Spartan Hoplite Finished!

Well, after painting in a few irregular sessions over the past few weeks, here is the finished Spartan Hoplite in 54mm.

54mm in all its glory.
54mm in all its glory.
A view of the shield.
A view of the shield.

Spartan Hoplite WIP (+1)

Osprey Elite Warrior Series.
Osprey Elite Warrior Series.

Well, I promised everyone I would keep them up to date on my progress with the 54mm Spartan Hoplite I had bought from Tin Soldier Miniatures.  So on Sunday I had a couple of hours free to put some more work in and this is where I currently am.

I am hoping to get some free time this week and hopefully finish by this weekend.  I am really enjoying this scale and I am pretty sure I will be painting this scale much more often now.


54mm 4th Century BCE Spartan Hoplite (WIP)

Osprey Elite Warrior Series.
Osprey Elite Warrior Series.

It has been a few months since my last post, I wish I could blame my distractions on either Grad School, Work or family commitments, but the truth is I have been somewhat lazy.

I recently found and purchased some 54mm models from Tin Soldiers .  I have been wanting to make the transition to larger models for some time now and decided to finally take the plunge.  The last large scale (above 28mm) model that I painted must have been more than 10 years ago, and that was for Inquisitor– you know, the 40k game with crap rules and great models.

So I decided to jump in with a unarmored Spartan Hoplite, wearing only a pilos helmet- fairly typical in the 3rd – 4th Century BCE- and before the adoption of Macedonian equipment and tactics in 225 BCE.  I guess I was inspired by the Osprey book cover.

Unpainted MiniatureThis first picture is of the unpainted, unprimed model- just the way it came out of the package.  I was impressed at the level of detail and the lack of flash or other casting imperfections that are fairly common with metal models.  The metal is rather soft- not hard like pewter, but unless you drop it, it should hold up well.  For $10 you really can’t beat the quality.

PrimedAfter some very minor touch ups with a file the model was ready to go.  The first step in painting- which any experienced modeler will tell you is actually the second step- right after clean up- is priming the model.  I didn’t do anything special, I used Armory Brand white primer straight out the can.  It covered well and brought up some of the details- which were really stunning.

I then let the model dry for a couple of days- the first couple of hours were under my heat/drying lamp.

Flesh WorkThe next step- and actually the first time I got to put a paint brush onto the model- I started with the flesh.  Now I used a 5 step process for speed, and overall effect:

#1 Paint all the flesh area(s) with your desired flesh tone.

#2 Use a dark wash (I used AP Strong Tone) and allowed it to dry.

#3 Go back and repaint all but the deepest area(s) the original flesh tone- this is a shading step.

#4 Then wash the painted areas with a thinned (50% water) mix of AP Soft Tone- and allow to completely dry.

#5 Pick out area(s) for final highlight effect using original flesh tone- it is pretty fast and quick and doesn’t require too much technical skill (like wet-blending) or knowledge with a color pallet.  I estimate my total time in the model thus far is less than 2-3 hours.

I will keep you all up to date.

Flemish Army for Lion Rampant

lion rampant cover
Cover of Lion Rampant

Lion Rampant in 28mm.

With the release this past week of Daniel Mersey’s new set of rules for Medieval Wargaming- it’s time to put together a new army.

A long and detailed look a the rules leaves so much up to the individual player that some choices and selections can become very troublesome.  The real struggle is to design a force based on an actual historical army, while keeping some level of tactical flexibility and variation to be fun.

Flag of Flanders

As I am still inspired by my recent trip to Europe and wanting to capitalize on my trips to Liege, Rochefort and Bastogne- I have decided to put together a Flemish Army.  And before the Geography Society Members get upset, I know that Flanders is actually in Northern Belgium.  So what will my actual force look like?


Army- Defenders of Flanders

2 Units of Foot Serjeants

2 Units of Crossbows with Pavise

1 Unit of Mounted Serjeants

Now all that is left is to start painting (all 54 models).


Western Knights

Knights Front ViewA key part of my Later Byzantine Army is the inclusion of Western Knights.  Keeping with the WAB A0A2 lists, these ‘Western Knights’ are relatively generic in WS and Armor for mounted troop types armed with lances.

When doing my historical research, the few things that were impressed upon me was many ‘Western Knights’ in Byzantine service Side View 02were more akin to Mercenaries than they were to any Knightly Order or Household Cavalry which originated in Western Europe.

Much of the equipment looks like a mixture of what would be typical for a Byzantine Cavalryman and a Frankish Knight or Sergeant.  So using Crusader miniatures, I mixed in both Early Medieval Spanish with Norman troops.  It got me close to the look I Side View 01was wanting, but still being easily identifiable as ‘Non-Byzantines.’

Again, these miniatures were painted using Army Painter brand paints and washes.  Little Big Men Studios decals and banners were added after they were done.  Here they are for your review.


Byzantine Heavy Infantry

Byzantine Heavy InfantryCAM00449I don’t know if it has been procastination, work-related distractions or equal portions of both, but I am still working towards completion of my army for the upcoming T3 WAB Championships in Koblenz, Germany- I sometimes think I will be finishing my remaining figures right at the wire.

These Byzantine heavy infantry were painted using Army Painter brand paints, then a heavy wash of AP soft tone.  After they were each dry, a few highlights were added.  Nothing fancy here, just trying to have them match figures that were painted over 2 years ago using a similar method.

The project was aided by the use of Little Big Men Studios decals on the shields and banner.

Small (15mm) Break- Some DBA Trojans

Earlier today, I took a break from my 28mm Byzantine Army to work on a template (for later production) for my DBA Trojans.  It was a good break from the endless painted to be able to work on a single unit.

So I decided to complete an entire stand of Magister Militum Trojans, some excellent looking figures.  I couldn’t stand the look of the Essex models and I am very glad I was able to get these instead.  Well, not much to say other than I based coated them and washed them with Army Painter Soft Tone wash.

View of miniatures without shields attached.
View of miniatures without shields attached.
Alternate View without Shields
Alternate View without Shields

So after some they were done to this stage, I then painted the cow-hide shields separately.  Again, I used AP Soft Tone on the shields and then attached them with some Super Glue Gel- Which is one of my favorites for small bits and pieces.


So I finished them off and added a few highlights before spraying with dullcote
So I finished them off and added a few highlights before spraying with dullcote
Alternate View of Finished Stand.  AP Jungle Tuft for greenery.
Alternate View of Finished Stand. AP Jungle Tuft for greenery.

Ready, Aim, Fire!

Well, it is time to finish of the ground troops.  So I added 10 Psiloi Archers and 2 Light Bolt Throwers* with crew (4).  Under the rules in WAB, the Later Byzantines do have a wide selection of missile troops, but my experience with WAB has led me to form the solid opinion that it is highly improbable that you can ever shoot an enemy off of the table.  My tactics should encourage an opponent to make the first moves on the battlefield and allow me to fight in a more defensive or counter-attack based game.

All of these troops are painted and finished the same way for speed.  I used white Armory Brand Primer, followed by flat colors (all of which are Army Painter Brand Paints):  Dragon Red, Skeleton Bone, Leather Brown, Oak Brown (on the bows), Barbarian Flesh,  Black and Plate Mail.  Then washing the whole model in AP Soft Tone Wash- simply amazing!   Allow it to thoroughly dry and then touch up the white, metal and red (with Pure Red).  The models were based with sand, then Desert Yellow followed by a dry brush of Skeleton Bone.  The grass is AP Jungle Tuff.    The red line effect is achieved by using a red Sharpie Brand Micro-Pen. Sealed with Dullcote.  Total time from beginning to end- 9-10 hours (2 days).   Here they are for your review.

Byzantine Bolt Thrower & Psiloi Archers.
Byzantine Bolt Thrower & Psiloi Archers.

*= Bolt Throwers (not crew) had been previously painted and is part of my EIR Roman Army.  Bolt Throwers are from Warlord Games.

Byzantine Psiloi (Crossbows)

In the seemingly never-ending quest to finish 3000 points of Later Byzantines for the Worlds WAB GT in August, I have finished another 26 Byzantine Crossbowmen.

I am trying to keep with a color theme of simple white for levy/skirmishers, I added accents of red.  Well this is quick and simple, primers, base colors, AP Soft Tone wash and then some white touch-up work afterwords.  Sealed with Dullcote.

Here they are for your inspection and review.

26 Crossbowmen.
26 Crossbowmen.

Psiloi 2Psiloi 3