Sunday 27 May 2012

Ancient British Cavalry

Here are a few pics of my latest completed project.  This time Ancient British Cavalry (or 'Celtic Cavalry' as they are sold as by Warlord Games).  I have a small number of unfinished Ancient British Cavalry from different manufacturers, but these are my favourite and I will just carry on with these ones for any future units. They just have that atmospheric feel and look about them which just seem right for wild tribesmen.

The figures come as a mix of metal and plastic parts.  The ponies are metal and the riders legs are cast to the ponies.  The advantage of this is it means no difficulty in rider placement.  Trying to use pliers to open riders legs enough to fit on their horses just isn't an issue with these as it is not necessary.  There is also none of the 'camel rider' effect of when a manufacturer decides to cast a figure onto a saddlecloth which then needs to be glued to the back of the horse.  Sometimes this adds an unfortunate and ugly amount of height to the rider, making it look more like a camel corps rider!  However there is none of that with these.

The plastic upper halves of the bodies are the same as those found as a sprue in the Celt Infantry packs.  This works perfectly well and they fit nicely to to the lower bodies, with the degree of forward, rear or side lean being dictated by the modeller.  If you want the figure twisting to lob a spear than you can.

I think the ponies are quite nicely sculpted.  I was painting some others by another manufacturer (which shall remain nameless) but the shire horses (for that I am sure is what they were!) repulsed me.  They just looked wrong, very wooden, eyes in the front of the face and more like comedy versions of Victorian rocking horses. Despite having painted the riders first I found I couldn't go on with them.  The ones in these photos, however, were a joy to paint.  I used the internet to find Google images pictures of dun and bay ponies to attempt to get the shades correct. I'm very pleased with the way they have turned out.

I'm still experimenting with the photography. I try to use flash where I can but it keeps putting a curved black shadow of the camera on the lower edge of the photos.  I think I actually used the auto setting this time with a Macro Mode on for most of the above pics.  Any advice how I can improve would be much appreciated!  

These Ancient British Cavalry will be providing fast close support to my chariots in future games of 'Hail Caesar' and much used they will be!

It's funny but I really went at these with enthusiasm to complete.  Initially the main reason being that my new 'Pike and Shotte' rules had arrived and I was keen to change history periods after 7 months in 1st Century Britain.  As work progressed, I found my keenness to complete this cavalry unit forged by the sheer joy of painting these figures.  When you find yourself at work wanting nothing more than to get home and paint because you are enjoying your current subject matter, then that surely has to be a good sign of a worthwhile project.  

We will have to see what I paint next. I am inclined to make that time travel leap now.  Two books on the English Civil War ordered from Amazon this week will probably push me to re-organising my ECW armies. Still it's nice to have spent this year so far with a re-organised and refreshed Ancient British Army. It has been quite an obsession this year, but definitely worth it.