16 Jul 2024

Yet more Xyston Persians - this time some cavalry

 As part of the same purchase as the Xyston Persin Bowmen, I also picked up some PSC rubbery Persian cavalry. 

I'd actually not checked the packdetails properly, and thought they were a mixed set but it turns out there were half a dozen armoured cavalry and half a dozen unarmoured horse archer types. I already have a couple of units of the armoured cavalry which I use as the Satrapal Guard, so - so instead of cooking up two different formations I intermingled the riders a little to make a rather more random mix of shooting and spear-using figures in different levels of armour. 

As usual with Contrasts, they have come out pretty brightly - even if my painting on these has been somewhat sloppier than for some recent projects given that they will appear infrequently as part of an all-cavalry Persian army composition. 

I have a lot of these units already from Xyston, and so I wanted this lot to have a colour palette that will allow me to differentiate them from the others so they can be used as part of a coherent command. This led to these guys having a lot of oranges, reds and yellows in the mix without being "uniformed" in any way. 

 For a bit of a bish bash bosh job I'm actually quite pleased with how they have turned out. 

9 Jul 2024

FiB Byantine Cavalry

 I've just bitten the bullet and sold off a load of Essex Minis 15mm Byzantines that I've had for the best part of 30 years.  There's nothing really wrong with them, but those Essex Early (Justinian) Byzantine cavalry figures are just so  dammed, well, ubiquitous that I've kinda grown bored of them more than anything else.

Add into that how my painting style has (hopefully) improved in the intervening 30-odd years and the end result has been that I've now embarked on the process of slowly buying and painting up a replacement set of mounted figures for this particular army.   

I've gone with Forged in Battle for them, mainly on the basis that I picked up some Middle/Late Roman almost-Byzantine cavalry a year or so back and really liked how they came out, so fancied adding in a few more from the range. 

And, here they are:

They are billed as a random mix of 12 cavalry plus command, and as seems usual with FiB this means there is an extra command rider (making 13 riders and 12 horses)

There seems to be a bit of a mix of horse poses - not wildly different, just some slight variants of head position - with the standard riders all being the same.

The Command figures are a guy with a windsock standard, a commander with a mace (both pictured here) and a third guy holding a sword aloft, who I have saved for another project TBC. 

As these are being painted for an ADLG army where I'm likely to want to use one or two of these top-drawer units in each of 3 different commands, I chose to paint them up as a "2" and two "1s", so I can differentiate what bases are in which command more easily. 

This is the back of the Commander - the cloaks are done in a couple of Contrast paints, I believe Magos Purple and Shyish Purple - weirdly "Shyish" is the bolder darker colour of the pair. 

The horse armour is done in my traditional style of black undercoat and a Gunmetal drybrush on top. The horses have enough of a raised lip around the edge of the armour to allow a splash of colour to be added - in this case (imperial!) purple. 

You can clearly see the difference in the two units here - one being "blue" and the other "purple". 

This is the back view of the two "red" units - a variety of contrast paints for the horses, including Gore Grunta Fur, Snakebite Leather, Aggaros Dunes and the Warlord Contrast of Holy White on the grey horse. 

The straps were done in Warlord Leather, with a bit of extra "pseudo-blacklining" done with Warlord's Army Painter Dark Tone wash to pick them out a little more clearly - getting the Dark Tone on the armour doesn't really matter, so its fairly easy to flow it round the straps.

The rather spiffy shields are accidental - I used Yanden Yellow on a white base, and the flow of the Contrast paint just created this effect all by itself!



4 Jul 2024

Xyston Persian Bowmen

 Being unable to resist a bargain, I picked up these Xyston bowmen in a tabletop sale at the recent 1-day ADLG event in Reading.   

They are from the time when PSC were re-casting Xyston figures in Siocast rubbery resin (an experiment which by all accounts seems to have now run its course FWIW).

I reckon that Persians and other "Eastern" armies are perfect to get the best out of Contrast Paints, and these chaps have certainly come out pretty well both in terms of the vibrant "silk-like" colours and also with how the paint has flowed into the deep lines cast into the design of the figures 

Its most noticable from the back, where the leather armour comes up a real treat with a coat of Aggaros Dunes on a white undercoat base layer

With ADLG units being 6/base, this set of 16 also allowed me to eke out two units of light foot archers too

Looking at the army list I'm now not entirely sure where these guys will fit in, but I believe that some of the Successor armies get the odd Persian peasant archer unit too so I'm sure they will make an appearance some day. 

Lots of big moustaches!

My existing Persian infantry are Museum Z-Sculpts, which look great when ranked up in a dense formation but actually don't really stand up especially well when compared directly to the equivalent Xyston sculpts one-to-one

The Museum chaps are at the front, and are noticably slighter in build

More significantly however, the level of detail on the Museum castings is far shallower than on the Xyston sculpts, such that after even a thin layer of sprayed-on white base coat the detail on the Museum figures struggles to take the Contrast paints - whereas the exaggerated depths of the Xyston figures really allow this style of painting to "ping" 

It's not terminal - I'll still happily mix these in the same army, and same unit as well - but it is a reminder that different styles of sculpting work better with different paint techniques.
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