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.

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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:

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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.

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One response to “Sparabara”

  1. Bob Barnetson says :

    Nice job! I’m working on some Persians myself in 1/72 (opponents for Alexander) and forcing myself to paint with colours I normally avoid (orange, pink, purple, chartreuse). They will be bright!

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