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Set 8249

El Cid Moorish Command

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2012
Contents 18 figures, 6 horses and 3 mules
Poses 6 poses, 2 horse poses, 1 mule pose
Material Plastic (Fairly Soft)
Colours Light Tan
Average Height 25 mm (= 1.8 m)

Review

Command sets such as this can be a great way to add some officers, musicians and other speciality figures to a range, particularly when the range has been made up of several sets with a relatively low number of poses, causing them to concentrate entirely on the ordinary troops. It also allows more flexibility than a single cover-all set does, and this set for the al Andalus armies is a real cracker.

The set contains officers, musicians and a standard bearer, and we will begin with the officers. The clothing of the officer class in Muslim armies was distinguishable from that of the men mainly by its decoration, colour and quality - all features that are not detectable on unpainted plastic figures. As a result there is little that particularly marks these men out as officers, although both the mounted and dismounted men are entirely appropriate for the role. At court or in civilian life fashions changed and the elite followed such fashions, but in battle the functionality of clothing was very important, and both these men are reasonably dressed, and also well posed - the mounted man looks to us to be a more senior commander.

Many accounts of Muslim armies in al Andalus mention the terrific noise they made, so it seems highly appropriate that this set provides two drummers and a trumpeter. Again all are appropriately dressed and nicely posed too. The drum for the mounted man is a separate piece, which certainly improves the figure, but all of them are really nice. Neither mounted musician has stirrups, but it is known that some warriors at this time rode without stirrups, and the need for stirrups is less when you are a non-combatant, so this is fine.

The standard bearer completes the line-up, with an open hand onto which either of the standards can be glued. Of course this means the hand is in no way seen to be gripping the staff, so ideally a slightly different approach could have been taken with the hand and perhaps the arm as part of the staff, but that aside this too is a nice enough figure.

The set includes a number of appropriate round shields, which have no particular means of attachment but could be glued straight onto the arm of either officer or the standard bearer, or used on figures in other sets. Either of the horses would work well for the officer, and probably either musician might find themselves on the mule.

The sculpting is excellent, with a very believable drop to the clothing and nicely done faces and other finer elements. The riders fit their mounts very well, and there is no flash, while the few separate parts both add some variety and ensure none of the figures are flat.

There is really nothing more to say about this small but perfectly formed set. Some really nice figures, well posed, accurately rendered and perfectly engineered, adding another excellent element to what has been an excellent range.

Ratings

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

Further Reading
Books
"Armies of Feudal Europe 1066-1300" - Wargames Research Group - Ian Heath - 9780904417432
"Armies of the Caliphates 862-1098" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.320) - David Nicolle - 9781855327702
"Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066" - Wargames Research Group - Ian Heath - 9780904417159
"El Cid and the Reconquista 1050-1492" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.200) - David Nicolle - 9780850458404
"Grandes Batallas de la Reconquista (1)" - Almena (Guerreros Y Batallas Series No.14) - Manuel González Pérez - 8413042754800
"The Armies of Islam 7th-11th Centuries" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.125) - David Nicolle - 9780850454482
"The Moors: The Islamic West 7th-15th Centuries AD" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.348) - David Nicolle - 9781855329645

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