Friday 6 April 2012

Ancient British Commanders...Caractacus and Cartimandua!

After my recent posts of the warriors, this time I bring you the commanders!

It's taken me a little while to get these stands done, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to achieve with the basing initially, and I wanted to try out new things to make them more interesting.  Instead of my traditional single stand figures for commanders I wanted to go for a stand to show the main man (or woman) himself plus the interesting characters who the Chief would have surrounded themselves with.

 I decided to use a steel circular base to avoid warping and build up basetex-type material so the stand could actually be picked up.  The steel base was 1mm which seemed a good idea before I saw them but picking it up off the board was hard work!  I built up the edges and gave them several layers of acrylic paint to stop the  newly build-up base-tex edges from eroding with handling.

So without further ado...more pictures...

The command stand of Queen Cartimandua of the Brigantes tribe.  I actually painted Cartimandua about 12 years ago using enamels.  As I had to paint her new subordinates I decided to give her the acrylic paint treatment too and give her a bit more life.  The old enamel paint did look very tired on her. It could be said that it may have been more realistic, a little more faded fabric perhaps would have been the correct look, but she is a Queen after all, so nice deep powerful colours were added with acrylic and I think she looks more regal for it.

Now this next figure could be Vellocatus, who she divorced Venutius for (and devastatingly split the tribe).  I originally planned to have the big chap on Caractacus's stand holding a Roman head, as her fellow.  But as I was painting them up it suddenly occurred to me that as she allied her tribe with the Roman's, why would her new man be holding a Roman head!!!  A change of husband's was required (again!) and so I gave her another  British Chieftain to be Vellocatus and gave him an Ancient Brition's head to hold, more indicative of the inter-tribal wars the Brigantes found themselves embroiled in.

Her Standard-Bearer,

...And this wild fellow below who looks like a particularly dangerous member of Cartimandua's hierarchy.  A Druid who appears he could put the frighteners on any tribal member!

Using the Hail Caeser rules I will use these larger bases as Army Commander stands.  I will use smaller two man stands as my standard Divisional/Tribal Leader Commanders.

I also painted up the stand for Caractacus.  Needless to say I had to keep him away from Cartimandua seeing as she chained him up and handed him over to the Romans when he sought her help when his rebellion failed! The figures on this stand are a mix of Wargames Foundry and Warlord Games.

The large chieftain holding the Roman head is in scale.  He is just meant to be a very big bloke!

..'And now for my next trick!'

The standard bearer and a shot from the rear of the stand.

As you can probably tell, I really enjoyed painting these figures.  I also enjoyed spending more time with the basing too.  It's not just the painting. As I'm sure you find, the more you paint the more research you do and the more enjoyable the hobby is as a whole.  It's through painting Ancient British wargames figures that I found that I live right near the border between one tribe who allied itself to Rome (Dobunni) and one who fought against it (Catuvellauni)  I must cycle through that troubled border land each time I go to work every day.  It sets the imagination going somewhat to think of what must have been happening in that very area all those years ago.


  1. These are some really nice pieces. Great colors and the Druid is the best! Nice trick there!

  2. Hi Anne, I'm glad you like them. The naked druid often gets the attention of female friends who visit! It's strange but I have never really been one for Command Stands and vignettes. I've always preferred to paint the actual combat troops instead. Painting these characters was really good fun though and I will make sure all my armies have decent command stands from now on.