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HaT

Set 8040

Italian Allies

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2001
Contents 48 figures
Poses 8 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Light Tan and Grey
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)

Review

As Rome grew and her influence spread over all of modern day Italy, she dominated and eventually conquered all the other peoples in that land. With the wars against Carthage, many of these saw an opportunity to cast off the Roman yoke, and large numbers fought with the North Africans, particularly during Hannibal's invasion of the Italian peninsular.

These peoples, Oscans such as the Apulians, Samnites, Lucani and Brutii, wore no specific uniform and naturally tended to have different tribal characteristics, so this set is a representative sample of these peoples. As such it reflects what is currently known about them, and is a nice diverse selection of warriors. They wear the Attic helmets, generally decorated with feathers and crests, and most also have some form of cuirass, some of which are the distinctive three-disc design associated with the Samnites. Tunics are quite short, and some also wear either one or two greaves. Several also have broad belts, which was another common feature.

The poses are mostly of men with javelins, which again fits with what we know of their fighting style. The men are mostly static and therefore not particularly exciting, though none are inappropriate. They all carry shields and javelins of varying descriptions, all of which are thought to have been common for these men.

The set includes a number of extras as pictured. The first item might seem like a flag, but is in fact a spear with a tunic and belt hanging from it (imagine it being carried over the shoulder). Apparently this was a common way of showing you had conquered an enemy, as the unfortunate victim would be forced to walk in front of the warrior, naked. However there is no real detail on this piece, and there is also no suitable figure to carry it (the second figure on the top row could, but he would be holding it upright, which would look wrong). The spear and sword are for those figures with ring or empty hands, as are the two shields. These have two short pegs on the back which will guide the shield on the arm but do not attempt to provide a solid fix, so they will require gluing.

The style of sculpting is not among the more elegant examples we have seen, but it is by no means bad, and with very little flash these are perfectly presentable figures. Except where shown all the figures come with their weapons and shields as one piece, so there is not a lot of setting up to do before they can be used. These could also be used to depict some of the wars Rome conducted during her expansion, so their use is not limited to the Punic Wars. However they are a very important component of those wars, and many fought both for and against Rome at different times. A solid and useful set for the large Punic Wars range.

Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 7
Pose Number 5
Sculpting 8
Mould 9

Further Reading
Books
"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
"Early Roman Armies" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.283) - Simon Northwood & Nicholas Sekunda - 9781855325135
"Greece and Rome at War" - Greenhill - Peter Connolly - 9781853673030
"Hannibal's Army" - Andrea Press (Historical Warriors Series No.3) - Carlos Canales - 9788496527577

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