Pontic Imitation Legionaries and the first of the Marians.

The Mithridatics are a bit closer now with the first of their imitation legionaries done. The blue shields are imitation legionaries, the red shields are Marians. These are Freikorp figures; For the imitation legionaries two on each element are Marians, one of an older vintage, and one each of the newer ones. The other two are Hellenistic thorakitai with scuta instead of thurioi and pila from the old vintage Marians. As mentioned in earlier posts, I’ve used VVV transfers, which I think look pretty effective.

The Marians have a centurion, two of the new vintage figures, and one of the old ones. I plan to have a centurion on each element, for colour, but also as they were so significant to the functioning of the legions. I’ll probably do pairs of shield designs for them, so that there will be some four ‘legions’ in the DBA army.

I think the figures look pretty neat, though I missed some major flash on some of the new figures; it’s very prominent on one of their faces!

From the side.

Now I’ve got these figures done, I just need to do the three elements of Ptolemaic and Seleucid imitation legionaries, who have thurioi. Then I can field later versions of these armies, as well as the Mithridatic option of five 4Bd.

The other side.

The Marians should be pretty quick to do now that I’ve established that these transfers work, though whether they’re next on the to do is another question.

From the rear.

After the Ptolemaic and Seleucid imitation legionaries, I could do some more pike; they’re all prepped; it’s just I’ve scuttled off onto other projects. And I could still be tempted to do Bruttians, again prepped, or Numidians instead of these pike. There are also some camps to be done when the mood takes me!

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A couple of shields

26 November, 2011

I decided to put shields on my Pontic light horse, as by this period most cavalry used them. Following the good advice of the Teenage Visigoth, ‘use what you’ve got, rather than dreaming about what you could have’, I gave them a pair of bucklers that were the best size for them I had. As I didn’t want to draw attention to the shields especially, I gave them fairly ordinary colours. These were also extra quick, as I didn’t clean or undercoat them. They got one colour and the boss was bare metal; then I gave them a wash and glued them.

A pair of shields for the Pontic cavalry.

I’ve also started painting the shields of the Pontic imitation legionaries and the Marian Romans. These are VVV Early Imperial Roman designs. Both the designs needed a little trimming to fit. Some of the shields are on older Freikorp figures and noticeably cruder in terms of their bosses, but this shouldn’t show up too much.

Marian Romans (red shields) and Pontic imitation legionaries (blue shields).

Pontus ready to combat Roman tyranny.

Mithridates is ready to free the Roman province of Asia from the avarice and corruption of the Romans. I’ve updated their Army Page too.

Light foot: thureophoroi and Asiatic archers (Freikorp).

Another angle.

Mithridates has a good supply of light foot, which can be used by the Seleucids (and others).

Pontic cavalry options.

Pontic cavalry (Warmodelling).

His cavalry is fairly strong, compared to his Roman rivals. He has Pontic cavalry of a 3Cv command and a 2LH.

Flanking a Freikorp element for comparison.

Another angle.

I’ll probably add small shields to the 2LH, as they were pretty standard by this period. Mithridates also has a choice of Sarmatians (3Kn), Skythians (2LH) or more Pontics (3Cv).

More horse: Sarmatians (Donnington), Skythians and Pontics (Freikorp).

Another angle.

The Pontic horse have a lot of character and will see service as Seleucid Civic Militia or auxiliary cavalry for Marian Romans. The cup on their shields reflects their dishevelled appearance—an enthusiasm for foraging over fighting! I may get more for some 2LH!

From behind to show the kit on the Seleucid civic militia and the swords on the Sarmatians.

Gauls, Gauls, Gauls!

20 November, 2011

An entire army of warband! All the Gallic foot amassed. Note how much less flock I've used on the four new ones (flanking the command); the Gauls were the first army I did with this flock; over time I've come to use less and less flock.

Over a year in the painting, they’re finally done, the last of my CB Gallic foot. They weren’t terribly urgent, which is why I put them away for most of this year after starting them; I got their shields done in August then did no painting for a few months, so it’s with a certain amount of relief that I’ve finally finished them. They’re not the last CB Gauls I could do; I’ve got a 3Cv element that would be useful as Galatian or Gallic mercenaries with various armies. And as I like painting CB figures so much, I’m sure their Numidians will creep up the priority list after the Mithridatics are done (especially as I’m looking at Sallust’s Jugurthine War again).

The four new foot, who will be serving with the Carthaginians and Syracusans.

The Mithridatics are moving on well. Their cavalry’s over half done, as are the 4Ax and 2Ps. I’ll do the 4bd as a separate group, though I’ve made a start on some of them. That way I can field one version of the army faster.

I made an amusingly obvious discovery this morning. I can put the metallic paper on the bases before I put the figures on! It’s easier (blindingly obviously so!), but as I was in the habit of adding the paper to finished elements, that was the habitual order of things and it’d not occurred with me to do it differently!

Mithridatics on the move

14 November, 2011

I got inspired to get my Mithridatic army done. It’s jumping the queue somewhat, but then that’s pretty much the only reason why I have one! There are a couple of reasons; partly it allows me to get elements done that can be used for other armies, partly it is that Mithridates himself is extremely fascinating, but mostly it is that I’m curious to see how some of the figures turn out as they are from a mix of manufactures and some of them are conversions.

As I’m so curious, after getting them undercoated, I took the unusual step to base them temporarily to see how they look.

Pontic cavalry, from left to right Pontic light horse, Sarmatians, Pontic cavalry command, more Pontic cavalry and Skythians.

I decided to glue the riders to their mounts, as the Freikorp ones are moulded like this. Also they didn’t fit too well, so it allowed me to use green stuff to fill the gaps. Given the size of some of these gaps, I’m really glad I did this!

The Pontic cavalry, light horse and command elements. These are Warmodelling and the most speculative of my purchases.

The command element and an element of floppy hat wearing Thracians I got from Warmodelling. I’m told the oddness of their mounts is less apparent once painted, and already with an undercoat they seem to be blending in better. They’re of really hard metal, and replacing the shields on the command element involved a lot of work with a hacksaw!

More Pontic cavalry, this time Freikorp Seleucid militia next to the Warmodelling ones for comparison.

There’s a lot of debate about how Mithridates’ cavalry might have looked. I went for the Seleucid militia cavalry for some of them as I can use them for the last of the Seleucid army lists—and they look really neat: someone clearly enjoyed sculpting these, with their packs and untidy costumes. Using the Thracians as Pontic light horse will also give me an element of unshielded light horse I can use in other armies, while the Carthaginian command seemed to work, as they had horse armour, which is apparently possible for Mithridates.

Allied cavalry, Skythians and Sarmatians.

The other two cavalry options are Skythians, who pop up everywhere, and Sarmatians. The Skythians are Freikorp and the Sarmatians are Donnington. I’m really pleased with how the Donnington figures look next to Freikorp ones, and may get more.

Thureophoroi and Asiatic archers.

The Mithridatic list has some 4Ax and 2Ps. I could use some of the elements I’ve done, but I need some more, and these will be useful for the Seleucids and other armies.

Imitation Legionaries.

With the figures described so far I could field one version of the army, the one with a SCh and four 4Pk (though the pike so far are not the most appropriate), but I’m keen to do the five 4Bd, as I’ve thought of a way of doing some of them for the later Seleucid and Ptolemaic lists

Seleucid and Ptolemaic Imitation Legionaries.

The Seleucids can have one element of imitation legionaries and the Ptolemaics two; for these I’ve gone with Nick Secunda’s Montevert book, which shows them with the thureos, and used Freikorp thureophoroi and thorakitai. It seems they may have had spears instead of pila, but to make it clear they are imitation legionaries, I’ve given them some of the old Freikorp pila. These will be painted to distinguish the Seleucid from the Ptolemaics.

Mithridatic Imitation Legionaries.

For the Mithridatics, I’ll use the three earlier 4Bd, even if they aren’t entirely appropriate, and two elements with scuta. For these, I used a few of the Freikorp Marians and a few of the Freikorp thorakitai with their shields replaced with scuta. Overall, I’m pleased with the way the Freikorp figures are shaping up, and pleased to have used figures I already have, rather than buy yet more! There was quite a lot of work in prepping these guys; next actually to paint them!

All the elephants arrayed. Not quite enough yet for a whole army, but getting there!

Well, I’ve got some Gauls and some pikemen on my painting desk and the Gauls are all but done now (I think I started them this time last year!), but three elements of elephants jumped the queue. They are quicker to do and allow me to field a number of successor armies straight away. This made them more inviting as I got back into painting after a couple of months’ break. In the process of doing them I got the Gauls nearly done too.

The Seleucid elephant, now with skirmisher support, faces off against the Ptolemaic one.

Along with the three elephants (two early successor and one Ptolemaic), I did four archers as skirmisher support. I added one onto the base of the Seleucid elephant I’d done earlier, as particularly in the later period they deployed the elephants with a lot of surrounding skirmishers.

The Ptolemaic elephant; it is an African one and smaller than the Asian ones. Note the goad that I made for the mahout.

The figures are all Freikorp and I think their elephants are excellent. They are easy to assemble, well animated and their seems to be (to my inexpert eye) a distinction between the African and Asian ones. The Ptolemaic elephant is smaller and has different ears. As these figures don’t come with goads for the mahouts I made them using the ends of lead spears that I’d cut down for javelins. I flatten the end, cut a split in it and bent one side into a hook and gently filed the two end to points. The hooks are perhaps bigger than they should be, but they look the part and were quick and easy to make.

From the other side with its skirmisher support.

The Ptolemaic elephant will also be used as a Pyrrhic one, meaning that with the xystophoroi that I did a while back I can now field the early Ptolemaic and the Pyrrhic armies.

Early Successor elephants ready to go against each other (when I get more pike painted!

The pair of early successor elephants, without towers, allow me to field a number of the armies starting with Alexander, though I need to get some unshielded cavalry to be fully accurate. They allow fights between successor armies (when I get more pikemen painted) and me to field the earliest Seleucid army with two elephants.

The two elephants ready to serve in the early Seleucid army.

From another angle.

And yet another.

Getting these guys to sit on the elephants provided a bit of drama. When my first attempt failed I tried araldite, which is too slow to set, then pinning, which was a travesty. Finally I tried again with super glue and it was quite straight forward, but if you look at the mahout on the blue elephant you’ll see his slightly grey beard and a mark on his chest reveal the scars of this exercise!

Next up, when I get time, will be the Gauls, who allow me to field the Gauls, the Carthaginians and the Syracusans all at the same time. Then I’ll either buckle down to doing seven stands of pike, or I’ll do some smaller projects, such as a 4Bd for the later Seleucids, and some of the cavalry for that ‘d’ list (who can be used for the Mithridatic one too).

As I prepare to glue the pikemen perched on the back of the two successor elephants I’m painting, I looked at some printed pictures of painted figures that I use as guides. These are often from the manufacturer’s websites. I was surprised to see that the artillery I’d put together back to front was a result of copying the picture on the Essex website! Now I don’t feel like such a wally, but who’d have thought they’d get it wrong!

The elephants and their crew are almost done, as are four elements of Gallic 3Wb that were started around this time last year and were restarted back in July when I stopped doing any painting for a while. When the elephants are done, I’ll be able to field just about any successor army, though I need to do more pike if I want to pair them off against each other. These pike have also been undercoated and waiting painting since July! The Gauls will allow me to field a Gallic, a Syracusan and a Carthaginian army with their Wb options at the same time.