Friday, August 13, 2010

Home on the (Anatolian) range

Well, it looks like University is back into full swing. I've already completed one assessment for my Early Roman Archaeology class and have got four more due in the next fortnight. I really had expected that the student lifestyle would be a lot more laid back than this. :/

Anyhoo, I've been plodding along with the last base of Roman archers, I'm actually hoping to put the finishing touches on them once I've posted this.
I finally got my tax return, and that which didn't end up going in loan repayments was sent off to the lads at Gripping Beast, Aventine and Little Big Men in return for a plethora of Late Roman, Barbarian and Sassanid Persian goodies. Andy and Darren at GB were particularly helpful, they happily allowed me to mess around with the composition of their army deals.
My plan for the next six months or so is to paint up the following:

Late/Patrician Romans

1 x CP (Equites Scutarii) 4 GB heavy cavalry per base
1 x CL (Equites Sagitarii) 3 or 4 GB armoured horse archers per base
2 x CL (Equites Illyricani) 3 GB javelin armed cavalry per base
1 x FP (Auxilia Comitatenses) Another 10 figure BTD/GB Heavy infantry base, this time the Celtae Seniores.
1 x FL (Auxilia Pseudocomitatenses) Another 8 figure BTD Light infantry base, the Romanenses this time.
1 x Mounted Command stand - GB General, Standard bearer and musician.

Barbarian Foederati

1 x CP (Gothic Cavalry) 4 Musketeer heavy Goth cavalry per base
2 x FP (Franks) 10 figure GB Frankish heavy infantry per base

Sassanid Persians

1 x Mounted Command stand - GB General, Standard bearer and musician.
1 x CP (Pushtigbhan) 4 GB heavy armoured cavalry with kontos per base
3 x CM (Asavaran) 3 GB Parthian Horse archers per base
1 x FL (Daylaimi) 8 GB Light Infantry per base
2 x FP (Leves) 10 GB Heavy foot per base
1 x EL (Elephant) 1 Aventine Elephant and crew per base

In order to field the full Basic Impetus Sassanid army, I still need to get a base of archers, but it's a decent start. From Steve at LBMS I've ordered the fantastic Sassanid banner sheet along with a bunch of shield decals for the Franks and the Sassanids.

So, while waiting for tax and now for the figure orders to arrive, I decided to have a crack at some terrain. I've wanted to build a Late Roman villa complex for a while, and had collected a fair bit of research info. I dug that out, along with some foam-core board, corrugated cardboard and blue foam and set to work.

As my armies will focus on the conflicts in the East between the Late Romans/Byzantines and Sassanid Persians, the villa i envisaged would have been able to be defended, but also home to a high status landowner. To achieve this, I made sure that besides the main gate and a small side door, there were no doors or windows which would allow an enemy to break in. I've left the roof of the long building to the right of the courtyard loose, with a view to eventually detailing the interior. The stone work under the portico is all from blue foam, using a method stolen from the terrain maestro Theomar Pius. The cobbles are a textured card i picked up from a local Spotlight sewing store in their wedding invitation section. I think they came up well, and i'm planning on building a few stretches of Roman road using them. The tiles are corrugated cardboard sheets, which i lightly scored across the 'grain' with a sharp scalpel then crushed down with a pencil along these lines. I think they look quite effective.

Oh, and i almost forgot. The pictures are taken with my new camera, a Canon IXUS 120IS. I must say I'm really impressed with the picture quality.

The base size is just within the basic impetus size limit of 20U (or 40cm square). This base is about 30cm by 35cm. I used the same basing style I've been using for my army, so hopefully they all tie in. I'm really quite happy with the result, and am now enthused to build a few roads and perhaps even a Sassanid Persian building of some description. Zoroastrian Fire Temple anyone?

I'm currently taking on commission work. All enquiries please contact me vie email,


  1. What an impressive piece of art! Especially the wall painting is an inspired touch.
    Seeing you former work I've already guessed you had some kind of affinity to archaeology and historical studies. Don't get tired by 'academical pressure', it's a very rewarding trade anyway. ;-)


  2. Fantastic piece of work there. Good luck with the assignements.

  3. simply supurb, well done, definate game centrepiece!


  4. Brilliant work and inspiring stuff - did you do the fresco from a print-out of a picture from the web?

  5. Great looking work, love the villa, thanks for the tip about the wedding invitation section.

    All the best


  6. That is superb model-building (to go with the great figures) Finishing off a uni degree myself I know how tough it can be - what you've created is quite an achievement. Really excellent work. The camera work is great too - I'll have to check out the Canon IXUS 120IS


  7. Beautiful villa - impressive and inspiring!