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HaT

Set 8064

Imperial Roman Extra Heavy Legionaries

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2005
Contents 48 figures
Poses 8 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)

Review

Throughout history sophisticated armies have adapted their weapons and protection to suit the current opposition. When the emperor Trajan undertook his wars with Dacia early in the second century CE there is plenty of evidence that at least some of the troops wore extra protection, possibly as a defence against the Dacian Falx. It is these troops that are depicted in this set.

The poses in this set are very good - plenty of opportunity for placing troops side-by-side in ranks to show the awesome power and discipline of an advancing Roman army. Some are armed with spears and the rest have swords, but these are not well defined, with the swords having no points and the spears being without a head. The box artwork suggests these are meant to be pila, in which case they are even more poorly defined and unrecognisable.

The figures wear a mixture of segment, mail and scale armour, all of which are reasonable for the second century CE. The detail and definition of these armours is excellent, and should make the job of those who wish to paint much easier. The helmets are of the Imperial Italic type, which is again entirely appropriate. What makes these troops 'extra heavy' is the armour down the sword arm (which might be metal or leather - no one knows which), the wearing of greaves on the lower leg and the reinforcements across the skull of the helmet. All these items are correctly done, and indeed all the detail is correct for the period, at least as far as the available evidence suggests.

As we have said, the detail on the bodies is superb but the weapons are poor. The men all have separate shields, which are the classic curved rectangular scutum, and these fit onto pegs on the men's hands, making the peg part of the shield boss. While the fit is good we would still recommend gluing. Unfortunately standard polystyrene glue does not work well on this quite firm plastic, so specialist plastic glue would be advisable. There is a small amount of flash on some parts of the seam of the figures.

It is unknown how many troops in any particular army were equipped in this way, but we know they existed and could very easily have also appeared in other Roman campaigns of the period. This is not the best set to make up an entire Roman army, but it delivers some interesting figures for what has always been a popular period in human history.

Ratings

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

Further Reading
Books
"Greece and Rome at War" - Greenhill - Peter Connolly - 9781853673030
"Roman Army: Wars of the Empire" - Brassey (History of Uniforms Series) - Graham Sumner - 9781857532128
"Roman Military Equipment" - Oxbow - M C Bishop & J C Coulston - 9781842171592
"The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome" - Wargames Research Group - Phil Barker - 9780904417173
"The Complete Roman Army" - Thames & Hudson - Adrian Goldsworthy - 9780500051245
"Trajano" - Almena (Guerreros Y Batallas) - José Ignacio Lago - 9788496170803

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