Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Sassanian Bow infantry

    The bow was highly regarded and used by the Sassanian military. Both their Savaran
cavalry and much of their infantry were thus armed. My foot archers will be made up
with a combination of both A&A and Aventine miniatures and will probably number wise
be about equal to their spear armed compatriots. I have also decided to base most of
them in a close order formation intended to represent mass barrage fire that I feel the
Sassanians would of delivered. My understanding is they would of used their bow fire
at the beginning of a battle to help soften up the opposition before the Savaran would
initiate their charges. No doubt the flanks of these units would of been protected by
the cavalry while delivering their barrage and once their ammunition became expended or
if threatened by a concerted attack by the enemy they would retire behind the heavy battle infantry who were deployed to their rear.

Sassanian heavy battle Infantry

    The Sassanians made a concerted effort to utilize a heavier infantry component that
would round out their fighting force. We know that from the early days of the Sassanian Spah well armed armored infantry were in service, especially during the campaigns of Shapur I against Rome in the mid-third century. Many of these infantry would of worn
a T-shirt style mail garment extending to the hips along with a two-piece riveted ridge
helmet. Even more interesting some ancient contemporaries like Ammianus Marcellinus
noted that some of these infantry were well trained and highly disciplined. I mention this
because generally the impression of the Sassanian infantry is rather poor (and indeed
some of the contemporary accounts speak poorly of the infantry) so a contradiction
seems to occur. My own opinion is that the Sassanians did employ heavier infantry
that received a greater degree of training and seemed to be able to hold their own
in combat (obviously never the equal of their roman counterparts) for a while against
the roman heavy infantry. I suspect these infantry were recruited from the Medes
who had a history of infantry combat much like Carthage made use of the libyans
for their heavier infantry units. The Sassanians also recruited (or levied) peasant infantry probably intended for the more laborious tasks of siege works, baggage handling etc...
I'm also generally certain if needed these same levied forces could be thrown into battle
but being mostly peasants with little military training their performance would be
of little value also accounted for in the roman records. With all the above in mind I've
decided to build the Sassanian heavy infantry in two components. For their trained and
capable infantry I will go with Aventine sculpts which has them in mail and ridged helmets
and for the levied infantry I would use a combination of Gripping Beast and A&A sculpts.
The figures below are some of the Gripping Beast and A&A miniatures. Initially I was going
to with 2 blocks of 16 figures but now thinking one block of 40 might be better to portray
how levied forces would be deployed (high numbers too install courage and confidence).
Hopefully soon i will post additional pics along with pics of the Aventine miniatures.

Bulgar/Avar light cavalry unit 5

      This unit brings my Steppe light cavalry to 60 figures total and finally to a close.
One possibility I have flirted with is to paint another 60-80 figures that could be utilised
as a Hun army I'm just not how certain that would be something I would enjoy. To
recreate the battle of Chalons is certainly worth entertaining and to double the light
horse would not be too difficult to do as these figures paint up rather quickly in comparison
to their heavier counterparts (not to mention the many Sassanian Cav I have painted)
so better to state finished for now but not truly closed. All these figures are a mix of
Foundry, Gripping Beast, and Aventine.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Aventine Steppe Nobles (4th unit)

   I have added to my Steppe Army that can be used as either an Avar or a Bulgar force.
This unit brings me up to a total of 48 Nobles to join my 48 lighter cavalry and Slavic
infantry. I do have plans to add at least one additional Noble unit and very much hoping
that Perris who sculpted the new range of Byzantines that are on my blog will eventually
do some Bulgars which I know he wants to do. These Aventine sculpts are quite impressive
and though I mostly paint for the mass effect (I like having large armies) these miniatures
if one wanted to take the time could really stand out far beyond the work I put into them.
I cannot recommend them enough as I hope my pics at least show.

Black Hat & Moonraker Samurai

    These miniatures were painted for a small commission for an acquaintance I know. He
has several Samurai miniatures that I agreed to paint for him and these are the first of two
batches. I'm not familiar with either line of figures (feudal Japan I know little of) so they are
just some pics of them mixed together with out any distinguishing between them. He will
do the basing. My only goal was to paint each miniature as a separate warrior as they are
to be utilized for skirmish type battles. I mostly kept to somewhat historical type appearance
using mostly black armor with an additional figure in red and one in gold armor. Lacing I
believe was mostly light blue for black armor and white for gold armor. I did use a couple
of additional colors for the lacing that may or may not be correct to add some additional

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Old Glory Goths

   I love to collect by period when it comes to wargaming and armies. I have painted a fairly
large Sassanian army and I have plenty of middle Romans to be painted to oppose them.
However, I still want more diversity in terms of opponents and the Goths seem like a logical
choice considering the numerous clashes that took place between them and Rome. I
managed to purchase a group of both Old Glory and Gripping Beast Goth figures off TMP
and decided to paint up the Old Glory miniatures first. On a footnote though all these
figures where sold as Goths, the armored figures appear to be vikings not goths. So I
painted them up as goths anyway and they look fine to me. I've included some pics of the
shields for those interested as simple design types I prefer to paint by hand in place of decals.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

28mm Byzantine Cavalry (new range of miniatures)

     The following are some miniatures that were kindly sent to me by Perris Cooley.
A quick back ground he was the individual who sculpted Old Glory's 15mm Franco
Prussian range of miniatures. Like myself he has a deep interest in the Byzantine
period and has begun sculpting some 28mm Byzantines. He sent me his first 12
mounted figures he had done. They included 4 Kataphraktoi on fully armored horse,
4 thematic/tagmatic front rank lance figures & 4 rear rank bow armed figures. I know he has
plans to add command figures and infantry as well. His plan is to sell them publicly
at some point and I imagine when that happens there be some type of announcement
probably on TMP when that takes place. As a side note his brother is sculpting a line
of 28mm Franco-Prussian figures which will be marketed as well. The miniatures are
quite nice, take paint easily and the Kataphraktoi horse armor is very well done. They
have closed hands which require to be drilled out which I prefer providing a solid
hold of the weapon. The casting themselves included plenty of variety. I have included
plenty of side and rear angle pics and did a couple comparison pics with both Gripping
Beast and Crusader miniatures for a size comparison. 

                    Gripping Beast on the left, Crusader on the right

                   Gripping Beast on the left, Crusader on the right.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Old Glory Bulgar & Avar light cavalry

   The following pics is a mix of Old Glory Avar and Bulgar light cavalry. I like the variety
these miniatures provide to my Steppe army and I have included a comparison pic to
both the Wargames Foundry Huns and Aventine Steppe Cavalry figures for anyone who
desires a comparison view. This unit brings the total of light cavalry to 48 figures and
I'm still undecided if I should add one more unit. Next month I will begin another unit
of the Steppe nobles to bring their numbers also up to 48 figures which will join the 160
Slavic foot.
 The four middle figures are Old Glory. To the right are Foundry Huns and on the left are     Aventine miniatures.

 Old Glory in the middle. Foundry on the right Aventine on the left.

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Sassanian Clibanarii #5

     The fifth unit of of my Sassanian cavalry is completed. I will add 2 additional units of
elite Cavalry later this year hopefully by summer which will bring to a close the mounted
arm of this army. The foot are underway in being painted and when the units come together
I will get them posted.

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.