vendredi 30 juin 2017

Late Imperial Roman Army III - The Victores Iuniores

The Auxilia Palatina

The Auxilia Palatina were part of the elite units of the Empire, the Palatini (see my second post related to the Late Roman Army). They were of a higher rank than the Comitatenses who were more ordinary soldiers.

The Victores Iuniores

The Victores Iuniores were an Auxilia Palatina unit. According to the Notitia Dignitatum, they were under the command of the count of Spain, or Comes Hispenias.
Their shield patterns showed a winged Victory, which evocates the name of the unit, Victores.

Note that the picture above mentions the name of the Bructerii, instead of the Victores Iuniores. It seems clear that the monks in charge of the copy of the original roman document made mistakes and that several names have been shifted from their original location (I have to thank Chariobaude who focused my attention on this point - have a look at his blog dedicated to the Late Roman army).

 And here are my interpretation of the soldiers, and of the shield - it was a challenge proposed by Chariobaude in a topic at Benno's Figures Forum.

As usual, hope you like them :)

lundi 5 juin 2017

Late Imperial Roman Army II - The Pannoniciani Seniores

The Palatini

The Palatini were elite units of the Late Roman Empire. They were created by Constantine who needed new elite troops after he disbanded the Praetorian Guard in AD 312 - they supported his rival Maxentius.

There were horse units (called vexillationes), and infantry units called either Legiones Palatini or Auxilia Palatina.

The Legiones Palatini were particularly well equipped troops, and frequently engaged in action. The Notitia Dignitatum (a document  that described the administrative and military organisation of the eastern and western parts of the Empire) recorded 25 Legiones Palatini, 13 in the East, and 12 in the West.

The Pannoniciani Seniores

The Pannoniciani Seniores were a Palatine Legion unit based in the West. They belonged to the Italian army, under the command of the Italian Magister Peditum (master of infantry).

They were the fifth of the twelve western Legiones Palatini. Their shield pattern are shown below (after Luke Ueda-Sarson's pages dedicated to the Notitia Dignitatum):

I mainly used the Late Roman Heavy Infantry set made by Hät to represent this unit, plus a figure from the Late Roman Infantry set by Miniart (the giant one).
The figures are well equipped with large shields and mail shirts, which corresponds with the elite status of the unit.

The command group - note the Draco standard

 And some closeups on the officer: golden helmet, yellow crest and cape to show his rank.

Very colorful unit, a pleasure to paint.

dimanche 4 juin 2017

Late Imperial Roman Army I - The Cataphracts


What we call today the Late Roman Empire lasted from the end of the 3rd century AD to the 5th century AD. It began with the reign of Diocletian, who reorganized the Empire through the system of the Tetrarchy and divided it in two halves, East and West. Each part was ruled by an Emperor with the help of a Caesar.

Statue of the Tetrarchs in Venice - Diocletian on the left

At the end of this period, the western part of the Empire desintegrated, and the Eastern part, with Constantinople as a capital, became the Byzantine Empire.

The Cataphractarii, or Cataphracts

The Cataphractarii were extra heavy cavalry, whose main tactic was the shock charge. This sort of cavalry existed prior to the Late Empire, but their number had considerably increased during the period. Men and horses were covered with armors (lamellar, mail, or both). Cataphracts carried long lances called contus. Most Cataphracts regiments were located in the East, but there were some in the West too.

The minis displayed are Hät figures. They are meant to be based together as Knights for DBA, and I will need to paint another unit.
That's all for today :)

samedi 3 juin 2017

The Phantom Menace

Hi everyone, sorry for the lack of update but the weather is way too good not to live outside. Painting is not a summer activity :)

I added two ghosts to my undead army, and I took a few pictures this morning... hum, it's disturbing to take phantom pictures in summer light !

Anyway, here you are the result.

Two phantoms menacing a wizard... or summoned by him ?

The painting technique I used this time was slightly different from my usual way: no washes at all, I started from a blue base and only painted lighter and lighter layers, adding some white each time.

Figs by Caesar.
Hope you like them :)