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LW

Set 2

Inquisition

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2002
Contents 6 figures
Poses 6 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Silver/Grey, Dark Red
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

The Inquisition, or 'Holy Office', was the body set up by the Catholic Church to combat heresy, particularly the Cathari and Waldenses. It most famously operated in Spain, where the chief target were the Conversos, mostly Jews and Muslims who had been 'converted' at the point of a sword and who were suspected of 'relapsing' to their original faith. Though by no means all its victims were burned at the stake, that is the popular image of this institution, and it is that which is portrayed with these figures.

An unusual set to be sure, it contains a priest holding a crucifix aloft, a monk(?), a jailer/interrogator and two soldiers. Perhaps most importantly it also includes a man tied to the stake over a wooden pyre, and another stake on which there is some undefined plastic which is presumably the last remains of an earlier victim. All the figures are very nicely done, with good realistic folds in the clothing of the religious men. The jailer is clearly torturing a 'suspect' as he wears a mask which would have been painted to be as terrifying as possible, and he carries a large pair of tongs, the many uses of which send shivers down the spine. Both he and the guards wear common medieval dress. The guards also both have a plackart and possible a breastplate too, though it is impossible to tell for sure. One wears a kettle hat and the other a form of sallet, all of which tells us that these figures are dateable to roughly the second half of the 15th century. Neither man has any armour on the limbs, and they seem to wear a fabric hood, but both hold a polearm and are also armed with a sword.

The man and the stake are moulded in one piece, and the stake fits into a base piece made to look like logs and kindling. Further layers of logs are also provided which we have piled up under him for these scans. Though it makes a chilling piece, it is nicely done, though the neat rows of logs do not seem plausible for a prepared fire. The other stake is also fixed into an equally unlikely base, but we found that the stake was considerably too big for the hole and needed trimming at the bottom.

You never quite know what to expect from LW, but in this set you get some good quality sculpting with good anatomy, imaginative poses and, of course, a most unusual subject. There was almost no flash and no annoying bits of offcut sprue all over the figures like some LW sets. The header in the bag mentions the Dark Ages, though the Inquisition was only set up in the 13th century, so it is an invention of the medieval period. The header also announces that this is a set limited to 2,000 copies, so it may well be difficult to obtain, but if you can get hold of one it should be well worthwhile.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 9
Pose Quality 8
Pose Number 6
Sculpting 8
Mould 9

Further Reading
Books
"Medieval Costume, Armour and Weapons" - Dover - Eduard Wagner, Zoroslava Drobna & Jan Durdik - 9780486412405
"Medieval Military Costume" - Crowood (Europa Militaria Special Series No.8) - Gerry Embleton - 9781861263711

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