This article describes Late Roman Unarmored Infantry figures from the Victrix Dark Ages historical line. The 28mm figures are suitable for use as displays, painting hobbies, and table top wargaming. I intend to use them with the big skirmish game from Osprey Publishing Lion Rampant.
Scroll to read the story and see smaller photos. Click on the photos for a gallery of all the larger images.
Victrix provides enough spare body parts, weapons, and accessories to make Late Roman, Arthurian, Byzantium, and Goth warriors of the late Dark Ages to early Middle Ages period. Here I have chosen to make 12 each of Arthurians, Goths, and Byzantines. In each 12 I have made some leaders, some blades, and some spear warriors.
As with the last few sets of miniatures, I based coated these with black primer, then white primer from above, and a bit of white dry-brushing. This performs a fast highlighting and shading for the next step.
Then I block in the main color areas of the figure with Armypainter Speedpaint. Because the Speedpaint is semi-transparent (like an ink), the highlights and shades poke through the paint. Then I fill in details with regular Armypainter Warpaints.
The shields are made with designs from Little Big Men Studios. By far these are the best shield and banner designs for 28mm figures.
You can see the nice effect of the Armypainter Speedpaint on the fabrics. With just one coat the color looks more highly pigmented in the folds, while looking less pigmented and more highlighted on the high points. The fringes on the blue cape are done with regular acrylic yellow on the high points.
I think this set is rather unique for the Victrix minis I have built. There was a very high ratio of command figures to regular warriors.
Each of these 12 figure units has 4 "command" figures shown here. These bodies have fancy armor, command head options, and other command accessories. Here from left to right I have made a sergeant (with leather armor), a commander (with scale armor and fancy helmet), a second-in-command (with scale armor and Roman crest), and a musician (with horn). That's a high ratio of leaders (4) to regulars (8).
Most other plastic sets I have built typically have 2 special figures to about 12 or 24 regular figures.
Again note the leather and scale armor that makes this command frame special.
There was some debate in the miniatures forum over whether Romano-Brits such as these Arthurians had striped or plaid fabrics.
One side said that striped/plaid textiles from this era had never been found.
Another side said that whenever fabrics were made on looms or frames, weavers made stripes and plaids quite common.
As you can see from the figures, I view that stripes and plaids were common. People of all eras often spend their coins to look fancier or unique. You also get an idea of how seriously people take history and modeling.
The bases are made with 22mm (7/8") washers. There is some wall spackle to help hide the plastic bases. Then there is some scale model gravel and static grass. These Goths get brown soil and green grasses to show they are from the forest or the fertile lands of central Europe.
I like the look of their shields.
Note the leader (to the left with the green feathers) has an ornate leader's muscle curass. This can be painted either as leather or metal. Similarly the skirt can be painted as leather or hardened linen as they did in the ancient days.
I gave the auxilliary leader a green draco banner. In my previous kit of Late Roman Armored Infantry I gave the Goths a musician. Similarly I made sure the Arthurians and Byzantines had a banner and a musician each. The game "Lion Rampant" doesn't use this for game effects, but in other rules, these figures often affect morale.
I used the axes because the Goths used them.
Lots of drapped capes and tunics on these Goths.
Lots of good poses possible with the varied bodies, heads, arms, and weapons.
I tried to make these look the most like Republic or Imperial Romans before the fall of Rome. Therefore they have Roman style helmets, crests and other options.
These figures have Christian religious motifs on their shields such as the Greek letters Chi (Χχ), Rho (Ρρ), Alpha (Αα), and Omega (Ωω). Chi and Rho are the shorthand abbreviation for "Christo" and Alpha and Omega refer to the verse by Jesus symbolizing that he is the beginning and the end.
These religious icons on the shields were eventually outlawed in churches. Some of the emperors did not want graven images in the churches or elsewhere.
Note that the Byzantines got a musician in this batch (the man with the horn to the right side). In the Armored set, the Byzantines got a banner.
The Byzantines in this unit all got swords, no axes like the other units in this article.
Why so many photos? As I look back on my web site I see lots of photos of earlier projects. Some minis I have sold. Some minis have been in awesome games. The photos make me smile, and I am glad I have them.
And some day when I am older, I will not likely to take all the minitures with me. But I still might be able to look at the photos and have good memories.
I hope you enjoyed seeing the details of these figures and the photographs. These figures were enjoyable to build, and I will certainly be expanding my Dark Ages and early Middle Ages figure collection. Thanks for reading about my latest miniature figures.