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 !