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Set 8021

Roman Cavalry

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 1999
Contents 12 mounted figures and 12 horses
Poses 4 poses, 2 horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Tan and Gold
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)


Punic War Roman cavalry is not well documented, so we cannot be sure of their appearance. However the cavalry were recruited from the upper class, which could afford horses, and probably already owned and could ride them. Consequently, they would have been well equipped.

The four poses in this set wear a variety of costume as you would expect. Several helmet types are shown, each with its own arrangement of decoration. Two of the figures wear a mail shirt and the rest have 'muscle' cuirasses. The latter is probably more likely to have been seen in the first Punic War, whereas the former was the norm in the second and third.

The javelin, spear and sword mix is authentic, although the swords seem rather too short and all the weapons are somewhat simplified. Cavalry swords were noticeably longer than the infantry ones as their reach needed to be greater for a mounted man. All shields are part of the man rather than separate, and are of the two types normally associated with Roman cavalry of the republic. Two are of the 'Greek' style, with a central boss and a reinforcing spine, while the remainder are simple circular shields with an inner ring. This latter design is something of a mystery, but is perhaps an attempt to depict the early style of shield known as the popanum, as depicted on the lacus curtius relief for example. However if this is the intent then the result is quite poor as the boss should have a channel round it, and the whole shield should have a more complex shape. It is thought that the Greek style was the most common, so perhaps three of the four poses should have been given the Greek shield anyway.

The two horses are nicely sculpted, and include a cloth but no saddle in the modern sense, which is correct for the period. However we did not like the first pose, with both left legs on the ground and both right well in the air.

Some elements of detail are missing, such as the means by which the men are holding their shield. The casting is average, with some flash round the seam, but nothing too serious. Textures such as the mail are nicely realised. The poses are quite flat, and every man has a nice straight back, so not particularly exciting figures to look at.

This is a fair set but fails to impress when compared to later products such as the set from Zvezda.


Historical Accuracy 9
Pose Quality 7
Pose Number 6
Sculpting 8
Mould 8

Further Reading
"Armies of the Carthaginian Wars 265-146 BC" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.121) - Terence Wise - 9780850454307
"Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars" - Wargames Research Group - Duncan Head - 9780950029948
"Greece and Rome at War" - Greenhill - Peter Connolly - 9781853673030
"Republican Roman Army 200-104BC" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.291) - Nick Sekunda - 9781855325982
"The Complete Roman Army" - Thames & Hudson - Adrian Goldsworthy - 9780500051245

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