I have not played Halo Wars. I will not play Halo Wars. Despite the mostly positive reviews that game accrued, for me the meat of the Halo universe are the shooting games and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Still, Halo Wars did provide a few interesting characters for McFarlane Toys to produce action figures of, one being Sergeant John Forge.
Forge was released as part of the seventh wave of figures in the Halo line. At this point McFarlane stopped labeling the packaging as Halo 3, instead going for the source material the character came from, so Sgt. Forge here would belong to the Halo Wars Collection.
John Forge is a human marine, but the figure is a completely new design from the ground up. Like the other marine figures, Forge wears pieces of armor over a fairly standard BDU. The armor offers a bit more protection than regular marine gear and it has a different shape, but the overall look fits is well with previous figures. A few pieces of extra gear, like pouches and armor plates are glued in place, but for the most part the armor bits are sculpted directly onto the figure.
The head sculpt on Forge is very good, as it has a passing resemblance to Christian Bale as he appeared in the fourth Terminator movie, although with a squarer jaw and less wrinkles.
The articulation on Forge is a general improvement over that of the UNSC Marine, but it’s not without some slight issues; the figure has:
• Barbell mounted neck.
• Pegged hinge shoulders.
• Upper biceps swivel.
• Pegged hinge elbows.
• Pegged hinge wrists.
• Barbell mounted torso.
• Swivel hips with lateral hinge.
• Pegged hinge ankles.
The range on each joint is good, although due to the way Forge is sculpted, the hip design doesn’t really allow for sitting or kneeling poses and he can’t really bring his arms and feet together along his body. The best he can manage is something of an “at ease” stance, but he can still grab his weapon two handed in a fairly natural looking pose and the joints are tight enough to allow for good balance.
The paint job on this figure is nothing short of perfect. Each painted area is neat and has some subtle form of shading. There are a lot of minute details painted on the armor that really bring the character to life, like the kill marks on the chest plate, or the ace of spades card painted on the left shoulder pad. The paint to the face is also excellent, especially the shaven head/unshaven chin application. The only thing unusual is that Forge’s eyes are painted looking to the side, which adds some character to the figure, but it can also be a little unnerving.
Forge comes armed with a combat shotgun, a modified Magnum pistol, and a couple of fragmentation grenades. The Magnum can fit into the sculpted holster over his right thigh and secured by a soft rubber strap, and the grenades can be attached to the back of his belt from a couple of pegs sculpted there, very much like the system used for the Halo Reach figures.
Overall, Sgt. Forge is a really nice action figure and comes with a nice amount of gear that he cal also carry on, which is always a plus in my book.