Friday, 26 March 2021

Newline Designs Late Rome and Goths

I've been rummaging through my boxes recently and dug out my Late Romans and their enemies. It's a part of Roman history that grabs my attention yet I don't have a good understanding of it and am often distracted focusing on Rome's rise. I don't really have a focus for the collection, I may just model and paint Romano-British, Roman East, Gothic migrations and they can all hodge-podge together for any battles I set up but that's a long way off.

I initially was inspired by the Late Roman Legionaries and Cataphracts from Hat, and subsequently picked up their Medium Infantry set, which I was less inspired by, but I remained distracted by other things. Later on down the line Newline Designs released some codes for the era so had to get some in to add to the plastics. Again other eras took my attention but I have a shopping list of more of the range that keeps getting kicked down the road as the classical era took precedent on the hobby funds. 

They are lovely sculpts as ever from Newline but I have heard they are slow movers, possibly hampered by the pictures, so below is an attempt to show off the miniatures, hopefully to improve the ranges chances for future expansion. It would be great to see some of those 28mm late Roman and Dark Age codes scaled down to 1/72-20mm. I'll very briefly go over the Roman and Goth codes, mostly ideas and plans for conversion possibilites rather than a review then I have then have a few comparison pictures with Hat figures. 

Late Roman

Classic looking late legionaries, ready to wield spears but the Spatha could be modeled by a skilled modeler. I might try to bodge one also! I've sometimes seen art work or reenactors wear leg wraps around the shin, the trousers are tight looking on the figures so there is potential to paint them on or file and greenstuff some if that was necessary. Also crests or plumes could be added if that is preferable but I like this stripped down look! I was also thinking of adding a few in with the Goths as better equipped warriors either through wealth or plundering Roman kit:  

Roman command set:

Auxillia Advancing, these figures have the patches of embroidery sculpted on which gives them a distinctive Roman look. They could maybe represent open order javelin skirmishers also if they still used such methods:

Auxillia Standing:


All the Roman codes seem to come with oval shields (pictures below) which I will mention more of below in comparison to the Hat figures. Check out the webstore!


Between the standing and advancing codes there is quite a bit of variety, most seem to be in furs. There is scope for head swaps for further variety. As well as mixing in the armoured legionaries plus head swaps will bring in chainmail and helmets into the mix. Goths on Newline's store!

The Franks also hold potential for headswaps extra poses going off the website pictures. Of course it's only worthwhile if you don't end up with heads and bodies out of use! 

It seems that tunic, trousers and cloaks are a fairly generic look for the era so those poses with helmets could make good Romano British, seems like that could be the case based on the 28mm Arthurians web store pictures.




A few comparison shots now, there's a clear sculpting style difference between Hat's offerings even, so if that can be accepted then the Newline style shouldn't be an issue. Size wise they are all usable with each other being generally the same height. I'll end up using them within the same army but have same sculpting style on a single base which is my normal preference. 

Where there is considerable difference seems to be in the shield size. The Newline oval Roman shields are smaller than the cast on shields on the Hat legionaries. The larger shields seem to be more in keeping with other examples of Late Roman miniatures and the Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome which features quite large looking shields for the late era, one source suggested about 3.5-4ft long 3ft wide (roughly 17mm x 12.5mm in 1/72) while the Newline one is 14mm x 10mm. This seems more in keeping with a some of the inspirational osprey plates I've come across. Cavalry shields on the hat figures are roughly the same size these will mix well. When it comes to the Goth's shields I have even less of a clue but I don't have any plastic infantry to compare anyway. They measure at 10mm and give the option to give Romans circular shields if you prefer, which might give them a more post Rome look.

Essentially it's the customers choice whether your units have uniform or mixed sizes but when it come to Hat they are cast on and would take a considerably effort to change. Newline on the other hand with their separate shields gives you the freedom to swap them to match the cast on shields of the plastic Hat figures depending on what look you are after. I'm looking forward to get some bases done of regular Roman and post Roman units as well as some enemies! 

As I mentioned above I am pretty clueless when it comes to the late empire so I would love any insights on this era, historical, modelling painting or gaming please comment below!


  1. Hello Tony, i've to admit i've never painted one single metal figurine, but for the late roman plastic models, you can check my website : i guess i painted everyone proposed by the market, included the horrible lucky toys !

    1. Hi! Thanks yes I love your blog I have tried to comment a few times but it never seemed to work so I am pleased you visited here!

      I was inspired by your take on Romano British and look forward to your East Roman (Byzantine) empire project!