by: Costas Rodopoulos [ ]
Originally published on:
Korean Seil Model’s range of figures does cover a wide spectrum of eras already The latest releases show this .One of them is Sh-54019 is a nice Knght Hospitaller sculpted by Tomas Castano – Armorama - member
Seil’s pretty effective and classy boxing is here as usual . A luxurious black sturdy hard carton box, with 2 thick dark grey sheets of protective foam hold all 14 white metal pieces of the figure. Outside of this a dark glossy paper sleeve with 3 different pictures of the painted boxart, makes the final wrapping.
Whenever you open a Seil Model figure kit you are amazed by the shiny metal surface of all pieces . The quality of the metal parts is really in top standards, with smooth surface, and no cleaning need , than a pet with the fine steel wool to polish even more the figure. Almost invinsible moldlines will disappear at first touch .
There is also a paper sheet included with 4 printed photographs of all sides of the figure and there are more of them on the web site of the company.
Torso and right arm
Right hand with spear
1 Head covered and one uncovered
Left hand holding helmet
Sword in Scabbard
2 pieces of leather belt
2 pieces for the base – scenery
Quality and Detail
The pose is static with the shield left down
Sculpting level is high , and “clean” . All items are clearly defined from the others and the lines of the figure are nice. The criss crossed overcoat is nicely rendered Folds are few but well putted . The kit offers 2 different heads. One uncovered with the classic mediaeval style and another one covered with the internal clothe .Rest of equipment like spear , sword and helmet are beautifully sculpted .
Dry fit showed that he pieces match perfectly and you will not have any kind of assembly problems
This is not a very hard to paint figure , as it is almost single colored with some pieces of chain mail armor on arms and feet .There are many options for alternative painting schemes , than the boxart , but I really like the red overall and I would happily pain that.
Good thing is that sculpting is so clean and defined that will help u in all points of our effort.
I don’t know if I would do something more for thr base than the company offers. It’s a nice piece of scenery , but you can always come with something more complicated if u like to !
Conclusion – Final Verdict
One more Seil beautiful 54mm figure with nice quality of material ,and interesting themes from skilled Tomas Castano . This, could be even your first figure to paint with some care. And it would be a beauty !
Special Thanks to Seil Model for the review sample
Stay tuned for more SEIL Models figures to be reviewed soon
Historical Notes - Sources
Knights Hospitalers, members of the military and religious Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, sometimes called the Knights of St. John and the Knights of Jerusalem. The symbol of the Order of St. John came to be a white cross worn on a black robe; thus the Hospitalers were the Knights of the White Cross, in contradistinction to the Knights Templars, the Knights of the Red Cross. The Maltese cross has been used by various secret organizations, which have been falsely alleged to have a connection with the Knights of St. John.
The Knights in the Holy Land and on Cyprus
Early in the 11th cent. the increasing number of pilgrimages to the holy city of Jerusalem led some Italian merchants to obtain from the city's Muslim rulers the right to maintain a Latin-rite church there. In connection with this church a hospital for ill or infirm pilgrims was established. When the Crusaders took Jerusalem, the master of the hospital was Gerard de Martignes, who created a separate order, the Friars of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. In 1113, Pope Paschal II recognized the order.
The object of the order was to aid the pilgrims, and it soon became apparent that military protection was necessary. Gerard's successor, Raymond du Puy, reconstituted the order as a military one. The members were divided into three classes—the knights of justice, who had to be of noble birth and had to be knights already; the chaplains, who served the spiritual needs of the establishment; and the serving brothers, who merely carried out orders given them.
Besides these, there were the honorary members called donats, who contributed estates and funds to the order. The Hospitalers obtained a great income through gifts, and the necessity of caring for their estates led to the formation of subsidiary establishments all over Europe, the preceptories.
The knights took part in the major crusading campaigns, notably the capture (1154) of Ascalon. When Jerusalem fell (1187) to the Muslims, the Hospitalers established themselves at Margat and then (1189) at Acre. The subsequent period was marked by rivalry with the Knights Templars and by military failure. Meanwhile, the hospital work of the order went on. In 1291 the knights were driven from the Holy Land by the fall of Acre and established themselves in Cyprus. They continued to combat the Muslims but now by sea rather than by land; the Hospitalers became the principal agents of convoys for pilgrims. Cyprus, however, was not the ideal place for the establishment, and the grand master, William de Villaret, planned the conquest of Rhodes from the Saracens, a conquest achieved by his brother and successor, Fulk (or Foulques) de Villaret in a special crusade (1308–10).
On the Island of Rhodes
The order grew stronger on Rhodes. They had received some benefit from the dissolution of the Knights Templars, and the wealth of their grand priories all over Europe had greatly increased. To some extent, at least, the change was accompanied by a decline in moral standards. The Knights of Rhodes, as they came to be known, maintained their reputation as fighting men. In 1344 the knights, with the Genoese, retook Smyrna and held it for a short time. In 1365, in conjunction with the king of Cyprus, they captured Alexandria, which, however, they were unable to retain.
The island of Rhodes was an important strategic point, and the Turks on their advance after the capture of Constantinople determined to take it. A heroic episode in medieval military history was the successful defense of Rhodes by the grand master, Pierre (later Cardinal) d'Aubusson, against the forces sent by Sultan Muhammad II. But the knights could not summon the means to resist indefinitely, and in 1522 the grand master Philippe de L'Isle Adam was forced to capitulate. The knights wandered homeless until in 1530 Holy Roman Emperor Charles V conferred upon them the sovereignty of the island of Malta.
The Knights of Malta
Malta became the fixed home of the order and gave its name to the knights. Under Jean de La Valette they built the great fortifications and defended the island against the Turks in 1565. Meanwhile, the Protestant Reformation had dealt a severe blow to the order. It refused to yield to Henry VIII in England, and the English branch was suppressed. In Malta the order continued to live in fear of the Turks. The city of Valetta was built, and, as in Rhodes, the rule of the order was beneficial. The battle of Lepanto (1571) checked the Turks in the Mediterranean and a time of relative quiet began.
The hospital at Malta was the equal of any in Europe, and the knights continued their charitable work. There was some reorganization of the order, and admission became more and more a test of nobility of birth.
The order received its death blow when Napoleon Bonaparte on his Egyptian campaign took Malta (1798). The knights were compelled to leave. They chose Czar Paul of Russia as grand master by an illegal election, which was later validated. Many of the knights went to St. Petersburg. Thus a Roman Catholic order, with the permission of the pope, passed under the rule of an Orthodox emperor. The order was practically at an end. Admiral Nelson took Malta, and although by earlier agreement the island was to be returned to the knights, it was by the Congress of Vienna permanently ceded to Great Britain.
After Paul's death there was a period of some indecision and deliberation. The pope named Tommasi as grand master; in 1802 he became the last regular head of the order, which moved to Catania. After 1805 the knights had no regular head and the fraternity continued but had little more than nominal existence in Catania, then Ferrara, then Rome. The reestablishment of the grand priory in conjunction with the efforts of some French Hospitalers who had attempted to revive the order in France took place in 1827, but the reconstituted order had no organic connection with the old order.
In 1879 the pope restored the office of grand master, but the reconstructed order that resulted has little relation to the old Knights of Malta. It is a charitable organization especially devoted to the care of the sick and the wounded. It expanded considerably, and in 1926 an association was founded in the United States.
See E. E. Hume, Medical Work of the Knights Hospitallers (1940); R. Peyrefitte, Knights of Malta (tr. 1959); R. Cavaliero, The Last of the Crusaders (1960, repr. 1963); C. E. Engel, Knights of Malta (1963); E. Bradford, The Shield and the Sword (1973).
Text taken from : http://www.answers.com/topic/knights-hospitalers