I bought a box of the new Gripping Beast Late Roman armoured cavalry as soon as they were available. I was already working on a box of the Dark Ages cavalry to use as Roman light cavalry, but what I really wanted was some armoured riders to boost my Saga Late Roman warband, use as Romano-British "Arthurians" and also to enable me to field a warband as Last Romans as described in the Age of Vikings book for Saga 2. These guys would work as part of a warband from the 6th or 7th century, i.e. the period between Justinian the Great and Heraclius, but don't look right as troops from one of the Tagmata or Thematic units that made up later Roman armies from the 8th-10th centuries.
Anyway, although I'd started the light cavalry, these armoured riders jumped the queue and have been finished first. Here is the complete unit of 12 cavalrymen. Note that there is one rider with a different shield design (n.b. all the shield designs are LBMS transfers). More on him later.
There are six figures armed with spears;
And five with swords;
Now, here is the chap with the different shield design;
Notice that I've put him on a larger round base. This enables me to field him as the leader of my warband, as well as including him as just another member of a unit. Here he is from his open side;
I have to admit that when I was painting these I had a real crisis of confidence over how they would turn out, partly because I really do not like painting horses at all, but also because I was finding it hard to visualise how they would look once they were inked. This was because I wasn't sure that I'd picked the right colour scheme for them. However, I think that they have turned out fine.
Regarding the actual models, I am quite impressed with them. There are plenty of head variants, allowing you to create figures that are not all identical, plus the usual different weapons options. There is also a vexilla included, which I didn't use, but which would work fine, with a bit of cutting and glueing of one of the spear arms in the box. I did find, though, that once I'd assembled and undercoated the horses that the body halves hadn't gone together perfectly and needed a bit of Milliput to fill the rather visible gaps in the alignment. I expect that this was down to my assembly rather than any actual defects in the mouldings themselves. Anyway, I've already bought another box to paint up so that I have extra armoured cavalry for my Late Roman Sword and Spear army.