Legio Wargames

The Legio Blog

By smacdowall, Jul 19 2017 03:32PM

A 6mm unit of 6th century Roman horse archers completed I have started to paint up Belisarius' bucellarii. After fixing them to a painting rod I fist undercoat with spray matt white and then give a very thin wash of raw umber. This brings out the detail and makes it easy to paint the tiny men and horses. Then I give helmets and armour a black wash.

After dry brushing the armour with a bright metal colour, I do the horses in a series of washes. This makes the detail stand out even on such small miniatures.

My full 6mm painting method can be found in the painting section of my site here.

By smacdowall, Oct 24 2016 11:23AM

I had so much fun painting up my 15mm villagers (see previous blog post - Good Scenics) that I decided to put away the 28mm figures for a while and try my hand once again with smaller miniatures.

The success of the 6mm Pharsaullus game at the Society of Ancients Battle Day inspired a couple of us to look at a 6mil version of Comitatus rules and test them out with loads of Huns. After all the smaller scale is perfect for wide ranging cavalry actions with hordes of troops.

It has been a while since I have painted 6 mil figures and I was not sure if the old eyes were still up to it. With good lighting and good glasses it all went very well. The first miniatures (Huns above) were quickly knocked out in half a day. More are primed up and ready to go.

I had forgotten just how simple and quick painting the smaller miniatures can be. I am looking forward to doing more. My method for painting 6mm figures is different from the accepted norm. I prefer a white undercoat as I believe the smaller miniatures require lighter brighter colours to stand out on the table. Conventional wisdom says 6mil calls for a black undercoat but I find this dulls them down far too much. My 6 mil painting method is detailed in the 'Painting Tips' sectopn of my website here.

By smacdowall, Jun 9 2016 09:29AM

At the Battle of the Dunes in 1658 Marshal Turenne had 2 battalions of the Gardes Suisses in his army.

For quite some time I have agonised as how to represent them. The first recorded uniform was in 1665 when they wore blue-grey coats lined buff. A few years later the officers were allowed blue coats while the sergeants were wearing red in the 1670s. For a while pikemen wore blue and musketeers red and it was only in 1684 that the more familiar red coat with blue lining was adopted.

Les Gardes Suisses
Les Gardes Suisses

Apart from my Gardes Francaises, none of the units in my French army wear uniforms. Although there is no hard evidence for it, I decided that my Gardes Suisses would also be given uniforms and they would be the same blue-grey and buff coats recorded 7 years later.

By 1658 the long justacorps had started to make an appearance even though it would not become universal for a few years more. I reasoned that if a uniform was issued to the Swiss Guards then it would be of the latest fashion. Therefore I went for the Northstar 1672 range to fill the ranks.

I used the Northstar Swiss pikemen but not their Swiss musketeers, preferring instead to mix some French and generic musketeers from the 1672 range.

Swiss musketeers and sergeant
Swiss musketeers and sergeant

I had two reasons for this. Firstly the Northstar Swiss musketeers have plug bayonets on their belts whereas the others do not and the plug bayonet was not yet in use. Secondly the Swiss musketeers are standing at rest and I wanted the Gardes Suisses to look right in the same line as my Gardes Francaises who have front rank musketeers firing and second rank at the ready. I decided to put my sergeant in a red coat which later became standard.

Pikemen and officers
Pikemen and officers

. Complete with 3/4 armour and with ‘points’ on the breaches I think the pikmen really looked the part and give the unit a Swiss look. I did not uniform the officers as I thought it most likely they would be wearing what they pleased at this time.

By smacdowall, Mar 10 2016 03:31PM

King Charles II’s army in Flanders has just been reinforced by a redoubtable regiment of Scots, raised and equipped by Ross Macfarlane — my oldest wargaming ally, opponent and friend. These are Ross’ own sculpts and castings with a charming ‘toy soldier’ feel to them.

After a long sea voyage (from Nova Scotia) they arrived in very good shape. I was not in anyway tempted to repaint them. Although Ross’ painting style is very different to mine, it matches the castings perfectly, accentuating the toy soldier look. I did, however, touch up the odd scratches and bruises and gave them new pikes.

I did think it appropriate to present them with new set colours to mark the start of their service with Charles Stuart in Flanders.

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