Monday, June 13, 2016

Warlord Games – Extra Bits in the Roman Kits

One thing I realized while cleaning up my hobby space last night, was that I had not mentioned that some of the kits from Warlord Games come with bonus things. I’m not talking about spare helmets or shields, but actual bonus models.. Not every kit has these extras, but those that do have it clearly labeled on the box. I was a terrible consumer when I picked up my first boxes of these minis, missing the blurb about the extras, and was taken completely by surprise when I opened the first boxes.

The Praetorian Guards, who were bodyguards to Roman Emperor (though arguably not as cool as their Byzantine counterparts, the Varangian Guard), appropriately come with an Emperor mini, mounted on a rather shabby-looking horse.

I’m not sure how great the extra is for the Hail Caesar game, but for Kings of War, it’s pretty darn solid. These two will be converted into mounted wizards for me – I just need to add some combination of books, wands, candles and wizardy wands or staves to the mini, and it should be good to go (well, once they are painted). I’m not normally a fan of metal minis, but since these are lone characters, and one-piece sculpts for each part, I think everything will be fine.

The Veterans didn’t come with anything extra, but the normal Legionaries sure did: a very nice additional sprue containing one smallish ballista, two crew for it, and a bunch of assorted extra bits (obstacles and ammo, mainly). I picked up four boxes of Legionaries, so I have a nice little Roman engineering corps going for me.

I already had some un-crewed ballista models for my army; great buys from Eccentric Miniatures, so I’m reluctant to just discard them... 

I think my plan will be to rebase my current (Eccentric) Ballistae, and add one of the Roman crew to it (it’ll look better manned). The second crew member, and the Roman Ballista, will be done up together, and be either be additional ballistae, or maybe count-as Siege Artillery? Or maybe it will be the ballista, and the Eccentric model will be the Siege Artillery? I don’t know yet. I'll have to get them built and then figure it out. Either way, I’m happy to have all the extras. Nice little bonuses from already great kits!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Romans from Warlord Games

Before I start publishing a deluge of WIP unit posts, I thought that it might be good to take a step back from the units themselves, and explain what all I have purchased, and what the general plan for all these minis is.

As you may recall from early posts, I wanted to add some Roman Empire-style minis to my army, to serve as my more defensive infantry (specifically the Shield Wall, Spear Phalanx, and Foot Guard). I ordered some minis made by Warlord Games, but found out that I did not do my homework; weapons in each kit aren't a 50/50 split of swords/spears, nor were they both complete sets for options. I had a ton of spear-like weapons (pila), but very few swords.

By the time I had finished up my test unit of Romans, I had noodled out a solution to my problems. I decided against weapon swaps from other sword-carrying lines of minis; against building my own swords out of plasticard; and against creating a plastic mold of a sword arm and then recreating the bit over and over with green stuff. Those all would take a ton of time, and my hobby time was rather limited these days. So I took the wimps approach, and just picked up a lot more tiny plastic soldiers. The packing peanuts have settled, and below is my current tally of purchases. All these are made by Warlord Games.

4 Boxes of Roman Legionaries - Fantastic basic kit, but only comes with 8 swords/box.
2 Boxes of Praetorian Guard - Fancier helmets, unique oval shields. They only had 4 swords/box.
2 Boxes of Roman Veterans - Essentially like the infantry from the Legionaries box, but this kit comes with 16 swords (and a bunch of banged-up shields).

For those familiar with the models, or who are following the links, each box has 20 figures, so that's 160 bodies in play... potentially a lot of units when you realize that I can multibase stuff for Kings of War.

Most of the new recruits, headless, but free of their sprue.
The last week I freed the second wave from their sprue, took a general inventory of all the bits I was interested in, transferred that data to Excel, and then spent much of the weekend figuring out what units I could create, and then hobbying, as I had a good amount of free time. Here is how everything shakes out right now:

3 Regiments of Foot Guard
4 Regiments of Spear Phalanx
2 Regiments of Shield Wall
1 Regiment of ???

As I expected, that's a lot of regiments! The unknown regiment is exactly that. I have a ton of bannerman/musician models left over. Their arm bits are different than a typical legionary fig, so I'm not sure what they'll be when all is said and done. They will probably by the last unit to be hobbied on...

In between updating my resume and tons of other boring adult things, I got a fair amount of hobby in on the remaining Spear Phalanx units. Hopefully I'll get a WIP post or something up about them later this week.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Hobby Update: Roman Spear Phalanx

As you can see from a quick glance at the blog posting history, the frequency of my posts have slowed down. The bane of the hobbyist, Real Life, has demanded much of my attention lately. While my time at the hobby table has shrunk, I have been making some progress. My test unit of Spear Phalanx is done at least!

Ready for action!
As mentioned in previous posts… I wish there was a better assortment (more even split) of stabby things in the kits, but overall, they are nice models. I set out to test a few hobby things with the unit, and determined that:
·         It’s easier to attach the heads, prime and paint, than do the heads separately.
·         “Spears” should be painted and then glued though, as the hafts are harder to paint around. Not impossible to paint around… but I don’t want to make things harder on myself here.
·         Multibasing these models is totally feasible, especially if I don’t add spears until later.

There are a few things I may touch-up later, but again, I consider the unit done and ready for the table.

Pic from the banner.. or Regimental Selfie Stick.
Overall, the unit was pretty easy to paint up, and I really like the look of the shields. The models are nicely uniform, and there are distinct areas of color, like the armor and tunic, with only a few spots like the scabbards for swords and daggers that really necessitated extra focus. The ease at which I was able to hobby on these was encouraging, as there are (many) more Romans on the way! I’ll have more WIP pics up in a week or so highlight progress on all the various Roman units I have in the pipeline.