May 27, 2014

Samnite Cavalry

I realize it has been a few days since my last update. I was suffering a little bit from burn out. I guess it is one of the risks of painting many figures. Well fear not, I have some units almost ready to jump of the painting table, and onto the photoshoot.

Here first is the unit of Samnite Cavalry, of the Linen Legion, that I have painted.

It is a smallish unit, compared to the ones I usually make, even for Cavalry, but it should be proportionate to the number of infantry I have in my units.

Here is a picture of the horse pose, with rider, in side view. Note I usually do not paint the many pieces of bit and tackle. So I have omitted those here. Also I don´t usually paint hoofs. So likewise omitted.

I try to paint horses to a certain scheme. That is always a color I know a horse can be, with a darker mane, and tail.  believe it gives a nice realistic look, without being too complex. Horses of course are not all brown, nor black, but mine usually are. It is simply easier to deal with when painting.

Here is a look at the rider and horse in front view.

I took this picture, the way I ordinarily take pictures of rank and file troops. But in this case I had to take it at an angle. Why do you ask? Well the feathers on the horse simply obscured the riders face, and much of the helmet. Making it look rather strange.

I am assuming that these riders are all samnites, because they have the triple disc pattern on the breastplate/pectoral. I found a note in one of Ospreys titles that said that they would look much like the Campanian Cavalry depicted, except that they would have the samnite breastplate. Originally I thought one of the more unarmored ones were samnites.


May 23, 2014

Samnite Auxilia

I painted up some Samnite Auxilia, of the Linen Legion. I am going on the asumption that the legion included both light and heavy troops, as well as cavalry.

Here is a look at the unit.

They are not surpisingly white and silver in color. I tried taking the picture from an angle and alittle from above, to give an impression of depth. I think I succeeded. The unit does not look "flat", so mission accomplished.

Here is a look at the pose that is most numerous in the unit.

White on white is not the best way to bring out details. So I have used light grey as crest color, and a yellowish cream color for the back of the shield. I think it looks ok. The belt, sources show, are inlaid with silver or iron, so, I painted it silver.

Here is a look at the unit leader.

Not much to say about him really. Except that the difference in silver and iron is much more prominent on the pictures I have taken than in real life.

At the moment I have three units on the painting table. One Samnite Linen Legion heavy unit, One Samnite Cavalry, of the Linen Legion too, and a unit of Iberian Caetrati. The two first are HaT products, the latter is all Orion figures. So those are the coming attractons!


May 21, 2014

Iberian Caetrati, armored

So back to the Iberians, and these fellows are a strange bunch, but here goes.

The Iberians are distinguished ordinarily into three types of troops: Slingers, Scutari and lastly Caetrati. The Caetratri are like the Scutari destinguished by their shield. Where the Scutum is large and oval, this shield is small and round, in fact one might call it a buckler. Ordinarily the units would be light and agile, but this unit is different.

The reason why it is different cannot really be seen on this picture. But there is a hint, some unusual straps of leather on the back. They are used to hold a round plate in place over the breast. Which is unusual, but not unheard of. From my google searches I found at least one representation where they had this plate and a "buckler".

Here is another view of the unit.

Notice how big the shield of the Champion of the unit is. I did not find any small enough shield I could use, so his bigger shield will have to do.

I have spoken alot about the unusualness of this unit, and of the pose in particular. Well here he is.

Another thing that is unsual about this figure, is that his sword is not the usual falcata type, but it is straight. So is the scabbard. Very strange and quite unusual.

The champion too is interesting, if not for anything else, then for the weapon he is holding.

It is an axe, from the Caesar set of egyptians. You get a few spare ones pr. sprue, so, I thought why not use it to denote someone special. The uniform is not that strange, white with red trimmings. Just like most texts say the Iberians had. But the shield is also something I found online. Not sure if it is something the Iberians used; black shields that is.

The officer is the standard pose from the Orion set. Here he is, once again:

He is however interesting because he must be rich. Why do you ask? Well he has a purple cloak. A color that was extremely difficult to manufacture back then. So only the richest could afford it. Perhaps this unit is this fellows personal bodyguard. Would explain why they are so different.


May 20, 2014

Samnite Infantry

Another Oscan unit, this time a Samnite Infantry unit, part of the Linen legion (or silver legion) has raced ahead of a Iberian unit I was painting at the same time.

It is a unit, 16 strong, with 14 identical poses. They are as earlier mentioned part of the Linen Legion, or Silver Legion. Thus they are considered elite. The Linen legion was chosen in the following manner. The General, selected 10 men who he considered to be strong and braver than the rest, these in turn again each selected 10 men, and so on, until the Legion was 16.000 strong. They were then placed on the right side of the battlefield, as this was a position of honor. They were all clad in white, and had silvered weapons and armor. This was considered holy to them. The rest of the army was deployed on the left, and they numbered some 24.000. They were not clad in white and silver, but had many colors, and golden weapons and armor.

Here is a look at the pose that is the  most common in the unit: the spearman.

Again I have on purpose given him "shoes". The metal on him is either painted silver or chainmail color. Everything else, is white or whitish. The spear is kept in wood color. The box, which you get these figures in (HäT 8040), does not specify which Italians are which tribe, but the samnites are easily recognized by the tripledisc breastplate that they have.

The officer, and standardbearer are the same pose. The standardbearer is not really carrying a standard either. It is a spear with the tunic of a defeated enemy drapped over it, and his belt on top. The idea was to display that your enemy had been forced to become naked, and thus was defeated.

Here is a look at the standardbearer.

As you can see, he is more heavily armored. It is quite possible that he is actually not a Samnite, but some other type of Italian, as he is not wearing a triple disc. However he will do just fine for me. He is also a headswap conversion.

Here is a look at the officer.

He has been equiped with a sword, which I guess will denote him as an officer.  The crest on his helmet might not be a crest, but part of the helmet design. But I have chosen to paint it as a crest. Not that it is very visibile with the Silvered helmet and the light grey crest (Ghostly grey).

Thats it for this post.


More Iberian Scutari

Finally it is time for some of the Iberians to leave the painting table. This time it is a unit of Scutari, so named because of their shields, the Scutum. Here is a sideways view of the unit. It is the best way to show off the shields. 

Notice the colorscheme, it is the same as on the box, that you get from Orion, when you buy the Iberians. Here is the unit seen from the front. 

The unit is composed of 8 spearmen, wearing a single metal plate over the breast area, and carrying Scutums and a spear. They also have a scabbard for the traditional spanish sword. There is also a single officer, this time with a red cape, as well as a standard bearer (from HaTs carthaginian command set)

Here is a close-up of the infantry type.

The shields were really fiddly and was perhaps the part of the figure that took the longest time. The motif is molded on, so no choice there if you want a different design. Unless you want to carve it off that is...

The officer is by now the well known type. Crested helmet, breastplate and greave. The colorscheme is more traditional Iberian than what I have done the other officers in.

The standard bearer is as mentioned earlier from the HäT command set, for the Carthaginians. Ordinarily I would have given him a brown cloak, for lack of word of what the garment is he is wearing over his armor, but I chose red to tie him in with the unit.

And that was one more Iberian unit ready for the tabletop.


May 18, 2014

More Oscan Auxilia

Once again a unit of Oscans have run past my Iberians waiting on the painting table. This time it is another unit of Auxilia. Auxilia by the way is latin for "It helps", meaning they are not part of the regular army, but more a reserve of some sort, that helps out in times of war.

Here is the unit:

This time I chose a more fitting uniform than the first unit got. The dress here is definately more Oscan, and the shield design is too more Oscan than before. This one can be seen on the box art, that is, apart from the inverted E i painted on, which should be replaced by a wolf. Since my painting skills do not make it possible for me to paint that many identical wolfheads on a shield I chose to paint the letter the Oscans used for E, and that is the inverted E.

Three conversions are present in the line-up of figures. They are simple headswaps. Can you find them? The 11 figures are all of the same pose, with 3 of the 11 being the conversions. There is also the Oscan officer painted in the scheme of the unit as well. 12 figures all in all.

Here is a close-up of the common figure in the bunch.

The belt is shown in all illustrations I could find, as being golden or gold, but I found that it was not to far fetched that it could be leather. This fellow too is barefooted. I could have made the edges of his sleeves white too I guess, but I went with a simpler design.

Here is a close-up of the officer figure.

I think I could have painted him a bit better. There are some edges along the armor on the backside that seem to have been guilded. That is golden paint has run out on the cloth. Not very professional of me, I guess. The camera really catches all those small faults you do not notice when painting, even in bright light.

A bit of info on the Oscans I guess is appropriate. Especially since I did not give any in the last post. They are an Italian Oscan speaking collection of tribes, that lived south of Rome, basically. The most numerous of them were the Samnite League, which I have yet to paint any of. These Oscans here are just meant to be general Oscans. They wrote from Right to Left. That is opposite of the direction you are reading this. They were eventually conquored by the Romans, but there were several big wars. The Samnite wars being the most known. There were three of them.

Oh and did you find the conversions? If not here they are.

The figure to the left is perhaps the worst one of the lot. His head and neck has a sort of platform that I forgot to remove before attaching the head to the body. The two others have the same heads as the "Officer". You got 8 of the "officer" pose per package of HäT Italian Allies, and I somehow managed to pick up 7½ packages. (Two of them just recently.... I should really have checked how many I already had).


May 16, 2014

Oscan Auxilia

A bit in from left field is here a post about my recently painted Oscan Auxiliaries. To be honest I got a little bored painting the Iberians, and thought a change of pace would be fine. Better to be painting something than nothing at all.

So here they are. A single unit. 12 men, 2 poses. Or rather one pose, and an officer. I more or less painted these from imagination, rather than a historical source. Then I check the sources and tried to make up for my blunders. A smaller blunder of mine is that perhaps the Oscans never really wore shoes. The officer is clearly wearing some, so perhaps I should have painted them skin color, so he would be barefoot like the rest of them.

Another blunder can be seen on this shield design. Not sure that this color combination ever occured. So to make up for it, I thought I would put a symbol on the shields that was definately Oscan. Turns out its hard to find symbols. Then I got a brainchild, what if I used part of the Oscan Alphabet. And sure enough, it was less hard to find the ancient Oscan alphabet. So I used one of the 21 letters they had as a symbol. A V with a dot in it.

The officer is perhaps not an officer, but just another Oscan. However he is heavily armored and with a cupped hand. I put a sword in it. The shield is also glued on. Both are from the HäT set which these figures are from.

This is then a small unit, by some standards, of just 12 men, but with just one pose it felt like there where more, when painting them. The standard pose is unarmored, and just has a shield and spear, so they are Auxilia. They are basically painted generically enough to represent any Oscan tribe, the tribes of ancient Italy, before Rome took all of it.


May 15, 2014

Iberian Slingers

So what do we have here... Well the title says it all: These are Iberian Slingers. That is slingers from the Peninsula, what we today would call modern Spain (and Portugal).

The sling was a cheap and accurate weapon back in the days of the Punic wars. It was deadly too. Famed where the Balaeric slingers, used much by the Carthaginians. These however I have decided are just regular slingers, from Iberia. Here is the first unit, clad in brown.

As can be seen, they are pretty much just armed with a handweapon, and a sling. The hand weapon is something along the lines of a long broad knife or dagger. Here is the second unit, clad in the traditional white cloth with red brims.

They are the same figures, just painted up differently, and as it was at different times. One is painted some 18 months ago, the other a mere hours ago. The ones in white are the oldest, they have wear and tear, as can be seen on the figure on the extreme left. Part of the paint covering the base has flaked away.

Here is a close-up of one of the two poses, in their different painting scheme: The loading slinger.

Note how I forgot to paint the iron on the scabbard, on the white clad figure. While i remembered on the brown one. These kinds of mistakes annoy me alittle, but not much. I paint in volume not in detail, so if there is detail, and I remembered it, good. If not, I will fix it later, maybe.

Here is a close-up of the second pose, in the different painting schemes: The slinger who is swinging his sling, ready to fire.

Again, the little details are missing on the white clad one, but at least I am consistent. If these where elite slingers, like the Balaeric slingers are supposed to be, they would have extra slings, for different ranges. Such slings would usually be in the form of a headband or hanging from their belts.

So here they are, the Iberian Slingers, from Orions set of Iberian Infantry.


May 13, 2014

More Heavily Armored Iberian Warriors

So, these guys had been sitting on my paintdesk for nearly a year, mocking me. But now they are finished. Yay!

Perhaps they do not look so impressive lined up like that, so I tried to take a photograph to make them look less flat, on more "in action". This is how it turned out.

Looks like there are more of them this way, and they are sporting their good sides too. Like the other heavily armored Iberian Warriors, these are from Orion, except for the Standardbearer, which is from HäT. These too must have plundered the battlefield and found some armor. So I guess they are in roman mail, although it could be Iberian in origin.

Now for the individual close-ups.

The Officer of the group comes first. He is easily recognizable with his cape and crested helmet. He might even be of Cathaginian decent, with such equipment, or perhaps he is just rich. Notice that on this one, that you have seen before, I have painted a shinguard, which I am not entirely sure is there, or not.

Then there is the standardbearer.
This fellow is sporting some very nice armor. A full breastplate, unlike the officer that just has a metal plate protecting his chest. Also he has a round shield, which makes him somewhat different from his fellow infantry friends. I had glued this fellows shield on before I decided he should be part of this unit, hence the difference. He is holding a Bull Standard, which is also from HäT.

Finally the Iberian Warrior himself.
The shield he is using is the standard Scutum, and the spear, was much longer on the molded figure, but I cut it down to a more reasonable size. It was the length of a small pike, this way it is just a spear. The typical Iberian sword can be seen in its scabbard, and there really is not much more to say about this figure.

Stay tuned. I think there may be an update more coming within the next couple of days.


May 12, 2014

It has been a while...

So it has been a while since my last posting. Actually a long time. The reason for this was that I simply stopped painting, at least for a while, and I first began again, today. That is since it is past midnight yesterday.
So something is happening again on this blog. I picked up my brushes and painted a few Sherden Guards, but they are not finished yet, so no pictures of them, although they may be the next thing you see from me.
I´ll leave you with a picture that is a small section of a battle I fought years ago, with my Republican Romans vs. Egyptians and allies.
Enjoy, and hopefully you will all get to see some more images soon.