41486 Captain Phasma was revealed at the beginning of last month and seems to have divided opinion, due in particular to the unusual design of her helmet. Many of the official images are taken from a low angle which exaggerates the size of the chin. In fact, I think the helmet looks pretty good in person and I welcome the use of some interesting building techniques as many of the best BrickHeadz figures include similarly distinctive features.
The Completed Model
Some of the heavier figures in the first wave were liable to tip back on their 4x6 bases so I am very pleased to see 6x6 bases included with each of the new sets. This one includes a black 2x4 tile printed with the BrickHeadz logo and as well as an icon indicating its exclusivity to certain stores. A unique design for each character would be great but this simple graphic is perfectly satisfactory and fits with the rest of the theme.
Captain Phasma is perhaps best known for her chromium armour so it is somewhat disappointing that the figure is dominated by light bluish grey. However, many of the pieces used are not available in either pearl or chrome silver and a single BrickHeadz set does not warrant the investment of producing many parts in a new colour. Moreover, light bluish grey is an excellent base colour for printed detail as such designs tend to disappear against very shiny surfaces.
Captain Phasma's helmet is constructed around a traditional BrickHeadz core, with studs facing in five directions, but includes another layer of bricks with studs on the side which form her angular visor. Two pairs of 1x2 slopes with lattices tessellate quite effectively over the eyes while the mouth section uses the edge of some plates to form a narrower band. The helmet is undoubtedly curvier in the movie but I think the designer has done very well to capture this level of detail, particularly using only two printed pieces.
The light bluish grey 1x4 tile on the front of the helmet looks a bit odd but I am not sure how this could have been improved upon as removing it reveals some studs underneath. The rest of the helmet is entirely smooth with tiles and curved slopes so any exposed studs would look out of place. I like this smooth finish but the black 1x2 tiles forming the visor extend too far back so I am tempted to cover them by swapping a grey 1x2 tile for a 2x2 corner.
In case Captain Phasma's chromium armour did not exert sufficient authority, she also sports a black cape with a red stripe along its forward edge. This is depicted using a series of curved slopes and angled tiles which form a fairly organic and realistic shape. Even the stepped edges at the corner could represent folds in the fabric.
The cape covers Phasma's left arm entirely but her right arm remains visible and includes a clip for a blaster rifle. This is identical to that found in 41485 Finn but features a different colour scheme, with pearl silver and light bluish grey pieces replacing the white ones on the standard F11-D weapon. The utility belt printed on her waist is also very similar to Finn's as again the colour is the only difference.
Official images of 41486 Captain Phasma did not impress me but, fortunately, I think the figure looks far better in person. The design of the helmet is not perfect but I think it suits the established style of the BrickHeadz and I love the cape swept over Phasma's left shoulder. Subtle details like the red streak along the edge of the cape are particularly impressive and the reliance upon brick-built detail rather than printing is pleasing.
The absence of silver armour is a little disappointing but light bluish grey is a surprisingly effective substitute in my opinion, especially given the splashes of metallic silver printing. It is also unfortunate that the helmet looks awkward from certain angles, although I think this is exaggerated by some of the official images. This set is definitely a welcome addition to my BrickHeadz collection and I look forward to seeing what the Star Wars range offers next.
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