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Esci

Set 225

Barbarian Warriors

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1986
Contents 46 figures
Poses 13 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Brown, Tan
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

To go with their set of Romans, Esci brought out this set which they simply labelled as Barbarians. As the Romans tended to label anyone not within the Empire as barbarians this suggests the set covers a very wide range of warriors from very different societies. However, their appearance is completely unlike that of the Eastern and Southern peoples of the Empire, and most closely resembles the Germans.

The inclusion of a number of separate spears and shields means Esci only provides 13 poses in this set. The poses are run-of-the-mill stuff, with a mixture of advancing, throwing and fighting positions. One man is kneeling, apparently about to throw his javelin, which seems an unlikely position if he hopes to gain the best distance and strength for his weapon. The falling wounded man is in fact almost certainly dead as the full length of a sword has been inserted into his stomach, although this has been done from beneath him, which seems unlikely.

The warriors are armed with a variety of swords, spears and axes. Most seem accurate, but the sword brandished by the running man (right-hand figure in second row above) seems to be a Spanish falcata, an unlikely item in the hands of Germans but perhaps not impossible. The bow is composite, which is not the normal type for these people but again not impossible. The only really suspicious weapon is the double-headed axe, for which we could find no evidence.

With such an unspecified and broad subject matter it is hard to comment on the costume, but the assorted loincloths and trousers seem reasonable. However while fur and animal skins were certainly worn, we were not convinced by the garment worn by the man with the double-headed axe. Some of the figures have beards or top-knots, which is fine, but helmets are very few, which also matches what we know of these peoples.

All the shields are separate, and attach to the figures by having two clips that grip the arm. This is secure but means a large hole has to be left in the middle of the shield so the mould can make these clips. The customer must fill in this very unsightly hole by some means. All the spears are also separate, and the warriors grip these in very finely crafted and realistic hands. This looks good, but is a much less secure hold than the more common ring hand.

As ever, detail is well sculpted and the figures are anatomically perfect. The makeup of the German 'barbarians' that faced Rome varied from tribe to tribe and between different periods, but this set mostly covers all the bases and allows a decent array of warriors to face the legions of Caesar.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 9
Pose Quality 8
Pose Number 8
Sculpting 9
Mould 9

Further Reading
Books
"Barbarians" - Concord - Tim Newark - 9789623616348
"Roman Soldier versus Germanic Warrior" - Osprey (Combat Series No.6) - Lindsay Powell - 9781472803498
"Rome's Enemies: Germanics and Dacians" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.129) - Peter Wilcox - 9780850454734
"The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome" - Wargames Research Group - Phil Barker - 9780904417173

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