Sunday, 28 March 2021

Unarmoured Early Byzantine Skutatoi Close Ups of Bases

Just a very quick post to say that, as I promised in my last post of the Unarmoured Early Byzantine Skutatoi Unit Complete I managed to find some time to take some close ups of the bases. 

And why not? 

My preference for basing the miniatures in large units to have a degree of synergy and interaction between figures goes back quite a while to when the Perry twins first produced their Agincourt to Orleans range in metal. The sculpts in that particular range were so dynamic, so suspenseful so full of life they just screamed out "vignette style basing" to me. To help illustrate my point, here are a few quick pictures taken by David Imrie (Saxon Dog to many) of the Perry HYW stuff completed many a moon ago:

I have tried to achieve something similar with my Aventine Miniatures Early Byzantines; but in a more uniform manner. I think the more regimented look of the units just says Eastern Roman/Byzantine discipline a little more then the "all out scrum" look of my HYW English. With the Byzantines I have made an effort to try to get the Command Models to look as though there is a high degree of interaction and a sense of suspense whilst the rank and file are either, depending on the units, standing their ground, fighting or, in some cases, just milling around waiting for action.

Friday, 26 March 2021

Unarmoured Early Byzantine Skutatoi Unit Complete!

This unit seems to have taken quite some time to complete. I'm very pleased to have finally finished these little fellows, or at least I thought I was but soon discovered that I had not yet varnished the banner on close inspection of the photographs! Still, the banner has been fortunate not to suffer from any satin sheen that can sometimes crop up when mixing Acrylics from different manufacturers so I think the images will hold up as they are. It shall be done tomorrow but I don't think I'm going to betaking any more pictures. Maybe some of the single bases in  my next post in a day or two.

Although I have stuck with the white tunic and red borders etc I am currently working on the Second unit of Unarmoured Skutatoi in a tunics in deep shades of green with yellow borders. When I was researching the Early Byzantine army I came across an enormous amount of colourful tunics, often garish, in almost every reenactor group I encountered, thus I aimed to incorporate more colourful units in the army. Not too many though as I want to avoid the army turning into a dogs dinner of competing colours! I think most of the very colourful units will be saved for the Cavalry and Bucellarri.

Slightly Above Eye Level:

From a Slightly Higher Angle:

A Couple of Close Ups:

Monday, 15 March 2021

Unarmoured Skutatoi Unit Two- Experiments with Different Colour Schemes

Just a quick post to keep things up to speed. I have been experimenting with different colour schemes for the tunics for the different Unarmoured Skutatoi Units that will be standing as the main battle line in the army along with their Armoured Comrades (in Shieldwall). I have avoided the temptation to go for purely complimentary colours as they often create a hard contrast which, given the surface area of the miniature that will be covered by my chosen hues of "Green" and "Yellow" would tend towards the dynamic between the colours being too strong. I have also shifted the hue of the green slightly.

I am happy with the way in which the colour schemes have worked out on this the second unit of Unarmoured Skutatoi but as always, I would be very interested in hearing what you guys think?

Please note, the models are unvarnished. so no gloss and matting down as of yet.

The first unit is still waiting, somewhat impatiently for the gloss to dry so I can finally matt the miniatures down, paint the banner and base it up so pics of that very soon.

For now though......

As usual, the images are "clickable" so you can take a close look.

Sunday, 28 February 2021

Unarmoured Early Byzantines (Batch Two) At Last!!!

Anyone who has read my last post will realise that I have been battling with some quite serious mental health issues of late. All I will say on the subject, if you are curious please is refer to my previous post. Whilst I think it is healthy to give voice to mental health issues I do not want to repeat myself nor digress for too long from the subject of the blog.. All I will say now is that the problems are ongoing and have had a negative effect on my painting output. I am fighting my "inner demons" and I will find a way to beat a path back to my normal self one way or another.

The group of eight miniatures featured in this post were finished about a month ago and only over the last week did I find the stamina to get the varnishing process on the way! My usual method of brush on Humbrol Gloss, a week to let the gloss go off and then a couple of layers of Windsor and Newton Professional Matt Vanish spray over the top to get a nice flat finish. Talking of which, the W&N vanish can have the effect of dulling down any metallic paint and it was interesting to note a post by James Morris on the Lead Adventure Forum featuring some of his Wars of the Roses for Never mind the Billhooks that the full plate armours looked the business without any varnish at all. This is not really an option with metal miniatures, especially with a lot of cloth and flesh involved (from memory James's were Perry plastics) so I've been trying out the AK Interactive Ultra Matt Brush on Varnish on some old miniatures, leaving out the metallic areas. The AK Interactive Ultra is ideally ideally meant to be applied with an airbrush, which might explain the speckling that I am getting on the miniatures which is I have to say, a big "no-no" IMHO as it can ruin the overall appeal of a miniature. It might take some time to get the results I am looking for. When I do, I will of course post up some comparison pics.

An airbrush is something I have never used and really want to avoid the expense of buying a decent rig. 

I should add, yesterday I have managed to get to work on the last eight miniatures for the unit which has raised my sense of Elan, which is of course a very good thing. So, a positive :>)

First Four:


The unit as it stands thus far. Sixteen out of the twenty four miniatures that will make up the finished unit. I usually manage to find a way in which to make the miniatures "talk" to one another. This has been an unusually difficult job with this particular unit. Maybe down to planning (or rather lack of) or perhaps just an audit of my current mental state(???). I think I managed to get a couple of the command miniatures to express a feeling of urgency. What do you guys think?