Wednesday 30 November 2011

Ancient Warfare

As I was about to put the final brushstrokes on my final 18 marines, I was very amused when Ancient Warfare Magazine arrived this evening, with this on the cover.  This chap is the spitting image of some of the figures I have on the table!

If you don't already subscribe, I'd really recommend this publication; it is an outstanding read, and there are always some pictures of McBride-quality.  The research is of academic standards.  You can subscribe, here...

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Thanks for all the visits!

My counter trickled past 300K today, and I'd very much like to thank everyone who drops by here.   I do love my blog, and my hobby, but I wouldn't bother to post if no one came along to look at the pretty pics, and have a chat.  So... cheers!  

I don't have a new photo today, so, by way of an intermission, here's a picture I took of some Lycian hoplites on a relief in the British Museum.  It makes the Foundry hoplite shields look rather weeny!

Saturday 19 November 2011

Palmyran Archer Command

I've never been entirely happy with the command stand of my cohort of Palmyran auxilary archers, and recently decided to replace their centurion (who has transferred to my Naval Legion) with an A&A command figure, from an eBay purchase, who has a much more Eastern flavour.  At the same time I also took the opportunity to upgrade the pre-Silflor base.  I'm very pleased with the outcome; although somewhat anachronistic, the new mini fits in very well (although, with hindsight, I might perhaps have given him a longer tunic).

Fabius Valens

This command stand depicts Fabius Valens, one of the short-lived Emperor Vitellius' two principal sub-commanders (the other being Aulus Caecina Alienus).

Fabius Valens declared for Vitellius in 69 AD, and led the contingent of the latter's army that marched through Gaul, eventually rejoining with the German contingent under Caecina, to win the battle of Bedriacum.  Valens missed the subsequent Vitellian defeat at Cremona, due to illness, and was later captured and executed whilst trying to open a "second front" in Gaul. 

The best place to read about this campaign, which I believe is one of theancient campaigns most suitable for wargaming, is Tacitus Histories (which can be downloaded for free on Amazon. I have it on my tablet phone, for reading on the Tube!).

The general figure is one of Aventine's lovely models- they do no less than six different mounted Roman generals!  The standard bearer is by Mike of Relic Miniatures, but I used a Foundry horse with it, as I wanted a horse in a standing position.  Very conveniently, the vexilla is that of the V Alaudae, which formed part of Valens' army.  I'm pleased to have managed to paint something by each of Relic and Aventine, as I don't get enough of their stuff finished.

This is the first of a small series, in which I plan to depict several more of the major protagonists in the "Year of the Four Emperors", for a campaign I hope to run next year. 

Monday 14 November 2011

The Final 18...

I'm battling my way towards the conclusion of my Marine legion, which was, perhaps, a project too far.  These are the final 18 of the 80 required minis.  Painting will be finished by the end of next week, and basing should take around a further week.

In other news, I'm taking a sabbatical from TMP which has been eating up too much of my time, and sometimes could get a bit acrimonious; so apologies if I don't respond to any of your posts on there.  If you have a blog about Ancients, I probably will be calling by, or you can drop me an email to keep in touch at the address on the front page, here.

Thursday 10 November 2011

Navy Lark

21 more marines and a centurion for my naval legion; just 18 minis left to go, now!  And the shields, and basing, of course.   This time, I swapped a bunch of heads for the sake of variety.   The centurion was nicked from a previous project. 

Sunday 6 November 2011

Hello Sailors

21 more ex-marines for Legio Adiutrix I; roughly blocked in.  I've picked a different shade of blue, and carried out a few head swaps, to bring in a little variety.

Painting an 80-man legion from scratch, is a fair old job. When this batch is finished, mid week, I'll have 61 minis ready, and will be slightly more than half way to final completion of the unit, when one factors in shields, basing and "snagging".  I really do like this BTD pose, rather nicely sculpted (by Woody now of GB, IIRC).

Saturday 5 November 2011

Marcus Clodius Balista, Dux Ripae

Here rides Marcus Clodius Balista, Dux Ripae and later Praefectus Praetorio.  He is a noble Angle by birth, hence the blond hair, unusual on a Roman.  Although a barbarian, he rises high in the ranks of the Roman army at the time of Valerian and Gordianus, in the excellent Harry Sidebottom books.  If you've not ready these, do buy them as soon as you possibly can... the first, essentially about the siege of Dura Europos, is the very best, but all are good.  Harry Sidebottom has written the series of Roman novels that I would have written if a) I could write worth a damn, and b) I was an Oxford Lecturer in Ancient History!

This is another, slightly retouched mini from my fortunate US eBay purchase; a heavily converted Black Tree Miniatures Roman general, I believe.  Curses; it has just occurred to me that he should be riding Balista's Pale Horse...  the mount he is riding must be a "loner".  I might even tackle him, again, later (see comments).

Thursday 3 November 2011

Coh. II, IIII Scythica

I've finished my second Middle Imperial unit, a Cohort of the IIII Scythica.  This legion was stationed in Syria, guarding the border with the Parthian and later the Sassanian Empires.

All the figures are from A&A miniatures, and some were bought painted on eBay, painted by a very capable painter (although I did the shields, with A&A transfers, and one hand painted). The shield design is based on the one found at Dura Europos.

I'm quite pleased with them!  The tribune came out particularly well, do have a click. There are some shots here of the progress of the painting.   I'll return to paint a third unit in a month or so.