El Viejo Dragón Miniaturas’ CG128 ‘Celtic horn-player, Northern Italy, IVth Century BC’ is a 54mm white metal figure sculpted by JR Arredondo. The figure is featured climbing a hill or mountain, possibly the Alpsvon the advance to sack Rome, carrying a plain long horn.
This figure features a Celtic horn-player of Northern Italian origin advancing up a hill or mountain – possibly the Alps.
While the figure is suitably attired for any high-ranking (perhaps even noble) Celt – he bears a sword suspended from an iron or bronze chain around his waist, wears a gold torc around his neck, and is clean-shaven apart from the long moustache – the most distinguishing aspects of this figure are undoubtedly the Negau style helmet he wears and the rather plain horn he carries.
The warrior wears a helmet of the type discovered at Negau in Yugoslavia. This one is fitted with a transverse crest – the two serpents or dragons. The rim contains a template with spaced holes to accept the stitches of a lining, keeping the headpiece rim at ear level, well up on the skull. This helmet also has a chin strap fixed.
The warrior carries a plain long horn, which makes for a nice change from the stereotypical great Celtic war trumpet known as a carnyx.
Lastly, he carries a round ‘cavalry’ shield, decorated in his own individual style. Generally Celtic ‘infantry’ shields were oval or an elongated hexagon in shape. His hand is protected by a hollow wooden boss that extends into the central spine of the leather covered oak or lime wood shield. The spine itself is reinforced by a bronze or iron boss plate.
What’s in the box?
The figure, cast in white metal, comes in a kit form consisting of seven (7) pieces, as well as a small cream coloured resin base and a small strip of modelling foil. The kit is packaged in a medium weight cardboard box, with the figure’s parts inside a zip-lock bag, wrapped in a small section of bubble-wrap. A painting guide and short historical reference in Spanish and English is provided.
The figure consists of the following white metal parts: Head
Torso and right leg
Left leg bent at the knee
Left arm (shield arm)
Right arm carrying the horn
Sword sheathed in scabbard
Large round shield
The figure is generally very well sculpted, and the sculptor has achieved a nice sense of flow and movement. The casting, although with minor flaws, is generally very good and clean.
Something that I liked was the inclusion of fitment pins on the parts. Unfortunately only the left leg found its counterpart on the torso. The other holes seemed to not have been drilled or cast, thus leaving this task to the modeller. The alternative, of course, is simply to remove the pins, but this may make part placement a bit more difficult.
The head is nicely sculpted with solid facial expressions. Judging from my references the Negau style helmet looks quite accurate, although some may argue that it is not conical enough. The horns are a nice touch. The casting of the head is excellent. There was only a very light casting line along the sides of the helmet – nothing a light rub of fine grit sandpaper will not clear up.
The torso, left leg and left arm are well sculpted. Folds in the clothing gather realistically for the figure’s pose. There is only a light casting line on both the inside and outer legs, nevertheless this is nothing a light rub of fine grit sandpaper will not solve.
The right arm and horn are as the rest of the parts, nicely rendered. Two loops have been sculpted onto the horn so that the modeller might add a leather belt to it. EVD have thoughtfully provided a small piece of modelling foil so that the modeller might add this extra detail.
The sword and shield are well detailed – the sword in particular. The sword is also very cleanly cast. The shield will require a small amount of gentle sanding around the edge, as this is a bit rough and in places has a fairly visible seam line.
The resin groundwork/base provided with the kit is very neat. Like the rest of the kit is cleanly sculpted, well rendered and textured, and very cleanly cast – indeed there is not a blemish in sight.
EVD’s ‘Celtic horn-player, Northern Italy, IVth Century BC’ is a well sculpted figure which sets itself apart from other similar figures with individual nuances. The casting is generally very clean with only light sanding required. Although the lack of pin holes was a tad disappointing, it should be within the basic skills of the average modeller to drill these.
El Viejo Dragón Miniaturas’ ‘Celtic horn-player, Northern Italy, IVth Century BC’ is a well sculpted figure which, retailing at £11.99 (GBP) from Greco Miniatures is competitively priced and less than similar offerings from more well-known brands (the amount varies between brands) and most definitely provides good value for money.
Historicus Forma thanks El Greco Miniatures, who kindly supplied the sample on behalf of El Viejo Dragón Miniaturas for the purposed of this review.
The following references were used for this review: “Ancient Celts”. Tim Newark and Angus McBride. Concord Publications Company. 1997.
“Rome’s Enemies 1 – Germanics and Dacians”. Men-At-Arms Series 129. Peter Wilcox and GA Embleton. Osprey Publishing. 1994.
“Rome’s Enemies 2 – Gallic and British Celts”. Men-At-Arms Series 158. Peter Wilcox and Angus McBride. Osprey Publishing. 1995.
“Celtic Warrior 300BC – AD100”. Warrior 30. Stephen Allen and Wayne Reynolds. Osprey Publishing. 2001.