Friday, October 14, 2016


Amazons were titled Androktones (Killers of Men) by Herodotus, who said that this name was a direct translation of Oiorpata, the name they were known by in the Scythian language.

There are various claims surrounding the origins of the Amazons, but the majority of those believing Amazons to be historical fact agree that they came from somewhere in Central Asia. Evidence is provided from excavations of kurgans containing remains putatively identified as women warriors.

Others note that Amazons are always encountered outside of the confines of the civilized Greek world, and see them more as allegorical representatives of barbaric lands where law and rationality were completely inverted from the norm.

In ancient Greek imagery, Amazons have frequently been depicted as wearing Scythian dress, with headgear representative of the enemy du jour.

Amazon wearing Scythian cap.

Amazon with sagaris wearing Phrygian cap.

Amazon wearing Persian(?) cap.

At other times, they are depicted as wearing Greek-style armor and helmets.

Hippolyte (mounted) in Greek-style armor, while her
companion wears Scythian garb with a Greek helmet.

Heracles taking down an Amazon wearing Greek-style armor.

Modern imagery is varied, but ranges from typical fantasy cheesecake armor, to what is more or less Greek-style armor.

Anyway, the first set of plastic 1/72 scale Amazons were produced last year by Dark Alliance. They followed up this year with the release of Modern Amazons.

The initial set of Amazons, are dressed in a mix of fantasy and quasi-historical armor.

Archers from Set 1

Sword and spears from Set 1

Spear and sword from Set 2

There was a lot of flash on the figures, and I found the waxy plastic used for the production of these figures to be particularly difficult to work with when trying to clean them up.

The latest set of Amazons have a modern aesthetic that includes a mix of medieval plate armor, cleavage, and bare midriffs.

They are figurative rather than actual Amazons, and fall more accurately into the classification of "fantasy female warriors".

Swords from Set 1

Dual wield, polearms, and archer from Set 1

The archer seems to be different from what is shown on the back of the box. The figures I received had short, unfeathered shafts in their quivers.

I'd be interested to know if others buying this set actually get fully cast arrows for their figures.

These figures had even more flash than the previous sets, but the plastic has a firmer consistency, making clean-up somewhat easier.

I thought it was particularly funny that for more than half of the figures, no matter how heavily armored they were from the front, that their backsides were always exposed.

Looks like an album cover for 2 Live Crew...

The set of Mounted Modern Amazons may be of particular interest to many because of the mounts included in the set.

There was very little flash with this set, and the plastic has a harder consistency that makes clean-up very easy.

Finally, I present a couple of Ral Partha Amazons (Personalities and Things that go Bump in the Night 01-085) portrayed in heroic nudity, and a [Amazon] High Priestess from the Wizards and Clerics box set (The Adventurers 98-001).

A comparison of some of the taller Dark Alliance Amazons, and a Ral Partha Amazon.


1Mac said...

Well, at least some of the Modern Amazons are dressed respectably.

EY said...

I don't know if the others can be considered that respectable either... They're just not quite as openly exposed from the rear as the ones pictured in the line up. I'd say the most conservatively armored figure is probably the one from the mounted set.

Still a good effort in filling a niche where there was not much to choose from to begin with.

1Mac said...

The first two swords in particular are what I'm thinking of, at least as they appear in your pic.

EY said...

I guess maybe I'm thinking more about how armor is actually supposed to be worn than respectability... Those two figures still have swimwear-like tops (I'll accept that as a generic trope to some degree). However, the fact that they seem to wear their greaves and cuisses without any pants (or padding) underneath seems unrealistic to me. *shrug*

1Mac said...

Right, by "respectable" I meant something like "would help demonstrate to women that fantasy isn't merely a male adolescent indulgence." Something more like the art direction of the current edition of D&D and less like, well, that of some earlier editions. I'm actually fine with female armor being a tad unrealistic, but the chainmail bikini stuff is pretty ridiculous.

Thanks so much for all the reviews of the new Alliance minis, by the way.

Hugh Walter said...

Hummm....not enough nudity!

I love those mounts at the end, if you ever do your comparison treatment to lions it will be interseting to see that one above leaping with the recent Gladiator one, the Atlantic one and the old Tarzan one!


EY said...

Thanks for reading Hugh! I will certainly do a comparison of lions (and other big cats) one of these days. I certainly have enough of them.

Phil Otep said...

Hello, thanks for your interesting post (as is your blog that I read for some times).
To answer your question about the arrows in the quiver of the archer, I bought a box a few days ago, and the arrows where missing, just as you described.

EY said...

Hi Phil,

Thanks for the information. Looks like Dark Alliance needs to work on their mold design process a little more.

I'll probably have to fix one of the Modern Amazon archers by attaching the arrows from a set 1 Amazon archer.