Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Seeing the boys off...ancient Spanish camp

Making a camp is always a challenge for me and I typically put it off until the very end of the project. You, the artist, must capture the essence of the army you painted in a small footprint. No pressure but the camp should be a lively diorama or vignette, limited only by the figures you can find in 15mm and your boundless imagination. What's that? You don't have a boundless imagination? Well then, quite simply, you're screwed.

The first step in making a camp is easy.  I can measure 120mm x 80mm with the best of them.  Then I  stare at my canvas in miniature and I'm stumped. Unless it's the Romans.  Nothing says camp for Romans like a Roman tent and a wall with pointy bits and some leftover legionaries. Unfortunately, such a display is only appropriate for Romans and you need to get more creative for all of the non-Roman armies of the ancient world.

I wanted to capture the "ruggedness" of Hispania so I toyed with the idea of an ambush in a mountain pass. It can be done but I couldn't get it quite right with the figures I have in this small footprint.  I did take the "mountain ambush" idea and turn it into something I'm pleased with. Hispania was made up of the Iberians, Lusitanians and Celtiberians tribal people.  I found some noncombatants in my lead pile and bingo, I had it.  My camp would be the women and children seeing warrior husbands and fathers off. A muster for battle like this would've been a somber affair.  If the invaders are not beaten and repelled, the tribe would face a range of poor outcomes ranging from slavery to outright annihilation.  I think the old woman with her hands on her hips captures the spirit of it.

Last up are the commanders. Finish line, here I come!

To wrap up my Iberian Project, The Clash "Spanish Bombs."  If you give it a listen, you'll want to hear London Calling all the way through and you'll feel the years fly by! Then again, I'm probably projecting.