Leonidas the King | Print |  E-mail
Written by Norris Eppes   
Monday, 25 June 2007
Norris takes a look at a 32mm King Leonidas figure by Dark Slave Miniatures inspired by the movie 300, showing off the figure's quality and his painting technique.


With all the buzz created by the new movie "300," about the Spartans at Thermopylae, lots of companies are producing Spartan models. Dark Slave Miniatures has not made an entire range, but has released a wonderful model of Leonidas, as depicted in the film.


The finished miniature, painted and based by myself.

Historical Accuracy

First off, it's important to note that this model is based on the depiction of Spartans in the movie, not on archeological and historical evidence! For example, Spartans of that period would have worn cuirasses and carried straight swords. This miniature, however, is without body armor and carries a scimitar. If you don't care about historical accuracy and just want a cool model to lead your Spartan (or Fantasy) army on the wargames table, this Leonidas might be for you. However, if you like to stay faithful to real life, you might want to consider another miniature.


Here are two pictures showing the rather unhistorical scimitar and armor (or lack of it) on this miniature. Note that I made the rock and base myself; neither is included.

The Model

Dark Slave Miniatures is based in Spain, and at the time of this writing does not have foreign retailers. So, U.S. shipping cost as much as the model itself! Potential customers might want to consider this before purchasing. The model came in a nicely-assembled blister pack, and was split into three parts: The main body, a leg and the spear. I found that a pin vice drill and some wire were required to make sure the leg did not break off, as it was a bit unstable with just super glue. Also, the model did not come attached to any form of support for attachment to a base. So, I had to make my own rock out of cork and fasten the foot of Leonidas to the cork with wire, "green stuff" putty and super glue. This process took quite a while, as I had to balance the model just right so that it did not fall over.


This is a good picture showing how I fixed the model to the rock base.

Painting

After I got around the difficulties with basing, I started painting the model. I was extremely pleased with the crisp sculpting job, and found Leonidas very fun to paint. There were some parts that were a bit difficult to get a brush onto, like the eyes and sandals, but after a couple tries I managed to paint these bits without too much hassle. Overall I was extremely happy with how the model looked when fully painted.


Another shot of the model.

Size

Even though Dark Slave Miniatures labels this model as 32mm, I found that it fits in quite well with the 28mm models in my collection. I attribute this to the fact that this model is sculpted so that it measures exactly 32mm from foot to eye, while most 28mm models on the market are larger than they're labeled. In my opinion, it would be quite easy to use this miniature as a leader or command figure for a 28mm wargames army.

Conclusion

Besides the issues with historical accuracy and the difficulty in fitting this model to a base, I was extremely happy with the Leonidas miniature. It was exceptionally well sculpted, very lifelike and full of movement. This figure would make a great display piece or army commander, and would surely add some splendor to any battlefield.

Summary

StrengthsWeaknesses
Absolutely Stunning Sculpting jobHistorical accuracy might be an issue for some buyers
Fits in reasonably well with large 28mm modelsHigh Price and steep shipping cost
Relatively easy to assembleHard to fix the assembled model to a base
Rating: 4


Vendor: Dark Slave Miniatures
Sourcing: Dark Slave Miniatures
Pricing: Euros = 7.95
GBP = 5.41
USD = 10.57

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