Thursday, 19 June 2014


I was in Orc's Nest today so picked up the new Hail Caesar Germania supplement.  It has a half a dozen scenarios but, of course, given the distance back in time of the conflict most of these are rather more generic than the excellent ones in the Zulu War book produced by Warlord a few months ago.  The real issue I have with it, in my rivet counting way, is that no-one, and certainly not Warlord produce appropriate figures for the Roman army of the time so all the Roman figures in the book are wrong.  I find this very odd, especially given the anniversary five years ago.  Annoyingly the cover of the book (from Osprey) shows exactly what they should look like; mainly chainmail but with cingula and older bronze helmets plus a few of the early lorica segmentata.  Caesarian troops are missing the cingula so don't work and there are hardly any EIR in chainmail.  I suppose it's not that important but it's rather like having British Crimen infantry used for the battle of Salamanca in the Peninsula or WW2 troops for WW1.  

Some figures I have that are fine are my Foundry Ancient Germans by Mark Copplestone (now being reborn as 18mm fantasy figures ,many of them!)  These are some of the first 28mm figures I painted after starting some Darkest Africa and Vikings about fifteen years ago and they really look it now.

I did upgrade most of their bases when I had to field them for a game at Guildford seven years ago but they really need a complete face lift.

The only good thing about them is that I can use them with my Aventine Romans for the Marcomannic War.  I think I'll dig them out and see how much work they will need to bring them up to an acceptable standard.  The scenarios in Germania will work fine for the Marcomannic War 

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Grand Manner Roman Galley 4: oars under way

Finishing the Roman Galley was put on hold last year for a number of reasons, not least of which was my panic at working out how to do the the oars.  The Grand Manner model comes with a rather curious strip of textured sea into which 39 holes have been made to take oars.  This means the oars are inserted into the sea not the ship.  Initially I thought that this was a very odd idea but now I have started to do them it means I can keep them as a separate unit and just place them in position next to the ship's hull.  

The aim now is to get the galley ready for Salute in two weeks time for Big Red Bat's invasion of Britain game.  Today he kindly sent me some pictures a friend of his had taken of his work on the same model.  Even better, the person concerned, Mark, sent me a couple of emails with useful information on oar length etc.  As a result I have managed to glue in two out of the six banks of oars this afternoon and I have cut the next two banks worth of oars to length.  My wife said that Waitrose bamboo food skewers should be about the right diameter for the holes and she was spot on; they fit exactly.

I also base coated the two resin sea pieces today using the same paint Big Red Bat used for his Thapsus game.  I don't know if he is using the same scenery.  The colour is rather too blue for the English Channel compared with the Mediterranean!

So, tomorrow my aim is to finish the oars and the sea base.  During the week I want to tidy up the painting on the galley, including working on the two eyes for the bow.  Next weekend it is masts and thinking about some rigging.  This will be very minimalist as I want to be able to carry the galley to Salute in pieces as I am going on public transport (that should limit my purchases this year!)