Archive for June, 2009

Carthage Army List & Figures

Carthaginian Army list: 2nd Punic war, Italy

Subordinate General with light armor and shield 88pts
Trained African #24 full command, 255 pts
Gallic Infantry #24 full command, 159 pts
Gallic Infantry #24 full command, 159 pts
Skirmishers #10, Musician, 45 pts
Gallic Cav #6 full command, 129 pts
Spanish Hv Cav #6 with light armor,  full command, 165 pts
1000 pts

The army list is roughly based on Hannibal’s army, 2-4 years into the Italian campaign.  Gallic Infantry makes up the majority of the infantry units, with Spanish and African units completing the formed units.  Cavalry is a mix of Gauls, Spanish and Numidians.  Units missing in the 1000 point list will be added at the 2000 level.

For this first phase, all figures are from Wargames Factory.  My first order included not only the Celtic horse and Numidian I ordered, but bonus sprues of Roman Cav, Zulus and Ancient Germans!  Multi-part plastic might be a bit more work to assemble, but they open the door for easy conversion.  I like the Roman mail bodies with Numidian heads and shields as Spanish Cav.  The standard Numidian spearman is servicable, but I’m concerned that the spear is too short.  The Zulu with a Numidian head was an attempt at an additional skirmisher – but the smaller head looks funny on the well muscled body.

I’m interested in feed back from people on the following configurations.

  • Trained Africans = Numidians with spear and shield
  • Gallic Infantry = Celts
  • Skirmishers = Numidians with javelins
  • Gallic cav = Celtic cav
  • Spanish Hv Cav = Roman cav armored bodies with Numidian armored heads and shields

Army Elements_800

Zulu with Numidian head, Ancient German x2, Celt, Numidian Spearman, Numidian Skirmisher

Spanish Cav Ancient Germans Spearman

Skirmisher African



Birch Tree Leaf Litter

Turns out a popular type of leaf ground cover is nothing more than filler in the birch tree seed pod.  An article on the Reaper forums provides a summary of how to preserve and color the leaves.  I was fortunate enough to find a cluster of these birch trees in a local park (apparently they are quite rare in the Chicago region).  The time to harvest the seed pods is now; one week ago the pods were green on the branch, today the pods are dry and releasing on the wind – one good storm and the season will be over.  To look for these trees in your area, look for the paper like bark on the trunk.

First efforts with the leaf litter return so-so results.  The “leaves” are a bit big for scale & a little difficult to paint.  Excuse the bright green, I need to find a better color for the next project.  This example was painted after application – perhaps next time I’ll follow the recommendations on the Reaper forums and pre-color the leaves.

leaf litter on Hirst wall

leaf litter on Hirst Arts wall

leaf litter drying

Leaf litter on baking pan


Reading List: Rome/Carthage

The local library is invaluable when conducting research when building/painting  historical armies (or I should say, my wife the librarian is invaluable when conducting research).    Be sure to check the juvenile section of your library – many of the well illustrated volumes are located in the kids section.

Several books that I have/am reading to get me up to speed for my new Punic army.

Warfare in the Classical World by John Warry – the book covers the whole of the classical world, with only 3 chapters dedicated to the period of the Successor Wars/Punic Wars.  The strength of the book are color prints of solders from the various armies – limited to one or two per chapter, the prints provide a strong reference for army building/painting.  For the Punic army: solders typically dress in white tunics with purple trim.  (Per Goldsworthy, the purple trim was for Spanish soldiers only.)

Roman Warfare by Adrian Goldsworthy – a rise to fall overview of the Roman military.  Battles are well mapped and well diagrammed.

The Fall of Carthage by Adrian Goldsworthy – in depth history of the Punic wars.  Text with limited battle maps.  The author borrows text from Roman Warfare in the overview of the two powers.

pg 207:  Hannibal’s army at Cannae August 216

10,000 cavalry: 4K Gallic, 2K Spanish, 4K Numidians

40,000 infantry:  8K skirmishers, 20K Celts, 8K Libyan and 4K Spanish

Generals: Mago (brother of Hannibal), Hasdrubal – hv cav, Maharbal- Numidian cav

pg 208:  “Our sources were most struck by the diverse dress of the enemy army.  On the one hand were the Libyans, dressed in Roman helmets and armour, and with oval scuta, then the Gauls stripped to the waist (since this is probably what Polybius means by ‘naked’), and the Spanish in their white tunics with purple borders, to which we might add the unarmoued Numidians with their distinctive hairstyles and riding their small, shaggy horses.  It is uncertain how accurate this picture is.  The Spanish had left home two years before and one may wonder how many still wore their native garb and had not replaced it with what ever was available locally or could be made in camp.”

215BC and 214BC – Hanno leads smaller armies of local troops from south-west Italy:  Bruttians and Lucanians with Numidian cav support.  These smaller forces were routinely defeated by the Romans while Hannibal was unchallenged.

pg 242:  Hasdrubal 207BC attempts to march reinforcements into northern Italy.  Defeated at battle of Metaurus.  Hasdrubal killed & army destroyed.

“Significantly” fewer than 40,000 men.  Spanish and Gauls.  10 or 15 elephants.  Little cavalry.

pg 243:  Mago 205BC lands near Genoa.  2800 cavalry, 18000 infantry, 7 elephants.  Forces drawn from Balearic Islands, Ligurian tribesmen and (presumably) Libyan/African forces.  Army defeated in 203BC, Mago dies of battle wounds, and army is withdrawn to Africa.

Roman Fort by  ??? – a fully illustrated overview of a typical Roman fort based on findings from Hadrian’s wall.  The pictures are a good source of information for terrain projects.  (lost track of the author’s name)


Washed Celts

Round 2 of the Celt paint plan test.  This test set uses 4 washes:

  • GW Badab Black
  • GW Devlan Mud
  • Wonder Wash original (black)
  • Wonder Wash Dirty Dark Brown

The GW washes dried matt with even/smooth shading over the whole figure.  Black and Mud returned very similar results with the black darker by a hair.

The Wonder Wash washes dried with a high shine.  Shading is uneven with puddles at the feet and at the bottom of shields.  The Dirty Dark Brown is very red and produces a very unpleasant effect on light under colors.

Conclusion:  I will be using two washes on the army models: Devlan Mud on cloth/weapons and Gryphonne Sepia for skin.  The skin tone with Devlan Mud is far too dark for fair skinned Celts, but could be perfect for a more Mediterranean look.