Monday, 31 August 2009

Hasty Hastati 3

Here are the Aventine hastati after the second painting session:-

And here they are again after the third (retouched reds around pectorals (thanks Keith!), painted iron and started flesh):-

They are coming on very nicely, and happily rather quickly!

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Hasty Hastati 2

I've decided I'm going to tackle this unit with a different technique, partially using washes; more like Greg's method. In a long session 1 last night, I blocked in the red tunics, the black primer for the chain, the pectorals, pila shafts and some of the straps.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Spartan Command Stands

These are the other minis that came, mostly painted, with the Tegeans. The first I've based as Cleombrotos, the unfortunate Spartan commander at Leuctra (unfortunate to experience Epaminondas' innovative tactics, that is!). The accompanying trumpeter is a Bronze Goat mini painted by my mate Nick Speller.

This second is an interesting piece I've called Sphagia, after the Spartan practice of sacrificing a goat in sight of the enemy shortly before battle. It's intended to be used as the Sphagia marker with the Polemos rules once I can get enough minis together to try the rules out.

Tardy Tegeans

These Spartan allies have been on the painting table for a while, delayed due to a shortage of Dullcoat. Their genesis was a unit of 20 Spartans I bought on eBay. By adding 8 figures, replacing shields, retouching and rebasing I managed to carve a unit of 24 out and a couple of command stands (which I'll post tomorrow). I'm rather pleased with them.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Hasty Hastati

I'm about to start my second unit of Aventines, this time Hastati. I spent far too long on the previous Triarii at 3 weeks, and have decided that I need to get this lot finished in around 2 weeks. To this end I'm going with a red primer, as I used with the Galatians back in the Spring- I'm hoping this will save me a few days! Also the figures are much less complex to paint than the Triarii.

The Aventine figures again prepped very quickly, having very little flash. I'm not a great fan of attached spears, but the hands are open and do provide a firm cup into which to glue them into (unlike some Gripping Beast figures, for example).

I'm finishing basing the Tegeans (from July) tonight; Hastati painting starts tomorrow...

Monday, 24 August 2009

Zama Paintathon II

That Frenchman is at it again! He's currently painting 70+ numidians for me. I'll post an update when they are finished...

(Photo "borrowed" from

Sunday, 23 August 2009

A Tale of Two Salehs

I've picked up a number of character figures by Steve Saleh recently, and thought it might be useful to do some comparison shots. I should apologise that some of the bases aren't perfectly lined up; this was challenging as some of the minis are rather "deep" and wouldn't stay in place.

The first 3, below, are the less satisfactory in my view.

I was particularly disappointed by Caesar, which I'd hoped would be a splendid mini; unfortunately he just doesn't look like the portraits of the general that I've seen. There is something I don't quite like about the legs, either, and he is the ghastliest sword I've ever seen on a historical miniature. That'll have to come off if I paint him. Overall I don't think it's as nice as Copplestone's Tribunes in the Foundry range; he's just not imposing.

The Arminius figure I like rather more, but does he look like a 25 year old Roman Equestrian and Auxiliary commander? I think not. Even if depicts the General later in life, I can't see why he'd be so scruffy and poorly dressed. He is, however, in other respects a rather nice figure that I will use, but not as a general.

I'm also rather unconvinced by the Antigonus One-Eye/Mercenary General figure in the middle. That is, again, a massive sword by Macedonian standards, and his stance is very wide. I think Antigonus would be better depicted by a mounted figure, so I'll do a conversion or see what Polemarch come up with for mounted minis. And BTW where have those Polemarch cavalry got to? They seem to have deserted Antigonus, rahter like his son's horse did at Ipsus.

The minis in the second picture are, IMHO, much better. Marcus Calvinus is quite the finest Centurion I have seen; he'll be Primus Pilus for my EIR legion. The figure is beutifully detailed and very imperious.

The Persian I reviewed early this month; he's a great mini.

Finally Babastus is a figure full of character. My only (mild) reservations about him are his slightly strange stance, and the rather crude scythe, which could have been done better; couldn't cut much mistletoe with that! I may give him a spear, instead.

All three of the above are available from

Sooo... I reckon from the six sculpts there are three really great minis, and three somewhat flawed ones. Steve is an excellent sculptor, but it seems to me that he approaches some tasks with more passion than others, and tends to give the less successful ones big swords. That Centurion is bloody marvellous, though!

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Aventines sorted!

I'm back from hols and managed to do the finishing touches on the Aventine Etruscans, which is just as well as another 40 or so just arrived!

I'm really pleased with them. You can see I'm going with a horse theme on this legion.

They actually look better from behind, where you can see the detail on the armour. Pics are clickable.

Shortly I'm going to start a unit of Aventine Principes. I'm particularly pleased with these latter, because Keith and Adam apparently designed them after I suggested that I'd need some for my Allied legion. They are tidy little minis, in animated attacking poses, and should be a relatively straightforward paint.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

...for a ha'porth of tar

They say "Do not spoil the SHIP for a ha'porth of tar."

I'm off on hols at dawn, and was desperately hoping to be able to finish the unit of Aventine Etruscans before I left. Unfortunately, I ran out of Testor's Dullcoat around 4 weeks ago and haven't been able to source more from my supplier, so I've not been able to varnish them (which I always do before basing as it is far easier). So I'll base them in late August.

Here are their shields, which are finished. I've decided to go with a horse motif for the entire legion, and am using some of the excellent LBMS transfers designed to accompany the range; they have a battle damaged look, which I'm quite taken with.

I'll be away for a couple of weeks; happy gaming!

ps Just a second after I posted this, I got an electronic despatch note from my supplier for the Dullcoat!

Saleh Persian from Gorgon Miniatures

Hank at Gorgon Miniatures ( ) in the US was kind enough to send me some samples from their range of Steve Saleh-designed Spartans that were formerly sold through Amazon, and a Saleh Persian miniature that I believe is a giveaway with orders (rather than a precursor to a new range).

Now I've previously seen images of the excellent Spartans (I may do a size comparison shot, later) and one of the painted Persian, but not a size comparison photo of the Persian, so here he is sandwiched between an OOP Foundry Persian and a Polemarch Successor phalangite, also both sculpted by Saleh. I'm not particularly knowledgeable about Persian equipment so I won't comment on that; but the hand is designed to be drilled out for a spear, which marks a major improvement over the previous Persian, whose spear appears far too thick!

The Persian is a delightful figure, full of character. The detail is really crisp and, anatomically, it is superior to the previous Persian, IMHO. The height matches his other, larger 28mm ranges.

There were rumours, a year or so ago, that Steve was going to do a Persian range to complement the Spartans. Having seen this mini, it would be really great if he did! But I hope to see the Polemarch Successor range and the Gorgon early Etruscans finished first, especially the latter as I'm becoming very interested in the early Italina armies.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Linky to the Zama Paintathon

Mon ami Greg yesterday, in one day, painted no less than 80 Carthaginian levy spearmen for the Zama project. Vive la France!

It has occurred to me that at this rate, he could finish all the minis we need for next April, by around Thursday lunchtime. ;-)

Aventines Day 14

Just as one unit approaches completion...

Another 5 arrive!

Life just works like that, sometimes.

I'm really delighted with the new Aventine minis Keith has sent (the principes and equites for my Italian legion, and a bunch of Volscian hillmen), which are of the same high quality (nary a hint of flash) as the last bunch, and even as neatly packed as I've ever seen! He even chucked in the newest Volscian command pack, which looks brilliant. The Volcians have a real sense of movement that one rarely sees in a 28mm mini and I'm itching to paint them; dare I squeeze a unit into my schedule?