Monday, May 31, 2021

On The Painting Desk- Republican Romans: The Old Ball and Chain Mail


My goal for 2021 was to complete a Roman Army by November.  I managed to finish off an Early Republican Roman force that was fully usable for games of Wars of the Republic when it came out from Osprey.  I was ready to play, but I was not done painting Romans, not by a long shot.  

My initial plan was to build Principes and Triarri in Lorica Hamata (Chain Mial).  When I started painting, I only had Pectoral Armored Romans.  I did not look like I would be getting the Lorica Hamata due to delivery and stock issues.  However, I got them about 6 months after ordering them.  I decided to build a second army of Romans identical to my first one, except in Lorica Hamata.    

So, I started by assembling and undercoating them.  Like last time, I based them on washers as I prefer the heft of the finished model as opposed to plastic bases.  I also saved the shields to be painted separately and later.  Finally, I made two units of Hastati all using their Pilums, 1 unit of Principes with swords, and one unit of Triarri with spear.

As usual, my next step was undercoating them all white using a brush.  I then batch painted all their skin, and their sandals in three or four different colors.  From there, it was time to break them into their individual units and start painting them until they were done.  

I decided the Hastati would use an Army Painter Desert Yellow for their tunics and shields, Principes would use a Pure Red, and Triarri would use a flat white.  However, I decided that the Principes would also have red feathers, and the Triarri dark feathers to help them stand out a bit.  

Triarri ready to get their shields equipped....

Principes budge in line.....

Hastati.... while finishing these guys I ran out of Soft Tone Wash, so that delayed completion.  I ordered more, but it got hung up in Brexit, so I had to use some Agrax Earthshade I found locally.  I think that made them come out a bit darker.  

Here are the Principes and Triarri with their shields and ready for battle.  

Hastati all ready to fight!  Another 40 models done and ready to hit the table.  

Here is all of my Romans so far sitting on the shelf ready to get into a scrap!  The left side is the Early Republican Romans, and the right is my Lorica Hamata troops.  You can see that the Lorica Hamata are much more formalized.  I imagine I can use these guys a few ways....

  1. A stand-alone Mid-Republic Army
  2. Swap in Triarri and Principes into my Early Republican Romans
  3. The Roman Republic Army and allied legions 

Here we can see some of the Romans battling with the Greeks of Magna Graecia.  The Hastati lead the way, but are closely supported by the Principes.  

However, this is not the end of my Roman Anabasis!  I have 20 Velites as Light Infantry to add to this force so that I can have a more rounded troop selection for both Early or Mid-Republic forces.  They are still in the early stages, but I hope to have them done by November as well.  

Finally, to make things more exciting I also got a second bag of Lorica Hamate Romans that I was not expecting either!  That was an order 9 months ago!  I should be all caught up on Roman models now.  Anything I get now will be a HUGE surprise.  

The plan for these guys is to make a Late- Republic Army that can be used with the Mid-Republic models to help fill it out.  That means 10 Militai Legion, 10 Legion Regulars, and 2 units of Veteran Legions.  These will follow the same basic painting scheme as the Lorica Hamata guys painted above.  The main difference is equipment.  None of these guys will have the spear option as by the Late-Republic the Triplex Acies and Maniples were replaced with Cohorts.  Velites, Cavalry, and Triarri were all phased out and replaced with mercenary and allied units such as Gauls, Iberians, Numidians, and other allies.  

So, I hope by November I will have at least one more On The Painting Desk to wrap this army up.  At this point, I have painted about 90 Romans for the year, and want to add another 60 to bring me up to 160 Romans!  That might be a record for a single year of painted models for me!  

Wish me luck.  You can start to Pre-order your copy of Wars of the Republic here.   

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