Hoplites require planning. If you don't consider the other models in the phalanx while you base and arm your men, they'll end up stabbing each other with their long spears and nudging each other off their bases with their big shields. This is the first phalanx I've done for which I've been wise enough to place these hoplites on their bases with forethought. And the results: a phalanx where all the rear rank's spears rise gracefully above the shoulders of the men in front.
It might be the best phalanx I've painted, and that's surprising because these are Wargames Factory Greeks in Heavy Armor, plastics, which aren't my favorites. But these guys have done a lot to restore my faith in plastic.
And you know I loves me some hand-painted hoplons. Here are the top five: a dolphin; the letters theta, eta, beta (he's from Thebes); the letter mu (he's from Mycenae), an octopus -- and this octopus is the pick of the litter, it looks even better in real life -- and an amphora.
I'm doing another 16-man phalanx, metal Gorgon miniatures this time, and then taking a break from Greeks.