Thursday, April 30, 2009

Two Myths of Rome and Greece

I was cleaning up yesterday when I found this old school paper of mine. My parents saved everything from my childhood, and I guess they must have sent it to me as they were preparing to move. It sat in a box with some photo albums, rediscovered after I decided to clean the closet.

As it happens, the subject matter fits in with this blog perfectly! An early example of my classical scholarship, the report was possibly written when I was 8 or 9 yrs old. The text absolutely riddled with poor sentence structure, dangling preposition, and general bad grammar. You have to read it—it's hilarious! I like to think the illustrations predict my future job of illustrating Ancient Warfare Magazine. If you are amused as I am, then let me know. I will post Part 2, "Who Was Hercules?" (remember you can click on the images to see them larger.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Grenadier plastic dwarf conversions

I've been making a small set of dwarves for my 6-yr-old daughter. She's interested in playing with Hobbit miniatures, but I didn't want her using lead models. Grenadier Miniatures produced a three-pose range of plastic 28mm scale dwarfs. They are now sold by E-m4 miniatures. Although there are only two suitable poses for my version of Thorin's company, it's impressive how much variety one can create with a little putty and paint.

Spears have been modified to be walking sticks, or removed to create lanterns, mugs, etc. Initially, I added putty to cover up the dwarves' chain mail, but I settled on simply painting over the armor. I think it kind of looks like knit cloth with pockets! These aren't the most sophisticated of conversions, but they're certainly suitable for the rough play of a little kid.

To represent Bilbo we are using the plastic Frodo that came with GameWorkshop's Mines of Moria box. Opponents are the plastic goblins from the same box.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

1/72 ancient baggage cart

After Hat released their Celtic chariot sets I had been wondering what to do with my stockpile of the less sophisticated Airfix chariots. My solution has been to convert them into baggage carts. These will be useful as obstacles, objectives, or diorama pieces.  I used thin pieces of white sheet styrene to build the cart's walls. Super glue bonds extremely well to the styrene, but it doesn't like the smooth brown plastic (my Airfix sets are 10-year-old Hat re-issues). The bags in the cart are sculpted with green stuff. The spoked wheel comes from an old box of Atlantic 1/72 Greek chariots.

I was waiting to display this model after I painted it, but it looks like it will be waiting on my shelf for a while.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Celtic boar hunt

The Foundry sells a very nice celtic wild boar hunt set, but I decided to compose my own. The Celtic hunter comes from a set of Gripping Beast Celtic spearmen. The two hounds also come from GB. The boar is from Amazon Miniatures. I added some green stuff (putty) to the pig's back to create a more menacing ridge of bristling fur.
When preparing the hunter model I missed the mold line running vertically up his face. I noticed it only after priming the figure and painting the flesh base coat. I didn't want to scrape away the paint to cut off the extra metal, as this will tear the layer of paint. I instead worked with it, painting the small ridge pink to represent a scar (wild boards are quite dangerous, you know).

Although sold as "wolf hounds," I like to consider these dog models to be deer hounds. An Iron Age bronze figurine of a deer hound was found at the Lydney Temple, Gloucestershire. So, this is an ancient breed indeed!

Here's something interesting about Iron Age Celtic hunting: One would naturally assume that the Celts hunted all the time, supplementing their diet with the deer and boar running through their country. However, there is very little archaeological evidence to suggest that this happened. The overwhelming majority of mammal bones found on Iron Age sites are from domestic breds. It seems that the hunt was more of a spiritual event, rather than a means for food.

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