Salve, Citizen! Anyone who has ever seen a TV screen probably knows of the Roman Empire & their fearsome legionnaires. In my opinion, The Romans are to historical gaming in antiquity what the Germans are for Second World War Gaming. They are very popular and you can get kits of Roman soldiers from various manufacturers. For this review, Victrix Ltd was kind enough to send me a kit of the Early Imperial Romans Attacking to slap together and toss some paint on.
First off the bat, my absolute favorite thing about Victrix kits is the sheer amount of stuff you get when you open up that ziplock bag. The Romans come with slightly less troops than the rest of the majority of their Ancients lines, but this isn’t a big deal if you’re playing a game like Infamy! Infamy! It also doesn’t feel bad at all because the level of quality you’re getting with these kits is truly outstanding.
Like mentioned above, this kit came in the same ziplock bag that most Victrix kits come in. Because it came to me from overseas, a few of the standards on the command sprue were broken (likely as a result of being packed & shipped on to me by Lenoon, not Victrix). In addition, I had a pilum from one of the models I built snap off. When it comes to model kits, you can either have realistic proportioned models like these romans from Victrix or more chunky models that are more robust, but the price for that increased quality is that they break easily. This isn’t really a ding against these Romans from Victrix, but you should be careful with them after they’re built. Make sure you store them correctly and handle them with care. If you’re picking them up in a store, make sure you inspect the bag before purchasing to make sure nothing has snapped.
I enjoyed putting these together because they’re relatively simple. Each Roman comes as a body and you simply apply the weapon arm and shield arm. Alternatively, you can create several standard bearers and a centurion with the command sprue. Each of the bodies on the command sprue is wearing different types of armor that doesn’t exactly match up with the rest of the infantry in the kit, so keep that in mind when planning out how many you will need for a full force.
When I was first introduced to Victrix kits a few years back, I tended to avoid them because at first impression the assembly instructions seemed very confusing. However, now having built several of their kits I can attest that the building instructions are honestly more easily parsed than they seem like they would be. As long as you double check what goes where, it isn’t really an issue. Another benefit to building this kit is that Roman infantry fought in rank and file, so you’re very often building heaps of individuals kitted out in exactly the same way.
While I was building these, I quickly realized they weren’t going to line up with Sabot Bases because this kit is designed for the infantry to be attacking, so each model is very dynamic. To get a full unit to work for this review, I ended up making the front rank modeled as throwing their pilum while the back rank stood ready to move up and get to work butchering. Alternatively what you could do (and what I did) is purchase the Early Imperial Romans Attacking kit along with the Early Imperial Romans Advancing kit and simply use them to fill out the back ranks as they line up a little easier. While on the subject of the Advancing kit – it’s essentially the same as the Attacking kit – the models are simply a little more static in pose versus the dynamic posing of the attacking models. The command sprue is the same in both kits.
Each model is equipped exactly the way you’d expect them to be & the attention to detail is truly impressive: Lorica Segmentata armor, Imperial Gallic helmets, scarves for protecting the wearers neck from their armor, Pugio, tunics, trousers & options to either be armed with Pilum or Gladius. There’s also several sheathed swords that you can attach to a belt that goes across each soldier – I did so on the Pilum armed models but didn’t do so on the Gladius armed ones. What you could do is simply clip off the top bit of the sword to show that they’re pulled their Gladius from the sheath. Next time!
I know that historically Roman Legionnaires often didn’t wear red, but when I think of Romans, they’re wearing red. So that’s how I painted them. I ordered a couple of Sabot bases from The Phalanx Consortium and they worked out great, allowing me to set these guys up thematically.
After Victrix sent me the kit I went ahead and ordered some of the shield transfers for Legio XIII (made by Little Big Men Studios, but they have to be purchased on the Victrix website). These are a breeze to apply and I enjoyed doing it. Transfers can really take your models to the next level and I plan on doing an in depth guide on them in the future.
They were painted up relatively easily using a mix of Citadel Contrast paints and various traditional paints. You can see how I painted these Romans in our updated How To Paint Everything: Roman Legions article.
Victrix really nailed it with this kit. The Roman Legions stand out in history for being highly organized, professional soldiers with the kit to prove it and that is really reflected in these models. From the Mare Caspium to the Mare Germanicum, this kit offers a great modeling opportunity and a quick, fun army to paint up. I definitely recommend them!
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