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.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

54mm Gladiators: Murmillo

I enjoyed this figure; it was simple to paint, nothing tricky. I could have spent time to paint some devices on the shield, but I like the large field of blue too much to paint something over it.

The Murmillo style of gladiator was sort of a universal fighter who was paired up against a few different opponents. His armor consisted of a crested helmet, a scutum (large shield), some sort of manica (sleeve armor) on his weapon arm, and a small greave on his advance leg. When facing him in combat, your view would be of an armored man from head to toe: Helmet, shield, greave. That aspect is illustrated in the pic above (though, my fighter has lowered his shield a bit, to deliver a swing of his gladius, blocking the view of the greave.)

His main opponents would be either the Hoplomachus or the Thraex. A general way to remember how most gladiators were paired up is to think of it as, "large shield vs. small shield, or one small greave vs. two high greaves. These pairings also illustrated symbolic combats between Rome (murmillo) and its enemies (Greece = Hoplomachus, or Thracians = Thraex.)

Some sources say, in the early days of gladiators, that the murmillo would fight the retiarius. Unfortunately, his helmet had enough angles to be easily snagged by the retiarii nets. This problem was solved by giving the murmillo a smooth helmet with a central fin over the top. This change created a new category of gladiator: the secutor (chaser). You'll see that, with the exception of the helmet style, secutors and murmillos share the same armor combination.

I have one more murmillo figure to paint. I have him paired up with a thraex. I also have a secutor, so you will see their similarities with murmillos once I get him painted up.


  1. Been following this project for a while now. This one looks great. For some reason the most vanilla of gladiators is my favourite!
    Looking forward to seeing them in action

  2. Great paint job again.. I'm learning a lot.. I think I'm going to hit up the gaming store today and boost my flesh palette.