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In-Box Review
Dacian Celtic Warrior 2nd century A.D.

by: Engin Kayral [ GRAYWOLF ]

Originally published on:
Historicus Forma

Disclaimer: The images above were supplied by the manufacturer and painted by their artists.


The ancient Roman writings used the name of Dacians (Daci in Latin) to designate the people that inhabited the Carpathians-Danube territory between the 2nd c. BC and the 2nd c. AD. In Greek texts beginning with the history of Herodotus, they are named as Getae. They inhabited an area bordered by the rivers Tisza, Dnestr, the Balkan Mountains and the Black Sea (this area is called the Carpathian-Danube territory, because it includes most of the Carpathian Mountains and the lower course of the Danube).

Between 2500-2000 BC the Indo-Europeann tribes migrated from the steppes north of the Black Sea and occupied the entire European territory. The newcomers assimilated the local populations and imposed everywhere the Indo-European language. After a process of separation and individualization, these Indo-Europeans populations became the European peoples of the ancient times, like the Greeks, the Italics, the Celts, the Germans, the Illyrians. The Dacians were, also, one such Indo European people, that was completely individualized in the Carpathian-Danube territory at the beginning of the Iron Age (9th century BC).

The Dacians are often considered as thhe northern branch of the Thracians. This fact is mostly based on several ancient Greek texts. When the Greeks, who used to call their northern neighbors with the name of Thracians, met the Getae and noticed certain similitudes in language and customs, they considered them a Thracians tribe. But, the political history, the archeological findings and especially the little that we know of the two languages, prove that the Thracians and the Dacians are two distinct peoples, well individualized, that spoke two different Indo-Europeans languages and that were only related to one another. The Thracians, those who were always called so, inhabited an area bordered by the Vardar River, the Balkan Mountains, the Aegean Sea, the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, being the southern neighbors of the Dacians.

In 101 A.D.; they were attacked by the Romans under the command of emperor Traianus. The Dacians lived in a prosperous land that attracted the interests of Rome. In the spring of 102, after a long siege, the Romans conquered the fortresses of Costesti and Capalna, forcing Decebalus, the Dacian chief, to ask for peace. The conditions imposed were extremely harsh for the Dacians who rebelled against them, so Traianus decided to definitely subdue that people. In June 105, he left Rome and after having crossed the Danube, attacked Sarmizegetusa. Decebalus escaped to the Carpathian Mountains, but in order not to be captured, he committed suicide. At the end of the summer of 106 the Dacians had been completely defeated and Dacia became a Roman province.

The last paragraph is quoted from the historical text inside the figure kit.

The figure represents a Dacian Celtic warrior on 2nd century A.D wearing a long cloak, conical helmet and carrying a shield in Celtic style decoration.

The figure comes in 125 x 85 x 30 mm.standard Romeo Models light blue cardboard box. The front cover shows a photo of the painted figure from 2 different angles – front and back-right.

Inside the box, there is an A4 paper sheet including historical info about Dacians and painting instructions for this figure. This document is represented in 2 languages; Italian and English. It is so good to see the historical search of this figure is made by Historicus Forma Associate Editor Costas Rodopoulos and text is translated by Riccardo Carrabino.

Parts are well protected between two slabs of thick white polyfoam and figure base is placed under the polyfoam not to damage the figure parts.

The figure is sculpted by Italian master sculptor Gianni La Rocca and made up of 9 white metal parts. All parts are cast clean and crisp in very good details. There was no visible seamlines on my sample, just a small excess metal to clean inside the shield. No more need for a serious clean up, filling or sanding.

One of the two main parts is upper torso with cloak. He wears iron leaf scale armor over his textile tunic. Belt and left shoulder-crosswise sword belt are casted on the torso part. The long cloak is crossed on the right shoulder and attached with a metal cloak clasp.Scale armor and folds of the cloak are well defined.

Other main part is lower torso with legs. In this part, it is shown that he has a fur garment between his armor and tunic. Fur texture, scale armor details, straps attaching dagger to belt and folds on skirts are well represented. He wears knee length leg protectors and leather shoes.

Other parts are ;

  • Head : Facial details, moustache and beard are well defined. He wears a conical helmet with a solid crest, cheek guards and scale armor neck guard. Dacian helmets design was heavily influenced from the East. 2 different helmets were common in Dacians. One is Phrygian style helmets with its characteristic apex curved forward and usually worn by the soldiers. Second, as seen in this figure, is Sarmatian style helmets with its conical or dome shape, formed from several strips of metal welded together and worn by Leaders and also the allies of Dacians. Dacian helmets are decorated in floral designs and this is well represented in this figure’s helmet.

  • Right hand : Casted as hand with forearm and posed to put on the waist. It makes a good fit to the hole on the right arm.

  • Left hand : Posed to hold the shield and makes a good fit to the left arm covered with cloak.

  • Sword : Though the most common battlegear of Dacians is Falx, a curved, double edged sword similar to old Greek and Egyptian falx, this figure, as a leader, carries a short sword with a simple hilt in leather scabbard on his right thigh.

  • Dagger : He carries a slightly curved dagger in leather scabbard, attached to his belt with straps.

  • Shield : He carries a big oval shaped shield as Celtics used. The Dacian warriors carried flat wooden shields 4 to 5 feet tall. They were usually oval in shape, based on the celtic design. It was covered in leather to protect the wood from warping. Riveted to the center of the shield face there appeared an iron or bronze hemisphere, or curved plate to protect the shield hand. This metal boss could also be used offensively when punched. The shield graphics painted on by the Dacians tended to have a vine and floral theme. The floral designs on the boss and wooden texture inside the shield are well defined.

  • Figure base : Ground texture is well defined and different sizes of small rocks add realism to the base.


    Osprey Publishing has a book related to the subject. Rome's Enemies-Germanics and Dacians


    A good posing figure with nice details and colorful painting options in Romeo Models quality ; clean casting, easy assembly and perfect fit with pins on parts.

    Highly Recommended

    The latest (November) release of Romeo Models. RM 54-65 Dacian Celtic Warrior offers figure painters a unique subject that features a nice posing, colorful figure with a realistic base.
    Percentage Rating
      Scale: 54mm
      Mfg. ID: RM 54-65
      Suggested Retail: 23,50 €
      Related Link: 
      PUBLISHED: Nov 30, 2006
      NATIONALITY: Romania
      THIS REVIEWER: 92.20%
      MAKER/PUBLISHER: 92.18%

    Our Thanks to Romeo Models!
    This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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    About Engin Kayral (Graywolf)

    Born in 1962,married and having 2 sons. I started modelling about 8 years old building USS Fletcher with mom. It was a model dad brought from USA., I think in those days only a few people in Turkey had info on scale model kits. Grown as an AF officer son , I built many aircraft models in years. Som...

    Copyright ©2021 text by Engin Kayral [ GRAYWOLF ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


    Nice figure... nice review You can almost see him standing on the edge of the Danube or atop a rocky hill watching the Roman Legions approach... Thanks Engin
    NOV 29, 2006 - 06:20 PM
    Nice review Engin, I was waiting for this. Thanks.. I think my Romanian modeller friends will be pleased when I am going to paint this one but first I must buy it
    NOV 29, 2006 - 06:27 PM
    Thanks for the very detailed review Engin. I like this fig especially the scale armor but I have a question on the hand holding the shield. From the finished pic it seems that his finger don't grasp the shield well especially the thumb. Is it because of the lack of shadows from the painting or just the viewing angle?
    NOV 30, 2006 - 07:27 AM
    Hi CK, I checked the photos and it really looks like the hand doesnt grasp the shield well in the boxart photos.I think this is due to the built of the boxart figure because I checked the left hand of the figure again last night and there is a quite good groove to pose the hand as grasping the shield. best regards
    NOV 30, 2006 - 12:52 PM
    Thanks Engin for checking it out. Much appreciated. This chap will be going on my list. I have 2 more Pegaso figs from Gianni La Rocca and I like his work.
    DEC 01, 2006 - 06:18 AM

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