I dipped a toe in the water last week, and treated to myself to a few packs of the new Polemarch cavalry, from Gripping Beast. These have fought their way through the snow and landed on my mat this afternoon. For a change, I've reviewed them against a seasonal red background!
I bought some of the neo-Tarantines, and also ome of the Antigonid Companion Troopers . I'm not going to dwell on the historical aspects of the figures, other than to say they seem well-researched according to my (rather limited) knowledge. I gather they are very closely based on the Montverts, which can't be bad. Instead I shall concentrate on the figures, which can't be made out very clearly on the photos on the GB site.
First, here are the horses:-
I cautiously like these, with one reservation; the necks on two of the horses (the outer ones) appear fairly short to me. I would not claim to be an expert judge of horseflesh but these are unusually proportioned, IMHO.
Here is a Polemarch horse (centre) between an Aventine Horse (left) and a Foundry WotG horse, also by Steve Saleh (right). The two Saleh horses have longer legs; the Aventine is broader in the belly. In general the three would work together, but especially the latter two.
Above is the Antigonid Companion. I've not attached his shield, but did establish that it would fit correctly. A nice feature is that the shield hand is drilled out to take a javelin. Less ideal is the fit of the rider to the horse; as JJ surmised on TMP, the cloak does not fit on the horse's rump and a certain amount of filing will be required if the rider is not to be pushed forward, as in the photo. Moreover, the rider's legs appear to have been designed for a broader horse, and don't grip the mount as they should; there is quite a gap, in fact. I will need to build up the saddle with greenstuff.
Above is the Antigonid Companion from the side, showing how the cloak pushes the figure forwards. It also shows an unfortunate mould line! There is, unfortunately, a bit of flash and some mould lines visible on these models.
Above is the neo-Tarantine. Again the fit isn't perfect on the horse. The left hand is held a bit close in to the horse which will make it difficult to position the shield, and will probably prevent the figure from carrying spare javelins, which I'd have liked. The rider figure is nice, though.
Above is the neo-Tarantine from the side, leaning forwards because of the cloak. I really do like this rider, despite the slight flaws mentioned above.
So in summary; the riders are rather fine, the horses I don't rate quite so highly but will certainly use. The riders will fit on the horses but will need some work if you want them to sit properly. The minis will need some preparation to remove mould lines.
Lest I give the impression that the cup is half empty, I should say that although I grumble, it is only because I care. I am terrifically grateful that the range has come out, because it fills a huge gap in the bigger 28mm miniatures field. I will certainly be buying more of these, and painting them, after Salute, and I await the arrival of the cataphracts with considerable anticipation!