LogoTitle Text Search



Set 6029

Celtic Cavalry

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 2001
Contents 15 mounted figures, 2 foot figures, 15 horses
Poses 5 poses, 3 horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Light Tan
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)


The great strength of the Celts lay in their infantry, but they were also accomplished horsemen, and the cavalry played a more important role as time went on. The Celts provided much of the cavalry for Carthage during the Punic wars, and later did the same for the Romans.

Italeri usually provide a decent number of poses in their sets, but not here. Three poses is very poor, and greatly limits what can be achieved with this set, though in themselves they are reasonable. One man carries a sword, and another a spear (held in a ring hand). Both are standard Celtic weapons, but the axe held by the third figure is not a normal weapon for these men, and certainly does not justify representing one third of the whole cavalry as it does here. The spearman has a small carnyx horn on his back, which again means one third of any unit of these figures would have such a device, which is ridiculous. If manufacturers are to make very few poses, at least they should make them as standard and generic as possible, not as has been done here.

All three warriors wear trousers and one also wears a cloak. So far so good, but one figure wears a decorated cuirass, and while such an item has been found it is thought it was for ceremonial only - the only armour worn in battle was mail. Two of the men wear a helmet, which is reasonable as these men would have been nobles or at least the wealthier members of the tribe. Many different styles of helmet were worn by the Celts, including the ones sculpted here, horns and all. The third man has no helmet, but has washed his hair in lime to stiffen it, and this has been well represented.

Two of the figures have pegs on their hands to hold separate shields. Both round and hexagonal shields are provided (both shapes are thought to have been used by cavalry), and these are engraved with patterns that are appropriate, but they fit too loosely on the pegs, so gluing and care are required.

The three horses in the set have a mixture of horse furniture, but only one has a saddle. Since stirrups were not yet invented, stability on horseback was achieved with a saddle with four pommels, yet only one horse has this saddle, and there is only one of this horse in a set!. Since the warriors are not holding on to any part of the horse, they would find it difficult to fight effectively on these animals. Also the riders do not grip the horses in the way Italeri cavalry usually do, though they fit well enough and will stay put if glued.

During the early part of the period it is thought the Celts often rode into battle, then dismounted to fight. This may have been the reason Italeri included two foot warriors in this set, though with only two figures in total they seem more of a filler for the sprue. The same comments apply to them as to their mounted comrades - reasonably dressed, but one carries an axe, and the shields fit poorly.

For the Romans, one of the defining characteristics of Celtic warriors was the torc almost all wore round their neck - the metal used denoting the wealth and status of the individual. However only two of the five poses clearly have such a device. This and other accuracy flaws are a real shame, because the quality of the sculpting is excellent, with good detail, perfect anatomy and no flash. However the small number of poses and the historical errors make this about as poor a set as Italeri have ever produced.


Historical Accuracy 4
Pose Quality 7
Pose Number 3
Sculpting 10
Mould 10

Further Reading
"Ancient Celts" - Concord - Tim Newark & Angus McBride - 9789623616232
"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
"Celtic Warrior 300 BC-AD 100" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.30) - Stephen Allen - 9781841761435
"Celtic Warriors" - Blandford - Tim Newark - 9780713716900
"Rome's Enemies (2) Gallic and British Celts" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.158) - Peter Wilcox - 9780850456066

Site content © 2002, 2009. All rights reserved. Manufacturer logos and trademarks acknowledged.