The heavier cavalry of the Persian Empire were generally recruited from the nobility, and were a significant part of the army. This set depicts the most heavily armoured men, which were probably a fairly small minority within the total cavalry force but the most impressive in appearance. With their expensive armour and the best of horses, they would be expected to deliver the crushing blow to win the victory on the battlefield.
All four of the men in this set are armed with javelins, with one being thrown during the charge and the second either thrown or used as a thrusting weapon, as seen on the third figure. The poses are the standard selection for troops armed in this way, and are all perfectly reasonable. Only the third figure has anything other than a straight back, so there is not much animation here, but these do give a fair representation of how such men carried and then discharged their weapons, although it would have been nice to see someone using a sword, axe or knife in close-quarter combat.
There is insufficient evidence to draw any certain conclusions about the normal appearance of Persian cavalry, but from what material there is these figures are correctly attired. They all wear armour and helmets, including thigh guards, and have a personal weapon on their left hip. There is no evidence to suggest any particular uniformity in appearance, so the mixed styles shown here are appropriate. However there must be some doubt as to the widespread use of the leg guards every man here has. There is simply not enough evidence to know how common these were, but some have suggested they were not particularly widespread, so perhaps one or two of these poses could have been given ordinary leggings, though these do make the figures look more impressive.
The two horses are apparently trotting or walking, although we were not convinced by the position of the legs on the first beast - too much high steps as if in dressage. Neither are at full charge, but then no horse can long maintain full speed while carrying an armoured man such as these, so much of a charge would have been at the trot until the enemy was near. These animals have no saddle or stirrups, which is correct, but they do have a saddle cloth and some armour across the chest. The Persians experimented with such armour, and armour of this type is known to have been used by the heavies, so everything here is authentic. Again however there is much doubt as to how widespread such horse armour was, since it was naturally expensive. Of course, should you wish to mix these up with unarmoured horses then you can get animals from the other HaT Persian cavalry sets, so this really is not an issue. These horses also have some protection on the head, their tails have been tied in the correct fashion, and the saddle clothes are accurate too.
The standard of sculpting is up to the usual HaT standard, with plenty of detail. The thigh guards and breastplates are textured as scale armour, which is the most likely form of armour, and the facial hair is nicely sculpted as well. Two of the figures have ring hands for the separate javelins, and these fit very well. There is almost no flash, and the men fit the horses well.
This is another good quality and workmanlike set from HaT to add to their growing Persian range. While the poses are not exciting there is nothing incorrect about any of them, and the costume and armour are all authentic too. Those wanting rather less armoured men to mix up their ranks could find them in the HaT medium cavalry set, so even if these are not a perfect representation of all heavy cavalrymen that can be resolved and everything here is correct and well produced.