Monday, November 7, 2022

On The Painting Desk- Calling up the Persian Troops


One of my long running goals for 2022 was to release a supplement for the Ionian Revolt for Men of Bronze onto the Wargame Vault.  I have a similar supplement called Hercules Abroad that greatly expands the Greek world across the Mediterranean and adds more armies and supplements.  I also have a similar supplement for Wars of the Republic called Revolt! that focuses on the 3rd Servile War.  

Before Men of Bronze was released, I wrote up an article and campaign to play the Ionian Revolt for Wargames, Soldiers, and Sailors.  However, due to a lack of a Persian army for photographing, the article was not published.  Instead, I did a piece on the Battle of Delium instead.  However, I still had my notes and what I wrote for the Ionian Revolt.  

It was these notes and this article that would form the basis of the Ionian Revolt supplement.  In addition, the Ionian Revolt seemed like an ideal venue to take a closer look at the Persian Empire lines-of-battle, and revisit some of their non-Greek foes as well.  

However, in order for any of that to happen I needed to get over one big hurdle.  I needed a Persian Army! This had thwarted my initial article and at the time, there were not any great plastic models available.

You may recall that I had initially put together 40 Persians using the Unarmored and Armored kits from Victrix Unlimited.  I went ahead and base-coated them all white, and started painting.  Normally, I batch paint all at once, and I started the process with these 40.  However, the armored unit was so different from the others, that I found myself focusing on them and ended up completing a unit of Persian Immortals first!  That is not normally how I do things! 

With that unit done, I still had 30 more Persians to go.  I again went back to batch painting in layers.  However, I again found myself getting off track and attracted to a single unit to complete first.  This time, it was the Irregular infantry for the force.  I was mostly using Rust Red, Demonic Yellow, Dessert Yellow, Skeleton Bone, and Mummy Robes with the occasional Pure Red, Ultramarine Blue, or Emerald Green thrown in for a bit of spice.  Once all the base coats were put in place, I then gave them all a nice light tone wash to complete them.    

As usual, I painted the shields after the models were done.  I painted them on the sprue to make things easier.  They were mostly the same brown tones of Dessert Yellow, Skeleton Bone, Leather Brown, and Mummy White as a base.  I kept the fronts white when I was going to use a transfer.  In this case, I wanted to stretch my Little Big Man Transfers further, so I decided to only put them on one rank of troopers.  The back rank I decided to free-hand.  Some of you may recall, that I do not enjoy painting shields; so I must have been crazy to decide this course of action. 

I also based them Territorial Brown of cheap acrylics and then sprinkled crushed moss onto their base.  This was leftovers from the corners of my terrain box.  Waste not, want not! 

Another unit done, just two more from my initial batch to go.  Again, I started batch painting.  I tend to divide the unit into small groups, and put the color they need to be for the layer I am working on together.  This small step of dividing the minis up helps clear my mind and recharge for the next step of batch painting, allows me to see the progress and focus on the results.  I was using the same palette of colors for the next set of psiloi/skirmishers.  

One interesting note about the Persian Unarmored troops kit is that the officers are very different from the rank and file.  This is a big departure from the Greeks and Romans I had been painting where they all basically had the same gear. The Persian officers have much fancier armor and gear than their fellows.  This means when you go to paint the standard bearers and commanders they are much harder to do "in the batch" with everyone else.  This kept tripping me up and slowing my progress.  I expect the same thing to happen when I paint the Unarmored Persian Archer kits, but I did not run into this issue with the Armored Persian kits yet.

On the standards, I planned on using decals for them.  However, I realized that I did not have the right size of decals to go onto them.  Even trimming was not going to work out like I did with the Immortals standard.  Instead, I was going to have to free-hand them again.  Ugh.  Not my forte.  This unit also did not have shields, so that was a bonus to help me complete them quicker.  Despite not having shields, these two units were slow going for me.  

 I based them the same as the previous unit, and called them done.  

That is 8 points of a 24 point army done now!  Yeah me!  However, I am not really painting it up to army size, I am painting units at a time instead.  Only 50 infantry and 30 cavalry left to go on this army!  Next up is a unit of Sparabara with the big shields, and a Drilled Infantry unit with crescent shields.  

I also managed to get a few action shots of these finished Persian units on the table....

Persian infantry emerge for a field


Persian scouts try to find a ford to cross a river

  and, I may have shown this one before, but I like it.....

Persian Immortals engage a group of Ionian Hoplites

There you go.  Onwards and upwards, and it looks like getting the Ionian Revolt supplement out before the end of 2022 will be tight!  I better get painting! 


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