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Atlantic

Set 1509

Greek Army

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1977
Contents Varying number of pieces
Poses 8 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Light Orange, Grey, Light Tan
Average Height 25 mm (= 1.8 m)

Review

The Greek sets were among Atlantic’s better sculpted efforts, but there are very mixed signals as to the era of these figures. The inclusion of Trojan infantry in this range places these Greeks in the Trojan War, which means they are for the Mycenaean period, yet the packaging discusses Alexander the Great, a Macedonian who lived seven or eight centuries later.

A closer inspection of the figures does nothing to make the picture any clearer. The men wear either lamellar or a fanciful corselet and a range of helmets which seem to borrow from many Greek styles yet are not historically correct for any of them. Most are carrying a large round shield much like the hoplites, although they are all being held incorrectly and with an inappropriate arrangement of straps inside. Some of the figures seem to have javelins, which hoplites did not use, while others have swords which are at least fairly accurate. One man is using a bow, which was not a hoplite weapon, and where archers were used they would have been much lighter troops and not nearly as well armoured as this fellow, who is simply wrong.

The poses are quite wooden and fairly static, and do nothing to suggest the Greek phalanx which would be appropriate if these figures are for the Archaic or Classical periods.

As we have said, these are some of the better figures Atlantic produced. The anatomy is slim and elegant and really quite appealing while the faces are very well done and the detail, right or wrong, is also very fine and clear. Like many figures of this vintage however they do have those annoying round mould marks in their backs, and some versions of this very old set do have some flash, although the originals seem to be largely flash free. Although a shade tall for ancient Greeks these are at least nicely produced by the standards of their day.

It is hard to say for what purpose these figures can be used, since they do not adequately resemble Greek warriors from any period in history. Of course these were fundamentally toys, and when they were produced there was not nearly the quantity of accessible yet authoritative literature that can be found today. Of little real value today, and certainly overtaken by far better sets in recent years, the best that can be said of this set is probably what the makers only ever claimed originally, that these are toys of Greek soldiers from a vague ancient past and nothing more.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 3
Pose Quality 4
Pose Number 5
Sculpting 8
Mould 7

Further Reading
Books
"Warfare in Ancient Greece" - Sutton - Tim Everson - 9780750933186
"Warriors and Weapons of Early Times" - Blandford (In Colour Series) - Niels Saxtorph - 9780713705751

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