Monday, 6 September 2010

Hannibal's Veterans

I spent yesterday painting up some more warmaster figures and I'm now very nearly done with the Carthage infantry and elephants and don't have too far to go with the heavy cavalry.

In the meantime, one unit I have finished up is Hannibal's Veterans. These are Magister Militum figures and come in just two poses, with an additional two command figures.

There doesn't seem to be much historical info on these guys, apart from they existed and were armed with a mix of captured Roman kit. Although how much seems to be a source of debate, as did who was in the unit (Cartheginians or allies) and how long they were an organised fighting unit.

All that means that I decided to paint them up exactly how I felt like it, without even having to worry about them being in any way accurate (not something that really bothers me anyway).

These figures were not a whole lot of fun to paint unfortunately. Only having the two poses made it a bit monotonous to paint, they also have a lot of detail on them, but it is not fantastically defined, which was annoying. There were slight mould lines and these run down the face, which is partially hidden behind the top of the shield, making them virtually impossible to remove and ruining quite a few of the faces. The mould lines then run down the front of the shield to one side of the boss (not down the rim or boss), again making them VERY hard to smooth out with all the detail on the shield.

The final problem was that things like the raised rim around the shield are not very well defined, but are present enough that they can't be ignored! This translated into hours of painstaking, essentially free-hand work to paint them, for a pretty mediocre result.

Overall I'm not sure I'd be that keen to add another unit to my force.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Silflor Grass Tufts

I've been looking for a way to liven up the arid/desert bases for my Carthage force for a while now, and I've toyed with the idea of using dead static grass that is a pale yellow colour, to make the bases look a little less like a sand desert.

However in the end I've decided to give Silflor grass tufts a go. These are strips of random clumps of static grass, designed to look like natural tufts of grass. I decided to try a couple of small packs which retail for about £3.70 a box. I wasn't sure exactly how much you get for that, so I've photographed the contents with a couple of 10mm figures.

These are 2mm or "short" tufts and are a good fit for 10mm scale. The strips are double sided, so you do get a fair number of tufts. As you can see on the cutting mat, it comes to about 15cm x 10cm.

The tufts themselves are irregularly shaped and the grass seems to be bonded to a flexible glue that stays lightly tacky. They can be pulled apart to make smaller tufts as well without noticeably damaging the appearance of the grass. I've used tacky glue to attach mine to the bases.

As you can see the grass is maybe too much of a good match for my arid base scheme! It does make the bases look more interesting in real life though and certainly achieves the look I was going for of a parched land rather than total desert.

Would I recommend these? Probably only for very specific jobs/projects. They give a better finish and more control over placement than static grass and glue, but they are more pricey. I can definitely see the benefits of the larger tufts for dioramas and larger show-piece models, but for my 10mm projects they are not going to replace static grass for basing grass-land figures.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Numidian Light Horse

I've now finished up the 3 units of Numidian cavalry, which now makes 4 units of them in total. These figures are again made by Magister Militum and are really nice. There are 4 separate poses in a pack of 12 and there is also a trumpeter and a leader figure in the Carthage command pack as well. This means they are fun to paint, even in large numbers as there isn't too much repetition. The detail is nice and crisp and the common complaint about MM, that their horses are a little undersized, is not a problem as Numidians rode small ponies.

I've only photographed a couple of the units, but I'll show them all together in an army shot in a few weeks as I'm only a few units away from finishing the initial force now. You can see that a couple of stands are a figure short as the two packs I got didn't stretch to 3 full units, but I thought I'd just paint them up anyway and I can add an extra figure later if I need to.

I again went with the stylised Carthage figure for one unit's shields, as with the earlier javlinmen, but I think this time I've got it a bit more crisp and consistent. The non-photographed unit has the rawhide shield designs I also used on the javlinmen.

I also went a bit more ambitious with the 3rd unit and painted on a hand-print, which was also one of the Numidian designs I came across in my research on shields. This was not that consistent across the unit, but it come out pretty well and I'm pleased with it.

I've also just got some Silflor grass tufts to liven up the desert type bases of my Carthage force, so I'll post some pictures of them with them also on some WM bases and a sort of review soon. Also coming up will be Hannibal's Veterans and hopefully some elephants finally!

Thanks for looking!