Before I outlined the possible plans for the weekend and they were:
Go out and drink beer
Get back into wargaming items
Whilst it was a tough choice as one does enjoy the odd tipple, what finally worked was to drink beer of Friday night (way too much as it turned out) and then I got into some wargaming related stuff today. First cab off the rank was to repair the existing figures after their move from Singapore to Manila. They looked a little messed up when I opened their box:
Figures were jumbled all over the place and there were a number of bent spears. I was more worried about anything that had broken off. Fortunately, nothing was broken off, just a lot of bent spears and the odd paint chip. The paint chips were not seriously noticeable so I have decided to leave them as they are. Now these three DBA armies are ready for battle again.
All the figures here are 15mm scale with the Later Hungarians being from Essex Miniatures, the Nubians are old series Gladiator Games and the Koreans are Alain Touller Figurines.
Later Hungarians – these guys did most of the damage as there are four really heavy bases in here
Finally, I received my copy of De Bellis Antiquitatis version 3.0 (DBA 3.0). Of course, ordering it was a joy but receiving it was a bit of a trial. Ordered and paid for through Amazon UK, the book was dispatched air mail on 4 November 2014. Judging by the Post Office stamp on the parcel, it arrived in Manila on 5 December, a full month later. Eight days was the turnaround to Kuala Lumpur so obviously the flight from KL to Manila takes 22 days.
It then took from 5 December to 12 December to work its way though the Philippines Post Office and for me to get a card to collect the goods from then Post Office. I collected the rules today.
Whilst I can’t understand why the Philippines Post Office does not just deliver books as there is no duty payable on them, I can understand it taking 7 days to get the notice to me as there was a distraction called Typhoon Ruby here so I won’t complain about that last delay.
Still, it’s good to have a meaty read for the soon-to-be-flight back to Oz for Christmas. From what I have seen so far, I am looking forward to playing with these rules in then future.
I spent 10 minutes over coffee this morning at the office and got around to ordering DBA 3.0. It is the first book I’ve ordered for delivery in Manila so I am curious to see whether there are duties payable or not.
There are a couple of other books (actual ones with paper) that I want to get but I think for that order I will have them sent to Mum’s in Oz and pick them up over Christmas.
In the meantime, I’m starting to think about DBA 3.0 seriously now and perhaps a December competition in Kuala Lumpur on the way home to Oz for Christmas!
Over the last week or so, when the stress levels have been peaking, I’ve been reaching for the brushes to finish off some half finished projects here, even if that meant a new focus for those projects. The Parthians were one such army. Originally I had planned to make these a Warmasters Ancient army but recently having been yet re-invigorated for DBA, decided to reorganise it as a DBA Army. I like the way these guys look so much that I am thinking of a 6mm Parthian DBMM Army … just thinking mind.
I had originally planned on 6 to 9 cataphracts per base but in the end decided on two ranks of 6 cataphracts, looking sufficiently heavy. I will also admit that reading Peter Darman’s The Parthian series left me thinking “regular looking irregular forces” — hence the regular colour schemes per base. I also needed some generic Auxilia type troops so pressed some Romans I had laying around unpainted into that role.
So, I give you, the NRL All-Stars Cataphracts — also known as DBA II/37 Parthian.
Roman Auxiliaries masquerading as Parthian Spearmen
The NRL All-Stars Cataphracts
The full army arrayed
The Parthian Light Horse
The NRL All-Stars – or rather, the NRL Cataphracts!
It wasn’t deliberate, honest. I guess the problem was that I had just watched the Rabbitohs vs Roosters game on the weekend on Sentanta Sports here in Singapore and then settled it to to paint the Parthian Cataphracts.
I had already painted the general as a test base for colours, basing etc, and decided to paint the Cataphracts in one bunch. I had also decided that there would be 12 figures per base so that they looked really solid. I think that effect is now apparent. But as for colours?
I was reading Peter Darman’s The Parthian series and he kept describing the cataphracts as quite brightly dressed and uniformly dressed kingdom by kingdom. The general’s base had white cloaks so I thought the first batch of cataphracts would have red cloaks. I had also decided to paint the kontos rather than just leave it as natural wood. I painted the kontoses (kontosii?) green. I had the National Rugby League (NRL) Rabbitohs colours by accident.
I then painted the second batch with yellow capes, third with blue capes and the last lot with green capes. After painting the kontoses I now had four elements in the colours of four NRL teams – Rabbitohs, Roosters, Eels and Raiders.
I therefore give you … The NRL Cataphracts.
It was accidental, honest yer honour. In future I won’t paint figures after watching an NRL Rugby League game!
I wanted a bright, uniform theme to the Parthian Cataphracts, especially as these generally were the bodyguards or professional troops of the various Parthian kings. I thought, a different cloak colour for each element as there will be 12 figures per element and we will have a pretty uniform look. Not sure why but I thought, colour the lances as well.
This desire for brightness in the Cataphracts was further fuelled by reading Peter Darman’s The Parthian series.
Sigh, I fear there is a rugby league theme developing in the painting of the Parthians – to the left I give you the South Sydney Rabbitohs!
I just had a look at the other part painted figures next to the painting table and I can see the Parramatta Eels their. Possible also Easts Roosters and maybe one other.
Should not paint Parthians in Rugby League season!
I thought I would finish the basing of the test base to see how they came out. I’m quite happy with these and shall get cracking on the rest of the figures.
I also tried a really, really close up shot of the base. Remember these are 6mm Rapier Miniatures figures and the painter, me, is a gentleman of more fulsome figure … hence, fat-fingered. Still, I think they look nice!
Someone did so the short painting period before bed tonight to relax and help me sleep was to prototype the 6mm Parthians. As I mentioned before I am using 15mm scale base sizes and increasing the number of 6mm figures on the base. So, for example, close order infantry (blade, pike, spears etc) will have 16x6mm figures, on average, on a base. Close cavalry (knights, cavalry etc) will have 8 or 9. Light horse four. Psiloi 6 to 8 figures and so on.
The Parthian cataphracts posed a question for me though as they were generally fairly linear and if I worked on there being 9 figures on a Cavalry base, the cataphracts should have 12. Two ranks of Cataphracts just did not look right so I think I will scale them to seven to a cavalry base, but in a boot-to-boot line across the base – as in the second rank below.
Below are three shots of the general base for the army. Image shows general, standard and trumpet as well as cataphracts and that is how the other bases should look, I think.
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 😉
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.
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.
So, as the dust settles on my weekend in Kuala Lumpur, I now have the agonising problem of what to paint next. Today I slapped some paint onto some half-finished Republican Romans in 6mm, partly because they have been sitting in front of me half painted for two years now (part of the 6mm DBA project) and partly because I have no idea what to paint next.
That’s one of the problems of having a short-time frame challenge. When it’s over, what to do next.
I looked at the Arabs for an opponent for the Nubians for games here and then thought, “nah, the only 15mm ancient DBA armies I have ever painted were for specific competitions!”
Would you believe that over the years I have only painted four? The Rajput (Cancon 2011), the Koguryo Korean and Later Hungarian (Cancon 2013 and the Worlds) and the Nubian (DeBAKLe 2013). Looks like the Arabs are heading back into the stock bucket.
There are, of course, several hundred middle and late 1/300 World War 2 Russians that need paint. There are also the World War 2 Japanese and Hungarians in 1/300. There are Future War Commander forces waiting paint, as well as Aeronefs. I have a 15mm Later Crusader DBMM army also waiting paint. There are aircraft for the three modern naval fleets. I could finish the basing of the 15mm American Civil War Union forces. I could paint the Rebels (I have hundreds of them as well). Then there is the 6mm DBA project. I also have 15mm Greeks for DBA to sort out and organise as well.
Hmm, maybe I’ll just sit down and read a book tonight and plan a few future projects. Yes, that’s it. The solution to the wargamer’s quandary!
When you do not know what to paint from the lead pile, plan another project!