In the Halo Universe, The Covenant is a coalition of various alien species bent on waging war against the humans. One of the species charged with the military aspects of this struggle is that of the Sangheili, better known as “Elites” among their human enemies because their martial prowess place them as rough equivalent of the Spartan II super soldiers. Among these, there are still a few chosen ones whose skills at combat are even more formidable, the so-called Elite Ascetics.
McFarlane Toys released this Silver Elite Ascetic as part of Series 8 in the Halo action figure line. As with the Spartan figures, the Elites share the same basic body among them with only a few new pieces of armor that help differentiate one rank from another.
Of course, the paintjob is also very important in separating the different branches of the Elite military, and it doesn’t ceases to amaze me how much the paint apps can change the look of a piece.
This Ascetic is painted mostly in light gray, with a few lines painted in darker gray to accentuate the paneling and a few small details picked out in light blue to represent lights. The look is completed with dark magenta markings painted onto the shoulder pads, helmet and along side the right thigh armor plate. All of these paint applications are neat and consistent from sample to sample.
The Ascetic’s head is a new piece, sculpted as a closed helmet and with two blades protruding from the lower jaw. The combat harness is sharply detailed, combining ridged armored plates with an undersuit textured like chainmail.
Articulation is well integrated into the figure design and works quite nicely, even though the configuration of the alien’s anatomy and the bulky plates of armor limit somewhat the number of poses that can be achieved. Still, the Ascetic gets more than enough options with:
• Barbell mounted head.
• Barbell mounted neck.
• Hinged peg shoulders.
• Upper biceps swivel.
• Hinged elbows.
• Swivel wrists.
• Hinged fingers.
• Floating torso.
• Ball jointed hips.
• Upper thigh swivels.
• Hinged knees.
• Swivel hinged ankles.
Despite it’s unusual construction, the elite Ascetic has very good stability and can stand unaided without trouble. This joint configuration is pretty much the same that has been used for every previous Elite action figure, except for the fingers, which represent a marked improvement over the older designs.
You see, with previous elite warriors, the hands were one molded piece of plastic, but due to the way the hands were sculpted, it was almost impossible to put weapons on them without breaking either the hand or the accessory.
The newly designed hands pretty much solved the issue, though, as the two central fingers swivel to open the palm, allowing the elite Ascetic to use a much broader range of accessories. And speaking of weapons, the Ascetic comes armed with a pair of rather nasty looking, heavy pistols called Spikers. These weapons have a couple of blades projecting from under the barrel, and look as if the could be used indistinctly to shoot at or to hack an opponent to pieces.
Each of these weapons come with a removable pivot that connects to the right side of the weapon and allows for the accessory to be attached to ports carved on the Halo action figures, although in the case of the Elites, there is only one port right at the back armor plate.
The removable bits of armor are also attached to square pegs sculpted on the upper shoulder pieces, while the upper torso plate is attached to round pegs above and below the ribcage on each side.
I have to admit that these Elites are among my favorite Halo character designs but the new hand designs for the Elite Ascetic add a whole new level of awesomeness to them.