Look at this! Agema Miniatures is releasing their latest plastic kit, a box of 28mm Republican Roman hastati, princepes and triarii. I received a pre-release sprue that I've assembled and painted up. Pics and my thoughts after the jump.
Each sprue has enough pieces for five figures: two unarmored hastati, a pair of mail armored princepes and a single kneeling triarii. The sprue is also packed with lots of options for arming the figures and lots of head variations to customize your Romans.
Detail on these sculpts is excellent. I was impressed with the sculpting of Agema's first release, their plastic velites, and the same attention to detail and naturalistic poses are evidenced here. The sculpts feel realistic, there's a real sense of weight being shifted from one foot or the other. The musculature of the arms and legs, the detail of the fingers hefting pila, the drapery of the sleeves look better to me than the slab-like muscles and mitten hands of some other manufacturer's figures.
Each face is unique. There's a variety of expressions (from grim observers to snarling warriors), and in addition many of these faces show unique character. There's one with a classic, strong "roman nose" that I'm a particular fan of.
Assembly is quick, and while I had to spend some extra time figuring out the positioning of an arm or two, I didn't spend nearly as much time as I did with figures from Wargames Factory and Warlord Games. Wargames Factory especially seemed prone to awkward end products if extra care isn't taken making sure the arm and torso positioning results in something that looks decent.
Painting these up was quick and easy. The crevices loved sucking up a nice wash, and detail was sharp enough to dry brush things like the feather plumes on their helmets. I really loved these figures, but if I'm being objective there are a few things I should point out:
- The plumes are a bit delicate. Man I'm clumsy - I know I'm going to snap those off and gluing them back on is going to be tricky.
- I love Agema's sculpts on their hands, but they even extended their attention to detail to the fist holding their shield. That detail is going to be hidden since the fist nestles into a depression on the rear surface of the shield. A less detailed fist would probably have a greater surface area for a more secure bond with the shield. Of course, the detailed fist allows the shield arm to be used for other purposes and conversions, so I guess this is a wash.
- No shield transfers yet. At least none made specifically for these shields, as far as I know. I'm sure existing transfers could be adapted, but that's going to take some extra time to sort out.
That's it. That's all I could scrounge up. These are the plastic Republican Romans I've been waiting for since I started with ancients. I'm gonna buy bunches. Agema is running a pre-release special right now on their site, and I believe these will be available at Salute.