mercredi 31 janvier 2018

Mayan slingers

One of the projects of the year is to paint a Mayan army for DBA / AdG (l'Art de la Guerre, a very promising ruleset, I must test it as soon as possible).

I already painted two slingers some time ago, but it was before I learned to use the washes to speed the process of painting. I recently painted a third one with that more recent technique (recent for me, I mean). The result is visible on the pictures below, what do you think ?

In my opinion, the contrast is much better with the new technique, and more efficient in a battle scene.

I can't wait to keep on painting this army: with their colored feathers and their leopard skins, they might become one of the jewels of the collection :), and I would really like to use them against my Aztec army.

Minis by Caesar (the best manufacturer concerning the anatomy), pictures by my daughter Hatshepju !

PS: Oh yes, the plastic plants are a poor attempt at creating a tropical forest atmosphere. I visited Yucatan some years ago, I know what it should look like :)

samedi 27 janvier 2018

Tattooed Germanic warrior

In one of his posts (It'll never happen!!! - I encourage you to read it, a lot of interesting ideas there), our friend Sprinks of Wronghammer opened a discussion about the projects that we would like to do, even the craziest ones :) I will write about my own huge project one of these days, but before, I have to progress in smaller projects to decrease the size of the Big Plastic Pyramid, and the slightly smaller Lead Mountain too.

One of these projects is to paint an Early Germans army, for DBA and AdG.

For the moment, I've painted a few warriors (some of them fighting early imperial Romans last year), including a horn blower (already displayed in 2017), the last of them being a naked tattooed warrior.

The warband so far:

They are a mix of Caesar, Hät and Esci figures. To add some more variety, I also have some Strelets Germans on my workbench.

The front man is a naked warrior, and I must say that, at first, I didn't intend to enlist him in the band. Maybe you wander why ? No, it is not because I have a problem with nudity - I would rather have a problem with weapons but I happen to paint dozens of them, strange isn't it ? ;-)

No, in this case, I have a problem with accuracy. Naked warriors are not unknown in occidental culture, but rather rare nevertheless. If we frequently see naked fighters in Greek and Roman art, it certainly has to do with artistic license, and not always with facts. There are little written accounts about naked warriors. One of the best known testimony is the story of the battle of Telamon (225 BC) by Polybius. The Republican Roman army led by the consuls Gaius Atilius Regulus  and Lucius Aemilius Papus defeated a coalition of Cisalpine Celtic tribes including the  Insubres, Boii and Taurisci. In this battle, the Gaesatae, or Transalpine mercenaries, were said to have fought naked except for their weapons.

In my research, I couldn't find any primary evidence of naked Germanic warriors, although many manufacturers represent some. In the end, I decided to paint my small guy, and to represent him as a berserk, in analogy with later accounts on vikings. And I wished to tattoo him, to give him a magic protection against his enemies' weapons.

This is the result: the tattoos are entirely speculative, an attempt at copying some sort of rune art.

And our guy with his raiding band.

What do you think of him ? Would you have any clue related to naked Germanic warriors ? I need your help on this point. Thank you in advance !

dimanche 21 janvier 2018

Musician of the month: Egyptian drummer

Hi everyone! In this rainy Sunday afternoon, nothing better than to paint a figure related to warmth and sun. I also would like to challenge myself once again (2017 saw a complete failure, only 5 guys instead of 12): to paint a musician each month.

So, a musician under the sun ? The best would be an Egyptian drummer, for my New Kingdom army !

Ecce homo (after a famous Angus McBride illustration, no doubt):

And to show that he doesn't play alone in the desert,  a family picture (me, seating on the left :))

Hope you like him. I must say that the Caesar range is a real pleasure to paint.

mercredi 17 janvier 2018

Late Imperial Romans - DBA army complete

After the Sagittarii, there were only a few men left to paint in order to complete the army: 2 archers (the second Psiloi element), 1 Hunnic rider, and two clibanarii for the command group.

Here they are - first, the command element (3Cv): like the other 3Cv element, they belong to the Equites Constantiani feroces.

The general - a Miniart figure. Not as nice as his Hät comrades, but he'll do the job.

The standard bearer - I appreciated to paint a draco banner .

And here you can see the two Cv elements together.

Next unit, the Huns as LH(figures by Lucky Toys).

And last, the archers (Italeri) to support the Victores Iuniores.

So for DBA, my army is complete, at last !!

Wait, you don't believe it ? You're right, because I am slightly cheating. First, I have to base them all, something I don't like to do, but it is impossible to play without bases. and I also need a base to represent the camp - still looking for a good idea for it, any suggestion ?

That is not all. I also wish to test another promising ruleset named l'Art de la Guerre (AdG) - I have recently discovered that the author probably lived only a few kilometers from here (Lyon), but I really don't know him :)

Although the rules recommend to play with more minis than I usually paint (between 20 and 30 elements for a budget of 200 points), I've read that a good way to start is to use 100 pts armies, which more or less corresponds to the 12 elements required in DBA. And the bases are compatible, that's great.

So, for a 100 pts AdG Late Roman army, I just need to paint:
- a general element, ie a general and staff on a particular element (the riders shown above would in this cas be a second heavy cavalry element)
- a bolt thrower with servants (at least two)

It sounds reachable :) But I plan this painting for later, I first need a break from Late Romans !

See you soon.

samedi 13 janvier 2018

Aegir, the Barbarian

Back to Fantasy. My wizard has a fellow adventurer, at last! He probably recruited him in a nomad camp, before the crossing of the Dark Moor, the silent desert of the north, not a place for the living, it is said, not a place for travelers, unless you look for strange things or dreadful ghosts.

Of course Aegir had heard lots of stories and rumors, but in his full strength, he didn't fear anything, any creature, any man, alive or dead. And he loved gold, the gold that was promised after they could enter the sacred place. What was the name, already? Something related to a god with an impossible name, Tukul, or Ktul something... bah, never mind. And the wizard seemed very confident in his own powers...

Maybe he didn't imagine that they could be ambushed by dozens of skeletons so soon! Not so difficult to crush these skulls, but there were so many.

"Hey wizard, I think it's time to use some magic to get rid of them once and for all !" he said, breathing heavily.

"Not yet, not yet! I have to keep my powers intact, so that I can open the door of the sanctuary, for it is protected by a most powerful spell. Why do you think I hired you ? Do your part, Barbarian, and earn your gold!"

The Barbarian comes from the Dark Alliance range. The wizard is a conversion (already shown here), and the skellies are Caesar minis.

Hope you like them :)

samedi 6 janvier 2018

Late Imperial Roman Army VI - The Equites primo sagittarii

Next step for my DBA Late Imperial Romans, I have painted two horse archers for a LH element.
Here they are:

 Once again, this army is intended to belong to the western part of the empire. I first wanted to find a horse archers unit assigned to the Gallic command (as for the Equites Constantiani feroces), but after looking at the Noticia Dignitatum, it seems there is none !
So I looked for a unit in the western part, and found some assigned to the Comes Africae, such as the Equites primo sagittarii (or first (unit) of horse archers), and their shield is this one:

The first shield copy comes from this document, the Bodleian manuscript, it is the second from the left in the second row:

Some more pictures of the minis. The shield identified above is to be seen on the first photo - I found it difficult to paint regular circles on so small a shield :) You may also notice that I have tried to paint better horses than usual, please tell me what you think of them.

Here you can see them scouting in front of the cavalry line:

Hope you like them :)

jeudi 4 janvier 2018

Late Imperial Roman Army V - The Equites Constantiani feroces

Hi, and happy new year everyone!

I have not been very active on the blog, but I managed to paint a little more at the end of 2017 and the first days of 2018, and I have been brave enough to paint horses (something I am usually afraid of :) ).

Last september, I showed the first rider of a unit of equites in this post. I added three more riders, so that I have an complete element, and the first rider of the command element - I will add a banner and a general.

Here you are the minis (Hät Late Roman Medium cavalry):

If you remember, I wanted to represent a western Late Roman army, so I chose a unit from the gallic command of the master of Horse in the roman army. This unit are the Equites Constantiani feroces, the ninth of the vexillationes comitatenses (i.e. a cavalry unit of the field army) in the Magister Equitum's cavalry roster (see Luke Ueda-Sarson's website for explanations about units listed in the Notitia Dignitatum).

Their shield pattern is as follow:

And this is how I painted it on oval shields:

These men are part of a regular unit, so they are well equipped, but not too uniformed and I tried to paint them with variants in color and equipment.

Hope you like them :)

Next unit very soon: the horse archers, or Equites sagittarii (this blog will soon become a Latin course !).