El Viejo Dragón Miniaturas’ CG129 ‘Roman Tribune, Lake Trasimene, 217BC’ is a 54mm white metal figure sculpted by JR Arredondo. The figure stands wounded and bleeding, poised to make his final defence on the banks of Lake Trasimene.
This figure features a Roman Tribune, probably the son of a Senator, about to make his final stand against Hannibal’s Carthaginians on the banks of Lake Trasimene (see below for a brief overview of the battle of Lake Trasimene).
The tribune’s armament is very different to that of the common legionary, being very much more Greek than Roman. The sash around his waist is the symbol of his rank, while the colour of his cloak and tunic border indicates his aristocratic origins – almost certainly the son of a senator.
He clutches a wound to his left flank, while wielding a Greek style sword.
What’s in the box?
The figure, cast in white metal, comes in a kit form consisting of three (3) 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 A painting guide and short historical reference in Spanish and English is provided.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 right arm)
Right arm wielding sword
The end of his cloak
The figure is generally very well sculpted, and the sculptor has achieved an effective sense of poise and defiance. The casting is excellent, with only very minor seams.
The figure proper is a single piece cast consisting of the head, torso, left arm and both legs. This piece is in a whole well rendered. The face is sculpted with a suitable expression of defiance, desperation and pain. The only flaw I can pick up with regards to the face is that the lower eyelids appear too boldly. The Greek helmet is very nicely and cleanly sculpted, and the horsehair crest flows and is well textured.
The rest of the figure proper is similarly sculpted and cast: well detailed and cleanly cast. The tribune’s cloak drapes realistically around him with folds in all the right places. The cuirass is finely detailed with small relief, including what appear to be a Medusa head on the chest, and a full length goddess on the shoulder straps. I will admit to not being certain as to the accuracy of the cuirass, as most images I have seen indicate a lower, rounded bottom to the body armour, as opposed the squared off bottom presented here.
Another small sculpting problem I have is with regards to the left greave and the trailing left leg. The greave, and thus the lower left leg, appears to arch slightly outwards. Looking at the greave, one gets the impression that the inner head of the Gastrocnemius muscle is missing. This is, however, a barely visible flaw given the poise of the figure.
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 the length of the inner and outer legs. These are easily addressed with some very fine grit sandpaper.
The remaining two pieces, the right arm and sword and end of the tribune’s cloak, are as the rest of the parts, nicely rendered and cleanly cast. The only seam present here was on the forearm. Once again, these are easily rubbed down in seconds.
The resin groundwork/base provided with the kit is very neat. Like the rest of the kit is cleanly sculpted, well rendered and textured, and very cleanly cast – indeed there is not a blemish in sight.
Assembling this kit is relatively easy, and for the purposes of this review I have simply tacked the figures together with the local equivalent of “Blu-tac”.
The lower cloak is easily positioned over the left arm. There appears to be a small, triangular gap on the rear left side (sort of vertically below the armpit) between the cloak and the side of the cuirass. Now admittedly this will not be visible to the casual observer, but you may choose to reconstruct this tiny “missing” piece of the cloak with putty.
The right arm unfortunately does not have a locator pin, and similarly the right shoulder does not have a receiving socket. In my opinion this made fitting the arm a bit difficult as I was not quite sure on the exact angle in which the arm needed to be fitted.
The final assembly step is that of the figure to the base, to which it fits easily.
EVD’s ‘Roman Tribune, Lake Trasimene, 217BC’ is a well sculpted figure with a pose that breathes action and desperation. I think it rather unique as well; I have not seen many Roman figures commemorating this key battle of the Carthaginian Wars. The casting is very clean with only the odd bit of very light sanding required. The lack of a locator pin for arm positioning made fitting and positioning the part a bit more challenging, but this should certainly not be seen as a show stopper.
El Viejo Dragón Miniaturas’ ‘Roman Tribune, Lake Trasimene, 217BC’ 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 kindly supplied the sample on behalf of El Viejo Dragón Miniaturas 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.
“Early Roman Armies”. Men-At-Arms Series 283. N Sekunda, S Northwood and Richard Hook. Osprey Publishing. 2001.
“Republican Roman Army 200-104BC”. Men-At-Arms Series 291. Nick Sekunda and Angus McBride. Osprey Publishing. 1996.
“The Punic Wars 264-146BC”. Essential Histories. Nigel Bagnall. Osprey Publishing. 2002.
“The Roman Legions Recreated in Colour Photographs”. Europa Militaria Special No.2. Daniel Peterson. The Crowood Press. 1998.
The Battle of Lake Trasimene
After crossing the Alps in October 218BC, Hannibal rested his army, before seizing Taurasia and routing Publius Cornelius Scipio and his fellow consul on the Tribia, a tributary of the Po. These two skilful and unwavering victories won over the majority of the Cisalpine Gauls, who until then had been at odds in their support for the Carthaginians.
After wintering his army for the winter, the following spring Hannibal marched south through Etruria, burning and devastating the countryside, keeping Cortona and the hills surrounding it to his left and making as though to pass Lake Trasimene to his right. Gaius Flaminius, whose attempted interception of Hannibal failed because of the Senate’s belief that Hannibal’s goal was Rome, now set off in pursuit, without waiting for his fellow consul to join him.
When Hannibal arrived at Lake Trasimene, after following the northern shoreline, he set a trap along a narrow piece of land between the defile of Borghetto and Tuoro. Here, facing the lake, a semicircle of hills forms a natural amphitheatre.
Hannibal positioned his Spanish and Libyan infantry noticeably on the ridge to the west of Tuoro, while the Balearic slingers and his light infantry hid themselves on the high ground facing the lake. In the same way, the cavalry and Gauls were concealed in folds in the ground running down to the Borghetto defile. Thus the entire area bordered by the hills was under the control of the Carthaginians.
Flaminius reached Lake Trasimene, near Borghetto, at dusk, and at dawn the legions started to advance through the defile across the valley floor. Seeing Hannibal’s troops assuming battle positions to their front, the Romans deployed into line until the majority of the two legions had passed through the Borghetto defile.
Unexpectedly assaulted by the light infantry and Balearic slingers on their left flank and the Numidian cavalry to their rear; blocked in front and hemmed in by the lake to their right, the majority of the Romans died where they stood. Others were either weighed down by their armour and drowned, or were despatched by the Numidians, who rode out into the lake after them. Though some 6,000 managed to fight their way out of the ambush, at least 15,000 are approximated to have died, amongst them the impatient Flaminius.