Wednesday, July 6, 2016

E pluribus unum sagittariis (or something like that)

I don't like cutting up original, unbroken, Elastolins but have been  able to acquire a number of unpainted kits over the years. Having finally acquired 2 Roman cavalrymen and a reason to use them I set to work.

Unfortunately, what with the recent doubling of my Hunnic forces and having recently read Simon MacDowell's book on Chalons, I suddenly decided that I needed a Roman horse archer unit. I did have one of the relatively civilised, armoured, Hun Horse Archer kits  that could work with a head swap but the rest of the Hun kits were all the wilder sort and besides, I'll need every Hun I can get my hands on. I only had a few foot archer kits left, one of them being an archer firing down from a tower, great for siege dioramas but.....

Ok so its not really out of many, more like out of two. New figure on left. Component figures on the right, well other copies of the component figures at least. 
At first I had been expecting to cut both figures at the waist but the cavalry man splits diagonally along the  shoulder belt while the archer is a one piece body with two separate arms. I decided it would be better to do arm swaps. (The archer will reappear one day.) The anatomy is so well done on the Elastolin figures that its often hard to just drop arms or bodies on as things like which way the weight is shifted for balance and the tilt of shoulders will be wrong. I was anticipating a fair amount of work to adjust things but I lucked in. I didn't want an archer firing into the dirt and anyway the angle on the joint between the kits was all wrong for that but as I fiddled with the bits trying to find a good pose, the shoulders just sort of fell into place with the archer holding his bow at a slant. It looked good to me and only required minimal fitting.  I meant to hang a shield from his saddle bow but....oh well.

Since one of the game requirements for Rob's project was single stand units and since that's how my 16thC lads are organised, I have decided to stick with it, so, two units of comic book Roman cavalry, one of them being horse archers. One of the original requirements from Rob was single stand units since he has a few rare figures that can't muster enough for two bases but which he wishes to include. Its the same with my Elastolins and is how the 16th Century Rough Wooing project was done. So here are two "units" of Roman cavalry on temporary bases.

Surprising how hard it was to resist shading and detailing but I even left three of the horses unpainted to try and keep a suggestion of the original toy and comic book origins. The original weren't this glossy but it'll fade and  does suggest "toy". 
Next...hmm.. siege tower? more Romans? Huns on foot? "Barbarian" heavy cavalry? hmmm


  1. Roman horse archers were one of my first ever conversions many, many, many years ago - Airfix Roman archer top on US cavalry legs, back when I needed plastic Romans as a lightweight easy-to-carry army. Your final pose looks to be a major improvement on the original infantry pose - which just doesn't look real. Although creeping up at the moment to 28mm pulp, I've aways managed to avoid larger scales - though for me that's mainly because I can never get interested in painting them.

  2. My first ancient cavalry were bow and spear light cavalry from Waterloo Hussars of all things. Pelisse trimmed into a cloak, paratrooper helmets, thumbtack shields, pin spears. Can't remember now if any had bow in hand.

    The foot guy looks better when he's on top of a wall firing down at one of the guys climbing a scaling ladder.

  3. I like the look of your horse archer in Roman regalia. At the time of Chalons, it would be safe to field "allied" Hunnic or Steppe horse archers. As it is, he looks great and you can tell which side he is on when on the field of battle.