Sunday, 21 September 2014

More Italian Allies.

Plodding quietly through these chaps; four down, 56 to go.

Need to come up with some suitable designs for the shields, plain red is a bit flat.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

First Ever Eye'talian.

It's happened again I'm afraid. I've been distracted from finishing a current, well relatively speaking project by something new & shiny. Though in mitigation I have finished a small Theban command vignette:

On reflection it looks more like idle chit-chat than command, but that's what happens when blokes congregate. At least it does with my 'blokes' & I suspect human nature hasn't changed greatly over the millennia.
The current new & shiny is this, courtesy of Victrix Miniatures:

Of course I could have bought either of the two Roman sets also released,  but true to form the most obscure boxed set of the three was my purchase of choice. Below is the first ever Ancient Italian miniature I have ever painted:

Have to say, seriously impressed with the quality of this set. Slightly smaller ( about 2mm to eyeline) than the hoplite figures but the facial features and general anatomy are much more refined. Fit of parts very good & mould lines acceptable; but will need a very fresh scalpel blade to remove satisfactorily, otherwise plastic seems to pick up under the edge - though a dab of liquid poly' will cure this.
Take into account as well that for £ 30 you get 60 figures.
Only minor criticisms: feathers on helmets quite fragile, though this could equally apply to white metal figures & removing hilt from scabbarded gladius takes a fine touch so as not to destroy armour detail ( see above miniature).
Overall impression 9 out of 10.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Back to the paint bench & a short discourse on archery.

After a fairly lengthy lay-off from doing anything related to miniature gaming the shortening days have forced me indoors of an evening & back to the painting desk. Firstly managed to complete the desert dwelling featured last time:

Thanks to Dean M for suggesting a white dry brush, really helped what was previously a very uniform finish.
Currently on the painting desk are the remaining Victrix hoplites from the box of Thebans, well actually hoplites with boetian helmets:

Not actually seen any evidence that hoplites even wore boetian helmets, but I'm sure someone could point out a source for me. Personally I would think this particular style of helmet to be fairly comfortable & practical, certainly less restrictive than the corinthian & chalcidian styles more commonly seen. Once these guys are done it will be onto Victrix Romans & Italian allies.

On a slightly different subject I finally got round to test firing my home made bow this week.

Home made bow on home made tiller.
I made this a couple of years back from a piece of unusually knot free yew that I found in the middle of a very over grown hedge. I think the conditions restricted the amount of side growth that makes the timber very knotty & hard to work with, so this seemed too good an opportunity to miss. The bow is a shade under 6ft long with a draw weight of approximately 45lbs and will throw a heavy bodkin point around 125 yards.
Its been a interesting project & it was good to actually test the bow out in the field, but compared to firing my laminated Scythian bow a somewhat disappointing experience, the same arrow fired from this bow with a very similar draw weight travels a good 40 yds further. This is likely a testimony to my poor bow making skills, but it did make me wonder if yew as a bow making material is inherently inefficient, is this why the classic medieval longbows required the massive ( 100lb plus) draw weights to achieve their purported killing power. Time to do some research before lunch I think.