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Strelets

Set M016

Roman Auxiliaries 2

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2007
Contents 48 figures
Poses 12 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

As the early empire developed the Roman army began using more and more auxiliaries for the more mundane duties such as patrolling borders and conducting smaller police operations, leaving the citizen legions to undertake the major campaigns. Although distinctions in terms of equipment were often less than clear the auxiliaries, who were usually subject peoples, were not given the best of the equipment such as the latest armour or the pilum, perhaps to ensure they were at a disadvantage if they revolted. Nevertheless they were an important part of the greater Roman military machine, and with this set Strelets have added to their previous Roman Auxiliaries in Battle.

On the whole everything we said about that first set applies equally here. The costume is much the same with all the same details, and the mix of weapons is identical, which is as well as there were no accuracy problems with the first set.

This set does have one major difference, however. Fundamentally it consists of just two poses, either standing or kneeling and holding a shield up as part of a shield wall. Roman tactics were usually aggressive but when the need arose a defensive shield wall was certainly part of the training. The box art makes it very clear what is intended, and as can be seen the figures are split equally, suggesting a two-line formation. Most of the poses are also sticking their weapons forward, suggesting the enemy is close at hand, and for the most part the poses are fine and realistic. However we did not care for the first figure on the bottom row, who is holding his gladius upright and well behind him in a very awkward looking manner. Nevertheless the 12 poses are sufficient to mix around and give a fair impression of a realistic shield wall.

Again the sculpting is identical to that of the previous set, and presumably came from the same hand. Details are fair but rather chunky, but there is no flash to speak of. Only the first figure in row one has a ring hand for a separate sword – all the rest have both weapon and shield as part of the one piece, which means there is no real assembly required but does deliver fairly flat poses. However in this particular case a flat stance is quite appropriate.

This set pretty much delivers exactly what the box promises, although the lack of any officers or others means these have to be sourced from elsewhere. The standing poses have some use as figures in open battle subject to incoming missile fire, but the kneeling figures are largely only good for the intended shield wall. So this is a set with a very specific and limited purpose, but it does at least deliver that pretty well and while not attractive, these figures work well with the previous releases from this company and suggest we may get a series of sets of auxiliary infantry in various situations.

Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 9
Pose Number 8
Sculpting 7
Mould 9

Further Reading
Books
"Arms and Armour of the Imperial Roman Soldier" - Frontline - Raffaele D'Amato - 9781848325128
"Greece and Rome at War" - Greenhill - Peter Connolly - 9781853673030
"The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome" - Wargames Research Group - Phil Barker - 9780904417173
"The Complete Roman Army" - Thames & Hudson - Adrian Goldsworthy - 9780500051245
"The Roman Legions Recreated in Colour Photographs" - Crowood Press (Europa Militaria Special Series No.2) - Daniel Peterson - 9781861262646

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