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Phersu Miniatures

Set RLMC

Roman Legion Medicus and Capsarii

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2014
Contents 10 figures
Poses 10 poses
Material Resin
Colours Cream
Average Height 22.5 mm (= 1.62 m)

Review

One way in which the Romans considered themselves more civilised than the ‘Barbarians’ was in the medical care they could offer their troops. Indeed this was considerably better than anything the private citizen could expect unless they were very wealthy, but the Romans put a great deal of training and equipment into their heavy infantryman, and made good medical provision for them by the standards of the time to protect their investment.

This set contains 10 figures, of which four are casualties and the other six are rescuing or administering to them. The top row shows a group we have seen before in a number of Esci sets in particular; the injured man being supported off the field by two comrades. The main difference here is that all three figures are completely separate, but join together absolutely perfectly to create the group you see here. This makes it an impressive piece of sculpting, and a lovely end result.

Row two has a downed man with another standing over him and protecting him with his shield. Like all the groupings in this set you get a better idea of the intended result from the nicely done packaging shown above. In this case the man has a separate shield, and again we loved this little scene as on many occasions a friend must have shielded a comrade in just this way. The second part of row two has a similar evacuation scene to row one, but this time someone is leaning on just one friend for support. Again both figures are perfectly formed separate entities that join as shown, so another cracking piece.

Row three shows a downed man actually receiving medical attention. The injured man, who has spurned his helmet, sword and shield, is being attended to by two men, one of whom has a splendid crested helmet. At the risk of repeating ourselves this is yet again a superb little tableau, and includes a bag with the man’s instruments.

So lovely scenes then, and some top quality sculpting too. Everything here is about as perfect as you could possibly want. The proportions are faultless, the sculpting excellent and the detail superb. There is no assembly beyond attaching a shield to the man in the middle row, so the flexibility of the soft resin mould has been put to good use here to make some entirely natural poses with no loss of detail anywhere. As usual with resin figures there are no bases, and there is no help in attaching any shield.

The set title mentions medicus and capsarii. The medicus roughly translates as doctor, although long before any form of professional qualifications the skill of such men would have been variable. However we would suggest that there are no medici in this set because every man is armoured and clearly prepared for battle, and as a rule doctors would have been non-combatants. This is not because of any ancient form of Geneva convention, but simply because they would not have been very good soldiers, and a waste in the front line, so they would have worn civilian clothing and kept back from the danger zone. This makes the figure here with the crested helmet seem out of place – he would not have been a doctor, instead he seems to be a senior officer, and it would be very surprising for such a man to offer any aid to a common soldier.

Capsarii were more like modern first-aiders, and certainly would have been fighting troops too. Any of the figures here (apart from the officer) could be such men, but equally any of these could be ordinary soldiers doing their best to help a friend or comrade. They wear a mixture of segmented and mail armour, which could easily have been worn at the same time in the same unit, so they mix perfectly, and the segmented armour suggests a date of first to second century CE. Only the leather bag one man carries, and the separate bag shown, might distinguish such men from the rest of the troops.

So our one reservation is the crested officer, who would not have been a medicus so looks wrong here. Otherwise these are all wonderfully produced figures in some excellent poses and with no accuracy issues. They also make a great accompaniment to a lot of fighting soldiers or for an ‘after the battle’ scene. Quite simply another stunning set for the ancient world.

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