by: Engin Kayral [ ]
Originally published on:
Etruria - usually referred in Latin and Greek historical resources as Tyrrhenia was a region in Central Italy that now covering Tuscany, Latium, Emilia-Romagna and Umbria regions. The ancient people of the Etruria are labelled as Etruscans and their complex culture was centered on numerous city-states that rose during the Villanovan period in the IX. century B.C and they were very powerful during the Orientalizing and Archaic periods. The influence of this dominant Etruscan culture in Italy crossed the Appennines between VII. And V. Century B.C and controlled the Po valley area which is also called as Padan Etruria.
The Etruscans had a strong military organization. The individual city-states recruited their armies from their citizens according to the census and corps of cavalry, hoplites (foot soldiers) and lightly-armed troops were formed. The cavalry had mobility as its strongpoint and consequently its tasks were those of reconnaissance, skirmishes and pursuit. The hoplites, whose arms could differ greatly, but which guaranteed a fairly complete protection, fought in a compact formation, with the best placed in the front line, and their mission was to attack the enemy. Lastly, the role of the lightly-armed foot soldiers, with weapons such as lances, but not protected by armour, was to confuse and provoke the enemy formations, striking from afar. There were also corps of engineers whose task it was to erect fortifications and dismantle those of the enemy during assault operations. As a last resource, on some occasions, formations of priests took part in the conflicts, throwing themselves on to the enemy armed with snakes and lighted torches. In ancient times, the use of the war chariot was common. It is not known whether these were used solely as a means of transport for the leaders to reach the battlefield or actually in the fighting.
The weapons used in attack by the Etruscan foot-soldier comprised a wide choice of arms for hand to hand fighting: lances, short or long swords, normal and two-headed axes, curved swords and daggers. Javelins, bows and arrows were also used. The arms for defence purposes consisted of armour for the chest, made of fabric reinforced by metallic studs or bronze armour, made in two or three pieces and with a linen lining. Their heads were protected by bronze helmets of varying shapes: they protected the cheeks or the nose and could be simple or crested. Their legs were protected by bronze greaves. The armour was completed by a leather, wooden or bronze shield, which could be round, oval or rectangular.
RM- 54085 represents a Padan Hoplite or in other words an Etruscan Hoplite of the Po Valley between VII. and V. Centuries dressed and equipped with influences of Alpine and Balkanic culture.
The figure comes in 125 x 85 x 30 mm.standard Romeo Models light blue cardboard box. The front cover shows a photo of the painted figure from 2 different angles front and back and a close-up shot for painting details of the shield.
Inside the box, there is an A4 paper sheet including historical info about Etruscans and painting instructions for this figure. This document is represented in 2 languages; Italian and English. Historical research is made by Stefano Castracane and text is translated from Italian to English by Riccardo Carrabino.
Parts are well protected between two slabs of thick white polyfoam and figure base is placed under the polyfoam not to damage the figure parts.
The figure is sculpted by Benoit Cauchies and made up of 8 white metal parts. All parts are cast clean and crisp in very good details. There is not much need for a serious clean up, filling or sanding. A fast clean of vertical seamlines and slightly brushing with a metal brush and washing will make it ready for priming.
The main part is torso with legs. He wears a bronze cuirass decorated with studs and round geometric designs. Under his cuirass, he wears a short loosy tunic called Chiton and a Greek style armour belt with leather vertical straps. The skirt of the tunic is decorated with geometric designs on the edges. There is a right shoulder-crosswise leather belt to attach the scabbard of the swords. Two holes on the back make the scabbard assembly easier. The long hair is well defined over the cuirass. He wears metal thigh guards under his tunic and knee-length metal shin guards - Greaves, covering his calves and front-open leather sandals.
Other parts are ;
Head : He wears a Corinthian type helmet which is a single sheet of metal which covers almost the whole head from the collar-bone upwards. The cheek-pieces, instead of hanging, merely sweep forwards continuing the lower rim of the helmet, and leave only a small, roughly T-shaped aperture for the eyes, nose and mouth. All round the rim are a series of perforations for the attachment of an inner lining. Eyes and mouth are well sculpted inside the helmet. There is a hole on the top of helmet to attach the crest.
Crest : A Greek style distinctive lenghtwise crest made of horse hair decorates the helmet. The crest is attached to the helmet with a swan shaped crest holder.
Right arm : Posed to carry the short Etruscan sword. The hilt of the sword is cast with the hand as the blade part is given as a seperate part. The shoulder part of the tunic shows the same design with the skirt of the chiton.
Left arm : Posed to carry the shield. The metal armband at the center of the shield named Porpax and handgrip named Antilabe are cast on the arm. Some attention is needed when making the assembly of this part and the shield.
Sword : He carries a double-edged short sword. The pin on the sword makes a good fit to the hole on the right hand.
Scabbard : Leather scabbard with metal reinforcement at the bottom. It shows geometric painting schemes.
Shield : He carries a Hoplon, deeply dished, large bronze shield with an angled rim. It was made out of laminated wood, sometimes visible on the interior side, most of the time coated in canvas or leather. The edge, as well as the central cover were made out of bronze. It could be decorated with geometrical patterns such as polycentric lines, swastikas, Greek edging, etc. It could also be coloured with anthropomorphic figures indicating physical power or courage. One could find the wolf, boar, horse, eagle, lion and other animals belonging to mythology such as Chimera, Pegasus, Medusa, Gorgon.
Figure base : Ground texture is well defined with a big and a few small rocks.
Another good posing Hoplite figure with nice details and colorful painting options in Romeo Models quality ; clean casting, easy assembly and perfect fit with pins on parts.