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Sir Godfrey

Mythic Legions
by Rustin Parr

Templar Knights are one of the most iconic looks of medieval armory, so I was very excited when they unveiled this figure as part of the second (technically "1.5") series of Mythic Legions figures! I'll just confess my ignorance up front and say that, to me, these knights with the red-cross-on-white-tunics are "Crusader Knights" so that's how I'll be referring to them throughout.

Templars first appeared a few decades after Jerusalem was conquered during the First Crusade. "The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon" were a trained fighting force, the way we think of knights being today (instead of the local thugs medieval knights actually were [AKAB --ed.]) and so became instrumental both in battles and in protecting the travellers to and from the Holy Land. While individual members took a vow of poverty, the order as a whole became quite wealthy, and eventually began offering financial security to pilgrims as well: rather than carry your money with you, you could deposit it with the nearest branch of the Knights Templar, and they would give you paperwork to show when you got to Jerusalem that would allow you to receive an equivalent amount of currency in exchange. You might recognize that as exactly the way banks work today.

When Mythic Legions launched, I really hoped it would be a fun mix of historical and fantastical armors and while that is mostly the case, the Four Horsemen really feel compelled to build an overarching mythology for every figure. As a result, this can't just be a Crusader Knight, it has to make sense within the reality of this fantasy world... sorry, Christendom (but also it gives them a bit of a pass on the problematic nature of the Crusades). Here's how they did that:

The Templar Knights are an ancient sect that was once known as the Order of Eathyron's Temple. Once beloved by all in Mythoss, the Templars swore to protect Eathyron's temple, which was believed to be Eathyron's final resting place and home to the Heavensbrand. But after the temple was taken by Necronominus many millennia ago and discovered to be empty, the disgraced Templars were banished from the Order of Eathyron. They have operated clandestinely ever since, but now under Sir Godfrey's leadership and Sir Gideon's guidance, the Templars have returned to the Order of Eathyron.

Godfrey (who gets his name from the knight who successfully conquered Jerusalem) is essentially a repaint of Sir Gideon Heavensbrand from the original Kickstarter campaign. He uses the standard "heroic" armor with the tunic-ed torso and loincloth piece, along with the banded collar and plated shoulderpads. He sports the iconic "bucket" helmet and comes with a feather plume that plugs into the top. Articulation and poseability are fine, as it is with all these 1.0 bodies.

Paint is deceptively detailed with lots of gold accents on the bright silver armor. The waist belts are appropriately brown and there is a dark wash on the chainmail bits and some darker silver highlights on the collar and shoulder pads. It's a deco that rewards closer examination since the bright silver drowns a lot of the detail out. Crucially, Godfrey has the iconic red cross on his chest and top of the hanging loincloth. Unfortunately, the spray mask (at least on mine) isn't great and there's a lot of feathering to the edges, which kind of spoils the appearance. Also, the bottom of the cross really should extend to, or at least closer to, the bottom of the loincloth. The truncated version here just looks kind of "off" and feels lacking. Interestingly, the bottom ends in a point and the horizontal strip ends in arrows - not sure if that comes from antiquity or is the 4H trying to distance Godfrey from it.

He comes packed with the aforementioned removable shoulder armor and feathery helmet-plume along with a standard Mythic Legions brown belt and long sword. We also get the standard shield, with plug-on forearm clip, that is white with a red cross painted on. Unfortunately again, the cross is shockingly poorly painted. The edges are very feathered and it's super clear that the lines were painted in separate passes because the square where they overlap is notably darker... it just looks bad. Bad enough that I don't have it on display, in fact. However, the real highlight here is the mace accessory. It is a two-part piece with a "wood" handle and bladed head that plugs onto the handle. While it was included one of the original weapon sets, this was its first appearance packed with a figure.

Looking at this figure now, eight years after it was ordered, I must confess this figure does look a bit basic. The arms and especially the legs would really benefit from a few bits of darker gray like the shoulder pads to break all the bright silver. And, really, the red cross on the torso and shield are disappointing in final execution. For $35, especially in 2016 dollars, that's kind of unforgiveable. Regardless, though, I madly love the look of Crusader Knights and still quite like this figure simply on that level. If nothing else he was the beginning of a whole sub-theme in the line which is pretty cool!

-- 03/24/24

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