It's hard to think of a movie with a better storyline for
a hero:  A powerful, charismatic general is betrayed,
left for dead, and begins his quest for vengeance
and justice as a slave, then gladiator, eventually
becoming the liberator of an empire.  The story,
acting, and directing seem to get better with each
viewing as well, which is rare these days.

I saw the movie again not too long ago, felt again the
rush of inspiration, and decided I wanted to improve
the Gladiator figure I'd already done.  Although it's
the figure that I'd gotten the most praise and
compliments for, I was never completely happy with it.
 The likeness was okay (as I'd started with the
already decent Dragon models headsculpt and
modified it), but it wasn't Russell Crowe enough.

Also, I'd visited some other customizers' sites
(including some amazing ones in Korea) and saw that
this art form is evolving.  Certainly, my standards are
always going up, and just as I'd redone Indiana
Jones, I felt it was time to redo ol' Maximus.
One of the things I
noticed on some
of the other sites
is that headsculpts
are getting far
more detailed than
ever before.  So
for this sculpt, I
improved the
overall shape of
his cranium (the
old head had kind
of a flat top),
textured the beard
properly (instead
of relying on
paints), improved
the detail in facial
wrinkles, added
some veins to his
temples, and
added beads of
sweat and blood to
the final paint
scheme.
The other thing that had
bothered me a great deal on
the first figure were his boots.  
I had painstakingly crafted
them by hand from a
pleather-like material, using
real leather lacing, but in the
end they looked rather
clumsy.  So for this figure, I
carefully sculpted them from
clay (anticipating what shape
the leather would take if it
were laced), made a mold of
them, and casted them in
urethane.  I then laced and
weathered them.
I think the end result is far superior to the
previous version, and actually achieves a
much higher level of fidelity to the film
version as well.

Accessories for this figure include:

-   blue-gray tunic
-   chest armor, w/ metal buckles
-   shoulder armor, w/ buckle
-   wrist armor, w/ working laces
-   leather-like wrist wrap
-   chain mail on upper arm
-   chain mail skirt
-   leather straps w/ metal studs
-   helmet
-   head, w/o helmet
-   highly detailed boots with real laces
-   round shield
-   necklace with wolf teeth
-   small pouch with wife and son
    figurines
-   black metal figure stand
-   certificate of authenticity
I am much happier with the new boots than the old
one.  You can see how much closer this one is in
appearance to the film version (above).
In the movie, Maximus carries
around a little leather pouch that
has two small figurines in them.  
One is of his wife, the other of his
son, both of whom are murdered so
the figures become even more
precious to him.  I couldn't not make
them in sixth scale too, could I?
Russell Crowe as "MAXIMUS DECIMUS MERIDIUS" in
GLADIATOR, 2000
I had decided against adding
blood to the weathering
scheme on the first version,
but had always thought it
could add another level of
realism, so I went ahead and
did it for this second version.