Medieval Armies DBA Page

15mm Figure Review Main Page

By David Kuijt

What's New

15mm Miniatures by Gladiator

Online catalog: Gladiator's website is www.gladiatorgames.co.uk, with some pictures. They sell direct to the US and other markets, and I've found Bill Lucas very responsive to email orders. Some of the Gladiator ranges were once available under the brand names Metal Magic or Hobby Products. Note that not all Gladiator's ranges are previous Metal Magic figures!

Gladiator ranges HE, LR, AZ, GO, CH, AN, FE, and BI are all carved by Josef Ochman, a very talented sculptor. They are either the old Metal Magic ranges, or new ranges carved by him. Some of the other Gladiator ranges are not as nice. I would recommend the ranges mentioned above (all carved Herr Ochman), but on other ranges you should get samples before buying (as with most miniatures).

General Comments: The ex-Metal Magic figures I've seen are just superb. Animated, well-sculpted figures, with a lot of variety in each pack. They are "true" 15mm, which makes them a little smaller than some manufacturer's figures. They are about the same size as Essex medievals (a little smaller than some of their figs; about the same as others), and mix well with them.

The Biblical and Aztec/American figure ranges (BI and AZ) are significantly more chunky and muscular-looking than the other Ochman ranges (HE, LR, GO, CH, AN, FE). These figure ranges are still very well-carved and detailed, but will not mix with Essex or other slimmer ranges, and may not be to everyone's taste.

One other issue regarding Gladiator BI range chariots. Some clipping and filing is necessary to fit the chariot crews into the chariots with the 2-man chariots. Although the 3-man chariots are larger, the chariot walls are quite a bit thicker as well, and the result is that it is quite difficult to get the crew to fit. In some cases I've spent 30 minutes with files, knives, and a dremel tool grinding out space before I can fit the crew into the chariot. This is unfortunate and frustrating. With that said, however, the results are very nice.

Part # Type and Pose Variety Weapons and Armour Grade Description
HE41 2 bow, axe, or sword A Scythian horse archers. Nice figures. Mix well with Essex and Falcon. These would also work well for early Alan, or for Parthians.
HE43 2 bow, quiver, sword B+ Elymaian archers. Bare heads, tunic, pants, bow. A little static, but otherwise OK.
BI 12 4 spear, axe, or sword A+ Libyan warriors. Feather, loincloth, and a copper or bronze hand weapon; mostly javelins. The four poses are moderately similar. Some of these figures have cloaks. More images are here, here, and here. Very nice figures.
BI 14 3 javelins A Bedouin warriors with javelin. Two poses with multiple javelins in long sleeveless robe; one with an axe and javelin in a kilt, bare chested.
BI 15 2 bow A+ Libyan bowman. Feather, loincloth, bow, that's all! One pose is shooting, the other reloading. Another view is here
BI 33 5 varies A+ New Kingdom Foot Command. Five different figures (hornblower, standard bearer, warrior, official, and general) and five beautifully detailed standards.
BI 37 4 shield and spear or axe A New Kingdom javelinmen or chariot runners.
BI 38 3 bow, textile armour A New Kingdom archers with textile armour. Two firing poses, one reloading.
BI 40 2 sword, shield, armour, helmet A Shardana or Sherden. Two poses. Include the little sun disks on top of the helmet worn to differentiate the Shardana (Egyptian mercenary Sherden guards) from the Sherden, but that is easily trimmed off. Separate shields.
BI 41 4 spear or sword, shield, armour, helmet A Sea Peoples (Pelset). Typical Pelset headresses. Two poses, each with two different weapon possibilities (spear or sword). Separate shields.
BI 41A 3 axe, sword, or spear, armour, helmet A Sea Peoples (Sheklesh). Sheklesh headdresses, armour is the same as Pelset. Three poses, all different from BI41, same shield as other Sea Peoples.
BI 41B 2 kopesh or spear, armour, helmet A Sea Peoples (Teklesh). Teklesh headdresses. Two poses, different from other Sea Peoples. Same armour as Sherden, same separate shield as other Sea Peoples.
BI 45 5 javelin or sword, shield A Canaanite or Syrian spearmen. Five poses (two differ only in that one has body armour), two types of shield (round or rectangular); separate shields.
BI 46 2 bow A Canaanite or Syrian archers. Two poses, one firing and one reloading.
BI 56 3 varies A (B) Hittite box plan chariot, spearman B, driver B. These chariots are fairly roomy in comparison with the D plan, but still require significant work with a file to get three crew in. Another image is here.
BI 57/59 2 varies A Hittite D plan chariot, spearman type A. The driver figure is actually from the Syrian/Canaanite range. These chariots work well for two crew, but are too tight to put three crew in. Other images are here and here.
BI 63 3 varies A (B) Large D plan chariot, driver type B, spearman type A. The shieldbearer figure is actually from the Syrian/Canaanite range. The "large" D plan chariot has less of the crew-footroom-constraint than the other chariots in this range, but it is still a bit awkward to fit three crew into it. More images are here and here.
BI 66 3+ varies A Hittite foot command. Shown are two figures, the standardbearer and the hornblower, used here as escorts on the command chariot.
BI 68 2 varies A Hittite spearmen. Very nice. Some have helmets and others don't; all are wearing the typical Hittite cloth-wrap-armour cape. There are three types of separate shields included, allowing you to create even more variety and leave figures unshielded. Other images are here and here and here and here and here and here.
BI 69 1 bow B+ Hittite archers. Nice, although like many of the BI range, there were some awkward mould lines on mine, as can be seen here. Just one pose. More pictures are here and here.
BI 70 2 sling B+ Hittite slingers. One has a helmet; both have the cloth wrap armour. The same mould-line problem seems to exist with these figures. Other images are here and here.
BI 80 5+ varies A Syrian General and two-horse chariot. Very nice. The chariot body is quite beautiful and thin-walled. The fit for the two crew is quite tight, but workable. (Note -- the dead Egyptian is Freikorps, not part of the Gladiator code.) Other images are here and here.
BI 81 3 varies A (C) Syrian General and three-horse chariot. Very nice, except for one thing. With all the Gladiator 3-man chariots the chariot walls are quite thick, and the room for feet of the occupants is very small, such that I find I need to spend 30 minutes with my dremel tool grinding out space before I can fit the crew into the chariot. This is unfortunate and frustrating. With that said, however, the results are very nice. Another image is here.
LR 1 1 helmet, shield, spear A+ Legionary. 1 pose. Crested helmet, spear, sword, oval shield. Standing in guard position, wearing half-breeches. Painted as Legio Herculiani. An image of the Legio Thebei (or Thebae, depending upon your source) is here
LR 2 3 varies A+ Infantry command. 3 poses. General in a crested helm, oval shield, and cloak; Draco standard-bearer with cloak, tunic, crested helm; and Eagle standard-bearer with sword, tunic, and wolfs-head hood. Excellent.
LR 3 3 varies A+ Heavy cavalry command. 3 poses. General (1-pc casting) with crested helm, mail, oval shield, gesturing with a small eagle-tipped baton; Draco standard-bearer with mail, cloak, crested helm, and sword; and another cavalry figure with a cloak, mail, round shield with boss, crested helm, gesturing or striking with mace. Excellent.
LR 4 1 shield, spear, helm A Auxilia Palatina. 1 pose with spear, oval shield, crested helm, tunic, pants, sword. Standing, holding spear upright and close. Painted as Cornuti.
LR 5 1 sling and small shield A Slingers. 1 pose (whirling sling); tunic, pants, beard, bare headed, with sling and a small round shield.
LR 6 1 helm, spear, shield A Skirmishers. 1 pose (stepping forward); crested helmet, small round shield, spear, tunic, half-breeches. Another image is here
LR 7 1 bow, small shield A Archers. 1 pose (firing); tunic, pants, beard, bare-headed, small round shield. Another image is here
LR 8 1 mail, helmet, lance A Cataphractii. 1 pose; separate rider and mount. Rider is fully mailed with helmet and lance; horse is fully mailed. It IS possible to make a proper 4Kn stand with these figures. Note that the standard bearer shown in the image is actually from LR14.
LR 9 1 mail, helmet, lance, bow, shield A Clibanarii. 1 pose; separate rider and mount. Rider is mailed to the knees, has helmet and lance, bowcase and bow, small round shield. The horse has lamellar armour on its front only. The ankles are a little long and weak on the rider; a small fault probably hidden once glued to the mount. It IS possible to make a proper 4Kn stand with these figures. The helmets are spangenhelms. Another image is here. Note that the standard bearer shown in the image is actually from LR14.
LR 10 1 mail, helmet, lance, bow, shield A Heavy cavalry with lance. Same rider as LR 9 above, on an unarmoured horse.
LR 11 1 mail, helm, shield, javelin, sword A Heavy cavalry. 1 pose; separate rider and mount. Rider has mail, a crested helm, cloak, oval shield, sword, and javelin or short spear. A very nice figure.
LR 12 1 javelin, shield A+ Light Cavalry. 1 pose, throwing javelin to left side. Javelin and round shield, bare head, beard, tunic, pants. Excellent general European Dark Ages cavalry figure. Separate rider and mount. Another image is here.
LR 13 1 bow, shield A+ Mounted archers. 1 pose (loading bow). Separate rider and mount; the mount is the same as LR 12. Bare head, tunic, cloak, pants, bow, round shield. Two more images are here and here.
LR 14 2? 3? mail, helmet, armoured horse A+ Super-Heavy Cavalry Command. 2 poses on separate horses. The horses are the same as LR 8 and LR 9 respectively; the riders are as LR 8 and LR 9 except each has a Draco standard on a long pole replacing their lance. See LR 17 for a (probable) description of the General figure I assume would be included in this bag.
LR 17 1? 2? mail, helmet A+ Light cavalry command. I have only the General figure from this bag; other figures would probably be duplicates of LR 12. It is likely that this General figure appears in the LR 14 bag as well, perhaps with an armoured horse. General has a cloak, raised sword, mail, and crested helm. Separate horse and rider.
LR 18 1 Bow A+ Equites Indigenae. Mounted bow. 1 pose, similar to that of LR 13 except without a shield and looking over the other shoulder. Cloak, bow, tunic, pants, bare head. Same horse as LR 12 or LR 13. Two more images are here and here.
GO 1 3 sword, mail, shield A+ Gothic Mounted Command. Three poses: a leader, another noble, and an armoured standard bearer. Excellent figures. Suitable for most Dark Ages European cavalry from 250 AD. until the rise of kite shields in the 11th century.
GO 3 3 sword, mail, shield A+ Gothic Foot Command. Three poses: a leader, another noble, and an unarmoured standard bearer. Excellent figures. Suitable for almost the whole round-shield period (roughly 250 AD to 1050 AD; a little later in some places).
GO 4 2 mail, helm, shield, javelin A+ Heavy cavalry. Two poses, identical except head position, throwing javelin. Seperate rider and mount. Cloak, round shield, beard. Mixes well with AN2/AN3.
GO 5 1 shield, 3 javelins A+ Medium cavalry. Cloak, bare-headed with moustache, round shield and multiple javelins. No armour. Excellent European Dark Ages light or medium cavalry figure. Another image is here.
GO 6 2 spear, shield A Gothic Spearmen. Two poses. Excellent figures. The shields are slightly oval; nearly round.
GO 7 2+ bow, shield, cloak A+ Goth archers. Unarmoured bow with large roundshield. Bare head, beard, tunic, pants. Two poses (possibly more), one firing, one loading. An image of the backs here.
GO 8 2 sword, spear, mail, helmet, shield A Gepid/Lombard Nobles. Armoured cavalry. Two poses, different only in head and hand position. Nice figs. Suitable for most Dark Ages European heavy cavalry or early knights.
GO 9 3 bow A Lombard archers. At least three poses. Unarmoured bow; suitable for light foot bow from 250 AD until 1250 AD at least. Nice figures. Aother images is here
GO 10 5 axe or spear, shield A+ Frankish infantry. Five excellent poses, suitable for most Dark Ages warband or unarmoured spear. Two more images are here and here.
GO 11 3? sword, shield, mail, horse armour A+ Gothic Extra-heavy Cavalry General and command. Two poses are shown; I suspect that the pack comes with a draco-bearer as well, but I'm not certain. The horses are armoured on front only. The other pose is shown here.
GO 12 2 spear, shield, mail, horse armour A Gothic Extra-heavy Cavalry. Throwing a javelin to the side (which can make them look a little odd with the enemy to their front). The two poses are different in head positions only (note the figure in the center of the main image is the general from GO11, not a GO12 code). The horses are armoured on front only; same horse as GO11. Other images are side view and another front view; as before, the center figure is a general from GO11. The two poses in the pack are here and here.
AN 1 2 mail, helm, sword, bow, round shield A Heavy Cavalry command with General. For details of the banner-bearer see the description for AN 4 (the same figure is used for both). The general has a fur cloak and fur saddle blanket, and is brandishing a (rather puny-looking) sword. 1-piece casting.
AN 2 1 mail, helm, bow, spear, round shield A+ Heavy Cavalry. Cloak, fur saddle blanket. 1-piece casting with a separate spear (cut to length and glue in position) held at an angle across both hands. Nice figure, suitable for an enormous variety of Dark Ages armies.
AN 3 1 mail, helm, bow, spear, round shield A+ Medium Cavalry. This figure is equipped as AN 2, save that his cloak is fur and he is in a different pose. Would mix very well with AN 2. Like AN 2, he comes with a separate spear, braced between one hand and the horse's ear. Other angles are here and here.
AN 4 1 n/a A+ Light Cavalry Command. I just have the banner-bearer from this pack -- the other two figures in this pack would probably have been from AN 5 or AN 6, at a guess. 2-piece casting. Fur-rimmed hat, fur cloak and fur saddle blanket. Carrying a pole with horse-tail pennon. This figure is identical to the banner-bearer figure that is included in pack AN 1
AN 5 2 javelin, round shield, sheathed bow A+ Light cavalry with javelin. Fur-rimmed hat, fur cloak. 1-piece casting with horse. Two poses, one throwing javelin and one at ready. Another image is here.
AN 6 2 bow A+ Light cavalry with bow. As AN 5, but no javelin or shield. Two poses; one firing and one reloading. Another image is here.
AN 7 1 javelin, round shield, sheathed bow A Alan cavalry. 1-piece casting. Horse is standing or walking, relatively static pose. Phrygian-style hat.
AN 9 1 javelin, small round shield A+ Dismounted light cavalry. Fur-rimmed cap, fur cape, no armour. Only one pose, but it is nice. Mixes well with AN 10. Another view is here.
AN 10 1 javelin, small round shield A+ Light infantry with spear. Head is uncovered; wearing a fur vest. One pose. Mixes very well with AN 09. Another view is here.
AN 11 1 bow A+ Light infantry archer. This figure is basically AN 06 dismounted. Fur-rimmed cap, fur cape, bow, tunic, pants, shoes, moustache. Another image is here.
CRK1 3 bow, sword C Ilkhanid/Mongol Command. More images are 1 and 2 and 3.
CRK4 5 bow, sword C+/C- Ilkhanid/Mongol Horse Archer. Lots of poses, all two-piece castings (separate horse and rider). These are the first Gladiator figures I've seen that were not carved by Josef Ochman. The riders are fine -- a little plain, but OK. The horses are quite poor. The riders also do not fit the horses very well -- I needed to employ a lot of glue. Another image is here. For my Mongol army I've substituted Ochman-carved horses (from EQ 9) instead of using the ones supplied with the riders. Images of the remounted figures are 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5.
AZ 1 4+ varies A+ Aztec command. I got four figs: a general with standard, an emperor in fighting regalia, a conch-horn blower, and a cloaked general or noble. Absolutely stunning figures. Another image is here.
AZ 2/3/4 lots varies A+ Eagle suit-wearers. Gorgeous.
AZ 5/6/7 lots varies A+ Jaguar suit-wearers. Gorgeous. Another image is here.
AZ 10/11 lots varies A+ Otomi mercenaries. Gorgeous.
AZ 13 4+ varies A+ Aztec range: Quachic Veterans with Spear and Shield. Just gorgeous. At least four different poses. Another image is here. Another image is here.
AZ 14/15/16 lots varies A+ Aztec range: Clan Warriors (sword and shield, spear and shield, or two-handed sword respectively). Just gorgeous. Lots of poses, all active. Another image is here. A third image (note the Jimmy Buffet Aztec in the foreground) is here.
AZ 17 3+ varies A+ Peasant Slingers. Gorgeous.
AZ 18 3+ varies A+ Peasant Archers. Gorgeous.
AZ 23 5+ bow, quilted armour A+ Tlaxcalan Archers. At least five poses. Stunning.
AZ 24 4+ shield, various hand weapons, quilted armour A+ Tlaxcalan Shieldbearers. At least four poses. Stunning. Some are visible (among archers) here.
AZ 37 3+ none A+ Aztec bearers. Heavily laden. At least three totally different poses; excellent. A closeup image is here; more images are here and here.
FE 1 3? sword, shield, mail A+ Generals and herald ca. 1175. Single-piece casting of generals with horse. The herald is blowing a horn to the side; all three command codes (FE 1-3) use the same herald. Excellent figures.
FE 4 2 lance, sword, shield, mail A+ Knights c.1175. Separate rider and horse; add-on lances. Excellent figures. One has a square-topped kite shield and a phrygian helmet; the second has a flat-top helmet and heater shield.
FE 5 several lance, sword, shield, full armour, and barding A+ Knights c.1220. Separate rider and horse; add-on lances. Excellent figures.
FE 6 several lance, sword, shield, full armour, and barding A+ Knights c.1275. Separate rider/horse; add-on lances. Excellent figures.
FE 7 several lance, sword, shield, full armour, cloak, and barding A+ Teutonic Knights c.1275. Separate rider and horse; add-on lances. Excellent figures. More images are here and here.
FE 8 2 or more helmet, kite shield, separate lance A+ Unarmoured sergeants 12th cent. The two flanking figures in the image are FE 8 (the center is FE 9). One has a cloak; both wear tunic and pants
FE 9 several mail, shield, separate lance A+ Armoured sergeant 12th cent. Very nice.
FE 11 1 crossbow, mail. A Mounted crossbow. Nice figures. Separate rider and horse.
FE12 2 sword, two javelins, shield A+ Pruzz light cavalry. Two poses (each a single-piece casting with horse). Excellent figures. Suitable for most Dark Ages European light cavalry (the shield can be modified to be a round shield with boss without much difficulty). Two more images are here and here.
FE13 2 sword, bow/javelin, shield, brigandine A+ Lithuanian light cavalry. Two poses (each a single-piece casting with horse): one has shield and javelin, the other is firing a light horsebow forward. Excellent figures. Both figures are wearing brigandine body armour. Two more images are here and here.
FE 14 2 scimitar, bow, shield A+ Hungarian light cavalry. Two poses (each a single-piece casting with horse): one has shield, bowcase, and drawn sword, the other is firing a light horsebow forward. Excellent figures. Hobby Products pack number P2014. Another image is here.
FE 15 1 lance, shield, sword A Hungarian heavy cavalry. One pose. Nice figures; mix well with the other FE range knights and sergeants. One horse pose. Separate rider and horse; add-on lances. Another image is here, painted on a barded horse substituted from another FE range figure.
FE16 2 sword, bow, one pose has spear, shield, and mail hauberk A+ Cuman light cavalry. Two poses (each a single-piece casting with horse): one firing a light horsebow forward, the other has a short-sleeve mail coat, shield, and spear or javelin. Excellent figures. Two images of the spear and shield figure are here and here.
FE 17 2+ mail, helmet, shield A+ Swabian foot knights c. 1175. One has a late (flat-top) kite shield, the other an early heater. Excellent figures. Another image is here
FE 18 2+ spear, kite shield, padded aketon A+ Unarmoured spearmen, 12th century. Very nice.
FE 20 4+ spear, heater shield, quilted aketon A+ Unarmoured spearmen, 13th century. Very nice.
FE 21 3+ spear, mail, helmet or mail coif A+ Armoured spearmen 13th century. Gorgeous. Another image is here.
FE 22 3 or more spear, mail or scale, helmet A+ Flemish spearmen 13th century. Gorgeous.
FE 23 1 crossbow, helmet A Unarmoured crossbow. Very nice.
FE 24 1 crossbow, helmet, mail. A Armoured crossbow. Very nice. Mixes well with FE 25.
FE 25 1 crossbow, mail A Italian crossbow, 13th century. Very nice. Mixes well with FE 24.
FE27 3 shield, spear A+ Prussian/Lithuanian Skirmishers. Very nice figures; well carved, active poses, lots of variety. Distinctive Prussian/Lithuanian shield.
FE28 3 shield, bow, axe A+ Pruzz archers. Very nice figures; well carved, active poses, lots of variety. The shield is distinctive, but would be easily modified into a round shield which would make these figures excellent for any dark-ages bow (Saxon, Viking, Franks, whatever). One of the figures has a smooth-faced shield with boss; two more have rough plank shields with boss and metal straps. I know there are at least 3 figure variations (one drawing an arrow, two firing); there may be more. Here are images from the back view and of the third pose.
FE29 3 shield, axe A+ Prussian/Lithuanian Axemen. Very nice figures; well carved, active poses, lots of variety. Same distinctive not-quite-round shield. Here is an image of another pose. Both figures shown have their shields slung on their backs, not visible in the images.
FE30 lots varies (no armour) A+ Peasants with improvised weapons (pitchforks, sickles, etcetera). Absolutely stunning figures; well carved, active poses, lots of variety. Hobby Products pack number P2030.
FE 31 lots varies (no armour) A+ Peasants with bills, flails, and similar weapons. Absolutely stunning figures; well carved, active poses, lots of variety. A few peasants have helmets. Hobby Products pack number P2031. Another image is here.
FE 32 3 bow A+ Peasants with missile weapons. Mixes well with FE 26. Another image is here
FE 33 3 mail, helmet, shield, sword A+ Dismounted knights c. 1275 AD. Beautiful.
EQ 9 1 n/a B Nomad Wagon, with two horses. The wagon is fine, although not as nice as the Irregular Nomad Wagon. The horses for pulling it are very nice; two different poses. Note that the wheels shown are NOT those from the Gladiator wagon, which has thinner wheels with more spokes. The wagon is mounted on a 60mm deep stand; there is almost no hope of mounting it on a 40mm (DBA Warwagon depth) stand even without the horses.


What's New

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November 11, 2002. Added a bunch of Hittites and images: BI56, 57, 63, 66, 68, 69, and 70, with about 20 images. Significant text modification to the "General Comments" paragraphs at the start, too.

January 16, 2002. Added BI80, BI81, and realized that I haven't made any images of all the BI codes added earlier (which are all painted now). D'OH!

The author may be contacted at kuijt@umiacs.umd.edu Please do not use any pictures or text from this page without permission.