26 Jan 2024

28mm Cataphracts for the Successor project

 The Successor army moves on apace, with the latest addition being 3 units of Cataphracts, making the later version of the Seleucids an option to use at a future event. 

I already have some Gripping Beast fully armoured horse troops, which I painted up as Arab Ghilmen cavalry quite some time ago - however those figures were very wide, with the horse armour making it impossible to do the "wargames-standard" 4 figures to a base.  

It was therefore with some trepidation that I picked up a box of GB's new Roman Cataphracts, only to be pleasantly surprised to find that they appear to have thinned-down the horses so it is almost - with caveats - possible to squeeze 4 of them together on a standard DBx-style 60mm wide base. 

This feat of engineering was achieved with a bit of careful arrangement, slightly deeper than usual (50mm) bases, and some judicious use of the sprue clipper to remove any lower legs that were keeping the horses in the middle of each block too far apart.

It's surprisingly hard to notice the missing legs in this solid mass of metal.

Where I had cut the legs too high up the thigh, I also filled in some of the gaps with wood filler, painted it black and then drybrushed it to match the rest of the guys - which made an already hard to spot thing even harder. 

This happy chap is yet to find a suitable shield transfer to go onto his standard. I have a feeling I may end up buying a sheet of white 25mm Successor shield "stars" from Veni Vidi Vici just to drop one on this standard (so if anyone has a spare please let me know!). 

If you look really closely you can see that the standard bearer's demeanour appears not to be adversely impacted by the loss of one of his legs just above the knee, which is rather reminiscent of the legendary Peter Cook & Dudley Moore "Tarzan Audition" sketch!

I also used a lot of head swaps from the bits box for these - leaving the "Roman" heads out and adding in very "Greek" ones from Phalangites, Hoplites and Companion cavalry to emphasise their Greekness. 

The second rate unit will be this one in bronze - the painting is a simple black spray base coat and drybrish with Vallejo Weapon Bronze, with the spears and faces undercoated in white before painting the colurs onto them. 

The spears have a barbership sort of effect which is enhanced considerably IMO by the fairly simple addition of extra "rings" that break up the blocks of colour. 

These are a dark brown initial ring around the lance, with a ring of ochre brown then painted inside it. 

This breaks up the bit between the blocks of colour nicely, and also gives you a bit of leeway to even up the lengths of the blocks of colour when you've painted them by painting the dark brown ring over a bit more of one colour or the other in each case ! 

There is also a barely-visible coloured bit of cloth at the bottom of the horse armour - this too adds some subtle hinits of colour to the units

The final bit was to do some colour on the joiny-bit at the back of the horse armour (which may just be there ot hide the join line in the two halves of the horse !).  

This also adds more subtle colour on what is an otherwise potentially rather one-tone figure.

So, 1 dozen cataphracts, all of which actually fit together in a solid block on 60mm frontages, and all for a very decent price too!


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