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Atlantic

Set 1501

At The Pharaoh's Court

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1976
Contents Varying number of figures
Poses 13 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Light Orange, Tan
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

Atlantic made civilian sets for each of their ancient themes - Egypt, Greece and Rome - but surely it is the Egyptian set that is the most splendid. It must also cover about the longest period of any set, since its subject lasted for many centuries.

The two seated figures must surely be the pharaoh and his queen (and the standing figure next to them is also a pharaoh), and the more heavily dressed men must be court officials and courtiers. At least one priest has also been included, and also a scribe, seated in a classic pose. The lightly dressed figures are of servants and guards. As far as the poses go, well everyone is just standing around and doing nothing, so it is not a particularly exciting collection, but then the court was rarely a place of physical action anyway.

One reason for choosing the royal court might be that the ordinary Egyptian wore little or nothing - the climate made clothing unnecessary much of the time, and the Egyptians were not fussy about nudity. Only the wealthier citizens wore more elaborate clothing, though that too was usually only linen in order to keep cool. The servants in this set wear only a loincloth or kilt, which was typical, but the wealthy courtiers wear robes, mostly to signify their status. The priest has a costume and headdress resembling that used to depict Osiris, and the woman wears a simple long dress. All the costume seems reasonable, though the evidence is not always sufficient to be sure.

The fun element in this set is the sarcophagus. This comes in two halves that fit together well and create a hollow centre into which a mummy can be placed. Sadly the mummy has not been given a death mask like that of Tutankhamen, but the sarcophagus has some nice decoration and would certainly be an enormous challenge to anyone wishing to paint it with all the detail of the original.

Like most of the Atlantic sets, this one certainly captures the flavour of its subject. Two of the courtiers have drawn swords, which seems an odd choice of pose, and several also have natural hair sculpted when everyone would have probably shaved themselves and worn wigs. However the sculpting and level of detail are very good, like all the Egypt series, and with only a small amount of flash this is one of Atlantic's best efforts. The fun sarcophagus and mummy go some way to make up for some dull poses, and overall this is an interesting set.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 9
Pose Quality 7
Pose Number 8
Sculpting 9
Mould 8

Further Reading
Books
"Armies and Enemies of Ancient Egypt and Assyria" - Wargames Research Group - Alan Buttery - 9780904417043
"Chronicle of the Pharaohs" - Thames & Hudson - Peter Clayton - 9780500050743
"Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt" - Thames & Hudson - Joyce Tyldesley - 9780500051450
"New Kingdom Egypt" - Osprey (Elite Series No.40) - Mark Healy - 9781855322080

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