LogoTitle Text Search



Set M021(2)

Dacian Heavy Infantry

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 2009
Contents 48 figures
Poses 12 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Brown
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)


Dacia was a kingdom of north Thracian tribes that benefited from many natural resources, of which gold was much the most tempting. In the early second century CE the Roman economy was is difficulties, and the time seemed right for the subjugation of Dacia and the release of its wealth for Rome's use. Numerous Dacian raids on Roman territory provided the excuse, but it took two long hard campaigns before the Dacian king was finally defeated.

Although Dacia was wealthy that wealth was largely in the hands of the aristocracy and the king, who delighted in showing off their wealth when the opportunity presented itself. In war they were the only ones able to afford armour and fine swords, and so it is they that are presented in this set. Nearly all the figures have body armour of either mail or scale construction, while every man also has a helmet. Both armour and helmets are of many designs, being sometimes obtained by trade or conquest as well as domestic production. The helmets are particularly varied, with some of typically Phrygian style, but all resemble ones depicted on Trajan's column and are therefore likely to be accurate. All wear trousers under their tunics, and some have extremely narrow cloaks too.

Some carry the typical Dacian weapons such as spears, axes, javelins and even a club, but most possess the high status sword. The sword is properly done but several of the figures have contrived to have their scabbard hanging over their groin, where it would severely impede their movement on the battlefield as well as being uncomfortable.

The poses are fairly good, although the second figure in the top row is holding his shield in a strange position. The last figure in the third row is similarly unusual, and is also holding his falx almost half way along the weapon, which would be both inefficient and likely to be slicing his hand apart. As so often we have a couple of figures holding their swords over the centre of their heads, which is both pointless and extremely hard to do given the limits of the human shoulder, but what we are really saying is some of the poses are quite flat. However we have seen worse and they are all at least quite usable.

This retooling replaced the first type of this set, which was pretty poor in terms of quality of sculpting, and the improvement is obvious. There is plenty of detail here, and while it is often not fine or as slender as it should be, nevertheless it is far better than the first type, as is the general proportions of the figures. This set is on a par with the better sets Strelets have produced in the past, with some nice faces and good if rather chunky representation of armour. The only separate part is the spear for the last figure in the first row, which fits with a little encouragement, and there is no flash, while the only noticeable ridge between the moulds appears on some of the shields.

The numbers of this type of warrior in a Dacian army would be few as most could not afford such fine material of war. We were a little uncomfortable with the notion that such wealthy soldiers would take to the battlefield with a club or a javelin, but both these poses also carry a sword which helps to cement their high status. These are nicely done figures and scattered through the army will add greatly to the overall impression, and certainly make the Romans think twice.


Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 7
Pose Number 8
Sculpting 7
Mould 9

Further Reading
"Rome's Enemies: Germanics and Dacians" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.129) - Peter Wilcox - 9780850454734
"The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome" - Wargames Research Group - Phil Barker - 9780904417173

Site content © 2002, 2009. All rights reserved. Manufacturer logos and trademarks acknowledged.