Camillan Romans finished — DBA Project Army 2

The 6mm Camillan Roman DBA Army - figures by Baccus, painting by numbers!
The 6mm Camillan Roman DBA Army – figures by Baccus, painting by numbers!

I started these chaps about two years ago or so — soon after I finished the Numidians. They have been sitting, about 25% finished, just above my painting table where I could not miss seeing them gathering dust. I decided last week that to combat a large degree of stress in my professional life I would finish these off.

All that had been completed before were the velites (two bases front to the right in the picture to the left). The others had been undercoated and the cavalry was half painted.

Of course, it had been so long since I painted them that I could not remember the paints and flocks that I used doing the basing.

I managed to match them off quite well at the end and I like the way these guys look at the moment. Best of all, I can now play 6mm DBA here and finally get around to teaching the lady the game. She likes kicking my butt in chess so this should be a lay-down misère 😉

The DBA 6mm collection slowly growing. Here are the Romans arrayed next to the Numidians. These are the first two of my seven army Singapore wargames project that I should have finished two years ago!
The DBA 6mm collection slowly growing. Here are the Romans arrayed next to the Numidians. These are the first two of my seven army Singapore wargames project that I should have finished two years ago!

Just for reference and because it has been so long ago, I arrayed the Numidian figures on the playing surface next to the Romans. I built the Numidians with all options so picked 12 of the most interesting (that’s the 12 around the elephant) and then put the rest of the figures in a third group.

As you can see there are quite a few more Numidians than Romans. That Roman Army, however, has absolutely no choices except for the choice of a general on foot or on horseback. I just assumed that with the amount of close order foot there I would never really think about taking the general other than as the mounted option.

Both armies are built from Baccus Miniatures 6mm figure range — a wonderful range of ancient troops.

I still have to get around to doing camps and such but that will be later in the project.

I’m not sure what will be next under brush. Maybe the 6mm Japanese World War 2 tanks, perhaps a DBA Parthian Army (seems appropriate as I am reading Peter Darman’s Parthian Dawn at the moment – and feeling very horse soldierly as a result) or even the next army in the Singapore Wargames Project – Gauls or Spaniards.

I will leave you with a parting picture – this for the non-wargamer reading this so they can get an idea of scale.

And for the non-wargamer, a sense of size of the 6mm figures ... yes they are small and no I do not have a lot of patience, I am a grumpy old fart!
And for the non-wargamer, a sense of size of the 6mm figures … yes they are small and no I do not have a lot of patience, I am a grumpy old fart!
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Singapore Wargames Project–Test Army–Numidia

P1010027

Over the weekend I finished the first six elements of the test Army. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was building a six army campaign set. To that set I added a Numidian force, as much to test out things as anything else. Of course, they will also provide a contemporary opponent for most of the armies in the campaign set as well.

I finished six elements of Light Horse over the weekend. I finally decided to use four figures per base for the Light Horse, these looking in sufficiently open order to pass as Light Horse.

Apart from working out how the figures would work in 6mm scale for DBA along with the number of figures per base to use, I was also trying a number of new things and techniques with this army.  I had been talking to some friends who had a different method of painting to me which included both basing the figures before painting and undercoating in black followed by a wet dry brush of white, then normal painting and washing after that. The new things I was trying were:

  1. That new method of painting
  2. Reeves Poster paints when used with Citadel Acrylics
  3. A new varnish (Krylon)
  4. Finishing things in the Singapore environment

The picture above shows the final result with a ruler placed for scale. Note that if you magnify the photo to 1:1 scale (that is, the scale the camera sees) you can see a whole lot of bad in the painting. Looked a 1:1 life scale – that is, where 1cm in the photo measures 1 cm in life – and the figures look quite neat.

Lessons learned from this process however were:

  1. Reeves Poster Paints, whilst heavy in pigment, seem to take a long time to try enough to use a Citadel wash over the top of. The Devlan Mud wash was washing the poster paint away. Fortunately, not too much of it washed off and it, by accident, provided a third layer of colour to the horses in particular.
  2. I varnished the figures with Krylon Spray varnish. I took the figures to the balcony and sprayed in the morning on a sunny day when the humidity was a bit lower than normal here and the temperature a little lower. When I bought the figures back into the apartment and the air-conditioning the varnish appeared to cloud up over the figures. The black hair appeared grey for example.
  3. I need to try some test varnishing on Reeves black as well as citadel black to see whether it is the atmosphere or the the paint causing the clouding.

All in all, however, I am quite satisfied with the first six elements. I have an element of elephants, one of Cavalry and all the infantry to paint next. Wednesday night will be the next painting session. I’ll also get around to writing up the making of the playing surface you can see below the figures.

The wargame at Anthony’s over the weekend has also motivated me to start working on the terrain for the DBA project.

Painting the Numidians–Part 1

P1000987 I started to prepare the Numidians for painting. The first task was to sort the army out again. As I was going to try some, for me, new painting techniques, I also decided that I should try a dry run of the figures to see how they would look when based.

I figure it is better to muck around with that now rather than later. First off for testing was the cavalry.

P1000988 The Numidian horse is mostly light horse. Originally I was planning on using 3 x 6mm figures for each 15mm figure. However, looking at a base with that many figures on, it seems that it is too many. I shuffled a few things around and tried 2 x 6mm figures for each 15mm figure.

The base on the left is with 6 figures, on the right, four. The one on the right looks more like skirmishing cavalry so Light Horse will now be four figures per base.

3Cv Originally I had planned on 3 times the 15mm figures for 6mm for the cavalry. I tested both 8 and 10 figures per base for the 3Cv bases and both look OK. I’m inclined to us 8, 9 or 10 figures for the 3Cv bases. Even with 8 figures to a base the 3Cv will look a lot more dense than the Light Horse.

Basing is therefore planned. The figures were cleaned and prepared for painting. Some where glued to tongue depressors and the rest to their bases. They were then undercoated in flat black paint. I will cover the painting of these in the future.

The Armies – II/33 Polybian Roman

P1000974This weekend is a busy weekend. I’m meeting my old boss from Korea, CW, at 2 for a couple of beers at Changi and then this evening on to Beerfest Asia 2011. I suspect that as a result of these two cultural events, tomorrow will be spent reading … but picture books only. Saturday morning though I got on with a couple of things whilst doing the weekly washing. I managed to finish painting the base board (more of that in a later post) and also to write up the Polybian Roman Army.

The Polybian Roman army reflects the Romans organisation at the time of Rome’s struggle with Carthage and Hannibal in particular during the Second Punic War. To that end the classical symmetry of the Roman Army is reflected in the structure of this army.

Probably the best initial wargamers source for information on the DBA Polybian’s in particular is at the Fanaticus website – and in particular the notes on the Polybian Romans.

Number Type Comments
1 3Cv The general element and bodyguards
1 3Cv Roman or allied cavalry. Could also be Spanish or Gallic Cavalry instead of native Roman or Italian allies
2 4Sp The Triarii – the veterans of the Roman Army and generally those that formed the third line. Armed in the traditional way of a long spear and shield – in many respects the Roman version of a hoplite
6 4Bd These are the Hastati and Princeps – and are those that perhaps did the majority of the fighting. Armed with the new pilum and trained in its use as well as the use od the short Roman stabbing sword
2 2Ps These are the Rorarii or Velites. At the start of the period, Rorarii which were lightly armed skirmishing troops. These later evolved into the Velites, light infantry armed with shield and javelins and wearing the famous wolfskin.

There are no variations possible with the Roman army. What is listed about is the Roman Army in its only variation. IN many respects this reflects Rome well.

As with the Numidians mentioned previously, I am using four 6mm figures for each 15mm figure recommended in the rules for infantry. The Velites will therefore have 8 figures on the base and the Hastati, Princeps and Triarii will have 16.

The cavalry and the general are scaled to three 6mm figures for each 15mm figure recommended. The 3Cv bases will therefore have 8 or 9 figures on them (I’m still undecided exactly on how many to use).

The terrain requirements for this army are listed as Arable. This means that as I make the terrain I will need to make sure I have the following for this army:

  • Steep Hills – two are needed
  • Gentle Hills – two are needed
  • River – one needed – it should cross the entire board
  • Waterway – one is needed
  • Woods – two are needed
  • Built Up Area (BUA) – one is needed and this is one of the compulsory features
  • Roads – one is needed as this is the alternative compulsory feature to the BUA. It should be long enough to cross from one side of the table to the other

This the organisation of the figures and terrain for the Polybian Romans. The picture at the top of this is the figures and bases sorted and organised for the eventual painting

The Armies – II/40 Numidian

P1000973I spent some time this weekend doing two things for the Singapore Wargames Project. The first was starting on the game board and the terrain. The second was sorting the figures and the bases out. I was expecting that I would have some errors in purchasing and I did. I had a few too many figures left over from a couple of the packs I purchased – like why did I buy Tarentine cavalry? I also ended up discovering that I had miscalculated the number of bases I needed in the 40x20mm size. I know why that happened. As I sorted the figures out I found that I could pretty much do all the variations so I started to plan that way. This left me short some bases. Oh well, a quick order off to East Riding Miniatures tonight will see that corrected.

I decided to start with the Numidians as I am guessing they will be the easiest of the seven armies to paint. Looking through the list, I need to allow for the following troops to meet all the requirements.

Number Type Comments
1 3Cv This is the general and can have Gallic or Spanish bodyguards
1 2LH An alternate general to the one mentioned above
5 2LH The famous Numidian Light Cavalry
6 2Ps Numidian Light Troops – Psiloi. There is some discussion about whether these were, in fact Psiloi or more closely grouped troops such as the next type
5 3Ax Numidian foot troops – classed as Auxilia in the rules. These are good broken terrain troops but a little fragile in the open when faced by cavalry or close order infantry
1 El An elephant base. Elephants were used in the armies of Jugurtha and Juba
1 4Bd These are imitation legionaries or Roman deserters – these are from the later period, after the Punic Wars when Rome and Numidia fought.
1 3/4Ax These are either Spanish Scutarii, Gaetuli, or Ligurian deserters – trained by the Romans but fighting for the Numidians

These then are all the elements that I need to make to cover all options of the Numidian Army. For figures per base, a little experimenting and I worked out the following ratios:

Infantry – use four 6mm figures for each 15mm figure recommended in the rules. In this case, a 3Ax base of 6mm figures will contain 12 figures (the 15mm equivalent is 3 figures).

Cavalry – to give a little more space, I decided to use three 6mm figures for each 15mm figure recommended. A 2LH base in 6mm will therefore contain 6 figures (the 15mm equivalent is 2 figures).

Elephants, Artillery and Chariots – I decided that two 6mm models per base would work best. The 15mm equivalent is one model.

For references on the Numidians, perhaps the best starting places are:

The terrain requirements for this army are listed as Hilly. This means that as I make the terrain I will need to make sure I have the following for this army:

  • Steep Hills – two are needed
  • River – one needed – it should cross the entire board
  • Woods – two are needed
  • Built Up Area (BUA) – one is needed
  • Roads – two are needed – again, they should be long enough to cross from one side of the table to the other

OK, that is the organisation of the figures for the Numidians. The picture at the top of this is the figures and bases sorted and organised for the eventual painting.

I will update the next six armies over the next week or so as well as progress of the game board.