Saturday, September 19, 2015

And more Greek Hoplites - Nautical Theme

A country made up of islands - and mainland not conducive to land travel! - naturally led to many Greeks becoming experts in all matters boaty.  With this in mind, I painted some of the Hoplites in mostly blues and whites, suggesting a coastal / island origin, and echoing (with the red-bronze) the same colours you are hit with when you look at those tourist pictures of Greek fishing villages.

I chose two different blues, one dark and one lighter, with the lighter blue more common on shields, and white appearing most often on armour / tunics.  The more striking dark blue appears less, and works as a spot colour.  The same variety was used in the helmet crests.

I had planned to use mostly nautical-themed shield designs, but I was also trying to avoid anything other than black or white.  This limited the choice, so not everyone got a seaside design :)

Three different coloured tunics.

Three chaps all finished in white (apart from crests).

These two have pale blue tunics, so one gets a dark blue crest, and the other a white one.

And these two both have pale blue crests, so they get white / dark blue tunics.

More 28mm Greek Hoplites - the Foul Myrmidons!

Achilles fought with a band of black-clad desperados, hand-picked for their ferocity and skills.  These aren't from the heroic age of the Trojan Wars, of course, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to represent a unit of Classical Hoplites who had maybe taken their inspiration from the Iliad too.

I added some red crests and other spots to break up the expanse of black and bronze - but I stuck to black for all the shields.  I also chose only white shield designs.

The choice of shield designs was limited (since I'd chosen to use only the white ones), so I added some variety by using an Omega (taken from a Games Workshop Space Marine transfer sheet!).

I went with mostly crested helmets, and armoured torsos, but have included some less well-equipped chaps to show the 'new recruits' that such a notorious unit would always attract.  Note the red tunics, perhaps retained from their life before joining the Foul Mymidons...

Perry Miniatures Wars of the Roses Billmen - Yorkists!

And now for a different twist on a unit of WoTR billmen.  These are a different commission to the previous three posts, and the requirement was for a Yorkist livery.  I originally went for an all-white scheme, but it looked a bit bland (and was too similar to a Lancastrian livery I'd used before), so I picked my favourite Yorkist livery instead; Blue and Murray.

I retained the off-white for sleeve and hose contrast, which I think compliments the red and blue nicely.

Most liveried units would be provided with cloth for make-up of their coats, and some accounts also mention cloth being provided for other purposes.  I have imagined these chaps being provided with unbleached wool for hose and other clothing.

These three all have puffed-sleeve livery coats, two of which have been opened to expose breastplate beneath.

Brigandines and padded jacks in livery colours look cool.  I've rung the changes between the two brigandine chaps by making one sleeveless.  I've just noticed that these three all have boar spears - unintentional!

Again, sleeveless versus sleeved brigandines on otherwise very similar figures.

Perry Miniatures Wars of the Roses Billmen, Yellow Livery

The third unit (which goes with the two previous posts) was finished in a more dramatic yellow livery;

Yellow is a pain to paint with sometimes, but remains one of my favourites.  The inspiration for this livery was a motorbike - the old Yamaha racing colours.  Against a background of greys and metal finish, the yellow really stands out.

To get a really good deep yellow, you need patience.  Over the primer, I've layered white, then two coats of dark yellow, then washed with thinned brown.

I toyed with the idea of using more armoured bodies, to cut down on the amount of yellow I needed to paint, but in the end I'm glad I didn't.

As with the other units, I kept to mostly muted tones for the hose, so as not to distract from the main livery.  Light grey, panzer grey, and a smattering of black.  The red brown I usually use for leather (shoes etc.) looks better with the yellow than it does with the red.

Brigandines look odd in lighter colours, so I used the contrast black for this chap's - rather than painting it livery colour, as I did for the red and blue units.

I couldn't resist painting parti-coloured hose on this armoured guy.  I have painted whole units of Swiss in this yellow / black scheme, many with parti hose.  Looks great, and the high contrast adds drama.

Perry Miniatures Wars of the Roses Billmen - red livery

Following on from the last post, these are the red-liveried troops;

I went the same way with these chaps as with the blue-liveried fellows - mostly browns and greys for the hose and sleeves.  The dark red is a favourite colour of mine from the Games Workshop range - 'Khorne Red'.  It works nicely with grey, though the contrast with the browns I've used is not great... with hindsight, maybe black or off-white would have worked better.

The light grey is from a cheap acrylic art set I bought in a bargain book shop - art paints are a different formula to model paints, generally thicker, but with (curiously) less pigment, so if you normally use one coat (for black or dark grey, for example) you need to use two with art paints.  With this light grey, two coats was enough, though usually light colours need three for dense coverage.  The paints often also dry with a slight sheen, which you can use to advantage for horses / leather; this wasn't a problem for me, as I wash all the cloth areas with thinned brown paint anyway, which leaves them dead matt.  I don't usually varnish miniatures.

The light grey on the right hand chap's sleeves is the colour mentioned above, but the darker grey is actually Panzer Grey.  It's a slightly bluer grey, which works well with the dark red, but clashes a bit with most lighter reds.

The changing fashions of 15th century warfare, with the leftmost chap in an old-fashioned steel cap, the middle guy in ultra-trendy short jack and sallet, and the other fellow in an exotic 'ear-muffed' helmet more commonly seen on the continent (for non-UK readers, it's common for the English to refer to the rest of Europe as 'the continent'... deep down, we don't see ourselves as Europeans at all!).

Interesting to compare these two armoured chaps with those similar troops from the blue unit.  Here, I've gone with red hose (on the breastplated model) as very little sleeve was visible.  The other chap has only half-armoured legs, but the panzer grey hose give the impression of full plate from the waist down.  I might use the colour trick again in future.  At a pinch, I could have scribed lines down the inside and outside of his calves, and painted the hose in a metal finish... hmmm... I'll give that a try on some up-coming command units and you can judge for yourselves.

Two chaps with boar spears in this last grouping.  For a long time, I didn't really use the boar-spear arms in bill units - I preferred the extra metal on show - but now I think they're cool.  The arms also fit the Fireforge crusader foot sergeants, so if you want to model those with no shields, you can use the Perry arms (see earlier posts for other examples of Fireforge / Perry crossovers).

Perry Miniatures 28mm Wars of the Roses Billmen

These are one of three units forming a commission for a client who wanted one each in blue, dark red, and yellow liveries.  The bases are 20mm square MDF (supplied by the client).

The blue is French Blue, and I've kept to very muted tones for the sleeves and hose (greys and browns).  Apart from the supplied bases, the actual basing technique is the same as I normally use (sand and glue over clay, with about 33% coverage of mixed green flock).

The kit offers bill arms in raised or lowered positions.  For this unit, I assembled half with raised bills. I also went for a good mix of armour and helmet styles.  Usually, when using the breastplated body (second from right), I paint the hose in the livery colour to keep unit cohesion.  This time, I went with the sleeves instead, as if he'd put his armour over the top of his livery coat.

Another view of the rear rank.

And another.

The front rank chaps use the levelled weapon arm pairs.  You get more choice of arms in this pose, including these two types of bill, and the boar spear (guy on the right).

These two are more heavily armoured, but still in blue coats (one sleeveless jack, one brigandine).

Mark B - Fireforge 28mm Foot and Mounted Sergeants

I posted most of Mark's medieval troops a short while ago, but here are some pictures of the last batch - the foot and mounted sergeants.  These are intended to be a better class of sergeant, with good armour, so I used the Templar Infantry / Knights set for most of the components.

I modelled matching pairs of foot and mounted troops, and the foot versions were all to be spear-armed, so I cut down the knight's lances to show them spear-armed while mounted.  The unit of twelve was split into two sub-units, one in blue / white, and the other green / white.  I varied the shield designs, while keeping the colours constant.

The flash on my camera has leached some of the colour out of the shields, but if you look closely enough you can see that checks / stripes / quartering all feature.  This first pair have grey horses (I like painting greys), and they use the same 'foot' body.  Thanks to the different heads / shields, they don't look too similar.

These chaps are on the same horses too, but I've gone with a hood instead of a helmet for the guy on the left.

Another pair with one helmeted and one not.  The guy in the mail hood is one of my favourite heads in the set; and if you save one of the fully-helmeted heads, and employ a spare 'crossbow supporting' left arm from the Templar infantry set, you can model a knight who has removed his helmet (useful for a command group or similar).

The second sub-unit, finished in green and white.  Basically very similar to the blue / white troops, though with a preponderance of brown / bay horses.  I've added cloaks to one or two of the mounted sergeants (quartered, like the surcoats), but have left them off the foot versions.  This partly shows the common practice of removing the cloak for battle (to avoid entanglements!), but is mostly so I'm not restricted in choice of arms or pose - the mounted bodies are designed to take the short cloaks, but the foot bodies don't all 'work' with them.

I'm always torn between upright and levelled when it comes to lances and spears.  Levelled looks more dynamic and active, but upright is easier to rank up on the battlefield (and easier to pack for posting!).