Thursday, 16 February 2017

Libyan Skirmishers

An update of another old unit. I just applied some highlights and introduced some variety in the shields as well as basing them on a 60mm x 40mm base.

Painting new units is still on hold as I organise and put away my collection following a renovation project upstairs. A fair chunk of my collection will be put in the loft to relieve the pressure of storing them around the house.

I still have updated Numidian cavalry and infantry to post but the original pictures were lost when my laptop broke down. So when I get a chance to redo then I'll post them.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Iberian Cavalry Redux

Just a quick update with some fresh pics of rebased and highlighted Iberian Cavalry both heavies and lights. I swapped the shields for the heavy cav from the Caetra to the Scuta and generally tried to highlight and tone down some of the more bright cloaks and tunics. For more info on these very 20mm Newline Designs see my earlier post of light cavalry and earlier post of heavy cavalry.

The project in the house is done however I am still sorting out my collection of miniatures, trying to find a new place for them all around the house. Until they are all sorted and put away the painting is on hold. I have some pics of Libyan skirmishers rebased to post and hopefully I will get a chance to get some pics of my refreshed Numidian light infantry. By then the painting should be ready to commence again (fingers crossed).

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Italians Allies Advance

This post has been a long time coming. I finished 8 bases of 8 Samnites at the end of November but life got in the way. Between Christmas, my computer breaking down again (losing lots of pics for the blog) and now a project in the house (painting walls instead miniatures, sad times). So now after getting some fresh photos and editing them I have them for the blog at last.

I also lost the WIP pictures which showed the use of spray paint and painting strips which sped up a lot of painting time. I used Army Painters Barbarian Flesh spray as the base coat and keeping the figures attached to the strips applied the base colours. A few of the figures got sprayed too heavy but in the end they all seemed fine. I have since acquired white spray for Hellenistic linothorax types and black for chain mail types to use for future projects. 

I used 2 poses from Newline Designs ANI03 advancing Samnite spearmen in these units. Again I swapped the shields from clipped shields for the Roman types to Romanise these Oscan warriors. The sculpting on these miniatures is great and the detail on the armour and helmets is exquisite.

I have also been trying to improve the photography again and had found an article as well as receiving some great tips from Hellboy over at Benno's Figure Forum. I think they are a bit better but I could still do some more work or have a bit more patients when it comes to the editing stage.

So thats another 8 bases done for the Punic Wars, I have been working on rebasing and highlighting some of my older Punic Wars miniatures which will feature in the next few posts once I get round to editing the photos. I should have more time for that next week since my painting desk is out of bounds at the minute because of the project upstairs. All of the stuff from upstairs is blocking off my workzone but I have some Triarii set aside to prep for painting in the mean time. 

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Italian Allied Legionaries

The latest unit to the Legions of Rome or the mercenary contingents of Carthage. This contingent has been represented with Newline Designs 20mm Samnites standing. These miniatures come issued with clipped Scutum shields and I believe they are supposed to be the Samnites of the earlier wars Rome fought with the Oscan peoples of Southern Italy. However I'm going for the later 2nd Punic War era and issued the troops with a Roman oval Scutum shield. 

They come in 2 varieties and there is a 3rd standing pose in the Samnite range. The details are very crisp, they painted up easily and then lent themselves well to the mud wash.

I initially attempted to paint a variety of shield designs but the only one that was half decent was the laurel wreath design. The other designs I wasn't pleased with so to introduce variety I just used different colours.

With the Italian Allied Cavalry I swapped the standard with a vexillum but it looked a bit awkward at the join. This time however I went for disks which I think maybe a more Imperial Roman type of standard but it was an easy option to add to the standard. The trickiest bit was cutting the tiny disks which are cut from a cross section of a Hat sprue then super glued on. 

Again I undercoated with flesh to save time, which it did, but it still felt like a chore. Fortunately the rest of the painting was more enjoyable and I have a painting guide on my workshop blog. I tend to prefer more active poses however paiting and basing these models I have come to appreciate the humble standing pose they were a breeze to base and there are no spears hanging over the edge of the base. 

I have 2 x 32 man units of Samnite foot advancing ready to paint up. However the thought of undercoating my next units was putting me off continuing so I decided to give Army Painter primer spray a go and have ordered a flesh coloured and black tin. Hopefully this will give a quick basecoating option and give me a boost to get them painted. Meanwhile I have been highlighting and rebasing Spanish and Numidian cavalry so I will probably  post some updated pics of those units next.   

Monday, 26 September 2016

Allied Cavalry

These horsemen represent the Italian Allied cavalry. These miniatures are from Newline Designs 20mm Samnite and Etruscan range and there are 3 regular poses, 2 command poses and 2 horse variations. There is a nice variety in armour; triple disk, pectoral and muscle cuirass. They are probably meant to represent the Samnite cavalry that Rome fought against before the Punic Wars. The Allied cavalry equipment  by the second Punic War probably differed very little from their Roman contemporaries but it is nice to have some variation between the Roman and Allied cavalry units.  

These miniatures usually come with a small rimmed shield but I swapped them for a mix of Roman Parma shields, Celtic Cavalry shields and a Macedonian Aspis shield types. This was an attempt to bring them closer to the Roman cavalry whilst showing a bit of Greek influence. I think to use them for Rome's Samnite Wars they should probably be un-shielded like Hat's 1/72 Italian Allied Cavalry (currently in my plastic mountain and have spare shields for them!). 

The only other thing I swapped was the standard bearer's pole for a vexillum, which was a bit of a hash were I made the cut. The shield transfers are from Veni Vidi Vici, expcept the laurel wreaths design from an abandoned home made set, which needed painted over so acted more of a painting guide.

I managed to do these fairly quickly the steps I took are covered in more detail on my WIP blog. There wasn't much in ways of horse furniture and leather belts and straps which really helped speed up the process. I am continuing on with the Roman (and at times Carthaginian) Allies theme by working on a unit of heavy infantry.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Carthage's Professionals

Why get citizens to fight when you can employ full time mercenaries? Carthage employed or levied North Africans to serve in her armies and here are a few units of heavy infantry representing Libyan, Liby-Phoenician or Punic spearmen  in 20mm by Newline Designs.

These spearmen types are usually associated with a large round shield like the ones carried by Hoplites but I liked the idea that they could have been using the oval thureos so went with the Iberian style Scutarii shield provided from Newline's Scutarii figures. I also have some pikemen miniatures set aside to be African Spearmen with Hoplite style shields for future projects.

These units stem from updating these 32 African foot to the double DBX style basing I have been using.  I dug around my lead mountain and organised the African Infantry into groups of 32 including 3 command figures. I set aside 2 units worth with Macedonian commands for future Hellenistic armies, then grabbed 6 Carthaginian command figures and 26 African Infantry for the pictured units.

I hoped to have them all in the Thracian style helmet but I was 6 short so I used the African wearing the conical looking helmet with cheek plates. I attempted to add a visor using PVA glue built up in layers to give them a more Hellenistic look. I have made a separate post on the PARADE GROUND WORKSHOP on how I painted the miniatures. With the 32 older miniatures I removed the shields, highlighted and generally got them to fit in with the newly painted miniatures.

The shield transfers are a mix of 15mm Hellenistic Veni Vidi Vici transfers and some home brew transfers.

Although I achieved what I set out to do they are too uniform for the ancient world, even for freshly raised troops. However I like the uniformed contrast to my Roman Citizen soldiers so decided to go for artistic rather than historical painting. Hellenistic rulers sometimes gave military cloaks as 'gifts' to mercenaries. I like the idea of Carthage recruiting for their armies with a promise of regular pay and all clothing and equipment provided for service... maybe something like this happened to some degree.  Also uniformity helps get the production line moving. Next on the bench are the Italian Allies cavalry and infantry.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

To Campus Martius

Yet more Mid Republican Roman Legionaries in 20mm by Newline Designs and the bulk of them done now with just Triarii and the odd base of Hastati and Princepes left unpainted. This post is reporting 13 completed bases of Hastati and Princepes each with 8 miniatures. Its the biggest batch of miniatures I have painted at once and I'm not sure if I could pull it off again but it was satisfying after completing so many at once. 

The first two pictures were attempts to capture the majority of the minis on my wife's camera phone most of the following closeups are taken with the Nikon's macro feature. The picture below shows some of the main differences from my previous postings of completed legionaries. Namely, I did some minor work twisting the centurions' heads and sword arms from their leading fellow legionnaires pose, to a more aggressive stabbing pose. I also issued the standard bearer with a plastic standard from the Hat 1/72 Roman Command set as I thought it would look better than my previous attempts at painting a vexillum free handed. 

When I was dividing the troops for each base I found I was one short, I drafted a spare veles (above inset) twisted his arm a bit and gave him a sword and scutum. I decided to use him for an experiment to reduce painting times for future miniatures. The main change was to undercoat him with foundation flesh paint, for some reason I find painting flesh on ancients an ordeal, probably because there is so much on show. With the flesh under/base coat done I blocked in the colours red/brown/brass; applied a brown wash then highlighted the relevant colours. I completed the shield at the end with the rest of the legionaries. 

Overall he didn't take too long to complete and I think undercoating in a foundation flesh paint will save a lot of time with my next few units. I am now working on updating, rebasing and adding to my Carthaginian African heavy foot in the hope of creating 2 units of 4 bases each. But at least for now there are more Romans ready to assemble at the Field of Mars.

A close up of some of the fresh Hastati:

And below most of the Roman foot so far (camera phone):