War Machine – Iron Man 2

March 10, 2010 | By More

I should start this by clarifying that this is the comic version released as part of the Iron Man 2 movie line. There should be a couple more versions coming out of the movie version of War Machine.

If you’re not a big fan of Iron Man, you will want to know that this is not just an Iron Man silver repaint, it is a completely different character. James Rhodes is the guy in the suit, not Tony Stark. The short version of the story is that Stark built the War Machine suit so that Rhodes could “fill in” when he wasn’t available.  The long version is much more involved.


Comic book characters can vary widely in their appearance depending on the artist or style of book they are in. The thing that impressed me with this version of War Machine was the fact that he was detailed enough that he could have been from a film.

There’s lots of little panels and plates on this guy.  They’re all sculpted well and appear to have some sort of functionality.  Since this is the comic book version, thighs and flanks are sculpted to look like they’re silver suited ripped muscles.

One thing I think they did well was managing to get a ticked off look on his face. Much the same as a droid face, there’s no real way to express emotion with a metal mask. I’d read the animators in the first film tweaked the Iron Man face to give it a hint of emotion in different scenes and I really think that’s what this head does a great job of representing.

The face of this figure really looks like a brushed piece of metal to me. The head also is deep enough to be a helmet and not just a head. That’s a pretty common error at this scale.

The thing that really pulls this whole figure together visually is the paint. The metallic work on the face gives it a perfect look. The red eyes and light have so much contrast they actually appear to glow a bit.

The silver on the body and limbs is a bit more shiny. It has really nice metal quality. It’s not the vac metal look we typically see on R2-D2 heads. It has a nice silver matte look to it.

The thing about the paint that surprised me a bit, was how much I liked the blue wash. Yeah, it probably isn’t the most realistic thing, but I like it. Out of most of the washes that I’ve seen on Hasbro do on figures there are two reasons that I really like this particular one.

First, the wash doesn’t seem deliberate. I can think of a number of Star Wars figures that have “dirt” washes that look more like paint splattered on them than they do actual dirt.  The wash here is really just being used to perfectly high light the detail on the figure.

Second, and this is the important one, the wash continues everywhere. It’s not just on the torso or front of the figure.  Nothing throws off the look of a display more than have a figure in it that looks half painted.

My one small nit on his appearance is the hinges on the shoulder armor pieces. They are a tad too big in my opinion. On the plus side, they are both functional and don’t look out of place. They just seem a little too big, but not enough to detract from the overall look of the figure.


Iron Man is one of those properties that is the action impetus for a kid’s summer dreams. Men dressing up in mechanical suits to take on bad guys is a recurring theme through out science fiction. So the action figure need to be, well, action-y. And this one is.

The figure follows an articulation arrangement similar to the Marvel Legends figures. Some of it is limited by the armor as would be in real life. The above mentioned shoulder pieces do a great job of giving freedom of movement to the arms, though.

There are two areas where the articulation is less than perfect for me, though. The first is the hips. I’m struggling to get the ball in the hip joints to loosen up enough to be useful. I almost wonder if it is a paint issue where it is stuck. Needless to say, I can’t get Rhodey to do deep knee bends. The other figure I bought from this series doesn’t have the same issue, so I’m not sure if it’s specific to my figure or a War Machine issue in general. (Leave a comment bellow and let me know!)

The thing I don’t understand is why the head is just a cut joint and not a ball joint. You can’t get him to look up! I guess I’ve just gotten used to heads being ball joints and it seems very cheap when it’s not there.

Iron Man Arc Reactor Prop ReplicaWhile he doesn’t come with any extra guns, there are two small detail pieces that slip on the shoulder mounted mini-missile launcher and gun. Both of those pieces are articulated to slide down and behind the figure. The extra pieces would look good depending on your display. The missile one has 3 small projectiles coming out of a cloud of smoke and is my favorite.

Lastly he comes with a stand with three “Armor Cards”. Two of the cards are clear and line up to the third when they are all fitted in the display stand. I can see kids trying to pull arms and legs off of figures to mix and match like the cards. Not sure this was a great idea.


I’ll say up front I never really read Iron Man comics. I just never did. That said, I did love the first film and War Machine always has seemed like a better application of the technology.

The execution of this figure really surprised me. For being a comic version it’s well sculpted and articulated. Except for the head and leg articulation I don’t really have any thing bad to say. And I’ll admit the leg issue might just be one specific to my figure.

This version of War Machine is just one of those figures you pick up and want to play with. He looks great in just about any pose. Cool little add on details play up the nicely articulated. In general a really well done figure.

Engineernerd Score: 96/100

Iron Man: War Machine Armor Statue

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Category: Iron Man, Marvel, Toy Reviews

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  1. Errex says:

    Gorgeous figure!. I dig the gun attachments, they add a lot to the display value of the piece.

  2. Engineernerd says:

    The picture at the top of this one is one of my favorite recent pictures. It wasn’t something I planned, just came out better than expected.