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Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Romano-British cavalry

                                                 Along with the two "out of the box" infantry units I first painted up, as mentioned in the last post, I also made my mounted generals unit straight from the box! They had all the problems I described for the infantry of thick spears, impossible to modify decals and just weren't what I wanted. At that stage I decided to freeze work on the cavalry and try to solve my problems while working on the infantry.

 I guess in retrospect that these didn'y turn out quite as badly as I thought. basically they were nice figures to begin with but just didn't do it for me.


                                By the time I had psyched myself up to make these I had ironed out most of the problems whilst making the infantry units. I had decided how to produce the spears, found some decals that worked and knew how to make shields that worked with the decals. I had also performed major surgery on some figures changing heads etc. so I was feeling really confidant. After some careful planning I began cleaning  and prepping a couple of units.  shields came off , heads were switched and all spears carved away.  New shields were added, holes drilled and brass spears inserted.

By the time the figures were ready and mounted on lollipop sticks for painting, I already felt good about them. Even with just a spray of black undercoat I thought they really looked the part.

I am incredibly pleased with the end result. These figures were a credit to Kallistra from the start and with a bit of work , I think they really hit the nail. Mailed heavy cavalry ready to rock.

Ordinary Riders:-

                    It was at this late stage that disaster struck mainly through my lack of foresight. I saw the ordinary riders as a motley crew with varying degrees of protection ranging from full mail to shield only. Unfortunately I had managed to forget that the Kallistra range of Romano-Brits did not contain any unarmoured cavalry. This was going to be a problem for both the ordinary riders and the skirmishers. Back to the drawing board. I knew I couldn't use other manufacturers figures because of the difference in scale and also because quite frankly they didn't have the level of animation of the Kallistra figures. I did find a few odd figures in the Copplestone fantasy ranges personality packs but these were a drop in the ocean compared to the numbers I needed. After investigating the various ranges produced by Kallistra I decided the solution was to use the Norman unarmoured cavalry with helmet modifications and/or head changes. it would also involve changing all the weapons and shields.  That was the route I took and it was MURDER. This was real converting and took me ages.

      I have to say "I LOVE EM". A few of the poses are a little unnatural but this can be improved by repositioning arms and angling the shields a little but in general it worked.

Skirmishers with javelins:-

                               I used all the techniques learned to date on these. They are a mix of Kallistra Romano-Brits, unarmoured normans and a few copplestone characters. Thinking about it there may be a couple of elves in there somewhere :)

 I like these a lot. I particularly like the fact that, even with only 7 figures on the base, the 60x60 allows a nice diorama effect with lots of animation.

                 For me this shot has it all. the packed bases, lovely animation from the Kallistra originals and lots of variety. The picture really has that "Dark age" feel for me. I still have a number of bases to complete for this army but they are awaiting a delivery from Kallistra to get them completed. It has also occurred to me that the mounted archers from the RB range may have some figures suitable for conversion to javelin and shield. I need to order a pack to make the bow armed skirmishers for my late Romans so will investigate the possibility.


  1. Exellent looking army ! realu like the look of each base with all that minis on them, feels like a real unit !

    Best regards Michael

  2. Thank you. The packed bases look great don't they. Put a few bases together and you have something that looks like a fighting force and yet is still easy to move around. The thought of moving all those units individually would stop me playing :)