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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Shield, Dacian edition

Painting shields for ancient armies can be a challenge, with the first question being "what should the shields look like?"  For some armies, the painting trail is well established. There's a wealth of material on Roman shields for color and style. Iberian shields? There's a baseline for colors and geometric styles. There's lots of reference material for Greek and Celtic shields as well. Dacian shields are a different story.  I looked at the Little Big Man Studios website for ideas, and also Trajan's column.  What I found was unpaintable in 15mm.

Then I stumbled across an old post on the Iron Mitten blog. Secundus drew highly stylized animal figures for his Celtic shields, much like the Uffington White Horse. Animals were worked around the shield boss with an elongated neck,  or legs, or antlers. Following the trail Secundus blazed, I painted one animal figure, then another and another.  BINGO!  It's simple but looks quite nice in 15mm.

Javelinmen: Medium foot javelinmen make up the backbone of my Dacian army.  They're undrilled average impact foot.  Like most "barbarian" foot in Field of Glory, they must disrupt the enemy at impact or else struggle in melee. Dacian foot is portrayed as javelinmen because archaeological evidence reveals many spearheads & javelins but not many swords.  Then again, Emperor Trajan may have had his legionaries collect all the Dacian swords after subjugating them.

Skin tones for the shirtless lads was done with 2 highlights. The Dacians are one of Old Glory's best  lines. Great sculpts, very little cleanup required and a huge variety of poses.
Skirmishing Javelinmen: These skirmishers have a crucial role in my Dacian army.  Falxmen are vulnerable to missile fire as they carry a 2 handed falx and no shield.  I'll need the skirmishers to protect the falxmen from missile fire until they're ready to go in.

Archers: Medium foot archers have a roll to play in my army as well.  I'm going to run my javelinmen warriors in large 12 base units.  6 bases of archers can provide rear support to 2 large units of javelinmen. My javelinmen need rear support and a general leading from the front to have a prayer against legionaries.

During Trajan's campaign, it was reported that the Dacians placed well-camouflaged archers in trees to snipe Roman officers.  I figured green was a good color for tree-sniping archers.

47 comments:

  1. Beautiful work Monty, beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Fran! They might need some of your T-55s to beat the Romans. ;-)

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  2. Great work Monty! Love the Dacian Archers good colors,basing. The Javelin men look very colorful and looking for action against the Romans...

    15s Old Glory are a hit and a miss, some good and excellent sculpts and many bad ones.. It seems 18mm Blue moon Ancients miniatures are making a move to push out Old Glory Ancients, during this year new ancient ranges coming out..........anyway..Two Thumbs up! for your hard work/painting on your Dacians.

    cheers,

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    1. You are spot on, as always Phil. Sometimes, I'm quite disappointed by what I pull out of the OG bags. If they had pics of all of their figures, you'd at least know whats in store for you before you order!

      I'm heading to the BM website. I have to see what new ancients they're releasing!

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  3. Great Dacians Monty! I'm sure they're destined to drive the Romans from their lands...

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  4. Superbly done again, Monty. You hit the mark with the animal patterns on the shields. I was just on Secundus' blog where he posted a nice CoE game. Anyway, great brushwork as always. Dean

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    1. Thanks Dean, it's a trick I won't forget. Really simple but it works!

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  5. Another great looking lot of the infinitesimals. If only one could focus all that time, energy, and talent into cranking out 28mm battalions of Napoleonics... I shutter... maybe it's best not to go there. ;-)

    Speaking of 28mm, I did land some great eBay deals on some W. Foundry vikings back in December. Trying to kick start my Prussians right now , but should really knock out a quick warband and meet someone at the FFGC. I hear Rollo the Ganger lives in St. Paul.

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    1. Jason! After Samurai, Napoleonics is one of my last "frontiers" for painting. I have to get over that phobia one day. I'd find it soul crushing to paint up units and then be picked apart because I didn't get the "x" quite right.

      I'd love to meet up for a game when you have a bit of time. You call it!

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  6. Another large and luscious batch of Dacians, Monty! I like your stylized shield work. I was admiring Trajan's Column only three days ago.

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    1. Thanks Jonathan! Are you in Italy? I shouldn't presume...I was admiring it, but on line. That's as close as I'll get for some years.

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    2. Yes, I am! Much better grasp of the history seeing the places in person.

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  7. More lovely Dacians. I'm looking forward to seeing how this army does in battle.

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    1. Tamsin, thanks! I'm hoping they'll be a better than average "barbarian" army. I've tried quite a few of them. Maybe this one is the good one! ;-)

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  8. it's a a lesson :
    "simplicity is the way of clever painter"
    in "the way of the brush" by toshiro mifune

    mass effect
    and great design for the shield : simple and usefull
    well, it's not just coloring miniature, it's an artistic way

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    1. Wow, thanks Marco! There is something here, a lesson I have to learn and then learn again. I think Dean once told me to "paint for effect, not accuracy."

      Also, Toshiro Mifune is one of my favorite actors. Any lesson that ties into him is a good one!

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  9. Those are simply stunning Monty, the shield designs really stand out - great work.

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    1. Thanks Michael! I used to hate doing shields but now I've progressed to merely dreading them.

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  10. They look fantastic, Money, great work on the shields!

    FMB

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    1. Thanks Marcus, and I hope your work situation is sorted out in quick order. If you relocate to Minneapolis, do let me know. ;-)

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  11. Fabulous work Monty! I love your freehand shields and the way you use a limited colour palette to pull the units together without them looking too uniform. Bravo!

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    1. Moiterei, you don't know how relieved I am to hear that. Its tricky to balance "irregular" with "pleasing to the eye." The limited palette was my attempt to keep them pleasing to the eye. Thanks!

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  12. Stuning work, really stuning but...do you sleep sometimes?

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  13. Very impressive work, stunning look enmasse !!!

    best regards Michael

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  14. Very nice work Monty and your shield solution worked out wonderfully!

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks Christopher, I cut that one close but all's well that ends well.

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  15. What an impressive sight Monty, the colours work great together. Top-notch work!

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    1. Thanks Jonas! I can't wait to see some pics of your next DB campaign.

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  16. Some very nice work on those shields there, Monty; your 15mm stuff is always worth a look!

    "The Shield" - Dacian edition? I think you might be on to something there... how about "Law & Order: SPQR", or "CSI: Sarmizegetusa"?
    ; )

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    1. Thanks Evan! If these programs existed, I might watch TV!

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  17. Hi Monty,

    really good work done on the figures and shields!
    I will use this pictures to paint my future barbarian army ( secret project number ?????)!
    All the best.

    Gilles " the French Vic MCKAY ;-) "

    ok ! in a less corrupted version ;-)

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  18. Hi Monty,

    really good work done on the figures and shields!
    I will use this pictures to paint my future barbarian army ( secret project number ?????)!
    All the best.

    Gilles " the French Vic MCKAY ;-) "

    ok ! in a less corrupted version ;-)

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    1. Thanks and, now I have to know what the secret barbarian army is! Is it in 28mm? Is it for FoG? So many questions...

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  19. Lovely work monty. The stylised animals are very nice, and the basing really brings the figures to life, well done

    Phil

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    1. Thanks Kreoseus, I do hope they can fight!

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  20. Superb work

    I always enjoy playing Dacians (with a few Sarmation allies thrown in)!

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    1. Thanks Jim, as I recall, you run them in Hail Caesar. I'm hoping they're fun to run in FoG too!

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