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Wednesday, 12 October 2022

Dave's Persians

 

Dave's Persians... not quite all but enough for now! 

A while back... well it must have been twenty years ago or more... I was given this Persian army by Dave Gallagher. Dave worked with me at Games Workshop and he drew a lot of the artwork for Warhammer Ancient Battles including the cover. Like me, Dave was an ancient wargamer who could trace his collecting days back to the 1970's: unlike me, Dave's artistic talents were in evidence from an early age!

Not quite so long ago... about two months ago in fact... I found the army sitting unused and abandoned in a couple of large really 'useful' boxes. It struck me that it would make a nice side-project, a quick re-base and a little tidying up and bingo. 

Minifigs 78'ers and Garrison Immortals
Once I got started I quickly realized this was going to take a bit more work than I'd bargained for. Spears to replace as usual and quite a bit of worn paint that would need to be touched in or over-painted. So, it's taken me a bit longer than I expected, which is why I've not posted for a while.

The army is a mix of Minfigs, Garrison, the odd Hinchliffe and a few I can't identify. Quite an eclectic bunch in fact. The Minifigs are the more recent ranges as shown in the 1978 and subsequent catalogues - not the models I'm more familiar with. 


Hoplites - nicely painted shields on these.
As well as the Pesians themselves the army includes Hoplites, which I assume have been enrolled as mercenaries or come from Ionian allies. I've tried to preserve as much of Dave's original paint as possible on all the army, and with the Hoplite shields I just tidied up where I felt it was needed. 

It was interesting working with these later Minifigs. They are much more detailed than their predecessors, but I do feel that they lack some of the charm of the earlier models. Still, they don't look at all bad, and it's a decent sized unit too.


Chariots! Four of these. 
The chariots are a mix of Minifigs, Garrison and Hinchliffe, with some converted crewmen and all the reins nicely represented with wire or thread. These took the most work to rebuild because most of the glue attaching the reins, wheels and crews had long-since given out. 

I also ended up repainting the horses on three out of four of the chariots. I think they'd been painted with a wash technique that had worn through to the metal in places and which was impossibly to patch up.


Cavalry - the later PB range I think. 
In fact, most of the mounts for the cavalry needed to be repainted, except for the rather nice dappled horses, which benefitted from their more substantial paint job and yielded to a light tarting up.

The main cavalry unit looks like its from the updated 'PB' Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars range. These all have saddlecloths added from paper, which is a nice touch, and I've carefully preserved these and recoloured where it was required. All on individual bases for some reason!


Cardaces back left and archer back right,
Also from the same range as the cavalry is a largish unit of Cardaces, which had been based as 'Light Medium' types on the intermediate 20mm frontage rather than the close fighting 15mm. Some of these look to have been painted by a different hand, and I undertook a bit of repainting to bring them together.

Except for a few otherwise unbased figures, I retained the original basing, which is either Tetrion type filler over card or what looks like Milliput over card. The base sizes are all consistent with the contemporary Wargames Research Group Ancients rules. I've repainted the bases and applied flock to bring the whole lot together.

A lone Garrison Cameleer.
There's still a good few models to go, but I'm calling it a day so I can get on with my other restoration projects. There's a nice-sized unit of Garrison Phrygians that I might have a go at, but they are in a fairly poor state compared to the whole and might need a complete repaint. 

Interestingly, although what we have is definitely a Persian army it's not entirely clear whether its early Achaemenid - i.e. invasion of Greece - or later i.e. Alexander the Great - and plainly it includes models unique to both! 

Almost forgot - I repainted all the metallics and revarnished selectively in gloss, then varnished or the not metallic elements in the original matt. I think these Minifigs look right in matt - the old school gloss doesn't really look correct with the more modern figures. I followed suit with the Garrison figures just to be consistent. Hopefully this will preserve them for many years to come. 

There you go - thanks to Dave Gallagher for his generosity all those years ago - now to get on with something else! 



 


Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Arab Seleucid Camel Rider

This is the Arab Seleucid Camel Rider that first appears in the Miniature Figurines 72/73 catalogue as PBC 35s, and subsequently in the 75 catalogue as PBC 35. 

As with all the 'PB' range it is derived from Phil Barker's pair of books Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars and Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome. PBC standing for Phil Barker Cavalry. This figure corresponds with illustration 35 in AMPW.

He is riding Camel 1, marked CAMEL on the upper surface of the base. 

This is a fairly common find that must have made its way into many contemporary Seleucid Successor armies. The rider is armed with the most unlikely sword that must be as tall as he is! I think the idea is that the sword was long enough to reach enemies on the ground in a similar way to... a spear. I've straightened this one out as much as I can, but they are invariably twisted, bent or - if unlucky - broken. 




Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Persian Armoured Cavalryman

 

This is the Persian Armoured Cavalryman that first appears in the Miniature Figurines 72/73 catalogue as PBC 25s, and subsequently in the 75 catalogue as PBC 25. 

As with all the 'PB' range it is derived from Phil Barker's pair of books Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars and Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome. PBC standing for Phil Barker Cavalry. This figure corresponds with illustration 25 in AMPW.

He is riding the Persian Cavalry Horse PBH 60, the code '60' being stamped on the upper surface of the base in the usual fashion . For some reason this particular horse has been painted on one side before further efforts were abandoned. Perhaps exhaustion set in. 













Darius

This is the figure of Darius that appeared as part of the Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars range as PBP 3  - for 'Phil Barker Personalities'. 

The model is not taken from the book despite the code designation, but forms part of a small range of 'general' figures.

The figure appears in the Miniature Figurines 72/73 catalogue and the 75 catalogue under the same code. 

There is no code number on the base, instead - in common with all the personality foot figures - the base is marked with a name: in this case Darius. 



 

Cretan Archer

This is the Cretan Archer that first appeared in the Miniature Figurines 72/73 catalogue as PB 14s and subsequently in the 75 catalogue as PB 14.

Both PB ranges were based on Phil Barker's books Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars and Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome. This figure is taken from illustration 14 in AMPW.

The 's' designation was used to distinguish the newer 25mm style of models from the preceding, smaller 1/72nd range. The transition was soon complete and the 's' - special - was dropped from the figure codes thereafter. 

The base is stamped PB 14 on the upper surface in the usual manner.

This simple figure stood in the ranks of many a Macedonian, Successor and Greek army throughout the 1970s, some doing sterling service for many years thereafter. Consequently, it is one of the more common finds and turns up fairly frequently on the second-hand market, often in decent numbers.

Unusually, this example still has the feed to the bottom of the bow intact, an interesting piece of mould-making technology that has survived unscathed these many years. 


 

Friday, 15 July 2022

Frankish Infantryman with Sword

 

This is the Frankish Infantryman with Sword that first appeared in the Miniature Figurines 72/73 catalogue as PB 197.

Both PB ranges were based on Phil Barker's books Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars and The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome. This figure is taken from illustration 97 in the first edition of AEIR.

The code numbers for the AEIR range correspond to the illustrations in the book plus '100', i.e. illustration 1 is figure 101. 

The base is numbered PB 197 on the upper surface in the usual manner.

Another rather generic barbarian standing ready to trouble the Romans for all he's worth. 



Frankish Infantryman with Spear

 

This is the Frankish Infantryman with Spear that first appeared in the Miniature Figurines 72/73 catalogue as PB 195.

Both PB ranges were based on Phil Barker's books Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars and The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome. This figure is taken from illustration 95 in the first edition of AEIR.

The code numbers for the AEIR range correspond to the illustrations in the book plus '100', i.e. illustration 1 is figure 101. 

The base is numbered PB 195 on the upper surface in the usual manner.

This model could well serve in practically any Germanic army of the third century or later. He'd comfortably slot into a fantasy army for that matter.

The AEIR range was originally released with rather thick - some would say overly thick - spears and javelins. These obviously caused some unrest, because they were soon replaced with much thinner versions. These in turn obviously failed to cut the mustard, because they were often replaced with new weapons that were either a little thicker or just 'different'. One suspects the factory was having problems casting the thin versions! This particular model is one of the later 'thin' types. 

The thick-spear version of the same figure has his spear held almost parallel to the ground, so not only was the spear redesigned but it was slightly repositioned too.





In the end, Minifigs gave up entirely and started to produce their figures with open hands to take separate weapons. However, that didn't happen until the 72 PB range had already been replaced with the  later 78 ranges - as far as I know!