Monday, 27 August 2012

Victrix Hoplites. A calm but steady flow.

I'm sure my painting output is dropping as I advance into my forties, 15 years ago when I set out on this Hellenistic Odyssey I could churn out 3 or 4 Macedonian phalangites every night. Now if I complete 6 or 7 infantry a week I consider it good going. Admittedly it doesn't help when I make a rod for my own back by hand painting all the shields and there is the assembly time to take into account with plastic figures so maybe its not actually all that bad.
The other thing to consider is the fact that most of my involvement in the hobby seems to revolve round painting figures rather than actually gaming with them. Mr. Ireland and I actually got off to quite a good start this year with a couple of games in short order and a resolve to try and game at least once a month, but in the face of busy lives at work this resolution has again evaporated and frankly opportunities are likely to be thin on the ground in the foreseeable future. In view of this it doesn't actually matter if the output is slow, at least I won't be needing to spend money on more new figures to paint before the end of October.
Right, lament over, heres the eye candy:

I've started to vary the shield devices, the AP is the symbol of Arkadia & the trident represents Mantinea both of whom formed links with the  Achaean League in the third century B.C. so their use seems appropriate. At the moment I'm keeping away from the more decorative elements sometimes seen as these seem more representative of earlier eras.
Theres still another coat of matt varnish to go on to really flat the paintwork down but another phalanx is beginning to take shape. Slowly.
N.B. Still not 100% happy with some of the helmets in the Mercenary box set, the Attic and Thracian patterns are fine but the bell type ( or Pilos in modern parlance) wouldn't disgrace a London Bobby.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Only another Ninety to go.

The steady plod through two boxes of Victrix Miniatures Hoplites has begun,  the Theban set I purchased earlier in the week has now been joined by the Mercenary set. There are essentially the same sprues in each box but the Mercenaries have a different set of heads:

A nice selection of Attic, Thracian & Pilos types are represented, the only detail that is off is the Pilos head with face mask fitted, this might have been better modelled on another Thracian helmet. There may well have been masked Pilos helmets available circa 250 B.C. but I'm not aware of any surviving examples.
My only other minor gripe with both of the sets is the duplication of the bodies provided, instead of eight individual pieces. A little more variety would have been useful.
However the detail is sharp with none of the blank areas sometimes found on plastics and they paint up really very well.
Theres a bit of tidying up to do ( photographing figures always shows up the bits I missed )and a coat of matt varnish to go on yet but you can get the basic gist.

So far I've been a little un-ambitious with the shield designs sticking with variations on the Achaean League device, I'll start to break this up with other suitable subjects as the project continues. I'm not however going down the transfer route; the LBMS range for these figures is very good but my preference has always been to hand paint shield designs, it just feels like putting that final personal stamp on my figures.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

A welcome return to Greece. Victrix Hoplite.

A brief detour after pricing some work occasioned a long over due visit to Questing Knight Games in Wellington and resulted as ever in money being hoovered from my pockets in return for a box of Victrix Theban Hoplites. I could have taken the easy option and mail ordered these when they were released but I do like to support my FLGS when I can and credit to Alan the owner even in-frequent visitors are made to feel welcome. In fact I also ordered the latest Victrix box of mercenary hoplites so another visit will be imminent to collect these when they become available, hopefully in conjunction with carrying out said priced job.

Anyhow here he is, number one of 48:

First and foremost none of these fine fellows will be destined for Thebes, their fate lies further South and nearer in history representing hoplites of the Achaean League: hopefully a mixture of Boetian helmets amongst assorted Thracian & Pilos types shouldn't look out of place.
Secondly, well done Victrix. These really are excellent figures, easy to assemble and sharp enough moulding to make painting straightforward without having to fudge in detail over blank areas.

Lastly a quick size comparison which you may find useful.

Left to right: Foundry Miniatures World of the Greeks, Victrix & Immortal Miniatures Hoplites.
Taking the Victrix figure as an average you could at a pinch use all three together, the Foundry miniature representing the more robust end of the human demographic and the Immortal figure what my retired Foreman would have colourfully described as a 'Jack Russell Bastard' infering a smaller than average human being over compensating somewhat. A bit like Napoleon.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

First bunch of Tapurians Complete.

I've finally summoned up some willpower and completed the first ten 'Hurdlebunters' for my WAB Parthian force.

Theres still a further ten of these on the production line, but 'beard burn out' has set in for the time being so it may be some time before they are finished off.
I've also polished off another couple of A&A horse archers which are a lot less labour intensive. They are supplied with the requisite facial hair already in place.