Thanks to the dreadful weather yesterday and on Friday, I was able to spend enough time to finish off the last groups of figures that I had previously prepped for my Saga Late Roman warband. First was the last group of fighters, 12 Tirones (Levies) armed with javelins. These figures are all from the Gripping Beast "Dark Age Warriors" box.
As an aside, I really dislike this whole "Dark Age" nonsense. It is historically inaccurate and incredibly misleading. What we are talking about is the end of Late Antiquity and the Early Mediaeval period.
The concept of a lesser age following the so-called Fall of the western Roman empire originated in 14th and 15th century Italy, in the period known as the Renaissance, when, in many cases newly-available classical texts were being studied by humanist scholars. The concept allegedly began with Petrarch, who wanted to portray the Mediaeval Christian period as one of superstition and ignorance, compared to the pure rational light of the classical past.
The actual Latin term saeculum obscurum was apparently coined by Cardinal Cesare Baronio at the beginning of the 17th century to refer to a period in 10th and 11th century Church history when the Papacy was dominated by Theophylact I, Count of Tusculum and his family and successors.
Anyway, history lesson over, here are the figures. I wanted to unify the figures, who represent levies, maybe from the local peasantry or from some Germanic tribe settled inside the imperial borders, by giving them shields with an inherently Roman appearance, hence the Chi Rho and other Christian designs on them. At the same time, I didn't want the troops to look like they were "regulars", so they are dressed in a variety of colours which are mainly rustic shades.
I also had four Roman character figures to paint. My idea here was twofold. First to give me some figures who could act as optional extras in Saga games, e.g. the signifer or vexillarius with the banner (vexilla) showing the Virgin and Child who would make an excellent War Banner bearer, but also who might be useful for when I expand this Roman project for Sword & Spear.
I will admit to being really pleased how these have turned out and I really can't wait to see them in action soon.