Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Peltastoi WIP

I finished painting the above peltastoi.  They are now in a holding pattern, waiting for their agemata colleagues, with whom they will be brigaded, to be painted.


Phil said...

Great looking unit...

Dalauppror said...

Exellent painting !!!

Best regards Michael

BigRedBat said...

Thanks chaps. Photo is a bit blurry, but better when clicked on.

veghist said...

Sorry to be a spoilsport, but peltastAi of the era wore usually linothorax, thureos and had javelins, no way they carried the sarissa
Besides I wanted to comment earlier, painting bright colours especially purples is not historically correct. I know Nik Secunda supports this wiew in hios Osprey books, but there is little supporting evidence. Paint like tkis was extremely rare and highly expensive in antiquity; such clothes and helmets would cost almost a lifetime of earnings for a normaql citizen. (if you are interested I have more details; I was part of the Europa Barbarorum team if it means something for you) I love your armies btw!

yorkie said...

They look great, nice colours.

I will eventually get around to doing a pike armed army, how do you store them?


BigRedBat said...

Hi Steve, I store them in 9L Really Useful Boxes. A box takes 192, without much wasted space. I'll show a pic in the next day or so.

yorkie said...

i use really useful boxes too, but i use the 21 litre ones, with Figures in comfort trays. The FiC trays fit bang on.

Im Just worried about broken pikes...

Anyway, great looking troops.


BigRedBat said...

Hi veghist, I also suspect they may have worn linothorax, but I don't think they could have had thureos or they wouldn't have been called peltastoi. As well as Secunda, I have heard Duncan Head argue for them being part of the phalanx, and I've based these on the new Stephane Thion book, who has gone with the same approach.

I did weigh up whether to make minis with a smaller shield than the phalanx, and a shorter pike (which the peltastoi may have used) but in the end I decided I wanted the phalanx to look alike, and didn't want to cut off the shields.

I'm happy with red tunics and crests, per the Sidon stelae. I don't think red would be very expensive. I'd agree purple would be uncommon, as very expensive. But there is evidence for purple cloth as tunic borders for guard. My phalanx in purple came painted that colour, I wouldn't have painted them that way, myself (except I painted minis to match).

I'm glad you enjoy the blog, and am always happy to discuss uniforms and equipment!

Cheers, Simon

BigRedBat said...

Steve, I'll take photos of the storage tomorrow. No lost pikes around here! :-)

DeanM said...

Very flashy tunics there. Nice work. Dean

EinarOlafson said...

Good looking unit!!

veghist said...

Yes, red is fine, red pigment from madder, or even carmine from Kermes beetles was readily available. Purple and non-indigo blues (or woad, this is the same pigment or very close)are off limits, as the later needs a lot of lapis lazuli mined in antique Pakistan mixed with shellack to work.
As for the peltastai, the pelte originally was a crescent shaped shield used by Thracians (much like this guy http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dJGQ74v_JdM/Td4wurOhRkI/AAAAAAAABhI/1wYo3WFco44/s1600/tentara-yunani-kuno-5.jpg ).
Later the use of peltastai became more and more important - but they always been skirmishers.
In Hellenistic times the equipment became much heavier which led to the Thureophoroi and the Thorakitai.
This is a good essay for those interested:

BigRedBat said...

Hi Veghist,

I've seen the Ueda-Sarson piece.

I disagree with his conclusion that peltasts were always skirmishers. I believe that over time the term became used to refer to any troops equipped with an unusually small, round shield. Duncan Head argued (more recently than Luke's article) that the peltasts at Cynoscephalai were close order infantry.

I suspect that the peltasts in the guard were capable of using javelins, or pike, depending on circumstances. At Raphia they were in the main line of battle between the Agema and the line phalanx; probably not a good place for skirmishing. Hence my decision to equip with pikes... although likely shorter sarissae might have been used (as Aelian mentions), in order to allow the young lightly-armed troops to move more quickly than the main phalanx. I suspect that the agema and peltasts acted as a "hinge" between the main phalanx and the cavalry.

I doubt it can ever be proved either way, though, and it comes down to a personal choice as to how they are equipped.

Re purple, the Egyptians would have better access than most to the Murex sea-snails and the places where purple fabric was manufactured.

Cheers, Simon

sebastosfig said...

Interesting conversation. And very nice minis too.

Simon MacDowall said...

Duncan Head gives a really good argument for the 'peltasts' being pikemen in some later Hellenistic armies - it convinces me.
It is always confusing when archaic terms are carried over into a new era. I used to serve in the Royal Canadian Dragoons but we were neither horse cavalry nor mounted infantry.
Certainly the 'peltasts' at Pydna could not have been skirmishers. So I think your interpretation is quite realistic.
Other Simon

BigRedBat said...

Thanks Other Simon!

I have the other 21 agemata recruits in front of me just now, they are going to be a cracking unit.