Saturday, 1 August 2020

Auxiliary archers

Another rush job! I need these for Sunday and only had them undercoated this morning.

These are from Aventine Miniatures, a company that I haven't bought anything from until now, but who are definitely on my radar now. The best thing about these figures is that they scale up well against the Victrix plastics that form the rest of my cohors equitata. They are also really nice sculpts and clean castings too. They were a joy to paint.

There is a decent amount of variation in the figures, some are in mail and others in scale armour and there are little details that make them all look a bit different from the next one along.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Six more auxiliary cavalry

Well, I finished off my second group of six equites for my cohors equitata, and the rain held off long enough for me to varnish them. My DIY augury (would I see sparrows or magpies first if I looked out of the kitchen window?) worked for me. I shall continue to put out food for the sparrows.

I don't really need a tubicen but seeing as arms with a tuba (the Latin word for a trumpet) are included on the Victrix sprues, it seemed a shame to just ignore them. Similarly, I used an optio head for one of the equites, just for variety. I don't need an optio equitum either, but he looks nice in the group.

For a bit more variety, I have chosen a sword arm for one of these equites, and you will note that the middle one of these is wearing scale armour rather than mail. This is because each sprue in the set has one body in scale lorica, so it has to be used for ordinary troopers as well as leaders to make the most of the available models.

I have also chosen to give this group blue neckerchiefs, for variety. The first group I did have red ones. 

I have seven more horses and riders left (because I bought an extra pair of sprues on ebay to give me 20 equites in total), so I'll get them made up at some point, but I have no urgent need for them. When they are done, I'll have a second leader and one more group of six equites.

Sunday, 26 July 2020

Auxiliary cavalry

Wow, this was a rush job! I was worried that they wouldn't be finished ready for this afternoon. I couldn't varnish them until this morning because of rain and humidity.

First, we have a group of three Equites and a Decurio, the commander of a turma, that is to say, a group of 30 cavalry.

Here are the remaining three men in my group of six, as required for Infamy, Infamy, including a vexillarius. The standard isn't necessary for the rules, but it makes the unit stand out nicely.

These are intended as the cavalry component of my cohors equitata, the Cohors Primus Syldaviorum Equitata Luperci.

You will notice that their shields don't match those of the cohort's pedites, and that is because LBMS don't make the same design for the slightly smaller Victrix Roman cavalry shields. I suppose I could have cut the edges a bit smaller on some infantry shields, but I decided that the equites of the cohort were distinguished by a separate shield design. In actual fact, we don't know whether all members of a cohort would have carried identical shields anyway. It seems a reasonable assumption, but in the absence of any firm evidence, I think it gives us the opportunity to do what we see fit.

So, for the Cohors Primus Syldaviorum Equitata Luperci, I have decided that the turmae of equites would carry a separate design, which I shall justify by reference to the entirely invented Annales Syldaviorum of the little-known 2nd century writer Lucius Porcus Crustum, himself of Goganian origins, who lived in Istriodunum during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. 

In Book XIV of the Annales, he writes that "the turmae of the cohort of the Brothers of the Wolf were distinguished by their red shields which were decorated with entwined vines in flower, honouring the god Bacchus, Father of the Vines, known as Dionysos Eleutherios by the Greeks and Illyrians".

So, there we have it. Who could possibly disagree with L. Porcus Crustum?

Anyway, I have more cavalry to finish, which I will work on in groups of six, and eventually there will be two more groups and another separate character figure.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

The last group of auxiliary infantry (for the moment)

The last group? Well, yes, because I need to get on with the cavalry for my cohors equitata.

Here they are, pretty much looking the same as their comrades I've already posted;

I don't really have anything new to say about them, because everything has already been said.

I am currently working on some auxiliary cavalry, once again Victrix plastic ones, and I need to get at least one group of six plus their Decurio finished before Sunday, because the Lincombe Barn Wargames Society is back in action and I have a game planned for the 26th. I want some hooves on the table as well as caligae.

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Eight more auxiliaries

The strength of the Cohors Primus Syldaviorum Equitata Luperci grows as eight more recruits are mustered before their Praefectus.

As you can see, I am now able to put these on their movement sabots from Warbases. I decided to do all of these carrying their javelins, mainly because it means I don't have to take a scalpel to their scabbards!

Once again, these are all Victrix plastic auxilia and the shield transfers are made by LBMS, and can be purchased from the Victrix website too. 

I now only have  one more group of eight auxiliaries to finish off and then I can start on my cavalry, who are all primed ready for painting.

Monday, 20 July 2020

Three more characters for my auxiliaries

These were a bit of an experiment, but I think they have worked OK.

Of course, when I say experiment, I mean a bit of very minor kitbashing. From left to right, they are a Capsarius, a sort of battlefield medic, an officer of some kind and another Optio, this one doing some kind of twirling thing with his staff.

The officer type and the Optio were made using two unwanted bodies from the command sprue in the Victrix EIR Auxilia set, and I rather like them because they are wearing the kind of lorica hamata with reinforced shoulders that we might associate more with legionary troops rather than auxiliaries. 

Because the figures are supposed to be a signifer and a cornicen, ordinary arms have to be selected carefully, hence the odd way the Optio is holding his staff.

I am thinking that the officer in the nice green cloak might come in handy as a tribunus angusticlavius, a junior military tribune from the Equestrian Order, who would make a nice Tribunus in the Infamy, Infamy campaign rules. I am sure that he will be a welcome addition to the Cohors Primus Syldaviorum Equitata Luperci. Anyway, he already has a name. He is Antonius Crispus Cerialis, from a prominent equestrian family with large estates to the west of Colonia Klovinus. The family is known for their wealth, their staunch support for Rome (whoever happens to be emperor) and their family motto, MAGNIS SUNT. The family has grown in wealth and social standing ever since the then paterfamilias Grabus Iantaculum Cerialis, a client of the gens Julia, was granted equestrian status for his support for Octavian in his wars against Mark Antony.

The Capsarius is a standard auxiliary figure with the addition of a pack from a Warlord Late War German Heer sprue that I trimmed a bit to remove most of the detail, adding a strap made from thin plastic card. I kept the water canteen, but trimmed off most of the detail to make it look like a pottery flask.

I have also received my movement sabots, so my next sets of figures will be based up ready for use.

Friday, 17 July 2020

More auxila leave the painting table

Well, they left the varnish spray booth (a large cardboard box with one side side removed) actually.

I really like these Victrix figures a lot. They have lots of detail, are fairly simply to assemble and the finished items paint up nicely, and it is easy to cut the tops off the scabbards on the figures holding gladii.

I have a couple more groups that I am working on at the moment, plus a couple more individual figures and I have also glued all my horses together, ready for undercoating. I will undercoat the riders separately, as soon as I have assembled them. I have enough mounted models to make up two groups of six, plus a decurio, which leaves me with three spares. To stop them going to waste, I have bought sprues of four more riders and horses from ebay, which will give me enough mounted auxiliaries for three groups plus two leaders. That will be a lot for Infamy, Infamy, but why not? There could be a scenario in future where I might need three groups of riders.

I've also got more infantry figures to assemble, including the spare command sprue figures. I don't need more signiferi etc, so I will experiment with these, to see if I can use the bodies to make up extra auxiliaries with different pattern lorica hamata (i.e mail shirts). The models with the muscle cuirasses will probably be surplus to requirements, but I will find a use for them somewhere.