Sunday, 4 October 2020

Pantodapoi Phalangites

I originally painted these Newline Designs 20mm Seleucid pikemen 10 years ago and some of the first Newline figures I painted. They had been in a box awaiting a re-paint and re-base for a while before the re-base project and with them being pikemen with a recent command finished seem like the ideal candidates for the experimental stage of the project.

The figures went through my standard repaint which was basically adding highlighting to what was originally basecoated and heavily washed with citadel Delvan Mud. The armour was given various brown shades and the pikes repainted. The helmets were simply highlighted with Vallejo Old Gold and the shields basecoated with Vallejo Bronze and the designs with Old Gold. Then to further add a bit of variety the clothing was highlighted and some had a few different colours and patterns added.

Next was the basing, which served to trail again the new colours as well as try to work out a method going forward. Furthermore it was a trial of the new heavy infantry format of 12 figures to a base as well as the format of pike units.

Firstly the modelling and colours. I glued the figures onto a painted MDF base 80mm x 30mm with some general purpose glue, it was a squeeze for the levelled pikemen but I like the close packed look! I knew it would be a challenge to paint the base but it was doable. Since changing to a more finer basing material to suit the scale better I though I should tackle the issue of the figures individual base. I mixed together haphazardly all purpose filler powder, very fine sand, bit of water and some paint which made a nice gritty pasted which dried with subtle texture and blended the figure bases together. The recipe will need a bit of refining but a good start and did the job required. I think the grass is fine maybe could be a bit darker and the drybrush was a bit too heavy and lightened the sand a bit too much but will do for me. Next time I may use the darker sand coloured paint I have mixed (see previous post for details) and use a different dry brush shade or just not go too overboard with it. Still some thinking to do and a future post on the new method when I have it nailed down.

For pike units I like this format, 2 bases of 80mm x 30mm with 12 figures each. The command set is 80mm x 20mm so when they are all together makes an neat 80mm square, this includes the command figures as well as keeping the pike hedge! In reality the first 4 or 5 ranks would have their pikes leveled which I like to represent with 2 ranks of figures with pikes leveled. This presents practical issues with basing and I am also considering having just the front rank with pikes leveled, more musing.

On the gaming front the command base is just an aesthetic piece, each base will represent an average pike unit in Lost Battles or a standard unit in To the Strongest! which could be doubled up to make a Levy pike and deep unit respectively. I still have to write up some musing on basing formats with these games in mind, especially with  Lost Battles idiosyncratic large grids and attack limits. I still need to write up some thoughts on covering or not covering these quirks!