Expeditionary Force Hoplites (EXP103)
A year ago a new manufacturer, Expeditionary Force of Singapore, entered the 54mm plastic market with a range of American Civil War figures, and announced that their next release would be Ancient Greeks. Since the ancient world is under-represented in 54mm plastic production, this was exciting news. Now Expeditionary Force’s new range of 54mm Greek Hoplites, light troops and cavalry has arrived, and the news is good.
In my opinion, these astonishing models are the most detailed unpainted plastic figures ever encountered, surpassing Conte’s Spartans, Barzso’s British Grenadiers and all other new or vintage plastics. (Feel free to dispute in the comments section following this post!)
Expeditionary Force Hoplite, Conte Spartan, Barzso British Grenadier
I’d say the only figures in this scale which stand up for comparison are the painted models from Forces of Valor’s Historical Legends and Play Along’s Lord of the Rings figures.
Expeditionary Force Hoplite, Forces of Valor Historical Legends Roman, Play Along Lord of the Rings Urukhai and Rohan Soldier
After assembling the range for the photos shown here and on our website, I’ve put together this post to share my assembly tips. Don’t open these boxes expecting a single-cast figure: each Greek comes unassembled, and includes a selection of pieces which can be snapped together in a variety of pose options. Some of the snap-together joins are not secure, however, so I suggest permanent bonding with glue. The manufacturer recommends using a cyanoacrylic, such as Gorilla Glue. Check the label carefully, as there are several types of Gorilla products.
My suggestion is to use an assembly line method:
- Lay out all the parts on a tray in front of you. Choose which elements are to make up each model and set the extra pieces aside.
- Prepare the weapons, if they are not straight, swirl them in very hot water – this will help the plastic straighten out.
- Begin by gluing all left arms onto shields and set aside to dry (10 minutes is suggested by the manufacturer).
- Glue all left arms into left shoulders. If a weapon is to be held by the left hand, you can put it in before gluing. This will be a snug fit and no gluing will be necessary.
- Glue all right arms into right shoulders. Follow advice on weaponry. The peltasts, for example, might hold extra spears.
- Glue sword scabbards in place. There may be some question of doing this after the left arm with shield goes in, so examine your options before following these directions to the letter. The cape must go on after the scabbard, however.
- If the figure has a cape, apply a little glue below the neck of the figure and then slip the cape over the figure’s head so it rests in place, touching the glue. I would not suggest using glue on the head to hold the cape in place.
- The head of the figure goes on last. There are several types of heads available. If purchasing multiple sets you may want to trade heads between sets to give a uniform look to specific units. Unlike arms, which are meant for unique body trunk types, all heads go with all figures, so you can switch at will. Heads do not have to be glued in place, as the fit onto the neck is snug. I suggest it only because they will not ever come off, so you won’t lose any when playing.
- Assembling horses is very easy. Insert foot plugs into bases. Turn horses upside-down and put a tiny bit of glue into the slot to affix the plugs in place.
- I have not glued my mounted figures onto their horses, but this is an easy step if you wish to do it. Put a dab of glue on the rider’s bottom and place on the horse’s back.
The range includes six different sets, each available in red or in linen/cream color. There are two light infantry sets, two heavy infantry sets, and two cavalry sets. You can view the entire Expeditionary Force catalog on our website.
We are including these assembly instructions with each order purchased through our website.