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Set VA135

Medieval Civilians/Ship Crew Set 2

All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 2010
Contents 8 figures
Poses 8 poses
Material Plastic (Very Hard)
Colours Grey
Average Height 25 mm (= 1.8 m)


Travelling on the seas has always been, and still is, a hazardous occupation. Before the age of GPS and radio communication, many sailors preferred to stay within sight of land as much as possible, but life on board was always hard. To add to the many perils of a sea voyage can be added cramped and filthy conditions, much hard work and little rest, and often extremely basic and poor food and water. Yet as the Middle Ages progressed trade gradually grew, and despite the hazards of storms and pirates, going by sea was often the safest and cheapest way of transporting people and goods. For some sailors the alternative was tilling the land for subsistence, so the adventure of going to sea seemed like an attractive alternative.

Looking at these figures as sailors, we find it hard to be convinced. On a sea voyage no one had the luxury of washing or shaving, and clothing was extremely utilitarian, so sailors would have presented a pretty unappealing sight. These men are mostly clean-shaved and quite reasonably dressed, so not quite what you would expect on a ship. Apart from a couple of men that are drinking all the poses are of men carrying jars and barrels, so while this would have happened at sea the impression is much more of a ship being loaded or unloaded, in which case the sailors are in port. This would make some sense as they might be relatively presentable at the very start of a voyage, although we still felt they were rather too neatly dressed for common sailors.

Sailors of course wore no uniform, and most had no specialist clothing. On a voyage they might need particularly warm clothing, but generally ordinary civilian clothing was the rule. Valdemar have sensibly covered themselves by also mentioning civilians in the title of the set, and this is much easier to accept. We still find them a little too smart for dock workers, but as merchants or their staff they look fine. Of course they do not need to have any connection with ships. These men could be moving goods around for all manner of reasons, and could be shop-keepers, tavern-owners or any number of other tradesmen. As such these figures are fine, and would make for an appealing medieval street scene.

The poses are mostly of men engaged in heavy work, and are really nicely done. The figures are bending into their work and really give a great impression of the strain involved in carrying their heavy load. There is no assembly of these men yet the poses are complex and utterly realistic, and are much better than any fixed steel mould can produce. While the clothing is simple it is still very well done in that the way it hangs is superb, and the same must be said of the faces of the men, each of which is full of character and a joy. As can be seen, many of the loads are separate, so the customer has some choice here, but as the figures do not come with any bases and are in a hard and inflexible material they are more display models than anything else. That is to take nothing away from them, however, as they are great figures. We are reluctant to agree with the labelling of sailors, particularly when at sea, but as more generic civilians we loved them.


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

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