Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Lydian Lancers begin to gather

Having made progress on the Phrygian infantry component of my Lydian army, I decided to start in on the cavalry. As always, the information is sparse and largely speculative. Its very possible that the Lydian cavalry looked a lot like some of the armoured lancers on contemporary Greek vases in chiton, bell corselet and plumed helmet or they may have looked more like the Amazon cavalry and like the infantry figures that were the inspiration for the Phrygian infantry that appear in the Funcken & Saxetorph books and the Garrison Miniatures ranges..    .

Going the Greek route would be fairly safe and possibly make the figures more widely usable. However, I already have more Greek cavalry than I can normally use and I want this project to feel semi-mythical so the less common (and less Greek) the better. I made two decisions:

1) The clothes should match my Phrygian infantry in style to promote a sense of identity in the army and of "not being in Kansas" so to speak.

2) Since the Lydians had close contact (and conflict) with various kingdoms which used iron lamellar or scale armour, it seemed reasonable that they may have used it and doing so would make them look less classic Greek even with Greek helmets.

I already had a few RAFM cavalry in scale armour so, last year during their big sale, I raided the various RAFM ranges for Hellenistic cavalry in scale armour and used Thracian and other helmets (including a cataphract helmet with full face plate just for the heck of it, looks very Hollywood) and gave them nice heavy spears.

It was tempting to get back into shading on these but after doing the stripes on the sleeves and other finnicky bits my enthusiasm sank back to normal and the gloss varnish confuses shading anyway (and the lens as well!).

As planned, there will be two new units of Lydian lancers each 12 strong plus two units raised from existing Greek & Macedonian heavy cavalry, (subjects, allies or mercenaries perhaps) and various light cavalry.



  1. Nice stuff there. I always like that shade of purple on cavalry - makes them stand out from the crowd.

  2. I like the purple too and usually reserve it for Guard /Noble units and officers. Which will probably doom this unit to terrible dice!


  3. Purple is a recent addition to my own palette - weirdly, Humbrol never produced a matt purple, so I couldn't use the colour until I started with acrylics.

  4. I remember early attempts to manufacture purple by mixing red and blue. Wonder why people were willing to pay the high prices for actual purple dyes in real life!