Thursday, 4 March 2010

Greek Command Stand

This photos shows my first Greek command stand for my Spartan allies/mercenaries. All figures have been painted, varnished and glued to the base. I really like how this has turned out but have to admit the photo doesn't really do it justice (the light was very bright plus, it's a little blurry). Interesting modeling idea - the guard on the right has warts on his nose/cheek!)

I've kept the shields blank in keeping with the mercenary idea - making them ideal for use with other armies such as my Greeks, Macedonians and Persians.

The picture is clickable. Feel free to leave any comments or ideas you may have.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

1st Corps Horse Archers

I am pleased to report that the 1st Corps horse archers I received but hadn't seen yet, fit perfectly on their horses! I was very worried they wouldn't, given the previous form with some of my more recent purchases from 1st Corps such as the Spanish cavalry, Macedonian command and elephant crew. This is an example of a fully assembled figure who has also been undercoated:

He's a great looking miniature and is very well sculpted. The 'dip' technique should look great on him! This one did, however, require some time-consuming assembly.

The photo above represents the contents of one of 1st Corps' unit packs of Persian horse archers. You receive enough metal to make up 12 horse archers and enough variety of figure and horse to mean no one model is the same - a great idea in my books. There are a choice of 4 different horse poses and about 8 or so different riders. Some riders do, however, require some extensive assembly which I found to be very time-consuming and rather frustrating! Most require body and legs glueing together (this is to allow more variety of poses) and the quiver and bow and hand need glueing on in most cases. This is fairly straight forward but can get a bit fiddly. The riders do fit onto their mounts very well though, with minimal additional modeling required.

This is a size comparison shot of a 1st Corps horse archer (right) with a Foundry Thessalian cavalry man (left).

The horse archer model weight A LOT less than the Foundry model and as you can see, looks a little smaller than the Foundry.

This photo shows three of the horse archers I'll be painting over the next week or so (along with some spare Thessalian cavalry in the background - these will form the start of my second unit of shock cavalry for the 2000 point army I'm building). I have a lot of work on in the next few weeks or so so I'm not sure how much I will get done on either this project or my Roman project.

Friday, 26 February 2010

More correspondence from 1st Corps

Following their suggestions for modeling the mahout, I contacted 1st Corps again to find out why their riders don't fit their mounts. Here's their reply:

"The elephant driver was designed to fit both the African and Indian elephants, he sits perfectly on the African elephant with his legs. As to the horses, that was a mistake by the designer and it wasn't noticed until all the moulds had been made."

Hope this offers some explanation. It sounds like the crew were designed to be universal but it just happens the mahout fits better on the African elephant. It's a real shame about the horses and spells bad news for all the horse archers I have waiting for me at home.

I'm going home for the day tomorrow so will hopefully get to take a few snaps and might prep and prime a few and bring them back with me to paint!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Advice from 1st Corps RE: Mahouts

I contacted 1st Corps about what they recommended to do when mounting their mahouts and have received a swift response from them.

As I have done, they suggested one possible option is to cut the legs to appear as if their hidden behind the ears but another suggestion they make (and it's a rather ingenious one!) is to bend the legs backwards. If you can't picture this, imagine how your legs look when you're crouched down. This would be a great idea and I'm sure it would work had I tried it, plus this would have preserved the beautifully detailed feet which I've now sadly binned off.

On the topic of horses, Simon recommends using araldite or green stuff to stick the riders to their horses (this is what I will do).

I have also asked for a reasoning behind the lack of cohesion between rider and mounts so hopefully will receive a response in the next few days.

On a more interesting note, viewing figures for this site have gone through the roof! (Not quite sure what's happened there but must have been my posts on Elephants that did it). Whilst views on my Model Roman Army site have plummeted (I guess that's due to a lack of recent posts!).

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Meet Apollonides

This is another 1st Corps figure (who doesn't fit on his horse either!) who I've named Apollonides and he will act as one of the commanders for my Macedonian army. He looks like a tough old general and will be great fun to paint!

I named him Apollonides after a character on the computer game Europa Universalis: Rome who, following the break-up of Alexander's empire, brought the Macedonian empire back to something of its former strength. This empire included all of Greece (excluding Pyrrhus with whom Apollonides decided to ally), Macedonia and the barbarian states to the north. He then proceeded to annex Thrace, Bithynia, Pergamon and Pontus and reclaimed the rest of Asia Minor from the Seleucids and Armenians after a bloody war that ran for 30 years. Apollonides decided to cease his aggressive expansion policy and decided to consolidate his borders, concentrating on the internal affairs of his newly founded empire instead. This is something the Seleucids had failed to do and were now embroiled in a bitter civil war and facing incursions from the Parthians to the East.

It's always fun to give your characters a little background history although this character will probably be fighting alongside a young Alexander during his rise to power, and not following his death - so he's still able to achieve something similar!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Elephants (1)

I've just quickly put the elephant together using blu tack to give an idea of what it will look like when finished! There are some shields included to attach to the tower but I may not fix them on as I quite like the plain look. Please let me know if there is a reason why the shields could or should be attached.

I'm really impressed with this model and am sure it will be a real focal point on the battlefield and a highlight within the army!

I didn't want the pikes to be sticking out all directions or on different sides so I've chosen to mount the crew this way when they're painted, mainly for storage reasons. If they're all facing forward/roughly the same direction, I can easily fit them in the display cabinet or other storage drawer. Plus, the enemy will usually be infront of them!

An archer is also included in the pack of crew but as you can see from the photo above, there isn't room for a 3rd crew member in the tower - it's pretty cramped with two!

I've posted two posts in quick succession here. If you missed the last one, click here to view it.

Modeling Mahouts (1)

I'll do a series of posts detailing the process of modeling this 1st Corps mahout in the hope it offers some help and advice to others thinking of doing the same.

As you can see from the photo below, I've 'amputated' a large portion of the right leg and the left foot in order to get it to fit behind the ears.

It now fits a lot better but looking at the photos, I can see I could probably try and take a little more off here and there to make it an even better fit. It will still need substantial use of 'green stuff', though.

This next shot shows how the leg now fits behind the ear. The foot will need re-modeling with 'green stuff'.

Because I will have to use quite a lot of 'green stuff' around the connections of the mahout and the elephant I'm considering doing all this work and then undercoating and painting the mahout and elephant with them being glued together. Good idea/bad idea?

Next up: a look at what the assembled elephant will look like.


This is the first in a series of posts detailing the assembly of this elephant from 1st Corps. It's a great model, wonderfully proportioned and fits in with other scale models.

There is one problem however, and that is that the mahout doesn't fit on the elephants neck. The ears and feet get in the way as you can see in the picture below. I've emailed 1st Corps to ask what they recommend to do. It's a bit of a shame they can't make figures that fit onto their mounts. The only option I can see is to remove the feet and hide the stumps behind the ears. The only problem is if I go a little over board with the chopping!

The elephant model comes with two trunks, the one pictured and one extended. I thought as this model will be in the heat of battle he'll want to keep his trunk out of the way!

This is a comparison shot between these two Foundry figures, my army and cavalry commanders, and the 1st Corps elephant. It should fit in perfectly with my Foundry Macedonians.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Greek Command for DeanM

This is a photo of the Spartan commander post-dipping, as requested by DeanM. I wasn't going to post anymore photos of him until he was matte varnished and based properly but I guess it's interesting to see what he looks like in a step-by-step process. I'm amazed at just how white the white is! Even after dipping/brushing it on!

I really like the affect the AP has had on the hair. I was a little worried about dry-brushing and the AP as that's how my wolf-skinned Romans are painted (yet to be dipped) but it's reassuring to know that the AP really brings it all out!

All three figures on the command stand will look great in the middle of my Spartan army and I'm really excited to be cracking on with them over Easter. Just need to get a drill to drill out their spear hands!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Spartan Command WIP

This is a WIP shot of my Spartan mercenary general. He'll be based on a circular base with two other figures who I've already finished and are at home, waiting to be based. He's far from finished but I thought you'd like to see what I'm currently working on in the world of the Greeks. I also dry-brushed his hair to make him look a little older and a little more experienced. You have to be a good general if you want to impress potential employers!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Macedonian Phalanx

I found this picture of some Macedonian Phalanx, formed up and ready to receive the enemy. I thought it may be of use to those painting some at the minute. I'd guess they were early Macedonians because of the unusual mix of helmets - not seen that before!

Currently working on - Greek Commander

Saturday, 31 October 2009

BTD Greek Command Stands

I made an order with Black Tree Design some time ago and after nearly 2 months of it not arriving, I decided to cancel. I also made an order for some of their Greek elders to go on my command stands on the day of asking for a refund. They made a mistake with the refund and offered me a free pack of figures for the trouble caused! So I chose one of the Athenian Command packs as they looked a lot like my other Spartans/Greeks and all credit to them, they did a very good job in sending out my second order incredibly quickly and were very apologetic over the previous delay/mess up. Below is a couple of pictures of the figures as i've arranged together with a brief description of each one.

The two figures at the back are BTD Greek elders and the figure at the front is from their Athenian Command pack. I intend to use him as a general and the two elders will act as his advisors. It should be an attractive game piece! Also, I need to cut off the shield nodule on his hand as I don't want him to have a shield as it would obscure his dramatic stance.

This will act as a more ornamental piece on the table top rather than a functional piece representing the oracle used in Warhammer Ancient Battles Alexander supplement. The two figures on the right are Wargames Foundry Spartan figures and the one of the left comes from BTD. I have a good idea for this piece, he looks a little like he's disgusted by the sacrifice of a goat and like he's wrenching! I have a great idea for his facial expression and might blood spatter the boy!

Feel free to leave a comment and i'll get back to you. All pictures are clickable.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Peltasts Update

I've just finished my first base of mercenary Peltasts and I'm quite pleased with them! They're now glued on and just need sanding, dry brushing and flocking/tufting. They've taken much longer than expected to complete. Because of their different colours, I had to keep switching between different pots of paint which was very time consuming. I'm painting four at a time at the minute to ensure each base looks as "together" as possible.

You can see my new technique with the Army Painter Quickshade where i've dipped the figure and then removed the excess with a brush (before I just dipped and left it) which stops it pooling and leaving 'dirty-looking' patches. I was influenced by Saxon Dog's blog which you can find here. He paints his on direct from the tin which is something I will do after this unit (for continuity reasons) and his methods also saves wasting any AP!

The pictures below are clickable. Feel free to leave a comment with any thoughts or suggestions and i'll get back to you.

I got the inspiration for these brightly coloured Macedonian Peltasts from the illustrations in Nick Secunda's book "The Army of Alexander the Great" which is published by Osprey (see picture below).

Thursday, 22 October 2009


Not quite the finished article yet but they're on their way. I spent an hour or so gluing spears and shields in place this morning and I tried to split them into those I would give coloured tunics and those I would give white (7 coloured, 9 white). I've also roughly arranged them on their bases (don't worry! I haven't glued them on) to see which figures go well together and how the spread of colours would look. I was a little worried whether it would look a bit stupid with the colours being different and standing out (I have to admit, I prefer uniformity!) but I think it'll turn out fine, and once the coloured tunics are shaded down, it will look a little more blended and together as a unit.

By this time, Peltasts tended to form up into units, acting more like infantry than skirmishers which I why i've decided to base them this way. I plan to base my Psiloi on four separate bases (each base forms a square the size of two of the smaller bases shown in the photo) to represent their loose skirmish formation.

I hope to finish this unit by Sunday evening and will post a photo or two when they are!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


This is the first of my Spartan allies/mercenaries and to the right of him is the leader of the mercenary peltasts (he's blu tak'd to a base as I plan to base him and his unit on rectangular bases, four to a base). I painted these figures individually to get a feel for the figures before painting the rest of their units. I've used the Army Painter again and as you can see, it's given a great effect on the Spartan's cloak and tunic.

Both figures are from Wargames Foundry and the spear is Gripping Beast.