You'll find a little of everything here. Genres covered in this blog include (so far) prehistorics, fantasy, old west, swashbucklers, pulp, Blood Bowl, Ghostbusters, gladiators, nautical, science fiction and samurai in 6mm, 15mm, 28mm, 40mm, 42mm and 54mm sizes. You'll also find terrain, scenery, basing, gaming, modeling, tutorials, repaints, conversions, art and thoughts in general about the hobby.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Reaper Half dragon warrior

This is Reaper's "Golanth, half dragon warrior" (3463). As per Charlie's (owner of said figure) instructions, I've cut the swords from the left and right hands. The weapon hand has been replaced with a mordenkrad I cut from some cured greenstuff. And the other hand I've made to appear as if Golanth is pulling in his (custom greenstuff) cape to shield his face (think Dracula pose). The only other request (besides specific colors) was that the cape specifically be the "Cloak of the Walking Wounded" (from D&D). I read up on the description and only found that when the cloak is activated, thin, red veins appear across the cloak- hence the veins.

(I've mentioned this bit before, but I'll repeat it here) The spikes on the Mordenkrad were a new experience for me. I've cut hammerheads out of cured greenstuff before, but I had never done spikes. They were quite easy: I simply rolled tiny little "cigars" with pointed ends, let them cure and cut the points off. Spikes! Easy!

It was also nice to dig out the old cape jig and get another nice billowing cape made. This one is actually the first try. I might use it to try making a greenstuff banner of some sort for fun.

Now to go see if Charlie will pay me $300 for this figure ... or give me a soda.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A note on blogotics and my comments policy

I just read that Chgowiz shut down his Old Guy RPG blog, and I tried to put together and understand the story behind his leaving (which I haven't fully figured out with all the information spread out). And it's unfortunate that one of the side effects is the blog, "Rust Monster Ate My Sword," is on hiatus (a voluntary protest/cooling down/ or 'walkabout' as he called it) which is understandable. There are a lot of jerks surfing the Internet, and sometimes they find their way to your own little island in the Web, as they did with Rust and Old Guy.

I've been lucky enough to have a nice cadre of considerate followers. None of you has left a ever mean-spirited comment, and it's nice to know I have a friendly group who I can run up to like a little kid who just drew a picture of Mommy and Daddy and say, "Hey, look what I drew!" Sure, it's a bit of an ego trip, but it's nice to know some of you put my art on your metaphoric refrigerators. And, though I don't officially follow anyone on the blogosphere, I do surf around and look at your stuff and put it on my refrigerator, too.

Anyway, as a side note, I just wanted to let you all know that I DO moderate my comments, but my own little "posting comments policy" is very lax, and I've never had to invoke it. The only comments I have rejected are the spam, and that's only because I don't want any of my followers clicking on a link that might infect their own computer.

But I do have a small policy: Opinions and criticisms, however strong, are fine and dandy, just no personal attacks or offensive language directed at your fellow follower/commenter. (Not to say you can't cuss in your comments- I embarrass longshoremen with my real-life conversations sometimes:) You can say something is "fucking cool," just don't call anyone a "fucking ass munch." Debate is fine, name-calling is not.

But none of your comments have even come close to being considered for rejection. Carry on being awesome followers. And to Christopher and the Old Guy: Come back soon!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fairy Meat and some old(er) painted minis

So I picked up Fairy Meat 10 years ago right after it came out, and I've never played it (sigh). Soon after, when I got into Confrontation, I decide to sacrifice a few Fianna warriors to conversion into Fairy Meat minis. And these were the result.
The wings came from a blister sold by Reaper back then (not sure if the wings are still available). In those days, I still had not discovered the delights of greenstuff or Sculpey, so I had to find little creative ways of covering up my handywork (in this case, the brass pin that poked out the back of the wings), hence, the skulls. Who'd a thought a skull could be aesthetic AND practical?

Having rediscovered these minis just a few days ago, I thought I'd share them (as well as share an older sample of my painting.) I still have the rules, and I'm gonna have another read. The rules are a bit clunky, but their premise is great: Fairies battle each other with vicious weapons yes, but the scale is 1:1. So your 28mm fairy is actual size, and the battlefield is where ever you want- forest floor, dirty bedroom, dorm room desk (ideas straight from the rule book.) I may use a different rule set, but keep the scale.

Anyway, point being, here's some minis I have that I thought were pretty cool and wanted to share:)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

54mm Gladiators: My school of gladiators

Well, heck, I guess I couldn't finish this project without getting a group shot of my main players. The main portion of this project is over, but there are at least three more figures I want to ad before I move on to other things for a bit: One more thraex, a retiarius and a class of gladiator that seems to have a been a combination of secutor and murmillo (you'll see whenever I get it done.)
(The Egyptian columns are resin pieces I got from Armorcast years ago.)

54mm Gladiators: Boxer

And here's the other boxer. He's a touch smaller than the other fella, but the Romans didn't have weight classes in boxing. So this little scrapper is gonna have to work a little harder to fell his opponent.

This was a straightforward paint job. There's no conversion work here; this is how the figure comes, and this is how I painted him.

And that's it for all the gladiators I had on my table! I guess I'll have to order more. I hope Harold doesn't mind spinning me a few more. I should have made one giant order to make it worth his time; I feel bad about ordering just a few figures at a time- from most places really, not just Blackcat.

I hope some of you all are trying out some larger scale stuff- if not, you're missing something nice. It's relaxing and easy. I was afraid that returning to the 28mm stuff would be difficult, but it's quite the opposite. The brush control is still there, and as I paint, I realize, "Hey, I don't have so much surface area to cover now- I'm done!"

54mm Gladiators: Dimachaerus

Here's a relatively heavily converted dimachaerus. Below is a side-by-side comparison with a photo of the original figure, so you can see what I've added. The manica on the arm and all the armor and padding on the legs were made from greenstuff. The helmet was an extra bit.
I'm confident enough with my sculpting skills to convert about any gladiator class into any other class. I may even see if I can pick up a couple more boxers; give them sword and shield and a little armor, and toss them into the arena.

I want to get another copy of the original dimachaerus figure to convert into another retiarius (hence the search for making my own net.)I would either put the trident in his left hand, stabbing, and the right hand holding the net limp; or the trident in the right hand as the left hand is casting the net. If I chose the second option, I'd need to keep the net behind the hand simply for the sake of practicality (for gaming): Having the net being cast forward would look cool, but it would get in the way.)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Direct sunlight is your friend

I had one of those evenings when the sun was shining directly into my living room and onto my display table, so I took a few shots. Here's one of them (Reaper Warlord elf sniper). That direct sunlight is PERFECT for taking photographs. I have not done a single thing to this photo except crop it. You can see the layers of paint, all my brushstrokes (and my "impressionistic" style- that's what I call it to justify my sloppy brush), the colors in their truest hue, and every tiny hair and dust particle trapped by the varnishing in a dirty room :)

Now this photo is still a bit dark- the figure was in the sun and the background in the shade- but I think outside, saturated with sunlight, this could make for some great photos.

I may need to move my photographing outdoors (as many painters already do.) It's getting warmer, so this is easily possible. Though, indoors, I do enjoy the standardization of my photography (everything having its place); It helps to define my blog's style and speed up the process when I have little time.

Maybe the stuff I'm particularly proud of (and not afraid to show a few bad strokes on) I will take pics of outside, in the sunshine, in front of the apartment with all my eerie neighbors watching and wondering....hmmm...or maybe I'll just tote stuff over to Jeff and Charlie's where I can photograph in peace.

54mm Gladiators: Dropped weapons

Among the extras Blackcat sent with my gladiators were some extra equipment. I've sacrificed a few pieces to represent dropped weapons and armor, or to be used as equipment left on the arena floor for gladiators to pick up just before combat (a little fun scenario I worked up). The net at the top of the photo is one I made myself using greenstuff. It was fairly easy since it was sculpted on the base, but I want to figure out how to do one fluttering through the wind as it is being cast (for a retiarius conversion I'm working on in my head.) I know how to sculpt the netting on a base, and I can sculpt a decent billowing cape shape- but I need to combine these two things for what I want to do. I'll work it out.

To give some of the items the appearance of sitting on the sand (without actually having to glue stuff to the sand itself which doesn't have a lot of surface to "grab" onto), I worked up some greenstuff and made little mounds in the center of each base. The equipment was glued/set onto these mounds. Once set, painted and dried, the flock (sand) was glued all the way to the edge of the items. So I get the appearance of the item sitting on the sand without the weakness of these tiny bits being glued to even tinier bits.

I have been working (though, slowly) on the final two figures in this project (another boxer and a dimachaerus). This week I received my copy of Command and Colors, and anyone who has ever bought this game knows there are a lot of stickers that need applying to small wooden blocks. So I spent a couple evenings this week doing that. That's a lot of tedious work that leaves one tired. But, yes, I AM getting some more painting done for your viewing pleasure :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

54mm Gladiators: Pugilatus

OK, so this isn't necessarily a gladiator, but he's still an ancient fighter, and he is also one of the figures that was sculpted for this line by Alpha Miniatures a few years ago. Thus, I've included him as officially part of my gladiator project (along with one other).

I painted this one up to be a boxer from one of the eastern provinces of Rome (Republic or Empire, I haven't decided.) The paint recipe for this flesh tone is very simple: Foundry Spearshaft 13A as a base, then add increasing amounts of Games Workshop's Dwarf flesh, and a final highlight of the Dwarf Flesh. I don't like to do a two-paint mix like that very often, because it's difficult to match the color up if you need to go back and correct any mistakes.

Though not classified as gladiators (as far as I know, and I know very little about this topic), ancient boxers were in no less danger: Their boxing gloves (caestus) consisted of a fur liner wrapped with leather straps in a complex pattern that ended at the fist which grasped either a hardened leather or bronze knuckleduster.

Oh yeah, and these guys wore no armor; death or maiming was a common result of those ancient boxing matches (which were not fought in rounds; a match continued until a result was reached). Junkelmann writes however that with the thick leather straps, the forearm could be used defensively. He even describes one of the ancient boxers' stance: One hand, held open, outstretched, while the other was held diagonally or vertically in front of the head that could serve as defense as well as be ready for a quick counterpunch.

On my boxer, I decided to be nice and gave him (and will be giving his opponent) the hardened leather version of the caestus. I don't have a varnish strong enough to take punches from bronze knuckledusters.

54mm Gladiators: Provocator (converted)

I'm very much enjoying putting together, converting and painting these gladiators. I'm thinking about selling off my big collection of Foundry Gladiators to finance more fighters from Blackcat. I cracked this figure out in an hour and a half (not including the hour for converting and assembling).

This provocator uses the same body as this murmillo figure. The weapon arm is a separate piece; Where it meets the shoulder, I filed the area down so that I could drop the arm toward the side (just to provide a little variety.) I covered up the mess I made with some more chainmail and an extra strap extended from the shoulder.

Other converted parts included a little greenstuff to make a breastplate (the major piece that identifies a provocator) and the switch from a murmillo helmet to a provocator helmet (among the extras Harold sent me from my first order with Blackcat).

Somewhere on the net or in a book, I saw a painting of a Roman soldier with a black shield painted with a gold/yellow design (wreath I think it was). I liked the color combination and used it on this fellow's shield, while mimicking the wings design seen on many legionnaires' shields. I originally wanted to do the gold wreath on the black background, but one of my other gladiators already has a wreath, and I want some variety in the shield designs. In any case, it was the color combination I was after- and I like it!

Still on the table: A thraex-armored dimachaerus and a couple ancient boxers. Monday or Tuesday, I should receive a shipment of more 50mm bases, at which time I can paint those figures up. I also have another 54mm ACW Rebel which is ready to be painted.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

54mm Gladiators: Scissor

Just moving right along here! And I'm back on track with the gladiators. This one was fun to do, and tested my meager chainmail-making skills with greenstuff. I know I can do better, and will get better eventually, but I'm still happy that with a glance, this figure at least looks like he is wearing a coat of chainmail.
I also wish I had been able to hammer out a proper blade for his lead arm. I'm not to put out by my small failure there; if I do figure out how to make one in the future, it won't be too difficult to replace this current blade.
The armor on the right shoulder I am happy with: I simply flattened out some greenstuff until it was paper thin. After it cured, I was able to simply cut long rectangles from it and curve them over the shoulder one at a time (gluing each one down). Done- armor! The thin greenstuff is quite flexible and not too difficult to wok with. If you have any extra after doing a small project, flatten it out and see what kind of fun you can cut out of it later.
All in all, I'm happy with this figure. From a small assortment of gladiators, and a touch of greenstuff, one can make a lot of gladiator types, enough to fill the pockets of any lanista!

Not much is known about the scissor. It is surmised that they were a variant of the secutor, and simply an alternative opponent for the retiarius

Friday, March 19, 2010

Teaser pic for Charlie

OK, Charlie, here's your dragonborn so far. The mordenkrad head was made by making a small blob of greenstuff, letting it cure and then cutting the hammerhead out. The spikes were made by rolling (very) tiny "cigars" with both ends pointed. After they cured, the points were simply cut off and applied to the hammerhead with superglue and tweezers.
The method I used for making the cape can be found here.
Still needs paint of course. I also have gladiators yet to paint as well as another ACW rebel.

Dad's ship: Questions answered (and a couple more pics)

There have been a few questions here and there (this blog and other forums) about this ship. Here's what Dad has to say!

"The scale is 1/24 and the plans are of the USS Missouri BB11 built in 1898. The ship is built as a stand off model as it appeared when it returned from sailing with the Great White Fleet. There is a third item I can use in building this model and that is trash bags. Two are in this ship. One forward and one aft and they are used to provide compressed air to fire the 12" guns. The guns will fire baby power to salute the 100 anniversary of Scouting. I thought it fitting to salute them with a 100 year old ship. I don't expect it to last more than 12 hours in water. So I've made no arrangements to bring it back home. I'll have to transport it to camp in four sections and three trips and that's why there is no side planking yet."

Thanks to Dad for filling us in!

By the way, the new photos show the battleship Missouri at sea in 1906, and with U.S. and Japanese officers on deck in 1908.

54mm Civil War rebel

As promised, here is my first ever American Civil War figure painted up! And dang, as they get larger, they get more difficult to paint. Not the small details, but the large swaths. The frock coat was the most difficult part of this mini; Trying to get the colors to blend loser with less contrast (using a multi-layer method instead of a wet-blend.)
The quilt was easy; it just took a lot of colors, layers and time- but the actual execution was easy enough. And since it's a quilt, as long as you repeat a few patterns, it's difficult to mess up.
I painted up the rifle as a 3-band Enfield (An easy way to tell the difference between an Enfield and a Springfield is that the Enfield has brass fittings.)

Anyway, I've also began work on my scissor gladiator as well as a Reaper dragon man mini (with billowing cloak!) for a friend of mine. I've forged (I like that verb) a block of greenstuff from which I will cut a mordenkrad head for that dragon man. I'll post that figure here when it gets finished.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dad's big boat: Update!

It's HUUUGE!!! And pretty awesome. I'll let the pictures do the talking this time.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Good companies

Over the years, I've come to purchase from some great miniatures dealers. I'd like to list a few of my favorites: These aren't just companies I've bought from, these are dealers and people who have issued personal correspondence, dealt swiftly with problem orders, have quick shipping, sent extras with orders or have allowed me to make custom orders (one figure from a pack, bits and such.) Each dealer is linked, so go have a visit!
(This is not an exhaustive list- just a few who have been good to me personally. And I apologize to any I may have missed.)

Copplestone Castings
Steve Barber Models
Blackcat Miniatures
Sash and Saber
The Warstore
Hawgleg (sellers of the Gutshot Old West skirmish rules)
Eureka Miniatures

Most of these are small (even one-man) operations, and it's nice that they can still take time to deal with customers as individuals and not as order numbers. It feels good that there are still a few places on the Internet where you can be treated like a human being. I salute you all!

Feel free to mention any of your favorites in the comments (that are not already printed here) and why you like them.

Note: None of these companies have solicited this post from me, except from what great services they have already given.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

54mm Gladiators: Green update

Just wanted to post a quick photo update of what I'm doing with my latest gladiators.
From left to right are a provocator (using a murmillo body), a scissor (using a secutor body), and a dimachaerus whose head I've replaced with a thraex helmet. On the dimachaerus, I've also added a high greave on the left leg, a small oval greave on the right leg, and a simple manica on his left arm.

I gave up trying to make a proper chopping blade for the scissor's left (gauntleted) arm. So I did a simple dagger blade (hard to see in the photo), essentially making this fellow a heavily armored dimachaerus. His chainmail coat was simple to do (and simple looking); It was just greenstuff with a bunch of holes poked into it.

Hopefully, wherever my greenstuff skills have failed me, I'll be able to cover up with some good painting.

I ordered some new bases late last week and don't expect them until Wednesday or Thursday. So I'll have to wait for them to show up before I can start painting most of anything (I like to paint with the base on). On Monday, I'll start priming everything (three gladiators, two boxers and two ACW Rebels.) I DO have bases for the ACW Rebs, one of whom will be put to the brush first.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Blackcat minis are here!

Just as I began to lament the lack of (new) figures to paint, my latest Blackcat order arrived! The figures inside are just a touch more diverse: Some more gladiators to be converted, a couple ancient Roman boxers, AND a couple 54mm American Civil War figures- a confederate firing and one advancing. I am impressed with these ACW sculpts! Good proportioning, nice random selection of hats, god poses and great faces (if you want practice painting faces, pick one or two of these up.) That, and they look even more fun to paint than the gladiators. (Don't get me wrong, the gladiators are fantastic, and will serve well in many a gladiator wargame where I hope to win favor with the crowd) but it will be nice to open some new colors up for these ACW figures.

I think I may skip these new gladiators just long enough to paint at least the rebel in the firing pose. Confederates are nice because there is little to no uniform, so they lend themselves to some more relaxed free-form painting. I plan, so far, to do his bedroll up as a quilt.

The boxers, I think will be next. They'll serve as some good practice painting more flesh.
Then it's off to the gladiators, converting the secutor into a scissor, the murmillo into a provocator and doing a head swap with the dimachaerus.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I never win anything (and other tiny news bits)

Until last week when I didn't win the Warstore's celebrity testimonial contest. No I was one of the runners-up! Woo-hoo! (Ok, I'm not trying to rub it in. I'm just happy I invoked Conan the Cimmerian, and my prize was victory, by Crom!)
So I picked up Command and Colors Ancients, as well as a selection of bases (some of which I need for those gladiators.)

Also, I completely missed a message with my last paypal invoice from Harold at Blackcat minis; he has sent me a couple figures from his brand new 54mm American Civil War line! This is actually big for me. I used to be a civil war reenactor back in my teenage years living in Virginia (I was a drummer boy.) I had such a keen interest in the Civil War, but, for some reason, it never translated over to miniature painting. I thought long and hard and now realize that I have NEVER painted an ACW figure! That's all gonna change now with Harold's little gift.

I don't know which figures he has sent, but I'm already formulating little vignettes in my head that I could throw together (Johnny Rebs behind a fence, or standing in the mud- firing or loading ((I have yet to see the poses.) It will be a fun small project, and I'll post it here when it's done.

I urge everybody who hasn't done so yet to take a look at Blackcat Miniatures, especially if you want to try some nice-quality large-scale figures that won't break the bank. I believe Blackcat's ACW figures are $8, with a discount for sets of figures. I've only seen some basic infantry for sale right now, but I'm sure Harold has some command and colors coming as well. Give it a try!


So I'm in a lull right now. I have some more gladiators on the way. I still need to order some new bases (I have one or two to hold me over until new ones arrive.) So that project isn't finished yet.

In the meantime, I've been working off and on with a dragonman mini from Reaper. It's a figure a friend of mine (Charlie) wants for playing as a dragonborn in D&D. I'm still dealing with the conversion work on it: Giving it a mordenkrad (sculpting a mordenkrad) and making a cape. The cape I'll do last; I need to dig out the old jig again.

It's been quiet otherwise. I was restless yesterday evening because I had so little to do on the painting table. I guess a break will be all right for the weekend. Maybe I should brush up on the Red Sand, Blue Sky rules.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

54mm Gladiators: George Lucas- I mean Dwarf Dimachaerus

What a great little figure. Thanks to Harold at Blackcat Miniatures for throwing this into my first order as a little extra. To me, he looks spot-on like George Lucas defending his vision of the Star Wars prequels. So I painted him as such, hence, the white hair. I guess I could have gone a step further (a step overboard) and replaced his swords with light sabers.

Ancient Romans had a fascination with dwarves, and kept them in their households when they could afford it. It was inevitable that the Romans would combine their fascination with dwarves with their lust for the games. Dwarves were armed just like any normal class of gladiator, and they were paired against other dwarves or against women.
This dwarf is armed as a dimachaerus- a two sword fighter. Very little is known of this class of fighter, but it must have been written somewhere since it is mentioned in many current texts about gladiators (including Junkelmann.)

Or maybe it was a class made up by George Lucas, so he could create some kick-ass jedi fights.

So this is the last of my first order of gladiators. I do have a captive who is bound by the hands, but I didn't prime him with this group. I'll prime him up when I get my second order. With this second order of gladiators, I plan on doing a lot more conversion work. I hope to be able to create a new provocator, another thraex, a dimachaerus (which I simply plan on converting by giving him a helmet), and- my most difficult conversion- a scissor. For the scissor, I will need to hammer out a crescent-shaped chopping blade as well as sculpt a jacket of chainmail. Not impossible, but not easy with my skills.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

54mm Gladiators: Noxii

I wanted a little diversity in my gladiatorial ranks and pairing options (I play Two hour Wargame's Red Sands, Blue Sky), so I picked up this Germanic warrior. I know nothing about ancient Germans, so I wasn't sure what colors they wore, or designs they would use, and that was just fine with me. I wanted to do a little freeform painting in the middle of this project anyway.
Nothing remarkable to say about this figure except that he was fun to paint. The sculpting of his back was a little better than the other gladiators, so his muscles were easier to pick out, shade and highlight.
The pants turned out lighter than I had hoped (Foundry's Storm Green), but I kept the color, justifying it by imagining this prisoner's overseers provided him with old faded pants from the last poor fellow to be executed.

About the noxii: A full day's worth of games would start with animal hunts (venatio) in the morning, and the more popular gladiatorial fights in the late afternoon. But lunchtime was reserved for the noxii, the executions of criminals and prisoners of war. The Romans had many ways of executions (one of which was to be killed by animals ((damnati ad bestias)); this was what unlucky Christians faced.)

There was no escape for the criminals. Death was their fate, but some rare individuals would at least get the appearance of a fighting chance and would be armed and armored as a gladiator, or in the arms and armor of their own people (such as my German warrior here.)

For those who might be watching the Starz series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand," Episode 7 deals with a noxii that Spartacus must partake in.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

54mm Gladiators: Hoplomachus (converted)

Here's my other hoplomachus. This one was converted from the thraex figure (compare this figure with the thraex from earlier.) Since the armor didn't change, it was a simple matter of giving this figure a spear in place of the sword.

I like the horsehair crest on this figure better than the murmillo's; this one seems to flow better.

This is the last figure of my proper "classes" of gladiators. I still have two others to paint, a dwarf dimachaerus (a two-sword fighter), as well as a prisoner (which is really just a Germanic tribal fighter with sword and shield.)

I've read recently that Alpha Miniatures, when they released these gladiators a few years ago, also had a couple Roman boxer sculpts. I've seen a photo of one of them (looks good!), so I hope to track them down to purchase and paint. They are not gladiators, but it would be nice to have them to fill out the collection. In the meantime, I put in another order for a few more gladiators. I want to fill out a couple pairings and try a couple conversions, including a scissor fighter (no, he doesn't fight with scissors, he fights with a sword in one hand and a nasty chopping knife in the other.)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

54mm Gladiators: Provocator

I almost forgot I wanted to have a multi-national diverse group of fighters for my school of gladiators. Honestly, I forget what colors I used here, I just grabbed some random browns off the rack and did a few mixings to create this color which, to me, looks generic enough to be used as north African or Middle Eastern.
This figure is as is; I didn't do any conversion work. I kept him simple, too. No shield design, and no feathers, though this gladiator would/could have them. When I order some more gladiators, I will get one to convert into another provocator; he will get some feathers.

Not much is known about the provocator (meaning Challenger) except what he wore and who he fought. The provocator's armor consist of a largish greave on the left leg, quilted armor on the weapon arm, large helmet and a large shield. What set the provocator apart from other classes of gladiator was his large breastplate (cardiophylax). This plate was squarish in shape (and more of a crescent shape int he later imperial period.)
The provocator was matched up against other provocators, though I've read somewhere (and I cannot confirm) that the provocator may have fought other medium gladiators such as the murmillo.

Friday, March 5, 2010

54mm Gladiators: Thraex

This is my favorite, both the figure and the class of gladiator. I bought two copies of this figure; The pose is the most dynamic of the whole group, with his shield raised to deflect a sword blow, and his sica poised for a counter thrust. The second copy of this figure, I converted (easily) into a hoplomachus. It was a simple matter of cutting off the sica (curved sword) and drilling a hole to hold a new spear.
I made the feathers here from brass rod that was hammered flat then filed down to refine the edges. They are a bit oversized, but I wanted them to be a touch large to indicate this fighter's importance (as my favorite.)

The thraex is armored just like the hoplomachus -- two high greaves, quilted leg armor, quilt-armored weapon arm, helmet and small shield. He differs from the hoplomachus in a couple areas: The hoplon carries a small round shield (almost a buckler), whereas the thraex has a small square shield almost looking like a cut-down scutum.
Instead of a spear, the thaex carries a weapon not used by other gladiators: the sica. The sica is a small sword/dagger with a pronounced curve in the blade. As far as I've gathered, early sicas had more of rounded curve, and later versions (which I wanted to do here) had a distinct angled bend in the blade.

If anyone has been watching Spartacus: Sand and Blood, Spartacus fights his first few matches as a thraex.
A thraex would normally be matched up against a murmillo.

So that completes my three main pairings of gladiators. I still have a few fighters left to paint, but none of them have a dedicated opponent. Below are some of the major pairings one would probably see in the arena:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

54mm Gladiators: Murmillo (second version)

Here's another version of the murmillo. You'll notice that I've used the same bodies for this murmillo and the secutor (as cast, this body is meant for the murmillo figure; the secutor is the converted figure). I've done this since both types of fighters wore the same armor combinations, and I wanted a little variety having copies of the same style of gladiator.

This is one of the two figures I added my own horsehair crests. The other one, another hoplomachus, will soon be painted. But next up is my favorite, the Thraex. I've also filed away the original face mask and added my own.

I also plan on going back to all the finished gladiators and drybrushing some dust effects on the lower extremities and bottom portions of shields, so that the fighters look as if they've been shuffling through the sands already.

(note: I haven't painted the base yet, so don't mind the random paint marks.)