Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Progress Report (2)

I've made some more progress with my Roman army today and the results are shown below, illustrated by clickable photos and annotated underneath.

After trimming off the excess flashing and mould lines with a pen knife, I wash each miniature, separate shield and weapon in hot soapy water (i'm using a breakfast bowl here). This is to remove any dust and dirt picked up in the figures' manufacture or since removal from its box. The figures go from a very dull, matte colour to a very shiny silver once this is finished and feel very different. I find this step very important as it helps the paint stick much better and also removes all the dust in the recesses of the model.

This photo shows all the figures I cleaned up with the knife and then washed. It represents my Roman army, minus one cohort of infantry and the horses of the cavalry (if you would offer to paint them for me, please get in touch!). This is 1000 pts in WAB terms, costing the unit of new recruits as auxiliaries instead of raw recruits because the equipment my unit has is more like the description of the auxiliaries (they have the same stats anyway!).

Unfortunately, I didn't finish this in time to catch the light so I wont be able to prime and spray them until tomorrow.

Tomorrow's shedule:
1. Undercoat miniatures
2. Glue/mount to appropriate bases for painting
3. Paint the already sanded bases
4. Varnish first cohort
5. If I get time, make a start on the first command stand

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Progress Report (1)

I have glued sand to the bases of my first cohort using some PVA glue I bought at Staples and some basing sand from Warlord Games. Once this dried, I cleaned up the edges of the bases so that no sand overlapped. The next stage is undercoating with brown then drybrushing several other colours on top. Still to do on this unit: varnish figures and then paint and base the standard bearer and musician.

I also used Polyfilla to fill the gaps in this GW base which was attached to the model when I purchased it off eBay. This is the horse for Governor Barbula. This photo shows when I had just applied it and it was still wet.

When the Pollyfilla was dry, I filed off the excess and then added sand to the base. I will also have to paint the base and add some grass to it after varnishing.

I've also been trying to remove paint from old figures but without much success.

More updates to come each day. All pictures clickable.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Last post

...for a few days, whilst I really crack on with my Romans. By the end of the week, I aim to have based and varnished Gaius' unit, paint and base two command stands and atleast prime and mount the remaining two units to complete the army. It's quite a job but I have a lot of time on my hands at the minute so it may be finished sooner than expected. Expect an update with plenty of photos by the end of the week.

I'll leave you with a (clickable) photo of my general Celer, issuing the command to advance! This is one of the stands I hope to have finished by the end of the week.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas and a little update!

Gaius Sempronius, posing proudly for the camera.

Merry Christmas one and all from the frontier province of Lindum Colonia! I hope you all have a wonderful time over the next few days and I wish you all a very happy and productive new year.

I know progress has been a little slow of late but I've been cleaning up and prepping all the remaining units of my Roman army so I can just get right on with painting (no excuses now!). If anyone would kindly offer to paint 5 horses for me, please get in touch!

In the next week or so, expect some photos of the army in its entirety, primed and ready to be painted plus some photos of the finished command stands for two of my generals; Quintus Pompeius Falco and Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer. Expect to see another unit of legionaries lead by ex-gladiator trainer Lucius Murena (he's a brute) in the next few weeks too.


Thursday, 12 November 2009

Stick Guns

Stick Guns

Dave Tucker | MySpace Video

This is a video I came across some years ago now but it still makes me chuckle even today as I did exactly the same thing. It is for any of you who, when you were young, went down to the wood, picked up a stick and made it into a gun and used to play 'Army' or 'War'. "Who wants to play Army?!" was the chant that used to go round the playground at lunchtime. "On bonfire night you'd do the Bridge over the River Kwai and in Winter you'd go Where Eagles Dare". My Dad did this when he was a boy (he's now 43) and I did it too (I'm now 19).

I hope you enjoy the video!

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Remembrance Sunday

As I'm sure you're aware, today is Remembrance Sunday, a day to remember those who fought and died for our country. Being a war-gamer myself and using small figures to recreate battles, you can often end up distancing yourself from the reality, that these toy soldiers represent real people who gave their lives in defense of freedom and, unlike their model counterparts, could not come back for another battle and whose families would never see them again.

We will remember them.

Like many people across the country, I have relatives who died in the World Wars, I never knew them but my Grandparents and Great-grandparents did, people who I did know. They were their parents whose untimely departure had an impact on the rest of their lives.

In WWI, two of my Great-grandparents lost their fathers. The first, a Scot (Ross clan) from Tain who used to make golf clubs for the King who died on the first day of the Somme (Seaforth Highlanders) and the second, from Liverpool who died at sea in the Merchant Navy. I can't quite remember what happened to the second but he didn't die on his own ship, I think he contracted a disease and got dropped off at a port and was then picked up. He was on his way home when he died. Because he hadn't died on his own ship, his family didn't receive any of his pension or insurance money and were left destitute.

In WWII, luckily none of my relatives died but many still saw action. 'Uncle Harry' as we knew him, fought in Burma against the Japanese and was taken prisoner, spending the remaining years of the war in a concentration camp. Upon returning home, he was so tanned and thin, his own family didn't recognise him and wouldn't let him back in the house. Several other relatives were again in the Merchant Navy and those that chose not to fight, still had important roles back home such as Firemen and keeping the infrastructure running by working on the Buses.

An interesting fact for you now... I'd consider myself English but I have a lot of Scottish relatives on both my Mother's and my Father's side and whilst conducting some research, discovered that three of my relatives died fighting the English at the Battle of Culloden!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Lucius Aemilius Barbula

Lucius Aemilius Barbula is a man whose best years are behind him, and he knows it. A great general in his youth, Barbula was awarded a triumph for his crushing victory over the Numidians and was elected Consul shortly after. Despite his initial popularity, Barbula quickly fell out of favour with the Senate and was given the task of governing one of the more dangerous frontier provinces, but he's not complaining. Taking advantage of his province's distance from Rome, Barbula has been able to hold back some of the taxes he collects each month for himself without anyone noticing. He hopes to buy his way back through the Gates of Rome, overthrow the aristocratic Senate and declare himself a Dictator. He'll need to make his move soon, though, as time is against him...

Note: he looks a bit like TV Chef Rick Stein doesn't he?!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Painting Table

This is how my desk/painting area is looking at the minute (it used to have a computer on it!)

As you can see, i've found a use for an Ikea pencil! It's currently supporting Governor Barbula's bum whilst he dries out a little (it rains a lot in the frontier provinces you know). Beside him are two Foundry figures which i'm painting as part of my Macedonian Army which you can see by clicking here.

As you can see from the photo, I have my pot of sky blue paint out. I'm desperate to use it somewhere! Hopefully when it comes to my Phalanx and Hypaspists I can use plenty of the stuff!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

On the painting table

With my first Roman Cohort nearing completion, I thought i'd make a start on a couple of my command figures. The photo above (clickable) is of the tough old war dog General Quintus Pompeius Falco (centre) flanked by his Tribune and the Legion's standard. These figures will be mounted on a 50mm round base as a command stand. All figures are from Foundry's Caesarian range.

The figure above, I received in amongst some figures I bought off of eBay. I believe he is supposed to be the "Emperor Vespasian" from Foundry's Imperial Roman range but he will, for me, be representing the Governor Lucius Aemilius Barbula, a character you will hear a lot more about in the coming months.

NOTE: Someone has asked me how I come up with the names and history for the characters I've created for my army/campaign. Well, I spent a long time playing Europa Universalis: Rome last year on my computer and in truth, a lot of the names I use are the names of my best generals or other characters of interest from the game. For instance, General Flaccus (yet to make an appearance on the blog in figure form) virtually annexed all of Greece and conquered much of Gaul in the game for me so I decided to let him command my Romans on the tabletop. I have a list of names that I wrote down from the game with some of the things they did (great victory, rebelled, etc) which i'll try to incorporate into the characters. When I write the history I let my imagination run free but it's always interesting to find out what the real character from history did and try and incorporate some of that into the text. I hope that helps!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

My Model Roman Army

As it stands, my Roman Army looks a little bit like this:

- Marcus Fulvius Flaccus - General
- Quintus Pompeius Falco - General

- 16 Gallic Legionaries
- 16 Gallic Legionaries
- 20 Raw Recruits

- 16 Batavian Auxiliaries
- 16 Numidian Auxiliaries
- 16 Germanic Auxiliaries

- 9 Auxiliary Cavalry

Misc. Units
- 20 Urban Cohort/Penal Legionaries (for use as Garrison troops/raw recruits in the campaign)
- 8 Praetorian Guard (for use as the General's body guard)

The figures are a mixture of Wargames Foundry, Warlord Games, Renegade Miniatures, 1st Corps and Crusader Miniatures

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Gaius Sempronius

Born into a family with a strong tradition in the Senate and the governing of ancient Rome, Gaius naturally followed his father, Tiberius, into politics. His father was a very powerful man who commanded a lot of respect and as a result of his devotion to Rome and its citizens, had great influence in the Senate (or was it due to his vast wealth?). Impatient and frustrated at the speed at which his career progressed, Gaius took the post of Military Tribune at the age of 20 in the hope of quickly gaining fame and fortune. Failing winning a glorious victory in a distant land and returning to Rome a hero, Gaius could still progress on the cursus honorum (ladder of Senatorial offices in Roman politics) after completion of his post.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Unrest in the North

The Senate has just received word of an uprising just North of Italy. It seems the newly conquered Ligurians, fond of war and always quick to battle, want to break free of their new overlords and return to their savage way of life. In response, Rome has decided to send the newly elected Military Tribune Gaius Sempronius and a Cohort of Legionaries to reinforce General Flaccus in Liguria and to aid in putting down the rebellion.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Roman Cavalry

I've just received some Roman Cavalry I bought on eBay which will slot nicely into a 1000 point WAB army (I plan to remove the Aquilifer and make some other minor changes from the previous list posted). I plan on having a unit of 5 (see picture above) which will be 100 points using the WAB rules but I also have 3 other Auxiliaries, another standard bearer and some kind of Senator/Emperor. They all look like Foundry miniatures with Foundry horses except for two which are definitely from another time period/manufacturer.

The horses are glued to GW slotta bases and I may well keep them there and fill in the gaps with some kind of putty (is this a good idea?)

They didn't come with spears or shields but I have plenty of spare spears at home, just no shields! If anyone has any spare they could kindly donate, it would be muchly appreciated!

A weekend of painting

...and this is all I have to show for it! It's a Gripping Beast figure from either their Crusades, Norman or El Cid range (I forget which). As I mentioned in a comment on the previous post, I was ill pretty much all weekend and decided to paint this figure last night to show i'd done something!

I quite enjoyed painting him because he doesn't have too much detail/too many colours and only took about an hour to paint (including drying time) but I'm certainly not looking forward to painting all the different shields! If only they were like my Romans and they were merely sprayed white! As before, I've used the Army Painter which has nicely shaded the chain-mail and the cloth undergarment.

Below you can see the figure.

Friday, 2 October 2009

A weekend of painting to come

I'm aiming to have finished the 5 Roman Legionaries and 3 command figures I have on the painting table by Sunday (minus basing and shields) and then make a start on a few of my Crusaders (i'm having trouble finding shield designs and other colour references, so if you can help it'd be muchly appreciated!)

Pictures will follow, probably on Sunday!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

1000pt Roman army for WAB

I've just quickly costed up a 1000pt (well, 998 to be exact) Roman army using the WAB rules. It looks something like this (but will ultimately change at some point because I'm not too sure that i've done it correctly and I have two Tribunes leading my Legionaries!)

General - 138 points
Marcus Fulvius Flaccus earnt his place in history after defeating the Salluvii, a Gallic people occupying the plain South of the Durentia between the Rhone River and the Alps, and claiming their rich and fertile lands in the name of Rome.

Aquilifer - 65 points
Teutomalius, the captured leader of the Salluvii, swore his life to Flaccus in return for sparing the lives of his family and himself. He was awarded a Lion pelt by General Flaccus for saving his life on a number of occasions and as a thank you, was also given the great honour and responsibility of looking after the legion standard, despite not being able to speak a word of Latin!

16 Legionaries w/Standard, Musician and Tribune - 305 points
This unit is led by Gaius Sempronius, a man with senatorial ambitions, who has been elected to serve as a Tribune of the Soldiers. Gaius is a little impatient and reckless, eager to resume his chosen career path and return to Rome (and continue indulging in wine and women!)

16 Legionaries w/Standard, Musician and Tribune - 305 points
This unit is led by an as yet unnamed Tribune.

16 Batavian Auxiliaries w/Standard, Musician and Centurion - 185 points
This unit is led by an as yet unnamed Centurion.

That totals 998 points. I have a couple of other units which will be added later such as Legionary skirmishers raised from Germania, the Spanish allies including infantry and cavalry and the General's Praetorian body guard.

After i've completed the 1000pt Roman Army and before I paint the other units I have left, i'm going to work on my Macedonians along with two very small Crusader and Islamic skirmish armies.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Basing fiasco

I've been packing up my stuff to take to University and I thought i'd experiment with basing a figure. So I covered his base in some PVA I found and covered it in sand. I waited for it to dry for a day and then painted it a dark brown. I then used Foundry's base painting system and used the three colours to dry brush on the highlights. It looked great! But then I had it in my head that dry-brushing brown onto it again would look good. It didn't. It just looked brown. So I repeated the process and then thought it a good idea to highlight with white which then made it look like the figure was fighting in the snow! So I repeated the process and finally left it at that. After 16 coats of paint, the result is shown above! I'm just waiting for my grass tufts to arrive and then his base will be finished! I might leave the overlap of colour on the brown part of the base as it hides the harshness of the corners which adds to the realism!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Spanish Shields

I've finally finished painting the shields for my Spanish infantry and managed to glue them onto the figures. The colour scheme is a rather striking (and rather dangerous looking!) red and black which I had done some research into for the basic design. I am aware that Spanish troops of this era would have had different shield designs but I wanted these to look more unified as they are supposed to have been drafted into the Roman army to fight for the armies of Rome! I've just purchased some basing sand and am waiting for some grass tufts to arrive before I can finally finish my first full unit!

The Romans are coming along slowly at the minute. I've spent the last few days re-arranging them into different sized units (either 24 or 16) and seeing which command figures go best with which unit. I go back to University next weekend so I shall be spraying a whole load of figures and taking them up with me so the blog (and the painting) can continue!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Campaign Map

I'm currently working on the rules for my Roman campaign and the screenshot above shows the campaign map as a work in progress (taken from Photoshop CS). As you may notice, I've used the province boundaries that were in use at the height of the empire and added a few here and there to fit the campaign I have in mind. I thought that the two players could have one of the two provinces in Northern Italy each to start with and are tasked with expansion to the East or West (depending on which side you received), much like the PC game Rome Total War, eventually culminating in some kind of civil war. Like I said, I'm still trying to get to grips with the whole scenario. I don't particularly like the idea i've just mentioned and i'm not sure there's enough interest or excitement in the campaign to stop it getting boring. Also, it doesn't have a definite conclusion or ending which doesn't help! Any suggestions?

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Roman Command Unit

I've just returned from the Partizan wargames show at Kelham Hall, Newark and managed to purchase this Roman command unit fairly cheaply. I'm considering splitting them up so I can base them differently. There are currently four figures on a rectangular base. Having seen some of the troops on display at Partizan, I'm also considering rebasing my un-based Roman legionaries shown in the previous post so there are more troops to a base so they look a little too uniform using the Games Workshop/Warhammer bases and not very realistic. The only problem I have with converting to say, two or three per base is the lack of flexibility it gives with changing formations, etc. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

On the painting table.

These are the Spanish troops I've been working on for the last week and I'm rather pleased with them! The shields are being painted at the minute and after that they need properly basing, but I will need to get some sort of sand/grit before I do that.

I've finally found time to get back to painting my Romans since my 3 months working away from home. I've undercoated the rest of the unit, of which i'd previously only painted 8 of the figures as a test run. This particular unit is led by a tribunes militium (Tribune of the Soldiers) by the name of Gaius Sempronius (the white figure in the middle of the front rank). Each year, 24 young men in their late twenties with senatorial ambitions were elected to serve as Tribunes of the Soldiers. Gaius is a little reckless, wanting to get his time serving with the army over with so he can continue on with his career path (and get back to the abundance of wine and women in Rome!)

Keep checking back for regular updates.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

New blog for another army

I have just started another blog which you can find at

This will document the progression of a Macedonian army I have just bought from Wargames Foundry. This blog will also continue, don't worry! I am just trying to keep the two things separate for now. Both blogs will be regularly updated weekly including pictures and the progress of each army. I'd much appreciate it if you could follow both!

Friday, 21 August 2009

Don't be alarmed!

Model Roman Army is back online! And I will be continuing with my Romans you will be pleased to here. I will return next week from my 3 month working holiday and get right to work.

My plan is to paint all the figures and base them all at once but I will need a hand as I am incapable so will need your advice!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Selling up

After some thought i've decided to sell some of my figures. I want to move into the Ancient Greek era as i've invented a much better campaign which i've managed to perfect (my Roman campaign didn't seem to work).

I wondered if any of you would be interested in purchaseing all/some of my figures. In previous post, there is a list of figures that I have, most are Wargames Foundry or other high quality manufacturer.

I am currently away from home but I can give you the web links to the figureines on the manufacturers websites and I can get my parents (who are experienced ebayers and at whos house the figures are at) to send them to you securely.

Leave me a comment for offers or any questions!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Spanish Acquisition

Yesterday, I went to the Partizan war-games show at Kelham Hall in Newark and picked up these little beauties:

Some more Spanish cavalry! The horses are beautifully painted but riders are lacking some detail so I may give them a little touch up here and there. I'm starting to think my first few battles will include my Romans and the Spanish, but it could be a good start to the campaign I've been working on.

I've also started painting my Spanish Skirmishers (Scutari) and i've even done some research into historically accurate shields (although the one below needs a little more detail in the white areas of the shields). They also need spraying with matt varnish to make them look more like the cavalry i've purchased.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

What's next on the painting table

Well, after I'd glued the shields on the first pack of Gallic Legionaries, I looked at the two other packs and the command and sighed. I wanted to have a unit of SOMETHING finished very soon or i'd go mad! So I decided to paint one of my units of Spanish skirmishers (12 in each unit) so atleast I'd have one unit completely finished. They are pictured above along with the Romans (although the 3 command figures are missing from the photo). I do have a problem though. The shields they're supplied with look very similar to the shields on my Romans. Do you think I should paint them red to make them look different? Perhaps blue for a more Auxiliary feel? I intend to use them as both allies and enemies of Rome though.

Friday, 15 May 2009

My latest purchase

I've just completed my Roman army by purchasing a unit of Spanish skirmishers (24) and a unit of Spanish cavalry (16). I ordered these from Kingmaker Miniatures (1st Corps) and i'm very excited for them all to arrive! I'm hoping to really get cracking on painting up the bulk of my army in the next couple of weeks so hopefully i'll have a legion or two finished by NEXT weekend.

As it stands my Roman army includes:
2x 24 Gallic Legionaries
1x 24 Spanish skirmishers
1x 16 Germanic wolf-skin skirmishers
1x 16 Spanish cavalry
1x General + 8 Praetorian Guard (as his body guard)
1x Aquilifer

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

A little help?

I'm trying to form up my miniatures into cohorts but I'm having a little trouble deciding how many I should have per cohort. I've looked at various wargaming sources and they seem to give two different numbers...16 and 24. What do you all do? Could you help me out and let me know which number is best? I play using WAB rules if that has any influence.

Monday, 11 May 2009

The first fruits of my labour

I've just finished painting my first blister pack of Gallic Legionaires from Wargames Foundry. They are currently without their newly painted shields as they are still drying! I also need to rush out at some stage and buy some glue to attach the shields and properly mount the figures on their bases!

It took me 5 hours to finish these 8 miniatures so I really hope i'll get much quicker otherwise it'll take an age to finish a wargameable army!

Here are some pictures of the men.

Friday, 1 May 2009


I've finished purchasing all the figures I need for my Roman skirmish army! I have two cohorts of Legionaries, one cohort of veteran skirmishers, and an allsortment of command figures including a general! They are all metal figures and have cost me around £80 for all of them. I can't wait to get home next week and begin painting them! I'll take a photo of it all before I start and give you gradual updates on how it goes.

I can't wait to see what they look like when finished! Then I can make a start on my Celtic army. I've already started on planning what I'm going to buy and where from...

Monday, 27 April 2009

Even before i've started...

...painting or collecting my Roman and Celt army, i'm already looking at other eras to branch into! This is unfortunately the flaw for any would-be gamer. There are so many tempting ranges out there! I watched Zulu Dawn last night and upon searching the internet, I was amazed to see the number of sites stocking miniatures from that time. This certainly is a project I'd like to do, perhaps in a few months, so if you're interested in that era then please bookmark this page and come back soon!

I found some great figures at Empress Miniatures and once again at Wargames Foundry

Saturday, 25 April 2009


Hello, my name is Edward and i've been wargaming on and off for around 10 years (although I had a 5 year break in between, during secondary school, to avoid bullying). Since starting at University, nobody cares what you do so i've decided to take it up again.

I was browsing the internet and came across a wonderful blog by the name of iron-mitten run by a guy named Simon. I was hugely inspired by the blog and it was mostly because of this that I decided to take up wargaming again. I've decided to collect several armies from the Roman era such as Celts, Gauls and the Romans themselves. I have since bought a paint set (I got rid of my old one because I thought i'd never paint again) from Wargames Foundry and around 50 Roman figures (a mixture from Wargames Foundry, Gripping Beast and Kingmaker Miniatures) to form my first army from. I'll do another post in a few weeks when i've made a start on painting the figures...I've also decided to start a campaign based on the early days of The Roman Empire and its expansion into Germany/France but details on that to follow.