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RedBox

Set 72046

Scurrers

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2013
Contents 12 figures and 12 horses
Poses 6 poses, 2 horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Brown
Average Height 24.5 mm (= 1.77 m)

Review

Although the fine mounted knight might seem like the epitome of the medieval period, in fact the later part of the period was one of decline for mounted men in terms of their importance on the battlefield. By the end of the period – around the time of the Wars of the Roses in England – most fighting was on foot, but there was still a role for cavalry. Scurrers were light cavalry, and also went by a host of other names such as hobilars, prickers etc.; you can take your pick of the names and the spelling is pretty flexible too. They performed all the usual light cavalry functions of patrolling, reconnaissance and communication, as well as harassing defeated or weak enemies and foraging for food, but they too declined as the medieval period wore on, often being replaced by mounted infantry and mounted archers who would dismount for the fight. However scurrers seem to have been quite widely used during the Wars of the Roses (1455 to 1487), so it is good to finally see a set of such men for this period.

As light cavalry these men were much poorer than the knights, and could not afford the elaborate armours that adorned the elite of an army, although in any case they would have had little use for such a heavy protection. Their costume was much closer to the poorer infantry, with varying amounts of armour but often no breastplate or arm defences, and with a helmet which seems to have always been of a simple, open-faced style. Our six representations here wear just such an assortment of items, with some good helmets and in some cases a bit of mail. However padded jacks are more in evidence, as they should be, and while some have leg protection others have no more than tall boots, which all fits nicely with the look of the real thing.

Four of the poses carry a much smaller version of the long lance traditionally carried by knights, so just a spear really, and the other two have axes. All have swords and daggers, which is fine, and several have targes, or small round shields, hanging from their belts. Again, everything here looks good.

Although they would certainly have sometimes been called upon to fight, as we have said a large part of these men’s duties did not involve combat, and some of these poses do not seem to be fighting; most notably the last figure in the top row, who is clearly meant to be reconnoitring. The two axe men look to be using their weapons in anger however, and so perhaps is the third figure in row one. That is quite a nice balance of poses, and we liked all of those here, which seem quite natural, although if the third man in the top row is using his spear in anger then we would ask why he is not looking at where he is pointing it!

The two horse poses seem to be at the trot and perhaps at the walk, and both are quite fair. Not a great range to be sure, but better done than many horses seen on this site. One of the names for these men, the hobilar, comes from the small but rugged Irish breed of horse which was ridden by earlier examples of such warriors, and these too seem quite small and so appropriate for such men. Technically riding like the originals, in Irish style, meant no saddle, bridle or stirrups, but these men have sensibly dispensed with that tradition and have normal saddles etc., as they should.

The sculpting is very nice, and in keeping with the rest of the Wars of the Roses range from RedBox. Detail is good, clothing folds naturally and even slender items are of a proper size. Finer detail like the texture of the mail and the faces is well done too, and there was only a very small amount of flash on our samples, with no excess plastic, thanks in part to some intelligent choice of poses for the spearmen. The men sit easily on their mounts too, so there is really nothing to complain about with the sculpting here.

RedBox have made a lot of progress with the quality of their offerings, and this one continues that fine trend. The figures are historically accurate, very nicely sculpted and produced with very little flash. The poses are good and reflect the wide range of tasks such men might perform, and even the horses are quite naturally done and appropriate. Added to that this is a subject not covered before, and you get a very appealing set which deserves to be at least on the margins if any diorama of a late medieval battle.

Ratings

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

Further Reading
Books
"Armies of the Middle Ages Volume 1" - Wargames Research Group - Ian Heath
"Bosworth 1485" - Osprey (Campaign Series No.66) - Christopher Gravett - 9781855328631
"Tewkesbury 1471" - Osprey (Campaign Series No.131) - Christopher Gravett - 9781841765143
"The Wars of the Roses" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.145) - Terence Wise - 9780850455205
"Weapons and Fighting Techniques of the Medieval Warrior" - Amber - Martin Dougherty - 9781906626068

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