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Evolution

Set EVF037

Sarmat Cavalry

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2006
Contents 5 figures and 5 horses
Poses 4 poses, varying numbers of horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Pink
Average Height 25 mm (= 1.8 m)

Review

The Sarmatians were a number of tribes that occupied large amounts of land along the Eurasian steppe. They were nomadic or semi-nomadic, so it is no surprise that in war they were mainly mounted. They first appear around the seventh century BCE, and finally disappear in the fourth and fifth centuries CE, but the label for this set gives no indication of where in this timeline the figures are intended to be. Since the set appeared at the same time as others relating to the wars with Rome in the first and second century CE, we will assume the same period for this one.

The usual tactic of these people was to soften up the enemy with archers and then defeat them with a charge of heavy lancers. Two of the poses in this set are archers, which is fine, but there are no poses with lance or javelin, which is a glaring omission. Most warriors were probably armed with a sword, and would have used it when close quarter combat meant the lance became useless, so the swordsmen here are not wrong, but overall this set is not representative of Sarmatian cavalry.

Much of the Sarmatian cavalry is thought to have been armoured (not necessarily with metal though), so the three poses with scale armour here are well chosen. At least one wears a spangenhelm type helmet but one armoured man is bareheaded. The unarmoured archer wears a tunic thought to be typical of these people, and a cap. We found no problems with the accuracy of the costume in this set.

The horses are the same as found in other LW/Evolution 'ancient' sets, but are quite appropriate for this subject. It is thought that many Sarmatian horses wore armour, sometimes quite extensive, but naturally others, particularly the light archers, would be without this heavy impediment, so these horses are fine. They also appear quite small, which again reflects their actual stature. The men fit the horses very loosely and will require gluing to stay put.

The sculpting is not too bad by LW/Evolution standards, but you could not describe it as elegant. The detail is quite good but items such as swords are quite stumpy. Fortunately there is very little flash too. Sharp-eyed readers will have noticed that we have not said how many of each pose the set contains. This is because the set contains one of each of the four poses plus a randomly-chosen second copy of one pose. It would seem that the horses are even more down to chance, with varying numbers of each pose, which may only include some of the poses shown above and could even include others not shown here (those shown above were put together from several sets).

This then is quite a reasonable effort, but the small number of poses is a problem, while the complete lack of anyone carrying the long lance is a serious letdown.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 8
Pose Quality 6
Pose Number 2
Sculpting 6
Mould 8

Further Reading
Books
"Barbarians" - Concord - Tim Newark - 9789623616348
"Fighting Techniques of the Ancient World" - Greenhill - Simon Anglim - 9781853675225
"Mounted Archers of the Steppe: 600 BC- AD 1300" - Osprey (Elite Series No.120) - Antony Karasulas - 9781841768090
"The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome" - Wargames Research Group - Phil Barker - 9780904417173
"The Sarmations 600 BC - AD 450" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.373) - R Brzezinski & M Mielczarek - 9781841764856

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