El Viejo Dragón Miniaturas’ CG131 ‘Carthaginian Infantryman, Hannibal’s Army’ is a 54mm white metal figure sculpted by JR Arredondo. The figure is briefly described by the historical reference accompanying the kit as being a soldier from Hannibal’s army, prior to their crossing the Italian Alps.
This figure depicts a soldier serving in Hannibal’s Carthaginian army prior, or during, their crossing of the Italian Alps. While the soldier still carries equipment typical of Carthage’s African heavy infantry, he has acquired a number of items of clothing and equipment during his travels. In fact, so much so that he is barely recognisable as a Carthaginian.
Over a long-sleeved tunic and pair of trousers undoubtedly of Celtic origin, the infantryman wears a red short-sleeved tunic and Roman mail. Around his shoulders he wears a long travelling cloak, perhaps also of Celtic origin.
He is afforded further protection by a Boeotian type helmet and Samnite chest-protector (pectorale) of the trilobite variety. The principal decorative feature is a head of Minerva wearing a triple-crested helmet.
The infantryman bears the arms of characteristic of Carthage’s African heavy infantry. He carries a long pike and a sword at his waist. Given the length of the scabbard and the shape of the hilt it is possible that he has once again acquired it from an unfortunate Celt, as the Carthaginian’s typically carried the shorter Greek style sword.
In addition to these arms, the Carthaginian bears a bronze hoplite shield, the heavy Greek infantry shield known as the “hoplon”. Made out of wood covered with bronze, the hoplon was vital to the phalanx-style of combat that the Carthaginians adhered to, allowing for large numbers of men to form a shield wall and defend each other as they advanced toward the enemy. The shield is unpainted bronze and features a war elephant motif on the front.
What’s in the box?
The figure, cast in white metal, comes in a kit form consisting of ten (10) pieces, as well as a small cream coloured resin base. 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 A painting guide and short historical reference in Spanish and English is provided.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: The figure proper (excluding arms);
Left arm (excluding hand);
Right arm (excluding hand);
Sword in scabbard;
Pike spearhead; and
Pike shoe (or butt-spike).
Also included in the kit is a 76,5mm long section of brass rod. This represents the pike’s shaft.
The figure is generally very well sculpted, and the sculptor has achieved the classic pose quite well. The casting is excellent, with only very minor seams.
The figure proper is a single piece cast consisting of the head, torso, legs and the cloak blowing in the Alpine winds. This piece is as a whole well rendered. The face is well sculpted with a rather brooding expression. The Boeotian type helmet is very nicely and cleanly sculpted, and the horsehair plume is well textured and flows convincingly in the winds. The only flaw I can pick up with regards to the head is a miniscule seam line on the helmet amongst some of strands of the plume. This is indeed such a small flaw that I would have missed it had I not been looking with a critical eye.
The rest of the figure proper is similarly sculpted and cast: well detailed and cleanly cast. The infantryman’s cloak whips realistically in the wind, partially wrapping itself around his torso, with folds gathering in all the right places. The mail shirt is finely detailed, as is the Samnite chest-protector; however I do feel in places the pectorale requires more definition, for example the face of Minerva could be a bit more defined.
As I have mentioned, the casting on this figure is very clean. The only seam lines I could find were very fine ones that run down the right side of the figure along the cloak and barely visible seams along the legs. These are easily addressed with some fine grit sandpaper.
The right and left arms and hands are well sculpted and rendered, although the casting of the arms does not appear as clean as the torso. It appears the mould may have been slightly misaligned when casting the arms. That said it should not the modeller long to correct this.
The hands are very nicely rendered, and well-defined. The right hand is closed around a section of the haft of the pike, while the left hand lies open. The haft section enclosed by the right hand also features two pins for ease of fitting the brass rod (which will have to be split). The soft white metal top pin in my kit arrived slightly bent, and I unfortunately snapped it off while attempting to straighten it. I hope my mishap serves as a caution to other modellers.
The hoplon is a well detailed piece, although I suspect it may be (historically) slightly on the small side. I was also unable to confirm the accuracy of the motif, which features a war elephant. The shield is a cleanly cast piece and will require no further clean-up. The shield handle in my kit arrived slightly bent and will require correcting.
The final three white metal pieces, the long sword, pike spearhead and pike shoe, are fairly well detailed (as much as a spearhead and pike shoe can be detailed) and the casting requires only minor clean-up.
The resin groundwork/base provided with the kit is very neat, albeit somewhat plain. Modellers are definitely recommended to enhance the groundwork for better presentation.
EVD’s ‘Carthaginian Infantryman, Hannibal’s Army’ is a well sculpted figure in a classical pose. While many may think the classical pose as unanimated, it must be borne in mind that it is this very pose that appeals to figure painters as it best displays the figure and period dress.
I am a fan of this period, so I am probably a little biased, but I think this subject rather unique as well: I have not seen many Carthaginian infantry figures featured in so diverse a dress. In my opinion this figure displays the true scavenger nature of soldiers who have to do whatever it takes to survive.
The casting is very clean with only the odd bit of very light sanding required.
El Viejo Dragón Miniaturas’ ‘Carthaginian Infantryman, Hannibal’s Army’ is a well sculpted figure which, retailing at £11.99 (GBP) from El Greco Miniatures is competitively priced and less than similar offerings from more well-known brands. This good valued for money figure will make an attractive and interesting addition to any collection.
Historicus Forma thanks El Greco Miniatures, who supplied the sample on behalf of EVD for the purposed of this review.
The following references were used for this review: “Armies of the Carthaginian Wars 265-146BC”. Men-At-Arms Series 121.Terence Wise and Richard Hook. Osprey Publishing. 1993.
“The Punic Wars 264-146BC”. Essential Histories. Nigel Bagnall. Osprey Publishing. 2002.