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Review Roman Carthaginian Wars Signifer from Altores Studio

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Nap, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. Nap Forum Moderator

    Hi everyone

    Yes ...I am back !!!!

    Last year autumn saw the company Altores release a mass of figures some of which were announced here on PF and in social media


    Mainly Roman in subject matter we will be looking at one now with others to follow soon now that life crisis and personal matters have been resolved , I thank the company for the understanding.

    The one we will look at now depicts probably the iconic roman soldier ...the Signifer , of course we have had other companies release this type of subject but this is Altores take on it .


    The honor of carrying these "Standards" was entrusted to veteran legionaries who generally were serving their extended enlistments after 20 years of service.

    In Republican times, several icons such as the Eagle, Wolf, Bear, Boar or Minotaur were carried as the symbols of Republican Legions.

    For a Legion, the "Aquilifer" bore the Aquila-Eagle, while the "Imaginifer" carried the Imago of the Emperor. Each Century and Cohort unit would have a "Signifer" to carry its Signum and a "Vexillarius" to bear the unit's Vexillum banner.

    These standard bearers wore mail (hamata) armour instead of segmentata plate armor and generally are depicted wearing the heads and hides of Wolves "Lupae", Bears "Ursae", and in the case of a legion, maybe a Lion "Leo", over their helmets and armor.

    z000.jpg z00.jpg z0.jpg

    Our subject wears a wolfs skin

    They generally carried a round "Parma" style shield in deference to the usual rectangular "Scutum".

    The poles for the various standards would have a butt spike to allow them to be stuck in the ground and many had a handle or "grab" to extract them from the ground and to more easily carry them while on the march.

    Lets have a little bit of info on the standard depicted ....the SIGNUM

    A Signum Standard, is maybe more widely recognized as an icon of Ancient Rome than the Aquila; and is thought to have been carried by the individual legionary and auxiliary Century units of the Legion.

    The "massed" signums were generally carried at the head of the Legion while on the march.

    Each signum was unique to its "Century" and was composed of a number of philarae (disks), along with a number of other elements mounted on a pole, topped with a leaf-shaped spear head or a "Manus" (human hand) image.

    The Manus is believed to have designated the "Prior" (first) Century of a two-century "Maniple" formation; while the spear top would indicate the "Posterior" or second century of the "Maniple".

    The Maniple formation, composed of two 80+ man Century units, was used during the Republic; but fell out of favor in deference to the full Cohort formation of six centuries during the Empire Period.

    The Manus however continued to be displayed within Imperial Legions. One to six phalerae were displayed on a signum and the number of disks is thought to represent the number of the Century unit within the Cohort, as six century's composed a cohort and not more than six phalerae have been found in representations of signums from Roman times.

    zzzzz.jpg Above depicted on the Trajan column

    zzzz.jpg zzzz00.jpg zzzz0.jpg zzzzzzzz0.jpg [IMG] zzzzzzzz.jpg zzzzzzzz00.jpg zzzzzz0.jpg

    Books are easy to get hold of here are a few that are interesting reading including the new one from Osprey in a series on the Standards ( Elite # 221 )

    zz.jpg zzzzzzzzzzzzz.jpg zz00.png zz0.jpg zzzzzzz.jpg zzzzzzz00.jpg zzzzzzz0.jpg zzzzzzzzzzzz.jpg zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.jpg

    Continued in next post

    Mike S. and DaddyO like this.
  2. Nap Forum Moderator

    Lets look at the release:

    Title: Roman Republican Roman Signifer Carthaginian Wars 265-146 BC

    Reference: F-54-058

    Scale: 54mm

    Material: Lt Gray Resin

    No of parts: 11

    Sculptor : Sergey Valgar

    Box Art: N/A

    As with all the releases the resin was well packed in bags and in between thick foam layers , the box itself is the usual Altores layout , black box with the distinctive yellow writing with the review box having a full unpainted version on the top.

    Roman standard 001.jpg

    Parts consist of Main figure with legs only, 2 separate arms, head, shield, gladius, tail of wolf , actual signum , 2 hanging pieces for signum, base.

    Roman standard 002.jpg


    Main Figure...slight cleanup around arm areas

    Arms...Remove casting rod from one and fit both arms to upper torso , a smidge of filler will be needed

    Head...Remove casting rod and fit to neck area

    Gladius ...Fit to right side of waist on his belt ( Roman name Balteus)

    Tail of wolf ....fit to rear of figure ...tiny bit of filler needed

    Shield....Fit under left arm after a slight sanding around the edges

    Actual signum ...Remove slight excess resin from casting and flashing and fit under right hand

    2 hanging pieces for signum....Remove casting rods and fit to either side of the "COHVII" plate

    Base...Remove excess resin block and then sand around edges , you might like to pin the figure into smoothed out area's as well.

    Our Signifer wears his helmet ( Roman= Cassis) with only a gladius and the round shield with a mail top as protection ( called a hamata) ...these could weigh between 20-40 pounds in weight ( having tried a replica on I can assure you they are heavy!!!)

    He carries the Signum of the 7th cohort as you can see from the prefix COH VII,

    The pose is relaxed perhaps at camp or getting ready to lead the cohort out along with others from the legion .

    Main Torso

    This is a straight up pose with legs standing strong and defiant but relaxed , the first thing that shouts out to me is the very good muscle work on the legs themselves ( only the upper thighs are visible ) .

    The lower legs are wrapped in cloth as protection against cold and the terrain together with over shoes , both of these show really nice folds with the wraps being tied at the ankle and just below the knee

    Wearing the mailshirt this has good definition all over with the shoulder area's being strengthened by leather edging ( as in reference pictures ) , the 2 being held together by a clasp ...all sharp in detail .

    Roman standard 011.jpg Roman standard 012.jpg

    Around his shoulder and hanging down at the back there is the wolfskin again exhibiting good surface texture , the sculptor has this sitting naturally on the shoulders.

    Around the waist we have a simple leather belt , the end hanging naturally from the buckle itself ( this is nicely done )

    On the lower torso we have 2 cutouts one for the sword the other for the shield

    Roman standard 004.jpg Roman standard 008.jpg Roman standard 006.jpg Roman standard 007.jpg Roman standard 009.jpg Roman standard 010.jpg Roman standard 005.jpg Roman standard 013.jpg


    Consisting of 2 relaxed items the right sits holding the signum in place , the left sits nicely on the top edge of the shield , both arms show good shaping with the upper sleeves of his clothing having nice folds , the hands themselves are well done sitting in place well on the figure once the arms have been located into the location area's by using the rounded balls of resin at the inside of the arm.

    Roman standard 021.jpg Roman standard 020.jpg


    This is enclosed fully with the wolfskin with just a piece of helmet showing at the front , I have to say the casting is impressive with good undercuts and work on the actual wolfs mouth ..with teeth as well!!! , the wolfs ears are sitting back onto the skin itself and the texture on the skin is good .

    The helmet cheek pieces are seen at the face sides again nicely displaying definition at the edges of the face , this is another nicely done area the features are strong looking straight ahead in conjunction with the actual pose itself

    Fit to the neck area is not bad with just a little bit of filler needed

    Roman standard 014.jpg Roman standard 015.jpg Roman standard 016.jpg Roman standard 017.jpg Roman standard 018.jpg Roman standard 019.jpg

    Continued in next post

  3. Nap Forum Moderator

    Onto the remainder of the resin

    Sword/Wolfs Tail

    The gladius style is in the typical type seen , nice shaping on the handle itself , the scabbard is plain but functional

    The Wolf's tails is textured as you can see for both pieces fit is by a locating lug matching a cutout on the right ( for the sword and the rear lower centre for the tail

    Roman standard 022.jpg Roman standard 023.jpg


    A nicely rounded piece with the edging displaying good stitching on both sides , there are 4 "petals" at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock again stitched on .

    Fit is again by means of a lug matching a cutout on the left side of torso

    Roman standard 025.jpg Roman standard 026.jpg


    This is the main focus of the piece and the thing that the soldiers life was eagerly given up fighting to protect it and the honour of the cohort and legion itself .

    The casting is well done and its good to see that the pole is straight , as you can se we have 3 discs, a crescent , the cohorts number ( in this case 7th ) , at the apex we have the hand or "manus" , on the lower part we have a hand support and spiked end

    Definition of the pieces in the signum are sharp and show well , the work on the large set of tassels at the lower part is well noted

    Roman standard 028.jpg Roman standard 029.jpg Roman standard 030.jpg Roman standard 027.jpg

    The 2 hanging pieces ( one each side are as seen in illustrations ...make sure you fix them in relation to the signum's position when held ( see box picture )

    Roman standard 024.jpg


    As with all of Altores releases we have a simple but textured base , the groundwork includes rock and texture , there are 2 clean are's where the feet fit into accurately

    Roman standard 031.jpg Roman standard 032.jpg

    Final Thoughts

    A nice figure to get back with my reviews , its a nicely worked piece , yes it been done before but there are others subjects released from Altores which are from Romes army which will be looked at soon by me , prep is minimal with good casting quality.

    The end will be a nice figure well detailed allowing you to use various techniques if you wish like drybrushing , NMM , animal furs ....all good fun and the result will be display piece wether alone or with others.


    E-mail: altoress@mail.ru

    Website: www.altores.com

    They are also a member of FaceBook and the forum here on PF

    Thanks to [IMG] for the review piece

    And of course a big thank you to all for looking in

    Chrisr, Oda, Redcap and 1 other person like this.
  4. mortier Well-Known Member

    Good to see you back with another great review
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  5. Nap Forum Moderator

    Thanks Mortier ..it's good to be reviewing again after things !

  6. Redcap Well-Known Member

    Excellent review of a product by one of the most exciting and promising new figure companies around.

    napoleonpeart likes this.
  7. Viking Bob PlanetFigure Supporter

    Blimey, I thought you retired, good to see you back with a 1st class review.(y)
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  8. Nap Forum Moderator


    I have Bob ...just lots of things going on previous ...fear not there are many to come ..very soon ...maybe one on Monday then a short break .........

    Oda and Viking Bob like this.
  9. Viking Bob PlanetFigure Supporter


    I didn't think you had but the BUG got you.
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  10. Redcap Well-Known Member

    Resisitance was futile - bought one!
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  11. clrsgt A Fixture

    Good to see you back. Great review as always. This one looks like a super figure. I do not usually do not do ancients, but some of the newer releases including this one are mighty tempting.
    napoleonpeart likes this.

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