Unlike the rest of the alien species that conform the Covenant in the Halo Universe, the Kig-yar (the species Jackals and Skirmishers belong to) are different in the sense that they didn’t join the fight against Humanity because of their religious beliefs, but rather because they were at first bullied into the conflict and afterwards because they found it to be very profitable.
Other than the Skirmisher Minor released in Series 2 of McFarlane’s Halo: Reach line, the only other Skirmisher made into an action figure is the Series 5 Skirmisher Murmillo I’m reviewing today. Murmillos are one of the Skirmisher-only specialist ranks in the Covenat, where they serve as reconnaissance and shock troops. Fundamentally, the Murmillo uses the same basic body as the Minor, meaning it has the same lizard/carrion bird head sculpt and also wears the same light body armor seen on the previous version, with a few key differences.
The more obvious is the inclusion of a protective mask that incorporates vision-enhamcement gear, but also the forearms on the Murmillo are newly sculpted to accommodate the point-defense shield emitters and the shoulder pads are also a newer, more compact design. Other than that, the rest of the body is exactly the same as in the Skirmisher Minor, which is a smart move since the level of detail is simply excellent and retains almost the same articulation spread:
• Swivel neck.
• Pegged hinge shoulders.
• Swivel biceps.
• Hinged elbows.
• Double swivel, hinged wrists.
• Barbell mounted hips.
• Mid-thigh swivel.
• Pegged hinge knees.
• Double-peg, hinged toes.
The only joints missing on the Murmillo are the forearm swivels found on the Minor, but the wrist joints more than make up for them. The contact surfaces on the feet are still ridiculously small but at least on my figure, the joints seem to have a better friction quotient, making it easier to achieve stable dynamic poses although, now that I think of it, a couple of leg joints on my figure were also paint-stuck and it took some effort to free them, so maybe that’s what causes the perceived improvement on the joints.
And speaking of paint, the Murmillo armor is predominantly gray with a few burnt-orange plates and bronze details at thighs and forearms. The undersuit is gray and has a diamond-shaped pattern painted in turquoise lines.
On top of that, the Murmillo received some weathering by drybrushing silver on the raised edges of the armor and a dark shading wash was applied over the torso to tone down the orange and provide some definition to the plates. The whole shading wash part was not as successful as one would hope, because the end result looks sloppy and doesn’t work as well as black lining to bring out the shape of the individual armor plates.
On the other hand, the wash/drybrush approach worked nicely on the heavily textured head, bringing out the natural viciousness of the species. Or it would, if one of the characteristic traits of the Murmillo wasn’t wearing a protective mask.
The mask is removable, of course, and it is decorated in the same colors as the armor, with silver details and bright yellow “eyes”. Other accessories included are the couple of energy shields that fit into keyed indentations at the bracers so you know which one goes where. These are made from a surprisingly flexible, translucent blue plastic and each has a mottled pattern painted in darker blue to simulate the energy undulations characteristic to such devices.
The Murmillo comes armed with a plasma pistol, a plasma grenade and also includes a black plastic peg to use with either of them, even though the figure itself lacks a port on the armor to attach any of these accessories.
Even with the stability issues inherent to this character design, I ended up liking the Skirimisher Murmillo a smidge better than the Minor because of the shields and the distinctive armor elements.