Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The veterans take shape

Finally, I have made some progress with my veteran centuria.

All the figures have greaves, manicae with the addition of mail hand armour, and focalia. I have furnished the variously reinforced helmets from Warlord Games’ veteran set with crests from their Praetorian set. They have a pretty imposing look and I am really looking forward to painting these fellows … just need to wait on the gesso.

Work in progress: All the veterans sport focalia and mail hand armour to augment their manicae. I added manica to the metal optio. All fashioned from ProCreate.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

The first of the veterans …

I have decided to model a veteran century. The addition of helmet crests from the Warlord Games’ Praetorian Guard sprues and some ProCreate detailing will give this unit an individual appearance.

I have enough of Warlord’s metal attic helmets to give the Praetorians a different appearance too … but this is a project for another day.

Work in progress: Focale and mail hand armour fashioned from ProCreate. 

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The lonely Praetorian …

I had a couple of hours over the last day or so to finish Titus Antonius Secundus’s centuria, my fourth to-date.

I am quite pleased with how they turned out – the overall impression to the naked eye always surprises me … but that’s how it is when one lives with one’s ‘mind’s eye’ hopes and the reality of the miniature under magnification.

So … an empty ‘bench’ … what next? As mentioned I have the camels to add to the baggage train, and I want to begin enhancing Warlord Games’ Praetorian Guardsmen … these will take a while, so might be a good project to have on the go while painting something else … maybe my last turma of cavalry. (Note to self: never say ‘last’.)

Titus Antonius Secundus’s centuria. Not too shabby..
Work in progress: Who or what shall join the loan Praetorian?.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Waiting for the PVA to dry …

… then I shall dry brush the base and add the tufts. Annoyingly, I managed to get some Sandy Paste onto some of the figures. If caught while wet it brushes off using a wet brush. Once dry it’s a careful procedure using a new cocktail stick, taking care not to damage the varnish beneath.

I am wondering which unit to do next. I think I may paint another turma of cavalry, while beginning to prepare the Praetorians. These will need a bit of sculpting to add focalia and some cloaks. I have a couple of camels to convert for the baggage train too.

Work in progress: I am quite pleased with how these fellows turned out. Just the finishing touches to add.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Kneeling legionaries and a watchtower

I have made a bit of progress with the next centuria, and resurrected a project I started a couple of years ago.

I hope to have the centuria finished by the end of the Easter weekend … but wait to see, as I have a tonne of other (domestic) things to do too.

Work in progress: The front rank. I have based these figures first since applying the Sandy Paste is going to be tricky.

Work in progress: The rear rank waits patiently.

Work in progress: The beginnings of a little watch tower. This will be a scenic piece, perhaps with a signalling beacon.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Box files

I store my figures in box files. Lined with magnetic sheet, they have shown to provide an immovable platform for an army in repose.

The foolscap box files contain most of the units. Only the dromedarii need an aircraft hanger-proportioned box. They may be joined by cataphracts in future though …

Friday, 4 April 2014

Turranius Priscus and kneeling legionaries

I have finished a couple of command pieces and made some progress with the next centuria.

In the midst of a busy April I hope to have the centuria finished by month’s end. Also, I really must start to make some much better photographs. I don’t mind the immediacy of the mobile camera images for the work in progress shots, but I think I need to make a better effort for the record of finished items.

Legio VI Ferrata vexellation commander Turranius Priscus (Wargames Foundry), and a Tribune (Warlord Games).

Auxiliary cavalry commander Tiberius Claudius Maximus’ vexillarius (1st Corps).

Work in progress: The front rank of my next centuria is finished. These Warlord Games’ castings were disappointing … I think the plastic kneeling figures in the scorpion battery boxed set are superior. Nevertheless, the overall impression is pretty good. The Warlord Games’ Primus Pilus figure (on the left) is a fabulous piece though.

Friday, 28 March 2014

A commander at last …

The next six weeks promise to be very busy, work-wise, so I am trying to make some progress with my miniatures. I am on a mission to clear my polystyrene work bench before beginning my next units. This will be good for my soul …

The kneeling legionaries will form the front rank for my next centuria … I have blocked in the main colours for all 24 figures, but decided to finish the first 12 … I have just glued the scuta on. The castings were a bit disappointing, but the worst is now hidden behind said scuta. The overall impression will be fine, I think.

As I mentioned in my last post, I discovered that Turranius Priscus, a prefects castorum (Camp Prefect), commanded a vexellation of Legio VI Ferrata during the siege of Jerusalem. He is now based with a mounted tribune.

Work in progress: Warlord Games’ kneeling legionaries with their primus pilus on the left – a spirited little chap soon to be named Titus Antonius Secundus.
Work in progress: Hail Turranius Priscus … the fellow on the right.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

More vignettes

While I know I said that I would finish that century of legionaries before starting anything else, I have been giving some thought to a couple of new vignettes. I have been doing some research into the commanders of Roman units in Judea and Syria, thinking about who might command my desert frontier vexellation. I have also been thinking about expanding the baggage train.

I was considering using Wargames Foundry’s Vespasian figure as my vexellation commander, but, in truth, he looks way too senatorial. Legio VI Ferrata had a hand in making Vespasian Emperor in 69 AD, following the suppression of the first Jewish Revolt … so I came around to thinking he could legitimately be present amongst his loyal legionaries. This also gives me an excuse to have Praetorian Guard units.

My research revealed that Turranius Priscus, a prefects castorum (Camp Prefect), commanded a vexellation of Legio VI Ferrata during the siege of Jerusalem. I have decided to have a couple of figures representing Turranius Priscus and a mounted tribune. While about it I thought to make a vexillarius for my cavalry commander, Tiberius Claudius Maximus.

I have a couple of spare eBob camels which I want to convert into pack animals. I just need to work out what sort of load they might be carrying.

Work in progress: Warlord Games’ mounted legate, Wargames Foundry’s Suetonius Paullinus (who will become Turranius Priscus), and a 1st Corps’ tribune with Warlord attic helmeted head and a vexillum salvaged from an abandoned figure.
Work in progress: A pair of eBob camels and a converted Warlord Games’ ritual sacrificial figure, which came with an alter (now discontinued). Another application for the scale rope, I think …

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

On the ‘bench’ …

With the completion of the Balaeres and the pack mules my work ‘bench’ is quite sparsely populated. I plan to finish this unit before beginning any others.

However … a delivery from Warlord Games has me keen to begin a couple of sculpting projects: pack camels based on a couple of EBob miniatures (which, you may remember, match Warlord Games’ dromedary sculpts … indeed, they were probably the basis for Warlord’s miniatures); and cloaks for my Praetorian guardsmen.

I am looking forward to seeing what I can achieve with these.
Work in progress: Titus Antonius Secundus’ centuria have the polystyrene workbench all to themselves.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Auxilia and baggage train

I finished the Balaeres and the pack mules today. I am pleased with how these turned out: in particular the Balaeres’ centurio.

The slingers are on very stoney ground … I was thinking of adding some small piles of shot … I may yet do so – see how the mood takes me.

The Balaeres.
The pack mules will join the ox cart as part of the burgeoning baggage train.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Basing continues …

I had a bit of time so I got on with the task of basing the slingers and the pack mules.

Two grades of sand, and two types of small stones have been applied to the Sandy Paste base. Once these are set I will give the bases a vigourous dry brush to lighten the bases overall, add highlights, and remove any loose sand and stones. Then tufts …

Work in progress: The pack mules …

Work in progress: The Balaeres

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Basing Balaeres

Three to a base looked too open … four looks a little tight, but makes for a more reasonable frontage of 360mm.

Work in progress: These took much longer to paint than I thought they would. I thought the lack of armour would make for a simpler and quicker job, but eyebrows, hair and beards definitely slowed me down.

Friday, 7 February 2014


The ebb and flow of self-employment left me with a bit of time on my hands this week, so I finished painting and shading the slingers. I’ll varnish them tonight, second coat tomorrow. I hope to have them based on Sunday …

Work in progress: Not too shabby … just wondering how to base these fellows – probably less densely than the legionaries, maybe three or four figures on each base …

Saturday, 1 February 2014

The challenge rolls over to February …

The end of December and most of January were dogged by domestic infrastructure problems, so I was simply unable to spend time painting. I have tried to catch up but I have to give myself a break and accept that it was not to be.

Work in progress: The pack mules are ready for shading and the Balaeres are nearly ready. The legionaries will be February’s painting challenge …

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Not Marius’ mules

A January painting challenge over on the Warlord Games’s forum is keeping the momentum going here. I have pledged to finish the Balaeres, another centuria and the pack mules.

All were underway, so it is cheating a bit, but my pledge was accepted because it is considered ambitious. So … I had better get cracking!

Work in progress: The pack mules are ready for shading. Painting these fellows after basing was tricky, but not as hard as I imagined.

Work in progress: The Balaeres had their tunicae blocked-in this evening. The centuria waits patiently …