by: Costas Rodopoulos [ ]
And it was about time to deal with one of the nice greek themes of Ares Mythologic. The company from Barcelona – Spain.
Dedicated to the motto of the company ( “The ancient World in your hands” ) Ares keeps on making nice miniatures of Historical personalities and that’s a real statement. As the first miniatures of the company that I layed hands on, every next one makes me feel , that they are doing a serious effort to produce good quality miniatures for the modeler.
The themes lay all over the ancient world and with great choices of personalities to depict in the figures. And the company keeps bringin up all the time many new figures with interesting themes .
The one I will examine here is Leonidas , the brave Spartan King , a 70 mm miniature with code AGREE – G 04. These miniatures come in Limited edition and this piece I have in hands is number 147.
Spartan king and general who led his army in the battle of Thermopylae against the Persian king Xerxes I. Leonides managed to delay the Persian invasion for two days with only 300 men. Ephialtes, a Thessalian man, betrayed his leader and showed the Persians another way to invade in order to attck from behind. Leonidas sent some of his army to safety, and died fighting the Persians together with 700 volunteers.
Self-sacrifice for the sake of patriotism is a major theme in the writings of the ancient Greek historians. Herodotos relates that Leonidas, the King of Sparta, and his three hundred hoplites knew that they could not defeat the hundreds of thousands of Persians when they invaded Greece some 2500 years ago. Love for freedom and obedience to the law of the country made them withstand the onslaught of the Persians. In a discussion between Xerxes, the King of King (of Persia), and Demaratos, the Spartan King in exile, Demaratos said: "Brave are all the Greeks ... they will never accept your terms [Xerxes's] which reduce Greece to slavery ... though they be free men, they are not all respects free; law is the master whom they own ... Whatever it commands they do; ... it forbids them to flee in battle, whatever the number of their foes, and requires them to stand first and either win or die" (Herodotos, trans. 1988, Bk. 7, paragraphs 101-102).
The Greeks under Leonidas "were determined to die" for the sake of their country's freedom. The epigram "Go, stranger and to Lacedeaemonians tell, that here we Lie obeying their laws" reveals that the Spartans and other Greeks with them made the ultimate sacrifice in obedience to Spartan laws (Herodotos, 1988, Bk. 7, paragraphs
The Battle of Thermopylae......
....took place during the Greece-Persia war in roughly the 5th century BC. Some 30 city-states of central and southern Greece met in Corinth to devise a common defense (others, including the oracle at Delphi, sided with the Persians). They agreed on a combined army and navy under Spartan command, with the Athenian leader Themistokles providing the strategy. The Spartan king Leonidas led the army to the pass at Thermopylae, near present-day Lamia, the main passage from northern into central Greece.
One of the best points at which to hold off an invader was at Thermopylae, a narrow valley adjacent to the sea. The attacker could not pass to the seaward side, and to go inland would mean a significant detour. Other armies could risk this, but Xerxes could not.
On the other hand, a defender could take a stand with comparatively few men. A wall had once been built here, and a small fort. The Greeks rebuilt the wall and waited.
The Greek strategy was to delay the land force and to defeat the Persians at sea, then starve the Persian army. It should have worked, but from the beginning everything seemed to go wrong.
To begin with, the Greek army was surprised to see the Persians arrive so soon. They had hoped to get more reinforcements. On the other side, Xerxes had excellent information and knew that the Greeks were waiting for him. He set up camp on the plain below the pass. He was confident, but the army was so large that it could not afford to wait in any one place for very long.
He sent scouts up the valley to ascertain the nature of the opposition. The Spartans had duty on the outside wall, where they were waiting watchfully. The scouts were astounded to see the Spartans doing calisthenics and braiding their hair. Xerxes could not believe they intended to fight against hopeless odds. He announced his presence and waited four days for them to leave.
The Greeks did not leave. Exasperated, and aware of his supply situation, Xerxes ordered an attack on the fifth day. He sent the Medes against the Greeks, ordering Spartans be taken alive, so confident he was of easy victory.
The Spartans retreated, running away, even to the point of turning their backs on the enemy. The Medes, sure that they were winning the victory they had expected, broke ranks to pursue, whereupon the Spartans turned and fought savagely. After sharp fighting, the Medes were defeated.
Xerxes now sent in the Immortals, his best troops. The Spartans employed the same strategy, with the same results. Xerxes was furious. Another day's fighting yielded no better for the Persians.
The fighting was all the more remarkable in that the Greeks had failed utterly in the sea battle and the Persians had complete control of the sea. The sole purpose now for the battle was to delay the inevitable as long as possible.
At this point, treachery undid their heroic efforts.
Ephialtes, a man from Malis, went to King Xerxes and told him that he knew of a goat path that went around the Greek position and debouched behind their lines. After initial skepticism, Xerxes discovered the man was telling the truth. He made his preparations.
The Greeks knew of the path, of course. There were, in fact, more than one path, winding among the mountains. The men of Phocis were posted on the most likely path, but the Persians slipped past them by way of a different path under cover of night.
The Greeks learned of the treachery near morning. They would barely have time to escape from the trap. Leonidas told the other Greeks to return home, to fight another day, but the Spartans stayed. The Thespians and Thebans joined them. There were no more than a few thousand who stayed.
Greeks knew they were about to die and they fought all the more fiercely for it. The Spartans put up the stoutest resistance, taking their stand on a little hill and fighting in a circle facing outward with enemies all around.
When Leonidas was killed, he was some distance away. Some of the Spartans formed a tight group, fought their way to his body, picked it up, then fought their way back to the main group on the hill.
The Persians seemed utterly unable to annihilate the last 300 Spartans. They demanded the body of Leonidas in return for the Spartan's lives, but the men refused to abandon the body of their King, declaring: "A Spartan leaves the field with his shield or upon it"
At last, the Spartans were killed by a hail of spears and arrows, the Persians fearing to close with these fearsome warriors.
The Greeks lost the battle. They had come hoping for a victory and instead had been routed. But Thermopylae was always hailed as a triumph for Greek arms because the Persian army was crucially delayed.
Thermopylae allowed the Greeks time to organize. The Athenians continued to build their ships in order to take control of the seas again.
The Greeks were actually heartened by the example of Leonidas and the 300 Spartans plus allies who fought at Thermopylae.
The battle served as an example to officers and soldiers alike of what courage and self-sacrifice could achieve. It is still remembered today as such an example.
A dark red hard carton box with inside zipper plastic bag and inside this foam protection holds safely all 11 white metal pieces of the figure.
The total of the box is heavy enough for a 75 mm figure, so will get enough metal ! The king is in a battle pose with his sword holding hand raised and advancing towards the enemy.
A small 2 sheet leaflet is included with , short historical notes in Spanish , and a painting guide for the figure , and the contact information for the company
The Torso with right foot
Right arm with Hand holding sword
Head with helmet
2 pieces for spear
One good sized piece for base with recreation of dirt and rocks
Quality and Detail
One more figure from Ares. Nice clean sculpting, with clear sculpted details and a nice fighting pose. Armor definition is nice and details on decoration bits are sculpted also nicely . Cloak is fitting good and so are the arm and foot parts doing on the main body piece. I would probably ask for a bit more definition in the areas where the helmet meets the face , so the painter would be more helped to paint this complex area.
Some thin molding lines are evident that will need some knife action , but it doesn’t run over critical points or detail spots, so u will remove them easily and with some polishing will end .
Material - metal – is good , the surface is pretty smooth and clean and the total look is this of a good modern figures company.
To improve what you get, you will just to need a soft touch with fine wire wool, to polish the metal. Then some washing in bath with a mild detergent – water mix to make it as clean as it gets before priming.
This is a surely colorful figure to paint , with reds, blues, golds, leather , and different textures also to recreate. So this will be a nice piece when finished. Its not the easiest piece for novice painters , but also nothing extremely difficult. Good sculpting and definition of items will help the painter to set the limits
Color combinations are almost standard on Kings dress, but u could possibly change the dresses color. So if u do some research you could come up with some alternatives on this one.
To my knowledge the total picture of Leonidas is historically accurate enough and that’s another good thing to know.
Give this figure the time it needs to paint the detail, and be patient with colors laying ,and especially the metals , and you will be surely rewarded. This can be a showpiece and a nice addition to showcase .
Conclusion – Final Verdict
Check Ares Mythologic , is a good and decent company with nice figures and interesting themes. This figure is really nice 75mm figure and the result will reward all of your efforts . I have to note also the relatively low price for a 70mm figure of good quality.
Special Thanks to Jose of Ares Mythologic for the review sample
Stay tuned for more Ares Mythologic Miniatures figures to be reviewed soon
Click here for additional images for this review.