Thursday, February 20, 2014

More hoplites with hand painted shield designs, Welshmen, and a scratch built stone circle

These Gorgon miniature hoplites are the second set that I've based with careful, deliberate thought as to how they could sit on their bases without spearing or shield-bashing one another. And it's working: here we have a fairly well organized phalanx (Hail Caesar only requires two ranks, praise Athena).
 I'm torn on the issue of eyeballs: some of these fellows' helmets make eyeballs impossible, but on others, I could put eyeballs -- but it ain't easy and you run the risk of making your men look cartoony.

Top eight (couldn't limit to five) shield designs: Front: Poseidon, Owl of Athena, Centaur, Grapes, Woman Running Naked. Back: Grape Vine, Woman playing Lyre (you may have to squint), Octopus. If anything looks cooler in classical art than that old octopus design, I don't know what it is.
Here are both of my "sensible" phalanxes (planned basing) side by side. The Wargames Factory Greeks in Heavy armor are a bit bigger than the Gorgon hoplites. I'm not losing any sleep over it. They're mounted on Litko trays and I'd like to mention how nice the people at Litko have been to me. There was a mistake with my order and they're sending me new product quickly and free AND letting me keep the stuff they sent me in error. I like the way you do business, Litko.

For Saga, eight Welsh warriors. It bugs me that so many Dark Age warriors get interchangeable shields (right? Vikings, Saxons, Welsh: everybody has a round shield with a metal central boss?) so I had to give these boys some smaller shields with visible wood (less decorative because Warriors, in Saga, are relatively poor men). Nothing too special about these fellas.
I've got a Saga game planned with some work friends tonight (which I consider dangerous territory, bringing people from your work life into your fun life) and I decided to make some nice Northern European terrain. Trying for a standing circle, I roughly hewed these pieces of regular packing styrofoam and glued them to the disc. Styrofoam of this sort has its own texture, composed as it is of many little balls, and I was hoping that texture would translate into a sort of composite-rock look as I primed and painted.

But then, as I primed, I realized that the spray paint was eating away the styrofoam, causing it to wither and shrink (and probably release toxic gases). For a minute, I thought this project was going right down the tubes, but I thought, what the hell, let's paint those standing stones anyway. It wasn't until I was highlighting/drybrushing with a lighter gray that I realized how the spray paint's withering effect was a happy accident (felix culpa). The texture of semi-melted styrofoam is very believable as eroded, perhaps igneous rock (if you read this blog and happen to be a geologist, I would love your opinion). Add some flock and grass, and presto, you have an ancient stone circle (with most of the stones toppled or broken.

Finally, a Wargames Accessories (?) well, which I got as a multi-setting decorative piece. I didn't create it, so I don't have that much to say about process here. It painted up very quickly and looks good to me.
You might have noticed that I got some new flocking material. I'm beginning to think it's too green.


  1. Excellent work, creative and beautiful, love this!

  2. very, very nice work here...well done