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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Byzantine warband unleashed

My friend Jack painted up a lovely Byzantine army for Impetus that he ported into Saga.  Tempted as I was to paint one up myself, I generally avoid painting over my friend's armies. Then the fellow who bought my Vikings asked if I'd paint him a Byzantine warband for Saga. When asked for painting instructions, he said I had free reign.  The opportunity to paint Byzantines to my own vision is as good as it gets!

I did have a vision in mind, thanks to a profile folder on the desktop of my PC. I love the bright, vibrant colors in their mosaics and artwork, and the story of the Eastern Roman empire chugging along 1,000 years after Rome falls is fascinating.  The Dark Age palette goes on ice for this one.  I'm using bright reds, sky blue and yellows that appear in Byzantine artwork. These colors also appear in the LBMS Byzantine banner and shields as well.  I'm guessing their Byzantine folder looks a lot like mine!

As is my habit, I started with my favorite units first.  Cavalrymen were the elite arm of the Byzantine military. One of their tactics was to soften up the enemy with compound bows. If the enemy spread out to lessen the damage from the missile fire, the Byzantine cavalry would charge in with lances.  If the enemy held in place, they were likely to be disrupted from the storm of arrows.  And then a charge would come!
The LMBS banner and shield transfers really bring these fellows to life.  Scratch painted shield are an art  but I can't match the perfection in the shields below.

51 comments:

  1. Monty, these horsemen are terrific! Vibrant blues and reds are a nice contrast to the horseflesh. Really nice work on the armor too.

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    1. Thanks Jonathan! It was nice to be liberal with bright colors again.

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  2. Once again a beautiful paintwork Monty, splendid looking cavalry! I do like the comments too, and the basing...

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    1. Phil, thanks so much. And how about that, we are now posting on same days...

      If I could ever get over to France, I would so love to see The Collection in person!

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  3. Top class painting of the miniatures, excellent color contrast of the Horses leather straps/reins etc...and .. :o) finally you got the flocking of the bases right! great color tones and shades...the banner looks good as well ...anyway well done Sir Monty! ;o)

    cheers,
    Phil

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    1. Phil, thanks so much. And lol on the basing...I now remember that discussion. It does work quite well to set off the figures, but you already know that!

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  4. Oh, man, love that deep blue on the shields - is that the transfers or paint? Have you read Kay's "Sailing to Sarantium"? Fiction, but great for period flavour.

    FMB

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    1. Marcus, transferes there but I did manage to match the transfer colors for the rest of the shields. I have not read Sailing but I'm adding it to my Byzantium folder of books to read. ;-)

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  5. Hi Monty,

    they are fantastic !
    You done a great work!
    be careful with the Byzantines, their history is totally addictive! when you begin to paint some of them you're hooked !!!!!!

    Cheers

    Gilles " Beyond the Golden gates ;-)"

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    1. Thanks Gillies! It is riveting, listening to the history on audiobook. Now I want to drill down to some of the more interesting times of the empire and read more. What have I unleashed?

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  6. Very cool figs, Monty. And I love the period artwork. Best Dean

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    1. Thanks Dean, LBMS work can't be beat. And I love your 40K work. You've made the transition from history to fantasy seamlessly!

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  7. Great work, Monty, the colours are really vibrant. I agree with the French Jester - beware of total addiction to the lovely Byzantines!

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    1. Thanks Caliban! My only regret is that in the past, I've fallen into eras and remained in them for decades. So many historical stones remain unturned!

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  8. Splendid toys! And beautifully painted. I'd love to explore the Byzantines, some day. They are very much less commonly encountered than the earlier Romans I paint, and it would be a fine busman's holiday.

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    1. Simon, thanks so much! Well, you do have a small matter of 1,500-2000 figures for your project! I've watched for some time in amazement. Great show at SELWG. It's the kind of thing most of us can only dream of!

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    2. Thanks Monty! I'd glad you liked it. I hope to put on some more big games next year...

      I've never done a cavalry army, there would be a lot of hard painting in one of those. Mind you, I was reading about the organisation of the Maurician Byzantine army in Ancient Warfare today; one of those, writ large, would be a fine sight!

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    3. I just started a subscription this fall! Can't wait to read that one.

      Like many of my gaming brethren, I'm quite jealous of what you fellows across the pond have going. Cons seemingly every week, weekly meetups in pubs where you get to push lead and drink! It seems like heaven.

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    4. There's a lovely diagram of the army in action.

      Yes we are lucky. I went to 5 shows this year, and hope to do more next!

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  9. Lovely Byzantines Monty, they are interesting to play in Saga.

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    1. Thanks Cyrus, I understand they may take a few plays to get the hang of. That's ok, because the Normans are tricky to master as well!

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  10. The only 15mm army I ever collected was Byzantines, so I do have a soft spot for these dysfunctional post-Romans! Lovely work with the colour palette, and the LBMS shields and flags are just the icing on the cake. They do set things off nicely!

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    1. Eve, thanks! Now I have to ask...was the 15mm Byzantine army for DBA? The rising up and falling down of the empire (repeatedly) is riveting. I'm sure I've only just begun to read about these fellows.

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    2. Older than that, WRG Sixth Edition no less!

      I reclaimed a bunch of them a month ago from a huge box of lead found by my son Kieran in his mum's garage. Cataphracts, Pechenegs, some psiloi and a few skutatoi, inexplicably mixed with some Arab camelry of all things (and I have absolutely no idea who owned these, I certainly didn't buy them!).

      They were Tin Soldier casts from around 1981, made in Australia. Once I've sorted through them, I may post some pics on the old blog for nostalgia value!

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    3. You've got to post it up. 1981...that's reaching way back. So cool that they turned up unexpectedly. Almost like an accidental time capsule!

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    4. Thank you, Monty, I think you've just come up with a title for the hypothetical post; "The Accidental Time Capsule"!

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    7. Oops, sorry about the triplicate comment, that's what I get for blogging from my phone!

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  11. This is some fine work Monty and that colour palette really makes them pop

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    1. Thanks Andrew, I appreciate it! Your new terrain really shines on the HC game you just posted up.

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  12. Oooh, lovely work, Monty! Shades of your colourful Mithradatic armies!

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    1. Thanks Rosbif! You have a great eye, sir. I've been missing bright colors for most of 2013. I guess the dark palettes are one reason they call it the Dark Ages. ;-)

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  13. Fantastic looking Byzantine cavalry Monty! Lovely rich colors!

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks Christopher! It was a treat to go all in on colors again.

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  14. These Byzantines are stunning. Your choice of vibrant colours is spot on and adds lots of contrast to all the other dark age stuff.

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    1. Thanks Moiterei! Like a parent, a painter should love all of their "children" equally. Some more equally than others! ;-)

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  15. Excellent painted figures! And I like the colours you have used for them!

    Greetings
    Peter

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  16. Fantastic work Monty! All those wonderful colours really make them stand out. Such a great change from the usual, more muted, Dark Ages palette.

    Looking forward to seeing the rest of the warband!

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    1. It really is a nice changeup. I've painted mostly Saga in 2013. Maybe I need to change it up just a bit from time to time.

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  17. Great paint job Monty and I like the colour pallet, they've come out well you must be happy with them.

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    1. Richard! Yes, I confess I'm very happy with how they're coming along. They'd look pretty good based up for Impetus, I bet! ;-)

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  18. Lovely paintjob!
    The colours, the shields, the horses... Excellent!

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