|28mm Byzantine infantry stand ready to defend the Roman legacy! Figures from Gripping Beast.|
My 15th submission to Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge is another element for my 28mm Byzantine collection. This is a mixed unit of spearmen and archers. They are metal figures from Gripping Beast's "Thematic Byzantine" collection. The spears are steel spears from Gripping Beast (with one exception - more to follow). The shield design is freehand painted. The banner is from LBMS. As with all of my recent 28mm Byzantine stuff, they are based individually.
|Two ranks of spears at the front, two ranks of archers at the rear.|
We all love this hobby, but we all encounter projects, or parts of project, that feel like a real drag. This bunch was one such project, and I am pleased to have them completed. While I overall really love Gripping Beast's Byzantine range, and I don't want to be too critical of sculptors (who, after all, have an incredible talent that I certainly do not), the metal spearmen are some of the weakest sculpts in this range. The arms sort of don't always add up, and the bodies are quite tall - these are big lads. Add to that some unfortunate mold lines on some faces and...well, it was not the most fun to paint these. Furthermore, I ignored common sense - the "attacking" pose with the spears looks dramatic, but it will be a right pain in the @ss to rank up properly with these individual bases. Not something I thought through properly...although that is hardly a big surprise. Anyway...
|Dispersed view of the archers - they can also skirmish if needed.|
But they had to be painted! The Byzantine army depended in many instance on their cavalry to deliver the decisive blow, but steady blocks of infantry, combining tough (and apparently very tall) spearmen in the front ranks with archers in the rear, were a rock for that cavalry to rally around. These stout fellows will perform just such a service for my steadily growing Byzantine forces!
|This pose is dramatic, but also a pain when it comes to ranking up the models.|
|Very boring freehand patterns on the shields...but at least they are bright! I like bright sometimes...|
The even split between spears and archers has an added bonus...they can break into two different 12-man elements for the game "Lion Rampant", while serving together in an infantry block for games of "Warhammer Ancient Battles", "Hail Caesar" etc.
|And here is is...the first Byzantine figure I had ever painted...test model from circa 2017. Now he has a unit to join, all these years later!|
There is one fun bit of history in this submission...there are 24 figures in the photo, but only 23 of them were painting during this edition of the Painting Challenge. The 24th figure is older - in fact, he goes back a ways...it is the first Byzantine test model I had ever painted, back when I ordered a 4-point starter box for the skirmish game "Saga", circa 2017. I wonder if Curt can find the photo I sent him on his iMessage bragging "hey, I painted a test model". Some Conscripts may even recognize this as the lone Byzantine spearman on a single base sitting on my shelf for quite some time. Anyway, I've kept him for years, and thought it would appropriate that I paint this unit to match his colours. I left him with his original soft lead spear too. I'm hoping it brings some good luck with the dice when this bunch gets to see action on the table.
|"Ready with those spears!"|
|Foot commander, ready to get stuck in with the rest of these fellows...that horn should inspire them too!|
So there we go...a fourth Byzantine unit completed. We are nearly ready to tangle with Dallas' lovely 28mm Normans! Thanks for reading - stay safe and stay sane!