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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Carthaginian command!

With the Lusitanians under control it is time to trim out the horse and riders from the same Carth. command set. The Cv Gen is minimum requirement for any Later Carthaginian, no matter which field of operation is imagined.

Again, the poor mould fit is an issue. There are some very uneven surfaces to deal with. The horses are relatively chunky - possibly due to mould fit - and the plastic is relatively hard. What started as a sharp general purpose scalpel is a rather dull roughing-out blade by the time I'm finished!

Assembly required!!!!

Although the standard-bearer is all one piece, the other two minis I will need require a shield and an implement to be added. I don't know what other modellers use but these days, on 'normal' HaT plastic, I use contact glue (superglue) reinforced by PVA and when that is dry, ensure the join gets plenty of base varnish. I use good sturdily-sprung clothes pegs to enforce the shield join, they really did not want to stay on.

The seat of each rider is loose, so I've drilled out horse and rider and use wire as a peg fit, then glue. Since I plan to use the same 'black base' approach (as I did for the previous element) I will be painting rider and horse already assembled.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Lusitanians, truly

The next element for my II/32 Later Carthaginians is out of HaT's 'Carthaginian Command and Cavalry'. It's four minis - two models - that are quite obviously sculpted from the Lusitanians in Head's Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars, figures No. 113 and 114. The catch is that the sculptor decided to give them more generic heads. So they don't look particularly Lusitanian any more. If I was still a conversion enthusiast I would have done a Herr Sabel and swapped some heads back onto them, but these days I try to avoid unnecessary conversion. So they all have generic Montefortino helms.

The next little problem is that HaT provide two varieties of shield, but both are Hoplon size. Lusitanians apparently only use the caetra, or buckler. I solve this by heading down to my spares stash and grabbing Zvezda Russian Knights shields for the 'standing with javelins' mini (fig. 114 in the source) and an Esci barbarian round shield for the 'cloaked, arm upheld' mini (fig 113). They are still too big but now look somewhat believable.

I don't usually include any 'figure review' in these entries but I thought I should remark that the box I bought is plagued with misaligned mould, which results in uneven joins and requires a lot of trimming. The figures have, for example, thick shoulders where the detail is gone, and uneven helmets that are very hard to re-configure. They paint up well though and paint disguises a lot.

I've been revving up my painting ability by reading through Javier Gomez's Painting Wargaming Figures so I decided to switch techniques 180 degrees and work with black base, base colour/1st highlight/2nd highlight. And a lot of detail on the face. As a result they would go really well with my Marian Romans!

Saturday, October 17, 2015


Wow, after thinking I had this Later Carthaginian side all planned out, I've ended up with so many Numidians I have been forced to order a box of Numidian cavalry so that I can add a II/40 Numidian army as a spin-off. Talk about mission creep!

So yeah, what I had been thinking was, I need a stand or two of African foot that does not look like veterans with looted Roman gear. For battles where perhaps the Carthaginians are campaigning in Spain. But I don't want heavy African foot, I want Numidians.

I ended up with three stands, enough to completely replace my African veterans. (OK they are interchangeable with Carthaginian militia, not veterans...)

In terms of palette, they remain predominantly white. I went for a dirty/homespun look on several, but am not too happy with it. I switched techniques for their eyes, so they don't look like generic European troops.

I've also switched techniques just a little with the basing, adopting more of a 'paint it on' application of the filler I use.

This shot shows basing before any dry-brush and static grass work.

As with my Veteran Africans, I'm too chicken to try a shield design. I do now have LBM transfers, but the Carthaginian version is designed for round shields. So these will probably stay white.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Spanish for Carthaginians

Finishing up the Balearic slinger duo, the Ligurian(?) Caetrati, and a stand of four Spanish/Ligurian Auxilia. I suspect I'll decide to build a lot more once I focus on an Ancient Spanish army but for now that's the minimum needed for my II/32 Later Carthaginians.

Friday, October 9, 2015

II/32 Later Carthaginians

My current project is the II/32 Later Carthaginians, with an emphasis on the Italian adventure, or (a) list if you like. It's part of a wider project: a plan to field these and their Roman enemy, and downstream, some allies for both. I've approached this in an unusually planned way. I'm using HaT minis throughout for example, and (as far as I know) have all of the resources I need before beginning.

I'm using the 3.0 list. Foot requirements are 12 spear minis suited to Liby-phoenicians (pictured above), 4 heavy Spanish foot, 2 light Spanish foot with javelins, and 2 Balaeric style slingers. I've already got plenty of Gallic foot, but will add a number of African (Libyan) foot, so that I can field Carthaginians against Gauls. I'll probably look to add two more Spanish foot elements further down the track.

Army build archives: Post-Mongol Russian morph project

Completed in August 2015: IV/44 Post-Mongol Russians

These are created to work as a morph army, based on Early Russians but swapping out some of the early-style elements for later-style ones, and adding a few more Cv elements. The new Cv are all the beautiful Zvezda Russian Knights.

I should also note that Zvezda also produce an even later set of Russian Cavalry for those looking to stretch this army into the C16. I imagine that one could also mix in later Cossack elements and keep morphing right out to the Great Northern War and other conflicts of the early modern Russian state. 

Here's a close-up showing the earlier army elements at rear and post-Mongol at front.

Finally here's a wide shot showing the full morph:

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Army build archives: Medieval Irish

From July 2015: I built a Medieval Irish army around RedBox's foot of the same name. They have cavalry on the release horizon, but at time of building did not even have a schedule for it. But the LH and the Cav needed for the army are completely different. For LH, I needed barefoot, javelin-hurling, tunic-wearing minis that I could build cloaks, hoods and maybe puffy sleeves on. For Cav I looked for something rather similar to Breton or Norman knights. They all ride unsaddled horses, but the lights are probably little mountain ponies and the Cav, regular size horses.

So what I ended up using was from HaT: except I used some of the last of my old Atlantic 7th Cavalry ponies to provide the very small ponies needed here; and strangely enough, Lucky Toys Hun ponies which were so huge I didn't use most of them for my Huns! LH riders are HaT Moorish riders; Cav riders are HaT El Cid Spanish.

Conversion work: The lights get hoods and cloaks and puffy sleeves, and beard-moustache face hair. The general gets mail skirts added, his pair of riders get puffy sleeves. The Spanish lose their stirrups, of course. All horses get a 'cushion' seat-pad, and lose any girth straps. I extend the saddle blankets back a little too.

During this period my copy of DBA 3.0 arrived and I shifted from a 2.2 army to a 3.0. There was some shuffling around of figures on bases, which was unfortunate but the final result looks pretty good. The Cv appear as the rules suggest, with a well-equipped rider and a couple of support pony-riding types.

As I completed the army, the shift in thinking from 2.2 to 3.0 made me reconsider the foot. I added another Bd element (from the unused RedBox minis) and a number of kerns using Alexander's Light Troops by HaT. (In case you are wondering all the conversion work involving adding clothing and saddle pads was done with Grey Stuff. Fiddly of course, but the big advantage is that once dry it stays how you leave it, and it gives a really good 'drape' for cloaks and sleeves.)