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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Trimmed out - Numidians

Whew! I kind of impressed myself. Slugging through what felt like a hundred minis, got them done.

The verdict on the Atlantic Egyptians was that they looked a little tall next to the HaT minis, so that meant more use of Alexander's Light Troops, which I will probably regret when I get round to the lighter Greek armies.

Most of the Hannibal's Africans aren't suitable as javelin skirmishers but I will get eight, or four elements, out of the box.

I'm pretty sure about the head-swap for the Blades, or at least four of them. I've found some suitable Atlantic Romans with plumes. We'll see how that goes.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

It might be Numidians

Having assembled a minima of Italian Allies I have the pleasant task of deciding exactly which project to turn to. So many on offer. I may take a photo of the boxes-of-minis box in my basement... let's just say it is on overflow. And that does not count the box of leftovers-but-can-use, or the box of army-assembled-plenty-to-spare. Or the 28mm projects.

OK I'm just depressing myself...

Somewhat to my surprise I find myself going back to the Numidians. The 3.0 list is harsher than the 2.2 list in the sense that what used to be Auxilia are now mostly Psiloi. Or to put it another way, are now more of a Wheelbarrow army. But you get up to 6 LH if you really want, and still has an Elephant option. And it's the latter that probably sells them to me. I only have one army with elephants, after all.

So I work patiently on trimming out.
HaT Elephant: not much to say here. This is the same pack I bought many years ago for Carthaginians and there are still four untouched models plus attendants. Hardish pastic, not a fantastic mould but gets the job done. I'm pretty sure I will keep the war-turret, and will probably use a mini out of Carth. Command box to make the crew appear different.

HaT Hannibal's Africans: for the skirmishers, possibly also the 'Roman trained' blades. Pretty good models in medium plastic, though the shields held side-on are an issue. I can already see myself bringing in a few other skirmish type minis from elsewhere. R Sabel head-swapped to get Roman trained blades and I have a number of old Atlantic Romans left that might be suitable if I want to go down that route.

HaT Numidian Cavalry: I am unlucky with this recent buy. The mould must be the same age as the original pack I bought and is poorly set, meaning a mismatch in halves among some minis. But it provides 12 horse, 12 riders, all looking right for the part.

Carthaginian Command: just a couple of minis as general and Elephant warrior

Spanish Cavalry: two riders, two mounts for the general's guards. I did think about using Italiot horse but I doubt the look.

Possible other sources: I have a couple of Atlantic Egyptian skirmishers left that I can add javelins to, and Alexander's Lights that could be suitable.

At this stage (subject to change) I'm looking at using the 'Africans' in my Later Carthaginians as a morph with this army. There are certainly plenty of minis if I want to double up.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Italian Allies ready

My final choices for the five elements completed are around tuft colour.

Carthaginians: dark winter tuft, suggesting harsh African, Iberian or southern Italian climes
Romans: warm green tuft, suggesting the opulent north, harmonising with Gallic green clump decor

So for the Italian Allies I use both, but dry-brush with yellow:

I plan to add some shield devices to the white-painted shields at some future date, but for now they are ready to join Romans and Carthaginians in the struggle for the peninsula!

Final line-up for Italian Allies

This is how the Italian Allies ended up: no swap-ins at all. My decision was mostly based on the originals being ready to base and the swap-ins from Alexander's Light Infantry not. The other part of the reason is that the latter really need belts to look like Italiots, and I didn't make any. Also, the shield straps look really ugly, I did a poor job there.

So, the 'spear at rest' figure stands with the more active poses, can't be helped. The picture below shows all five elements, ready for flocking to begin.

The final product is:
2x4Ax, looking pretty solid. One element has the oval scuta, the other has the hoplon. Heavily armoured.
2x3Ax, looking as though they all come from one nation. Lightly armoured, armed with spear and javelin.
1x3Cv, all obviously wealthy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Italian Allies - first 4Ax ready

I've got about a dozen minis on the go, and managed to get the first four tacked onto a base. They are the closer-order 4Ax, heavily armored. The HaT minis sport a variety of body armour and shields, this four have oval scuta and bronze back-and-breast protection. Two have the 'triple disc' which my sourcebook says is typical Samnite. Which is a pity because it would have been great to have Samnite shields with Samnite armour. Not to worry, they'll stand happily alongside Roman or Carthaginian allies!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Lights heavy up a bit

I decided to push on with the Alexander's Lights conversion... I added some greystuff greaves (really just the knee, and trimming back the boot laces) and used the same as shield straps, much less hassle than trying to glue the shields on then have them split off at the decal-transfer stage!

The shields come straight from the Italian Allies Foot box, they are smaller than hoplon so probably completely wrong, but they look about right on these lighter types.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Italian Allies trimmed out

The elements that I'll be adding to Polybian Romans and Later Carthaginians are firming up, at least in my mind; and after a couple of evenings' dogged knifework, I have 20+ minis.

HaT's Italian Allies some in two boxes, one for foot one for horse. Both are in a really nice hardness of plastic, not too soft not too hard. I didn't have to swap in a new knife blade. Moulding is average: there are quite a number of minis where there is a distinct space and mould mark. The exception seems to be the horses, which were really easy and clean. I may have been lucky on that one, the riders were average.

The foot box supplies you with a variety of potential armies, all viewable in WRG's Armies of Macedonian and Punic Wars. If I go down the road of building full Italiot armies, I'll need more boxes. Samnites in particular would need two boxes, minimum, based on the DBA3.0 lists.

Some foot poses are quite placid looking. Their role with the Romans requires them to be Auxilia, so standing with spear at rest is not a great look. I trimmed out four of 'Alexander's Light Infantry' at the same time, in case I decide to swap for more active-looking Auxilia!

HaT offer spare sword and spears and a few spare shields, and of course other HaT boxes have the same, so there are options especially for Hoplon-toting types.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Italian Allies

I'm beginning work on HaT's Italian Allies, for both Hannibal's Carthaginian's (horse) and Polybian Roman (foot).

The Italian Allies Cavalry is a dream to prep for the horse but awkward for the foot. The horse are really well moulded.

Prepping the foot I can see I'll need another pack if I want to end up with a Samnite army, but the single pack will do for Apulian, Campanian, etc. They aren't great but not horrible either.and the plastic is perfect - not soft, but not too hard.

I get through all three horse minis plus a couple foot, then superbowl 50 calls. Hope to finish the remaining foot soon!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

II/33 Polybian Romans, awaiting Allies

So with the choice made, I place Gamer's Grass of 'strong green' shade. Polybian Romans II/33 on the 3.0 edition have:
1 x General (Cv)
1 x equite (Cv)
4 x hastati/principes (Bd)
2 x triarii (Sp)
2 x velites (Ps), and
a choice of  2 x either hastati/principes (Bd) or allies (3/4Ax)

By adding the command/colour party minis I've ended up with a full-roman option. I will still be creating some allies for them!

 In this option one command/colour party element stands at rear with triarii, the other stands with the principes in the second line.

Last legionarii based!

Woohoo! I guess all the bits of painting reached that critical point, like a landslide or avalanche, it all rolls down to completion today! The heat helps me as the caulk dries swiftly, and I get the flock on last thing.

Now I have all Roman elements. The final basing item is the stands of grass - and I have yet to decide what colour I'm going with.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Days of summer

The return of hot weather has the painting on hold. There are eight drab-looking basecoated legionaries looking sad, and four pretty near complete.

I got four 'standing at attention' triarii and four hastati on bases, waiting for more base covering. The triarii are 'spares' that can swap out with one of my command elements.