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Set 061

Imperial Roman Centuriones

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 2024
Contents 40 figures
Poses 10 poses
Material Plastic (Fairly Hard)
Colours Grey
Average Height 24.5 mm (= 1.77 m)


Our reviews usually begin with some background to the subject of the set, but since you are reading this, the chances are that you already know what a Roman centurion is, so we will get straight to the most important point about this set.

Just occasionally you find a set that has that ‘Wow’ factor, that just looks fantastic as soon as you see it. This is one of those rare sets. The quality of these little figures is just stunning, with a level of detail to take your breath away, and the most natural and realistic poses you could imagine. What is even more amazing is all these figures are supplied as shown – there is no assembly required - yet everything is absolutely perfect, by which we mean the men hold their weapons and shields away from their body, their bodies are turned at all angles without any loss of detail, and really complex, three-dimensional objects like the helmet crests are perfect from all angles. We understand these have been 3D printed, so do not suffer from the usual constraints of a steel two-piece mould, but even 3D printed, we are amazed at the complexity of these figures. We do not review 3D printed figures on this site for the reasons explained on our page 3D Printed Figures and PSR, but this set is marketed in the usual fashion, with a set number of poses that are themselves fixed, and a proper cataloguing system, plus the material used has the feel and properties of a moderately hard plastic. Often 3D printed figures are made in a substance like resin, which means great detail but very brittle and fragile figures, yet those here arrived in the usual poly bag and box, with no extra protection, and all were undamaged. They are not short of thin, vulnerable parts like spears and canes, yet they seem to have no more chance of breakage than a traditional, softer plastic set. Finally, this set sells for the same price as other, traditional plastic sets of 40 figures in 10 poses, making it a far more realistic purchase than the very expensive 3D printed figures of the past.

So, having recovered from the impact of first seeing these figures, we now start to look at them in more detail. Although the title speaks of centurions, in fact only seven of the poses are actually centurions, as the first man in the top row is a tribune, and the last two in the second row are optiones. As usual, Linear-A have obligingly provided a detailed breakdown on the box of what each figure is, so here is the full list:

Row 1

  1. Tribune, 1st - 2nd Century
  2. Centurio XI Legion, Julio-Claudian Period, 14-64
  3. Centurio Legio XV, Apollinarius, 1st Century
  4. Centurio, 1st Century
  5. Centurio, Trajanic Period 98-117
Row 2

  1. Centurio, 1st - 2nd Century
  2. Centurio, 1st - 2nd Century
  3. Centurio Legio X Gemina, Antonine Period, 96-192
  4. Optio, 1st Century
  5. Optio, Legio XX Valeria Victrix, Britannia, 61

There were normally around six tribunes in a legion, with various roles, but they are generally described as equivalent to staff officers to the commanding legate. They were more senior than the centurions, but did not normally directly command troops in battle. Nevertheless this tribune is in full battle array as he wears a muscle cuirass, a belt with his sword on the right hip, leather pteruges round the shoulders and hips, breeches and short boots. He also wears a cloak, and holds his very ornate officer’s helmet in his hand. This is very typical of the garb of such an officer, and is all perfectly rendered here, particularly the cloak, which has so often been difficult to portray in sets we have reviewed in the past. His stance is passive, and he is perhaps watching events while the troops are doing their duties or perhaps even in combat, so for such a figure this pose is fine.

The next seven figures are of centurions (‘centuriones’ in Latin). Centurions were the backbone of any Roman legion; they each commanded a unit of about 80 men in the imperial period, and were generally experienced and resourceful men who controlled their unit and actively fought with them in the front line, sometimes resulting in higher casualty rates than for the legionnaires themselves. They wore the same basic costume as the men, but with the following very important exceptions. First, they had a transverse crest (side to side) on their helmets, easily highlighting their rank even in the midst of battle, and most of those in this set have this too. Next, they usually had their sword scabbard on their left hip rather than the right of the ordinary troops, and here all but one have theirs this way (figure three in the second row has his on the right, but it is unknown whether the placement of the sword was an absolute rule, so this may be reasonable). Another mark of rank was the greaves all these centurions wear on their legs, and it is thought that sometimes they might carry a different shield to their men, although here the three that have a shield carry the standard semi-cylindrical type, which is also very possible. The armour of these men is either mail or scale, and all have the leather harness on the chest displaying the various torcs and phalerae which further identified their elevated status. Some also have one or more armbands (armillae) visible, which is a great extra detail. The first of the centurions is distinguished by wearing a corona civica, or civic crown, which was a very high honour awarded to a citizen who had saved the life of another citizen (also often worn by emperors, sometimes with less justification). The other interesting element to highlight is that the third figure in row two has articulated segmented armour down both arms, a standard of protection usually associated with the Dacian Wars, where they might meet the fearsome falx (although having both arms covered does imply he is not holding a shield, which seems odd). Overall there are no problems with accuracy on any of these figures, based on the information that has come down to us, mainly from tombstones.

The last two men are optiones, who were second-in-command to the centurion and would take over should the centurion be incapacitated. Their main job in battle was to be stationed behind the troops to keep them in order and in the fight, and they had many roles assisting the centurion at other times. The two here are dressed and kitted more like the rest of the men, although both have magnificent crests, which at times might have marked them out from the rest of the troops. Otherwise, their appearance was much like the troops, and like the rest of the set, they have the helmet usually described as imperial gallic or imperial italic. Unlike the centurions however, both men wear the form of armour now known as lorica segmentata, and the front ‘apron’ of leather straps known as the cingulum rather than pteruges. Also both wear a cloak, which obscures much of their outfit.

Another very important symbol of the authority of the centurion was the right to carry the vine staff (vitis), which several here have in their hand. The equivalent for the optio was the hastile, which was a cane that was about the same length as the height of the man, but here the second optio seems to carry a much shorter one which has more decoration (perhaps a misunderstanding of the FeR Miniatures 1/12 scale resin bust?). One man holds a rather large pilum, and several have drawn their sword, all of which look good.

The poses are sublime and completely natural, but are for the most part in passive positions. As we have said, centurions were very much in the thick of the fighting, so some combat poses would have been welcome, but the closest here is the first figure in the second row, who looks like he is shouting encouragement or orders at someone. However, centurions spent most of their time away from battle, just like any troops, and sometimes even fulfilled roles away from the legion entirely, so we can have no complaints about any of these beautiful poses.

We have already gushed about the outstanding sculpting here, which obviously sets a completely new standard in the hobby for mass-produced figures. We assume the figures were designed in a computer, but however it was done, the sculpting is wonderful and worth the purchase price by itself. That the figures were made as they are is just a bonus, and of course there is absolutely no flash, no excess plastic, and definitely no compromises. The tiniest details such as on the greaves and the shields are all amazing, and with no mould to worry about, no detail is missing anywhere. Also of course, there is no sprue, so the figures are ready to go straight out of the box!

We were blown away by these figures, as you can probably tell. Outstanding in every regard, all we can say is they come with our very highest recommendation!


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

Further Reading
"Arms and Armour of the Imperial Roman Soldier" - Frontline - Raffaele D'Amato - 9781848325128
"Roman Centurions 31 BC-AD 500" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.479) - Raffaele D'Amato - 9781849087957
"Roman Legionary AD 69 - 161" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.166) - Ross Cowan - 9781780965871
"The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome" - Wargames Research Group - Phil Barker - 9780904417173
"The Complete Roman Army" - Thames & Hudson - Adrian Goldsworthy - 9780500051245
"The Roman Legions Recreated in Colour Photographs" - Crowood Press (Europa Militaria Special Series No.2) - Daniel Peterson - 9781861262646

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