Saturday, May 30, 2015

Alliance Amazons, pics, review

Hannants surprised me by shipping my recent order with them in just a week, so I have lots of interesting swag to show off. Most novel are the Amazons that Alliance just released. A shortage of female 1/72 minis has just been relieved, but is it worth it?

I'm judging these safe-for-work, because after all they are unpainted small-scale plastic figures. But there's definitely plenty of bare-chestedness going on in these figures, to an arguably gratuitous degree. Yes, yes, there are certainly precedents for nude figures in this scale, both male and female, and I don't want to gainsay anyone's tastes or preferences in this regard. But maybe you can see what I mean here. Some of these costumes, if not quite PG-13, make sense for a race of warrior women, but others are rather more, shall we say, eye-catching that practical for life on the battlefield. I haven't shown the backs of these figures, which are even more ridiculous: either these outfits have very, very tight breeches, or they are quite drafty. In other words, it's not just that these figures are too sexy; in trying to be sexy they've turned out a little bit goofy as well.

It's too bad, because the sculpting is actually pretty well done. These Amazons are a bit on the tall side, but not too tall; the poses are lively even if a bit flat, and there's lots of variety. Some of these are obviously suitable for quasi-Greek campaigns, but others are more generic. Besides, the crests of those Greek helmets can easily be snipped for a less Hellenistic look.

Anyway, I promised pics. There are currently two sets, a foot set and a cavalry set. The first is 40 figures in 10 poses, the second is 12 unique figures, plus 10 horses (not the cool mounts shown in this preview, alas!). Here they are:

Melee figures from the first set, mostly spears. The Greek-looking figures especially are leaving little to the imagination, though with some paint and perhaps a spot of glue here and there their dress could be a little more modest.
Archers from the first set. These are a bit more realistically dressed IMO.
Riders with swords plus two command figures, from the second cavalry set. I don't have much use for cavalry, but I think I can make some leg swaps and still use these figures.
Spears and archers on horseback. The infamous spiral armor makes an appearance here. By the way, while it's not obvious from the front, the cavalry figures mostly seem to lack pants, which is especially goofy if one considers the deleterious effects of saddle-soreness!
I'm perhaps letting my focus on the whole goofy/sexy design of these figures make this review sound overly negative. Really, they're pretty good figures, and it's great to have more female figures in this niche-in-a-niche of a hobby. I just wish the focus was more heroic and a little less gratuitous. Still, it will be an interesting project to mod these a little more to my tastes.


  1. A lot of variety in height difference and a shame they didn´t go with the Unicorns etc as Mounts. I bit of snipping and These will make decent elvish types, especially the foot archers. Why all the bare chested-ness? I reckon they are hammering home the fact they are female..but they could have done that by having thier chests covered with Cloth. Still, some armies did include bare chested female warriors, the Dahomey and as far as I have found out, celts, and mauryan indians

    1. Disappointed that they didn't go with the unique mounts myself. Maybe they'll be in a future set?

      Part of it has to be to emphasize these are female figures in a small scale, which is fine. I like the large ears on the Caesar elves for similar reasons. And I know there is some precedent for bare-chested fighters, plus the Amazons of myth were said to fight this way (sort for). But certain poses in these sets go well beyond those considerations.

  2. I'm still waiting for my sets, but it's a shame that they went more fantasy than "historical". I suppose for some of the bare-legged Amazons, if one were to paint them, they could go for the patterned stockings that Scythians typically wore. I don't really have a solution for the toplessness though. In Greek vase paintings, Amazons are either fully clothed, or completely naked - the Dark Alliance sculpts are neither here nor there.

    1. I'm thinking white glue plus tissue/toilet paper for further clothing. I've seen Paul and a few others use he technique to make capes and the like.

  3. Thanks for the review ! Although I don't actually see what use I could have for them, I will buy the sets for my collection ...