Comic books are known for their revolving door policy on dead characters, but there used to be a hard rule for some specific characters, that their death’s were “too” canon to be undone. This rule used to apply to Uncle Ben, James Buchanan Barnes, and Jason Todd. Uncle Ben is the only one who respected the rule enough to stay dead, with DC reviving Jason Todd as the Red Hood, and Marvel resurrecting Bucky as the Winter Soldier. Part of me pouted that the rule was broken, but as the story of the Winter Soldier unfolded, all was forgiven, and Bucky became a character I found truly compelling. Oh, and Vision’s died/been destroyed multiple times too.
It’s time for a little unboxing. Let’s look at some sprues!
Each of our two heroes comes on their own sprue, and Vision is nice enough to come with a wall to float through.
Bucky’s sprue comes with a spare knife and belt pouches. He’s clearly in training to be Cable.
Tokens and cards join your arsenal. I tried not to be offended that Dr Strange showed up in the card art in this pack. His mystical powers are proprietary, dammit! 😉
In terms of stats, perhaps the most significant on Winter Soldier’s card is Rogue Agent. No matter what team affiliation you’re interested in, he counts toward it, unlocking additional abilities on your star characters. Vision’s versatility with Phasing isn’t to be disregarded.
Time to assemble! Kiwi decided I needed an assist. When you can’t find your clippers, while parrotlets may be a theoretical substitute, there is a risk components will be nibbled.
I was pretty happy with Bucky until this point. Bucky, sadly, suffers from one of the more annoying assembly quirks, trying to line up multiple arms holding the one weapon. Okoye had it with her spear as well. When you glue in the left arm, you cross your fingers and hope that it’s at the right angle to line up with the hand on the rifle. Oh, and you have to do it with the right arm as well.
The key is, of course, applying the glue to all the required parts and then getting them all in place before it sets, and then breathing nice and shallow while it sets (or using an armarture to hold the parts.
Fully assembled, Bucky looks all kinds of menacing. Painting models where parts of the figure are obscured by other components makes me furrow my brow, but Bucky holds his rifle far enough from his body that it really wasn’t a concern.
Bucky’s costume is predominantly black, which gives you options to experiment with highlights a la comics (ie, blues), something like P3 Coal Black, or even just to play around with different dark greys. I did try ti paint the eyes in the domino mask, but my unsteady hands just couldn’t pull it off.
His prosthetic arm is, of course, a dominant visual part of the model, so shading the metal musculature a bit is a thing, as is making sure the red star pops nicely. It just occurred that it’s a counterpoint to the white star on Captain America’s shield… how late the party am I cluing in to that?!?
Vision went together in three pieces, ostensibly so that they could be painted separately.
Vision’s pose is a beautiful representation of the character. Almost-obligatory-phasing reference, and a dispassionate, almost regal stance as he wafts through whatever’s in his way to very calmly, in a calculated fashion, bring about the defeat of his foes.
I decided to go with Vision’s West Coast Avengers look. Vision was reassembled and reactivated with pretty much no personality whatsoever – even less than than TNG’s Data. A cold, calculating machine – albeit one with heroic tendencies and undoubtedly a powerful asset to the team – he was devoid of all color, purely white.
This made him at once really easy to paint, and really freaking annoying to paint. I’ve painted a lot of clean white in my day with my Menite warjacks, but trying to paint pure white on a more organic form without having him appear as nothing more than a white blob? Urgh. It got to the point where I had to say “Finished, not perfect”. I strongly recommend painters learn that mantra and use it from time to time. Always strive to improve, for good results, but be willing to acknowledge that maybe sometimes you need to call it where it is.
It was tough not thinking of this two-pack in chess terms, with the White Bishop and the Black Knight (of course, Black Knight is Dane Whitman, another Avenger altogether), but I’m still very happy to add these two to my roster.
Check out your preferred online retailer or FLGS to get your hands on Casper the Friendly Synthezoid and the only guy who remembers Cap before he got buff.