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LW

Set 45

Scythians

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2002
Contents 5 mounted figures
Poses 5 poses, 3 horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)

Review

The Greeks called all the peoples that inhabited the Eurasian steppes from the Black Sea to central Asia Scythians. In the fourth century BCE they controlled a large area between the Don and the Danube, but by the end of the third century their power had been broken by outsiders. LW have produced many sets of figures from this geographical area, and this is a logical addition to that range.

The Scythians seem to have maintained armies that were often entirely mounted, and they were known for their horse archers - both classic features of nomadic armies. All the figures in this set are mounted, and all are equipped with a bow, though none are using it. Instead they carry swords, spears and an axe, and all bar one also have shields. It seems therefore that this one figure is the only potential true light archer, particularly as he is not armoured. The rest of the men have armour, and are likely to be the heavier noble cavalry. This means that while the figures may not be representative of the proportions of each type within the army they are still interesting.

The costume is correct for the fourth century BCE. Most of the shields are wicker, but one man has a more ornate type. He also has a Greek-style helmet and some of the best armour, so he is clearly a man of wealth.

The poses are reasonable, with the light horseman clutching his head, presumably suffering from a wound. This is an unusually pose but certainly not out of place.

The horses are again the same as those in many other sets from LW. All these sets tend to represent warriors that are close geographically and chronologically, so the differences in horse appearance may not have been significant. From what little we know of the Scythian horses these are a reasonable depiction.

The quality of the casting on these figures is of the average LW standard, which is not good. The figures are fat and squat, and items that should be straight (like swords) tend not to be so. Spear shafts and axe handles are fat and crude, and though the detail is not bad it is not always easy to make out what is being represented. Once again the worst feature is that the men sit very poorly on the horses. Most have legs too close together, forcing the figure to spring off the animal as soon as it is forced onto its back. A lot of carving is required to make the fit work properly. Undoubtedly this is another unusual subject from this manufacturer, but the relatively poor production quality means this is not an attractive set.

Note that many LW sets seem to have various horses in various proportions, so the horses and pose counts shown here may not always apply.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 9
Pose Quality 3
Pose Number 7
Sculpting 2
Mould 6

Further Reading
Books
"Ancient Armies" - Concord - Tim Newark and Angus McBride - 9789623616461
"Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars" - Wargames Research Group - Duncan Head - 9780950029948
"Mounted Archers of the Steppe: 600 BC- AD 1300" - Osprey (Elite Series No.120) - Antony Karasulas - 9781841768090
"The Scythians 700-300 BC" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.137) - Dr E V Cernenko - 9780850454789
"Warriors of Eurasia" - Montvert - Mikhael V Gorelik - 9781874101079
Magazines
"Uniformes (French Language)" - No.73

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