Another army done: Ancient Spanish

18 September, 2010

I’ve nearly finished my third ancient army, the Spanish. I’d done figures for use in the Carthaginian army, which served as test elements, and I’d done the two cavalry elements, as well as the camp (which the Carthaginians think is theirs!). I decided they were too good an army not to finish, though there are a lot of others with more unique troop types that could have been done first. However, they will be really good opponents to the other two armies, the Gauls and the Carthaginians, and for that reason they got priority. Also they are Corvus Belli figures and very nice. Finally, I’ve done a spare element of 3Ax, which can be used as mercenaries by a Syracusan army, which is a project that could get the green light soon. I even did a foot command, as I had the figures, and they look so nice; it could get used in a campaign game for an allied force.

This was some fairly rapid painting for me, as I got 32 figures done in just over a week. They are fairly involved, as the shields got transfers and need to be glued on; the figures also have a lot of detail: daggers on the front of their scabbards, or distinctive triangular daggers, and they have pectorals, metal belts, and straps, as well as their tunics being bordered.

I tried not to make them too bright or too multi-coloured, going for a lot of whites and off-whites and reds. I’m very pleased with my new recipe for red for fabric, which is the GW blood red mixed with their terracotta. The terracotta makes it a more muted red without turning it pink, which is what I’d usually achieved when I added white or off-white.

They are now all based and only need a wash and flock, so pretty well done. I’ll do the wash tomorrow. I’m a little nervous about it, as I think it’s a bit strong. I got some inks from the local art store, as I’d found paint settles in the Klear wash and has to be stirred with a brush; shaking’s not enough. I think inks will be better for washes. Anyway, I’m giving all the metals plenty of time to dry before applying the wash.

The nearly ready Spanish: the finished figures are at the back, as are the magnifying lenses that attach to my glasses. Assuming the wash is not too strong, this shot should make for a good before and after one of the difference a wash makes; at the moment they look pretty garish.

I also got a ‘gel’ to add to the base paint, as the ‘sand mortar’ doesn’t always hide the bases easily. It made the paint easier to spread, but I think I need to use more of it, as when the stuff dries, it still shrinks down exposing the edges of the bases.

  • Painting space

My painting space.

The photo of the Spanish gave me an excuse to take a photo of my painting space, as a number of people on the Fanaticus forum had been sharing this. It’s been tidied, but I do that periodically, especially after I finish an army. The box with the post-it stickers on them contains most of my armies, though there’s another box behind it with armies in plastic bags. The next army to be painted, the Polybian Romans, is now on its painting sticks.

  • Next army: Polybian Romans

The Polybians ready to go.

The Polybians will be my next project, as I’ve done the test element for them and I reckon I can do them pretty fast, since they are so uniform. The Chariot figures are very nice, and I can see this army seeing action against all the other armies I’ve already done. I’m painting a foot command and an extra 3Cv, as an unofficial alternative to a mounted command. There are 35 foot and 9 mounted. I’ve got the finished figures out to help remind me of the two uniforms I’m using. Half will have red shields and white tunics, and half green shields and red tunics.


11 Responses to “Another army done: Ancient Spanish”

  1. TWR Says:

    The Spanish are for the Worlds right?

    • Mark Davies Says:

      There’s a thought! Actually I did them partly because I’d got annoyed with my earlier focus on that competition. This army allows me to play a number of interesting historical match-ups.

      • TWR Says:

        I see no real point focussing on one competition.

        I know that some people do with larger armies but in my view DBA doesn’t require such practice. Well, apart from some general understanding of how the army works of course.

        That said complex armies are more difficult to get your head around, even with DBA.

      • Mark Davies Says:

        That’s true, and ultimately I’m doing the competitions for fun, and when they start ot become the be-all and end-all, they stop being fun.

  2. Dale Hurtt Says:

    I love the Spanish army. I bought them and Polybian Romans and my Spanish always give the Romans a run for their money, especially when they win terrain. Even when they lose terrain, I can still beat the Romans about 50% of the time.

    Have fun!

    • Mark Davies Says:

      Thanks. I’m keen to see them in action. I’ve had a lot of success with my Norse Irish, who are similar (though the two mounted of the Spanish are more use than the two blades that the Irish can get).

  3. Stephen Says:

    That was good going Mark. The figures did look to have lots of interesting detail. I’ve had quite similar experiences to you lately: I find ink works really well in a wash and yes for some reason metallic paints need to be left a long long time; I’ve not yet found a solution to the gel medium shrinking down, even when using copious amounts; and my quest for a red with a little brown in it that I don’t have to mix myself continues!

    • Mark Davies Says:

      The gel has made a difference; the bases are less obvious. I’m flocking now (I had a session of adding metaIlic bases for their magnetic storage last night). Unfortunately, knocking the flock off by banging the back of the base with my tweezers dislodged a number of shields–perhaps the superglue is getting old.

  4. Prufrock Says:

    Nice work, Mark. Your wash looks great. Every time I’m back in NZ I pick up some Klear to bring back with me.


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