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HaT

Set 8045

Greek Mercenary Hoplites

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2001
Contents 48 figures
Poses 8 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Tan
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)

Review

By the time Alexander began his quest to destroy the Persian Empire and conquer the whole World, Greece had long been the home of the finest soldier of the day, the hoplite. Though the Greek hoplites were defeated by the Macedonians they remained well-respected soldiers and were in demand for service in many armies, including those of both Alexander and the Persians.

During the 4th century BCE the hoplite had been more and more lightly armoured as mobility was prized above protection. With their defeat at the hands of the heavily armoured Macedonians the fashion naturally changed back to better protection and more armour, making the hoplites appear much like their Macedonian equivalents. The figures in this set wear varying amounts and styles of armour, which normally reflected their position in the phalanx - those with the heaviest armour being at the front. From the angle that they hold their spears it is possible to see that the most lightly armoured figures in this set are modelled to be at the back, and the most heavily armoured are at the front of the formation.

The men in this set have hands gripping a spear or javelin, but this item has not been provided, leaving the men empty-handed. HaT say that they were not able to produce such long thin items due to difficulties with the plastic injection method used. Consequently they decided to leave the figures for the customer to arm, and the best suggestion we have so far heard for doing so is to use a plastic bristle from a broom, although some use piano wire, florist's wire or plastic rod found in model railway shops. The Greek hoplites spear was shorter than the Macedonian pike, perhaps about 3 metres long on average.

The costume of these figures is a good representation of the armour styles to be seen during the wars of Alexander. Those at the front wear metal 'muscle' cuirasses, with those behind wearing scale armour under a leather or linen cover, or possibly armour made solely of stiffened linen. Finally some men wear no armour, not even the greaves to be found on the armoured soldiers. Helmets are also very varied, though technically some should have more plumes or feathers (a very difficult thing to sculpt).

All the men are armed with swords, and carry the classic hoplite shield, which was strengthened by a rim and was approximately 60 to 90cm in diameter. In all cases this is part of the figure rather than a separate item.

As with most HaT figures these are well detailed and correctly proportioned though we found that some flash needed to be trimmed. The poses are all using the spear, so they can only be used as part of a phalanx. This is a fair set for a very important ancient warrior that saw much service on all sides during Alexander's wars of conquest.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 9
Pose Number 5
Sculpting 9
Mould 8

Further Reading
Books
"Alexander 334-323 BC" - Osprey (Campaign Series No.7) - John Warry - 9781855321106
"Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars" - Wargames Research Group - Duncan Head - 9780950029948
"Granicus 334 BC" - Osprey (Campaign Series No.182) - Michael Thompson - 9781846030994
"Greece and Rome at War" - Greenhill - Peter Connolly - 9781853673030
"Greek Hoplite 480-323 BC" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.27) - Nicholas Sekunda - 9781855328679
"The Ancient Greeks" - Osprey (Elite Series No.7) - Nicholas Sekunda - 9780850456868
"The Army of Alexander the Great" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.148) - Nick Sekunda - 9780850455397

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