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Set 8054

Italian Ally Cavalry

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 2003
Contents 12 mounted figures and 12 horses
Poses 4 poses, 2 horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Light Tan
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)


Carthage relied almost entirely on mercenaries and allies to fill its armies. These came from much of the ancient Mediterranean world, including parts of Italy not under the control of Rome, or which had at least temporarily escaped Roman domination. The Italian allies were particularly used during Hannibal's campaigns in Italy, and many proved to be good and loyal troops. Indeed Hannibal made a point of saying his war was with Rome, not all Italians, and the other Italian states would gain their freedom from Rome by assisting him. Ultimately Rome did triumph, after which of course these men fought with the Romans, so the figures in this set are appropriate for either side at different times.

All the figures in this set are armed with a spear. They carry no shield, which seems to have been normal, and they display the characteristics of their tribes. Their costume was influenced by many cultures, and there was no 'uniform' as such. However there were some particular features, and these appear in the set. The men wear tunics and helmets with a pair of feathers and in some cases a crest too. The feathers are really just simply strips of plastic which do not much resemble feathers, but since these are side on to the mould a plausible feather is quite impossible to sculpt, so these are as good as could be expected and do the job well enough. Some of the men also wear a cuirass, which in one case is of the common muscle type and in the other case bears the triple disc motif that identifies the man as a Samnite.

Such men are commonly depicted in ancient illustrations as riding bareback, although some historians say this was an artistic convention and not real practice, yet the horses in this set are done with no saddle or cloth. However they do have an armour plate on the face (a chanfron) and very decorative breastplate (poitrail or peytral). While such items are known to have existed, they were very expensive, and while not uncommon would not have been the norm. This applies also to the pair of upright feathers, though in this case they are easily removed if desired. The stance of both horses is very similar, and the riders fit their mounts well.

These are nice models with good detailed sculpting and little flash. The men sit well enough on the animals, and although all are quite straight-backed, there is a fair amount of action about the human poses. As can be seen, most of the weapons are separate, and fit into the ring hands quite well, which does give the poses an extra sense of depth which is most welcome.

The difficulty with this standard 4-man HaT format is in depicting a diverse group of warriors with so few poses. While these figures display good variety in the armour, the two horses do not provide sufficient variety to accurately reflect the likely appearance of a large body of this cavalry as they are too expensively decorated for many. Therefore while all the figures and horses are largely accurate, he have only given 8 accuracy points because of this problem (and the bareback horses). Still these are attractive figures, and like so many sets from HaT this was at the time the only set of figures for this subject, and was therefore infinitely preferable to no figures at all.


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

Further Reading
"Armies of Ancient Italy" - Pen & Sword - Gabriele Esposito - 9781526751850
"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
"Early Roman Armies" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.283) - Simon Northwood & Nicholas Sekunda - 9781855325135
"Hannibal and the Enemies of Rome" - Macdonald Educational - Peter Connolly - 9780356059051
"Hannibal's Army" - Andrea Press (Historical Warriors Series No.3) - Carlos Canales - 9788496527577

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