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Set VA111

Medieval Hunting Party

All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 2010
Contents 12 figures, 7 horses, 5 dogs, 1 hart and 1 boar
Poses 12 poses, 4 horse poses, 5 dog poses
Material Plastic (Very Hard)
Colours Grey
Average Height 25 mm (= 1.8 m)


To the aristocracy of medieval Europe hunting was a very important aspect of their lives. They had no need to hunt for food, but hunting was a pastime which also honed useful martial skills like weapons handling and horsemanship, encouraged important social links and was a very visible sign of their wealth and power. The poor too might sometimes hunt, but they hunted small animals for the most part, often for the pot, and lacked the means to engage in the large hunts of the ruling classes. With horses, hounds and hawks, the contents of this set are very much concerned with the hunting of the higher orders, which remained popular throughout the medieval period.

Valdemar tell us that this set is in effect three different sets combined. The first is of a hunting party on the way to a hunt, the second is the chasing of a hart and the third the killing of a boar. As a result we have a wide range of figures engaged in most aspects of the hunt, and while the multiple-scene approach means not all the figures make sense when put together, this is no different to many sets of figures and the subject is at least covered in some depth.

The foot figures are of course not the aristocracy themselves but their servants etc. The three with empty hands seem to be handling the dogs via leads which are not supplied, while one man is casually walking with a crossbow on his shoulder, which is securely wrapped up against the elements. Another is using his horn, which was a necessary means of communication over the wide area of a hunt. None of these figures have bases, so will need to be provided with some to make them stand unaided.

The mounted figures are the elite taking part in the hunt, although some could be specialists employed to help run some elements of the hunt. All are dressed appropriately for the medieval period, and all have the higher parts of the saddle as part of them, which makes sense. The two ladies in the third row (yes, women hunted too) are of course riding sidesaddle, as was thought only proper for such women. Their long dresses made the more traditional position extremely difficult, and it was considered unbecoming for a lady to sit astride a horse. However sidesaddle meant the rider had little control over the animal before the advent of suitable saddles at the end of the Middle Ages, so such ladies’ mounts should be being led by someone on foot. Of particular interest is the first lady, who has a hawk or falcon on her arm, hooded and waiting for the moment to begin its work. We could not make out what if anything this lady has on her head. Certainly it would be most unusual for a lady to be seen bare-headed in public like this.

Next we have the horses, an indispensible part of any hunt. Again they have no bases, but the poses are pretty good, and certainly benefit from a flexible mould, as do all quadrupeds. This includes the quarry – a splendid hart and an equally impressive boar. Both were popular subjects for a hunt, and both have been very nicely realised here.

Finally we come to the hounds, another vital element of all large hunts. Dog breeds have changed dramatically over recent centuries as mankind has genetically altered animals based on aesthetic and utilitarian requirements, so it is something of a meaningless exercise to try and attribute these animals to modern breeds. Sufficed to say all these animals are very muscular, although clearly they are of more than one breed, so these are heavy animals suitable for hunts of the largest prey such as those in this set. Luckily dogs of many breeds were used on different types of hunt, but these all look fine and, again, are exceptionally well posed with legs in the right places, something rigid steel moulds cannot easily provide.

All the figures are superbly sculpted, with a very natural look to the clothing and nicely expressive faces. Separate spears are provided for those with ring hands, and these are elegant and thin, which is great except they are particularly prone to breakage as the set is made in a very hard resin/plastic compound. The same goes for some other extremities such as horses tails, so some care is needed. The musculature of the animals is also very impressive, and there is no flash, while the flexible mould means the poses are lovely and three-dimensional with no loss of detail anywhere.

This then is a great set which represents an important part of life for the landed classes in medieval Europe. Clearly intended as display pieces rather than the more robust figures we usually review, they deliver a really nice collection of models which would grace any medieval diorama.


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

Further Reading
"A Pictorial History of Costume" - Dover - Wolfgang Bruhn and Max Tilke - 9780486435428
"The Chronicle of Western Costume" - Thames & Hudson - John Peacock - 9780500511510

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