Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Painted Roman Legionaries and Armoured Celtic Chieftains

I painted up two of my Romans, one with an Attic helmet and one with the more classic helm style. I’m happy with how the helms turned out.  I am more on the fence about the armour.  The armour is silver brushed over black, with lines painted for the segmenta lames.  My gut says to go the opposite, paint the silver lines over the black.  I’m going to try this for the next pair I paint. 

I painted the colours directly on the wood this time, forgoing the primer coat because I didn’t like how the paints behaved over the primer.  I think it went better, it certainly was more enjoyable. The paints don’t like the card I’ve been using for the shields; it’s the card that my paint pens’ blister pack was glued to.  It must have some sort of coating that inhibits absorption.  I may change to balsa instead, although I do like the ease of cutting card.

The second figs I painted are the chieftains for my Celtic war band.  They are senior warriors, with enough prestige and wealth to afford body armour and helmets. 

  I really like the helmets!  They are based loosely off helms “jockey cap” helms found in France’s Marne valley and Northern England.   The neck guard is foam and the ball is a 4mm bead spacer for jewelry.  The horse tail is white thread glued into the ball.    They are wearing chain mail armour.  Once again the armour proved problematical.  I understand now why medieval manuscript artists used a sort of visual short hand for chain mail.  I just have to figure out what mine is going to be. I tried two different styles, one with black and white dots and one with just black dots.  I don't really care for either.  I'm trying for something more like this 13th century drawing of St Mary kicking butt:

 The beauty of painted on detail is I can paint over it when I get better! 

When I was over at the local Michaels, looking for paintbrushes, I saw that they had some wooden peg people in their tiny little wood craft section (seriously, what is it about craft and hobby stores lately, nothing but clay, scrapbooking and jewelry making supplies), so I picked up a package of the “boy” and “man” pegs to see how they compared to the cutoff clothespins I have been using. 

The man peg is about 2 ¼ inches and will make a good giant or troll, since the clothespins are about 1 ½ inches, give or take.  The boy peg is 1 11/16, just a little bigger, as you can see here. 

  The head is really round though; I’ll have to make up some figs using the ones I bought and see how I feel about the look before I jump in and buy a whole bunch from an online retailer.  It just feels really wasteful to buy the clothespins, only to cut off 2/3s of them.  Though now I have a bunch of kindling for the woodstove!

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