Sunday, January 12, 2014

Assyrian Cavalry

    The Assyrians were one of the first major powers of Ancient times to incorporate large numbers of Cavalry into their army. Over time, they started to replace the more traditional Chariots. The Assyrian Cavalry included archers and spearmen ("lancers"), both light and heavy; the heavy cavalry in particular may well have been dual armed with both.

Assyrian Heavy cavalry Horse Archers

As noted above, they may have carried spears as well. The torso armor was the same "mail" of small plates of iron sewn together into a short sleeved shirt of armor seen on their infantry. 

As with the rest of the army, the cavalry units nominally belong to a certain "Division" depending upon the color of their tunics; these Cavalry wear the light orange of Division Shamash. 

A second unit of (Minifigs 25mm) Assyrian Heavy Horse archers.

The units have sub units of 2 stands each, distinguished by their own color to the fringes, etc, in this case, one red and the other white. 

The light purple tunics indicate that these fellows belong to Division Nergal. 

Assyrian Light Horse archers

Presumably they performed the scouting, harassing, screening and raiding functions that would characterize Light Cavalry for the next 1,000 years!

The green tunics place them in Division Ishtar.

Assyrian Horse archers are seen in this bas-relief; an effective saddle had not yet been invented; stirrups would also come much later in Ancient history.


  1. Very nice work! I especially like the light orange unit of Division Shamash.

  2. Thanks; I tin k it makes them look more "Eastern".

  3. Really nice work, splendid colors!

  4. Great looking horse archers! Really enjoy seeing your collections and you never disappoint.

    Great stuff!

    1. Gish, that';s awfully nice of you to say, Jon! These were painted when I wasback in Medical School circa 1979 or earlier. They are done with the "black lining" style that I used from about 1974 - 1981, which works really well on Minifigs, which are very smoothly cast but don't have a lot of folds, etc for washes to work well on. The Assyrians are still one of my favorite armies of all time, figure wise.

  5. Beautiful Peter. I'd love to see the reverse of photo 4, i.e. looking into the 'teeth' of the arrows!

  6. Or maybe not, if you were the Enemy! :-)