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Set 8022

Celtic Cavalry

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 1999
Contents 12 mounted figures and 12 horses
Poses 4 poses, 2 horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Light Tan, Silver and Gold
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)


The Celts provided large numbers of men for the armies of Carthage during the Punic Wars, and while most of these were on foot, some wealthier noble Celts were mounted warriors, as in many societies. Such men were a part of any substantial Celtic army, and were sufficiently impressive to be employed as mercenaries by not only the Carthaginians, but later by the Romans too, so a set of Celtic cavalry such as this has several uses.

The main Celtic weapons were the sword and spear, and the four poses in this set are suitably armed with both in most cases. Three of the four figures are wearing mail, an expensive item that was generally only available to the better off nobility, so makes sense on such figures. The style shown here is one known to have been used by these men, with a cape-like piece over the corselet. They all wear helmets of different design, but all correct for the period. The Celts often seem to have put ornate objects on their helmets, and the plume, horns and even the bird are all known to have been used. However such complicated items, particularly the bird, would have been very unusual, so if a large unit is to be made up with these figures then most should have the decoration removed. It remains a matter of debate how much of the Celtic cavalry wore armour, or carried shields, so while authentic, it is hard to say if this small group is representative of a Celtic cavalry troop at any given moment in history.

All the shields are moulded with the figures, which avoids problems with fitting but forces some compromise with the shield arm - in all cases the elbow is unnaturally held high in the air. All are undecorated except for the spine, which gets our approval, though apparently the shield was usually held with the spine horizontal.

The human poses are all reasonable if rather flat and a bit stiff. However this is not unusual in cavalry figures, and if they don't have the energy of the painting on the box then they are all at least perfectly useful. The two horse poses are both properly fitted out with a four-pommel saddle and decorations hanging from the harness, though sometimes the severed heads of previous victims were also hung in this way. All the poses look reasonable, and the riders fit their mounts well enough.

Detail on these men is reasonable, as is the sculpting, and though there is some flash it is no more than on most other sets. The limited number of poses means large formations of these figures tend to look too regimented, when in fact a Celtic charge was often a wild mass of men, but these figures, though a little smaller, work well with the Italeri Celtic Cavalry. Of course in general these figures would represent the more well off members of Celtic military society, and would be more typical in the later part of the period, but they would certainly have a place in many a battle from perhaps the start of the third century BCE to around the time that they became increasingly part of the forces of the Roman Empire.


Historical Accuracy 9
Pose Quality 7
Pose Number 6
Sculpting 8
Mould 8

Further Reading
"Alesia 52BC" - Osprey (Campaign Series No.269) - Nic Fields - 9781782009221
"Ancient Celts" - Concord - Tim Newark & Angus McBride - 9789623616232
"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
"Hannibal and the Enemies of Rome" - Macdonald Educational - Peter Connolly - 9780356059051
"Hannibal's Army" - Andrea Press (Historical Warriors Series No.3) - Carlos Canales - 9788496527577
"Lake Trasimene 217 BC" - Osprey (Campaign Series No.303) - Nic Fields - 9781472816313
"Rome's Enemies (2) Gallic and British Celts" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.158) - Peter Wilcox - 9780850456066
"The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome" - Wargames Research Group - Phil Barker - 9780904417173

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