This is becoming a very popular subject for plastic figure sets, with five sets already made as listed below. While the styles of the figures may not always match comfortably there is no doubting that there is now a wide range of poses for these troops which shouldered so much of Rome’s military ‘burden’ yet are little remembered compared to the famous legionnaires.
This set depicts auxiliaries advancing, although to be honest many of the poses look like they are already in contact with the enemy, or certainly could be. The distinction then between this set and sets of these men in battle is quite marginal, although the majority of these figures are at least apparently moving forward. They are waving the usual weapons – swords and spears – which is correct, and all have their weapons attached to them apart from two which have ring hands for separate spears. All the shields are also part of the figure rather than separate, yet Strelets have managed to make virtually all of them perform what they were actually made to do: protect the soldier from frontal blows. Such realistic positioning is not nearly common enough in this hobby, so it is nice to see some fine examples here. Some of the weapons are guilty of being too in line with the centre point, so many are being held directly above the centre of the head. Attempting to reproduce this pose yourself will reveal that it is not particularly natural and at times virtually impossible, yet in general the poses here are quite appealing and lively.
Auxiliary costume has been discussed several times on this site over the years so there is no need to repeat ourselves here. The ‘classic’ auxiliary look adopted for other Strelets sets has been repeated here and while it might suggest a uniformity that was often missing in reality there is nothing here that is actually inaccurate. The only variance in costume between these figures is the first figure in the second row, who wears a cloak.
The style and quality is exactly the same as other Strelets sets, so these figures will blend seamlessly with those that have gone before. While the lack of finesse makes these figures less attractive than the small masterpieces of some other manufacturers, there are plenty of fans for this style and by now Strelets customers know what they will be getting. The two separate spears will only fit the ring hands after a little enlarging of the hole with a needle file, but there is no flash and the figures are generally well presented.
For those looking to further expand their collection of Strelets Romans this will be a welcome addition, although in truth it offers nothing that has not been seen before. Still there is no such thing as too many poses, so here we have useful if sometimes awkward poses to further fill the ranks of Roman armies.