Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Steppe Nomads light cavalry

   Some recent additions to my Avar/Bulgar army. So far i have chosen to mix miniatures from Aventine, Gripping Beast, and Wargames Foundry to form the lighter cavalry. They all fit in size
wise and as always with my pics i have included several close up shots showing the miniatures in comparison to one another. The one manufacture not included so far is Old Glory which after the New Year some time i would like to include some of their designated miniatures they sell for both the Avars and Bulgars. Variety always looks great with a varied and non uniform looking force and i think the visual effect would be dramatic. As for numbers thinking about having around 70 miniatures each for the both the nobles and the lighter cavalry. The foot would be another 100.
So on to the pics
base on the left has aventine and gripping beast base on the right has gripping beast and foundry

both bases figure in front is foundry back figure is aventine

base on left gripping beast and aventine base on right foundry and gripping beast

reverse pic as the one two pics above.

group shot all mixed with hand weapons

group shot all armed with bow


all foundry

this pic and the next one below has one each of foundry and gripping beast on its base

left figure foundry right figure aventine

left figure foundry right figure gripping beast

left figure foundry right figure aventine

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Additional Pics Aventine Steppe Nomads

  Ive included several close up pics for those interested. Size wise they fit in perfectly with Old
glory, Gripping  Beast, and Foundry. When i post pics of the lighter armed horse i mixed in all four
manufactures for variety sake. In my opinion for historical veracity of the appearance of the
heavier armed nobles, Aventine and Old Glory are the best way to go. I have used Foundry's Hun
nobles but these figures will take their place. If anyone is interested in purchasing Hunnic nobles
let me know i can post pics if needed but probably will not keep them (nice figures in their
own right though).

The figure on the right is actually a gripping beast miniature

Aventine Steppe Nobles

 Dark ages may well be my favorite period when it comes to collecting and painting historical miniatures. The people of the steppes in 28mm is one of the harder periods in terms of available
models. Old glory does a range which i have a fair share of their nobles but other than that not
much had been available until Aventine released their range a year or so age. Specifically, i want to model both the Avars and the Bulgars armies as these models can be used for both forces. The Avars where noted for their innovation into Europe for the use of horse armor and possibly the the stirrup. Steppe nomads always made use of lightly armed horse archers giving them the ability to swarm and use their firepower to help breakup enemy formation. However in the late sixth century when the Avars settle north of the Danube they were noted for the deployment of heavier lance cavalry armed with lance,sword, and bow. Long coats of mail and/or split lamellar armor into panels to protect the limbs were utilized. These models truly look the part. Plus Avars fought other popular dark age opponents such as the carolingian Franks, the lombards, and the byzantines.

 As for the Bulgars after the collapse of the Avars power in the eighth century, they settled north of the Danube where they competed with the Byzantine empire for domination of the Balkans.
Initially the Bulgars where organized like most steppe empires but over time they developed their own sophisticated military hierarchy under their Khan. Their nobles would of been mounted on barded mounts and their armies where equipped with both a large amount of heavy household cavalry and lighter armed horse archers. One other noted fact is they employed mass conscription utilizing a fair amount of slav infantry when on campaign. My intent is to eventually post parts of my collection of the entire components of these armies.

  So enough of the backgound material lets get to some pics

two units of 12 group shot

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Lioin Rampant continued

Now for the black tree design miniatures. Overall both these and the Curteys I was impressed with, painted up easily with a very nice look to them when completed. I know black tree offers some nice deals from time to time so the cost for the miniatures is quite favorable. Not certain how much the
Curteys run, but size and style wise fit very well with the black tree and looked quite well paint up.
My apologies i should of showed a comparison pic of both the black tree and Curteys but near
identical in size they are.

Lion Rampant Knights of Jerusalem

Recently completed a painting commission of 6 mounted, 24 men at arms, 12 lowly infantry, and 12 archers the theme being the Knights of Jerusalem. The miniatures comprise a mix of black tree
design and Curteys. All the miniatures below are the Curteys. The miniatures will be based by the owner and the pics do not include the entire commission just a sampling for reference for any one
curious as to how Curteys looked painted up. There is a color theme that was used on both the knights and men at arms; that being blue, white, and yellow being the predominate colors of his choice. The shield designs were hand painted using a yellowish gold color as i preferred a different tint than straight yellow or straight gold.

Sunday, May 8, 2016


 Some recent aventine romans  that i painted a while back finally based up minus the triarii. I prefer 2x2 basing which works out quite well with few exceptions. However, roman triarii are one of those exceptions. They covered the same frontage of the hastati and the principes  but with less depth. So it creates a slight basing anomaly which explains why no triarii pics. I will have to order a different base size which to my chagrin i do not have on hand from litko.  As for base size will opt for a 4x1 for the triarii. The legions are organized 16 figures each for the principes and hastati, 8 for the triarii and 12 for the velites. Typically the velites were organized along similiar size as the principes and hastati but for practical purposes i reduced their strength to 12 figures as I'm not a big fan of excessive representation of the initial skirmishing between the light infantry of opposing forces. I know many people like to use shield blazons for romans but i choose not to preferring a color scheme to represent each legion as the use of blazons may or may not had been used during the republican time period. As for colors i simply went with a off white tunic and a yellowish bright gold for the bronze. Feathers just a plain black but noting in retrospect white might have been a better choice to complement the use of white shields to identify this legion. For the white tunics i used reapers leather white paint darkened with a touch of P3 trollblood highlight (foundrys artic shade will also do) for a base color and from there kept adding white in stages. White is a difficult color to get the contrast just right without overdoing it and i feel the contrast on these was a little weak so the next
group i will darken the leather white slightly more. I wanted something different for the bronze and
again i will change it up also next time a less bright/shiny bronze to more of a flat non shiny goldish color. On these i went with P3 rhulic with some sepia ink mixed in for a base color. I then added reapers new gold in stages to brighten up from the recesses to a highlight. The results are acceptable but not quite what i personally wanted to achieve. The shields used vallejo white grey to contrast with a pure white on the middle raised spine.  As for the photos sun was shining in quite brightly this morning to my sun room (its a room with with more large windows than walls) and used the natural light from the sun as opposed to light bulbs for the pics.












Sunday, April 17, 2016

Going forward

The main purpose of my blog is to share my ongoing collection of ancient thru dark age armies. I have been busy doing some commision work on an Mughal army which i have enjoyed painting very much and even had the opportunity to paint up some varangians for someone else. I plan on painting plenty more of the Mughals for those interested (the owner bases them thats why they are shown undone) but soon i will be posting both ancient/dark age pics. I am hoping to include my color selections for triads used and the miniatures will be based. These include some Republican Romans from Aventine (as well as some of their avar/steppe cavalry) and later Persian cavalry from Foundry/Casting room miniatures. It is my hope that not only some inspiration can be found, but also
some usefull info for color selection for both horse triads and uniforms for those who might be new to the hobby and looking for some helpfull direction. Until next time.

Indian Mughal infantry miniatures by wargames foundry. As part of an ongoing commision project i have added some infantry to go with the Mugal cavalry. In total i painted 36 of these miniatures. They are grouped into 3 groups of 12. The first group have a common red turban and sash to unify them as a unit and they are armed with sword. The second group are unified with a blue turban and sash and armed with muskets. The last group have no unifying color are armed with muskets and are actually supposed to be afgans. I am not an expert on on this period, for flesh tone i used vallejo flat brown (984) +orange brown (981) to establish a base color. I added more orange brown to lighten the flesh and finished off with lt. brown (929) mixed in for a final highlight. I was pretty happy with the result. As a general rule i make up my own triads from various paint manufacturers to achieve the results that i want. The vallejo works well for various flesh tones in my opinion. For white the options are many from using foundry (i prefer the austrian white triad over their artic white triad), to using reaper paints graveyard bone (9272) and splintered bone (9273) and add white. Another option is vallejo white grey and mix in hair of their light grey (990) or P3 underbelly blue for a base color. Then use the white grey and then in white. Blues and red most people im certain have found those colors easier to pick out sufficient triad colors that will work for them but am always willing to share combos i use for those if interested. For yellow like the turbans as pictured i tend to go with P3 paints using the ember orange + a hair of light red for a base coat. I then chose heartfire and finished with yellow as the last color