Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Monday, May 29, 2006
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Smithys in the south of Britannia have now joined the war effort and are now up to full speed, producing hundreds of helmets a week. The Celtic peoples were fantastic metal workers and their talents here are being used to the full. The order has been given to re-enforce the helmets with strips of iron, something that will take more time but should help make all the difference in battle.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
The Pro-Consul of Britannia, Secundus Tofieldicus Toeus has decided to go on a whistle stop tour of the province. He leaves the northern borders and marches south with the XX Legion and six cohorts of Auxiliaries, there is nothing out of the ordinary about this and no one suspects anything untoward.......he is just a Consul Governor doing his rounds once a year. However, with the news of the Emperors illness, Secundus has been motivated into doing a stock take of men and resources for the area and checking the loyalty of commanders and tribes in the province. This is a bold move for Secundus, treasonous even, but Secundus has never been one for waiting around and has decided to make the first steps to becoming the new Emperor. It will take time to build new units and supplies for his conquest, but being in the north of Britannia, on the edge of the known world, time is the one thing he has got plenty of. As long as he keeps it quite.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Rumour has it that the Emperor has fallen sick.........very sick. He has been ill before but this time, it is said he will not recover. Throughout the Empire people wait and hold their breath....'who will be the new Emperior?' is the question on everyone's lips. Troops on the frontiers talk about electing someone who will see to their needs instead of some high paying aristocrat chosen by the Preatorian Guard in Rome. There are a lot more troops on the frontiers however, than there are in Rome and their moans do not fall on deaf ears. Their generals wait also.....not wanting to be the first to declare themselves Emperor by force, but knowing if they wait too long, someone else will rise to fill the sacred red boots. He who commands an army could command the civilised world....if the weather is good and the gods are favourable.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
To give these troops a maritime feel I have given them sea blue shields with the a Roman war ship (a Trireme) painted on the front.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Here is another shot of my Gladiators. This one shows the command base with a standard of two fighting men, echoing the origin of the unit.
Here is a base I made to represent a broken unit on the board, when a unit breaks or is destroyed and taken away, I made these bases to put in its place. They were good fun to make and great for using in the photos.....as you can probably tell, I use them alot to add a little something extra in the piccies.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Their shields I based from my memory of that classic scene in The Fall of the Roman Empire, when a cohort of ex-gladiators is sent into the forest to lure out the waiting Germans. With this scene in mind I painted my shields a dark leather brown. To give the Cohort a strong feel of being made from individual characters, I personalized each of their shields by painting on different designs and motifs. These ranged from tridents (for those who had been Retiarius), to spears and swords for other sorts of gladiators. The unit also had a strong Celtic feel to it and so I gave it a Celtic standard to really mix things up. One of the final touches was the idea of giving them loads of different styles of shield, which made the unit look like it had drained the local storage depot to equip its self.
The blurred photo is owed to the taker being struck with fear at the sight of Phobeus (hence his name), but as you can see he finally joined up with the promise of his freedom tied into the bargain.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
With my army of Britannia almost finished it was time to add the cherry on the cake, with the introduction of the heavy Sarmations. Once the Romans had had a taste of these Tiger tanks of the ancient world, they decided they had to have some of their own. By the time of Hadrian, Sarmation cavalry could be found on the wall and in the north of Britannia. These mounted warriors fought in slow moving tightly packed ranks and literally pushed the enemy down and rode over them, although in open battle their slow speed could lead to them being out flanked where their advantage would quickly be lost. Here, a well armoured but slow moving Sarmation horsemen finds himself in the worst possible position.......in the open and on his own.
When I first started, I held the 'anvil' hammer steady with my forearm because it tended to move away as I struck the steel pins. Also, after about 20 spears, I found the best place for getting the perfect flat spear piont and started getting better results. This "target area" became silver in colour which made it easy to find each time.
Here they are at last, finally finished and out for trouble! Although I painted them to fight in my Roman army of Britannia, I still kept them looking very Celtic in their clothes and shield designs etc, so I could still field them as Celts in their true right and use them in my Celtic army. The cloaks I kept quite simple and stuck to browns and greens for the shield colours.....nothing too bright and flashy for this lot. The horses too I made painted a Dun colour to make them look british and keep the unit together visually.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Monday, May 01, 2006
These were painted quite early on in my Roman forces but still stand up well from a distance. The shield design and colour just seemed to say Gaulish to me...so they became Gauls. Over the years this unit has always found itself fighting the same unit of German Auxiliaries on the board and so I like to think there's a little bit of history there between them, which is great for game play and character.
This picture came about from idea to draw up legionaries in cold wheather clothing, there aren't many illustrations on this topic and I wondered what they would've looked like. I have given them thick local (Celtic) clothing under their armour and fingerless gloves to keep out the scottish winds, they have also got long trousers on as opposed to the breeches always depicted in books. I think people haven't really changed much reguarding comfort over the years and i think alot of this stuff would have been common sense, only a few years ago, the famous Vindolanda writing tablets revealed a man writting home asking for more underpants and socks to keep him warm. Also, when I get round to starting my campaign idea, I would like to follow the events of it through the eyes of these two and see how they get on, for abit of added imagination and story telling. My lasting memory of visiting Hadrian's wall was the noise and force of the air when I was standing on the wall, it was literally deafening, but it was a magical moment to be looking out through Roman eyes into the wastes of Pictland and the ends of the Roman empire.