Sunday, April 22, 2007

More Greek Skirmishers

This is the second unit of Greek skirmishers finished. The whole lot in a week. I have deliberately made it unclear as to whether they have spears or javelins so I can use them as both peltasts or javelinmen. The spears I picked up at Salute and they are nice steel ones with a leaf blade, so they shouldn't bend like the soft metal ones.

I have another 12 based and maybe have even another 12 after that. In the meantime I need to do the two Macedonian generals and maybe get the last six Greek light horse done. It's going to be tight!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Classical Spartans!

Artizan designs have announced a new range of Spartans with Corinthian (or possibly Chalcidian-it's hard to tell from these shots whether they leave the ears exposed or not) rather than Pylos Helmets. Most other manufactureres depict Spartans in Pylos helmets so this is a welcome addition.

The whole issue of how to represent a Spartan Army has exercised me since I started this project. The figures I have decided to use are the Foundry ones also by Steve Saleh.

Now there are a number of distinct periods I would want to model and really it is not that easy to overlap the models used.


The Spartans at the time of Thermopylae would have probably worn Corinthian Helmets with front to back crests (maybe even with elevated crests like this example from about the time of Thermopylae). One of the figures in the Artizan picture above (third from the left, top row) is wearing the more open faced Illyrian type helmet, which certainly continued into use in the 4th century

They could also have worn the so-called bell bronze cuirass. The illustrations in Nick Sekunda's Osprey The Spartan Army show the Spartans at Thermopylae wearing bell cuirasses. Actually, Foundry do produce some figures like this but only in their one pose army builder packs See above figure).
However, Peter Connolly in his Greece and Rome at War show Spartan troops at Thermopylae wearing the linen covered cuirass. The Artizan figures seem to be based on this interpretation.
Also, there doesn't seem to be any evidence that the Spartans were using the famous Greek lambda symbol on their shields at this time and had individual designs. The earliest mention is from a poet likely to have been writing around 412 BC.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Greek Heavy Cavalry

This is the unit of 16 heavy cavalry we need for Cynoscephalae. Technically they should be half Greek and half Macedonians but only one of them is carrying a Xyston. I will replace the Xyston carrying Macedonian with another heavy cavalryman and build a seperate unit of Companion cavalry when I get to work on the Macedonians. The only problem with contemplating a Macedonian force is all the Persians I would have to paint as well. Grim!
Next 12 more javelinmen and six more light cavalry. Never mind the light mornings are helping. Today I managed to finish the tunics on 12 javelinmen. I'll try to do the flesh shading tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

More Greeks

Bought some more Greeks today. 9 packs of Foundry figures on top of the 7 packs which arrived two days ago. I managed to get the former at £5.00 per pack reduced in a shop I visited today. Bargain. One pack I did get was the Mercenary Generals which also contained the two mercenary commander figures that you used to only be able to get as a give away with the Foundry mercenary deal and which seem to have been unavailable for some time. One of these is a really nice Spartan figure.
Unfortunately, quite a few of the figures I bought today are Macedonians: Hypaspists and phalangites. It looks like I am going down the road of starting a Macedonian army. Oh dear!

Friday, April 06, 2007

First Thracians

Here are the six Thracians we need to make up numbers for Cynoscephalae.

These ones are wearing the black tunic mentioned by Plutarch and worn at Pydna (168 BC), so there is a reasonable argument to say they could have worn them at Cynoscephalae (197BC). They are certainly quicker to paint than the classical ones!

This is a WAB command unit of Classical period Thracians wearing the patterned tunics. I bought a Foundry deal of these (80 figures) a couple of years ago to pitch against my classical Greeks. They are lovely to paint but take rather a long time because of all the patterns.

I'd like to paint an army, or at least a couple of big units of these as there are a couple of interesting actions involving Thracians against Romans (and Numidians) following Magnesia (190). Useful figures, therefore.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Cretan Archers

I finished them last night. 12 figures in a week, must be a record! Next I will finish the 6 Thracians and do the first four Macedonian Heavy cavalry. Good job I have some time off over Easter.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

A couple more Greeks

I finished another light cavalryman and an archer in the last week. I may have enough time to do some more before Cynoscephalae in May. Currently I am seeing if I can paint 12 Cretan archers in a week. I'll have to finish them tonight to succeed. Looks like I will just miss it..

Unit of Javelinmen

I needed to do some javelinmen for Cynoscephalae and they will be useful for my Greek Mercenary army anyway. I painted all 12 (the Tony Bath rules we are using put light infantry in units of 12) at the same time, unusually, rather than in sixes. They didn't take too long and look OK. I used cut down Gripping Beast spears for these but I will try to get some of the Perry Miniatures spears as they make better javelins in this scale.