Thursday, 4 March 2010


True to my chaotic and apparently random painting tradition, I have started another army! This time its a Seleucid army I have had kicking about for a year or so. I bought it to make up the II/19b list, and just never got round to painting it. I made a start, but it just kind of petered out.

I decided that I would get the 4 elements of pike knocked out, deciding to go for speed rather than beauty. The photo of the progress to date is shown below.

The figures are Magister Militum Seleucid Phalangites (code SEL007). The figures are depicted wearing trousers in the Eastern style, and Phrygian type helmets. I painted the clothing a mixture of bright colours, indicating that my phalangites have fallen under the influence of Eastern decadence! The shields have VVV shield transfers applied. Painting was in a very quick block colour, klear wash technique. Not the nicest figures I have ever painted, but they'll do.

You may have spotted that the front two elements have a gap at the ends of their bases. The reason for this is that given Magister Militum figures are quite slender, having the regulation 4 figures per element leaves them looking a little too spaced out for my liking. I see a phalanx as being much a more closely packed shoulder-to-should affair. The gaps you see will be filled with an extra figure - standard bearer or command figure, just so the front rank elements can look more densely packed. I will post a better pic when the elements are finished.

This photo shows the elements I had completed prior to starting on the pikes. From left to right, a war elephant, an element of Galatian mercenary warband (4Wb), and element of Greek auxilia (4Ax) and a scythed chariot and driver. All the figures are by Magister Militum, except for the Scythed Chariot, which is by Museum Miniatures - I just preferred it to the MM version.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Meroitic Kushite

I have recently knocked out another DBA army in preparation for a themed competition coming up - this time it's I/58 Meroitic Kushite. The figures are all from QRF miniatures, and are quite nicely sculpted. They are very much "true 15mm", not suffering from the issues of scale creep seen with some other manufacturers. In size and style, they are very much like Essex Miniatures, and I think figures from both manufacturers could work very well together in the same army.

The first photo shows all 12 elements arrayed for battle. The spear, blade and half the bows are from QRF's Kushite range. The other half of the bow are from their Axumite range, and the elephant is from their Carthaginian range.

Here we have 2 views of the general on his elephant. The elephant, javelinman and mahout are actually Carthaginian, and the general himself is a Kushite bowman cut off his base with the legs bent into a kneeling position. Although on the whole, the sculpts for the figures I bought are clean and crisp, I did feel that the elephant has a slightly more "grainy" feel. On the right hand pic, you can see the one element of skirmishing bowmen (2Ps) that this army has.

This pic shows the five elements of close formation spearmen (4Sp), all are from the Kushite range. I did one element with zebra skin shields - I have no idea how historically accurate this is, but given their fancy hats, I thought I would jazz them up a bit. Two of them also have cheetah/leopard skin kilts on ...a bit camp maybe?

Here we have the two blade elements (4Bd). One lot are axemen and the others are sword (or perhaps more accurately machete) armed. They have been painted as iron weapons rather than bronze, although bronze may have been more accurate for the axes? These guys have very dandy leopard skin shields ... although given the scale of some of those spots, the leopard who donated the skin must have been the size of a horse!

...and finally 3 elements of bowmen (3Bw) - a mix of Kushite and Axumite.
The basing for the army has been done on plasticard, with dried sharp builders sand stuck on using PVa glue. I did sieve the sand to get the bigger bits of grit out, some of the bigger bits being stuck on after the sand to give an arid rocky feel to the ground. Patches of light green static grass were used to finish the whole lot off.
This army was knocked out very quickly, using the Klear polish and ink wash method. Although a bit more time spent on them would have produced a smoother finish, I am still pleased with the end result, which is (I think) an army painted to a passable war games standard.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Hyksos Skirmishers

Havinh reviewed the figures I have finished so far, I decided that the bowmen I had painted up for the skirmishers (2Ps) were probably too well dressed for troops employed in that role. As a result I decided to break up the Horde element I had painted, and rebase some as the 2 elements of 2Ps required by the lists. These guys are tribal vassals employed by the invading Hyksos.

All that is needed now is one chariot element, and the full all options A list will be complete!

More Hyksos

After a long absence from painting, I have managed to get some miniatures finished to add to the Hyksos army.

I have completed 4 elements of Axemen (3Bd), which are converted Magister Militum Hittite spearmen. Essentially, I took the figures sculpted with a spear in their left hand and an axe in their right. I then removed the spear, and added a shield I had removed from some old Essex Hittites I had.

I have no idea if the Hyksos used shields of this type, but I do know that Hittites and Mycenaean/Minoan cultures used similar shields, so it is not too much of a leap of faith to assume that it is at least possible the Hyksos could have done too. I have painted them as raw cow hide, again based on the fact that other cultures in the area - including Egypt and Minoans used hide for their shields.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Next Project

True to form, and with my usual Goldfish like attention span I have embarked on a new painting project before fully finishing the Romans! This time it will be a Hyksos DBA Army (List I/17 a and b). I will be using Magister Militum figs, primarily from their Hittite Range. I have loads opf Hittite figs ready to be painted - at one stage I was thinking about doing a Hittite DBM army, but never got round to it. Most of the figures I bought were early Syrian in look, and from waht I have managed to find out, the Hyksos sphere of influence encompassed the Syrian area. It also seems that the majority of the figs on sale as Hyksos are dressed in Syrian style with the fringed, long wraparound robes.

From my reading it would appear that we don't really have any hard and fast references as to what the Hyksos looked like, other than they were, according to the Egyptians from "foreign lands", and referred to as Asiatics. It seems that for the 100 years or so that they ruled Egypt, they adopted Egyptian styles and customs. The idea of this project is for them to be in their "pre-Egyptian" period, thus the Syrian style of the clothing.

With all of these figures, I used a black undercoat, white dry brush preparation, then blocked in the colours before applying a wash of undiluted Klear floor polish mixed with black and brown ink. They were then finished with 2 coats of matt acrylic spray varnish to cover the glossy finish caused by the Klear.

This first pic shows the four elements of irregular auxilia (3Ax). They are Magister Militum's shieldless Hittite spearmen (HNH007). These figs would be good for the Hittite 3 Sp elements too, should I wish to morph the army at a later date.

These guys are the one element of regular auxilia (4Ax). Theses are a very basic conversion. I took four of the shieldless spear figs, bent the left arm in front of the body, and added the shields which I cut off of the figures I used for the miracle wash experiment referred to in an earlier post.

This is one of the skirmishers elements (2Ps), in this case Syrian bowmen (HNH014).

Finally, a horde element (7Hd) - only 6 figs on this base, a mix of various M M figures, representing tribal levies. A mix of SUA005 Irregular Javelinmen, SUA009 Martu Guti Bow and SUA011 Martu Guti Javelinmen. A nice irregular looking mix.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

More Auxilia

Two more elements of auxilia done. This now means I only have to finish one more element of light horse.

These guys are Magister Militum figs, the bare headed version of the Auxilia I painted first ... although you will notice one of them has a helmet - he was left over from the first batch so I thought I would include him for a bit of variety. They have been painted up as the Defensores Seniores, a Pseudocomitatensis unit from the Western Empire. The stars are VVV shield transfers. I went hell for leather with these chaps, and got the whole unit finished, including basing in just over two hours.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

"Miracle" Wash?

I have seen several discussions on the Fanaticus Forums regarding the "Miracle Wash" or "Miracle Dip" so I thought I would do a bit of experimentation to see how the process works for me. I took 5 of the same figure and painted them all white - a matt white spray primer then a coat of white acrylic. When they were dry I tried different washes over the top to see how they turned out. The results are shown below:

From left to right I tried
1. Brown ink diluted with water.
2. "Klear" floor polish with brown ink added.
3. A 50/50 mix of "Klear" and water with brown ink.
4. A 25% "Klear" and 75% water mix with brwn ink.
5. Brown acrylic paint diluted with water.
(To get a better idea, click on the pic, it will get bigger!)

For me the results were very interestig. I had been led to believe that the 25%/75% would give the best results, but for me, and I think the pics show it the best results were using 100%"Klear". Klear seems to induce a capilliary action, drawing the pigment into the recesses quite nicely. I could see this happenning as I was putting the wash on with 2, 3 and 4. Interestingly, when the washes were being applied, the paint mix looked really goog, but as it dried, the effect looked very messy.

With all of the washes, there was some tainting of the original white colour, but more so with the ink and paint mixes. I think I will do some more experiments with different pigments, and maybe even try some of the specifically manufactured washes. I will report back - watch this space!