27 June 2013

Roman Boy Band…

They've been staring at me from the stowed painting tray like a boy band on a balcony, so I thought I should make like the paparazzi and get some mug shots.

As mentioned in the last post my Centurion, Typhus, got his weapons. Now the proud owner of a gladius and (rather battered) scutum he can at least defend himself now and hopefully inflict some more damage on the enemy.

The pilum wielding legionary, Marcus, hasn't warranted any alterations. He's done an ok job so far in battle, without being terribly outstanding.

Quintus – clearly the bad boy of the group – used to have a pilum too. However, it was posed rather poorly, not intimidating at all and that won't do. He also had a corker of a weekend, racking up almost half a dozen kills. I removed his pilum arm and replaced it with an armoured gladius arm instead. He now looks like he's banging his shield to taunt the enemy. Excellent.

I hadn't noticed until now that he has a patch over one eye. Quite ironic considering he didn't survive either battle we played on Sunday.

Crixus has been a stalwart of the ranks for a couple of months now, prompting a rather hasty paint job a few weeks ago. He got an upgrade too, going from a rather static pose of his gladius arm to something altogether more 'stabby'.

Finally we have the, as yet un-named, new boy – the Optio. I was considering calling him Cato, but there's a bit of an "…us" trend developing with my legionaries' names so I'm thinking he will have to comply… Cactus? (depends how good he is at fighting I guess).

He is made from the basic plastic legionary kit, with a couple of bits from my Greek Hoplite sprues. I chopped up a couple of Roman arms to get the angle that I wanted. It's stuck crudely in place with some greenstuff filling the gap and I'll go back and finish this off before painting. His staff is made from a Hoplite spear and is needing a top part before it is complete.

His plume also came from the Hoplites and I will sculpt a couple of simple feathers out of greenstuff to stick on either side of his helm to complete the look. Being a basic legionary figure his gladius is on the correct side for an Optio so it all worked out rather nicely.

Next post should include paint!

To be continued…

25 June 2013

Expanding the Legion…

So the focus is back on the 'secret project' and after visiting Bull at the weekend I'm in need of building more models to expand my Roman Legionary collection.

In addition to converting my Centurion (above) to have a Gladius and Scutum (it's difficult to smite the enemy with nothing but a stick and defend yourself with nothing but harsh words) and finish painting him, I'm attempting to create an Optio.

Looking around the internet, Warlord Games do a set of three metal Optios for a fiver (above). Nice models but given that I have a box full of plastics I'd like to avoid the expense of buying more. It's very do-able, in fact as I write this he's mostly built already.

I also need to create a couple of Auxiliary Archers. That poses much more of a challenge given that (1) I don't own any Auxiliary models yet, and (2) none of the plastic Auxiliary kits available have any bows that I can see. Again, I want to keep the expense to a minimum – this will take some creative thinking!

To be continued…

10 June 2013

Broadside 2013

This was the first time I'd been to the Broadside show, despite it being less than an hour away in Sittingbourne. The leisure centre was pretty easy to find, given that I've never been to the area before, and my trusty iPad ensured I got there without incident.

I was met by some very friendly folk on the front desk requesting an entrance fee of only £3 – bargain, even on top of the pay and display parking. There were two main halls that had both traders and demo/display games going on. I spent the next hour wandering round, but with nothing on my shopping list I saw little that made me want to part with cash… and even less that I could justify (having just bought a wacom tablet for my iMac).

Despite the low key atmosphere it was great to browse and see what was going on. I did see demo games of Saga and X-Wing and a single trader with some Warmachine boxes but the majority of the show was historical gaming in some form or other. No ancient history games that I could see so I kept wandering.

I had a good chat to Ian from Fenris Games. You may remember he helped out with donations for the Tale of 3 Painters charity project I ran last year, and it was good to finally thank him face to face. He talked at length about the current Kickstarter project that he's involved with – Cthulhu Wars – and his plans for the coming year. All very exciting and I must go and see him at his base of operations in Chatham Dockyard soon.

The visit was rounded off with a long chat with Postie's Rejects, specifically Fran and Ray. Fran had a very kind donation of coins for my 5p collection. He busking efforts have contributed greatly to the project. It was great catching up with them and made the trip worthwhile.

Fran told me that I need to paint more so, now that I have had two weeks off to lay some patio in the garden, I should be back to the painting later this week.

06 June 2013


Seems inflation is a bigger problem than I'd realised these days.

It seems a penny is no longer enough to secure weight in the base of my miniatures – I'm having to resort to 5 pence pieces!!

This hobby is getting expensive…

04 June 2013

More Historic Plastics…

The dabbling with historical miniatures continues. I recently acquired some metal Romans from Wargames Foundry, but today I have some pics of more plastics from Warlord Games.

You may have spotted the Hoplites (above) in the post Seven Models in Three Hours. I actually bought the Spartan box set but discovered that it's simply a Greek Hoplite box with some metal heads in it. I actually prefer the Greek helms to the historically correct Spartan ones (they look like plant pots) so I stuck with the plastic. The kit is pretty good if a tad fiddly. The only real criticism I have, and it's a growing theme with the Warlord stuff, is that the scale seems a little odd. These models are very skinny – I appreciate the Greeks may have been very athletic but this is bordering on under-nourished.

They look good though (or will when painted properly) and the price makes you smile with satisfaction too. Some nice bits on the sprues and I'll be investigating them more in the future.

As part of my Conquest of Gaul box set I bought after Salute I have these Gaul/Celt plastics. Again, great models, odd scale and a bit fiddly with the sticking. These guys are literally four piece models – legs, body/arms, head, shield. The thing to note here is that you can't just stick any body on any set of legs. Certain bodies have an extreme angle where they stick (the guy on the right) and similarly many of the legs have extreme angles too, which has the potential for some very odd poses if you choose the wrong body and leg pairings. Everything sticks together well though and they look great on the table… even unpainted.

I've been using resin bases from Fenris Games with these latest models. I love the 30mm round-edged bases that many of my favourite games employ (Warmachine, Malifaux) and really wanted to use them here, but 30mm is just too big. I discovered at Salute that Fenris do a 25mm resin version and they are perfect. They also do a deep recess version which I will be trying soon to see of I can get a coin in the base for added weight.

That's it for the plastics. I will be adding some command models to these in the next few weeks so keep an eye out for those – including a Roman Optio conversion. In the mean time I have included a photo (above) of the different models I've collected to show the variation in shape and scale… astounding!

See you at Broadside at the weekend!