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
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.