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Strelets

Set M102

Republican Roman Legion (Ceremonial March)

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2015
Contents 40 figures
Poses 8 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey
Average Height 24.5 mm (= 1.77 m)

Review

The above pictures tell you much of what you need to know about this set. Firstly, it is one of the Strelets marching types, which means one basic pose is delivered in eight slightly different forms, introducing enough natural variation to build a believable group of men all more or less doing the same thing but without them seeming too perfect. Strelets have previously made a set of marching republican Romans, and the main difference between that set and this is these men are not encumbered by all their baggage – hence the word ceremonial. All these figures carry their pilum in their right hand and their shield in their left, and all have the same foot forward, so make a credible body of troops marching in step.

Another difference between this set and the earlier one is these all seem to wear a helmet of the ‘Montefortino’ type. All also have mail armour and no greaves, so generally look best for the last century of the Republic, although they could also be used as more wealthy troops for some time earlier too. The mail is properly done, as is the helmet, with some slight variety of plumes. Sword and dagger are supported on low-slung belts, and some have the leather pteruges at the shoulder or hips, so accuracy is good, particularly as they have refrained from giving anyone the apron-like leather strips down the groin that only appeared in the imperial era.

The pilum is reasonably well sculpted, and the shields, all of which are separate and need to be attached, are on the same separate sprue as the other republican set released at the same time as this. Although these are far from finely engineered figures in the tradition of Zvezda, the pegs each man has onto which the shield must be placed, actually make for a decent join and look OK. The shields themselves are oval and engraved with an authentic design, but at about 14 mm (1 metre) long they are rather small examples.

The usual Strelets style is of a fairly unrefined nature with some smaller items exaggerated in size, but these are some of the better examples to come from this manufacturer. While they do not compare with the best around, they have less of a rough edge than previous issues, and flash is minimal too. The single pose is simple and easy to mould without excess flatness, although all the crests do neatly hang entirely to left or right.

Since every pose is equally suitable for a march past, we could hardly deduct any points for quality of the pose, and the only reason we gave 8 for pose number is because previous marching sets provided 12 similar poses and got a 9 in that category. Unlike many sets, where you might debate whether they have enough useful poses for your particular needs, this one is easy to assess. If you need men marching but without their usual campaign baggage then this set certainly offers a lot, but anything else and there is nothing here for you. Ultimately that will decide whether you buy these figures, but with good accuracy and an acceptable level of sculpting these are reasonable figures that deliver exactly what they promise in the set name, however unambitious that might be.

Ratings

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

Further Reading
Books
"Greece and Rome at War" - Greenhill - Peter Connolly - 9781853673030
"Republican Roman Army 200-104BC" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.291) - Nick Sekunda - 9781855325982
"Roman Military Equipment" - Oxbow - M C Bishop & J C Coulston - 9781842171592
"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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