Thursday, January 18, 2018

Slav Heavy Infantry

     The following pics comprise some of the 120 figures that I painted up to serve as the
main battle infantry component that would of served with both the Avar and Bulgar armies.
Needless to say they in themselves can comprise a complete army with plenty of historical
opponents also. For my personal needs this is large enough force that will join roughly the
120-140 Steppe cavalry I have. Some notes on the Slavs they mostly would of been
without armor armed primarily with javelins and axes (the 2 handed type) which was a popular weapon put into use. I mention this as my collection of figures do include a fair
amount of mailed armored figures, one handed axe and spear in a standing static pose.
The miniatures I selected to use had the look that I wanted to achieve for the Slavs and
I'm not one to get to bogged down on too many mailed figures or not enough 2 handed
axed armed figures. In any rule set to be used they will be considered unarmored and
armed with short spear/javelin type weapons. As per comments under the bowmen I went
with primarily linen colors (common during this time frame for the Slavs) and added lots of
bordering type colors for contrast. Historical in that regard of contrasts I cant say but it adds extra punch to the appearance of the figures. I included side shots of the shields for those who like ideas on painting dark age figures. I prefer to hand paint shields than use transfers and let my imagination dictate what I want. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Bulgar/Avar Slav archers

       The following pics make up one half of my Slavic infantry that would of fought under
both the Bulgars and Avar forces. The Slavs had the ability to deploy a fair amount of
bow armed infantry in which I have collected a total of 48 figures. The pics do not account
for all 48 but of a sampling  of them. I have also painted nearly a 100 spear armed infantry which will complete the Slavic contingent of my steppe armies. I did choose to go with a paint scheme on these with linen colored clothing which was in much use (some sources indicate over time they would fade into more of a greyish color) during this time frame. I also like to give each dark age army a themed look and using as many creams, off whites, and light grey colors really tied these figures together. Most of the models came from either
Foundry or their off shoot Casting room miniatures Germanic ranges and a few Dacian
range line of miniatures. Later this month I plan on posting the heavier Slavic infantry.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Sassanian Clibanarii Units 3 &4

    I've added 2 additional units of Savaran cavalry representing the clibanarii type bringing
the total up to 4 units of 16. Again a mix of both Aventine and A&A miniatures. As mentioned under the cataphract post i do plan on adding some additional elite units
so these represent some of the last of the regular line cavalry I plan on doing. Currently
I have started in on some of the infantry before i paint up the mounted elites mostly for
the break as these miniatures have been somewhat tedious and time consuming to
paint up and looking for a small break. Overall I am very pleased with how both lines mix
and the appearance of how they all look in mass. Eventually when this army nears completion I will add group mass shots for those interested. However, as I have stated
before this blog is more about close up shots of individual miniatures for those who
would like to have ideas or inspiration for the painting of their own collections.

Sassanian cataphracts

     The following are a mix of both Aventine & A&A miniatures. My intent is to either have
a single unit of 16 cataphracts or two units of 12. The difficulty of my decision lies in how
I want to represent some of the elite regiments of the Sassanian Savaran forces. I would
like to add two 12 figure units to represent the Javidan (for those unfamiliar these are
the most prestigious units of the savaran sometimes also referred to as the immortals).
The Javidan would of been very well equipped and I'm leaning toward fully armored riders
mounted on only frontally armored horses. The Sassanians also had the Pushtighbban
(life guardians) which numbered 1000 warriors and probably were a royal unit responsible
for the security of the Sassanian Spah. It is not my plan to represent this unit as of now.
Another elite unit was the Jan-separan (those who sacrifice their lives) that I might choose
to equip as a cataphract unit. If so then the unit below would be the single line unit of

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Gripping Beast Russ Infantry

   Part two of the saga Russ army is the infantry. The miniatures come from their Russ range and
are labelled as city militia. Couple comments on them real quick. First the spearmen have a
closed hand to be drilled out to hold the spear which i really like as they keep them fully lodged
in place. Second, the archers bow and hand had to be attached which i found a pain. Some like to do  this as they add their own twist of variation but it does add more work and raises the
possibility of them coming off. Considering that these miniatures were considered militia I did
not go with an uniform look to these figures. I did make the padded armor on the spear figures
a common color of light cornflower blue and chose to go with dark colored cloaks and lighter
tunic colors for a subdued unified look to them.

Gripping Beast Russ Cavalry

    From time to time I take on commision work for others and the following miniatures is one such
project a saga Russ army. All the miniatures are Gripping Beast the owner will do his own basing
and he provided his own spears and shield transfers for the miniatures. A word on his own spears
they are made out of brass rod are nicely done. Their thick like a casted spear which allows for an
effective look due to the fact that one can detail some painting on them. First up are the cavalry
which comprised two ranges from G.P. both from their Russ range and medieval range of early
Russians of mounted Druzhina. Their is some size difference as you will notice in the pics, the
Druzhina being larger than their earlier range of Russ figures but combining the two ranges does
offer a fair amount of variation in poses. I found both ranges to be very nice miniatures and that
look quite well painted up. I chose not an uniform look, as the mounted nobility should each have
a distinguished look. On the earlier Russ figures the tunics do not contain many folds being 
mostly flat which is ideal for adding embroidery an highly effective look.

in this photo the size difference can be noticed as well as the one below. The inner two miniatures are the Druzhina and the outer two miniatures are from their earlier Russ range. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Thematic Byzantines Cavalry

  The dark age period for me is my favorite period when it comes to collecting and painting miniatures and no doubt the Byzantine empire played a huge role in Europe during this time
period. It's a must have army for myself and I never tire of painting them up. Two large ranges
of Byzantines that exist are from  Gripping Beast and Crusader Miniatures. I decided to post a
Mtd unit from each with comparison shots for those who would ever have interest. The one thing
that clearly stands out is the gripping beast miniatures are indeed some what larger and not
 surprising due to their added size have more detail added compared to the crusader line. That being said I'll let the viewer decide which line has the more appeal. Personally, I find no issue using both lines on the table together I just would not mix them into the same unit. The other two issues for people who are contemplating collecting Byzantines from either line would be cost (I do not recall actual cost anyone can do their comparison analysis obviously) and ease of painting. The crusader line I painted up much faster the simplicity of their miniatures was refreshing and they look great I feel without the need of tons of extra detail. This of course is a matter of taste as the Gripping Beast came out nice as well just requires more painting time so it depends on the individual and what he wants to accomplishes in comparison to cost/painting time needed/and final look of the finished product. With that said I tried to include plenty of pics as pictures often say things words cannot.

Crusader Miniatures 

Gripping Beast rear shot

Gripping Beast front shot

Crusdaer on the left Gripping Beast on the right

Gripping Beast Miniatures

Gripping Beast unit shot

Crusader on the left Gripping Beast on the right. In this pic the size difference looks far more prominent

Command figures Crusader on the left Gripping Beast on the right
Crusader rear shot