Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Wiki to the rescue …

I am just finishing my first turma of auxiliary cavalry (1st Corps figures). I was puzzled by an item of equipment carried on the rear of each figure’s saddle, and wondered how to paint this.

I could see that one detail was some kind of cup, pot, or ladle. But the item it rested on, which looked like the top of a czapka (a Polish lancer’s cap), was a mystery, until I discovered this on Wikipaedia, a detail from Trajan’s column:

I concluded that the rectangular item on the top left is a loculus, a leather satchel.
Image: Wikimedia commons

Friday, 14 December 2012

Rebasing continues …

The rebasing has been a lot easier than I imagined it would be, and the result is certainly worth the effort and cost.

So far I have rebased two centuries of legionaries, the auxiliary dromedarri, one century of auxiliary infantry, two war machines, three scorpiones and a few other figures. The overall look is really good, and gives more of a diagrammatic feel to things.

Work in progress: The latest figures to be rebased: a century of auxiliary infantry, a ballista and an onagar.

Monday, 10 December 2012


My decision to rebase my miniatures looks as if it is the right one now it is underway: the figures have a much more robust feel about them.

I received laser cut MDF bases from Minibits and magnetic sheet for bases and lining box files from Tiny Troops. The figure that I thought would be trickiest turned out to be pretty easy: Tiberius Claudius Maximus and his dog, Max.

Work in progress: Robust basing for tough troops! Vellejo Sandy Paste will be augmented by PVA, sand, small stones and tufts of various types. The new bases should be better then my first efforts.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

WIP: Oxen harnesses …

After a good look at just what I should be attempting to make, I have made some reasonable progress with the yoke and harness assembly for the ox cart.

There is a very good website, Roman Traction Systems, which provided the answer to the conundrum posed by the Time Machines Miniatures model which I am basing my ox cart on.


The inspiration for my model: Time Machine Miniatures’ diorama.
I needed to make a pair of Wang yokes a bit like these, which seem to allow the oxen some independent movement.
Image: Roman Traction Systems

I have added the basic dorsal yoke and a buckle to the belly band. A couple of small rings connecting the breast straps to the belly band need drilling and sculpting.
The wooden bar has metal rings which attach to the dorsal yokes. I’ve ordered some scale rope to tie the bar to the shaft. All of this needs more finesse, of course.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

More vignettes

I have had some more vignettes in mind for a while, and have finally got around to preparing the figures.

The first vignette is the Legio VI Ferrata vexellation command group. The vexillum will display the wolf and Romulus and Remus twins motif.

The second vignette supports the first, and is a pair of Praetorians and two lictors. The third vignette is a Tesserarius giving orders to a pair of guards.

Work in progress: Command group composed of Wargames Foundry and Warlord Games figures. The horse in the foreground is from Warlord’s Marcus Aurelius figure – I wanted to show off the lovely horned saddle.

Work in progress: Warlord Games Praetorian with Attic helmet; two 1st Corps lictors, one of which is now sporting a Milliput beard, and a Wargames Foundry Praetorian.

Work in progress: Two guards receive orders from a Tesserarius converted from Warlord Games Praetorian Centurion, with Attic helmet and feathers from their plastic Scorpions set.

Monday, 3 December 2012

I have decided to rebase my miniatures

I’ve been thinking about this for a while: part of the consideration is to make the figures easier to handle – important as I get older.

I loved the thinness of the old bases, but I’ve decided to switch to 2.0mm MDF with 0.8mm magnetic bases. I’m waiting on the materials to arrive, but I have removed about half my collection from the old bases in readiness. I have a few days to myself this week so I hope to have a few units rebased by the weekend.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Not too shabby …

I have been working on these figures off-and-on for what seems like ages.

You may remember that I was finding the horses quite a challenge. Anyhow, with a long process of washes and shading, Howards Hues seem to do the job, giving good variety from the basic five colours I bought. All I have to do is repeat this result for my second turma

Work in progress: My first equestrian turma is coming along nicely.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Ordered an OptiVISOR …

I thought to ease myself back into the groove yesterday: I retrieved my work-in-progress and settled to do some painting. I got out my venerable Daylight magnifying lamp, only to discover that the thread on the lock nut has finally given up. In fact the thread has slowly been deteriorating for ages, and, to be honest, I never really got on with the lamp, finding it somewhat awkward - not really very well designed.

So … I ordered an OptiVISOR. I have been thinking about getting one for quite some time. I’ll let you know how I get on with it – though I understand from posts on TMP that a period of adjustment may be necessary.

Meantime, I contented myself with working on the washes for my first auxiliary cavalry turma’s mounts. The colour and depth of the animal’s coats is now to my satisfaction. When the OptiVISOR arrives I will detail the horses and begin to make proper progress again.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Buckles and harnesses …

I took a break from packing to do a little work on the Roman harnesses for the baggage train oxen.

I had put the Milliput on quite thickly to allow me to carve and shape the straps and the recesses for the buckles. Gentle scoring, filing and sanding has begun to yield results that suggest I might be able to make a reasonable job of this.

Work in progress: Two hours of fiddling about with fuse wire yielded three buckles, two of which are the correct size.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Guilt ...

I have had so many distractions recently … life stuff, selling my house, house hunting, that sort of thing … that I haven’t made much progress with my modelling.

However, logging on this evening I see that I now have nine followers, so I had better do something to keep you all happy! Seriously, welcome to my modest blog, and do feel free to share your opinions and knowledge.

Work in progress: I have made the basic harnesses for the North Star oxen, but clearly there is much still to be done …