Posted on

Roman model kits and figure sets

This article looks at the many Roman model kits and figure sets that are available. Roman models have proved popular over the years with figures and ships made by Airfix and others. So, which kits are the rarest?

Roman model kits and figure sets – early figures

One of the first Roman plastic kits was that of Julius Caesar. This was made by Airfix in 1964. It was originally bagged but gained a box in 1967.

The original Airfix Julius caesar kit from 1964

The kit was a relatively large one for a figure, at 1:12 scale, or about 6″ tall. These make up into nicely detailed models. However, the kit was last produced in 1978 and it is probable that the tooling has been lost. They very rarely turn up on auction sites.

The latter boxed Julius Caesar from 1967.

Another Airfix Roman set appeared in 1967 this was a 1/76 scale, set of Roman soldiers, there were 28 figures including horses. Additionally, they were made of a slimy soft plastic that was notoriously difficult to paint. Consequently, These can still be had on auction sites for around £20.

The Airfix Roman figure set of 1967 -eBay.

Modern Roman Figures

MiniArt produces 1:16 scale Roman figure Kits, these are good value at £12. Furthermore, they are readily available from most model shops, online. Indeed, they have a good level of detail and are well molded.

Modern MiniArt Romans – Amazon

1:72 scale figures

Strelets Roman figures

Perhaps the most popular scale for Roman figures is 1:72.

Strelets produce Roman figure sets in 1:72 scale, these are molded in soft plastic.

Strelets Roman Transport set – Javis
Plastic soldier review

The set includes and ox drawn cart that you would probably not find anywhere else!

HaT 1:72 figure sets

Hat also produce many Roman 1:72 figure sets

  • 8052 Punic war command
  • 8064 Roman X HVY Legionaire
  • 8066 Imperial Roman auxiliary cavalry
  • 8067 Imperial Roman pretorian cavalry
  • 8074 Roman Auxilliaries
  • 8075 Roman Command
  • 8082 Roman legionaires
  • 8086 Late Roman cataphract
  • 8087 Late Roman heavy infantry
  • 8100 Late Roman ligtt / medium infantry
  • 8137 Late Roman missile troops
  • 8151 Republican Roman army
  • 8183 Late Roman medium cavalry

Italeri also make a range of 1:72 figure sets

There are lots of Roman figure models but what else is available?

Roman chariot kits

A number of Roman chariot kits were produced in the 1950s and 60s, this probably had something to do with the Ben Hur film! All were in 1:48 scale.

A still from the 1959 version of Ben Hur – Variety

Miniature Masterpieces Roman chariot kit, early 50s

In 1953 Miniature Masterpieces produced a rather crude injection molded model. This can still be had for Around £30.

Crude modeling? – eBay

UPC Roman 1:48 Roman Chariot kit ,1960s

In the early ’60s a Roman Chariot kit was produced by UPC. These were made in japan.

Life Like Roman chariot kit, 1974

In 1974 the US Kit manufacturer Life Like made a Roman chariot kit, in 1:48 scale. This is another fairly scarce kit, that turns up on auction sites, only occasionally.

M

Glencoe Models 1:48 scale chariot and horses, 2019

This is an injection-molded kit that came out in 2019 and can be had for £65. The kit is rather oddly molded in blue plastic and is expensive for what it is.

Roman ship kits

Academy and Zvezda produce a Roman Trireme kit. The Academy kit comes in two scales 1:72 and 1:250. They are both still available for around £40 and £25 respectively.

The Czech manufacturer Zvezda also makes a 1:72 scale version for around £45. The kit includes a number of figures. There are also Resin and wooden boat kits available.

Roman Fort kits

There is an Airfix fort kit that is still available, all be it at around £140. This represents a mile castle, typical of those found on Hadrian’s wall.

Finally, there are a couple of card kits of Roman forts. These are cheap and maybe OK for background models on a larger diorama.

The Metcalfe Castle kit could be adapted to represent Hadrian’s wall or the walls of a fort. The N gauge version could be used in forced perspective, for example, as a wall in the distance.