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Spartan Warrior

Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S.
by yo go re

One down, 299 to go.

The fearless Spartan army was the world's first elite fighting force. Trained in the agoge since childhood, the art of combat was not just an occupation, it was a way of life. These mighty warriors would spend their lives in the service of Sparta, forming a "wall of men, instead of bricks." They will defend, to their last breathm their lands and its people from invading armies, including the rampaging Gorgon horde. Only a foe this deadly could persuade Sparta to ally themselves with their long time rival, Athens.

The "rivalry" between Athens and Sparta (aka "the Peloponnesian War") ended the Golden Age of Greece, because the war decimated the country. It was also a battle between brains and brawn, and while Sparta technically won, it's the ideas that came out of Athens that still matter today - the only thing Sparta has given us is muddy races and frat bros who think 300 was real. If those two societies could have worked together instead of in-fighting, θέλετε να διαβάζετε αυτό στην ελληνική γλώσσα σήμερα.

This Spartan Warrior isn't Leonidas (because he's coming in Wave 3), but he could easily pass for the Spartan king - at least, the Frank Miller version of him. The hair is a short Caesar cut, and he has a full beard. The head does look a little too large when the helmet is on, but that's a tradeoff you just have to accept when you want removable gear.

And speaking of "removable gear," the Warrior's clothing (his "gear," if you will) is all removable, allowing you to see the plain body beneath it. He's got the sandal feet, because there's no way to make removable shoes at this scale, but his greaves slide down off his shins if you take the feet off. The anatomical breastplate and the skirt are a single molded piece, rather than two - while there are sculpted elements on the shoulders and sides that look like they're fastening the armor in place, there are actually two pegs that wrap around his sides and poke out the back. This is a lot better than the removable vests on a lot of GI Joe figures, where the pegs are right on the sides and keep the arms from hanging down. If you strip him all the way down, he'll just be wearing red undies.

The Spartan Warrior has a balljointed head and neck; swivel/hinge shoulders, elbows and wrists; a balljointed torso (limited realistically by the chest armor); balljointed hips; double-hinge knees; and swivel/hinge ankles. The set's accessories include an extra pair of hands with the hinge joint running the other direction, and a display base to help the figure stand in extreme poses. The left knee on mine is a little loose, but he still stands fine on his own.

Other accessories include a shield, a sword, a spear, a shorter sword, and a scabbard on a strap. In the Greek style of battle, swords were a secondary weapon - so they'd form a phalanx, advance to battle, and after their spears were broken, would switch to swords. Spartans in fact favored a shorter sword, which gave them better striking ability in cramped quarters. The shield has a pitted texture on the front, beneath the painted Λ, while the back has a complex strap system to hold it on the figure's arm.

If the mythology of 300 is to be believed, the Spartan forces were the only thing standing between King Xerxes and the freedom of all Greeks. But the only reason Sparta had those soldiers in the first place was because they were fearful of losing their own slaves - in fact, a previous slave revolt was what led to the militarization of their culture, because they needed to be able to protect themselves. Ultimately the inevitable happened, the slaves revolted, and Sparta was ruined. Sparta eventually became the old world Colonial Williamsburg: wealthy Roman tourists would go there and watch "real" Spartans re-enact their rituals for money. It's much easier to buy your own tiny plastic Virtuvian HACKS Spartan Warrior and have him re-enact whatever you want.

-- 04/08/16

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