Monday, 12 December 2011

Tarantine Cavalry-Hurrah, A Finished Unit!!

Aventine Tarantine cavalry, based up for the Impetus rules, bu they can also serve purpose for Armati when I go over to game with the lads at New Buckenham.
I have another unit of these to do, the next lot will get more Italian style shields just to make them look a bit different.
Quite pleased how these turned out, as painting horses is not really my strong point.

Advancing Phalanx-Review

Along with my Thureophoroi order, I decided to pick up the advancing Phalanx unit pack (UD34) as well, after all you can never have too many pikemen!!!
This unit pack contains packs PH 21 22 23 & 24 bought as individual packs they would cost £18, the unit pack costs £16.65, so thats a good saving.
The figures, up to the usual Aventine standard, nice clean casts with a minimal clean up. A little bit more work required as the command group does contain some figures that require assembly. You get a good mix of linothorax amoured figures, along with some more heavily armoured types, in a muscle cuirass. The figures carry their pikes at a nice angle of around 45 degrees, thus avoiding the problem of impaling your hand, as I often do on the upright pike blocks!!!
Once painted, I think this unit will look rather impressive.
Check out the other unit packs on the Aventine site, as there are some good deals in there.

Thureophoroi Review

Having seen the news of the new Aventine release, on the Steve Dean Forum, I took the plunge and ordered a few packs.
So heres another short review for interested parties.
There are three packs available, two packs of thureophoroi, and a command pack. The thureophoroi packs are essentially the same, just different weapon options ( either javelin or spear).
OK, so lets take a look at the Thureophoroi pack first. Each pack contains four figures, along with sufficient shields, and weapons for each. The first thing you notice, are the separate heads, this gives you some variety when assembling the figures. I like the seperate head option, the heads themselves fit nicely into the neck recess on the figures, I would recommend filing down the neck stump, thus avoiding the dreaded "bobblehead" look that can result from seperate head models.
Detail wise, the figures are very good, folds in the clothing are well defined, and the helmets are well detailed.
The figures are cleanly cast with minimum mould lines, there is a bit of cleaning up involved around  the shield hand, where there is a small bit of flash, but its not that difficult. Both hands are cast open, thus giving the option of placing javelins behind the shield, and in the throwing hand.
The figures are a little big larger than the Crusader model, you could get away with mixing them in a unit. The big difference of course, are the cloaks, and you will need to get extra shields, so they all match!!!
The command pack contains four figures, but no seperate heads this time. You get a trumpeter, standard bearer, and attacking Thureophoroi, and a rather splendid officer ( my favourite figure in this release)

I will probably use him elsewhere, as he is far too smart for a dodgy mercenary unit!!
All in all, another useful release from Aventine. Thureophoroi units can be found in most of the Successor armies, and these models will serve purpose quite well for that.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

More Phalanx-At Last A Basefull!!

Finally!!! A basefull of finished Pikemen, now just have to do the other four figures for the rear section, and we have the first Impetus/Armati unit completed. Basework not done yet, as I am still deliberating whether to put the command at the front, or more historically, at the rear of the Phalanx.
All Aventine figures, with LBMS shield transfers, I've stuck with more  simple colours, rather than going mad with purples, yellows and all sorts of bonkers shades, as I can't find any reliable historical evidence to say that the units were outfitted in anything more flash than red tunics, and bronze,linen and leather armour. Not a flash paintjob by any means, but they look OK  all bunged together, and thats good enough for me.
Back to the desk for the rear rankers, a selection of less well armoured chaps, all Linothorax this time, so we shall see how they turn out later.


A while back, I picked up an ebay bargain, 28mm Macedonian Army, mostly Foundry Figures, and all painted to a basic standard. Here's one of the unarmoured Phalanx figures.

Well, the seller must have been annoyed with the price, because the whole lot was slung nto a box, with not a lot of protection, resulting in a chipped horrendous mess of tangled pikes and figures!!
After looking at this mess, I put the box away in disgust, and there it sat until. by chance I found it again, and decided to have a go at renovating one of the figures, nothing swish, just a good basic paint job to make the figures useable again. So on the left is the result, just a nice basic paintjob, and a shiny new replacement shield to replace the bottletop he had before, nice LBMS transfer, and away we go. These guys will work perfectly well for the rear ranks of the armoured Phalanx, or for the less well equipped phalanx unit.
Oe maybe I will just stick em back on ebay, and earn some more cash to buy more Aventine stuff!!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Aventine Miniatures-New Phalanx packs

Hurrah!!! Keith from Aventine has announced the first releases of the advancing Pike packs

"We had added the first two packs of the advancing phalangites, the PH21 pack are armoured in a breastplate and have crested helmets, they are suitable as file leaders or front rankers.
PH22 are in linothorax and uncrested helmets.
The pike as you can see is angled at approx 45 degrees, this will allow the units to be pushed together in mellee(at least most of the time)."
  Also coming soon are the Thureophoroi packs, so keep an eye open for these as well.
I suspect that I shall be ordering just a few packs of these!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Surprising What you Learn

When placing an order!!
Once again I find myself clicking on the Aventine Miniatures bookmark, and ordering a few more packs. A chance ebay sale, and I had some funds to spare, so I have re-invested the funds, with some more wargames figures! I am reworking some of my figures from Foundry, Crusader and Polemarch, and wanted to replace the shields with some Aventine ones, so I can get an nice overall effect. Being a cheeky sod, I ask Aventine if they could send me a spare vexillium,I finish off the order, and send it off into the interweb. A little bit later the phone rings, its Keith from Aventine, enquiring whether I wanted a vexillium transfer, or the actual metal standard! I tell him what I want, and we get talking. I did not realise that Keith does all the mould making , and casting. So now I know who is responsible for the amazing quality of the castings themselves. Keith also told me that some new advancing Pikemen packs, and the Thureophoroi packs will be out very soon, so something else to look forwards to.

Excellent service again, what more can I say!!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Painted Comparison Pics

I like to compare the available figures, just to see who would fit with who, and to see what models look the best. This time out, I have managed to assemble some painted examples, so you can get a better idea of what the models look like, after an average painter has been let loose on them!!
From Left to Right we have Crusader Models, Aventine Miniatures, Polemarch(Gripping Beast) and Wargames Foundry. The squares on my cutting mat are 1 inch, and I have made sure all the models are lined up touching the yellow line.
I dunno about you folks, but I think Aventine may have quite a distinct detail advantage on the other ranges!!

Linothorax and Phalanx Commands

Just a quick review of the latest aquisitions from Aventine Miniatures. This time round I ordered some of the more lighter armoured chaps in the shape of packs PH07,08 and 10. (top to bottom in the above pic)
These figures are clad in the Linen armour (Linothorax) and will be used to fill the rear ranks of the Epirote/Macedonian Phalanxes.
The figures themselves are cleanly cast, and will require the very minimum of clean up before painting. I have to say its very refreshing to have such well cast models, and have to wonder why other companies cannot produce their models to the same high standard.
The detail on these models is very good, nicely raised, but not too clunky, enabling you to do a reasonably good paintjob, with out too much effort. I expect they will work well for the "Dippers"amongst you!  Take a bit of time, and I'm sure a stunning paintjob will be the result. If you want to see just what folks have done, go to the Aventine site, and have a look at the Elephant on there!!
My one gripe, and its my fault for not reading the info on the site. Wire spears, you have to order these seperately, but hey its no big deal, just make sure you order enough to go with your Phalanx packs.

Command Packs
Ok, onto the two Phalanx command packs, PH13 and 14 ( top to bottom in the above picture). Well what can you say, thats not already been said!! Two really rather fine command groups, with plenty of scope for including them in your Phalanx, or as stand alone vignettes.One again they are beautifully cast models, and they are cramned with lots of great detailing. The open handed figures can be used as standard bearers, or if you add a pike, they would make great Taxiarch or Syntagmatarch figures.
Overall, there are too many trumpeters, I will probably find myself filing away a couple of the trumpets, and adding another weapon,or have them holding a horse's reins, so they get used anyway.
So, overall, 5 more packs of fantastic figures to add to my lead pile, only this time I can see them all getting painted.
Would I recommend them? Yes, without question, I think these are the best Successor Range Phalanx models around at the moment, with enough scope to produce some very interesting looking units for whatever your choice of Successor army may be.
Nice one Adam and Keith, now forget about those Imperial Romans, and get cracking on some more figures for this range ;-]]

More Packs Of Loveliness!!

Ordered Sunday, delivered this morning, hows that for great service!!
Five more Phalanx packs, and some more LBMS transfers, this time for the standards.
Review to follow

Tarantine Cavalry

The first of the mounted contingent, and its a mercenary Tarantine Cavalryman from the Aventine Miniatures range. Now I confess, I'm not the world's greatest horse painter, thid one has turned out OK, and if I can get the rest up to the same level, I shall be a happy bunny.
Lovely figure to paint, can't wait to see what Aventine turn out for the heavier cavalry!!

Base Work

Having got a few painted figures done, my thoughts turn to basing the little beggars. I began with a couple of slingers, these are from Crusader Miniatures, they are Balleric Slingers from their Ancient Spanish range, but will pass muster quite nicely as generic slingers. I carefully selected some nice stones from my gravel box, and applied them. along with my special sandy mix, to the base. Once dry I gave the base a wash of Vallejo GameColor Beasty Brown, followed by drybrushes of Vallejo Tan Yellow and Pale Sand. The stones got a drybrush of GW Deneb Stone, with a little Vallejo Pale Sand mixed in.
A few judicious patches of my own static grass mix, and some nice tufts from Antenoctii's range, and hey presto!!!  I think I may swap the Beasty Brown wash for something a bit more subtle, but overall I quite like how they turned out.

Ohhhhh, Painted Stuff

Ok, be gentle with me folks, I have actually finished a few figures!
First of all, some Phalangites, as I will need a fair few of these. Figures are from Aventine Miniatures, with those fantastic shield transfers from Littlebigmen Studios.
I have gone for a more subdued palette of colours, sticking to simple natural colours, and just plain metals. I have seen some mad colour schemes on other people's versions, purples and pinks etc!! I have been unable to locate any evidence for these, so I have stuck to what I know. Later on, some of the file leaders and commands will get a bit more extravagent!!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Some Really Neat Pictures

Found these whilst searching, a bunch of great comic book style pictures of Rome v Pyrrhus, drawn by an Italian chap called Angelo Todaro. Here's a link to the site itself

I love the one with the Elephants being attacked by the Romans in their Anti-Elephant wagon!!

The Scene of the Crime!!

The place where poor innocent metal castings, get covered in layers of paint. There are a few figures undergoing this process, the front rank of my first Phalanx, a unit of Tarantine cavalry, Mercenary Thureophoroi, and some dodgy Spanish slingers masquerading as something else!!! Lurking over to the rear of the desk, is the first of the elephants. I'll post up some finished pics, when i finally get something finished!!

Back Again

I really must concentrate my efforts!!
Having veered off into the world of plasticard butchery, mainly to try and raise some funds!! I find myself back at the painting desk, ready once again to crack on with some more of the Phalanx figures.
Tip tapping away I've ordered some more packs from Aventine, and once they arrive, I shall post a review.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Do I ?

Order the new Linothorax packs?

Maybe its better to hang on until a few more packs are released. I am currently avoiding the Aventine website, I know if I go on there, I will stray into the shop.
A few random clicks later, and I am explaining to my Missis what the parcel contains!!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Slowly Slowly

I rather wanted to be posting some pics of painted figures on here, but due to a crap week at work, I had zero enthusiasm for painting, and instead wasted my time farting about on computers!!
I will attempt to resolve this issue this week.

Phalanx Pike in Linothorax

Added to the Aventine range, unfortunately, due to a lack of funds, I will have to hold off a purchase until I've sold a stack of old stuff ;-[[

Friday, 29 April 2011

Aventne Miniatures- Phalanx Figures, a review

My first few packs of Aventine Phalanx arrived yesterday, which means I can spend a nice long weekend leisurely painting a few of them.
I ordered the following packs PH and PYR 30, plus a set of the very useful LBMS shield transfers.
I will say, I am not associated with Aventine Miniatures in any way, shape, or form, I just happen to be a very satisfied customer.
OK, so lets get reviewing. Each pack contains four different models, and the codes represent different panapolies of armour, some are in muscled cuirass, other in lamellar or leather. These figures will be best deployed as the front ranks of your Pyrrhic phalanx, where you are more likely to find the more well armoured chaps. You are also supplied with a shield (aspis), and a very handy steel sarissa (pike), much more useful than a bendy lead version!!  The shield has a rim, and it is questionable whether the actual shields had rims, or not. if you don't want rimmed shields, then you have an option to change then for rimless,( I like the rimmed shields, and have taken that option for my army).
Onto the figures themselves. They are beautifully detailed little models, my rather poor photography does not do them justice at all
A comparison,LtoR Gripping Beast, Aventine, & Crusader ( the squares are 1 inch)

The figures are robust, but not overly chunky. casting wise they are very well cast, and will require a minimum clean up with a sharp knife and my trusty rat tail file. So much nicer than having to hunt down all those annoying little worms that crop up on some other castings.

The level of detail is really quite impressive, I have heard people say this will make the models hard to paint!!! Rather odd, as I think it makes the painting a lot easier, having all the detail so well refined.The muscles on the cuirass, the pteruges, all the strapping for the sword, shield, and greeves, even down to the ties used to secure the armour in place, its all there.
The shield fits nicely onto the arm, and has a neat little clip on the back to help hold it in place, the open hand takes the metal sarissa supplied really well, and you could even carefully close the hand to grip the sarissa
My favourite pack, well its PYR30, the command pack, four completely brilliant models. that will require some very careful painting to get the most out of al the detail crammed onto them.
If you are considering building your own Pyrrhic army, I would definately recommend buying into the Aventine range, as it seems it is going to be a full, and quite extensive collection of figures. The Romans are already there, and I believe that Adam and Keith have plans for more Italians, and even Carthaginians too. 
Don't forget the phalanx models are not just restricted to the Pyrrhic army, they could do equal service in any Successor type army as well.

A final note, and something that is often overlooked. Aventine Miniatures customer service is very good indeed, even down to calling me to explain about a problem with the shield transfers. I had e-mails informing me of the order progress, and my models arrived after only a few days.

what more can I say but go out and buy some, if this period is your cup of tea. I don't think you will be disappointed.

Pyrrhus, The Man Himself

Second Cousin to Alexander the Great, and rated as one of the best generals, by none other than Hannibal. Pyrrhus, born into the royal family of Epirius in Northwest Greece,sent into exile as a child, to rise from refugee to king.
  Invited by the Southern Italian states to help defend them from the growing power that was the Roman Republic, Pyrrhus fought the Romans to a standstill in two bloody encounters at  Heraclea and Asculum, emerging victorious in what were later to be coined his "Pyrrhic Victories" a byword for success at a crippling cost.
  Pyrrhus moves from Italy to Sicily, and fights against the Carthaginians, but the locals turn against him, and he leaves to return to Italy, and his fight against Rome.
  After a defeat against the Romans at Beneventum, he returns home to restore his empire in Greece, only to die whilst storming the city of Argos. Apparently, so the legend goes, by being struck on the head by a rooftile thrown by a woman, during the battle, this stuns him, and he falls from his horse, to be despatched on the ground by Antigonid troops.

I will touch more on Pyrrhus, and his army as the painting proceeds, but I felt the man deserved a bit of an introduction before we start.

A New Start

After much fiddling and farting about, I have finally settled on a project for the next, ohhh 12 months or so.
Aventine Miniatures have started to release their long awaited Pyrrhic range, and the first few release look very promising.
So i've decided to put together a few Basic Impetus armies for Pyrrhus, and his allies and enemies across Italy and Sicily. Plenty of scope for some fantastic armies, with Rome, Carthage, Sicily, Various Italian allies and of course Pyrrhus himself involved at various times.
Ok, its not going to be cheap, but with a bit of careful pacing, and some judicious flogging of long dead projects on eBay, I should be able to scrape together the funds to buy all the lead required!!!

First off the blocks, Pyrrhus and his army, and the Romans who opposed him at Asculum,Beneventum and Heraclea