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Revell

Set 02553

Celts (Gauls)

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1989
Contents 50 figures
Poses 14 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Tan
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

'The Gauls are tall of body, with rippling muscles, and white of skin'. So wrote Diodorus Siculus in the first century BCE, describing one of the major 'barbarian' adversaries that the Roman World faced. Since long before the Empire the Celts had had a considerable reputation as very fine warriors, and on many occasions they fought the legions of Rome either on their own account or as mercenaries in the armies of others. As a result they are a natural choice to complement the Revell Romans, and this set does them justice.

Once again Revell have looked to the larger-scale Elastolin range for 'inspiration' for their figures, with one being a straight copy of an Elastolin original and another being almost identical. The poses are very good, with a pretty even split between spearmen and swordsmen. The figure holding both shield and javelin aloft seems likely to be a chieftain, as does the swordsman with the large wings on his helmet. Helmets were only for the wealthiest men however, and certainly all the wings, horns and other decoration seen here would have been virtually unknown in battle and should be trimmed off.

These men are dressed in the simple trousers and tunic commonly worn by the Celts. A number are bare-chested, and in fact many warriors went into battle completely naked, though there are no such examples here. Most also wear a helmet, which as we have said was a very expensive item that would not have been nearly as commonly worn as this set suggests.

In all cases the men are moulded as one with their weapons and shields, so there is no fiddly attaching of separate parts to be done. The shape of the shields are correct, and the designs engraved on them seem perfectly plausible given the many extant examples we have. The two figures with round shields, (which are the two that clearly trace their roots to Elastolin) seem much less authentic as both the shape of the shield and their costume do not fit with the rest of the set or the evidence we have.

The sculpting is first class with no flash or excess plastic - particularly good for figures with long weapons and shields. However too many have helmets, many of which are much too ornate anyway, and we would advise ignoring the two round shield figures entirely.

Ratings

Historical Accuracy 7
Pose Quality 10
Pose Number 8
Sculpting 10
Mould 10

Further Reading
Books
"Ancient Armies" - Concord - Tim Newark and Angus McBride - 9789623616461
"Ancient Celts" - Concord - Tim Newark & Angus McBride - 9789623616232
"Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome, 150 B.C. to 600 A.D." - Wargames Research Group - Phil Barker - 9780950029962
"Armies of the Carthaginian Wars 265-146 BC" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.121) - Terence Wise - 9780850454307
"Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars" - Wargames Research Group - Duncan Head - 9780950029948
"Barbarians" - Concord - Tim Newark - 9789623616348
"Celtic Battle Heroes" - Firebird (Heroes and Warriors Series) - John Matthews & Rob Stewart - 9781853141003
"Celtic Warrior 300 BC-AD 100" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.30) - Stephen Allen - 9781841761435
"Celtic Warriors" - Blandford - Tim Newark - 9780713716900
"Greece and Rome at War" - Greenhill - Peter Connolly - 9781853673030
"Rome's Enemies (2) Gallic and British Celts" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.158) - Peter Wilcox - 9780850456066
Magazines
"Military Illustrated" - No.125

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