Disclosure: Assassin’s Creed Hidden Blade model kit provided to VGBlogger.com for review consideration by Insight Editions.
Following up on the Sparrow speeder bike model from Destiny, IncrediBuilds has released a second videogame themed kit based on the Assassin’s Creed universe, in particular the series’ blockbuster movie adaptation.
The IncrediBuilds Assassin’s Creed kit includes everything needed to build your own collectible 3D wooden sculpture of the iconic hidden blade. On the skill level scale, this kit is rated two out of four stars, classified as Easy. The set consists of just 12 pieces, compared to the more complex Destiny kit, which is rated four stars (Expert difficulty) and has 182 pieces. The Sparrow took me multiple hours over a weekend to assemble; I had the hidden blade all done within 15 minutes. I do wish the difficulty was of equal value to the Destiny model, if only to require a greater time investment to put it together.
All of the pieces come pre-cut on a single sheet of wood. I’m not sure of the exact material, but it’s very light like a balsa or plywood. You do need to be careful when punching out the pieces, but the wood doesn’t feel so brittle that it’s just going to snap under the slightest pressure. The smaller, thinner pieces are the tricky ones, but this particular model has mostly large cuts that don’t require as much effort or patience to remove. While tools are not necessary, if you want to be extra careful it might be a good idea to have handy something like a toothpick, pair of tweezers, or maybe even an X-Acto knife to help break through a stubborn connection.
The instructions are cleanly diagramed and easy to follow through a step by step process similar to assembling a LEGO set. Each piece is numbered and cut with various nubs and notches, which are lined up according to the instruction diagrams and then connected through an interlocking design technology that holds the model together without needing even a single drop of glue.
Laser etched with ornate runic carvings, the completed model looks fantastic in its plain wooden finish. The edges are mostly clean, though some of the connection points where the pieces were held to the punch-out sheet can leave behind splintery nubs that nitpicky folks may want to file or sand down to smooth perfection. For ultra-crafty types, the wood is treated to allow for additional color and decoration using colored pencils, watercolor paint, inks, beads, jewels, and so on.
Constructed from only a dozen parts, the finished product is rather one-dimensional, despite being a 3D model. It’s unmarked on the bottom and lays down completely flat, so it’s only meant to be viewed from the one angle. Unlike the Destiny Sparrow, which has landing gears and a stand as well as true three-dimensional depth. It would’ve been great if the kit was a higher difficulty level, included some type of stand for display purposes, or maybe even incorporated part of the wrist guard into the design to make it look more complete and substantial. The detail work is outstanding, but I can only imagine how much more intricate it could’ve been with an Expert-level build.
However, the awesome thing about this particular model is the fact that the hidden blade is fully functional, capable of sliding in and out along a central track. Retracted, the blade is a little under 9″ long. Fully extended, it’s a hair longer than a foot. Having that mechanical interactivity is a wonderful touch. Just remember that the model is made of wood, so don’t run off strapping the blade to your wrist to play make believe Assassin.
The Hidden Blade kit is available in two SKUs. Buying just the model is $17. Or you can get the Deluxe version, which includes a booklet offering a behind-the-scenes look at the Assassin’s Creed movie, for $20. The 30-page booklet is essentially a condensed sampler of identical content from the full Into the Animus hardcover making-of art book sold separately by Insight Editions. (I’ll be reviewing that in an upcoming Assassin’s Creed book feature.) In addition to the core instruction foldout, the booklet also offers an optional guide showing how to paint the blade to give it a realistic metal appearance. You’ll find more personal photos of the completed model and booklet further down the page.
Disclosure: Hidden Blade model kit provided to VGBlogger.com by Insight Editions.