Roman Optio – An In-Depth Review (Young Miniatures)

Roman Optio – the PRELUDE

This is a 1/10 scale, polyurethane resin bust sculpted by Young B Song, comprising 13 parts this is a high end, accurate kit depicting a Roman Optio. It arrived in the customary, Young Miniatures attractive packaging, the box lid adorned by the boxart by Kiril Kanaev and protected by a clear plastic sleeve. The small parts are sealed in a ziplock bag and all nestled safe and securely within thick foam layers. The quality of the sculpt, cast and packaging are all of the highest quality, highly recommended!!


Let’s begin by saying the sculpt for the Roman Optio kit is fantastic! What looks a complicated build initially due to the small parts is actually very straight forward. The detailing throughout is excellent, with crisp casting, sharp undercuts and boasting a tight fit to the parts.

roman optio

the kit in full

The face is wonderfully sculpted, showing hooded brow and a determined character, strong jawline with a slight smirk to the mouth line. There is a dimple to the chin with nice musculature beneath the skin to the cheeks and neck. There are two small cutaways to the cheekbone to receive the tabs for the cheek guards.

roman optio

sharp undercuts, realistic folds and superb volumes

There’s a resin plug that needs cutting away and filing smooth to be able to attach to the torso and when located the head is tilted slightly down and to the left, almost looking along his left shoulder.

The helm fits tightly to the head via a cut out and comes with neck guard, there are some small plugs here that will need careful removal. The detailing is exquisite with embossed motifs across the top. The plume is one that sits horizontally and displays excellent texture, there is a small rod to connect plume to helm. Before we come to the torso there are a series of smaller parts in the ziplock bag.

roman optio

great facial details

These include a knotted chinstrap cord, cheek guards and the motif medallions that adorn the cuirass. The detailing tomeach is superb. The layered armour, pteruges and leather strapping all offer sharp undercuts with nice, realistic folds to the cloak that falls over the shoulders and clasped to the right hand rise. There is a real sense of bulk and strength to the bust in no small part due to the multiple layers presented.

roman optio

sharp cast to the embossed details

The casting to the Roman Optio busT is superb, no major defects such as air bubble holes or casting slippages, mold lines are minimal and the biggest issue is the removal and cleaning of the casting plugs.


This is a traditional style bust in the truest sense of the word, displaying just the head and shoulders. The plumed helm offers a great silhouette and the sculpting of the materials and details is historically accurate and crisply presented. There’s a rigid formality that suits the bust very well, you can see that the various elements and layers to the bust have clearly been well thought out and designed.

The textures are nicely presented and not over worked with a finesse to the various elements of armour not always present in some other historical busts, overall I’m very impressed with this kit.

The paintwork by Kiril Kanaev is stunning and actually shows what is possible when thinking a little outside the box. Even though this is a historical kit there are clearly alternative ways in which this kit can be painted. Indeed the garb of the Romans’ was in some regards rich, vibrant and opulent which would suit the Painting style of many fantasy painters.


Young Miniatures are near the pinnacle of what is possible with the historical genre and have a loyal fan base, the quality of the sculpt, cast, packaging combined with a classic subject that remains super popular makes this a desirable kit!


In the U.K. both Historex Agents and El Greco Miniatures have the bust at £50 which when considering everything is a smashing price, this bust will present painters of all skill levels with a multitude of pleasant painting hours. I consider the price point to be fair and competitive.

Dates, Figures and Stuff

Cost                                      £50

Material                                Polyurethane Resin

No of Pieces                        13

Release Date                        Available Now

Where Can I Get It?!            HERE

Jason Martin

Jason Martin is an award-winning painter, student of the arts and head honcho at Figurementors. His heavy metal listening, ex-forces exterior belies his true passion – to help you succeed on your personal journey to become a better figure painter.

How Did It Fare?
  • Sculpt and Cast
  • Design and Originality
  • Desirability
  • Affordability


A simply stunnning release from Young Miniatures, Roman Optio is full of details in a classic, traditional bust format. Highly recommended!



  1. Dr Michael Thomas

    Unfortunately, this is NOT an optio. These junior NCOs were ‘chosen’ by the centurion of the century (“optare” = ‘to choose for office’). The transverse plume on the helmet is more likely to have been worn by a centurion as a mark of rank. This also applies to the chest medallions (phalerae), which were awards for valour. A senior centurion would most probably sport a full set of nine – an optio would have received fewer than this.

    I think that there is also a mistake with the shoulder armour, where the central upper plate should have the ‘point’ directed towards the neck and not the shoulder. This is quite clear from the Corbridge hoard of lorica segmentata armour. I do agree with the reviewer, however, that this is an example of first-class sculpting and is well up to the usual standard we have come to expect from Young.

  2. Dr Michael Thomas

    My pleasure! In case you are wondering where I get the authority to make those statements, I have a Master’s degree in Roman military history and I ‘work’ in a museum devoted to the Roman Army.

    1. Author

      wow you gave me an idea, have you ever considered writing an article, perhaps for our Illustrated Historical Artist digital magazine?….

  3. Dr Michael Thomas

    I have written numerous articles for the modelling press over the years – not always about Rome and her army though. If you could give me some specific indications of what you would like, length, etc, I am quite willing to give it some thought.

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