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Alamanni

By smacdowall, Mar 23 2021 05:07PM


Having thoroughly scratched my medieval itch I have been inspired to return to my first historical

love — the later Roman Empire.


My 25/28mm late Romans and various Germanics have been languishing in boxes for a very long

time and I feel it is time that they saw the light of day again. Amassed over a period of more than

40 years, the collection is quite large but I am not satisfied with their look. While some (as in the

photo above) are pretty good, many units lack visual cohesion and some of the older miniatures

don’t stand up to modern castings or my current painting style.


I am most dissatisfied with my Germanics which were built up over the decades without much

thought to whether they were Goths, Franks, Saxons or others. Large units of hairy, half naked,

barbarians might satisfy Roman stereotypes but they no longer satisfy me. So I have embarked on

a project to renovate and rejuvenate them to create an Alamannic army circa AD 350 which can

proudly stand on the wargames table against Caesar Julian’s Romans.


Salvaging those figures that I think still look the part, I am discarding those that are either too

hairy looking or whose castings are too crude to stand up alongside more modern miniatures —

such as the ones in the above photo.


Then I look for suitable new castings that will blend with my older figures (mostly Essex). I am

using a mix of Wargames Foundry and Gripping Beast plastics with some head swaps and

salvaged shields from my discarded miniatures. Many of the Wargames Foundry range have top

knots which are generally associated with the Franks. The Alamanni absorbed parts of the Suebi,

who wore their hair in a what has become known as the ‘Swabian knot’. So I feel men with this

hair style are perfectly appropriate for the Alamanni circa 350..



In order to give each unit a coherent visual appearance I am giving them a predominant shield

colour with individual designs. Some will have captured Roman shields.


Others would have had Roman clothing and equipment so many of my Alamanni (both old and

new) come from late Roman ranges.



This is the completed unit of blue shields — mostly new Wargames Foundry with some older

figures intermixed.


The red shields have more older miniatures flushed out with newer ones.


My fairly large number of 25mil Minifigs are more difficult to blend with modern larger figures but

some of them are still reasonable good and I do not want to discard them all.


Therefore I have selected the best of them, brought them together with other small miniatures,

spruced them up a bit and mounted them on thicker bases to give them a little more stature. They

may be cruder castings and lack the visual coherence of the other units but I think they can hold

their own on the wargames table. The bases are covered with wood filler still awaiting a raw

umber wash and flocking.


I have also painted up a new unit of light infantry incorporating a couple of older miniatures.

I will run a remote game next month when my renovated Alamanni will again see the table top.


2 comments
Mar 24 2021 12:14AM by Tim O' connor

Hi Simon
good luck with this large scale project. I have some of the older min figs in my late German collection but the majority are war games foundry , some gripping beast and the plastics are excellent in bulking out the collection especially the war lord dark ages box. Also I like your idea to do colour coding helps with identifying unit. I look forward to seeing the final product.
best wishes
Tim

Mar 24 2021 01:47PM by Ernie Fosker

Good afternoon Simon,
All looking good and I'm looking forward to the game on the 16th of April ~ if only we were able to actually get together and handle the troops. Hey ho, we can't have everything I suppose.
I, too, like the idea of the 'colour coordinated' shields, it's what I've also done for my own 'Dux Britanniarum' pagan Saxon warband ~ give the unit a wee bit of a cohesive look without them looking like regular troops. Mind you, as you've said above, if the barbarians had defeated a Roman unit in battle and had nicked their shields, as they quite probably would have, the warriors could have identical shields. Great work, as always.
Ernie

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