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Roman Centurion (1 Century) - ICM 1:16 (16302)


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Roman Centurion (1 Century)

ICM 1:16 (16302)




Although Britmodeller has members from all around the world, there are several of us, including Mike 'The Boss' who reside in and around the City of Chester in North West England.  Chester was originally founded by the Roman Army in the year 79 AD, as the fortress of Deva. The street plan is today almost exactly that laid down by the Romans, and the city is rich in Roman heritage and archaeology. Chester is one of the few cities in Europe that still retains it's ancient city walls, and Roman stonework is still visible along lengths of it. The city also boasts a large amphitheater, although only half of it has been excavated due to another listed building sitting over the other half. Think of the movie 'Gladiator' to imagine what used to take place there.


It was with interest then that we received this 1:16 scale figure of a Roman Centurion from ICM, he is perfect as one of the original inhabitants of Deva. The Centurion was the linchpin of the Roman army. Promotion was only through merit, he had to be an accomplished swordsman, tactician, and leader, among many other qualities. Typically he would lead around 80 soldiers and 20 servants and orderlies, hence the name 'Centurion' as leader of 100 men. They were responsible for the morale, discipline, and fighting qualities  of their men, and must have been very tough and fearsome individuals.


The kit comes in a large box with a painting of a Centurion looking ready for action, or perhaps drilling his men. The box top is more of a sleeve that lifts off to reveal a sturdy top opening cardboard box that hold all the parts.



Inside are two grey sprues, a three part stand moulded in black, an construction/painting guide, and a nice print of the box top illustration. First impressions are of flawlessly mouded parts with sharp detail and finesse.


Sprues A and B form the base for the figure, and are moulded in black plastic. Your choice to paint it or use it as it comes, but certainly it will look nice under a coat of satin or gloss black paint.



Sprue C contains the main elements of the figure himself, torso, lags, arms and head.



All of it is beautifully moulded, the face in particular is incredibly realistic.



The main body armour is 'scale mail' which looks like fish or reptile scales rather than chain mail. Moulded on to it is the leather strap work onto which the is attached the 'Phalera', the polished discs which were awarded rather like medals are today.



The legs are also beautifully moulded with metal guards and 'caligae' (sandals) incorporated.


The 'Galea' (helmet) has a the distinctive horsehair crest mounted on it. It is thought that ordinary Legionaries had theirs aligned fore and aft, whilst centurions wore theirs side to side. The moulded example looks perfectly good, but I would be interested to see if using something like fine bristles from a nylon brush would work.


Sprue D holds the main helmet, shield and weapons.



The Gladius (sword) was the Roman soldiers main weapon and devastatingly effective. It could be used with an upward or downward thrust due to is double edge, and also in a forward thrust stabbing motion. Both sheathed and unsheathed versions are supplied, so if you build your figure holding the Gladius, the handle will need cutting off the scabbard from the sheathed version. Also included is the Pugio (dagger), which is worn on the left side of the belt. In another sign of status, Centurions wore their Pugio and Gladius on the opposite side to the regular legionaires.

The largest part is the shield, which is nicely moulded and features the wings and lightning bolt markings lightly engraved on its surface. I would have thought that a decal might have been provided for this, but no, the intention is that you should paint it. I will use the technique of tracing it onto paper and making a template to cut the design from solid yellow decal film. Finer detail, mainly black trim, can then be added with a fine brush.



The painting guide also doubles up as an assembly guide as it is pretty obvious where everything goes. Paint call outs are keyed to Revell and Tamiya paint ranges, but again are pretty obvious.





I'm not normally a figure modeller but I do like to try different aspects of modelling from time to time. The mouldings look really superb and absolutely flawless. I've built a few ICM vehicle and aircraft kits and they are beautifully engineered, with very precise and accurate fit. I'm really looking forward to building this, he will represent our local Legion XX 'Valeria Victrix' who were based in Chester for over 200 years from the first century AD onwards. Recommended. 


Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd.



Review sample courtesy of



[EDIT]I have built the figure, more pictures in Ready For Inspection. [/EDIT]



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Hello, John -


Good timely review from my point of view as I have bought this kit myself.    I have an interest in ancient Rome (although I prefer the republican as opposed to imperial period) so had to have this this even though I am not a figure builder.   I'll give it a good try though!


I assume from your accurate descriptions of legionary equipment that you have an interest in ancient Rome also?





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Hello Dave,


Indeed I do! Living in a city with plenty of Roman heritage I fin it very interesting. Odd little things like the street plan still being the Roman one, and the shop fronts can still often be seen as (i think) the standard Roman 12 ft wide. As one building was taken down, it replacement occupied the same frontage (or multiple of) over and over down the centuries. There is an area of small field inside the city walls in the Northeast corner that has not been built on since. In hot dry summers you can see the pattern in the dry grass of the foundations of the original barrack blocks, so the stonework must still be there under it.  There is plenty of Roman stonework still in the city walls as well.

Militarily they were a formidable fighting force, and I bet we don't know the half of how good their organization and technology was. As a swordsman you probably appreciate what a superb weapon the Roman Gladius was (no sniggering now!) not bettered for probably a thousand years, and their technique of interlocking shields to make a unit with wall and roof to advance into the enemy.

The Legion XX Valeria Victrix were here a long time, and it is known that they marched from Chester up to Hadrian's wall to build and man it, I was fascinated to see their stamp of the wild boar an 'Leg, XX' on several artifacts at the Vindolanda museum up near the wall.


Oops, fatal mistake to get me talking about ancient Rome, I will tend to prattle on!


On the model, I have traced the shield design onto masking tape, transferred it to plastic sheet and cut some templates out to cut around and make a set of masks. I'll probably paint the shield yellow, apply the masks and spray the red.  I'll post an update here when I get a bit more done,






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