Friday, July 30, 2010

The Petulant Ones

Second semester of university is upon me, but before the end of my holidays i managed to complete another base for my Basic Impetus Patrician Romans. Don't look now, but it appears that I am in danger of actually finishing a project!

This base is the only Roman Heavy Infantry (FP in Impetus vernacular) base in the Patrician Roman army. According to the list these are supposed to be legionaries, but I have chosen to depict them up as Auxilia Palatina. By the 5th century the Auxilia had filled the role of the old legions, and the Palatina were the highest ranking, belonging to imperial field army. I recently finished reading Gore Vidal's superb novelisation of the emperor Julian's life. Inspired by this, I have painted these guys up as the Petulantes Seniores, the unit which proclaimed Julian Augustus and, according to Vidal at least, followed him East for his ill-fated campaigns against the Sassanid Persians. As usual the shield pattern is from the Notita Dignitatum. I tried something a little different, using some GW dark flesh to simulate dried blood. This was suggested by Count of Wymborn over on the Steve Dean forums and i think works a treat.

The figures are from Black Tree Designs, the exception being the commander who is from Gripping Beast. I wanted to give these guys a more veteran appearance than the pseudocomitatenses, and so besides choosing armoured and well equipped figures, I added a few extra and arranged them as an aggressive looking shield wall.

I'm now working on the last Roman unit of the army, a second base of lowly archers. I'm waiting on my tax return to put through an order to musketeer minis for some Gothic heavy cavalry and to Gripping Beast for some Frankish heavy infantry to finish off the army. I've also been looking through the basic impetus lists and have decided to do a couple of extra bases, one of Roman Equites heavy cavalry, a couple of Equites Illyricani light cavalry and one of Roman Equites Sagitarii horse archers. I may even end up doing another base of heavy infantry, as i'd love to paint up the Celtae Seniores, the sister regiment to the Petulantes. These additions will allow me to field not only a Patrician Roman force but also an Eastern and Western Late Roman one.

I've also finally settled on which army to field as opponents. I was tossing up between the various western barbarian lists, but I found the monotony of painting up loads of similar bases a rather daunting prospect. I ended up going for something completely different and quite interesting, the Sassanid Persians. These seem like an interesting army to paint up, with the cataphracts on brightly coloured barded horses, the Parthian and Iranian light horsemen, the hopelessly outclassed levy infantry and the elephants! A chunk of my tax refund will be going on these guys, mostly from Gripping Beast but with the elephant coming from Aventine miniatures.

Anyway, as usual please leave a comment or ask a question. Hopefully the Archers will be painted up in the next week and I'll be able to get some pictures posted.

I'm also still taking on commission work at the moment, for enquiries please email


  1. Can you say much more than wow, those figures are amazing you must be pleased with the final result even the basing lifts them that little bit more

  2. Very,very nice Work!Love the shields in particular!


  3. Lovely work, and your idea of adding some extra units will let you 'morph' towards other army lists. The Gripping Beast Sassanids are lovely; I found them really time-consuming to paint because of the detail and the riot of colours, but the end results can be spectacular. Good luck with that lot!


  4. Fantastic looking unit, looking forward to see the Sassanids in the future.

  5. These are outstanding - painting, composition and basing all equally superb! A great advert for Impetus too...

    Best wishes


  6. Outstanding work. Looks very realistic. Especially the arrangement is, again, what thrills me.

  7. Excellent painting! This army should look incredible when all the units are put together.


  8. Superb paint job especially on the clavi. What are those flower thingys you used on the bases?