Disclaimer: The images above were supplied by the manufacturer and painted by their artists.
For most of us the mention of the word Mongols
conjures up names like Genghis Khan, Ogedei, Batu
and Kublai Khan
and images of short, stocky but very hardy warriors who were inseparable from their fantastic recurve bow as they were from their ponies. With their rich history and fighting prowess itís no surprise that Mongolian warriors should find a place with figure manufacturers and Elite Miniatures, the Spanish based figure maker. Their following offering, Mongolian Warrior, 1380 is one of 3 figures being offered by the company.
This 54 mm., white metal set is cast in only 7 pieces including a small base. The kit comes in an adequately detailed box showing various sides of the figure for painting and assembly purposes. Despite the thin outer box there was little potential for damage as opening the outer box one will find all the parts well packed, being sandwiched between 2 thick foam sponges which was then wrapped over with another inner, corrugated cardboard packing. The figure featured on the box was painted by Roman Navarro
The set and its 7 pieces as can be seen in the overall photo consist of:
Main torso with head and right arm molded on
Scimitar with hand molded on
Bow case with recurve bow and scimitar scabbard
Quiver with arrows
While most of us are accustomed to seeing images of Mongols on horseback, Elite Miniatures has elected to depict this Mongolian Heavy cavalryman on foot, presumably dislodged or dismounted from his pony. The same figure could also pass off as a light cavalryman as well. Nevertheless, this is not a shortcoming as one of the nice features of this set apart from the level of detail discussed below, is the pose. The fighting pose is striking and well matched with the appropriate facial expression.
Upon examining the various pieces the minimal flash which was mainly around the bow case and quiver was easily manageable. The 2 body pieces came with small studs to facilitate positioning. Personally the lesser parts to assemble the better provided the kit is detailed and this figure certainly does not disappoint. Elite Miniatures has been rated highly by some and looking at the kit up close and personal I can see why. This figure is decked out in a combination of chain mail, studded leather and lamellar iron plates all of which have been well rendered and provide a large amount of detail while offering many painting challenges. The armor and the addition of the typical conical Mongolian helmet also appear to be accurately represented as far as I can tell versus the references Iíve come across.
As you can see from the close-up shots, the detail as well as the casting is pretty amazing. The detail extends from the plume of the helmet down to the drawstrings of the neck/ear guard in the back view of the torso as seen in the next photo and to the rest of the equipment as well. Just look at the detailing of the studded glove hand holding the scimitar in the close-up and the ornate detail of the bow casing & scabbard, helmet and chain mail over the next few photos.
The bow does not appear to be stringed but it should be easy enough to attach a bowstring using either thin copper or fuse wire. The other tiny imperfection was that one of the rivets was missing from the shield but should be easily replaced with epoxy putty if noticeable at all. The kit comes with a very basic 1 page instruction sheet without any history of the Mongols.
Although the kit states 54 mm. and Mongolians are suppose to be on the stocky side I believe the sculptor, Anton Volgin has sculpted this figure on the larger end of the 54 mm. scale. Itís also a pretty heavy figure for a white metal figure of this size which means there was no stinging on material here.
At this point prior I can really find no faults with the level of detail or the casting and definitely no complaints as far as value for money. The good action pose, the large amount of detailing together with the quality of casting and the painting challenges offered makes this set an excellent investment even for figure modelers who are not fans of this period. However this figure may prove to be a bit too challenging for beginners from the viewpoint of the numerous details and various textures that have to be rendered.
The Mongols were nomadic people whose conquests which history remembers the most. The Mongols did indeed create the largest known empire which spanned from Egypt to Russia, to Korea and to China.
Our image of a Mongolian warrior is one of a lightly armored archer riding fast on a pony using both shock as well as cunning tactics to subdue their enemy. Their primary weapon the recurve bow was a powerful weapon with its 45 kg pull and composite construction, which far exceeded any European bow at that time in terms of penetration power and distance. However, the Mongolian army also had a lesser known but equally effective heavy cavalry element. Unlike the archers these men were more heavily armored and carried shields as well as lances, maces and swords. They were often used to deliver the coup de grace.
Mongol Warrior 1200-1350 (Warrior 84), Osprey Publishing