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Revell

Set 02551

Anglo-Saxons

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1989
Contents 40 foot figures, 2 mounted figures and 2 horses
Poses 17 poses, 2 horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Tan
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

As with the Revell Normans, some may recognise a few of the figures in this set as having previously seen life as 1:25 scale pieces marketed by Elastolin, ironically labelled as Normans. However these figures and the new poses are all suitable for a Saxon army.

The good quantity of foot warriors are dressed and armed in an authentic variety of costume and equipment. Most wear largely day-to-day wear with the addition of a helmet. Some of the wealthier men wear ringmail armour, which extended to just below the waist and was quite simple in design. From the little information that has survived on the look of Anglo-Saxon warriors in the 11th Century, these models seem accurately dressed.

The evidence for weaponry is a little better, and once again this set shows that someone did most of their homework. The most common weapon seems likely to have been the spear, either in throwing or thrusting forms. More highly prized was the sword, obviously a close combat weapon, which again is well represented here. The most numerous poses are with the axe, including both the rare two-handed axe and the throwing axe. However here there is an issue as in 1066 the Saxons do not seem to have used these short throwing axes very much, and the Bayeux Tapestry only shows one. Finally there are two bowmen, which is probably a fair reflection on the numbers of these men in Saxon units. Sadly missing from the line-up are two weapons known to have been used by the Saxons, the sling and the club, though neither is likely to have been used in large numbers. Finally, every man correctly carries a knife, known as a scramasax, which was used to finish off beaten opponents.

The set includes two mounted figures, at least one of which is apparently engaged in combat. Popular legend has it that the Anglo-Saxons did not fight on horseback, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that this is not true. Warhorses were certainly highly prized, and the wealthier warriors were obliged to provide them. Cavalry is certainly mentioned at Stamford Bridge, and may have been rare or missing at Hastings as a result of losses at the former battle. Either way, their inclusion is valid and they are useful, though obviously we would have preferred a separate set so we could decide what proportion of mounted to foot soldiers we wished to purchase.

This is a good set, well researched and well produced, with excellent sculpting and almost no flash. One or two of the poses are a little awkward, particularly those using the small axes (the mounted axe man holding his axe over his head looks very odd), but the figures will prove useful for a wide range of conflicts and dates.

Ratings

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

Further Reading
Books
"Anglo-Saxon Thegn AD 449-1066" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.5) - Mark Harrison - 9781855323490
"Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066" - Wargames Research Group - Ian Heath - 9780904417159
"Arthur and the Anglo-Saxon Wars" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.154) - David Nicolle - 9780850455489
"Hastings 1066" - Osprey (Campaign Series No.13) - Christopher Gravett - 9781855321649
"Saxon, Viking and Norman" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.85) - Terence Wise - 9780850453010
Magazines
"Military Illustrated" - No.208

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