Romani ite domum!


Click to embiggen!

Click to embiggen!

One of my first armies in 1/72 was Imperial Romans.  Like most new wargamers, I went with something familiar, impressive, and badass.  Since then I’ve come to like more of the underdogs of history, but if you’re going to go with a winner, you might as well pick one of the winningest armies in history.*

I began with some recasts of the Airfix Romans set, made by HäT, and later added ESCI, Revell, and HäT originals.

roman-testudoFront line, Airfix recasts; behind them, ESCI, trying to form a Testudo or “tortoise” formation.  Third line, in blue, Italieri Republican-era Romans; fourth line, barely visible, Revell.  The blue uniformed troops I gave a dark wash.  Usually I avoid any shading on my wargaming 1/72s both to speed things up and to keep a cleaner, toy-soldier look.  The only exception is that I usually shade steel with black and flesh with a darker tone.

roman-legions-2Some stands with command elements.  Center, all Airfix; right, all ESCI; left, ESCI troopers but I think Italieri command.  Behind them a Revell tribune standing over a fallen Airfix trooper and an ESCI Caesar standing over a fallen Airfix Briton.  (They don’t serve any role in a DBA army; I had originally planned to use Might of Arms as my war game rules but found it a little too complex for what I was after, and I really the simplicity of DBx type rules.)   You can also see some cavalry (HäT Republican Romans) and a ballista in the background.

roman-legionsMore legions.

roman-auxilia-revellRevell auxilia — in this case, lightly armed recruits, probably Gauls in Roman gear.

roman-batavi-hatHäT auxilia — in this case Batavi, some Germanic tribesmen famous for using their traditional clubs in battle and for being excellent amphibious troops — or at least able to swim across rivers that gave the legionaries pause.  Behind them are some auxiliary archers.  Both the Airfix and ESCI sets had what looked like legionaries with bows, so I painted them in legionary colors, but really they would probably be archers from subject lands in more native dress — Syrian archers are often mentioned.  The second line of archers are Britons from the Airfix Briton set.  I’m not sure if any Britons served as archers for Rome but I didn’t need many missile troops for my Ancient British army so the Romans took them.

Some miscellaneous stands of troops did not get close-ups.  Those are more auxilia in Roman dress, camp followrs, and some skirmishers.  The army is far larger than I need for DBA and could probably form several Early Imperial Armies — perfect for a civil war.  I also made some Roman camps, as DBA armies usually need one unless there is a settlement on the battlefield.  I have couple of simple, generic palisades, but I also did a funner one, which I always get out for Good Friday:

camp-romanThree religious-supply store crucifixes and a pair of Airfix legionaries.

With any luck I’ll find some time to photograph some more stuff this weekend — my Roman mile fort, and the Republican Romans, as well as some Etruscans & Italian Hill Tribes, Thracians, Carthage, and so on….


*Well, that’s their reputation anyway.  They certainly conquered a big area and held it a long time.  Superior numbers, technology, logistics, and training seems to do that.

Published in: on April 5, 2014 at 2:32 pm  Comments (5)  
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men o bronze

The release of a new edition of De Bellis Antiquitatis, along with my hiatus from having to DM, and having just read a book on hoplite warfare, all converged to reignite my interest in ancients war gaming.  Or at least in building armies and painting them.

So this is the group shot of most of my Greeks (I have another dozen or so stands of Thracians, as well as some mercenary Greeks in my Persian and Carthaginian armies, and some unpainted hoplites probably).


Click to embiggen!

A lot of my Greeks are Spartans, naturally.  The lambda is really easy to paint onto a shield, and the red tunics look pretty awesome against the bronze everything else.

Come and take them.

Come and take them.

The general and piper are Zvedza; the rest are Nexxus recasts of the old Atlantic set.  The second line in the background is all Zvedza too.

greek-thracians-hatThese are the Thracians that I keep with the Greek army.  Like I said I have a whole army of them, I should post them next.  These three guys are HäT Industries minis.

greek-macedonainsMost ancient Greek city-states did not use a lot of cavalry (well Thessaly would be the big exception), but the Macedonians famously did.  Since my pikemen are actually hoplites with extra long spears, I use them interchangeably and the Macedonians are stored with my Greeks too.  Above we have mostly Zvedza cavalry (the guys way in the back are Nexxus/Atlantic) and some HäT hoplites/pikemen.

greek-pikes-hatHere’s another view of the HäT “pikemen”.  I think the shields are all off to the side because of the limitations of injection-molding plastics.  I wish they’d opted for separate shields instead but back when I was collecting plastics, I just bought whatever was available.  Nowadays there are so many sets available you could pick and choose.  Still, these figures are pretty solid and look OK.

Published in: on April 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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Stayed home today as my kid has a fever and can’t go to school.  I’m really glad I can use sick time like this.  She’s watching a Wallace & Gromit video so I took a few minutes away from tending to her and chores to count my painted 1/72 minis.  This time I distinguished among infantry, cavalry, chariotry, and elephants.  A few camp followers and litter bearers got stuck in with the infantry.


Elephants: 8

Chariots: 43

Cavalry: 309

Infantry: 2026

Grand total: 2386.

This includes six Ral Partha Iroquois, three RP gendarmes, and three Minifigs Mamluks, all “true” 25mm and very close to 1/72 scale.  I did not count a few static diorama “camps” and some artillery and war wagons, but there is less than a dozen of those.

These guys range from Sumerians to Conquistadors, the bulk being Medieval (Europe, Crusades, Mongols, and Japanese), Classical (Greco-Roman-Celtic), and Biblicals (Egypt, Hebrew, Philistine, Lybian, Nubian, etc.).  I have a lot that are still unpainted, but will probably begin to cull them soon.

Anybody interested in 100  or so 1/72 scale Vikings?

Some time I’ll figure out exactly how many different DBA armies this represents.   Going by the rule of thumb that you need about 50 figures per army, that’s 47 armies.  But of course I make a lot of my chariots do double duty in various armies so I don’t think I could really field that many “legal” armies at once.  Still, sounds like I could run a tourney if I had enough table space and terrain.

Published in: on April 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm  Comments (4)  
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Quantity has a quality all its own

Just showin’ off this shelf for minis my buddy Jeff made for me about 15 years ago…


Click to embiggen!


(The camera is crooked, not the shelf!)  That’s almost a dozen DBA armies (Carthage, Republican Rome, Early Imperial Rome, Spartan, Macedonian, Achaemenid Persian, Classical Indian, Aztec, and Conquistador…with enough extras to convert the Spartan army into pretty much any other ancient Greek army, and the Macedonians into any of the Hellenistic successor states, and enough Early Imperial Romans to have a civil war…).

Here’s a closeup of some of the Imperial Romans — mainly Airfix and ESCI 1/72s.  The Airfix are recast by HaT Industry, and the ESCIs are recast by Italieri.   I sure wish more old D&D figures were still in production!

These are some HaT Greek hoplites.  I gave them pikes rather than spears, to fill in the ranks of later Hellenistic armies — I already have dozens and dozens of spearmen from Zvedza and Atlantic (recast by Nexxus).

Anyway these pictures are a few weeks old — I’ve since put most of these back in their boxes and put out all my painted D&D plastics (not WotC pre-painted figures, but things like Citadel plastics, DragonStrike!, HeroQuest, and Descent minis, and that sort of thing.)

Anyway I readily admit that I am not exactly painting to “professional” standards, but hey, this represents less than 1/4 of my painted 1/72 historicals (not shown: Celts, ancient Germans, Medievals for the 100 years war and the first five Crusades, Mongols, Japanese Samurai, ancient Egyptians, Hittites, Elamites, Bedouins, Early Hebrews, Mittani, Assyrian, Nubians, Lybians, etc.)

The post’s title is a famous remark attributed to Napoleon.

Published in: on October 13, 2010 at 4:44 pm  Comments (2)  
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The army of Robilar

The “Lord of the Green Dragons” blog has a series of posts going which detail the armies of certain Greyhawk notables, including Rob Kuntz’s character Robilar.

In case you’re wondering what his army might look like (if I fielded it anyway), I think something like this (as always, click to embiggen.  Sorry for the blurry images, I didn’t want to spend too much time on this and rushed through):


Published in: on March 2, 2010 at 3:00 am  Comments (6)  
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Armies page

Back when I had a web site through a previous ISP, I posted a number of armies I made for the game DBA, in 1/72 scale plastics, mainly because they were largely conversions of other figures.  You could probably build the same armies in plastics without conversions nowadays, because there has been a major proliferation of 1/72 figures in the past five years or so.   But at the time, building anything other than Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and medievals was all but impossible without conversions.  Anyway, because I noticed a few sites are still tryingto link to those pages, I thought I’d repost them here in a new page.

Published in: on September 17, 2009 at 12:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Work progresses on the mythology project

I’ve got about 1/2 of the mythological figures painted, although I haven’t sealed any of them yet.  I’ll try to get some pics up.  They have been pretty easy to paint, because they are not as three-dimensional as lead/tin figures would be (plastics are generally made in rigid metal molds, while metal figures usually are cast in rubber molds, so it is possible to have more complex shapes).  They’ve been glued to steel washers so their bases are more uniform and so they have a bit more heft and stability.  Being soft plastic, I’ll need to seal them with something that will keep some flexibility, like white “tacky” glue, and maybe top coat that with matte medium.

Published in: on September 9, 2009 at 12:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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