Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Trees of Trasimene

I have just come back from a very enjoyable holiday in the Umbria area of Italy, to the east of Rome I took the opportunity to take some shots of the countryside, as in the future I might want to model the scenery for a future Battle of Lake Trasimene, or fighting in the area in later periods.

The scenery today is divided between flat-bottomed valleys, devoted to agriculture and ideal for warfare, and steep heavily wooded hills. The shot below depicts the view that Hannibal's Celtic allies might have seen down towards Lake Trasimene, although the plain at the bottom is probably rather wider and better drained than in 217BC.  Moreover, it was misty on the morning of the battle.  

The trees are interesting. On the hills there are many deciduous trees, including oaks, that would be readily familiar to British audiences. Intermixed with these, however, there are exotic conifers that give a very characteristic view to the landscape, and which would make a model battlefield look very authentic. Some of these are shown below. A note of caution; some tree species such as the poplar have been developed since Roman times, but I believe the below would have been around back then.

My favourite Italian tree-type is the pencil-thin Cypress (two shown, above left). One can't have too many of these; they look particularly fine along a ridge-line. The taller the better. The pine on the right was also rather common and suitable models are readily available from China, on eBay.

The Umbrella Pines (above) are majestic trees, with a most unusual appearance. I'm hoping to be able to convert some model trees to resemble these.

There are huge numbers of olive trees, often neatly laid out on a grid. The silvery green leaves are very hard to imitate, though.

Here is the modern shoreline of Lake Trasimene. Modern Italians frolic in the sun where their ancestors fought and died; and who can blame them? It was a lovely day.

Finally above is a shot of the reed banks just along the shore of the lake. The reeds are perhaps 1.5m high. The shore to the right of the Roman column would have been very marshy. Some Romans waded out into the water, neck deep, in an attempt to escape, only to be hunted down by the Carthaginian cavalry.

I'm clearly going to need a whole lot more trees!  :-)

Umbria is a beautiful region and I can heartily recommend it for a sunny rural holiday, with great food and historical cities.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Wargames Bloggers Quarterly

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Thursday, 7 August 2014

Allied Hastati and Triarii

This is a (clickable) work in progress shot of the hastati and triarii of my allied legion. These lovely Aventine figures all date back to the 2010 Zama game, and, unusually, most were painted by me. I've retouched them, and replaced some of the shields. This legions is going to have a "horse" theme, with some careful use of LBMS transfers. Now they just need some matt varnish, and a little work on the bases.  Once that is done, the allies will be complete.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Partizan in the Park Video

An excellent video of the games at the recent Partizan in the Park, from the chaps at Wargames Illustrated. It is very interesting to see closeups of the games I didn't have time to see properly on the day.  The standard of the games was exceptionally high!  I love the terrain on the fist game; I'm going to need a whole lot more terrain for my expanded Cremona.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Allied Principes

Today is the turn of the allies.  These two units are the Allied Principes, and I think they look even better than their Roman colleagues.  They are of course Aventines and came from the brush of 2 different (unknown) painters, one of whom is very good.  I did a little highlighting and shield work (LBMS shield transfers).  All photos are clickable!

The figures are very animated and look very heroic, with their plumes and feathers.  Below, I have a command stand for the legion, too.

Both of the legions are now nearly finished; I just need to "tart up" my own allied hastati, and base some miniatures that Shaun has painted for the Roman hastati.  I will need to paint some Roman horse, too, but there's no time for that just now!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Pydna boards

... and they are literally boards at this stage!

I've four big boards and 9 smaller boards to cover with static grass sheet, and then add patches of flock, selectively.  When finished, they will make an 18' by 5'4" table, which I'll use for various large games over the next year or so.

Sunday, 3 August 2014


These lovely Aventine figures were painted by David Imrie and Shaun Watson (Redzed), and I'm very pleased to own them, as they are both far better painters than am I.  Luckily, they had both used the same shield design.  

Finally, here is the command stand; I absolutely love the Centurion, and what Shaun did with the crest.  The two figures behind were painted by Nick Speller.

The new legions are coming on apace, and I may take them along to the Wargames Holiday Centre for the weekend there on 30/31st August.  They will certainly be at t'other Partizan on 7th September.

Next... the Allied Principes...