29 October, 2016

The Carthaginians that are going to Conquest are represented by the proper nationalities, except for the spear, for which I’ve had to use some Greek hoplites. To create a bit of balance with the Carthaginian spear, I got some more of my Campanian army painted. The Carthaginians are now taking three elements of Carthaginians, three of Greek mercenaries and three of Campanian mercenaries. These Campanians have already shown some grit, which is gratifying.

Campanian hoplites.

Campanian hoplites.

These figures have been on the painting queue for a while. Since I started them the auxilia in these armies has mostly been reclassified as 3Ax, which is probably more useful. I got the cavalry prepped a few weeks back, and I hope to paint them and four elements of the 3Ax to be able to field the Campanian army (II/8b).

From the side.

From the side.

And the other side.

And the other side.

And the rear.

And the rear.

The Campanian army is not terribly exciting, but it’s not as one-dimensional as the other two that I can make from these figures, the Bruttians and Apulians. I won’t even talk about the Samnites, which under DBA are really just speedbumps for any opponent.

Half the army is now ready to go.

Half the army is now ready to go.

The four elements of 3Ax ready to be painted.

The four elements of 3Ax ready to be painted.

I got a few shields and flags for this army from the Freikorp range. Two of the ‘flags’ are actually trophies. These troops used to take the tunics and belts of fallen enemies and display them on their spears. I’ve used them as such on a couple of the Old Glory figures. Not quite headhunters, but showing promise!

The trophy tunic and belt.

The trophy tunic and belt.

The cavalry needed a bit of preparation. Green stuff filled big gaps between the saddles and horses. Shields were on some, others have been salvaged from Freikorp thureophoroi that became imitation legionaries, and others are CB caetrae from their Spanish range.

The Southern Italian cavalry. The trophy on one has had a wardrobe malfunction.

The Southern Italian cavalry. The trophy on one has had a wardrobe malfunction.

When I’ve done this army, I may look to paint an Armenian army to complement my Mithridatic one.

Campanians move closer

6 December, 2010

While I did a couple of test elements for the Gladiator figures, I did a couple of Old Glory ones too. This was partly because psiloi are very quick to paint and partly to see how their hoplites compared to the Gladiator ones I was doing and to the Essex ones I’d done.

One third of the Campanians done.

I really like the Campanian hoplites; the Xyston spears help tie in the two figures that I had to drill out the hands for. I’m now keen to do the other three elements of them. This would only leave some more auxilia and some mounted elements to finish this army (and then I could do the remaining five to seven elements of auxilia to allow it to be used as Bruttian or Samnite.

Plenty of pose variation with these figures.

The Campanians now have an Army Page, shared with their Southern Italian neighbours.

Plodding along

11 March, 2010

Things have been a bit quiet on the gaming front for the last while. First, Joel’s been away on a school camp, so the Gauls are still waiting for their first outing. Then, having avoided a cold that got the rest of the family a few weeks back, I came down with it last week; I guess once the thesis was finally finished my body decided it could let its guard down. On top of this it’s the start of semester and fairly full on at work.

I’ve made a start on a number of figures, the Carthaginian and the Spanish cavalry; I guess they’re slightly over half finished. I’ve also started on the camp figures, which are at a similar stage.

Otherwise, my energy has gone into cleaning up some OG15 Italians that I got from Rudy Nelson; they will allow  my Bruttians to morph into Campanians, Apulians and Samnites. Rudy does a great service in breaking up OG15 packs for DBA armies, and his prices are very reasonable.

I’ve also decided to get a little fancier with my bases. Perhaps it’s the MDF bases, or perhaps it’s the Spanish camp that I’m working on, but I’ve decided to get some Acrylic Sand Mortar from an Art Shop. The brand is Pebeo, which I’ve found fairly reasonably priced for varnish and paint for bases. I’ve made a mixture of this sand mortar and Raw Sienna, Yellow Earth and Raw Umber that seems pretty satisfactory; I’ve used this on one base and added kitty litter stones, but am now waiting for some static flock to finish the whole thing. This could lead me down the path of rebasing my ancient armies (and perhaps in time the medieval ones!).

I’ve been fairly restrained so far this year with figure purchases, just a few CB figures to round out the Celts and Spanish, and those OG15s, but if I start to paint some of the Hellenistic armies that I have, I could be tempted to get some figures from either Essex or Black Hat to round them out. Perhaps I should aim to finish the Carthaginians and Spanish first, but it’s fun to see how the first figures of an army turn out, and I’ve yet to do any of those Macedonians and Greeks.

Meanwhile, now that the thesis is submitted, I’ve got a bit more spare time for reading, so while I wait for Joel to get back, I’ve started reading Caesar’s Gallic Wars again in the Latin; it’s a pity that there’s really no literary equivalent to his work that relates the war from the point of view of the Gauls. He’s a masterful stylist and great at obscuring details that show to his discredit.

A swarm of skirmishers

8 February, 2010

I completed the next batch of figures for my ancients armies this weekend. I still don’t have a complete Ancient British army, but I’m getting closer. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly I had a few small mishaps that slowed me down. I had the figures necessary for the minimum number of warbands ready to go and I’d finished a number of the naked fanatics (not hard!) when I put some matt varnish on them that I should have thrown away. It turned them white! More annoying was losing the shield transfers. Then I took the finished Britons out to show somebody and the box they were in got inverted in the car knocking the crew off the chariots.

These setbacks may have contributed to my painting other figures, but there were sound reasons for doing them. Firstly, I wanted to place an order for more VVV transfers, so I needed to check that they worked on the various figures I’ve got waiting to paint. This led me to do an element of OG15s Bruttian auxilia, some Chariot Polybian Romans and some CB Spanish. I also did some CB Numidian and Libyan skirmishers to see what their shields would look like and to experiment with using washes on white.

The Ancient Britons are a little closer. I’ve repaired damaged chariots and I’ve rebased all the figures I’d finished on MDF; I was really impressed with how Joel’s Marians lined up on my wheeling stick, while my figures were always a few mm out! Getting the MDF also provided an excuse to get the CB ‘Victory and Defeat’ pack. I also decided to give the adolescent skirmishers some small shields. And I’ve finished the second of the light horse elements.

Celtic adolescent skirmishers: the shields were Outpost round shields cut smaller in a hole punch and with their bosses removed. The patterns are VVV ones for peltas.

Ancient British light horse: the rebasing on MDF provided a good opportunity to improve the placing of the figures.

On the painting sticks are enough warband figures to field a Gallic army (including the headhunters, of course), and two more chariots. This time I decided to glue the shields on the unpainted figures. I’ll see how that goes, but certainly the gluing is a fiddly job that I only want to do once. Whether it’s better at the start or not I’m yet to see. I went all out and gluded the crew into the chariots unpainted. I may yet regret this! These figures are at various stages of completion; about half have finished shields; about two elements are finished, but can’t be based as they’ll be mixed with figures that are not finished. the rest are just needing their clothes painted, which takes me the longest, as I decide on colours and try to get enough variety (I’m really looking forward to doing some armies that have uniforms!).

The Polybian Romans have been given shield transfers, even though evidence for shield patterns is slim. The VVV patterns seem to follow Warry’s Warfare in the Classical World, p. 110. They’re intended to flank the spine, but one of the patterns in Warry is along the top as I’ve done, and I think it looks better like that. I’m doing the Hastati and Principes mixed on bases, and doing two uniforms (one for each legion). This one has white tunics and red shields with a boar on them. The others will have red tunics and green shields with wolves on them. The Triarii will match the colours, but have a different shield pattern.

Polybian Romans (right) and Oscan Infantry (left): the Romans are hiding behind their shields; their crests serve to mask the difference is size with the Oscans. You can see the same Roman patterns on the Oscan shields (left over when I decided not to put them parallel to the spines).

I also painted a few OG15s Oscan infantry. I got them from Mike Sanderson for a Bruttian army. They come from the pack IC08 (Samnite Infantry), but over a third of them are in the same pose (the two round shield ones on here), so I’m planning to get some more OG15s figures to allow me to allow these to morph into a Campanian or an Apulian army and to break up the monotony of poses). With these figures, and the next ones, I was experimenting with using washes on white. I find the wash makes the colour turn light brown. Advice from Fanaticus that I tried was to coat the white with Klear before using the wash and this got the results I wanted. I’m going for a fair bit of variation in whites, mixing in ‘Bleached Bone’ or ‘Kommando Khaki’ to give an undyed linen or wool effect.

The backs of the Romans and the Spanish Scutarii (the only way to see what the Romans are doing behind those shields!). The Spaniard on the right and the Roman on the left had stright white tunics, the others had various off-white ones. a prior wash of Klear kept the wash only in the folds.

I did an element each of Numidian and Libyan skirmishers. This was to try out a slightly darker flesh colour. I added some ‘Dark Flesh’ to my ‘Mediterranean Flesh’, which is a mixture of ‘Dwarf Flesh’ and ‘Vomit Brown’. This was also an experiment with their shields. I’m reasonably pleased with how they came out. However, just after I realized that the had should be near the rim not the centre! With these two and the Celts and Spanish that I’ve done, I’ve now got five of the 12 elements of a Later Carthaginian army, and now that I’m happy with the way I’ve done my Numidians, the two elements of 2LH won’t take long at all!

Carthaginian skirmishers: Numidian (left) and Libyan (right) psiloi.

Lastly, I did some CB Spanish. I’d painted their shields a little before to see if VVV transfers would work on them, and then I did a stand each of Scutarii and Caetrati along with one of Balearic slingers to see how the tunics would look. I used Peter Connolly’s illustration in Hannibal and the Enemies of Rome, p. 43,  as a model, though the figures on the CB website are useful guides too.

Spanish warriors: (from the left) Caetrati, Scutarii and Balearic slingers

I was up until 3.30 Saturday night working on some of these (not entirely intentionally)! I wanted to get them finished before the week started. Although I’ve not finished the Celts (and I really want to wait for the next lot of VVV transfer before I do that), I’ve now done figures for four other armies and satisfied myself with how they might turn out. In fact, I’m really keen to get onto those Romans and Carthaginians. I’ll try to do the Gallic cavalry before that, though—provided Xyston send some nice cavalry shields with spines before long!