Dan Becker's 20 mm Alexandrian Army Part II

Thessalian Cavalry
Thessalian Cavalry
This article describes the preparation and painting of some 20 mm(1/72 nd scale) plastic miniatures.This is a follow on and addition to theAlexandrian Macedonian Armythat I started back in January 2008.It is intended that the army will grow larger and eventuallyface the Persian army of Darius III.

The photo to the right are Thessalian Cavalryfrom Hät's Macedonian Army.Click on the photo to see a larger version.This inexpensive ($7.50) box contains 60 foot and 12 mounted figures - an excellent value.The range of unit types and poses for this price is unequaled by metals miniatures.Additionally, Hät and many other quality manufacturers (e.g. ESCI, Italeri, Zvedzda, IMEX, Stretlets)make many ancient figures to ally or oppose this army.See Plastic Soldier Review for many photos and write ups on all the different figures.

The fancy-looking commander (second from right) has a bronze musclecuirass and sits on a leopard-skin horse blanket.All riders have some form of chest armor known as a "linothorax" - lino because it was madeof linen and thorax because it covered the midsection or thorax.This classical Greek armor often has "pteruges" or feathers which coveredthe hips, groin, and upper legs.These cavalry have smaller spears than the Alexandrian Companion cavalry.These spears are roughly 20 mm which is about a scale 2 metersThe Companion cavalry, which many war game rules model as knights or cataphracts, have a longer"kontos" which is roughly 50 mm or about 5 scale meters in length.

Thracian Infantry, left face
Thracian Infantry, right face
Thracian Infantry
To the right are Thracian infantry men.They are modeled as extremely primitive and woodsy looking fellows.Many of them have a linen helmet with protective flaps.They also have long capes and short spears.Some carry a weapon known as a "falx" which is a bladed weapon on theend of a long handle or staff.The blade is scicle-shaped and curved forward at the tip.This deadly looking farm weapon also adds to the agrarian look of these soldiers.The shields are of a Celtic design and painted as such.Many Celts migrated eastward and settled in Thrace (modern day Bulgaria).

All the figures on this page are "speed painted" with the goal being to paintas many figures as possible in the shortest amount of time.I estimate the 28 figures required about 14 hours of hobby time or about 30 minutes per figure.The steps include:


Greek Hoplites, left face
Greek Hoplites, right face
Greek Hoplites
To the right are 12 Greek Hoplite troops.The large diameter (1 meter) shield was known as a "hoplon" or "aspis",and in this period it was decoratedwith many geometric, symbolic, and heraldic patterns.The shields on these models are from Little Big Men Studios.The "doru" or spears are made from 0.033" (0.8 mm) diameter brass wire.Cut to length, smash the soft brass with a pliers,sand or grind the end to a point.The small spears can be made very pointy and dangerous, so take care.Luckily, many of the hoplites wear the linen cuirass, the "linothorax".

Most paints used on these figures are Reaper Master Series paints.I use Reaper, Vallejo, Foundry, and many other paints.I like Reaper because of the wide range of colors, the eye-dropper squeezey bottle witha mixing pellet, and the thin fine nature of the paints.Most of the Reaper paints cover extremely well, but as with anypaint line, there are some colors that are duds.I also have had some paints straight from the bottle dry with cracking, perhaps theydid not contain enough medium.The medium for Reaper is somewhat thinner and less flexible than Vallejo - perhapsmore vinyl and less acrylic.Reaper has many light colors, tans, and browns to choose from. The greens aresomewhat sparse compared to others.The liners and inks are fantastic and fun to play with.

Well, that is all for now. Even with the speed painting, I am happy withthe results.The rest of the Alexandrian Army box (with phantastic phalangites and more cavalry) isbeing primed and on the painting queue.I have in mind a game for Alexander and Darius,a simple skirmish rules played on 1 inch (25 mm) hexes.The army is filling out and certainly look nice just sitting on the shelf.Thanks for reading about my miniatures. More links are at the bottom of the page.

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Last modified: Thursday, 09-Jun-2011 12:55:05 MST.