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! 


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