AN54-21 – “Garamante Warrior sec I AC” is a 54mm white metal figure from La Meridiana Miniatures’ “Rome’s Enemies” range of figures. Sculpted by historical miniature sculptor Pongsatorn Kanthaboon, the box-art is painted by Italian box-art painter Danilo Cartacci.
Seemingly based on the Plate A Illustration 3 of Osprey Publishing’s “Rome’s Enemies (5): The Desert Frontier” , this figure is almost exclusively based upon a comparison of written sources with later traditional costume. He has the litham face-covering worn by many Saharan tribesmen and the skin cloak associated with the most remote tribes. His spear was made in the Sudan, and he is otherwise armed with a sling. The huge leather shield would later be known as a lamt.
The figure, cast in white metal, comes in a kit form consisting of a total of eight (8) pieces. The kit is packaged, sandwiched between two pieces of foam, in a black cardboard box featuring a photo of the painted figure. An A4 sized insert with a brief historical note on the subject as well as a painting guide is included – unfortunately this is in Italian.
AN54-21 – “Garamante Warrior sec I AC” consists of the following eight (8) parts:Head wearing litham face-covering;
Upper torso including left arm;
Lower torso and legs;
Right arm holding sling and spear;
Skin cloak in two (2) parts; and
The figure is very well sculpted and proportioned. The casting is generally quite good, although there does appear to have been a miniscule misalignment with my sample as a “stepped” seam line runs the circumference of most of the parts. That said it (the casting) does not fail to capture the detailed and sculpting of Pongsatorn Kanthaboon.
The head is well-sculpted, with the head cloth convincingly wrapped around the head draping down the neck onto the shoulders. The face cloth covering the lower face does, however, appear too thick and strangely positioned leaving the face with a rather peculiar side profile. The aforementioned seam runs from the crown of the head down the left side of the head. Running slightly over the face, this will need to be carefully removed.
The upper torso including left arm is nicely proportioned, and although muscular the figure does not have the over-the-top heroic detailing we have seen from many sculptors and vendors recently. The extra detailing featured on the chest, the pouch strap and cloth, have not been sculpted down the back of the figure as this will be covered by the animal skin. This should be seen as a negative comment, but merely as an observation for those not wanting to portray the figure wearing said skin. The figure features locating lugs at the neck and waist, and recesses on the arms for the placement of relevant parts. Most of these joints, as well as the casting seam, will be concealed by the drapery of the parts.
The lower torso and legs, like the previous parts are well sculpted – the thick legs are well proportioned and the drapery of the cloth is excellent. A locator lug is placed under the left foot, and a recess provided in the waist to receive the upper torso, the joint of which will be concealed by the slightly raised cloth around the waist. Cleanup on this part is minimal, being only the seam line and a bit of flash on the upper rear waist cloth and under the right foot.
The right arm, sling and spear are neatly sculpted. I would not recommend replacing a spear shaft with tubing. Due to the detailing on this shaft and the manner in which the spear is held and draping of the sling I fear doing so would be a difficult task. The spear arrived slightly bent, however being of reasonably white metal it was easily straightened. A locator lug is located on the arm which facilitates fitment to the upper right arm. The joint itself will be partially concealed by the animal skin cloak. Cleanup on this part is a bit more involved than on the other parts. Particularly since the seam runs the full length of the part, including across the knuckles. It is also rather heavy in the loop of the sling.
The animal skin cloak consists of two parts, made to be positioned over the figure’s shoulders prior to fixing the head into place. The neatly textured cloak drapes convincingly over the figure, as can be seen in the accompanying photos. Cleanup is minimal with a bit of flash at the base of the cloak and a casting line at the top of each piece.
The huge leather shield, like the cloak, represents animal skin and is similarly textured on the front and smooth to the inside. The fine casting seam runs the circumference but is easily rubbed down.
The final part of this kit is a simple piece of groundwork/base. Representing the rough ground of the North African deserts, it is textured to represent stony ground with a small mound for the figure’s raised right foot. The base features a recess for the left foot’s locator lug, and a light foot imprint for the right foot.
While Romanesque subjects certainly are not uncommon, models representing the enemies of Rome’s desert frontier certainly are. In fact, I do not recall there being any other scale figures representing the Garamante. Despite the rather annoying casting seam, the casting of the figure is generally very good and captures the sculptor’s art very well.
Overall, La Meridiana and Pongsatorn Kanthaboon have put a very neat and very unique figure out to the market. Recommended.
Historicus Forma thanks El Greco Miniatures, who supplied the sample on behalf of La Meridiana Miniatures for purposes of this review.
The following references were used for this review: “Rome’s Enemies (5): The Desert Frontier”. Men-at-Arms 243. David Nicolle. Illustrated by Angus McBride. Osprey Publishing. 1991.