I was away on a short break to Italy, Bologna and Ravenna to be precise, but now I'm back and I've got to restart my painting mojo. Before I went away, I completed some plastic 28mm scenic pieces that the club bought as part of a Kickstarter, Mantic's TerrainCrate one, unfortunately. Anyway, the pieces are all on a dungeon and fantasy theme, so great for a lot of different games, Frostgrave, Ghost Archipelago etc. There are a couple of us painting things up, and this is how I approached my share (note that the figure is mine, and shown for scale purposes only). First, we have some piles of treasure, the kind of thing that no self-respecting dungeon, cavern system or ancient ruined city can afford to be without;
Next, some distinctly martial pieces, including a sword in a stone for aspiring Once And Future Kings to have a go at;
Various scatter pieces, including a treasure map for a lost treasure island, and a crown on a cushion on the bedside table. Surely we've all got one of those at home?
Finally, more scatter, useful for hiding behind when the sound of "Fee Fi Fo Fum" starts echoing around the place.
These were all pretty straightforward to paint. A case of spray undercoat, touch up with paint where necessary, paint in the metallic bits, dry-brush and ink to bring out the textures. Quite nice pieces, and very useful.
By the by, when I was in Ravenna, somewhere I totally recommend visiting, I had a look around the Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra, the House of Stone Carpets. The stone carpets are, of course mosaic floors. These date from between the 1st and 6th centuries CE, and for the purposes of this comment, I want to show you these two. The upper one is the Dance of The Seasons and the lower one a representation of the Good Shepherd, a pagan image which was adopted by early Christians to represent Christ. The thing I want to point out is the tunic decoration. In both mosaics, you can see decorations (e.g. disc-shaped patches and shoulder markings) on the tunics which are often claimed to be "military" in wargaming and re-enactment circles, but which were actually commonly used by everyone across the empire of Late Antiquity and the Early Mediaeval period. It is more likely that soldiers adopted what was a common style rather than the reverse, but perhaps we shall never know definitively. It does seem unlikely, though, that a representation of Christ as Good Shepherd would be shown wearing an item of military appearance.