The last quarter of the 13th century BCE was a period of turmoil in the eastern Mediterranean. A number of previously unknown peoples entered the region from the West, putting pressure on the Hittite and Egyptian empires which helped end the former and severely tested the latter. To the Egyptians these were called the 'Sea Peoples', and very little is known about them today. Nevertheless they had an enormous impact on the region and are an important grouping when considering the history and gaming potential of this period.
In the past some authors have gone to great lengths to try and assign particular costumes and armament to particular tribes of the Sea Peoples, but the truth is this is based on very scant evidence so a study of these people generates far more questions than answers. However from such sources as there are we can gain some idea of the general appearance of these people. The figures in this set are all barefoot and wear a kilt reaching to the knees. Most are bare-chested but one man has some sort of cuirass, perhaps bands of leather or fabric which might include metal studs. Headgear is more diverse, with several styles of cap or helmet perhaps made of leather, hair, felt or even feathers. On man (second figure in second row) has a horned helmet which might make him a member of the Weshwesh, but all the headgear styles are reasonable interpretations of the surviving pictorial references. However a very common form of head wear is what is sometimes called the feathered helmet, with a fairly short crown made of feathers, bristles or some other material. A few here have a long version of this, but none have the shorter, apparently most common form, which is a very surprising absentee (though it is to be found in the Caesar set of Philistines). With so little information no one can today say with certainty what is or is not correct, but these figures are a fair realisation of what little we know and therefore present no problems with accuracy, even though we would have preferred to see other forms of head wear too.
Most of the figures are armed with swords, and a few have spears, but there are no bowmen - something the Sea Peoples seem to have lacked. All the poses are nice and lively and entirely appropriate for the subject.
Once again Caesar's sculpting is beyond reproach, with excellent anatomical detail and very good proportions. All the weapons and shields are a part of the figure so there is no assembly required, but the multi-piece mould has been used in some places to help preserve the lifelike poses without sacrificing detail. Once again we find no flash or extra plastic, so Caesar continue with their high standard.
The box tells us there are 42 figures inside but actually there are 43 - the 43rd is the Egyptian trumpeter seen in the final row. Clearly nothing to do with the Sea Peoples, he is instead an extra figure for the corresponding set of Ancient Egyptian Warriors. His minimal dress is quite correct and he appears to be about to blow on his instrument, while in his left hand he holds the wooden core that helped the soft metal instrument keep its shape when not in use.
This is a very good set of figures, and when used in conjunction with the other Sea Peoples sets (Sherden and Philistines) it means Caesar have covered this subject in considerable and impressive depth. Why the Egyptian is in this set rather than with his countrymen we do not know, but consider him a bonus in what should be a must-have set for any fan of this dramatic period in history.