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RedBox

Set 72056

Scottish Heavy Cavalry

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2016
Contents 12 figures and 12 horses
Poses 6 poses, 2 horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey
Average Height 24.5 mm (= 1.77 m)

Review

Throughout Western Europe by the late 15th century the heavy cavalryman was not an important element in the medieval army, even if it actually managed to fight an open battle rather than simply lay siege to somewhere. Ever more effective infantry weapons made the mounted man vulnerable, no matter how much plate armour he may be wearing, so during the Wars of the Roses knights usually dismounted to fight. If they did mount up to fight then it was generally at the end of the battle, when the routed enemy could be charged and valuable prisoners seized, or simply slaughtered as they tried to escape. Nevertheless the nobility and other knights were the elite of the armies.

Scottish knights were essentially no different in appearance to those of any other nation, and had as good a horse and as good an armour as they could afford. The wealthier men could follow the latest fashions, while others had to make do with older items, but on the whole all the armour here looks reasonable. Every man is fully encased in armour, though the styles vary and we were mystified by the cloth hangings at the shoulders of the man with the war hammer. Such devices would be at best unusual, and seem more suited to the tournament than a real battlefield, though we cannot dismiss them completely. Most of the sallet or armet helmets are visored, as was normal at this time, though the last man has his raised, probably to improve visibility or allow his face to cool a little. This man also sports feathers from his helmet, which might suggest he is of particular rank as he wishes to be easily identified, and he also seems to have a jupon or brigandine over, or perhaps instead of, a breastplate.

The classic lance is being held by three of the poses, though each is of a different style, but of course every man also carries a sword. One man seems to have a two-handed sword, or at least a hand-and-a-half sword, which would have been very difficult to wield properly while on horseback, but the other weapons look OK. Every man would have had a knife, though only one is actually visible here, being the common ballock style. None carry a shield as the full white armour made them of little value outside of a tournament.

There are just two horse poses in the set, both of which look to be moving rapidly. The poses are passable, but both are very well armoured with protection on the head, neck, chest and hind quarters. This would have represented the ideal that only the wealthiest knights could have afforded, particularly in a poor country like Scotland, so while both are accurate they are not a great reflection of the look of the many poorer knights.

The poses of the men are pretty good, especially the man with couched lance, who is a single piece yet has successfully been made with a straight lance to look very natural, which is impressive. However we did worry about the man with the enormous sword, and particularly how he would avoid braining his horse as he brought his sword down on his opponent. The sculpting gave us no such concerns, as it is a pleasure to see with lots of great detail. The men sit on the horses very nicely, but there is a fair amount of flash on the men (not the horses), so some tidying up is required before considering painting.

While the sight of a fully-armoured knight in action on his equally well-armoured steed would be rare indeed in Scotland at this time, if this is what you are looking for then these figures do it very well, and despite the flash and our small reservations on elements of weapon, pose and costume, we thought this was a very appealing set usable for any Western European heavy knights of the time.


Ratings

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

Further Reading
Books
"Armies of the Middle Ages Volume 1" - Wargames Research Group - Ian Heath
"Cavalry" - Arms and Armour - V Vuksic and Z Grbasic - 9781854095008
"English Medieval Knight 1400-1500" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.35) - Christopher Gravett - 9781841761466
"Renaissance Armies 1480-1650" - Patrick Stephens - George Gush - 9780850596045
"The Age of Chivalry Part 1" - Ward Lock - Liliane and Fred Funcken - 9780706358087
"The History of Armour 1100-1700" - Crowood - Paul Walker - 9781847974525
"The Medieval Soldier" - Crowood - Gerry Embleton - 9781859150368
"The Wars of the Roses" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.145) - Terence Wise - 9780850455205

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