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