Archive | March 2014

Shazam!

So a few new Persian models have been painted. As usual, I kept with the low key colour-scheme that defines this army.

Wargames Factory Numidians as Persian Archers

Wargames Factory Numidians as Persian Archers

Ok, so the first line is absolute sarcasm.  In fact, as my wife saw these particular models she was trying tactfully to tell me I was off my rocker.  I believe her words were something along the lines of “Ummm, shouldn’t they be a bit more, how do I say this…subdued?”

The answer I gave her wasn’t really satisfactory until I showed this picture to her:

No, Ibrahim, I have never heard of "colour-blind".  Who was asking if all Persians have this?

No, Ibrahim, I have never heard of “colour-blind”. Who was asking if all Persians have this?

The small unit of archers was maybe a bit too vibrant.  But, since it is colourful with the right colours it should work.

Wargames Factory Numidians

Wargames Factory Numidians

Wargames Factory Numidians

Wargames Factory Numidians

The archers do seem a bit flamboyant even beside the sparabara.  I am not sure if it is the smaller base (and less ground colour) or just my garish choice of colours.  Either way, this particular unit is one of two options, one that won’t see a lot of play.

All models Wargames Factory

All models Wargames Factory

A bit more drab is the second unit of psiloi.  I opted for Arab nomads.  I had it pointed out afterwards that Arabs would wear pants due to blowing sand.  Oh well, they stand out for not looking like an acid trip.

Wargames Factory Numidians with a Persian head.  Psiloi.

Wargames Factory Numidians with a Persian head. Psiloi.

Wargames Factory Numidians with a Persian head.  Psiloi.

Wargames Factory Numidians with a Persian head. Psiloi.

Still, my other psiloi unit is not as garish and bright.  These two units seemed to absorb light after taking pics of the archers above.

A comparison of both psiloi.  All models Wargames Factory.

A comparison of both psiloi. All models Wargames Factory.

Also getting some attention was my unit of Spear.  Now, I wasn’t sure what the spear could represent.  In the later Achaemenid Persians the spear would be the Immortals.  During this period, it is almost 100% that Immortals were sparabara (at least in my readings).  So the spear would likely be Greek subjects/mercenaries.  Or, I also thought that Phoenicia was conquered by the Persians by this point.  So, using the Numidian helmets and Persian spears, I present Phoenician hoplites:

 

Wargames Factory Numidians as Spear.

Wargames Factory Numidians as Spear.

Wargames Factory Numidians as Spear.

Wargames Factory Numidians as Spear.

Although a bit crude, I am happy with the shield insignias.  The left hand shield is…I have no idea to be honest.  I was trying to do laurels, but after doing one I thought it looked a bit rough.  But I thought, who said all shields were done by artists.  It looks striking and across the table it looks good.

Also completed were the unit of Auxilia.  A combination of Persian and Numidian parts, I think this unit looks very unique and striking.

Wargames Factory miniatures.  Auxilia.

Wargames Factory miniatures. Auxilia.

Wargames Factory miniatures.  Auxilia.

Wargames Factory miniatures. Auxilia.

Together they look like a nice contrast.

Wargames Factory miniatures.

Wargames Factory miniatures.

And of course the obligatory group shot.

All miniatures Wargames Factory.  6 units of a Persian Army.

All miniatures Wargames Factory. 6 units of a Persian Army.

All miniatures Wargames Factory.  6 units of a Persian Army.

Point the way to the Greeks!

In all, that is 7 of the 13 units for the army complete.  I know the skin is rough, and I will go back to do a wash or inking at a later date to make the models pop a bit more.

Now the weird bit of trivia: what does Shazam have to do with Persians?

It can be a very complex answer or very simple, but either way, hopefully something here inspired you today.

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Random Pictures

After a review of my miniatures with one of the wife’s friend’s the other day, I realized I don’t have very many pictures of some of my better work.

Without digging around too much, I present some of my favorite miniatures and the reasons why.

Rackham Cynwall Azure Hunter

Rackham Cynwall Azure Hunter

 

Cynwall Azure Hunter

Cynwall Azure Hunter

Ages ago now it seems, I played Confrontation on a regular basis.  My wife started playing too and seemed to really like the Cynwall army I had.  I added a few more figures to give her a bit of diversity.  Since she was playing with the largely unpainted army, I gave her the chance to choose the colours.  She wanted black and red, so this was the first test on the scheme.

Very simple but contrasting.

Rackham Drune Kelt Archer

Rackham Drune Kelt Archer

Rackham Drune Kelt Archer

Rackham Drune Kelt Archer

Although my goblin army was the one of my favorite armies, the Drunes saw more use.  Mostly because most folks were tired of their heroes being beaten-up by angry samurai Yoda’s, and said they found the Drunes more fun to play.  I like this model as the subtle wet-blending on the flesh came out beautifully.  The dried undead arms provide a nice contrast.  Sadly my photography has lost most of the flesh details.

Rackham Drune Kelt Persecutor

Rackham Drune Kelt Persecutor

Rackham Drune Kelt Persecutor

Rackham Drune Kelt Persecutor

While not as well painted, this fellow (and his two brothers in arms) were the bane of my opponents.  While other models fought better or had nasty tricks to stay alive after otherwise fatal blows, these guys were all around tough and often over-looked as less intimidating.  I am happiest with the hide as I did some blotching and fading reminiscent of an old fur throw we had over my couch as a kid.

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Now this one is completely different.  Years ago my wife played role-playing games and one of her favorite characters was a lizard ninja.  I decided to make the miniature for her as a birthday gift.

This was converted from a Gamesworkshop lizardman to get the final product.  The lizard has skin folds between the limbs like a flying squirrel, a backpack, and a three-piece rod.  This was one of my first really involved conversions as it included sculpting an arm, adding the ninja wraps (forgive my ignorance on the name for the wrappings), the backpack, the wings, a frilled mane,  matching the scales on the rest of the body, and of course breasts.  I know, if humanoid reptilian critters existed they likely wouldn’t have mammary glands, but it helps identify as a female.

Not a fantastic model, but when people ask what I do with my toy soldiers, this is what she goes for.  In fact, she has told me this was the best gift she has ever received.

Hopefully something here on my memory lane inspired you today.

Hordes without number…

Ok, maybe that is a bit of exaggeration, but I have been able to chip away at a couple of more units despite being busy with work and kids these past couple weeks.

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Still needing a bit of touch-up, the first sparabara now has the Immortals to stand beside.  I am thinking I might go back and do a wash of the flesh to make it pop a bit more.  From more than arm’s length, I think they look good.  Miniatures Wargames Factory Persians.

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And here is the first psiloi finished.

Also Wargames Factory miniatures, these were out of the box Numidians.

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Now before anybody jumps the old argument that Numidians were not black, I am using this kit to reflect the other N-word: Nubians.  Or to be more precise: Meriotic Kush.  The yellow/orange fabric and iron spear-tips give that away.  While they paid tribute to the Persians and did ally with them, Meriotic Kush was independent of the Persians.  Plus it gives me a chance to diversify the army and give the varied look and feel I want.

I know most models of the Kushites show “savage barbarians” in fur loin-cloths but I am not convinced that is accurate.  Archeology points to a culture based on trade and that was very wealthy due to exchange of rare commodities including iron.  But that will likely be a more in-depth rant at a later date: I intend to collect a Meriotic Kush army once I decide on the models to use.  The Perry Madhist Revolt have my eye more than the Warlord Games Kushite miniatures.  And of course Aventine elephants are just amazing.  In the end I am certain I will use a bit of everything, including the always useful Wargames Factory Numidian range.

Hopefully something here inspired you today, if nothing else a chance to browse for information on historical cultures.

Sparabara

Realizing I could be creative and not stick to the monotonous assembly line of colours most units require, the Persians got a bit of paint.

So far I have just one stand…well not finished but passable.

DSCF6253

As this shows there are some touch-ups and the base isn’t completed.  I may do a wash over the fabrics to make the colours a bit more muted.

But I had some fun making the various colours.  My intent is every unit will be different in theme using a few colours to avoid being too busy and causing ocular essanguination – aka bleeding eyes.  If you are unfamiliar with this condition I invite you to Google Slaaneshi Noise Marines.  Future colour themes will include red, yellow, orange or green.  One unit will sport the common red and yellow shields often depicted in artwork.

All miniatures are Wargames Factory.  For those looking to collect Early Achaemenid Persians (even later Achaemenid Persians) the 12 figs for less than $3 (USD) is a fantastic deal.

And a few more pics showing the unit from different angles:

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Although the patterns are a bit crude, the effect is quite good, especially when viewed from a distance.

I have started some crude blocking out for my Immortals too:

Immortals from the historical documentary 300.

Immortals from the historical documentary 300.

Oh wait, mine aren’t quite that historically accurate:

DSCF6256

I intend to make the pants and belts white and keep the head-dress in black.  Very crudely blocked out with only the robes near completion.  I figured these would be a pretty flashy unit.  Not only do they wear purple robes but they even have the wealth to use purple dye on their spara.

Historical fact:  Purple dye was highly prized in ancient times.  It was difficult to make and the secret to the process was held almost entirely by Phoenician craftsmen.  The dye making process was apparently lengthy and difficult.  So the price of dye reflected this, and some nations disallowed purple for all but royalty.  As a result Phoenicia was very wealthy and when captured, the dye makers moved to the colony of Carthage – but that is another story.  There seems to be a link between the Immortals and purple, which seems logical: they were a royal bodyguard.  In relative terms, the tribute provided by Phoenicia may have included dye which would be even more valuable than the soldiers submitted by other nations.

In contrast, the colours of orange, blue, yellow, red and green were fairly common in Achaemenid Persia.  This is evident by the mosaics and pottery images found.  The logic for this is sound: if it was easy enough to make you could use it on paint AND clothes.

Hopefully something here inspired you today, if nothing else you have a few facts to wiki on ancient dyes.

By Taoutis!

A package arrived a couple of weeks back loaded down with the celt models I had ordered.

That is one giant stack of sprues.

That is one giant stack of sprues.

Is that a skirt?

Is that a skirt?

So from this massive collection of miniatures I was determined to build one massive celt army that could be fielded as either:

Ancient Brittons

Gauls

Galatians.

Historically these were all tribes very similar (in fact Galatians were Gaulish mercenaries who came to fight near Greece and settled down.

Before I get too far into the model shots, I do want to comment on Wargames Factory.  They have had some pretty harsh reviews in the past.  Considering these are some of their oldest kits, I can see where some criticism would come from.  From the pictures the softness of some detail is apparent.  Some poses are a bit unnatural, and the selection of arms presents a limited selection of variation.

Britton slingers (Psiloi).  The soft and crisp contrast is evident here.

Britton slingers (Psiloi). The soft and crisp contrast is evident here.

Now, here is my reality check for all of that.  They are the cheapest celt models available.  The quality is not terrible, but if I was going for up-close hero level painted miniatures, I would have gotten maybe 10-15 that could present that good quality.  However, for the price and the fact they will represent rank and file troops…no issues.

On seeing these models, I think it is worth saying the Persian range and Numidian models by Wargames Factory are much better and closer in quality to the Warlord Games miniatures I have seen.

But enough of my ramblings, you are here for the pictures.

Wargames Factory plastic celt chariot.  This is one of 3 chariots I will be building for the various armies.

Wargames Factory plastic celt chariot. This is one of 3 chariots I will be building for the various armies.

Chariot from the obverse.  The halters and yoke are detailed and cry-out for the attachment of reins.

Chariot from the obverse. The halters and yoke are detailed and cry-out for the attachment of reins.

Wargames Factory Celt Cavalry.  In different armies these can count as either cavalry or light horse.  There will be one more unit of cavalry that will be a general option.

Wargames Factory Celt Cavalry. In different armies these can count as either cavalry or light horse. There will be one more unit of cavalry that will be a general option.

The four units of psiloi that could potentially be used in the armies.  The metal model is Warlord Games, all others Wargames Factory.

The four units of psiloi that could potentially be used in the armies. The metal model is Warlord Games, all others Wargames Factory.

The fellow on the right is armed with rocks.  Very evocative of the celts.  Not my idea, something blatantly stolen from some greek psiloi I have seen online.

The fellow on the right is armed with rocks. Very evocative of the celts. Not my idea, something blatantly stolen from some greek psiloi I have seen online.

The celtic hordes.  All plastic models Wargames Factory, metal miniatures by Warlord Games.

The celtic hordes. All plastic models Wargames Factory, metal miniatures by Warlord Games.

A closer look at the hordes.  All plastic models Wargames Factory, metal miniatures by Warlord Games.

A closer look at the hordes. All plastic models Wargames Factory, metal miniatures by Warlord Games.

In total, the various armies can employ up to 10 units of warbands (including a general option).  As a result, the raving barbarians took most of the work.  I did try to be creative and dynamic with the miniatures so the overall horde of warbands does not look uniform.

Warband general - Boudicca of course.

Warband general – Boudicca of course.

The final tid-bit from this is size comparison.  I have heard many comparisons of the size of these miniatures but no pictures were evident:

Wargames Factory and Warlord Games celts beside Games Workshop Lord of the Rings Easterlings.

Wargames Factory and Warlord Games celts beside Games Workshop Lord of the Rings Easterlings.

Easterlings/celts from a  different angle.  Notice the base height difference.  The models are within a couple of millimetres of height, enough to be justified as tall/short individuals.

Easterlings/celts from a different angle. Notice the base height difference. The models are within a couple of millimetres of height, enough to be justified as tall/short individuals.

Warlord Games Romans beside the fianna giants.  Even accounting for base differences there is almost a scale difference in models.

Warlord Games Romans beside the fianna giants. Even accounting for base differences there is almost a scale difference in models.

Warlord Games celt (metal) vs Warlord games Roman still shows the height difference.  That female looks slight and petite beside the celts but a beefy gal when against the Romans.

Warlord Games celt (metal) vs Warlord games Roman still shows the height difference. That female looks slight and petite beside the celts but a beefy gal when against the Romans.

So this time, I have let the pictures do most of my talking.  I am thinking I will base them as I did the Romans, as I think it might be an easier basing technique to repair if it warps/pops off.  Not all the celts are assembled yet.  The cavalry general and two chariots (including Cu Cuchelain as a general) are still to be assembled.  Painting priority will likely see these guys, but the Persians are calling to me.  And some 40k models.  And those Rackham models.

Hopefully something inspired you today, even if it helped guide you for miniature purchases.