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Zvezda Greek Infantry
(9 voti)
Écrit par Jakub Mroczkowski   

It is a well known and in my opinion the best ever done set of classical Greek toy army. What means classical in this sense is the period they represent which is 5th and 4th century BC and the time of Greek struggle with Persians.
Soldiers are divided into a few groups. Heavy infantrymen more popular as hoplites, light infantrymen presented here by peltasts, archers and slingers. There is also a single figure of strategos and a musician.
All the pieces of equipment that are found in this set have archeological and historical evidence. Let's have a first look.

The man is carrying a big wooden shield with a bronze cover known as a hoplon (that's why the warriors using them were called hoplites). His crested helmet is one of latest types of so called Corinthian helmets. He is also protected by athlete body cuirass (made of iron or bronze) and a pair of bronze greaves. A weapon he uses is curved iron sword known as kopis or falcatae. They were available in several types and shapes which is visible in the set as well. The scabbard is hanging loosely on baldric.

Greek soldiers most often fought barefoot which had a mythological bases, on this occasion the hoplite is wearing a pair of leather sandals and woolen tunic dyed in red which was, according to Greek tradition, beloved color of gods. The shield blazon shows Greek letter Lambda which stands for Lakedaimon, a Greek country with its capital Sparta.

This man is wearing so called linothorax a kind of body armour made of separate sheets of linen glued together to give it appropriate durability and flexibility, very popular slowly started replacing metal body cuirasses as more comfortable. His main weapon here is a both sides slashing iron sword with a straight blade so called xiphos. His crested helmet is of a Chalcidian type.

This warrior is wearing bronze type of an early example of Corinthian helmet without ear holes. His body is protected by bronze and easy to make bell shaped cuirass. Only left leg is protected by a single greave which was a custom for warriors fighting in a combat line.

Normally hoplite fought in a line along with others with a spear (xyston) which was his main weapon unless it was broken or lost in the battle field. It usually had iron leaf shaped shaft and bronze butt. The man is wearing a very archaic helmet of an Illyrian type. His linothorax is strengthen by bronze scales.
There are some more helmets represented here Attic helmet with lose cheek pieces lifted up.

Very elaborated one of a Corynthian type with a crest fastened across belonged probably to an officer of a high rank strategos (probably a Spartan origin)

A very simplified Peloponnesian helmet so called Pilos.

There are also typical light troops equipped in characteristic manner like this archer.

Unarmored, wearing white woolen tunic (hiton) typical for poorer citizens since dyeing was very costly those days. Simple helmet with a crest to make the warrior look taller than in reality. The best known archers were recruited in Crete.

The name of javelin throwers - peltasts came from a name of a crescent shaped wicker shield - pelte . They were rather poor people mostly recruited in hilly areas, Thracians on this occasion but could be Agrianians or Greeks as well. He is carrying a few light javellins. His head protection is a Thratian leather hood. Besides he is wearing top boots (distinguishing people living in hilly areas) and a cloack with typical tribal designs.

For skimrishers (who included peltasts and slingers as well) the most popular head cover was a felt/straw hat with a broad rimm protecting from the sun mainly and simple hiton as a body protection.

A very important part of a big army in a noisy battlefield - piper.

For more information about shield blazon I refer to: Greek Shield Patterns

Apart from the historical accuracy the figures themselves are full of live and details and what I like the best from the first look they seem to have 3 dimentions.

I painted the figures using Testors and Humbrol oil enamels with my old methods and techniques which included shading, lightening and dry brushing. It is very difficult and time consuming with those kind of paints, however, not impossible.
Now I paint mostly with water colors such as Vallejo and GW using some more methods which is a great experience every time.