It's not an embellishment, it's quite the truth.
I have been there from the beginning, since FansProject's City Commander, commonly regarded as the third party toy that started it all. And I still think Perfect Effect's PE-DX03: Warden is one of the best third party toys out there.
It hits all the right notes. It's highly detailed, beautifully sculpted and there is so much play value - it transforms into so many relevant things. Also, there are die-cast parts and the tank threads are rubber!
It is at once (1) IDW's Fortress Maximus (based very closely on Milne's design way back from Spotlight Arcee); (2) an add on kit to G1 Fortress Maximus; and (3) a headmaster of the G1 variety.
I am truely delighted, yet surprised, that PE could make the jump from what to me were a string of pretty mediocre releases to this marvel of design, engineering and construction.
So here it is, with a Milne page that is no doubt the inspiration for the toy.
It's a dead-ringer for IDW Fort Max. He appears in More Than Meets the Eye issues #4, #5, #6 and #15 (oh, and in Spotlight: Arcee and Last Stand of the Wreckers too!)
I just could not live without it having an Autobot symbol. So I cut a piece of thin white plastic into the shape of the recess in his chest and stuck an Autobot logo on.
...... with symbol. Now officially Fortress Maximus!
The full IDW look.
Close up details - if you are familiar with IDW's More Than Meets the Eye, you will see that each detail that Milne draws into the comic FM is almost 100% faithfully replicated in this toy. It's truly marvellous.
Check out that detail on the inside of the shoulder.
That circular detail under the arms is definitely an original Alex Milne detail in his drawings.
Close up of the back. Look at the detail. Love those vents.
Rubber tank threads.
It's quite a lot bigger than a G1 Fort Max head, but it does fit on the G1 toy.
With the crew of the Lost Light!
Swerve having some fun
Overall, I would give this toy a rating of 9/10, possibly one of the highest ratings I have given for third party toys. It is up there with Quakewave in my mind as being one of the best third party toys out there.
My recommendation? Definitely get this, more so if you enjoy More Than Meets the Eye and Milne's fantastic artwork.
Edit of 21 March 2014, a few more photos.
The tank threads can become its own little scout car or vehicle and the head of Warden transforms into a little guy to sit in there.
"Spike" at the controls of the Warden tank
CHUG! Ultra Magnus (with FP City Commander armour), PE Warden, Hot Rod (w/ FP armour), Henkei Convoy and Generations Skids.