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Coates & Shine

Set 8142

Indian Elephant

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 2007
Contents 6 figures and 2 elephants
Poses 3 poses, 1 elephant pose
Material Plastic (Fairly Soft)
Colours Light Tan
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)


It is not known exactly where elephants were first used in battle, but it is certain that the practice was widespread in ancient India. Virtually every ancient Indian army had these beasts - often in large numbers - although they were not without their problems. Also well trained infantry could usually overcome elephants if they were not afraid of them and knew how to handle them, yet they remained a prestigious element of a king’s might for centuries.

This set has much in common with the Macedonian Elephant also issued by this company. The elephant is very similar, but with a different head. It has a large caparison secured by a rope around the belly and a bell hanging from the neck. The model is an accurate representation of the Indian elephant, and comes in three parts - left side, right side and head - all of which fit together extremely well (with pegs) and do not require trimming or gluing.

In this case each animal has been provided with a crew of three, which is quite typical. The first man is the driver, and beside him is a man with some javelins and a bowman. These were the principal weapons used from an elephant and are all correctly done here. The costume of the figures is loose robes and cloth wound round the head, all of which are appropriate. There is no means of fixing the men to the animal’s back except by gluing, which means their positions can be varied or fewer men placed on board, which is great. Their stance fits the elephant’s back quite well so this is all very easy to put together.

The general standard of sculpting of both figures and elephant is pretty good, with good folds in the clothing, although two of the figures suffer from flattened noses. There is no flash to be found anywhere, which is just as well with the fairly soft plastic these are made in.

This is another very nicely turned out set which is probably designed with the campaigns of Alexander in mind but could equally be used for several centuries before that time. Elephant sets have become quite popular recently and this is another splendid offering from a company that have improved greatly of late.

This review states there are two of each man and elephant in the box, which is correct. However the initial batch of this set included three of each as it appeared the box could accommodate this. Shipping problems mean that future batches will revert to two per box, so those who buy initial boxes will have a bonus sprue.


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

Further Reading
"Alexander 334-323 BC" - Osprey (Campaign Series No.7) - John Warry - 9781855321106
"Ancient Armies" - Concord - Tim Newark and Angus McBride - 9789623616461
"Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars" - Wargames Research Group - Duncan Head - 9780950029948
"Military Costume and Accoutrements in Ancient India" - Manohar - Uma Prasad Thapliyal - 9788173049552
"War Elephants" - Osprey (New Vanguard Series No.150) - Konstantin Nossov - 9781846032684
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