Thursday, January 17, 2013

Back in Byz-ness

Way back in June I painted up a sample stand of Strelets medieval Russian cavalry as the first of a "Byzantine" army. Since then, Orion has released a couple of sets of Byzantine infantry, and I have bought some of said infantry. And now at last that first stand of Byzantines has some company:

The first new unit I completed was a second stand of the heavy cavalry. As mentioned, these guys are Strelets--specifically the standard-bearers from this set with the flag swapped for a lance made of brass wire, and a couple of archers mixed in. The kite shields on the lancers are another addition, from the Zvezda Russian foot. It's a good thing these guys are up on horses and not standing next to anyone else, because they're definitely typically Strelets, proportions-wise. (Especially compared to the infantry, their heads are massive--it's like a watermelon next to a grapefruit.)

Originals are on the right; new guys on the left.

Another angle.

Next up are some infantry. These guys are from the recently released Orion Byzantine Infantry (10-13th Century) set. (So recently released, in fact, that Plastic Soldier Review still hasn't reviewed them!) As with many Orion sets, these guys had a lot of flash on them. Some parts of the sprue get it worse than others--the archers, which will be showing up later in this post, were on the good end of things, but these spearmen took a fair bit of carving. Still, I think the results were satisfactory. The one odd thing about these guys is their foot gear--they appear to have some sort of lacing that goes up to the knees, which is molded on the figure but very difficult to paint as-is--the detail is just too fine. I ended up painting a sort of simplified pattern over it, but I can't decide whether the end result is more "argyle socks" or "fishnet stockings"...

Front view.

Back view, with another angle on those leggings.

After that, it's back to horsemen--light cavalry this time, armed with javelins or perhaps a sort of light lance. These are intended to be something like trapezitoi, but may be less than perfectly historical, since they're converted out of HaT El Cid Spanish. I did a little carving on these guys--the Spanish have these baggy trousers (or possibly ankle-length tunics) which I cut away in an attempt for a tighter-fitting look. I think I could have cut even a bit more, and I may try that with the next stand when I get around to them. A sort of light padded or leather armor has been painted on over the original tunics as well. Also, by this point you may have noted that I'm trying for a consistent color scheme for this army, and similar shield designs as well...

Finally, the archers--again from the Orion set, and actually much the same as the spearmen, right down to the argyle socks. These guys are still waiting to receive the full basing treatment...

All in all, this puts me almost halfway to a Hordes of the Things or DBA army. I'm currently hoping to have some version of the army ready by February, but we'll see how that goes...


  1. I really like these guys - a very attractive army. I especially line the Kavallarioi, but the overall effect is extremely eye-catching.

  2. They look great! Nice colors too.