Sunday, 7 July 2013

Imperial Romans

I am already fairly well provided with Romans, albeit of the late Republican variety, however you can never have too many, particularly if considering the Roman Civil Wars. A while ago I acquired a few boxes of surplus HaT Imperial Romans from Tim, and our recent outings with CnC Ancients finally stirred me to doing something with them.  So hot off the painting table, I bring you Imperial Romans.

My well appointed work station. A shoebox full of paint and a tin tray covered in tools, glue etc all laid out on the dining table. My wife is very understanding, but this lot sets up and clears away in minutes.

The assembled might of Rome on their designated storage box. DBA based (using 25mm basing), 22 elements of four figures apiece with four different combinations of shield design and helmet crest or not with four command stands. This s a similar scheme to the one I used for my Republican Romans and allows various levels of representation and unit differentiation for different sets of rules. No hastati, princeps or triarii with this lot though.

Red crested chaps with lightning bolt shields. HaT Imperial Legionary set plus some figures from the command set, optio and standard bearer in this case.

Uncrested chaps with winged shields plus a Centurian. These are the HaT extra heavy legionaries but  just I painted their additional armour as flesh so they all look a bit more homogenous with the crested chaps

One problem with plastic figures are the goofy poses, HaT generally aren't too bad but I was a bit short of figures so I used some poses which would normally go in the spares box. Ninja pila throwers waving their  scutums at arms length and the famous 'overam gladius' move. Both these poses remind me of Brad Pitt in 'Troy'.

The flanking soldiers here are the worst of the lot, lets point our shields away from the enemy and step forward waving our swords. Hopefully their awfulness is masked by sharing the base with some command figures.

En masse they don't look too bad though. Crested and uncrested winged shield types.

Uncrested and crested lightning bolt shield types.

So, hopefully coming to an Ancient battlefeld near you soon, more Romans. I used to muck about endlessly with Ancient figures doing multiple undercoats, inkwashes, highlighting etc. These guys are very basic:

  • wash in detergent to get off the mould grease
  • strip off the flash (my least favourite job, rather shoddily done for these)
  • stick bits on, shields in this case (for the love of god why? just mould them in one piece)
  • undercoat with undiluted PVA
  • block paint, I do a variant of inside out but leave the flesh until later on, not first thing
  • overall inkwash with W&N peat brown ink
  • paint the shield designs
  • varnish with Ronseal matt floor varnish
  • job done

they are based on artists mounting board painted with terracotta emulsion paint  then flocked with PVA and builders sand plus clumps of static grass. For a more 'arid' look the sand has been drybrushed in magnolia emulsion paint and finally the bases are edged with black marker pen. I like a thick base which frames the figures.


  1. Hi Martin,

    Very neat and effective indeed Mr. Rapier! I also really appreciate the 'how to' stuff (and echo point 3 I might add)as I have a fancy to dabble in some plastic again at some point.

    I also enjoyed the super-deluxe, state-of-the-art work station....;-)

    Also, if you have a load of C and C ancients blocks going spare let me know as I could certainly find a use for them!

    All the best,


  2. Thanks Dave. I have actually found a use for the 'spare' CnC blocks as 2mm modern buildings as well as useful counters for some other games.