Secretary Bird (Wildlife by CollectA)

Review and images by MammothsProductions, edited by bmathison1972

Sagittarius serpentarius. To many, these words are an arbitrary phrase, without meaning or purpose. Yet, to avid birders and ornithologists, these two annunciations bring thoughts of regal wings gliding through the air, of the brilliant dance between the bird and the serpent. These people are reminded of one of Africa’s most unique inhabitants: the secretary bird.

After hearing such a description, one may imagine a bird of height, as tall as a small child. And they would be right. However, this bird may stand no taller than your pointer finger. Enter the CollectA 2017 secretary bird.

Standing at around 3.75 inches tall, and 5 inches long, this figure is at a 1/12 scale. Produced in 2017, and still available on the market, this figure is one of at least five figures of this species produced (but is probably the one that is currently most readily available). This figure is highly underappreciated, in my opinion. If searched on Google or YouTube, not a single time does it appear, so I am hoping to change that with this review.

At first glance, this figure has no major issues. The anatomy is correct, down to the number of tail feathers and secondaries. The head is stunningly accurate, even to the point of different texturing on the skin patch around the eye. The eye is extremely lifelike, and the beak is executed perfectly as well. The only part of the head that I can complain about are the crest feathers, which are just slightly too large.

The neck and chest are the correct size, and the wings are extremely detailed, with the correct amount of flight feathers. The tail feathers are somewhat accurate, with a little bit of a size issue. They are larger than they should be, but this may have been done on purpose, as they are already quite small. The base is present to help with balance and support the legs, as they are long but thin, as they should be.

The painting is much more than I expected from this model, and I still am in awe at how well CollectA did this figure. The body is an off-white with faint grey stripes, and so are the wings and most of the tail. The tips of the flight feathers, the tips of the tail feathers, and the leg down to the knee are a very dark brown. There are bands of the same color from the base of the legs to the primaries. The rest of the legs are a dark grey.

The head is white, with a light grey on top. The skinned area around the eye is painted a bright red, from the eye forward to the nostril. The nostril itself is yellow with the beak, but nostril forwards is a dark grey on the beak. The crest feathers are a dark brown to black, with a white brush on top. The base is a mix of greens and browns to represent grass. This figure is very well painted, as the only mistake that I have found on the whole figure is a small overlap of the grey beak onto the nostril.

Overall, this figure is perfect, and I definitely recommend it. Hats off to CollectA for such a beautiful representation of the species. If you wish to buy this model, it is readily available on eBay, Amazon, or through the more familiar online dealers.

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