAL lexan plastic lenses!  This is a HUGE improvement and makes the helmet so much more impressive, realistic and movie accurate.  So thank you Sideshow, huge step forward in your Predator prop replicas and I am very happy to see this action was finally taken.  With that out of the way, lets move right along in to our review shall we?

Sculpt and Casting

The sculpt of course is accurate due to it’s source… the original movie molds at KNB EFX Group!  Despite the absolute deluge of movie memorabilia generated for any type of movie, you have to appreciate how studios now know the value of holding on their molds and props for fan replicas.  Years ago movie molds were generally destroyed, thrown out or otherwise abused in to oblivion… case in point – Predator 1.  There are no movie accurate Predator 1 props like the bio helmet (No, the HCG helmet is NOT from the movie molds no matter how many times HCG wants to say it is… they recast an original backup hero piece from SWS, it wasn’t even used in the movie… and don’t get me started on their cannon lol!), the cannon, backpack etc.  The molds were destroyed after production and thus forever lost.  Hindsight of course is always 20/20 and studios started picking up on the fact that fanatical die-hards would rather spend money on props than useless stuff like food, electricity and personal hygiene products.

So, the prop is dead on from the flic, not much question there.  The base has undergone some cosmetic changes from the standard base used for all the AvP bios…  the general swan design is the same however.  Yes I call it the swan base because from the side it looks like a swan in the water… don’t ask.  So you still have the option of either a shelf mount or wall mount base but this time the base seems inspired by a combination of a deeply pitted rock texture, a space ship and a plasma cannon.  I’m sure you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about, but you get where I’m going the second you see the base.


The casting quality varies from helmet to base in my opinion…  the helmet is well cast, with smooth edges and crisp detail.  No complaints at all on this one… the detail areas like the craters and battle damage on the helmet are crisp and look realistic (except that little tiny damage mark at the top left that looks like a little king’s crown or something…  there’s a crown on the crown, get it?).  Same thing with the usual hammered texture Sideshow uses in all it’s Predator helmet reproductions on the inside area, it looks nice and crisp, no pockets, air bubbles or detail loss of any kind.  So full points on the helmet casting.

If I were to be fussy,  I would have to say that the base doesn’t seem to be quite as well done.  I’m going to assume that a combination of the heavily pitted texture and a non-pressured mold is the cause of my complaint… gravity based molds are easier (especially at the size needed for this base) but they tend to have problems when the piece being cast is heavily detailed and/or textured.  So when I examine the base closely, I’m able to see quite a few resin balls and little holes caused by air bubbles that get trapped when pouring the resin in to the mold.  But again, this is being really picky as there isn’t a ton of them, PLUS this is on the base, which you barely see anyhow once the helmet is connected to it.  Not only that, but even without the helmet attached, you can’t see any of these issues unless the bio is several inches from your nose.  So really not a big deal, I’m probably just being snooty about the entire affair.

The only actual valid complaint I feel is worth mentioning that will likely find a few folks in agreement is the decision to mold and cast the helmet and jawbone section as all one piece.  When I first pulled the helmet out of the box, I noticed something seemed a little off about the entire jaw section.. I know some folks were wondering if the sculpt was off or maybe it was the paint.  To me, I think the reason it seems off is because the result of the single casting completely loses the effect of a piece of bone that has been attached to a metal helmet.  The fact that there is a little bit of dark paint run-off on to the bone from the helmet portion doesn’t help matters either.  Now I certainly understand that for production purposes, it was WAY easier for everyone to have the jaw section and helmet all as one piece.  No assembly, easy to paint, easy to pack and less likelihood of breakage when product is in transit.  But there is no question this piece would have been better had they found a way to make both sections separate and then you connect them for display or have them assembled at the factory.

I will admit however that once again, this is only noticed when the helmet is in-hand… when it’s mounted to the base and standing 6 feet away from you, it looks kickass and most of us will agree that’s the bottom line.  But we’re also allowed to have our fanboy moments right?

Paint Application

Let’s get this out of the way… the paint application isn’t ANYWHERE near as detailed as we saw in the initial photos released by Sideshow.  This is plain as day so don’t even try to tell me otherwise… take a quick peek at the Sideshow product page and see for yourself.  Look at their gallery photos and compare them to my shots and you can see what I mean.  So while this is unfortunate, it’s pretty much to be expected… there is no way you’re going to get a richly textured and layered paint application on a factory pre-paint.  In this case the helmet is finishes in a semi-flat black color with a tiny hint of brown (it’s definitely not pure black.. if you hold the bio against something black you’ll see it has a slight brown tone) and then tiny flecks of dark copper was applied to the top.  See this photo to see what I’m talking about.  That’s it.. that’s the texture used for the entire bio.

After that they applied dry brushing streaks over any pitted battle damaged areas.  I’m not sure if they were trying to make blast marks, scrapes or some kind of weathered scratches but it looks weird.  It’s passable, certainly at a distance, but I certainly wouldn’t repeat this technique on future helmet releases.  Please see this photo for an example of the effect I’m talking about.  The other weathered effect is this sort of scraped look, but again it doesn’t look weathered so much as it looks like someone at the factory accidentally dropped the bio on the ground and scraped it before packing it.  It’s tough to explain but the best I can come up with is this…  rather than looking like years of wear and tear on the helmet due to battles and such, it looks more like the helmet was brand new and it was accidentally scuffed up within minutes of being used.  This effect is especially prominent all along the brow area of the helmet right above the eyes.  Here’s a photo I took showing the effect… judge for yourself.

Once again, not something you see the same when it’s up on the wall, but you know what they say… the devil is in the details.

The jaw bone section is very well painted, I love the weathering and it looks great!  It looks really old and genuinely looks like bone, so this section of the piece gets top marks.  Where the weathering isn’t so hot on the helmet, it’s beautifully done on the jaw bone.  As mentioned earlier however, there are spots on the jaw bone where the dark black/brown color of the helmet has been painted on to the bone.  Unfortunately this is unavoidable due to the issue of the bone and helmet being all one solid piece, any artist would have a hard time painting that area 100% cleanly.

 The base is very simple in terms of paint…  silver overall with a little bit of drybrushing on the top area and a little bit of a black wash over the entire thing.  Looks good but I would have added a heavier wash to give the base even more age and depth to the paint application.  Not a big deal though, but if you plan on holding on to your helmet and want to pimp it up, give it a couple layers of black wash and it’ll punch it up quite a bit.  A black wash is easy to apply as well… simply dilute some black acrylic paint in water and liberally brush it all over the base.  Then pick up a lint free towel, dip it in the diluted paint and then rub it gently all over the base and mop up excess paint.  Let it dry and if you want to darken it further, re-apply the same way.  Disclaimer: Don’t blame me if you fubar your base royally, I’m just babbling and barely know what I’m doing as it is!

Final Notes

The helmet uses the exact same lighting system as prior releases… 2 AAA batteries (included) are inserted in a small door within the inner side of the helmet power up the 3 LEDs in the laser shroud.  The switch is located just below the battery door.  Looks great as you can see in the photos (don’t forget to visit the gallery below) and is a good replacement for lasers.  By the way if you’ve never seen my other reviews, Sideshow can’t use lasers… trust me, it was the first thing I bitched about when I reviewed their first helmet release.  I spoke to Sideshow production about it and turns out that due to US regulations, they can’t use the lasers.  If they did, the product would have to be safety certified for each country they want to ship to and you can imagine how unrealistic that would be unless they would be able to sell 10 million units.  That reminds me, this run is limited to 750 castings and the helmet seen in this review is number 52.

I would also like to thank Sideshow for hearing out the fans and going back to full glossy artwork on their retail boxes!  Sideshow seemed to have crossed a dark line when suddenly retail boxes were just plain brown boxes with the product name and license logo slapped on the side and maybe a decal if you were lucky (all AvP releases, Darth Maul bust and many more for example).  The Berserker helmet includes a gorgeous glossy retail box…  thank god because that’s really important….  I mean, who the hell wants a boring retail box that you’ll see once and then pack away in storage for the next 20 years.  Right?  I expect my stored boxes to be glossy and pretty dammit!

Overall I feel this helmet is a huge improvement from the AVP series of releases… it’s obvious right out of the box that this is a superior product.  The use of real lexan semi-reflective lenses just dials up the realism of the piece enormously and Sideshow deserves for marks for going this route instead of the dreaded painted method or god forbid, PAPER. *giggles* I would still have to say the Wolf is the best Predator helmet release from Sideshow, but the Berserker is a close second.  If this is any indication of what we’re going to see in terms of quality in the rest of the Predators based helmet replicas, I would say buy confidently and get ready for some gorgeous new props in your collection.

Oh, one more thing… yes the Lexan lenses are transparent, but very dark and thick.  So yes you can kind of see through them, but the helmet is heavy and not made to be worn.  The plastic lenses are very thick and what you see through them is distorted a bit.  I definitely don’t recommend you strap this $325 prop replica to your manard and prance down Main Street.  But if you do, please get it on video and email me a copy!

Manard = your head… the one that separates your ears.  Pervs.

Now I know what you’re thinking…  stop yammering on and let’s get with the visuals!  In case you would like to spend some quality face-time with me and the Berserker helmet, I give you… VIDEO:

Video Available on YouTube!

I put together one my longest review since the Cinemaquette Predator review for you guys and went in to every detail I could think of on this piece… please be sure to check out my HD video review on YouTube and get a look at this impressive prop release…  You can check it out by clicking HERE or clicking the YouTube icon above.

And what’s a review without some photos right?  I snapped a ton of shots of this piece to really show you all the little details such as the weathering, textures and dent marks and hand some fun dealing with the glaring LEDs mucking up all my shots!  You can check out the full gallery by clicking the photo icon below (my photos are the ones with the white/light background.. the photos with the black upper background are the Sideshow promo shots):

For this wallpaper I had some fun with placing lights under the helmet to get a P1 style glow effect in the lenses.. I was finally able to get a shot I liked and it ended up being my favorite pic, and this review’s wallpaper.  Hope you like it!


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.

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This helmet is already sold out with Sideshow (it sold out long before it even shipped) so if you plan on adding one of these to your collection, you’ll need to hit the collector forums of fleabay to grab one.  Hey don’t be mad at me… if you would just join the newsletter or follow us on twitter, you would get a heads up when cool shit like this is released!

Aight that’s it for me gang… please be sure to share your thoughts on this review or this product by clicking the comment button below.  I love to hear your feedback, so don’t be shy!

Thanks for reading,
Dan

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Predatorstuff Reviews Predastore’s 2 Guns Cleaner kit!

January 19th, 2011

Told you guys January would be a busy month for reviews! This week we start things off with a little review/show off article on a GORGEOUS kit released last year by Predastore called the 2 Guns Cleaner, which is the Wolf Predator from AvPR lokoing like he’s about to unload Old Western style on a few bugs… check it out!


This badass piece is sculpted by none other than our favorite Predator sculptor Narin, and if you think this looks familiar, you’re not as insane as  your friends and family may have led you to believe! The base of this kit is in fact Predatorstuff’s exclusive 1:6 scale full-body Wolf kit released a couple of years ago.  Predastore contacted me ages ago asking if he could use the torso as a base for a kit he wanted to produce, and being the fun loving guy that I am, I said hell yeah Batman!  The result of that discussion is the 2 Guns Cleaner, featuring our beloved Wolf Predator knee-deep in the muck brandishing his double plasma cannons in hand held mode ready to peel off some alien arse.

The kit itself is solid resin and weighs quite a bit.. it’s a high quality resin casting, that same awesome stuff Narin uses for his direct releases that has a light peach color to it and is a model builders dream.  Virtually no cleanup required, you can basically paint this right out of the box.  Flawless castings and sculpt by the Narin crew as always.  The kit comes in 9 pieces and features new hands and weapons and a very realistic liquid-looking base that Joe has built up with what looks to be 5 cans of gloss to make it look like real water.  As usual Joe’s paint application is mind-numbing with it’s awesomeness, leaving no doubt who the master painter of Predator kits is…  I promise you, you only need to see one in person to understand why I drool every time I see one of his builds.

The bad news though… the kit was limited to 50 castings (each casting includes a numbered COA) and of course this badboy has long sold out.  Of course if you’re a Predatorstuff fan and you’re part of our newsletter and check our site all the time for updates, you saw when this was announced and ordered it anyhow… right?


I would also like to thank my friend Simon, who was kind enough to lend me this statue to review… he knew I missed out on this piece and was extremely generous in shipping this over to me and allow me to play around with it and give it a full review.  Si you rock man… and get this folks, not only did he lend me this guy, but I have MORE Joe Dunaway buildups on the way provided by Simon!  Class, say thank you to Si please…

To Narin and Predastore, kick ass release guys, perfect as always and I am so glad I was finally able to see this kit in person and get a chance to share it with the rest of the Predastuff.com readers.  Joe – amazing build as usual… always a pleasure to see your work in person, you make my retinas happy every time! (That kinda sounds kinky…)

OK how about some photos?  Please click on the photo icon below and have a peek at the photo gallery for this piece:

I suppose a Video Review would be nice as well right?  Have no fear… I put together a little review (and pissed and moaned about the Berserker Bio not arriving today) so please check out my HD video review on YouTube and get a look at the goods up close and personal…  You can pleasure your eyeballs by clicking HERE or clicking the YouTube icon below:

Video Available on YouTube!

And lets not forget a wallpaper!  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  
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1440×900  
1280×800  
1920×1080  
1600×1200  
1280×960  
1024×768  
800×600  
640×480  
1366×768  
1280×1024  
1280×768  

And that my friends concludes another review, thanks so much for reading and watching and I will see you VERY soon for the next review coming this week…

Peace!
Dan

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Predatorstuff Reviews the Sideshow Darth Talon Premium Format Statue!

January 5th, 2011

Hey gang! Welcome to our first official review of 2011 and the first of many kick ass products coming up this month as a I finally start whittling away at the pile of killer statues I still have to share with you guys.  If there’s anything I love as much as Predator, it’s STAR WARS STUFF!!!  I luuuuuv Star Wars and I love my Siths to be hot, stacked and ready to kick the ever loving poop out of whatever is standing in their way.  So you can imagine my delight when mister postman dropped off a box with DARTH TALON written on the side and the purring that ensued as I lovingly unwrapped her.  I had to keep things somewhat under control as my girlfriend supervised the unveiling with a look that seemed made up of part curiosity, part concern and part “omg what a loser”.  So here she is… Darth Talon!


A Lethan Twi’lek from the ranks of Darth Krayt’s One Sith, Darth Talon’s crimson skin is marked with the signature black tattoos of the Sith. The female Sith Lord earned each mark in ritual combat, imprinted by Darth Krayt himself. Her loyalty to Krayt is unrelenting, and she follows every word of her master without question. Seeing her faithfulness, Darth Krayt appointed Darth Talon as one of his Hands, trusting her to carry out his most important tasks…

Let’s just summarize the bottom line on this statue before we get any further… it kicks absolute ass.  It’s as a gorgeous as I thought it would be and as mind blowing as the first day she was unveiled on the Sideshow site and it worth every nickel.  This is only my second female character statue (my first was X-23) and even though I loved that statue, this one blows her out of the water.  This is the kind of quality work I expect to see from Sideshow and man did they hit the nail on the head with this beautiful combination of sculpt and finishing.  I’m just blown away by this piece and look forward to another couple hundred words prattling on about how cool this statue is.  Let’s look at the specs as per the Sideshow product page:

Product Type: Premium Format Figure
Product Size: 18″ H (457.2mm) x 11″ W (279.4mm) x 9″ D (228.6mm)
Product Weight: 12.00 lbs (5.44 kg)

Artists:

Adam Beane
Mike Najera
Anthony Mestas
Joe Allard
Kevin Ellis
Seth Rinaldi
The Sideshow Collectibles Design and Development Team

The Darth Talon Premium Format figure captures every stunning detail of the Twi’lek Sith Lord. Each piece is individually painted and finished to exacting standards, each with its own unique quality and detail that is the trademark of a handcrafted Sideshow Collectibles Premium Format Figure. The striking and boldly colored figure is cast in high quality polystone, and complete with hand-painted detailing. The Darth Talon Premium Format figure is an outstanding addition to any Star Wars collection, the perfect centerpiece to any display.


Sculpt and Part Breakdown

I’m really digging the use of magnets to attach the various parts of statues together.. this is something somewhat recent for Sideshow as a mainstream feature on their statues and as long as the parts line up properly and the magnets are securely glued to the sockets it works great.  On Darth Talon, her left arm and head both connect with magnets with the right arm connecting via a male/female plug system, which delivers juice to the LIGHT UP LIGHT SABER!  Yes friends… the lightsaber lights up on this one, I love it!  All the connections are solid and the parts fit together beautifully.  The statue connects to the base via a footpeg and you can press a rock on the back of the base to activate the lightsaber once the statue is all assembled… just make sure you pop in the batteries before you pull a Dan Richard Classic and assemble the entire thing and perfectly align the cloak only to realize you have to flip the base over to put in the batteries duh.

The sculpt itself is absolutely gorgeous and the female form used is breath-taking and downright sexy as hell.  Perfect combination of delicious curves and muscularity to make her feminine, but leave no question that she could hand you your ass on a plate in roughly 5 milliseconds.  The sculpted textures overall look fantastic and realistic… smooth skin, the pitted rough armor and the rough terrain all look extremely realistic.  I also love the way the black tattoos have been sculpted, each one having a light outline to help them really stay sharp and crisp, not to mention probably helps with the final paint application to avoid runs.

The castings also appear to be excellent… I couldn’t find any casting faults whatsoever, the polystone parts are very smooth and well finished.  No complaints in the slightest.

Pose and Attitude

I absolutely ADORE the pose and the entire thing drips a confident and powerful feeling but very calm… kind of like she’s just disposed of an army without much of an effort and she’s walking to the bar to top up her Pina Colada while looking over her shoulder wondering if there’s any heads she forgot to detach.  There’s no question when you look at the statue that you’re looking at someone that kicks serious ass.  Love it!

Paint Application

Very happy to report a gorgeous paint job on this piece, not a single paint rub, run or error… the black tattoos are very crisp and don’t run on to the red anywhere, the metals are beautifully weathered and the red skin is flawless and smooth.  The eyes are centered and looking in the same direction and there no white dots (fake shine), and the overall paint on the face looks great.  The leggings have a good leather-like finish and while the base is pretty simple with a single weathered color, it works.  The overall color spectrum on the piece is simple and limited, and that’s exactly why it works…

Material

Bear in mind only the Exclusive Edition (which is sold out) comes with the black hooded cloak, but honestly you could make one of these in an hour or less by hand, and in 5 minutes if you or someone you know can use a sewing machine.  The material is very light, with some braided string for drawstrings.  Her cute little derriere is covered with a spandex type material and the long flowing strips of material flowing from her belt are real material with thin wires inserted so you can pose them as desired.  I checked every hem, and all the “real clothing” items are well sew with no holes, loose seams or any other issues.  The materials also all look very realistic and well used on the statue…  again they kept it simple and it works great.  I really love the pose-able flowing bits from the belt… cool idea!


In terms of scoring, I would line this right up there with the perfection of the Berserker PF or even Lurtz in terms of product development and final production piece.  She looks just as sweet in person as she does in the initial promo shots and is without a doubt one of my favorite PFs I’ve been able to get my hands on.  The sculpt is especially well done… in fact with some good mood lighting you can photograph this piece and make it look like a real person standing there with red make-up on.  I have to congratulate Sideshow on yet another amazing piece, way to go guys!

OK now it’s time for goodies…  We’ve got photos, video and a new wallpaper for your desktop!  Lets start things off with the video review:

Video Available on YouTube!

Be sure to check out my HD video review on YouTube and get a look at the goods up close and personal…  You can pleasure your eyeballs by clicking HERE or clicking the YouTube icon above.

Next up the gallery… I had a great time shooting this statue, trying for some sassy poses.  You can check out the full gallery by clicking the photo icon below:

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

If you’re wondering how to buy one of these gorgeous statues, you’re going to have to go to secondary market as both the regular AND the exclusive versions are completely sold out from Sideshow at this time.  Told ya she was hot!

Hope you enjoyed the review, thanks for reading and see you soon for more awesome products!  Please be sure to share your thoughts on this review or this product by clicking the comment button below.  I love to hear your feedback, so don’t be shy…

Peace out dawgs!
Dan

PS. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter!

PPS. Please check out some of these other kick-ass instock Star Wars statues from Sideshow:

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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

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Predatorstuff Reviews the new Predators Movie!

July 12th, 2010

Good morning boys and girls, welcome to my soap box, my pile of pennies, my verbalicious review of the new Predators movie that was released in theaters on Friday, July 9th 2010. I had my daughter over this weekend so I was unable to catch the film on opening night but I finally made it out last night and I am ready to spew forth my thoughts on the movie, just in case you were wondering what I thought.

Predators is currently rated at 65% on the tomatometer over at www.rottentomatoes.com, which is a hell of a lot better than Alien vs Predator (21%) and Alien vs Predator Requiem (12%) and reviews posted so far range almost evenly from god awful to glorious. Over at the Lair, we’ve got a thread going where Predators fanatics from around the world are sharing their reviews and opinions, you can check that out by clicking HERE!

So, want to see what I had to say? You’ll need to click on the link below to read the review due to massive spoilers…

Read the rest of this entry »

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