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Action Figure Feature – Alvis Underground Battlelord

Warduke_01Christmas came a little early for me this year when my custom Battlelord figure arrived last week. Battlelord is a custom figure created and sold by Alvis Underground that is basically a translation of the Dungeons and Dragons character Warduke into a Masters of the Universe Classics (MOTUC) style.

Warduke_02Warduke was created as a villain for LJN’s Dungeons and Dragons line of 3.75-inch scaled figures and was one of those “Holy Grail” figures of my childhood.  I was immediately drawn to the design, but I was never able to secure a Warduke of my own.  Over the years as an adult collector, I have planned out a couple customs, but never followed through with them, so I was ecstatic and insanely covetous when I saw the first pics of Alvis’ Battlelord in the MOTUC style.  It’s pretty much tailored to my specific obsessions since it is completely compatible with Masters of the Universe Classics.

Warduke_03Battlelord comes with a swappable head, a sword, and a shield.  They are all cast in a nice, solid plastic, and that’s one of the things I love about this custom.  As a customizer, I’ve sculpted many things in different sculpting mediums, but there is something more satisfying about having the pieces cast in plastic.  It feels more real somehow.

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The unmasked head is a cool new design by Alvis and features a black “T” on the face, inspired by imagery of knights with dirt on their face in the shape of the helms.  The sword is a monster of a sculpt and has a neat quality that reminded me of the more rounded swords in the Lord of the Rings films.  The handle is a little thick for the MOTUC hands, but they hold it fine.

Warduke_05 Warduke_07 Warduke_09 Warduke_10The shield is also a great, huge chunk of plastic with an awesome demon’s skull sculpt.  It has a thick handle and is designed to be gripped rather than clipped to the wrist like most MOTUC shields.

Warduke_08The figure itself is based on a King Grayskull body, and Alvis has added a newly sculpted left arm from the bicep down, a new left leg, a right boot, armor, straps, and, most importantly, that iconic helm.

Warduke_04 Warduke_06 Warduke_14The helmet is really Warduke’s signature piece and Alvis has captured it here perfectly.  The silhouette is just beautiful with the massive bat wings, bolts, and jewels.  All of the new parts are perfectly proportional to the MOTUC pieces for a seamless look.

Warduke_11 Warduke_12 Warduke_13The shoulder pad and straps have this great, solid feel to them that captures the look of the character, but also fits the MOTUC aesthetic.  I love all the details in the scale mail, the rivets, circular links, and skulls on the costume.  The jeweled necklace also has such a delicate-looking chain that stands out in beautiful contrast to all of the thick leather and metal looking straps.

Warduke_15 Warduke_17Even with all of the extra material and newly sculpted pieces, Battlelord has the standard MOTUC articulation.  The boots are done a little differently than MOTUC style in that they are on a ball and socket joint, but they work really well and have better ankle tilt functionality than a lot of MOTUC figures.

Warduke_19The custom paintwork is really nice here with appropriate metallics and bold colors that fit the original design, and also work well with the MOTUC painting style.  A nice bonus is that the custom-sculpted chainmail arms and legs are cast in a dark blue plastic, so there is really no paint rub issues.

Warduke_20This is a custom sculpted, cast, and assembled figure, so he was pretty pricey, but I honestly feel it was worth every penny to this Warduke fan.  He is sold out now, but if Alvis goes back into production, I would strongly recommend picking up a Battlelord.

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