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Review Roman Gladiator from Linjo

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Nap, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. Nap Moderator

    Hi Guys ,

    Thought I would step back in time and let you all have a look at a release from Linjo , what have wegot ...a Roman Gladiaitor 3rd Century BC.

    As we have gone back in time lets have a bit of information about these men who played and fought hard , the later for "entertainment" and more often for their lives .

    We have all no doubt seen Spartacus , Gladiator , and Blood and Sand , all with different idea's but what were they really like :

    These men were the pop stars , the football heroes of their time , fiercely trained , aggressive , with a short expected life span , they were lavishly treated , given all the they wanted in the build up to the arena including wine and women .

    As mentioned earlier, gladiators were trained at special schools originally owned by private citizens, but later taken over by the imperial state to prevent the build up of a private army. Gladiators trained like true athletes, much like professional athletes do today. They received medical attention and three meals a day. Their training included learning how to use various weapons, including the war chain, net, trident, dagger, and lasso.

    Each gladiator was allowed to fight in the armor and with the weapons that best suited him. They wore armor, though not Roman military armor as this would send the wrong political signal to the populous. Instead gladiators wore the armor and used the weaponry of non-Roman people, playing the role of Rome's enemies. For instance, a gladiator might dress as a Samnite in Samnite garb that included a large oblong shield (scutum), a metal or boiled leather grieve (ocrea) on the left leg, a visored helmet (galea) with a large crest and plume, and a sword (gladius).

    Gladiators were paid each time they fought. If a gladiator survived three to five years of combat they were freed. Gladiators fought in arenas, the most famous of which was the Colosseum built by the Flavians. When one of the opponents in a contest was wounded, the crowd would typically shout “habet, hoc habet,” he has had it. An opponent who felt he was defeated would raise his left hand with one finger extended as a request for mercy. It is not clear how the vote of life or death for the defeated opponent was decided though it may have involved the thumb.

    If the decision was for death, the defeated opponent would ceremoniously grasps the thigh of his conqueror who would slay the loser by stabbing his sword into his neck. The dead body was removed by costumed attendants, one dressed as the ferry man Charon, and the other as Mercury Charon struck the dead body with a hammer and Mercury poked the body with a hot iron disguised as his wand to assure the loser was dead. The winner would receive a symbol of their victory, such as a golden bowl, crown, or gold coin, along with a palm leaf symbolizing victory

    There were many types of gladiators :

    Different gladiators specialized in different weapons and tactics. The following illustrates these various styles and equipment. Of these,Thracians, Mirmillones, Retiarii, and Secutores were four of the most common.

    Andabatae: (1st cent. BC) Clad in chainmail like eastern cavalry (cataphracti), wore visored helmets without eye holes. They charged blindly at one another on horseback as an ancient precursor to the medieval joust.
    Bestiarii: (beast fighters) originally armed with a spear or knife, these gladiators were condemned to fight beasts with a high probability of death. In later times, the Bestiarii were highly trained, specializing in various types of exotic, imported beasts.
    Dimachaeri: Used two-swords, one in each hand.
    Equites: Fought on horseback with a spear and gladius, dressed in a full tunic, with a manica (arm-guard). Generally, the Eques only fought gladiators of his own type.
    Essedari: Celtic style charioteers, likely first brought to Rome from Britain by Caesar.
    Hoplomachi (heavily armed) or Samnite: Fully armored, and based on Greek hoplites. They wore a helmet with a stylized griffin on the crest, woollen quilted leg wrappings, and shin-guards. They carried a spear in the Hoplite style with a small round shield. They were paired against Mirmillones or Thraces.
    Laquerii: Laqueatores used a rope and noose.
    Mirmillones (or murmillones): Wore a helmet with a stylized fish on the crest (the mormylos or sea fish), as well as an arm guard (manica). They carried a gladius and an oblong shield in the Gallic style. They were paired with Hoplomachi or Thraces.
    Provocatores(challengers): Paired against the Samnites but their armament is unknown and may have been variable depending on the games.
    Retiarii: Carried a trident, a dagger, and a net, a larger manica extending to the shoulder and left side of the chest. They commonly fought secutores or mirmillones. Occasionally a metal shoulder shield, or galerus, was added to protect the neck and lower face.
    Saggitarii: Mounted bowman armed with reflex bows capable of propelling an arrow a great distance.
    Samnites: see Hoplomachi.
    Secutores: Had the same armour as a murmillo, including oblong shield and a gladius. They were the usual opponents of retiarii.
    Scissores (carvers): Little is known about this ominous sounding gladiator.
    Thraces: The Thracian was equipped with a broad-rimmed helmet that enclosed the entire head, a small round or square-shaped shield, and two thigh-length greaves. His weapon was the Thracian curved sword, or the sica. They commonly fought mirmillones or hoplomachi.
    Velites: Fought on foot, each holding a spear with attached thong in strap for throwing. Named for the early Republican army units of the same name. Venatores: Specialized in wild animal hunts. Technically not gladiators but still a part of the games.

    Our subject is a Thracian Gladiator :

    Definition: The Thracian was a lightly armed Roman gladiator
    Opponent: See above
    This type of gladiator fought with a curved sword (siccae). The sica, or siccae, was a curved scimitar, a short, curved sword, with a blade about 16-18 inches long ,this was a strong slashing weapon
    The helmet of the Thracian had a tall crest (crista) with a distinctive griffin. The helmet had a wide brim and a visor to cover the face. Feathers were also used to decorate his helmet
    The Thracian wore a manica of tied linen or leather to protect his sword arm. He also had padded leg protection over which he wore a pair of high greaves which ended above his upper thigh
    Shield: A circular or quadrangular small shield (parmula)
    Clothing worn: Canvas Loin Cloth (subligaculum) worn in a variety of colors, sandals or barefoot

    Continued in next post:


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    pmfs likes this.
  2. Nap Moderator

    Moving on now to the main event the model:

    So open the gates to the arena up and lets see our gladiator :

    Whats in the box well we have :

    Subject title: Roman Gladiator (3rd Century BC)

    Scale: 200mm

    Parts: 30 (of these a total of 2 are side feathers for the helmet and another 20 for the main crest)

    Material : Resin

    Sculpted by : Chunmei Zhou

    Box Art by : Hongwei Qin

    Reference: LJ20014

    The mass of parts involved in this model were as normal secured between 2 thick pieces of foam coming secured in the blackbox as in other releases, there are a lot of small parts but none were damaged when I opened the box up and gasped at the contents !!!

    Consisting of 29 parts ,22 being feathers for the helmet and the crest both packed in separate bags) the remaining being the torso , the left arm , the main helmet , the helmet top piece , the facepiece of the helmet and a small pedastal base .

    As with the others in the Linjo range they are all cast in a cream resin.

    Continued in next post:


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  3. winston Active Member

    Thank you for this review.:sneaky:
  4. Nap Moderator

    Lets begin as normal with the torso :

    This torso is different , this time we have the neck and the back of the head .....but wait for it no face itself ......

    I must admit I found this a little odd but what this does do is give the modeller the opportunity to not worry about the painting of the face but concentrate on the armour and the torso flesh .

    Some will no doubt sculpt a face and modify the facepiece of the helmet .

    The muscle tone of the torso is one of a well exercised fighter , great muscular sculpting all over including straining veins against the arm muscles ...but wait our gladiator has not been all that lucky as he has a nasty scar on his left upper chest (sown together in places !!!)

    The right shoulder is protected with some mail held in place by a wonderfully detailed strap ...great chance to do worn leather painting with this .

    There is a casting plug to remove on the lower right arm but as normal no problem here .

    Continued in next post:


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  5. Nap Moderator

    Lets look now at the left arm and the shield :

    Firstly the arm itself :

    This is the lower arm which has a clenched hand that is holding the shield itself .

    The arm is bound in protective cloth tied in place (some might like to add the hanging ends of these) , there is also a elbow protector (this has a casting plug to remove so out with the wet and dry ..easy eh!!)

    Fit into the lower part of the arm sculpted onto the torso is spot on (Blu tac was used on the review) , when dry fitting no gaps were revealed .

    The hand itself is well done , good finger definition , with veins protruding on the back of the actual hand, with it fitting snugly into the recesses in the back of the shield .

    Now onto the shield :

    This is a small rectangular shape as seen in many mosaics , the front has a central metal boss on it with sword slashes , the shield itself is plain . allowing the modeller to either leave it plain or put a design on to it . The back has bracing pieces sculpted in , there is a small casting remnant to remove on the corner ..again easily done with sanding blocks and patience (y)

    Continued in next post:


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  6. Nap Moderator

    Moving on now to the crowing glory:

    The helmet itself :

    Consisting of 3 main pieces the main helmet the top piece and the face mask and of course plus 22 feathers !!!!, ...fit of all of these are first class but lets look at the main helmet :

    This is a wonderful piece of casting , really well formed with some cracking designs sculpted onto it (an octopus) , on each side is the feather holder with a cut out for the top piece . There is a casting plug to sort out at the back of the helmet ..but its a case of careful use of the razor saw and sanding pads ,

    The helmet top is also a great piece of sculpting , fitting with minimal prep needed apart from a tiny casting plug to cut off at the back , dry fitting revealed no gaps whtsoever.To add to the delight there are 20 prederilled holes ready to take the feathers for the crest (I would recommend redrilling them )

    The facepiece has acasting plug to remove carefully , the vision holes are really well done (I can see some modellers drilling these out and putting a face behind , the sculpting is so good as is the fit to the front of the head and to the undersides of the helmet .

    A realy cracking piece without the feathers !!!!!

    Continued in next post:


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  7. Nap Moderator

    On now to the last couple of pieces:

    The base and the feathers, firstly the base :

    This is a very simple pedastal casting , a little sanding is needed around the base but it is more than acceptable to use , I suggest pinning it if you choose to use it ..or as I probably would use a brass rod .

    On now to the feathers , detailing is really nicely done and its time to be patient and work carefully , all need a small amount of flashing trimmed off , the 20 for the crest will need to have the holes redrilled and then secured in , likewise with the 2 single feathers for the actual helmet ..what will you have when you have every feather in place ................

    A stunning headdress , very imposing to say the least , I can well imagine the looks of admiration from the crowds as our gladiator stepped from the darkness of the waiting area underneath the areana into the bright daylight to fight for his life.

    Continued in next post :


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  8. Nap Moderator

    My Final thoughts:

    The gladiator is a subject of much mystery , he was without doubt a hero to many a female admirer , revered as a commercial enterprise by the owners of the schools he trained at .

    Linjo have done a great job on this bust , the lack of face should not put anyone off , its a wonderful piece of sculpting , there is more work than normal to do due to the feathers but what a result you will have for the display cabinet and what a talking point at the shows .

    A great Reference is the Osprey book No 39 in the Warrior range called "Gladiators 100BC - AD200" great read full of fascinating facts leading you through the lives of gladiators and bestof all superb plates in full colour by Angus McBride ( ISBN 1-84176-299-7)

    Its my pleasure to say this is a cracker and well worth getting , presentation is well up to the normal very high Linjo standard , sculpting and casting are 1st class .

    In the UK it can be got from sole distributors namely El Greco of course at a cost of £30 plus shipping

    Note El Greco are the sole distributor in UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1280 840364

    Email: info@elgrecominiatures.co.uk

    Home Page: http://www.elgrecominiatures.co.uk

    or direct via the Linjo website at www.linjomodels.com or contact them by e mail at linjomodles@sina.com


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    surfer623 likes this.
  9. Jazz A Fixture

    Great figure, great casting, great review as always mate. Love that photo of yourself in the red trousers. Quality!!:confused:
  10. billyturnip A Fixture

    His true identity was hidden by the helmet, you've just blown Nap's cover. :D
  11. Nap Moderator

    Hi Guys,

    Glad you enjoyed the review ...what guy in red trousers ? obviously Mrs Nap has been posting again ....if he is finely tuned and atheletic then its me !!!!!!!!

    More reviews in the pipeline

  12. megroot A Fixture

    This is a great revieuw, with history about the figure, and a great pictures.
    I want to have more of these.

  13. Nap Moderator

    Hi Marc ,

    Thanks for the comments , glad you enjoyed the review and hopefully the format , as with everything there are always things to improve on when doing these and I welcome any suggestions and idea's

    Stand by there will be more coming soon ....

  14. offo A Fixture

  15. Chris K New Member

    Its a great review , dont like the faceless aspect tho - those holes could be seen through of drilled for me this is a no thanks - preffer the prgaso version , and the linjo roman and other europen figures do have a chinese look about them - sorry if this is contreversial just being honest
  16. Nap Moderator

    Hi Chris ,
    Again thanks for the comments , I did mention about the lack of face in the review .....

    You are not being controversl everyone I am sure views things differently and has an individual thought .

    Chris K likes this.

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