chaosbunker.de
20Dec/160

Gripping Beast Late Roman Infantry

While most associate Gripping Beast with their SAGA success story and most recently the release of Swordpoint, they presented the latest SAGA supplement Aetius & Arthur in late November. A matching plastic kit was released earlier this year, the Late Roman Infantry.

Gripping Beast - Late Roman Infantry

This Late Roman Infantry can be used as legionary or auxiliary infantry of the 4th / 5th centuries, in both Eastern and Western Roman Empire. Even beyond that, they can be used for early 6th century armies, like Roman Britain or Gaul, as well as early Byzantine armies.

The kit is priced at 22 GBP and covers 44 soldiers (4 command miniatures and 40 soldiers). Gripping Beast covers solid 28mm heroic scale plastic in this box, and is produced at the fine factories of Renedra. Inside the box you'll find 8 sprues for soliders, 2 for the command miniatures, a leaflet with the cover artwork on its back and a sprue with rectangular bases.

Gripping Beast - Late Roman Infantry Gripping Beast - Late Roman Infantry

As mentioned above, you get two kind of sprues, the smaller command sprue that covers the officer and a standard bearer, with the choice between Draco and Vexillium, as well as a horn (Cornu). In the soldier sprue you find 5 different bodies, along with swords, spears and bows as weaponry. Castig is good, with a bit of mold lines, but it seems as this is caused mostly by the poses.

Gripping Beast - Late Roman Infantry Gripping Beast - Late Roman Infantry Gripping Beast - Late Roman Infantry

There are 7 different bodies in this kit, 2 fixed bowmen in tunic, 3 in tunic and 2 in chainmail. Only one of five miniatures from the soldier sprue wears chainmail. A complete box lets you build 16 unarmoured archers, 16 unarmoured soldiers and 8 armoured soldiers. There are enough spears for everyone of the 24 soldiers, but only 16 swords.

Most heads wear helmets, one is bare and another one wars a fur hat (Pannonian cap). There are large shields for every warrior as well as 8 small shields.

Gripping Beast - Late Roman Infantry Gripping Beast - Late Roman Infantry Gripping Beast - Late Roman Infantry

The poses are rather dynamic, and the arms are kept close to the body. The archers are very similar and the standard bearer can choose between the Draco and Vexillium, as well as a horn.

Gripping Beast - Late Roman Infantry Gripping Beast - Late Roman Infantry

The mixed bundle from the two sprues already gives you a small warband.

Gripping Beast - Late Roman Infantry

For scale comparison a picture with a Footsore Early Saxon and a Warlord Games Cesars Legionary. As well as an Saxon Thegns to the far left. Those miniatures are proper 28mm heroic scale and are a bit larger than Foundrys Late Romans (sculpted by the Perry Twins), but will work great with Footsore's Late Romans as well as the Crusader range.

Gripping Beast - Late Roman Infantry

The group in front of a more neutral background, from the front and the back. Note the smaller bases? That makes them great for grouping them up on multi-bases, as well as the 25mm round bases. You can really see, who these will stand in a formation or shield wall, for Hail Cesar, Swordpoint or SAGA Aetius & Arthur.

Gripping Beast - Late Roman Infantry Gripping Beast - Late Roman Infantry Gripping Beast - Late Roman Infantry

Conclusion
Compared to the vikings and the saxons, this kit feels a bit like something that was hurried for "bulk" production. Rather simple poses, not many options, just a small sprue with generic soldiers that you can field in numbers. Don't get me wrong, they will form great regiments, but compared to the other plastics by Gripping Beasts, I don't think they will do that well compared to metal miniatures / for smaller skirmishs.

Why? Well it is the small things. Due to the few parts each miniature is build from, they have some design "flaws", the quiver for example is kept much simplier, as if it would have been a single part that would later be glued onto the bowmen. Same goes with the scabbards and other pieces on the miniatures. A different pose for the bowmen would have been great, but in this way it reminds me a bit of the plastic starter kits of the late 90's with single pose spearman and archers. Keeping the sprue with 3 unarmoured and 2 armoured bodies, with seperate arms would have been possible on the small sprue, but given a lot more options for the builder.

Never the less, 22 GBP for 44 miniatures is good value, and if you're looking for troops for a mass combat system like Swordpoint, Warhammer Ancient Battles or similar, this box will absolutely fill your needs.

Link: Gripping Beast

Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.


Leave a Reply

Trackbacks are disabled.