Who knows, I might even manage to finish a project this year! Incredible! These Late Romans have been on my plate for a little over a year now and I’m actually close to completing them. They’re a relatively small force, but I think they’re among the better-looking of my projects, what with those shields. It’s a double update today, with some artillery which I finished in late January on the one hand, and the companion cavalry on the other. Let’s take a look.
First off, these two scorpiones. I could have based these a little bit smaller, but as I’ll mostly be playing Sword & Spear with them they do have the mandatory 12cm frontage. I wish Gripping Beast did more than one set of poses for the crew, as it looks a bit strange this way, but otherwise they’re just fine.
Next up is this ballista. They came with a third crew member, but as the model in question is a fairly imperious looking chap I decided early last year to press him into service as one of my commanders. Still, even with just these two lads to man the thing I think it looks fine.
Finally we have these companions, which were an absolute breeze to paint up really. I started off from an AP fur brown undercoat spray which was mostly useful on the horses. The rest of the models were handled in the usual fashion, with the one exception being their golden shield rims and their purple helmet plumes, just to get the imperial theme across.
I originally didn’t plan on taking any cavalry beyond the mandatory clibinarii and some assorted horse archers, but when my gaming compatriot Eddy Maes decided to pass his bag of unused Late Roman lead around I couldn’t resist a good rummage! Once again Eddy, my sincere thanks for selling these on to me for a great price.
The one thing I’m lacking for the project in terms of models are dracones. I’ve prepared some long spears (stupidly long in this case) in the hands of the standard bearers to receive these later, but it’s holding back the completion of many a unit. Hopefully I’ll be able to track some down at Salute this year, which will be my first foray into that great convention!
Hope you liked this update, and until next time!
A quick update to show you some progress – I haven’t had much time to photograph models lately!
These Gripping Beast sculpts are always a joy to paint, with their deep detail and chunky faces. Their shields are also a big canvas on which paint some of those lovely shield designs which I shamelessly stole from Little Big Men – if you don’t feel like freehanding these, order from them as I hear they’re great.
On to some cavalry now! Either some companions or some horse archers, I’m not too sure yet. First off though, some more 6mm WSS. Stay tuned!
I’ve been playing a lot of Total War: Attila since the game came out, and so in spite of numerous running projects and commissions I keep coming back to my Late Romans. There’s just something irresistible about the Dark Ages which, coming into historical wargaming, I never imagined I’d like as much as I do. Additionally, I’m very happy about the choice of a colour scheme which combines a very simple approach with some striking intricate shield designs. So here are more infantry for the force, then!
These were painted up in much the same way as the previous armoured infantry, which were the first unit I painted for the force. I haven’t changed much since, although I’ve varied the shield designs a bit more. More white areas with red symbols, mainly.
Another important difference is that I’ve based a few models separately onto 20x20mm bases, as I’ve heard rumours about the possibility of a Saga supplement for the Late Roman age. Which would be fantastic.
So that’s it then, all armoured infantry done. I’ve still got a unit without chainmail to be done, as well as more cavalry, but these will have to wait a bit – a certain special bicentenary is creeping up fast!
I thought that, since my Viking army is already fairly extensive, I’d best find an alternate place for half a box of plastic Dark Age Warriors. With my Late Romans being in the spotlight, I thought I’d add some barbarians to their ranks.
I built most of the models stock from the box, but I opted to use some Old Glory models’ shields which have no leather covers. They simply look more low-tech, especially when compared to those of their overlords’ scuta.
I chose to use a Late Roman to lead the unit. The way I see him, he’s an old veteran, having to lean onto his spear, and perhaps he wears a face plate so as not to show his age to his oft-unruly men.
Apart from the leader, I painted these models from a mournfang brown basecoat with drybrushes of several brown, ochres and beiges – I really didn’t want them to look uniform. Still, I did add a touch of green and white here and there to tie them in a bit. On the other hand, the shields have the same colours of those of their overlords, but applied in a variety of simple patterns or with no pattern at all.
And that’s that, now I’m really laying off the Late Romans for a while. Up next: Dreadball!
Disaster! The battle of Chalôns refight has been changed into a Sassanid versus Eastern Romans refight! No mushy Hunnic horse lovers to fight through, but tough-as-nails cataphracts…
Still, it’ll be a nice refight. I don’t have too many models, but I thought I’d show the small contingent I’ll be adding to my clubmates’ Romans next Saturday.
As you’ll notice I’ve repainted the hats on some of the lighter troops – I mistakenly assumed these were flat helmets instead of felt hats. Thanks to those who were both knowledgeable and bold enough to point this out to me!
The latest unit off the workbench are these cataphracts. I finally managed to find a unit to try out the AP plate mail metal spray onto, and it did cut some corners. The lining on the horse armour might be a bit over the top, but I really wanted the unit to draw some attention – which they’ll undoubtedly do in our wargames as well! I might add socks to the horses’ feet, but otherwise I’m satisfied with them for now.
That’s that then, two years on the blog! I’ll be sure to keep the thing going forwards in its third year as well. First up are the final Landwehr, and perhaps some Vikings as well. Exciting times!
Continuing the Late Antiquity theme of late, here are some archers. Three units plus a commander done now!
Paintingwise these are identical to the unarmoured warriors, apart from the fact that their shields are somewhat smaller and have no metal rim, which made painting them a bit easier.
As you will have noticed, I’ve given these models separate 20x20mm bases. This is so I can use them for skirmish games like Saga, but they’ll still rank up nicely for the likes of Hail Caesar and Sword & Spear.
So that’s them done. Next up are some Prussians, these should be on the blog in a day or two. Until then!
Vignettes are something I indulge in far too little, given the time and effort I devote to figure painting. Sure, I crank out plenty of models each month, but some aspects of my creativity are left underused in the process. Time, then, to redress the balance! I’ve really grown to like these Late Roman models – what’s not to like about them? – and I reckoned I’d award those comitatenses and limitanei with a suitable general.
There were no marked commanders in the bag of lead I took over from my wargaming compatriot Eddy, so I had a rifle through the different contents and found one among a scorpio crew. Ornate helmet? Check. Heroically draped cloak? Check. Pointing into the distance? Check! Also I found out there were musicians in among the set only after I’d put together the first two infantry units, so I decided to leave them be and to use these horn blowers as heralds for the general. He’s a very important chap, y’know.
I further decided to mark him out by giving him a lot more colour than the other models in the force. A cloak in imperial purple was a given, and a turquoise helmet plume seems to contrast excellently with all the gold on the models. No special treatment was given to his entourage.
I mounted him on a 60mm mdf base from www.laserbases.be so he can be used both in skirmishes and in battles like Chalôns – speaking of which, it’s less than a month from now! Crikey! I’d like to add at least one further unit to the army by that time, probably archers, but time permitting I’ll do some cataphracts as well. We’ll see.
Up next: Arabs and Dacian shamen.