Monday, 30 November 2009

6mm Romans: Some additional troops

A look now at some additional troops for the AD69 'Year of the Four Emperors' project that have finally graduated from the painting table.
Unfortunately of late, I have been concentrating far too much on "Real Life", and not on the much more rewarding subject of painting and gaming! Hopefully the rather low post count in November will grow somewhat in the coming month, so apologies for things being a bit thin on the ground recently.

Anyway, back to the good bits - I'd obviously made quite a dent in the hordes of legionaries required , as can be seen in previous posts on this subject, however was behind on some of the ancillary troops, so have been working on these, to whit, Command, Artillery, Cavalry and Light Infantry. These are a mixture of Irregular and Baccus, hopefully playing to the strengths of both ranges.
Below we see a pair of bases made up from the superlative Baccus Mounted Commanders, absolutely lovely figures with plenty of character - there's even a Caesar look-alike with appropriately large nose!
These I've mounted on UK 2 pence pieces, and made sure to leave the brassy edges of the coin visible, I like the vignette effect this gives, and also makes these smaller bases visually 'pop' more on the tabletop.

The only slight criticism of these sculpts is the piece of supporting flash that comes with the casting, effectively giving the horse an extra leg underneath - this can be a pain to remove - particularly if, as I did, you only do it after painting the model (d'oh!) - it's probably easier done in the preparation stage. Unfortunately, some of my ones have some of the flash still remaining in place in hard to reach places, making, Ahem, it appear as if some of the horses are somewhat exited stallions - if you now what I mean......
On the next pair of bases I added some of the cut-down command strips from the Baccus Legionary packs, to give more of an army commander look:

Next up we have a pair of bases of irregular troops; as I intend to use the Basic Impetus Rules for the project, these would be classified as skirmishers, so for a bit of interest I combined three different strips from Irregular on each base - Barbarian Slingers, Javelins and Bows. This also came about because, somewhat annoyingly, the strips themselves are around 41mm long - just too big to fit on a 40x30mm base, and looking somewhat adrift if placed in pairs on a 60x30mm, so here are three placed more randomly to give a skirmisher effect:

As you can see, these bases saw another outing for the static grass, which I am just starting to get used to; I think definitely at the smaller scales, less is more!
The slinger and javelin figures are particularly nice with lots of varied poses and weapons, the bowmen less so, being indistinctly modelled - rather blobby, even:

Next we move on to a base of Barbarian Cavalry, perhaps Batavian Auxiliaries; this is made up from a combination of codes, to give a more irregular look with E25 Gothic Cavalry in front and the E23 Celtic Medium Cavalry behind:

I felt this would better represent medium cavalry, which for Barbarian tribes would necessarily mean a mixture of arms and armour, with the better or stronger warriors in the front rank, with their retainers in the rear, perhaps like later Norman Milites accompanied by Pueri or Serjeants:

Finally we come to the Baccus Artillery, which are simply great sculpts, with an animated crew - there are simply no competitors out there if you want Roman Ballistae, that can match these little beauties for both heft and character:

I only have one small caveat in that the weapon is rather fiddly to mount on its base - again, something probably best done prior to painting.
I wanted to exaggerate and make the ammunition carried by the loader more visible, so painted the balls white, but having seen these photos, realised I merely made it look as if they are playing with snowballs.....oh well! Maybe some remedial grey dry-brushing needed there......

So, moving along with this project, I'll be looking next at the battle of Locus Castorum, and trying to sort out an OOB from the very long winded and complicated Tacitus text (not in the original Latin, I hasten to add!), so stay tuned for more on this subject to come....


  1. Very impressive. This is where small scale really works for me - large armies. Excellent.
    Perhaps light grey balls? :)

  2. what length static grass do you use? Normal or short strand which is 2mm tall?

  3. Hi guys, thanks for the comments - I remember once when this was just supposed to be a 'subsidiary' project - ho hum! I guess as things have grown, so has my interest in the subject.

    @Mad - yes, light grey would probably be best for my "balls", although I did have a thought - we don't know if the Romans used ammunition that was coloured or not, and in a way, just like those schnazzy orange golf balls you sometimes see, if it was, then it would make it much easier to trace the fall of shot. Then again, the enemy could see it coming, although that might also have a detrimental effect on morale..... "Incoming!"

    @Micheal, just the Railway Modelling staple, Javis countryside scenics static grass, used with the famous Noch "Streugras" applicator puff bottle, although I've found that less puffing and more shaking seems to give better results at this smaller scale.
    I'm yet to try out the short variety that is now stocked over at Angel Barracks, :-).

  4. Very nice indeed! I love the massed army look at this scale - Huzzah!