The land of Nubia was in what today is southern Egypt and the Sudan, and its people were well known to the ancient Egyptians as both troublesome raiders and useful auxiliaries in their armies. They seem to have been employed by the Egyptians from around 2000 BCE, and were light troops - particularly archers. Their contribution to many of Egypt's campaigns was very significant.
Half the poses and over half of the figures in this set are archers, which is at it should be. One pose is firing, and another is drawing an arrow, but the rest are not doing anything in particular. The other weapons include a man with a dagger, another with a club, and a man with a dual-purpose weapon. He has a spear over his head, and should be completed by cutting the curved back end off. Alternatively the spear forward of the hand could be removed to make a figure holding a club. Finally there is some form of chief or officer. The chief is standing with a spear, but the rest are waving their weapons in a reasonable set of poses.
Given the heat of their land, it is no wonder that Nubian clothing was minimal. Most wore a kilt with a lappit over the groin, and perhaps a feather in the hair. That in essence is what these guys are wearing, but in some cases the kilt is amazingly short - much too short to 'cover their decency'. There is a model of Nubian infantrymen dating to around the 11th dynasty (20th century BCE) which seems to show such a garment, but most modern sources suggest something a bit less revealing, and we are inclined to agree - why wear a kilt if it isn't going to even cover the buttocks?
Our first thought when we saw this set was of the very first HaT set - Mamelukes. Partly this is because they are done in a similar-looking glossy waxy kind of plastic, but mostly because they are largely devoid of detail and texture. Definition on the human flesh is quite poor, and the kilts exhibit absolutely no creases, folds or any other natural feature. Even the short cloak on the officer has very little of this. Weapons too look bad. Spears are thick and have a point barely different from the shaft. The bows look like they are meant to be double-curved, which is correct, yet they are almost straight. The Nubians were largely Negro in appearance, and facial features of these figures do suggest such a racial origin, yet the stance on many is quite horrible. The firing archer is slim and athletic, but his colleagues are short, thick set and squatting in an ape-like manner.
In general we would have liked to have seen men all armed with bows or spears, but such finer points are lost in the deeply unattractive and frankly crude look of many of these figures. Why for example is the spearman holding his shield in front of his arm when such an arrangement is unnatural and completely pointless? This is much less than we have come to expect from this company, and it is to be hoped that future sets will match their best standards and not those of this product.