Tuesday, 17 September 2019

15mm Poeni Citizen Infantry

The Carthaginian citizen infantry in the DBMM army lists represent city militia or settlers and are therefore rated as inferior troops. The later Carthaginian lists allow up to two hundred and forty figures or sixty elements of these which is something I don't think any sane DBMM player would actually contemplate, so I thought I would purchase enough for eighteen elements and leave it at that.

I then took a second look at the Early Carthaginian list and happily realised that it is possible to upgrade and field eight elements as "ordinary" or average auxilia, something that will I believe prove to be much more useful. Of course I only realised that after I had stuck the buggers on to their original bases, but at least I hadn't got any further than that.

Anyway here they are, eight elements of auxilia and twelve of inferior spear:

The auxilia I would surmise are representative of the citizen infantry trained by Xanthippus in the First Punic War, a Spartan mercenary whom Polybius tells us was overheard to say something along the lines of "these guys are rubbish", and who the Carthaginians then put in command. Xanthippus apparently instilled in them such confidence that they finally beat the Romans at the battle of Tunis, after having suffered two previous defeats:

These Xyston figures are quite easy to paint, depicted as they are without armour and carrying little equipment:

Although I noticed that they are all supplied with the Xyston long Gallic-style shield which I'm not particularly fond of. Thankfully I had a few round shields left over so could mix them in, which I believe enhances the citizen infantry look:

As to the citizen spear themselves, I am quite happy with the way the turned out and, as usual, the LBMS decals do their job admirably:

And a final picture of both options together:

Now to complete some Poeni cavalry, and then on to some elephants.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

15mm Carthaginian Sacred Band

One of the few units to be made up of actual Carthaginians as opposed to mercenaries, the Sacred Band were well-armoured citizen spearmen who fought in a spear phalanx. They were highly-regarded troops but were wiped out twice, once in Sicily against the Greek Timoleon who surprised them while crossing the Crimissus River and the second time in Tunis, after which they were never reformed. Consequently they are only included in early army lists, but are a more than useful addition for Carthaginian armies of that period:

The citizens forming the Sacred Band apparently equipped themselves with expensive armour, so I depicted them all with bronze armour and shields which is in line with some interpretations of what they may have worn:

The command figures were drawn from the usual Xyston Carthaginian command pack, although I selected those which looked earlier appearance:

The figures are as usual Xyston, with eight stands and thirty-two figures in all:

Next up will be some citizen spearmen, and then the cavalry, elephants and chariots to complete the army.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

15mm Libyan Javelinmen

A quick post of a dozen stands of Libyan javelinmen I completed last week. These are again Xyston, although a little slighter than some of the others in their range:

Some of the poses are quite dynamic and really give the impression of a skirmisher about to let loose his javelin. All the figures are depicted with mohawks which has an ornament tucked through the front of it:

They remind me of North American natives, apart from the shields:

I am still not quite sure what the shield are meant to depict; possibly some form of hide shield with feathers attached at the top. I looked online and couldn't see any examples, so went with a brown hide look with white feathers attached:

Apart from one which I painted up as a pineapple:

That's the third unit finished with some Carthaginian Sacred Band figures currently on the painting table and nearing completion.

Monday, 19 August 2019

15mm Veteran Libyan Spearmen

Having completed eighteen elements of ordinary Libyan spearmen earlier this month, it was time to do them all over again, this time as the veterans which formed the backbone of Hannibal's army during his Italian campaign:

The figures are again Xyston and are represented in captured Roman armour and equipment. Given that there were an estimated 92,000 Roman troops killed or captured up to and including Cannae, there was no doubt a fair bit of equipment to choose from:
I used three main Little Big Men Studios shield designs and mixed them up a bit to give the impression of shields selected from three defeated legions:

I selected some of the later-looking figures from the command packs which I think match nicely with the rank and file figures:

That's another eighteen elements completed, although of course this unit will not be taking the field alongside the previously completed Libyan spearmen:

I have some Libyan javlinmen on the painting table at the moment, and am hopeful I'll get them completed and based within the next week.

Friday, 2 August 2019

15mm Libyan Spearmen

Following the completion of an Ancient Spanish army I decided to get stuck straight into some 15mm Carthaginians while I have the motivation to continue with the ancients theme. The first unit to be completed are eighteen elements of Libyan spears which really form the heart of the Carthaginian army list.

The figures are from Xyston as usual, with the shield designs again by Little Big Men studios:

I have always had a soft spot for the Carthaginians and do find it sad that the Romans visited such total destruction on them at the end of the Third Punic War such that very little remains apart from Roman accounts and some vague outlines of where Carthage once stood. I can imagine Hannibal being quite mystified as to why the Romans wouldn't surrender when he had them on the rack in the Second Punic War, but they weren't playing by the same set of rules:

There is a variety of LBMS shield designs based around their symbol for the goddess Tanit, along with various horse and palm-tree motifs:

The shield transfers are smaller than the surface of the shields themselves so I did my best to blend them in where required:

I have also made use of the Foundry north African flesh colour which appears a little darker here than in natural light, but I was quite happy with the result and think I will use it for the bulk of the army:

The command figures include a nice assortment of officers, and I have combined these with a standard bearer and hornist from the musician pack where hornists are the only musicians actually provided, and I have accumulated around twenty of them:

That's seventy figures completed in all:

I now have the same number of veteran Libyan spearmen to complete next. These are modelled with captured Roman equipment and look sufficiently different to justify the additional effort, even though I could conceivably have used the same unit and I don't think anyone would really have complained.

Friday, 12 July 2019

15mm Ancient Spanish Army Completed

The weekend saw the completion of this project, so I took some time out to gather the troops for a few group photos as it is unlikely they will ever see the table all at the same time and it helps to remind me what I have completed:

The figures are all Xyston, and the shield transfers are from Little Big Men Studios. Here are a few shots of the scutarii, with caetrati in the foreground and some Celtiberians in the rear:

And a few gratuitous shots panning of the infantry panning left to right, which I hope nevertheless serves to highlight some of the marvelous detail of the Xyston figures:

Looking at these pictures reminds me of how many individual shields, javelins and in some cases arms I have had to glue together. I like the effect but found that even pulling them out for a group shot like this inevitably means I have to glue some back together and I wonder at times whether the old one-piece figures may be less bother. Then again, the trade-off with one-piece figures is that the spears can often end up bent and wavy and in some cases snapped off completely:

Next, a few close-ups of the cavalry:

With my favourites being the light horse with caetrati pillion riders:

And a closer look at the armoured Spanish cavalry with some C-in-C and subordinate general elements immediately behind:

Finally, the twenty-eight balearic slinger elements (as opposed to the twelve actually allowable under the DBMM Spanish army lists) and the remaining light horse:

And one final group shot:

In total, the army is comprised of the following:

              67 elements of scutarii
              40 elements of caetrati
              30 elements of light and armoured cavalry
              28 elements of slingers
              16 elements of celtiberians

providing a total of 72 horses and 469 foot and cavalry figures, or 541 individual figures in total.

I completed the first experimental unit of scutarii in February while I was awaiting the arrival of some additional Gauls, but really only got started in mid-March so in effect this army took me four months to complete, which is around the same length of time it took me for the Gauls. At least I know I'm working at a reasonably steady pace.

That's it for the ancient Spanish. I have a few Carthaginian spearmen on the painting table at the moment so will try to get through them at a reasonable pace, before moving back on to some 28mm French Napoleonic figures.

Monday, 8 July 2019

15mm Celtiberians and Balearic slingers

The last two troop types for my 15mm Spanish project now completed. First, another twenty elements of Balearic slingers:

I had actually completed another eight elements earlier thinking they were Gauls, so that makes twenty-eight elements in total which is now quite a few more than I need. I also realised that what I originally thought was a headband is in fact representation of a spare sling that  Balearic slingers often used to carry tied around their heads, as seen here on the figure on the left:

There are four figures in each pack of eight, and they are fairly simply dressed so easy to complete:

Finally, I completed sixteen elements of Celtiberians as an allied contingent:

These are classified as Fast Blades in DBMM so should provide a bit of variety alongside the Iberian scutarii and caetrati:

They were fierce warriors and proved difficult for the Romans, defeating several attacks until Scipio prevailed at the brutal siege of Numantia:

Each Xyston pack of eight has six different designs, so there was a fair bot of variety to play around with:

That's it for the 15mm Spanish project. I'll try to get the completed army together for a group shot and final head count over the coming days, then on to some Carthaginian figures I have prepared. I also have some French Napoleonic cuirassiers crying out for attention, but am on a roll with the 15mm ancients so might keep going for a bit longer with them until I finally run out of steam.