Thursday, December 31, 2020

Painting Challenge Submission 1 - Byzantine Heavy Cavalry

Byzantine cavalry ready for battle!

Our friend Curt in Regina has fired up yet another edition of Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. Several Conscripts will be taking part this year, and while you can catch our work over on the Painting Challenge Blog, I expect you will see it posted here as well.

My first submission, was this group of Byzantine Kataphractoi cavalry. These are 28mm figures from Gripping Beast, with shield transfers and banners from Little Big Men Studios.

Commander, musician and standard bearer.

As one might expect, there is a heavy religious feel to the iconography - definitely an aspect of the Byzantine setting that I enjoy, it adds to their aura.

These figures are based individually - a departure from previous efforts in this area. I hope to use them for skirmish games like "Lion Rampant" as well as mass battle rules like "Warhammer Ancient Battles" or "Hail Caesar" (or even "Swordpoint" if I can finish the requisite university degrees needed to decipher the rules). These individual bases make that possible. 

I had totally forgotten that Dallas has already painted up a sizeable contingent of Norman warriors in 28mm...I am hoping they will serve as opponents for this force as it takes shape.

Super long "kontos" - the spears of ancient heavy cavalry.

These castings from Gripping Beast are hefty suckers, and remain a joy to paint. I went with red and green as the accent colours as I thought it matched the holiday season...and also I had the red and green paint handy on the painting table because of something else I was working on, that I hope to share shortly :)

Lots of maces handy for up-close smashing and bashing work...

The Kataphractoi were the heavy, heavy hitters of the armies from the "Thematic" Byzantine era (which I believe is a reference to the "Themes" - or provinces/districts - used as administrative divisions within the empire at that time...something like the 9th/10th century although I'm not 100% certain). Well armed, heavily armored, drilled, disciplined and experienced in war, they would be present on the battlefield once the Byzantines had exhausted their sizeable bag of usual tricks (bribery of the enemy, bribe someone else to attack said enemy, assassination of said enemy ruler or key advisor(s), delay via negotiation, outmaneuver or other trickery etc.) and force or arms would be the only way to settle things.

Some of the riders are equipped the long fighting spears used by the ancient heavy cavalry, while others are brandishing maces. And of course, as the heaviest of the heavy cavalry, these fellows are covered head-to-toe in armour, as are the poor horses. The LMBS stickers are fiddly as heck, but are still so worth it in in the end. That said, I do wish LBMS would make straight up waterslide transfers...those would be so much easier to work with.

Another view of the unit leader...his barding, mace and helmet are all a touch fancier than the others...

That's all from me for now - I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, and that everyone has a nice and relaxing New Year's Eve. Talk to you all in 2021! Cheers and thanks for reading.


Neil Scott said...

Lovely brushwork

Dallas said...

Dudes look great. A battle with Normans would be amazing. The LBMS farkles look superb too.