The Waving Flag: 15 mm Later Thracians (Essex Miniatures)

Thursday 21 March 2024

15 mm Later Thracians (Essex Miniatures)

With this post my 2024 Hellenistic project reaches an important milestone.  The units pictured are the last I must paint before the KITN competition in October.  Their completion means that anything I paint after this is a bonus.

Once again they are venerable Essex sculpts (MPA3 Thracian: Peltast with Rhomphaia & shield).  Well up to their usual standard with few, if any, defects and a more detailed figure review isn't necessary.  However, one rhomphaia was miscast but a call to Essex sorted that out very quickly.

Once again Duncan Head's "Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars" (AMPW) provided more than a few useful pointers.  From pages 124 to 126 and figures 65 & 66 I gleaned:

  • Clothing colours are white, off-white, cream, rose, light blue, light green and a variety of reds and red-browns.
  • In contrast to earlier fashions, cloaks and tunics are usually plain, though the tunic of this figure, red-brown with one white stripe on each sleeve and two down each side, is worn by a servant elsewhere in the tomb.
  • The Kazanluk shields are painted in light ochre; Thracians serving Perseus of Macedon carried white thureoi.

Painting notes
So much for the historical information.  When it came to painting I was also influenced by Steve Dean's excellent work on the same figures for his Seleucid army.  I still don't know how he manages to paint eyes on these figures!

For the shields, I decided to simplify Steve's designs:

  • Some are white with a central horizontal band in a range of muted colours.
  • Some are white, or light cream, with the tips in much stronger colours.
  • In a nod to history, I left a few plain white.
  • The majority of the central spines are iron but some of the light cream shields are brass.

I painted some tunics with edged sleeves & hems and the remainder plain.  Some edging is supported by AMPW but not in the way I painted them.  However, the figures are much improved by contrast hems.

These units are based as medium infantry for Art de la Guerre (ADLG) with six figures on a 40 mm square base.  I wanted a slightly irregular look to the unavoidable two lines of three figures.

Whilst painting the figures I noticed that the vast majority (19 of 24) were based on the same basic "dolly" with only a change in the position of the right arm and weapon.  I became increasingly worried they would look a little too "regimented".

I need not have worried.  As I "dry fitted" some figures to a base I realised I'd not noticed that the sculptor had rotated the heads as well as altering the arm position.  I found that if I placed all the figures facing forward, I had to break the two lines to get them to fit; as if by magic I got the irregular look I was after.

Finally, here are some additional photos:

List of all the project posts


Spiro Harvey said...

They look excellent. Nice work. And congrats on finishing what you need for the game so early.

Vexillia said...

Thanks Spiro. Nice to see someone else using RSS to follow blogs.

TWR said...

They look outstanding!

Nathan said...

Very nice work, as always. I like that you have got quite a colourful overall effect despite the subtle and plausible colour palette. The basing looks great too.

Vexillia said...

Thank you. It's taken me years to focus on the colour palette. I now find it easier to use one, possibly two, stronger colours if I have the right palette to start with.

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