For many people ancient Egypt is all about religion and the afterlife, as manifested in the various pyramids and temples still to be found there, not to mention mummies. Her endeavours and achievements on the field of battle are much less appreciated, and yet Egypt was a superpower of the region for much of the period, and particularly in the New Kingdom she exercised that power to maintain her interests against many different enemies.
Most of these figures wear a kilt or loin cloth with a stiffened fabric protector in front of the groin. Some have fabric wrapped round their bodies and most have fabric head coverings, both are likely to have been stiffened and/or padded to serve as protection. The inclusion of the body and groin armour seems to have been a development dating from the start of the New Kingdom era (NKE), so this is infantry of the New Kingdom period (c.1570 to c.1070 BCE). The archers have no armour as they would not have been expected to face the enemy in hand-to-hand combat, but the third figure on the bottom row seems to have scale armour, probably metal, which would have been very expensive (and hot) and therefore rare. As NKE infantry this simple costume is entirely consistent with the available evidence.
The bulk of the poses are of men either advancing or using their weapons in close combat. This is fine, but we would have liked to have seen a pose of a man on the march, which is always a useful pose for wargamers and diorama-builders alike. The two archers, who represent one of the most important elements of the Egyptian infantry, are well done, and the two single-copy poses, presumably representing command figures, are also very nice. Every figure apart from the two archers has a ring hand into which one of a number of weapons can be inserted. Clearly Caesar have repeated their clever trick with the multi-piece mould as several poses have ring hands despite this not being visible from the front. The weapons are available on a separate sprue that can be seen here, and there are eight such sprues in each box, making a total of 32 shields and 40 weapons. This is more than enough for every figure, so there is much freedom to mix weapons, and those we have given for our picture are entirely random. This makes for a very good variety of poses, although the common formation of a phalanx of spearmen is not easily achieved with them.
The sculpting is of the usual very high Caesar standard, with plenty of detail and no flash. In this case detail is the folds in the simple clothing plus the muscular build of the men, and both are excellent. With so many ring hands it is good to find that every one is perfectly sized to take any weapon, although the shields have no such connection and require gluing - a peg on the arm helps site the shield correctly.
With such a good range of entirely authentic Egyptian weapons provided we were a little surprised that the simple small axe was not among them, but under the circumstances we can hardly complain. Otherwise this is another superb set that maintains Caesar's remarkable quality standard.