Monday, 7 December 2009
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
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.
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
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.
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!
Saturday, 6 June 2009
Army consists of 4 x 4Kn, 7 x 2LH and 1 x 3Ax.
First up, two more elements of barbarian horse. Fairly generic, again Magister Militum figures (code DARK004). Unarmoured spear and sword armed cavalry - would do for 3Cv or 3Kn Foederati troops. Just need the bases finished now.
... and finally, two Early Saxon warband figures. I will be knocking out a couple of elements of these, not that I plan to have an Early Saxon army, but I do feel that they would serve for any Germanic type foot and as such would be useable in a wide range of army lists. I like the figures (Magister Militum's SAXN002 Saxon Nobles), there is a lot of variety in the poses, weapons and shields - very warbandy! I have to say that I am impressed with the variety with all of Magister Militum's Dark Age foot figures. But then, as you will guess, I am a fan of M M - and no, they aren't sponsoring me to say that!!
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
I wanted to see how quickly I could paint a 25mm figure to a half decent wargames standard. For speed I decided to rely mostly on drybrushing. Here is a blow by blow account of how I painted the first one out of the box:
First, I started with my trusty tried and tested method of a black undercoat with a white drybrush over the top to pick out the detail. Next was a thin dark brown wash over the flesh areas. The next stage was a dry-brush of Citadel Bronzed Flesh with a touch of dark brown added. Once that was dry, a light dry-brush of Elf Flesh to lighten and provide highlights.
Basing next, I firstly put some basetex on the base in patches which I left to dry. Once dry, a wash of dark brown went all over the base - carefully avoiding the feet! When that was dry, two successively lighter dry-brushes went over the basetex. The final stage when all the rest was dry was some dabs of White PVA glue onto the untextured parts of the base, and a sprinkling of static grass.
Sunday, 10 May 2009
Next up is another Auxilia element. Less well equipped than the Auxilia Palatina I have already done. Their equipment is more suited to the 3rd and 4th centuries, so my argument is that these guys are a unit of Pseudocomitatensis, hastily recruited and equipped. I have painted them as a rough approximation to the Transtigriani, which according to my (albeit limited) research were a unit of Persian exiles, forming part of the forces of the Eastern Empire. Having said that, the hair and skin colour I have used don't really fit with the Persian Exiles theme ... I have to admit I hadn't thought of that till I finished them!! The figures are Magister Militum SPQR26.
Thursday, 7 May 2009
... and here is an artillery element, for when I want to use the figs as a Late Imperial rather than a Patrician. I have some more figures on order, which should arrive any time, mainly more auxilia, some legionaries in mail, and some barbarian horse. I have a feeling this project may begin to grow uncontrollably!! I may even end up with a matched pair of both Eastern and Western Armies.
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
The make up is as follows:
1 x 3Cv (Gen)
2 x 3Kn (although one is actually a 4Kn!)
1 x 4Bd
2 x 4Ax
4 x 4Wb
1 x 2Ps
1 x 2LH
The regular foot - one element of Legoinaries and two of Auxilia
I tend to use Basetex, produced by Standard paints for most of my basing. I don't know who retails it I am afraid, I usually pick up a jar when I go to Wargames shows, and never take note of which stand I bought it from! It is esentially a water based paint with grit in it - I guess I could probably make my own, but at £2 a jar, it's just not worth the effort.
When it is dry, as in the top left picture, I then dry brush the whole lot with a colour a couple of tones lighter than the Basetex, as shown top right. I then follow up with another dryer dry brushing using a lighter tone. This really accentuates the texture of the base (bottom left). The last stage is the static grass. I put irregular patches of slightly diluted PVA glue on the base - usually including the area around the figure's feet, then scatter the whole lot with static grass. Give the glue long enough to dry - about 10 minutes or so - then tap the excess grass off. A final blow to get the last of the loose stuff off, and there you have it one element totally finished.
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Then in June, the Portsmouth and Allied Wargames Society are having their Quarterly themed competition. From the list of allowable armies, I am toying with using Patrician Roman (thus the rush to finish this project) or possibly Alan, which I can knock together combining Sarmatian Knights with Hun Light Horse, both of which I have already painted, plus some of the Gothic foot from this project. Decision decisions!
The last two elements of warband are complete, shown here as the front rank with the already completed elements behind. I like the variety of the figures - all from the same product code (Magister Militum DARK005). So, all the Foederati Warband I will need for any of the Late Imperial/Patrician lists.
One last element of Knights to paint, and that will be a 12 element Western Patrician Roman DBA army complete - albeit with some extra elements to do for the all-options version. Then a few more to be able to morph to an all-options Eastern version. Oh, and some more still to be able to morph to all-options Late Imperial. Best keep painting then!
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
An element of Catafractarii complete. I know that the Patrician list only includes 3Kn options, but I do like the look of cataphracts, and it would be a sin not to base thm 4 to a base - they would not look like a big solid mass otherwise.
I note from the DBM lists that Clibanarii are allowed in the Patrician Eastern list and that both Cataphracts and Clibanarii are included in the Late Imperial lists. Although I said earlier that this project is a Western Patrician I am hoping to paint enogh figures to morph all options for both Patrician and Late Imperial, so I will find a use for these guys somewhere!
The figures are Magister Militum SPQR63. I replaced the original kontos lances with wire spears for strength. Unfortunately in doing so, two of the riders' hands broke off, so they are holding their lances with stumps! (I decided against making new hands with Miliput ... just too fiddly). The shafts of their kontos are painted red - don't know if this is historically accurate, but it makes them more colourful.
Monday, 20 April 2009
The Vexillum is supposed to be in the style of Constantine's Labarum.
The general and standard bearer are Magister Militum code SPQR51. The right hand horseman is actually an Essex Miniatures figure that I had in my spares box, but I find that Essex are very compatible with Magister Militum. His horse is Magister Militum.