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!

Another Element

One more element for the Patricians, another Psiloi element. This time Roman equipped rather than foederati. I now only need 2 more auxilia and 1 more light horse to have all options for both East and West Patrician.

Saturday, 6 June 2009


Here is another army I did a while ago, I/8b Makkan, again for a themed tournament. I like the idea of themed tournaments because they give an impetus to get armies painted that I might not otherwise have chosen. The army consists of 6 x 3Wb (incl. general), 2 x 3Wb or 3Cm (I chose the camel option), 2 x 3Bw and 2 x 2Ps. All figures are Magister Militum.

This shows the 6 warband elements. I have not been able to find much out about the Makkan, so chose general purpose shielded javelin/spearmen. The general's element is identifiable from the red edges to the shields and the fact that two of them have swords. I made the swords by trimming the spears down, hammering he remains flat, and filing to a blade shape. I know that the swords should probably have been painted in a copper or bronze colour rather than the iron colour I did them in, but I didn't think of that at the time!

...and here is the rest of the army, all fairly generic figures - as I said earlier, I could not find out much on what these guys looked like! Also I can use the figures for other Middle Eastern biblical era armies should the need arise.


Whilst I had the camera out I thought I would post a few pics of the first specifically DBA army I painted for myself. I had painted several which were sold immediately on eBay, but this lot were done when I decided to get back into gaming again. I did it about 3 years ago to play in a Parthian themed tournament - I didn't do too well as I recall!
Army consists of 4 x 4Kn, 7 x 2LH and 1 x 3Ax.

Here are the knights. The figures are actually Magister Militum Sarmatians, but they do the job - close packed, fully armoured hooligans on horses.

These guys are the Light Horse archers, these figs are again Magister Militum Hun figures. Not particularly Parthian, but my argument is that they are Chionites, who were a Hunnic related people who came within the Parthian empire. The auxilia element is made of Essex Cuman javelinmen. Again, not especially Parthan, but look OK for Kurdish Hill Tribes, who also fell under the Parthinan sphere of influence.

So there you have it, and entire Parthian army with not a single Parthian figure amongst them!!!

Complete so far

...and here we have all the Patrician elements completed thus far - 18 in total:

1 x 3Kn (gen)

1 x 3Cv (gen)

1 x 4 Kn (Cataphracts)

3 x 3 Cv/3Kn (foederati)

4 x 4Wb (foederati)

1 x 2Ps (foederATI)

4 x 4Ax (Palatina and Pseudocomitatensis)

1 X 2LH (Equites Sagitarii)

2 x 4Bd (Legio Palatina)

Some Roman additions

My wife was out at a Hen Party last night, and my daughter was in bed early (for once!) which meant a few hours uninterrupted brush time!! As a result, some more recruits have been painted for the Patricians....

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.

So here we have all three completed Barbarian horse elements. I have enough figures left to make several more elements. I will get them all done at some time so that I can use them for Vandal/Goth or whatever, but at present they are mercenaries in Roman service!

I also completed a second element of the Pseudocomitatensis auxilia (4Ax). Painted in the same colours as the first. Only two more auxilia elements to complete to have as many as I need for any Patrician Roman option, East or West. I have the figures, all I need is the time to paint them.

... 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

Video Fun and Games

A bit of fun I had with Windows Video Maker - not very polished or professional, but fun nontheless

25mm Celt

A new venture for me, just for a bit of a change. I recently picked up the Warlord Games Celtic Warriors Boxed set, so I thought I would have a go at painting one. The set contains enough hard plastic bits to make 30 Warriors, including command figures. I have to say I am impressed with the quality of the figures, which fit together well.

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.

Once the flesh was complete, I painted in the moustache with a dark gingery brown, and touched in the gold torc at his neck and the bracelet on his right wrist. When the moustache was dry I highlighted with a lighter brown. I also painted a wash of thinned dark green over the trousers, which when dry was drybrushed using Citadel Goblin Green, followed with a very light drybrush of a Goblin Green and White mix. I also painted in the sword blade with Citadel Chainmail, with a touch of black added, and when dry highlighted with pure Chainmail.

The next stage was to paint in the hilt of the sword with a bronze colour, and aslo the hilt and pommel of the dagger on his belt. The belt was painted in with a light leather colour, and the dagger scabbard with a darker leather colour. His feet were given a wash with dark brown, which when dry was drybrushed carefully with a lighter brown.

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.

The set comes with 15 shields, which I think is a little on the low side for 30 warriors, I appreciate not every one would have had a shield, but I personally would have liked a few more. Also included are 15 self-adhesive shield designs. Very attractive designs they are too, but you have to cut them out yourself - very fiddly, and for me a right pain in the backside! Needs a very sharp knife and a steady hand. Above shows the prgression from unpainted shield straight out of the box to completed masterpiece in all its glory. Took a total of about 15 minutes painting time, and easily as much again to cut the design out!!