Wednesday 29 August 2012

Orfidius Benignus

Orfidius Benignus was the Legate of I Adiutrix (assistant) legion in 69AD.  I Adiutrix was a legion formed either by Nero or Galba from marines drawn from the Misene fleet, many of whom would have been Egyptian-born.  They fought bravely at Bedriacum, capturing the eagle of XXI Rapax, but the more experienced Vitellians counterattacked , killed Orfidius and routed Adiutrix.

This mini is re-based from I Adiutrix, which I modelled earlier in the year.  Minis are Foundry and Black Tree, with an Aventine dolphin standard.  I've decided to expand this legion from 80 minis to 99, including a separate command stand, to fit in with a new idea I've had for structuring legions.

In other news, there is a very good interview and review of Dr Phil's Augustus to Aurelian rules podcast on Meeples and Minuatures.  It is well worth listening to; gives a good instroduction to why they were written and how they work.  We still have a place or two on the game on Sunday at Partizan, if you want to give them a go...

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Mustering for Partizan

Four nights to go; every required Roman (or auxiliary volunteer) is now on a base, and half of the bases are painted.  I do hate flocking, though, and am not looking forward to the 4 nights of intensive flocking activity ahead of me.  Flocking hell!  :-( 

At Partizan on Sunday, the Ad Castores game will be right in the middle of the main hall.  We'll be using Dr Phil Hendry's Augustus to Aurelian rules- if you are attending, and fancy trying them yourself, please post a comment or drop me a line and we should be able to fit you in.

Friday 24 August 2012



These are the last troops I need to muster for our Ad Castores game; an Ala of 24 cavalry, and 6 Praetorian bodyguard cavalry.  They were all painted by Dr. Simon's mystery painter mate, but I have highlighted the horses and wlll also be highlighting the shields, then staining, varnishing, basing and flocking.  I only have another 5 or 6 sessions before the game... gulp.

Thursday 23 August 2012

Cypresses and poplars

For a couple of years I've coveted a grove of pencil-thin cypress trees, and have finally gotten around to getting one!

I want to give the Partizan "Ad Castores" game an Italian feel, and so needed some Mediterranean trees to line Roman roads and bulk out forests.  Consequently I've bought 25 cypresses (front) and 25 poplars (rear).  The cypresses and rear right poplars are from The Model Tree Shop, who gave an extremely prompt service; the rear left poplars from eBay.  I've based them all on mdf disks, which took a couple of evenings work.  When time permits I'll add some scatter and flock to the bases.  Figures are to give an idea of scale.

The terrain on Sunday will include olive groves, cypresses, poplars and my new vineyards, and so I trust it will look suitably rural!

Sunday 19 August 2012

More Praetorian WIPs

I've not had a chance to post regularly, as I've been very busy, preparing for the Partizan game.  Here are some of the most recent units, which I'm in process of basing.  At the rear is a cohort of auxiliaries formerly of Legatus Hedlius' collection (re-based and expanded to 24).  At the front are 2 cohorts of Praetorians from the brush of Nick Speller, which he very kindly rushed to me.   I'll post proper pics, as time permits...

I now just have one Ala of cavalry to finish and base, and a bunch of terrain pieces.  It is going pretty well!

Thursday 9 August 2012

Gaius Suetonius Paulinus

Gaius Suetonius Paulinus was the general who defeated the Boudiccan revolt, and later the Vitellian forces under Aulus Caecina, at Ad Castores.   His tactics in the latter battle were cautious, and he was blamed for the victory not being sufficiently decisive.   Passed over for senior command, his subsequent advice was ignored and rash Othonian tactics contributed to their total defeat at Bedriacum.

The general and both steeds are Aventine, and the trumpeter Black Tree.

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes

Prince Antiochus Epiphanes was the son the similarly named King of Commagene, an eastern client state of Rome.  He was in Rome in 69AD, is mentioned in Tacitus as having been wounded, commanding some of the Othonians cavalry at Ad Castores.  He later shows up at the siege of Jerusalem, under Titus, where he leads a charge of his "Macedonian" bodyguard against the city walls.  I like to think of him as the very last of the Successors.

To depict him I've used yet another Aventine general, but this time on an Aventine Greek horse with leopard skin saddlecloth which seemed appropriate for the son of an eastern potentate.  The praetorian cavalry shield is from A and A.  I really love the helmet on this piece, I might return to gild parts of it.

Monday 6 August 2012

Publius Marius Celsus

Publius Marius Celsus was a former consul, who commanded the Othonian cavalry at Ad Castores.  He was a relative of the famous Gaius Marius.

I like an active pose for a cavalry commander, and so added a shield to one of the more dynamic Aventine generals.   The relatively simple paint job came out nicely, and contrasts the complex LBMS shield design.

Sunday 5 August 2012

Fabius Valens revisited...

Fabius Valens was Vitellius' second subordinate General during his revolt against Otho, and commanded the column that advanced towards Italia, through Gaul.  It was the imminent arrival of this force that spurred the younger Caecina to ambush the Othonians at Ad Castores, in the hope of winning a prestigious solo victory.  Valens helped to defeat the Othonians, but was later executed by the victorious Flavians.

I originally tackled this subject back in 2011, but realised recently that the figure I'd used was rather too young to represent this seasoned general, and so have replaced him with another, more mature Aventine general.   The vexilla bearer is from Relic.

I do like these Aventine Republican generals, and very much look forward to the mounted generals that will presumably come out with their coming EIRs, as the ones on foot are so nice...

Thursday 2 August 2012

Aulus Caecina Alienus and Salonina

Caecina was one of Vitellius' two subordinates, and commanded an independent column that unexpectedly invaded Italy from Switzerland over passes that the Othonians had considered blocked by snow.   He commanded at the battle of Ad Castores, that Phil Hendry, Craig Davey and I will refight at Partizan.

Tacitus describes his scandalous arrival in History Book 2: 20. "Caecina, who seemed to have left his cruelty and profligacy on the other side of the Alps, advanced through Italy with his army under excellent discipline. The towns and colonies, however, found indications of a haughty spirit in the general's dress, when they saw the cloak of various colours, and the trews, a garment of foreign fashion, clothed in which he was wont to speak to their toga-clad citizens. And they resented, as if with a sense of personal wrong, the conduct of his wife Salonina, though it injured no one that she presented a conspicuous figure as she rode through their towns on horseback in a purple habit."

Caecina is an Aventine general, with lightly converted cloak and trews.   Salonina is heavily converted from a Lady Godiva!  I've a few more commanders to post over the next week...