Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Big Guns

Here we are at the third post in as many days and still no sign of the project loosing steam. Its a pretty good achievement for me, especially as this base marks the half-way to completion point for my Basic Impetus Patrician Roman army.

The latest addition to my force is a base of elite Roman heavy cavalry, the Equites Catafractarii, argueably the forerunners of armoured knights. The Cataphracts were heavy armoured cavalrymen riding barded horses and armed with the huge 12 foot lance called the contos, and according to some sources also armed with a composite bow. The Romans adopted this style of armoured cavalry from the Sarmatians. During the reign of Constantius II, the Romans introduced another virtually identical type of heavy cavalry called Clibanarii. The main difference between the two being that while the catafractarii mostly drew recruits from Sarmatians and other Germanic horsemen, the clibanarii drew its recruits from the Armenians and Persians.

These figures are from Gripping Beast, and they paint up a treat. Wanting to give the unit a Germanic feel, I chose figures with the Germanic spangenhelm style of helmet rather than those with a more Eastern style of equipment.

The unit I chose to represent is the Equites catafractarii Ambianenses, basically because I love the city of Amiens. As the Notita Dignitatum has no shield patterns for any of the catafractarii units, I took a pattern of one of the Sarmatian named units and changed the colours around. The red-white-yellow theme was chosen by my girlfriend Laura, who has among her many talents a great eye for colour combinations :)

As these guys are the elite cavalry, I decided to keep the damage on the shields to a minimum, assuming that they folks in their prestigious position would have had the money and incentive to avoid scrappy looking kit.

Next up on the painting schedule are a unit of heavy armoured Roman infantry. I've only just undercoated them so hopefully I'll have them completed and get some pics up next week.

For now, enjoy and please feel free to leave comments or ask questions.


  1. Fantastic, love this blog!
    Keep up the great work and your army will be amazing!

  2. Excellent!

    The ability to use kontos-armed figures without the weapon overhanging the edges is reason enough for Impetus-size base. The correct look and well-protected.


  3. Superbly painted and based unit, looking forward to seeing the other units as the army develops.

  4. Absolutely stunning! I love the impetus basing and your painting style.

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  6. What minis are these - they're great looking!

  7. Thanks for the post and great tips..even I also think that hard work is the most important aspect of getting success..