Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Late Roman unarmoured cavalry

Having completed the heavy cavalry, I went back and finished off the Late Roman light cavalry that I'd started a while ago. These are based on the Gripping Beast "Dark Age Cavalry" plastic box set, with a few head swaps to make them look a bit more Roman. Also, the majority have been given oval shields and all of them have Roman-style designs (from LBMS) on them.

The main thing that I wanted to do here was create some degree of standardisation in how the unit looks, but also keep some variation in their dress. I've discussed the lack of an absolute uniform appearance in Late Roman troops in a previous post, so I used a similar approach to the one I used on the infantry figures, i.e.using a range of fairly muted colours that suggest natural undyed wool or linen. However, I wanted to tie the troops together so I painted "Roman style" embellishments on the tunics in a mixture of red or light blue tunic edging and other designs such as the roundels and shoulder panels seen on Late Roman tunics.

I decided to use a standard red shield design with a yellow Chi Rho for eight of the riders, plus four riders with different shield designs. I did this so that I have a degree of flexibility in how I combine my various cavalry figures for tabletop deployment.

My main idea about these guys is that they can easily represent post-Roman British cavalry or also Germanic auxiliaries in the Roman army, such as those used in both the Eastern and Western halves of the empire from the late third century onwards.

Anyway, here are some more views of the latest recruits to my growing Late Roman army.

These last four figures, who I think of as the unit's "characters", really suggest post-Roman Britons to me. 


  1. They look great, Carole. Well painted. Of course I am considering them as Gondorian auxiliary cavalry for my ME campaign.