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HaT

Set 8068

Ancient Germans

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2004
Contents 48 figures
Poses 8 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)

Review

All the reviews on this site carry pictures of the figures, partly because everything that is said is only a matter of opinion, and the pictures allow readers to decide for themselves. Well, the pictures of these figures are likely to have had quite an impact, and to be honest the word that springs to our mind when we see them is ugly! These figures are very thin, poorly defined and in some cases just plain strange. There is a lot of bare flesh on display here, which is generally more demanding than sculpting clothes, but even so these figures are pretty poor. The Romans described the Germans as having a powerful frame, but these figures have the exact opposite, with several clearly being close to starvation. Pictures of the original masters for this set seemed a lot better than the final figures, so something has clearly gone wrong during the manufacturing process.

The poses too are just not good at all. Very flat, and not natural or on occasion even believable. If you consider trying to advance with the pose shown on the top row, third from the left, we think you will find that very unlikely.

In considering accuracy, on the face of it everything is in order here. The men wear trousers, or else are naked, and all are bare-chested, which fits with the reported bravado of these men as they enjoyed showing their disdain for protection even when the weather was very cold. Some do wear a cloak and they appear to have their hair in various styles, mostly long or knotted on the top of the head, which is all as it should be. Shields are in various shapes and sizes, all thought likely for this subject, and spears and swords are reasonably accurate, though not well defined. However fully one third of all the figures in the set are carrying a sword, a weapon thought to have been uncommon amongst these people until the later part of the Empire. Many in fact are recorded as carrying simple clubs, yet no-one here has one of these.

To add to its woes, this set suffers from more flash than most modern products, and the head of the third figure, bottom row, has suffered from some poor design which makes it appear that the mould is misaligned. The second figure on the bottom row has a separate spear, but does not have a ring hand (as it is hidden from the mould), so the spear must be glued to the hand, which does not grip it.

We found ourselves thinking of the emaciated and unattractive early Atlantic Far West figures when studying these, and that is not a good comparison for any set manufactured in the past 20 years. If some of the swords could be made into clubs then we feel that would be an improvement, but to be frank it is hard to see what can be done to improve the realism and look of these figures. Perhaps these figures can serve to remind us of how far quality has improved over recent years, but we can't imagine they will find any favour among the buying public. Not recommended.

Ratings

Historical Accuracy 9
Pose Quality 7
Pose Number 5
Sculpting 3
Mould 4

Further Reading
Books
"Barbarians" - Concord - Tim Newark - 9789623616348
"Rome's Enemies: Germanics and Dacians" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.129) - Peter Wilcox - 9780850454734
"The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome" - Wargames Research Group - Phil Barker - 9780904417173

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