A set that is entitled 'Modern Militia' covers a pretty huge subject as there are a great many militias in the world today. Caesar say that the set is intended for Asian and African militias, which to be honest does little to reduce the scope of the subject. On those two continents there are many countries with numerous and powerful militias, and many countries such as Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq are largely or completely controlled by militias outside of the capital and a handful of major cities. Elsewhere governments such as that of Pakistan have had many battles trying to win back control of areas from militias, but the truth is that today many ordinary people know no law except whatever the local militia stipulate on behalf of their warlord or leader. Militias, though often labelled differently for political purposes, continue to be a major part of the modern world and this has been recognised by the production of this set by Caesar.
With such a vast geographical area to cover, the figures were always going to be very diverse, and so they are. Naturally the global spread of Western-style clothing does much to minimise the differences between far-flung militias as they do, more often than not, wear ordinary civilian clothing. Western clothing is certainly the dominating theme in this set, but we still find some men wearing a head scarf in Muslim fashion, either out of a sense of tradition, to protect from the elements or to help disguise their identity. One man also wears a long tight sleeved robe, while another wears the pakul cap so associated with Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan.
An effort has been made to sculpt some of these figures with negro features to make them more suitable for African subjects, and on the whole these work well. However there are some real surprises in this set, all of which can be seen on our middle row. First we have what must be a child, although we do not feel the face looks like that of a child (perhaps that is asking too much for a 1/72 scale model figure!). He wears a smart collared jacket and really does not look much like a child soldier apart from his height. Child soldiers are a major issue in many parts of the world so a figure representing them is certainly appropriate however.
The two middle figures in the second row were the biggest surprise - indeed quite a shock. Both are women with long untamed hair cascading over their shoulders and in one case with a particularly ample chest. Both are wearing tight sleeveless tops, skirts that are very tight and very very short, and heels! While women are certainly on occasion to be found in militias they are not particularly common and these two figures are about as far away from our image of such women as it is possible to get. They look like nothing but the kind of assistant James Bond might come across, which is fine for the movies but surely nonsense for real life? OK, so there are no dress codes or uniform regulations for militias, but we just cannot imagine what these two figures are doing here!
For the most part the weaponry on these figures is impossible to identify, but common sense would suggest that many are carrying the ever-popular AK-47, the famous Kalashnikov which is still going strong after over half a century. The second of the two 'Bond girls' holds what might very well be an Uzi in each hand, while the first figure in the bottom row carries another favourite, the rocket-propelled grenade. The penultimate figure has a rather heavier weapon, while the last is carrying a pistol.
The poses include a lot of firing, which is appropriate given the subject we think, but most of the poses are pretty good. Frankly we just cannot take the two women seriously, but even if they were dressed in a believable way the one holding a sub-machine gun in each hand is just far too fanciful a pose - again something out of a movie and nothing to do with reality. The sitting man however is an unusual but worthwhile pose, and could be resting, taking cover or a casualty. The last man is using a mobile phone (a first for this hobby), and again a very suitable choice.
Sculpting on these figures is pretty good, with such details as the clothes require being quite well done and folds nicely realised. However as we have said detail is somewhat lacking on many of the weapons, hence our inability to positively identify them here. Although there is some undercutting (notably on the RPG man) suggesting a multi-part mould, several of the figures still have a lot of excess plastic where they have raised their weapon to their shoulder. This is unusual for Casear, and because the sculptor has placed the weapon very well, rather than flat against the arms as is so often done, there is actually more excess plastic here than many other figures. However as usual Caesar have completely avoided any flash or other sign of where the moulds met.
Our conclusion for this set is in two parts. First, the 10 men. While coverage of such a wide subject is of necessity thin these figures all look authentic and will be very useful for many modern irregular warfare scenarios, with great poses and very decent sculpting adding to the very positive impression.
Part two - the two girls. For those with a desire to model their own action movie with plenty of up front sex appeal, or those who enjoy the female form in tiny plastic figures, these two figures will fill a need. For everyone else these are nothing but curiosities. In short, laughable!