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.

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.


  1. I'm following your latest Gladiator project in awe. Plain great, I love this theme!
    Always wanted to do a full scale arena with supernumeraries as referees and the like, but was put of by mostly awkward sculpts in 28mm. However, 54mm seems a viable option, at least for the gladiators themselves. Are there any decent spectators/lanista figures available as well?

    As a sidenote: Do you know the works of Marcus Junkelmann? He's some kind of an ikon for Roman reenactors and has also done great research on gladiatorial combat. Unfortunately, his books are in German, but are worth alone for the shots of well researched replicas of the gladiators' equipment. A synopsis in English is available in the following article: 'Familia Gladiatoria: “The Heroes of the Amphitheatre”' in The Power of Spectacle in Ancient Rome: Gladiators and Caesars, ed. by Eckart K√∂hne and Cornelia Ewigleben (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2000).

    Anyway, keep up the good work!


  2. And if you go the 54mm route, I recommend the Alpha Miniature's sculpts (which I think are available in Europe at Vulcan Models. Though, they are cheaper at Blackcat Miniatures (which is in the USA; You'll have to ask them if they ship overseas.) A note on the Alpha sculpts: They are not true 54mm- they are a bit smaller, around 45-50mm. But they are gladiators, so you don't need a lot. They are also multi-piece, so there is room for conversion work.

    There is a germanic sub-chieftain (also by Allha and available at Blackcat) who makes a good Lanista. This is the figure I used to make my Charon official. (note: He is true 54mm; he's bigger than the gladiators, but not by too much.)

    Also available in the Alpha line (Vulcan has it listed at their web site) is a referee figure.

    I haven't searched for spectator figures yet, so I don't know if there are any or not.

    In my look around the web in the past few months abut gladiators, I have repeatedly seen that name: Junkelmann, and I've though, "I'd love to read what he has to say; Everyone seems to think this IS the guy!"
    And I never realized until just a few weeks ago that Junkelmann is one of the main writers of the "Gladiators and Caesar's" book, which I've owned for almost 10 years! So, yes, I have read some Junkelmann- a quick and easy read that will make a gladiator expert out of anyone in one evening.