lundi 5 juin 2017

Late Imperial Roman Army II - The Pannoniciani Seniores

The Palatini

The Palatini were elite units of the Late Roman Empire. They were created by Constantine who needed new elite troops after he disbanded the Praetorian Guard in AD 312 - they supported his rival Maxentius.

There were horse units (called vexillationes), and infantry units called either Legiones Palatini or Auxilia Palatina.

The Legiones Palatini were particularly well equipped troops, and frequently engaged in action. The Notitia Dignitatum (a document  that described the administrative and military organisation of the eastern and western parts of the Empire) recorded 25 Legiones Palatini, 13 in the East, and 12 in the West.

The Pannoniciani Seniores

The Pannoniciani Seniores were a Palatine Legion unit based in the West. They belonged to the Italian army, under the command of the Italian Magister Peditum (master of infantry).

They were the fifth of the twelve western Legiones Palatini. Their shield pattern are shown below (after Luke Ueda-Sarson's pages dedicated to the Notitia Dignitatum):

I mainly used the Late Roman Heavy Infantry set made by Hät to represent this unit, plus a figure from the Late Roman Infantry set by Miniart (the giant one).
The figures are well equipped with large shields and mail shirts, which corresponds with the elite status of the unit.

The command group - note the Draco standard

 And some closeups on the officer: golden helmet, yellow crest and cape to show his rank.

Very colorful unit, a pleasure to paint.

dimanche 4 juin 2017

Late Imperial Roman Army I - The Cataphracts


What we call today the Late Roman Empire lasted from the end of the 3rd century AD to the 5th century AD. It began with the reign of Diocletian, who reorganized the Empire through the system of the Tetrarchy and divided it in two halves, East and West. Each part was ruled by an Emperor with the help of a Caesar.

Statue of the Tetrarchs in Venice - Diocletian on the left

At the end of this period, the western part of the Empire desintegrated, and the Eastern part, with Constantinople as a capital, became the Byzantine Empire.

The Cataphractarii, or Cataphracts

The Cataphractarii were extra heavy cavalry, whose main tactic was the shock charge. This sort of cavalry existed prior to the Late Empire, but their number had considerably increased during the period. Men and horses were covered with armors (lamellar, mail, or both). Cataphracts carried long lances called contus. Most Cataphracts regiments were located in the East, but there were some in the West too.

The minis displayed are Hät figures. They are meant to be based together as Knights for DBA, and I will need to paint another unit.
That's all for today :)

samedi 3 juin 2017

The Phantom Menace

Hi everyone, sorry for the lack of update but the weather is way too good not to live outside. Painting is not a summer activity :)

I added two ghosts to my undead army, and I took a few pictures this morning... hum, it's disturbing to take phantom pictures in summer light !

Anyway, here you are the result.

Two phantoms menacing a wizard... or summoned by him ?

The painting technique I used this time was slightly different from my usual way: no washes at all, I started from a blue base and only painted lighter and lighter layers, adding some white each time.

Figs by Caesar.
Hope you like them :)

samedi 20 mai 2017


The Samnites were a people living in the center of Italy at the age of the Roman Republic, and were one of its most famous opponents.
Romans and Samnites fought each other during the three Samnites Wars which occured in the 4th-3rd centuries BC. The Samnites were eventually defeated and were compelled to become allies to Rome. Rome just became powerful enough to stand against Pyrrhus and thereafter Carthage.

I used the Italian Allies box by Hät to represent the Samnites.

The warrior on the left has colorful clothes and shield, and wears a bronze armor.

The other warriors are dressed in white, with silver armor. They are noble members of a particular unit called Legio Linteata.

In the last photo, I show the Samnites together with Italian troops in Roman service (more concerning these troops here). They certainly fought each other during the Samnites wars, before the became forced allies.

I hope you like them :)

jeudi 18 mai 2017

Undead Pirates

Hi everyone, a small update this evening.

Among the most improbable minis I could have dreamed of, the Undead Pirates, or Cursed Pirates, or Fishy-Sharky Pirates (or whatever you want to name them) are certainly a reference I would not have expected to see in 1/72... but here they are, produced by Mars, and I couldn't resist the siren's song :)

Some may say that these minis are not very attractive, but I found them nice to paint.

Well, to be honest, I painted only three of them (for the moment).

I would like to use them in a naval skirmish game, but I have no rules and no opponents - any suggestions ? I wish I could buy the Napoleonics naval troops by Hät, but this reference seems difficult to find these days.

Some closeups.

Thank you for visiting this page :)

dimanche 14 mai 2017

Crusaders in Middle East, 12th century AD

Hi! Today, a few pictures related to the medieval Crusades in the Middle East.
If you follow that blog, you probably already saw my Templar Knights at fight with Ayyubid Ghulams.

This time I chose to paint an old reference - Italeri Crusaders. Do you remember them ?

Let's begin with the knights:

The third mini on the right is a Strelets Turcopole

The Italeri knights are nice figures with interesting details, but not very accurate. The heraldry patterns are engraved on the minis, which is a problem when you have several times the same poses, because you're not supposed to see the same knight several times on a battlefield (or anywhere else) !

I tried to cut off the pattern of the white and red (Argent et Gueules) knight, but it is rather difficult, and the result is not as good as I wanted.

I also painted two men at arms on foot:

Still a lot of work before I have a complete DBA army :)

dimanche 7 mai 2017

New Kingdom Egypt II - Sherden Mercenaries

The Sherden were one of the tribes of the Sea People confederation (see the related post: The Sea People). They are mentioned in Egyptian and Ugaritic records in the late second millenium BC.

As for most Sea People tribes, their origin is still a matter of debate. According to the Eastern origin theory, the Sherden might come from Anatolia, while they might find their origin in Sardinia according to the Western origin theory.

Concerning their appearance, the Egyptian reliefs show men wearing round shields, short broad swords, spears, and horned helmets.

After their defeat against Ramesses II, some of the were incorpored into Egyptian service as Royal bodyguards. They are believed to have added on their helmets a disc representing the god Ra as a sun.

I chose to represent my Sherden warriors in Egyptian service. I used Caesar minis, who wear typical Egyptian clothes, and I decided to use a fair skin tone that I believe coherent with the two origin hypothesis explained above.

A warrior as a guard:

Several warriors, one of them using the characteristic round shield.

I hope you like them :)
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