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Set 8035

Roman Catapults

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 2000
Contents 48 figures and 4 catapults
Poses 10 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Tan and Gold
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)


The Romans used a number of artillery devices during the Punic Wars, but these seem mainly to have been provided by allies, or else were captures gained on Sicily as a result of the victory in the First Punic War. Some would have been large machines used particularly in sieges, but a much smaller and more portable weapon was the 'scorpion', an arrow-firing machine that could be operated by just one or two men, and is thought to have been capable of firing one or two bolts per minute with remarkable accuracy. It is this smaller device which we find in this set, along with a crew and some supporting troops.

The majority of the figures in this set are of hastati and velites, and were first released by HaT in set 8018 (see review for details). They would seem to be filler for the main weapon and crew here, so we will concentrate just of those figures that are unique to this set, which are a trooper wearing an animal skin and three crew.

The man with the animal skin has a ring hand into which can be plugged a vexillum, an aquila (both types of standard) or a horn. The peg method means he is not really holding the device at all, which may be adequate for wargames but looks odd on close inspection. He has nothing particularly to do with the catapult, so it seems HaT have taken the opportunity to include such a figure to expand their range generally, and while the pose itself is cumbersome, this is at least a useful figure for many a republican Roman force.

The three scorpion crew poses are all bare-headed and wear a mail corselet (lorica hamata). One is carrying a supply of arrows, another is intended to be putting tension in the machine and the third is directing operations. Since this type and size of machine only required two crew to operate it, these figures are sufficient for the job, though one might have expected them to be wearing their helmets as they would still have been on the battlefield.

Finally we have the catapult itself, the scorpion. It comes as three pieces that fit together very well without recourse to glue. The resulting machine is very nice and authentically recreates the machine as we currently believe it appeared. Of course you cannot adjust the elevation as the support is one piece, but the chosen angle looks reasonable.

One interesting feature of this set is that it is marked as '25mm' on the box. In fact it is the infantry figures from other sets, as shown on our top two rows, that are 25mm tall, making them noticeably taller than the rest of the HaT range, and taller than the scorpion crew. The crew are about 23mm tall, which is fine for 1/72 scale. It appears the rest are taller by mistake, and the '25mm' label was an attempt to accommodate this. Though the set has been padded out with figures from a previous set, the four new poses are very well done, and the catapult is excellent with simple construction and a very attractive end result.


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

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
"Fighting Techniques of the Ancient World" - Greenhill - Simon Anglim - 9781853675225
"Greece and Rome at War" - Greenhill - Peter Connolly - 9781853673030
"Greek and Roman Artillery 399BC - AD363" - Osprey (New Vanguard Series No.89) - Duncan Campbell - 9781841766348
"Republican Roman Army 200-104BC" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.291) - Nick Sekunda - 9781855325982
"Roman Military Equipment" - Oxbow - M C Bishop & J C Coulston - 9781842171592
"The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome" - Wargames Research Group - Phil Barker - 9780904417173
"The Complete Roman Army" - Thames & Hudson - Adrian Goldsworthy - 9780500051245
"The Roman Legions Recreated in Colour Photographs" - Crowood Press (Europa Militaria Special Series No.2) - Daniel Peterson - 9781861262646

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