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Built Review
Roman Legionary I Century AD

by: John Pradarelli [ JOHN17 ]

Originally published on:
Historicus Forma

kit contents
Inside the cardboard box are two sprue trees. The sample I received had one sprue molded in light gray plastic and the other in a darker gray plastic. The plastic was of average composition leaning a bit on the soft side. There are a total of 36 pieces which make up the figure, weapon and shield. Also included are a sturdy, round plastic display base, a decal for the shield and an assembly/paint guide for the figure.

first impressions

At first glance I was very pleased with the quality of the molds and the detail present in the pieces. Everything was relatively crisp. The face of the figure is very distinct and contains a lot of character. There was a bit of flash around the parts that comprise the Galea (helmet) and the scabbard as can be seen in images #4 & 5. The nature of the plastic however made for easy clean-up. Unfortunately, because my samples weren’t shipped in their actual box almost all the shoulder plating was either cracked or broken (see image #3).

One thing that stood out to me the most was the sheer number of parts involved in this kit. The head alone is comprised of three different parts, and all limbs were made up of two parts each.

Finally, because I received three different Roman figures from this line (the reviews for which are to come in the near future), I was able to do a cross comparison. I was a bit disappointed to find that the three kits use the same basic sprue for the legs, torso, and head. The only differences between them are the arms, helmet, weapon, and shield shape. Otherwise the basic pose, uniform, and face are the same which begs the modeler to make modifications for a more individualistic appearance.

The assembly was straight forward with no real surprises. The included assembly/painting sheet shows the sprue layout on one side (image #7) and an illustration of the full figure on the other side with part numbers and paint colors called out (image #6). In image #8 you see the basic figure before any seam clean-up. After gluing the leg sections together I noticed what appeared to be a “short shot” on the front surfaces of the legs (see image #9). This was easily rectified with some Squadron Green Putty. Once the helmet was completed and place on the head, it seemed to be a bit large to me (image #10 & 11). Once I paint the figure and draw the cheek guards in closer to the face perhaps it won’t seem as oversized to me. After assembly and seam cleaning the next area to tackle was the weapon hand. Out of the box, the weapon hand doesn’t have fingers that actually grip the Gladius. The hand is too open to properly place the weapon in a realistic fashion. I glued the Gladius to the palm of the hand and allowed that to dry. I then took a sharp scalpel and separated the four fingers which are molded together. I then cut small V-shaped notches out of each finger where it would naturally bend. Then while running hot tap water over the hand for a minute, I gently bent the fingers around the Gladius. After a few attempts I was pleased with the results (image #12). I intentionally left off the balteus (military belt) to make painting the tunic easier. I also wanted to leave off the scabbard, but because of the complexity of attaching it to the front strap and the back strap I felt it would be too difficult to attach without marring a nicely painted surface.

Overall I was very impressed with the final look of the figure. The anatomy is well proportioned and the uniform details offer a nice painting surface.

I definitely recommend this kit to the figure painter with the patience for an involved assembly. If you take your time, you’ll end up with a figure you can be proud of at a price the fraction of what you would pay for resin.

Rome wasn’t built in a day… and neither was this figure! With its large number of parts, be prepared to take some time with this kit and make sure to give each seam the proper attention so as not to detract from the final quality of your figure.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:16
  Mfg. ID: 16005
  Suggested Retail: 12.50 USD
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Sep 12, 2006

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About John Pradarelli (john17)

A modeler off and on (as time permits) for over 20 years. By day I work for a Model Railroading company in Milwaukee, WI. By night you'll find me spending time with my wife and two boys...until they go to bed. Then it's off to the basement where I will work on figure painting, armor, planes, diorama...

Copyright ©2021 text by John Pradarelli [ JOHN17 ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Dave and David I've been fortunate enough to receive this figure as well, and let me just say that John has hit it spot-on in his review. These figures are great for the figure modeller that enjoys assembly. They also have a very interesting range of historics in 1:16... like Dutch Musketeers... I don't think I've ever seen one of these in 120mm! Also, at USD12.50... what a bargain! As a heads-up you guys can look forward to a few more reviews of MiniArt 1/16 figures in the near future Rudi p.s. Spooky, I'm not at the office at the moment, but I'll do some digging on vendors that stock MiniArt this afternoon. Let you know when I find what you're looking for
SEP 12, 2006 - 01:58 PM
Having made their French Guardsman, I can confirm John's findings on this one. They are good, if a little anatomically naive, but do need more work than many modern modellers are used to. The end results are good.
SEP 12, 2006 - 11:00 PM
Well durn burn it. . . . I hate to be the fly in the Preperation H, here. But I'm working on MiniArts other 120mm figure kit of the Netherlands Musketeer. I hope to post WIP pictures in the near future if I can find space in my gallery photos. Unlike what John 17 and Dave Cox have said, the Netherlands Musketeer is just a major bow wow kit, I am sorry to report. The fit is the worst I have ever seen on a scale that large. It requires a muddler of some experience to even bring this figure up to any acceptable standards. Why they didn't make the head a solid piece of styrene plastic, I will never know. The head come in three pieces so there are all those seams to deal with if you're thinking about entering this figure in an IPMS contest. The helmet took major modifications to become usuable, the sword is a throw-a-way (you realize all these comments are only my OPINION) and the torso doesn't even come close to fitting over the legs. But I am sure MiniArt will learn. They have so much competition there in the Eastern European region; i.e. Eduard. But they have decided to do 120mm figures from historical periods that DML and Tamiya have not gotten in to. So in that regard, I commend MiniArt. They just need to come up with molds that make it possible for the arm halves and leg halves to fit together without all those huge gaps. And come up with a head that is solid styrene.
SEP 13, 2006 - 03:09 AM
Looking at your profile Rick, we must have started modelling about the same time. I grew up on kits that fitted like these do, so in my opinion the problems with seams etc are nothing that an experienced modeller can't handle, just not what's expected these days. It's worth the agro to get the different subjects. I also recommended using sprue dissolved in thinner or liquid cement - this is applied by brush and fills the seams a treat without too much work afterwards. On the Guardsman the three piece head wasn't a problem, as the seams on the face are almost hidden by the hair.
SEP 13, 2006 - 10:47 AM
Hi Rick, I suspect the Dutch Musketeer is one of their early kits. In fact this kit has recently come across my desk. IIRC from my all too brief scan of the sprues, you get 2 faces? I guess that would explain the 3 piece head. I am confident that in time MiniArt will improve their moulds and castings. They have some very exciting figures planned, including a range of 1/32 (54mm) historicals - in plastic of course. IIRC they are planning a Napoleonic 6 pdr with crew... BTW, when do we get to see some progress shots of your Musketeer? Rudi
SEP 13, 2006 - 12:44 PM
Hello again Dave and Rudi: @Dave: Yes, like you, I've been modeling a long time. Oh my, since 1965. And the fact that an aircraft kit has large gaps, or a figure kit has poor fitting parts is no major problem for me, either. I used to use the disolved styrene bits in Ethyline Dycloride (sp?) as a filler and did so for years. Now days I just use Aves Studio ApoxieSculpt and get good results. Re the head in three pieces. I did notice how they engineered the three piece head (no locating pins, unfortunately) that the seams would be covered with the helmet metal chin straps or the pieces of hair. I bought the two MiniArt 120mm kits at the IPMS Nationals in Kansas City, as I said and after opening the Netherlands Musketeer kit, I purchased some 120mm resin heads and am replacing the kit head with one of the resin heads. (VLS, "Legends & Lore" 5 character heads. I'm using the one of "Clyde" from the Bonnie an Clyde movie, . . . years ago, right Fay?) A friend at our Show Me State chapter meeting this past Tues told me it was Clyde. Oh well, . . . I'm kinda outa touch. @Rudi: Whao Nellie, Rudi. I did NOT know that. MiniArt plans for the future. Even a gun crew w/ figures set? Great. I like working with resin, and feel more comfortable with it, than with metal. But I like working on figures in styrene plastic the best. From all the years with aircraft kits, I guess. I was hoping to post some WIP photos of the Netherlands Musketeer this week, but didn't do what Larry the Cable guy sez: "Get 'er Done!" So I am hoping to do so next week. Am driving to Wichita, Kansas USA for a contest over the weekend, so we will see how next week goes. Glad to learn about MiniArts plans; good news from a company that produces figures that are not real expensive. Thus it doesn't cost a lot of money to "practice" on a larger sized figure.
SEP 13, 2006 - 05:00 PM
Thanks John for the great review. You have given me the incentive to do a figure not from the second world War. I will just hop on over to Cyber Hobbies and get one or two, Cheers.
SEP 21, 2006 - 09:39 AM
i have several of their kits but right now i am interested in Ancient series so i have both Greek & Roman figures right and the only one i have started is the Napoleonic -Dragoon mounted which i had to stopped because i felt i was getting no where fast with doing it .
APR 30, 2018 - 11:53 PM
All of these comments are dead on right! I have the two Roman figures as well as the Spartan figure and I am waiting the Alexander era figures that the MiniArt website has shown but are not out as yet. I have done models since 1958 but I have used more putty and sandpaper on these kits than I have for a half a century! But that's why we are modelers! The three parts for the head are no problem as they will be wearing helmets so who will see. Except for the shields the Roman figures are really the same figure/era. I would suggest that the modelers research the colors of tunics used by the Romans to give some interest to the topic. I did not use the plastic bases supplied by the kit--I used a wooden base. Overall I was "generally pleased" by the kit. I can't wait for more Ancient figures that MiniArt will do. Maybe Tamiya and other companies could do some--other thnt Wehrmacht/Waffen SS. (I have them too but need more Ancients)
MAY 01, 2018 - 09:21 AM

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