February 14, 2012

Carthaginian War Elephants

Watch out! Here come the Elephants.

Actually these elephants are quite small compared to the elephants we know from today. That is because they are of a species now thought to be extinct (or maybe near extinct). The North African Forest Elephant. We know that the Carthaginians used these Elephants in battle, the way that can be seen above. They were used to crash through the enemy infantry, and scare the enemy horses, who did not like their alien smell.

First I will show a two pictures of the units with the red howdah. Here they are.

These figures are pretty much like they come out of the box, from HaT. With one exception. I made a headswap for the spearman in the central elephant. He is the unit leader, or at least that is how I like to think of him. The Elephants I know are painted a little too simply, being one color, and with no hightlights, but it will do, I think.

Then there is the unit with the white howdah. 

Again these are pretty much as they come in the set, but, the central elephant has a figure from the Atlantic Gladiator set, with a headswap. I like how he fits, and I consider him the Leader of all my elephants. 

I hope you liked my elephants. Sooner or later I will assemble and paint up the Zvezda War Elephants too, and introduce those to you as well.


February 13, 2012

Trees and Hedges

Any battlefield worth it´s salt has got to have some signs of nature. So what would be more natural than to have a few trees to put on it.

Here first is a single pine, that I have.
As can be seen it is probably meant for some bigger figures, considering how tall it is. But it looks ok with 1/72 figures I think. Next up some more generic trees.
And now some trees that look like they are more cultivated. Perhaps an orchard, or something of the kind. I have 6 of these trees.
And until recently that was all the trees I had. But then i bought a case of trees, 12 actually, that are 6 cms high. I thought that would be a good size for 1/72 figures. Here are half of these trees.
Of all the trees there are my favorites. Why? Because they actually look like they have leaves on them, instead of clumps of green.

Then there are the hedges. I have 3 of those. They are all Games Workshop products, so again, they are a bit tall for 1/72 (some call 1/72 20mm figures), and are meant for 25mm figures. Heres what they look like.

I feel I am pretty well covered on the forrest front. If I want to I can make more than 1 forest on the gaming table. Hedges I feel, as I have pointed out, are too high, but they are however still usable.

Right, now that I have shown a few terrain features, and such, I feel that the next update should be more figure related, and it will be, I promise. But that will have to wait until tomorrow.


Ruined Towers and Walls

Continuing my efforts to show my sister what I have of terrain, so she can get an idea of what I am missing, here is a little photoshoot of my Ruined Towers, and Walls.

I have forgotten who the manufacturer of the towers is, so if anyone out there recognizes them, feel free to post an answer in the comment section.I like these towers very much. Although they are probably not exactly in time periode with the Imperial Romans, from Airfix, I have shown them here together with these figures.There are 4 ruined towers.

The walls are a Games Workshop product, and some of them are a bit too large for the figures, but you can judge for yourself, when you see the pictures.

These stone walls might be perfect for 25mm. But as can seen on the middle picture, they are definately too high for the troops on each sides of them, to engange in hand to hand combat, with ease. They are also alittle too high to scale without using ladders. I did however come up for a use for these walls when I was taking the pictures...
Look: it is a ruined fortress!

Next up trees and hedges I think.


Games Workshop Hills

I was talking to my sister the other day, and promised her to show some pictures of the terrain that I have. My chief concern was the hills that I have. I find them very annoying to say the least. They are a Games Workshop product, and are to say the least, very unstable.

Here are the three hills you can buy in a set, along with two of my Airfix Imperial Romans.

As can probably be seen, the hills themselves are pretty nice. They are flocked with a grassy surface, which makes them look really good. Unfortunately it does not allow figures with small bases to stand on them very easily. They are easily toppled, because of the irregular surface.

It does not help that the hills are hollow. That is they consist only of a bended (bendable) surface, most likely some sort of rubberized plastic. This makes the hills prone to being a bit shakey, and when figures are put on them, they fall over easily because of this as well.

Here is a picture of the underside of one of my hills.

My problems would most likely be non-existant, if I used them for 25mm lead figures, as they are designed to. The lead would weigh them down alot, and also the figures would be harder to topple. Another annoying feature of the hills is that the hill slopes are at such a high angle that placing plastic 1/72 figures on them is quite impossible.

My sister, who is studying landscape architecture, has kindly offered to make some hills for me! How can i pass that up? The only thing I had to do was show her these pictures, so she had an idea about the problems that I faced.


Imagi-nation Greeks

Some years ago I painted up some Greeks. I decided that I would make four main Greek armies. Those would be the Thebans, Athenians, Spartans and Macedonians. Of course I also wanted there to be minor greek ally contingents, that each of these mighty armies could call apon, and thus I invented some Imagi-Nation city states, that had uniforms i just picked out for fun.

Here is a light equiped hoplite unit, that I imagine comes from the Greek settlements in Egypt..

That they are from Egypt is not very visible on the above photo, but it is quite a bit more visible in the shield designs that the figures from HaT have. These are visible in the photos below where I have taken a picture of each pose.

Of course lighter troops were also available to the Greeks, and I made a shieldless light psiloi unit. Also an imagination unit.

Here are the poses from the unit, in profile. I have omitted the central figure, more on that later. (I think I might have omitted a figure from the rank and file too, but no worries. If you can pick out which one, you get a brownie point).

Also I made a 2nd unit of light psiloi. These are equiped with a shield. The thracian shield I made a very primitive design on. Just a triangle and two straight lines dividing up the shield into three areas.

The figures making up the unit, are basically the same as the other light unit of psiloi, but here they are any way in close-up.

Now to the more special figures of these light units. It is a conversion in each case. The basic figure is one of the atlantic civilian greeks, with a short walking staff. Since I in general do not like civilian figures, I decided to convert them, with a simple headswap. Here are the results.

And from the back:

The heads from the civilians I put in my spares box, and later reused on other hoplites. It is easy to explain a helmetless man. The left figure shows some wear and tear, and i might repaint him before using him in battle. I like how these conversions turned out.


February 7, 2012

An old battle

I have been asked if I use my figures for wargames, or they are just for display. While I am flattered that some people think they are good enough to be used for display, my main reason for painting them is to use them in wargames.

I do not get to wargame as often as I would like to, mainly because it requires me to clear my painting space, and convert it to my gaming place. But once in a while I actually do it. This battle that I am about to show you was played out some 6 years ago I believe. I took pictures, not knowing if I was ever going to use them, and I played out the game without remembering to take pictures of the end...

But here are some of the pictures of my Ancient Egyptian Army, as it looked back then, with Punic Libyan and Nubian allies.
As can be seen, if you click on the picture, they are fighting Republican Romans. I remember that the Egyptians won the initiative and thus got to set-up first, and had advanced parties on the board. The Romans had to enter from the edge of the table.

Here they are, with most of the Republican Roman Army deployed.

And here is a closer look at the Egyptian deployment.

Back then I did not know how different the Punic war Libyans looked from the tribal libyans at the time of the Egyptians. So today, this battleline would have looked different. The Republican Romans are finally deployed...

And battle begins as the skirmishers from each side start to meet up...

And here we have a view of some of the Romans. Notice the skirmishers with black skins, and ahistorical geometrically designed shields... they are fleeing from the missile fire that the Egyptian bowmen has been hailing down on them.

Roman skirmishers engage Libyans in this picture. Some Atlantic Egyptians painted up as Nubians, watch, as they themselves have made a unit of Republican Roman skirmishers (velites) retreat.

The Libyans turn out to be no match for the Velites, as can be seen in this picture. The Romans seem to be winning the early battles in hand to hand combat.

On the right flank (as seen from the Egyptians) the Republican Roman Cavalry is almost ready to charge the Nubian bowmen.

And the last picture I will leave you with is a shot of what happens in the center, seen from the Republican Roman vantage point of view...

As I said in the beginning of this post: I don´t recall who won. But my thought would be the Republican Romans... But you will have to imagine the ending yourself, as I did not take any more pictures..


February 5, 2012

Sumerians, the special troops

To round off this journey, I have selected the sumerian special troops. They consist of two distinct troop types. There is the elite, the royal guard, and then there are the sets surprising troops, the archers. Why do I call the archers surprise troops? Well, there is no evidence in archeology to support the fact that the sumerians had bows. So archers are a somewhat speculative troop type for this army. Yet here they are.

The middle unit was painted when i still had no real idea about how the whole army should look. So it is not as drab as the rest of the army. Each of these archer units, that they call Mari Archers on the HaT website, consists of 8 archers. I like the bottom unit the most, and the one in the middle the least... Here are a few close-ups of the pose.

As can be seen very clearly on the pictures, i forgot to paint the studs on the leather shoulderpiece on the middle pose. This is however easily correctible, and probably will be corrected sooner, rather than later.

Then there is the royal guard. One would think they would be very colorful and well equiped. So it is alittle surprising that they are only clad in fur, and have just a spear, and an axe to fight with. In retrospect, I could have painted the fur drabbed across their shoulders a different color, but i didn´t.
These guys will just have to prove how elite they are on the field of battle, and thus teach others not to judge a unit by it´s looks. Here are some close-ups of the pose.
Well, that was our journey into the most ancient army that i have: the sumerians. When I once again get the craving to paint sumerians, I will present the sumerian chariots. Right now I am painting up some Iberians, from Orion, to supplement my already large Iberian Army.