Throwing aside all my regular projects, I took the plunge and had a go at painting up a fair sample of the Ancient Galleys seen in my last post. Now my knowledge in this area is rather lacking, so don't look for any authentic colour schemes amongst these - I took rather a 'that-might-look-good' approach, so these are probably more Hollywood than Hellenistic.
Having said that, I think they turned out rather well, with some strong colour contenders emerging for future fleets, and also some lessons learned.
Having needed to do no more than minimal preparation, (The bottoms of the bases are cast nice and flat, and there is no flash to speak of), I used a black undercoat, and then began by lining in the main hull colours.
This was followed up by the sails and oar banks, and then detailing strokes to bring them more to life - the masts, sail designs, some coloured blobs as various decorations on sternpost etc, and finally the addition of the all important 'eyes' at the bow.
I also was ambitious enough to put a blob of bronze at the very tip of the bow to suggest a metal ram - although to be fair, this is so minute, that it can't really be seen - particularly in the photos! The whole was completed with the base being painted, and some white lines added as an indication of movement.
They are indeed, really tiny, and I was thankful for my experience at painting up other small scale minis such as 2mm soldiery and 1/3000th ships.
Running through, then, some Hexeremes:
Being the largest, of course, these provided the best scope for attempting sail designs, although having started with fine ambitions of sketching in Gorgon heads and geometric designs, I was reduced to a few squiggles - I found it's pretty hard to get your brush tip in close and control it with something this small.
Talking of which, the Triremes meant that plainer schemes were prevalent, although the front of the sails did provide enough space for a few decorative strokes here and there. I found that in spite of the clear casting of individual oars, the oar banks were best done by strokes of a 000 brush, rather than taking a dry-brush action, as this tended to just clog them all together - the only niggle is that seen from above, white oars look rather like fish bones!
The Quinquiremes are a nice median if you like, with just enough scope for hull decoration, as well as tolerating some expressionistic sail decorations - hopefully on the table top, this will look more effective than in a camera close-up:
I think the most striking thing, given my assumption that the sails would provide a good surface to identify individual vessels or protagonists, is the fact that after all, it is the hull itself that is the most obvious at a distance, and is therefore the better identifier; a 'red' flotilla illustrates:
followed by a blue:
and finally a natural wood-coloured one:
Overall, I've been quite pleased with them, as they paint up very quickly for a very small effort, and certainly look good en masse:
How practical they are for gaming is yet to be seen; mounting multiples of them on large bases might be the easiest way of handling them, but sort of defeats the object of most Galley combat rules, which probably quite rightly tend to accentuate individual ship duels.
Used individually, each vessel on its own is rather fiddly to handle, being so tiny, and storage would be a problem - it occurs to me that a strip of magnetic sheet under each would make this easier, although applying it would be a rather time-consuming exercise.
If you gaming intensions though, demand enormous fleets of varied craft, then these might just be the ticket -Actium here we come!