by: Andrzej Snigorski [ ]
The Order of the Teutonic Knights of St. Mary's Hospital in Jerusalem or for short the Teutonic Order is a German Roman Catholic religious order. It was formed to aid Christians on their pilgrimages to the Holy Land and to establish hospitals to care for the sick and injured. Its members have commonly been known as the Teutonic Knights, since they also served as a crusading military order during the Middle Ages.
Order was formed at the end of the 12th century in Acre on wave of crusades but in later ages moved to invade Prussia and established its presence in the northern Europe for many year.
Order became involved in campaigns against its Christian neighbors, the Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the Novgorod Republic.
In 1410, a Polish-Lithuanian army led by Polish king Wladyslaw II Jagiello and Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas (Witold) decisively defeated the Order and broke its military power at the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg).
In 1515 at Vienna the emperor made arrangements with Sigismund I of Poland-Lithuania. Empire failed to aid the Teutonic Order Grand Master against the same. The Order steadily declined until 1525 when Grand Master Albert of Brandenburg resigned and converted to Lutheranism to become Duke of Prussia.
Napoleon Bonaparte ordered its dissolution and the Order lost its last secular holdings in 1809. The Order continued to exist, headed by Habsburgs through World War I and was outlawed by Hitler in 1938. After 1945 they resumed and today operate primarily with charitable aims in Central Europe.
The kit shows mounted Teutonic Knight as in late XIV during the war with Poland and Lithuania. Knight is wearing horned great helmet and chain mail covered with tunic and cape. He holds lance in right hand supporting its end on the stirrup. In left hand he holds a shield. He also has an arming sword in scabbard attached to sword belt.
Horse is fully covered with housing showing only eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth and legs. Reins are only decorative addition to simple bridle. Saddle is typical knight’s saddle with tall pommel and cantle protecting knight from falling from horse while charging.
Pose of knight and horse is static; they simply stand in place on a base which shows small part of cobblestone road.
Kit is packed in hard black cardboard box covered with dust jacket made of nice glossy paper with M-Model logo and company information printed on it. It’s a standard dust jacket of M-Model and specific kit information and picture of painted figure is nicely glued to it giving very good first impression.
Cardboard box is not only protection for the parts - they are placed in small bags (horse and knight figure are packed separately) and wrapped with bubble wrap. Along with resin parts kit contains small sheet of aluminum foil that should be used for making reins and stirrup leathers and a piece of steel wire for lance’s pole.
Base shows small part of cobblestone road – just big enough to put the horse on it.
- great helmet
- two helmet horns
- right arm
- left arm
- lower body with legs (from belt to knees)
- left foot
- right foot
- cape (left part)
- cape (right part)
- sword’s hilt
- lance’s tip
- torso with saddle and parts of housing
- two ears (two sets in my kit)
- front left leg
- front right leg
- rear left leg
- rear right leg
- front left part of housing
- front right part of housing
- rear left part of housing
- rear right part of housing
- stirrups (two pieces)
- Aluminum sheet (for reins and stirrup leathers)
- Metal wire for lance’s pole (missing in my kit)
Assembly and painting
No assembly and painting instruction is attached so the picture of painted figure placed on a box must do (not that anything more is needed in case of this figure).
Some cutting of aluminum sheet is required to make reins and stirrup leathers; no master sample is present (even on paper).
Painting of figure is mostly in white and black which were Teutonic colors. Knight’s tunic, cape and horse’s housing are white with black crosses on them. Shield is also black and white with armorial bearings painted on it. Face and hands are fully covered by helmet and chain mail.
Detailing and quality
Parts are made of good quality beige-grey resin keeping all hard edges hard and details visible. Figure is nicely sculpted (maybe except for knight’s hand holding the lance, horse’s head which looks more like a cow’s or some lizard’s and horse’s neck which seems to be bended to much in a strange place – maybe it’s just an impression but I’ve been riding several horses in my life and none of them has this shape of neck).
Cloths are sculpted with moderation which results in static feeling of whole scene. Chain mail has very hard texture which should result with easy paining and good look from the distance but is not very detailed.
Very delicate flesh is present on few parts but it’s very thin and should not leave visible marks after removal. Seam lines are almost not present on the parts. Surfaces are smooth and clean, no bubbles or other marks were spotted.
Dry fit of random parts showed that no major problem should happen during the assembly although some putty may be handy.
Very nice 54mm figure made of good material, showing knight of order that managed to gain and hold its own country. Taking under consideration it’s good price (about 15EUR) this kit is worth recommendation. Or at least would be if not:
Overall impression spoiler : Kit I’ve received had two sets of horse ears but it lacked with lance pole. Problem is not big in this case – pole can easily be replaced with any metal wire of proper thickness, but lack of other part would be much more irritating – if producer’s quality control during packaging is able to make this kind of mistake once it means that they’re able to do this mistake also twice…