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Friday 30 December 2011

Roman/Hellenistic General

Whilst painting pike, I've also spent a bit of time indulging myself painting up this mounted general figure. It's not often I take time out to paint an individual figure, and I'm pleased with the results. You may notice he's snuck in as my new avatar...

Armour "fashion" from the latter fourth century BCE to probably the second or even third century CE was much of a muchness across the Greco-Roman world, so he could equally be leading Romans, Greeks, Macedonian or even Pontic troops.

Advancing pike WIP

Here's a few pics of the above.
This is the first 16 figures of my eventual 64 man unit. I find 12/16 figures is about right for me as a painting batch; many more and I get bored, any less and I don't get anything like the productivity I'm looking for.
This batch has minimal red, the next will have red infill with white borders. The third batch will have solid red and I'm still undecided on the last batch.
These have been temporarily based with blu-tack so I can get some idea of how they'll rank up. The whole unit won't get based up until all four batches are complete, when they'll be mixed up to give some variety.
Shields transfers are of course LBMS.

Looking at the images, you'll note I need to work in getting the background in the right place....

Saturday 10 December 2011

Aventine Southern Italian Hoplites Finished


These have taken quite a while to complete, but are now finally done. Finishing touches have included "dusting up" the shields, adding a few blood smears and one or two signs of battle damaged. Hopefully it works!

I'm pleased with how they've come out, but I'm looking forward to doing something slightly different and a bit less complex.

Pictures have been taken using my iPhone, together with a new mini studio that I bought for just under £30. It comes complete with two "daylight" spots, a camera tripod and all folds away into itself. It also comes with four colours of backing cloth, white, blue, red and black. A very neat piece of design - I'm impressed. Excellent value for money.

Bases are organised in groups of 16, with a command base for each. I've used a couple of alternate standards that are also offered by Aventine to give some variety to the lovely dolphin that comes with the range. I've also set up a full 48 figure shot that I think looks pretty impressive. I had to set them up three deep to make them fit in!

Pics below.

Monday 5 December 2011

Massed Ranks of Hoplites

Basing now underway. Now need to paint, highlight, add tufts and some static grass. I'll also do a bit of dusting up of the lower parts of the figures just to give them a bit of a "lived in" look. Phew, nearly there!

Apologies again for the quality of the photo, again taken with my iPhone under artificial light. I plan to finish the basing over the course of the week and will hopefully get to take some decent shots under natural light at the weekend.

Sunday 4 December 2011

Final Stretch

Couple of quick images of the last batch of hoplites.

Apologies for the quality of the photos - taken under my painting light with my iPhone.

This last batch in white tunics. I couldn't resist using the shields as a backdrop for the pictures. They've now had a bit of highlighting on the metal rims and a blast of matt varnish, which has successfully killed the shine of the earlier image.

Saturday 3 December 2011

WIP - Hoplite Shields

Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel now with my Southern Italian Hoplites (just hope it's not another train coming the other way....).

One of the most prominent parts of any hoplite is of course the shield. Thanks to Little Big Men Studios, even a muppet like me can pull off spectacular results.

Still a bit of work to do on these, least of all a coat of matt varnish to kill the shine, but I think you'll get the idea.

Just about finished the last batch of twelve, making the full forty eight up to strength. Should be able to get them assembled and stuck on bases by the end of the weekend. Then it's just a matter of another 64 pikemen....Oh no, just noticed Aventine have released some Thureophoroi.....

TH01 Thureophoroi Command

TH02 Thureophoroi

Love the officer scratching his, erm.....

Friday 2 December 2011

Pikemen for sale

In between finishing my Republican Romans (is any army ever truly finished???) and waiting for Aventine to release their range of pike, I bought and painted some Crusader figures. These are now surplus to requirements and currently on sale on ebay. Apologies for the shameless plug, but I'd prefer them to go to a good home. By reading this blog, youl've already proved yourselves to be individuals of good taste and breeding!

The listing can be found here:

Tuesday 15 November 2011

More Southern Italian Hoplites

Not had chance to post these WIP figures as I've not had good enough light to photograph in.

These are basically the same as the previous batch, this time with red tunics. Next batch are grey tunics, which are almost finished, with a final batch of off-white to finish. Plus loads of shields to do of course. Oh, and not forgetting the basing......

On another note, I'm being sorely tempted by the thought of the new advancing pike from Aventine. Just waiting to see what the rest of the packs look like. Keith tells me that there's another pack of linothorax to come, plus some command figures. Already have a colour scheme in mind, based on the image below, another Macedonian tomb painting.

Probably go for a nice blue helmet to top them off, based on the Alexander Sarcophagus

Sunday 16 October 2011

Southern Italian Hoplites WIP2

Title says it all, really.

Finished the shields and attached them to the figures. Shield designs by LBMS, cut to fit and overpainted around the edge in an attempt to make them blend. As you can see in one or two cases this has been in vain and I need to go back and do some touching up. Seeing something in a photo about six times bigger than it really is can be sobering....

I temporarily attached the figures to bases with blutack to get an idea of how they'd rank up. Apologies if one or two look a bit wobbly. Worthwhile doing, as I quickly realised I need to have the spears angled slightly to ensure each rank will line up behind the other.

 As mentioned previously, I need to wait until all 48 are done before I can start basing for real - very frustrating for someone as impatient as me! Part of my painting psychology is to get some figures painted and based as early as possible as inspiration to get stuck into the rest.

Saturday 15 October 2011

Southern Italian Hoplites WIP 1

These are the first batch of 12, from 48 I currently plan to paint.

My approach to these is to paint four groups of 12, each with the same basic tunic colour, but with varying levels of trim. These have a base of blue (bet you didn't spot that, did you?), the next batch in line will have red, with grey and off white to come.

Colour choices are based on various tomb paintings that have survived from Southern Italy. Try a Google Image search for "paestum tomb" and you'll get the idea.

I've done the flesh tones on these slightly differently to some previous figures, with less contrast. Not sure I'm happy and would be interested in other opinions.

Shields are mostly finished and just need adding to the figures. Will try and get some photos of them up tomorrow.

Sunday 9 October 2011

Tarentines Completed

Managed to finish these off in the week but had to wait until today to get enough natural light to photograph them. It's already past the time of year that it's too dull on a morning for photography before I leave for work and too dark by the time I get home, a fact that will become far more obvious as we descend into Winter.

I'm pleased with the shields. I used various LBMS hoplite variants for several different figure ranges; most didn't fit! The rimmed shields I decided to use for these figures have a relatively small central area, so I had a bit of careful choosing and trimming to do to make things work. I'm happy with the results.

I used a slightly different mix of tufts this time around and I quite like the effect. Haven't decided if I should add a couple of flowers or not.

As noted before, painting these has helped me formulate plan for the Southern Italian hoplites that are next on the agenda. I've decided to use four basic tunic colours, as here, with varying levels of trim. To achieve this, I've split the 48 figures into batches of 12 (didn't know I did maths, did you?). Body armour is mixed, with variations from none, plain T-Y, padded T-Y, reinforced T-Y and plate armour on some of the command figures, so lots of scope for mixtures of white, yellow, red, blue and anything else I can think of....

Saturday 1 October 2011

"Tarentine" WIP

Some pictures of my Aventine "Tarentines" in progress.

Painting is finished, just need to add shields, varnish and base. How I base them is the reason for the "".  I can't decide  whether to base them in 3's, so general Southern Italian medium cavalry, or in 2's as more open order light cavalry. I'm hedging towards 3's, as I think they'll be more useful that way, but if anyone's got any ideas, I'd love to hear other opinions.


Pictures are clickable.

Next project is some Southern Italian Hoplites. I'll use the same basic colour scheme as I've used on these to give them plenty of variety and colour.