Last modified: Saturday, January 6, 2001 6:20 PM

In my current preoccupation with things Medieval, I ran across some really neat plastic models of armoured knights made by a company named IMEX (who bought the molds from IMAI, a Japanese company). These are a series of 1:12 scale reproductions of armour suits displayed at the Kunsthistorische Museum in Wien (Vienna).

The figure is a little over 5.5" tall, and about 6.5" with the stand. They're great kits-- the detail and part fit is excellent, and there are a few articulated parts-- the visor, the shoulder (2-axis), the hands, the legs (2-axis). Though it didn't come that way, the head was pretty easy to articulate. The kit comes with a display stand, probably duplicating the museum's, since it has a barely legible nameplate decal. The worst part is that there aren't painting directions in this particular kit. Some have 'em, some don't. The side of the box has a photo of the completed kit though. The instructions are single sheet photocopies, and unfortunately don't have any historical background... just pictures of where the parts go.

The one above, Archduke Ferdinand II, isn't finished yet (naturally)-- it's been a bitch to paint! But it's enough to give you the general idea.


Here are some of the other kits in the series-- I think there are six in the series. Assembled and painted decently, these would make a cool display for a wall-mounted shadow box. Even unassembled, they're a good reference for the study of armour suits.

These kits are currently available, although probably hard to find in hobby shops because medieval armour isn't nearly as popular as 20th Century armored vehicles. The kits are about $10 each, which ain't too bad.

04/29/99- Kurfürst Friedrich I went together faster since the painting was simpler. With kits like this, the only thing to figure out is the sequence: when to paint and when to assemble. There's little point in painting parts on the tree: To avoid ending up with areas you can't access, you assemble parts, hide seams, and paint, before putting those subassemblies together and painting again.

Interestingly, the "traditional scale" (or is it "classical scale"?) horses mentioned at Rio Rondo are also 1/12th scale. Those would be a nice addition to your mini-museum.