Archive for the ‘ ferrum et gloria ’ Category

Plastic gladiators review

When I was a child I was used to play with soft plastic soldiers. Now I am older and I play with lead soldiers. I’m not so interested in plastic soldiers and I haven’t got them. I have got the new rigid plastic 28mm soldiers, but they are a bulk version for the lead ones when you have to built masses of pieces, and they are compatible with the standard corpse structure of the lead ones. Because I want to offer an overview of miniatures available for use as gladiators, I have to speak about plastic gladiators, a world that I know little. To accomplish the task I utilise the experience of Plastic Soldier Review, where you can go to read more about these pieces. I’m utilising here photos taken from that website too. Here you can find my personal brief reviews based on my knowledge of gladiators.


These are the soldiers of my childhood. I loved them so much. Only today I realized that their classic range was based on a confused knowledge of the period. Not only these gladiator are based on personal fantasies of the sculptor, but all the range was a farce. When I saw them today I thought that you can use them as Red Martians in a John Carter set… Moreover I wonder on which use you can do of the Christians…


I’m sure, the sculptor had seen the “Gladiator” film. And that film is not a film about historical gladiators but on what Hollywood believe is Rome and gladiators. So, if you want to play with film character these pieces are good, otherwise you can put them in a bin. Well, you can save something, but only a little. The fun part is the joke in the box, where you can find a gladiator with a pistol and a Wehrmacht helmet and another one with the right arm raised. Hail Caesar!


At last, something with a tentative of historical carefulness. You have to put away the axes, but the content of the box resembles gladiators. Add some shields, and with some work you can obtain some right pieces. But if we are honest, the only right pieces are the retiarii. The piece that stands out is the chariot, for a fantasy essedarius proposal. Beautiful, but nothing more.


If you want plastic gladiators you have to buy this set! Beautiful poses, right armours, various types of fighters, a scissor and two dwarfs! There are even some inaccuracies, gross ones, but the overall aspect is great. I suggest to add the right shields (you can made them with cardboard or green stuff) and change some head to obtain something better.


And now some spectators, but only in 20mm format, while as general use in plastic soldiers world you can find the same proposal in 20mm and 54mm sizes. If you have got the right arena, this maker provides two sets of people to populate it.


A simple arena 2

Another simple arena. The modeller used all what he can find: cardboard, Lego bricks, ice lolly sticks, toothpicks, and some spare parts from other kits! A little rough and more post-apocalypse than Roman as building. But it is still an arena, an enclosure to set your gladiator fight, a three-dimensional place better than an anonymous flat surface. Yes, but toothpicks… are always toothpicks.


A simple arena

Back to the basis. What is an arena? A close place where put your miniatures for a fight. So you have to built a wall around a flat base. The square form is the simplest. So, with a couple of balsa wood sticks, glue and some skills you can have an arena. This one is rough but effective. And it is a real scenario and not a flat base. Such a simple arena. You can find more here.


An arena from Gen Con 2009

A pretty big arena proposed in a convention. A stylized and solid amphitheatre on a hexagonal base. There is a lot of spectators realised by multicoloured pins. A great idea to do an unique look and to represent people. Too often gladiators fight without public.


Dr Merkury’s arena

A round place is fundamental for an arena, here you have the essential. This one was created for Victus, another gladiator game. Look at the hexagonal approach of the rules. However the board seems interesting, irregular surface with a rough finishing. Marble or MDF? Maybe with smaller pieces for the floor you could compose something with a great feel. More infos on the creator’s blog.


An arena from Historical Miniaturist

Balsa for this arena by Historical Miniaturist


An arena from freaky fre

Another polystyrene arena. It was from 10 years ago from Belgium.


Polystyrene arena

Another creativity example: an arena made by polystyrene. This guy took some thin polystyrene sheets, then shaped them to create a circular arena. I would prefer an elliptical shape, but he opted for a circular one. To complete the overall look two doors and a podium with columns below were added. The boulders that constitute the walls were engraved with a pen, like the hexagonal terrain. A realistic paintwork gave the final touch. On the close-up you can see the fine details. Well done!