Friday, October 18, 2013

Old Warriors Re-incarnated

My first ancient warriors were 25mm hard plastic Mini-Marx Vikings.

 Picture from, somewhere on the web, some years ago.

I loved those Vikings but I also longed for the Elastolin Vikings and Saxons and the occasional Giant 20mm copy only whetted my appetite. My first real ancient wargame figures though, were the nearly universal Airfix Ancient Britons.

Hands up anyone who isn't familiar with this old Airfix standard!  Painting these c1999 convinced me that I was past trying to paint 20mm figures. (oops)
Anyway 4 Warband elements and 2 Psiloi.

Fast forward to the early 21st Century and all the old figures were gone but a friend of mine started talking about building a DBA army using 1/72 figures but using the 15mm figure basing. Well, amongst my guilty pleasures had been the occasional purchase of 1/72nd plastic figures for largely nostalgic reasons mixed with curiosity to see some of the new stuff that I would have loved to have had available in the '70's.

The Skythians from Zvezda's Persians and some Italeri Saracens provided some Light Horse nomad allies. I would not have had to convert horse archers out of Waterloo Hussars with Paratrooper helmets and various bits if these had been available in 1972.

These included the Hat release of the Airfix Ancient Britons, the Revel Saxons which included copies of many Elastolin figures and just recently, the Orion Vikings that included copies of not only the 54mm Marx but my old Mini-Marx Vikings! (also released as 60mm Warriors of the World).

From the Orion Viking set.  The 8 front rank figures  in horned helmets are copies of the old 25mm Minimarx figures as is a bareheaded axeman in rear, the standard bearer is a copy of one of the Marx 54mm vikings which I converted and the rest are either Revel Saxons or Orion Vikings. Based here as one Psiloi and  3 Warband (4) or Blade elements.

In a week I had a "Barbarian" army put together using a DBA Late German list (Alemanic maybe?) . No enemy was forthcoming so I carried on, dug further and found boxes of Persians and Saracens and bought a box of Italeri Gallic cavalry and soon I had another "Barbarian" army using a different list, early Gothic possibly? (Can't lay my hand on the DBA list of the time).  In the 10 years since I slapped them together, I think they have been out to play DBA 3 times and once came with me on a business trip to try out some ideas for a traveling game. Now they've been out again and had more fun than ever before.

A mix of Orion Vikings including more Marx copies, Revel Anglo-Saxons including lots of Elastolin copies  and Airfix Ancient Britons. More warband/blades plus 2 stands of Bow(3).

 Last and least were 2 Cav elements, 1 for each army, from a  box of Italeri Gallic cavalry which happened to be in a local shop. 

The 1/72nd figures are very nice, small but still very visible and the weight and size is darned convenient for portable armies being carted up and down stairs .....But I'm not going to get diverted  into building up a campaign's worth of 1/72nd armies.  Not even if there are some boxes of 1/72nd Cataphracts  in the cupboard wondering what they are doing here, and some Romans. Nor am I going to rebase them onto something more standard like 60mm elements.

Not going to happen! .


Certainly not this year.


  1. " Painting these c1999 convinced me that I was past trying to paint 20mm figures."

    Really? I think they look pretty good to me.

  2. Yeah, they're probably better than anything I paint these days.

  3. Nice models. Yes the Airfix Britons are truly universal.. Thanks for showing them to us. Please more...

    1. At the moment that is all there is. Back to 25mm metals this winter.