Monday, 30 May 2011

And then there were three.

More progress on the parthian cataphracts:

Really enjoying painting these, they're quite quick and easy because of all the metalwork and leatherwear.
I've been giving some thought on how the army will be used on the tabletop too. Using WAB 1.5 and the Cataphract army list in Armies of Antiquity, cataphracts get a rank bonus of up to +3 for ranks behind the first so I'm favouring a formation 6 wide and 3 or 4 deep and probably 3 units in total, this with General and Army standard bearer works out at 1785 points.
To work with this equine phalanx I'll probably go with four units of 9 horse archers and two units of 9 javelin armed light cavalry to give a further 1260 points. All told a total of 3045 points.
I'm thinking a good wide gaming table might favour this army so next project will be a couple more modular boards to boost the available space to 10' x 4'. Don't want all those lovely lights getting claustrophobic.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

First Parthian Cataphract.

Here he is, hopefully the first of many.

I always like to paint one miniature from start to finish when commencing a new project, it gives a good idea of how to set the production line running for the duration. Off now to prep his fellows in readiness for a nice laid back bank holiday painting session.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Genesis of the Parthians.

The Parthians have arrived from A&A miniatures in a very reasonable turnaround of 6 working days & very good they are too.

For starters I've bought 18 cataphracts and six horse archers, the idea being to keep with A&A for the cataphract units and pick and mix from other ranges for their nimbler fellows. The Stafford Games Horse Archers look particularly good.
Overall first impressions are very good; crispness of detail on both riders and mounts is excellent although I would have preferred less chainmail and more lamellar or scale armour on the riders, the intention after all is to build an early parthian army circa 3rd century BC and I'm not sure chainmail would have spread to the asian steppe this early on. The only real gripe is the kontos( whats the correct plural for these by the way) supplied with the packs, these really do fit the term 'bargepole', see below for a comparison with the Northstar items that will be their replacements:

Finally see below a comparison shot with one of 1st Corps Hetairoi:

Size wise these chaps match up fairly well. The A&A horse is much stockier and has a more natural stance, though frankly neither mount does a great deal of justice to our equine friends. The really noticeable difference is how much better the fit is between the A&A rider & mount, there's just no need to pin rider to horse to achieve a good join - a spot of 5 minute epoxy and hey presto! In contrast the 1st Corp horse and rider need the saddle blanket building up with green stuff or similar to get anything like the same quality of fit, its not a problem exactly but still makes leisure time feel like work.
Hope the above is of some use, painted goodness to follow soon.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Seleucid Heavies.

Pictured above the now completed Hetairoi in wedge and shown below with their heavier brethren the Agema.

All the above are 1st Corps miniatures which have turned out alright despite being really fiddly to paint. They're a little on the small side compared to the Foundry miniatures that make up the bulk of my Hellenistic cavalry and the horses aren't quite there anatomically, but all that armour does conceal most of the concerns with the horses. It will be interesting to see how they match up with the A&A Parthians that are currently en route, comparison pictures to follow.
N.B. For the Hetairoi xystons I used left over spears from the Immortal Hoplite set with the moulded on arms removed. With hindsight I could have removed the hands of the metal miniatures, drilled and pinned the arm and then attached the spears via the moulded hand; but it was a bit late before I hit upon the idea and besides the cyanoacrylate seems to have formed an adequate bond.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The end of an Epoch.

These two fellas above, well they are the last hellenistic miniatures to be painted before embarking upon the next long term project. I've had many days and hours of enjoyment over the past decade ( give or take) painting figures covering the Hellenistic world but finally its time to call it a day and embark on a new long term project.
After a lot of deliberation I've decided to go down a route contemporary to the Successor kingdoms and begin a Parthian army. The initial purchase from A&A miniatures consists of various codes from their Sassanid/Parthian & Palmyran ranges focusing on miniatures with the least chainmail & most banded limb armour and light cavalry with phrygian style hats to try to keep within a 3rd C BC time frame.
As far as infantry are concerned I was encouraged to learn that during this period the Parthians employed Greek mercenaries , so more employment for the versatile Thureophoroi I think.
Hopefully all that metal armour should make for quick painting progress, so presumably a viable army in fairly short order.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

I'm Alexander! No, I'm Alexander!

Two very different takes on the great man. The purple cloaked version was one of the first Macedonian figures I painted when I started down the fateful path of collecting all things Hellenic.
The lower Issos Mosaic version was done last Autumn.
It illustrates quite nicely how painting techniques can change over a dozen years for better or worse.
Incidentally both figures get used as sundry Seleucid Kings & generals my excuse being a lot of the statuary was modelled on the Alexander look so they would have garbed themselves for war in the same manner.

Sunday, 8 May 2011


Going great guns on the painting front this weekend, this is the plus side of only working six days a week instead of the seven which have been the norm for the last 3 months. Enough of the joys of being self employed- hers some pictures:

Miniatures by 1st Corps, paints by Vallejo & scenic stuff by Antenocittis Workshop who I have the great good fortune to live near.
The portrait on the standard could be Antiochus Megas or equally any of his antecedents; they all seemed to have the same inflated opinion of themselves. Its just as well Belinda Carlisle wasn't around back then " Circle in the saaand...".
The keen eyed amongst you will have noticed the lack of armament, its just that I haven't yet decided whether to use the supplied spears or to replace them with longer Northstar items.


A couple of shots below of a rabble of galatians.

These are Renegade figures, easily identifiable by their cricket bat swords. If I had paid more attention before painting them I'd have filed these down to more acceptable proportions.
These sensibly trousered fellows will soon be joined a few score more of the same plus some noble cavalry as my next big project.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Eliminating the Backlog.

Finally got started in earnest on painting the February & March purchases and thats me done on Hellenistic stuff for the time being. I am almost tempted to buy and paint a unit of Aventine phalangites just for the hell of it but I am not convinced that they will match up size wise with all my Polemarch & Foundry chaps.
It does put me in somewhat of a quandry though, I've been collecting and painting Macedonian & Hellenistic stuff on and off for about 12 years but I need a new project to get stuck into. The choices I have come up with so far are
1. A Palmyran army, nice figures available through A&A and the (somewhat questionable) option of camel cataphracts, but a bit late historically and limited opponents.
2. Something more barbaric, Galatians or Thracians possibly. Lots of figures required & fiddly patterns, though would make good allied contingents for Hellenistic stuff.
3. Han chinese. Hmm

Any further suggestions gratefully recieved, but absolutely no Romans. I've painted two Roman armies in the last twenty years and sold both of them in short order, there must be something buried deep in my Welsh ancestry that won't abide them.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

A veritable wall of bronze.

Some photos of my new hoplites:

I'm fairly happy with the results, to the extent of considering buying another box from Immortal but there are other projects to be completed first, not least my 1st corps Hetairoi.
The hoplons were decorated with a mix of the water slide transfers out of the box and my own efforts at replicating the AX monogram found on Achean league coins.