Monday, 28 December 2015

2015 Recap

Figures completed
As a round-up to this project here's what I managed to do in 2015.
Having finished the conversion of the Playmobil arena and mounted it on a solid base-piece I managed to finish off some forty to fifty 54mm figures, gladiators, casualties, legionaries and some miscellaneous others.
I also sourced some cheap animal models that would fit in with the figures as very few were readily available in 1/32 scale (54mm).
Various Animals for the arena

Rules for the combats in the arena and for a campaign are an on-going process and seemingly never-ending as there is always some detail that can be added.
Similarly my figure collection, whilst more than adequate for simple gladiator fights, will continue to grow as I finish painting more of the figures I have a mind to use as alternative combatants along with some extra animals I have that are still to be utilised.
That's it then for this post. This project is about all but wrapped up and whilst I may not be posting on a regular basis in the future I will still be putting out the occasional post when I have something to post about !

To any that read this I hope you  have a good 2016.

Monday, 21 December 2015

"Io Saturnalia"

Saturn having a snack
"Io Saturnalia" was the common Roman greeting given to one another each day during the three day
festival of Saturnalia during December, commencing on the 17th.
Not unlike the festivities many of us will indulge in at this time of year (according to the Wiki site) there are many things we  have a lot of in common with the ancient festival . Notably there was feasting (suckling pig anyone?) on the 17th, roleplaying throughout the festivities and of course the exchanging of gifts, particularly Sigillaria (small figurines) on the 19th.

Whilst I'm unable to share any of the above I can still give you a couple of my memories, so for your amusement (possibly), so here's a couple of "Latin" poems, which I remember from my torturous schooldays when I had to learn Latin (and for which I now am thankful I did)

Civile si ergo
Fortebuses in ero
O Nobile Thebe trux
Vatis inem
Causan Dux

and the next....

Caeser as sun iam forte
Brutus ad erat
Caesar sic in omnibus
Brutus in isat

My finished four "Spaniards", (except for varnishing)
I can also show off the "Spaniards " I was hoping to get finished for last week's post as my contribution to giving of "sigillaria".
Even though I'm not that into ancient gaming , I do know that Spain and Spaniards didn't actually exist (in your face "Spaniard", Russel Crow in "Gladiator") and Iberian and Iberians did.

Another view

The two guys on the left will certainly see service in my arena and I've already started on the other three pairs of these that I have; not too sure about the obvious "Spaniards" with their distinctive headgear.

Next week I'm hoping to have a few friends around for a few matches in my arena and maybe start off a campaign. but in the meantime "Io Saturnalia" and that's it for this post.

Monday, 14 December 2015


Box front
I such a non-ancients player that I'd confused my boxes of Celtiberians and Spanish in previous posts,
but I believe that they're both one and the same anyway! (And both probably featured in Hannibal's army.)
Both boxes are from the HaT range of ancient figures and I'll use this post to show what I've managed to achieve with the figures although I'm still currently 'working' on them and haven't got any finished off yet - real life issues as always getting in the way of any real progress.

Back of HaT box (*snigger)

The reverse of the box, as is normal with HaT boxes (*smirk) shows line drawings of representations of the figures, which, as usual, are four poses to a sprue and four sprues to the box, giving sixteen figures.
There are two distinctive 'uniforms' to these figures one with a helmet and the other with a distinctive headgear that I'm sure ancients gamers will recognise. Two of the figures are armed with small shields and two are armed with larger shields, maybe not quite scutum size but fairly large nonetheless. (Didn't the Romans nick the idea of their larger shield anyway ?)
All the figure are also armed with a distinctive short sword (falcata ?).

The following two photographs show the fronts and backs of the figures on the sprue, but has been photoshopped so that they all have the same orientation.
Front view

Back of fiures
As is usual with these figures, the detailing is very good, well above the level of toys but probably well below that expected of collectors - still good enough though for my purposes.
The most annoying thing from my perspective though was the shields on the figures, as the 'spear throwers' each have a different type of shield to their purely sword armed counterparts!
As I did with my Velites I wanted to make four pairs of figures, four with spears and their sword-armed counterparts for using after they had thrown their spears. (I am aware that their "spears" are actually pila and there are rules for these). 
Whilst the distinctive 'Spanish' headgear isn't that useful for my purposes, the smaller Roman style helmeted is very usable in the arena.

Small helmeted spear-hrower with large shield

As I wanted pairs of figures with identical shields, the
solution was to cut shields from figures and attach them to an alternate figure, thus getting the pairs of figures I wanted. It was a pretty tricky jobe especially as the spear-throwers' shields were also attached to the figure, rather than just their arms. Much cursing and spilling of blood followed but eventually I managed the task.

Small Helmeted sword-armed figure with small shield

The two photographs show the conversions, that will eventually yield two of the small (roman style) helmeted figures with small shield and throwing spears and two other spear-thrower with the larger shields, giving me four figures each with a counterpart.
So, four pairs of figures in total, which although not entirely historical (maybe) very usable as generic 'light' gladiators for my games.but they do give me a bit more variety to my lighter-armed gladiators.  There is reference to the "eques" too, fighting in tunics and no armour other than a helmet, so I do have a kind of historical precedence (Note though that the helmet is different and had feathers ) .
Mosaic of two "eques" fighting
Four spear-throwers (top row) with their sword-wielding counterparts
Here's a photograph of eight of the figures that I've "converted"; the figures with the distinctive Spanish head-wear may well not see any action in my arena!
TIn the photograph, the figure are paired with a spear thrower on the top row and his sword-armed counterpart beneath him on the lower row.
I've got four others 'converted' currently being painted up and a final sprue of another four to 'convert' (swap shield about)

That's it for this week I hope that there's been something of interest here, hopefully I'll be posting up pics of the painted figures next week, health and time allowing.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Celts (2)

Not much progress this last week, but I did manage to cough, sneeze and drool my way into painting up and basing a couple of my Celts prisoners of war that I'll be using in the arena as 'victims'.
OK I know, they certainly won't win any painting competitions, but they're good enough from my perspective as 'counters' and at least I think that there's no confusion as to what they're meant to be.
Here's a few photographs of the two of them individually.

Side view
First off, naked man, probably meant to be the archetypal  naked fanatic so beloved of wargamers, but would probably never be allowed in the arena naked - the Romans were quite prudish it turns out when it came to public nudity - who'd have thought it ?
(As an aside, there are a lot of bare-chested female Gladiator models out there too that would fall into the same category, but they're still popular !)
Armed with a long-sword (Spatha ?) and large shield (both ideas nicked by the Romans I believe), I'm thinking he'll have a hard time of it against a trained Gladiator

Bum view
Hidden head  view
Obvious front view
Front (ish) view
The second figure probably stands a little more chance being armed with a spear and longsword.
I'm unhappy with the shield colouring, it looks too much like a 'modern' colour rather than the faded 'period' one I was aiming for.
 Once more he's unarmed, but at least he's wearing 'trousers' and 'shoes' - protecting his pride, if nothing else.

Side(ish) view

Rear view
Proper side view

That's it for this week, I'm sure you can detect that I'm getting a bit desperate for things to post about, so I'll revert to showing what I've done to another HaT box of figures next week - "Celteberians", that has some very useful figures imo for the arena.