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Sunday 22 March 2020

Hand Painting Shield Designs

This post is a companion to this main post on Antiochus IV's Romanised infantry which was inspired by Angus McBride's plate in Monvet's Seleucid Army book which was also faithfully reproduced by Angel García Pinto for Ancient Warfare magazine. The distinctive shield device was the main feature I wanted to replicate and this post is to expand on how I did this.  

The process to achieve the design was quite experimental not having much experience with free hand designs. Starting with the red basecoat (step 1) was the diamond shape (step 2) after haphazardly painting wobbly diamonds I broke the process down to slightly more consistent manner;

A) Along both sides of the the spine of the shield paint the height of the shape.
B) From the centre of the shield boss paint a line for the width of the shape.
C) Connect the top and bottom of the shape to the width lines.
D) Fill in the centre.  

The "diamond" shape break down

Quite hard to see the detail on the picture:

Step 1) Red basecoat.
Step 2) Turquoise diamond background.
Step 3) Edges and spine painted in bronze and also within the diamond rough wing shapes.
Step 4) The centre of the boss in dark grey for the face.
Step 5) In the dark grey area a rough face shape; a line in the middle for the nose, dots either side of that cheeks, horizontal lines below for the mouth and most of the area above the nose for the forehead. 
Step 6) Highlight step 5 with white   
Step 7) Highlight around the face and the wings with old gold (spine optional).
Step 8) Highlight the diamond with blue green to give wreath\leafy effect.

Step by step

Finished examples with the red highlighted

Romanised Argyraspides

Quite a slog at the desk but finally got these 64 Romanised Silvershields painted and based for 8 bases worth. Not really needed for project Magnesia but always a favorite troop type that has always fascinated me after seeing Angus McBride's plates in Sekunda's Motvert on the Seleucid army.

Using trusty and handy Newline Designs 20mm African Veterans with Macedonian command figures all with Hellenistic thureos shields sourced from their Jewish javelinmen code. The shield pattern was the main challenge. Originally I had some home made transfers but the tester did not look good at all. I had no choice but to muddle through painting the design by hand which was a daunting prospect. In the end I quite enjoyed the challenge and process overall and will have to tackle more in the future. They are inconsistent but overall I am happy with the result and looks fine en mass at a distant. More details on the PARADE GROUND WORKSHOP.   

As I have mentioned these are no good for my Lost Battles Magnesia project as they appeared in Antiochus IV's army. After the defeat of Hellenistic pike phalanxes by the Romans, and no doubt after spending time in Rome as a hostage, the king equipped some of his Silvershield regiment in the "Roman fashion" as attested by Polybius' account of the Daphne parade. Many other ancient states followed suit; Mithridatic Kingdom of Pontus, Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Numidia and Armenia were some that had troops supposedly equipped as Legionaries. These bases could then populate those armies (I do have many more unpainted veterans!). Also I think they could be fielded in a Late Republican Roman army, Pompey the Great had troops raised from Syria, quite possibly equipped with a more Hellenistic appearance than the troops raised in Italy.

1/72 ancients