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Set 24

Parthian Cataphracts 1

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released Unknown
Contents 2 foot figures, 5 mounted figures and 5 horses
Poses 5 poses, 2 horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Dark Grey
Average Height 22 mm (= 1.58 m)


Cataphracts were the very heavy cavalry of the Parthians, the shock troops that could exploit weaknesses and win the victory. This is the first of two sets from LW depicting these troops at the time of the battle of Carrhae which occurred in 53 BCE.

As can be seen above the set is very small, and like most LW sets it comes in a resealable plastic bag rather than a box. The two swordsman poses are almost identical, with differences being in the armour and helmet. The third man is holding a lance with both hands. The two foot figures are Roman prisoners.

The attempted detail is not bad and seems to match what is known about these men, who were completely covered in armour. However the sculpting is poor and it is difficult to make out some parts of the figures. Anatomically they are awkward and unrealistic, and little attempt has been made to make them match their horses. The gap between their legs is a lot less than the width of the horses, making it impossible to mount them without carving away much of the horse's saddle.

The lancer comes with a separate lance that is not shown above. This is because it is absolutely enormous, resembling a log rather than a weapon, and the man would not be able to get both hands round it, much less securely hold it and use it as a weapon. As well as looking ridiculous it does not fit in the man's hands, and is best discarded for a more delicate and accurate piece from elsewhere.

The two Romans are a nice touch, with one still wearing his armour, but the other stripped to his tunic. Both are bound, and are symbolic of the defeat suffered by the Romans at this battle. Again the sculpting is not good, and one man appears to be missing the top of his head, though this may be due to overzealous removal from the sprue at the factory.

All the figures had plenty of flash, and most included several bits of sprue that had not been removed beforehand. The horses in our review example were moulded in translucent grey plastic, ideal for disguising any detail or errors in sculpting, but making a pretty horrible looking figure.

The poses are poor, as is the sculpting. The men don't fit their horses and all require a lot of trimming. This is as poor an effort as we have yet come across, and we can think of no reason why anyone would want to possess this set of very small figures.

Note that many LW sets seem to have various horses in various proportions, so the horses and pose counts shown here may not always apply.


Historical Accuracy 7
Pose Quality 2
Pose Number 5
Sculpting 2
Mould 1

Further Reading
"Rome's Enemies (3) Parthians and Sassanid Persians" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.175) - Peter Wilcox - 9780850456882
"The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome" - Wargames Research Group - Phil Barker - 9780904417173
"Warriors of Eurasia" - Montvert - Mikhael V Gorelik - 9781874101079
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