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Spring Clean Challenge Sassanids Revived

Spring Clean Challenge Sassanids Revived

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Project Blog by zoidpinhead Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

The Spring Clean Hobby Challenge has been accepted and it will bring to light an army that goes right back to the initial inspiration for me to get back into the hobby. I'll go through the whole process from inspiration to completion of a 28mm Sassanid Army for use with Swordpoint. I didn't get this off the ground at all last spring so I'm going at it again this time round. Having not learned any lessons from the false start I'm going bigger, MUCH bigger.

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Daylami done

Tutoring 3
Skill 3
Idea 3
No Comments

Whilst the massed infantry of the Persians were decidedly ordinary their best foot units were allies and mercenaries.  Enter the Daylamites or more simply Daylami from the mountains between Iran and the Caspian Sea.  They were fierce fighters who provided a bit of substance to Sassanid Armies.

Speedpainting technique again using Contrast as previously discussed.  Miniatures are a mixture of Footsore and Gripping Beast.  Identical style to the sculpts and the shields are also identical so very easy to mix together.  Shield transfers are LBMS.  This unit came together very easily.

Still need to dip, matt varnish and finish the basing but we’re getting there.

Confession time

Tutoring 7
Skill 6
Idea 7
No Comments

I’m going to confess to a slight historical failure.  Whilst we don’t know much about Persian costume in battle and how it evolved over time one thing is pretty certain, they liked pattern and colour.  Research on this shows very detailed designs represented on greek vases and ultraviolet analysis shows similar on greek statues.  For more see this exhibition:

3:08 shows a Persian (Scythian/Trojan/Paris) archer which gives you an idea of the problem.

 

Persian ArcherPersian Archer

So as a speedpainter I’m going to chicken out and not do the patterns.  I will go for bright colours and according to Dr David Nicolle the Sassanids liked the colour schemes used on chess sets, where yellow/green played red/black so there might be some of that.  There was also a blue clothed regiment recorded in royal armies before Sassanid times and I like blue so we’ll definitely use that.

Decision made I’m starting on the main infantry block.  12 bases of militia levy, half spearmen, half archers and a sparabara (large wicker and leather) shield palisade to put in front of them from Aventine.

Miniatures will be a mixture of Black Tree Designs metal and Wargames Factory, Wargames Atlantic and Victrix plastics.  The metals are only in 4 poses so you can see a bit of razor saw surgery going on here to put a bit of life into them.  Taking off the right hands/arms and swaping them around or adding plastic ones gives enough variety.

Cavalry done

Tutoring 7
Skill 9
Idea 9
No Comments

Sassanid armies had two effective arms, heavy and light cavalry.  Everything else looks pretty on the table but these guys are doing the heavy lifting.  I have two large units of 16 cavalry each.  Firstly the Sassanid version of the Immortals the extra heavy cavalry in full armour on fully barded horses.  These are Gripping Beast and I went for a mixture of iron and bronze armour on horses and riders.  Shield transfers and banner from LBMS. Lots of different colours but I tried to largely stick to a similar tone and saturation to help them sit comfortably together.

Also got the 16 horse archers together.  After adding the Iranian heads with headband and a couple in the simple median hat from the Wargames Atlantic plastic set, I painted the new heads and touched up the existing paintwork on the riders.  The horses were to my eye unfinished, so I tweaked the colours on a couple to make them a bit more natural and then went round adding the white socks and face markings and black legs, mane and tail to the bay ones.  In a late decision I changed the standard bearer for a proper Gripping Beast Sassanid standard bearer model, the other had an arabic headdress.  Matched basing and they are nearly there.  Much more Persian.

Cavalry done

A tale of two elephants

Tutoring 6
Skill 9
Idea 9
No Comments

Lots to show off as we have the two elephants done, well done as far as the final basing which I’ll do when everyone is finished this far.  First the Shahanshah on his elephant.  This is basically just the Aventine kit with the addition of the LBMS side cloth and one of the banners which are intended for this kit.  I also put on an extra bowcase/quiver as there wasn’t one in the extras that the kit comes with, Victrix plastic from the unarmoured archers kit and a transfer to match.

Then we have the elephant with howdah and crew.  Blue crew done with GW Contrast Talassar Blue over the zenithed primer.  This is the Gripping Beast resin and metal kit.  I have enhanced it somewhat by taking banners from LBMS and attaching them to the sides to form the cloth barding.  Another LBMS command banner flag went onto a banner pole from a Vitrix Armoured Persian command sprue and this was stuck into the back.  Finally two javelin holders from the Aventine elephant kit filled up the rather empty looking back of the howdah.

Workbench progress

Tutoring 4
Skill 8
Idea 8
No Comments

Quick update to progress on the elephants and cavalry.

And they're off

Tutoring 6
Skill 8
Idea 7
No Comments

Already doing better than last year we have consulted the Sworpoint army list and have some ideas for a basic structure for the army.  We have 16 cataphracts (8 bases in the rules) and need at least as many light cavalry.  So I’ll need 16 Sassanid horse archers from somewhere.

Horse archer potentialHorse archer potential
Head source, and some infantry later probs.Head source, and some infantry later probs.

These are some Gripping Beast plastics that were in a Saracen First Crusade force that I got from a friend who has had to retire from the hobby.  Although that is very sad I’m determined to give these models a good life in their new home so start by ripping their heads off.  I’m swapping the arab headdresses for Iranian and Median heads from the Wargames Atlantic plastics set.  I’ll finish the conversions be carving off the stirrups – thay weren’t used widely in the region until after the Arab conquest era and will allow my horse archers to represent Parthians and earlier Persian forces too.

I was a bit stuck with the colours but I’m coming round to them and may continue the theme by using bright contrast colours on the infantry too.

Elite unitsElite units

Here you can see the Huns at the front (Wargames Foundry), Daylami (mixture of Footsore and Gripping Beast) and the two elephants.  Wait – two elephants?  Yes, I couldn’t resist a brief foray to Aventine Miniatures for the Shahanshah (King of Kings) on elephant to go with the existing Gripping Beast one with the troop howdah.  I love having a bid setpiece as the army leader base and the Shah on giant stompy elephant is doing it for these guys.

Having taken the OTT team’s recommendation and watched Bahubali it turns out that Indian elephants are a totally different colour to African ones so I’ve already made a mistake with this one and will need to make it much darker with a mottled skin colour across the face, lower ears and particualty toward the end of the trunk.

Start and Inspiration

Tutoring 9
Skill 11
Idea 13
3 Comments

Lurking in the back of a drawer for over a decade these Sassanids really need some attention.  With the plastic infantry kits coming from both Victrix and Wargames Atlantic I need to get these long neglected minis onto the table.  My gaming buddies are starting to get into Swordpoint so I thought I would add something different to the mix.

The idea of doing a Sassanid army came from my reintroduction to wargaming as a hobby.  In 1986 I saw a magazine at the local newsagent:

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Inside this wonderful tome was a fantastic picture of Peter Gilder’s Sassanids against Late Romans:

Start and Inspiration

Having decided that I’d happily have an army like that one day I subsequently collected almost anything but that, however the image (and the magazine) stayed with me.  When Gripping Beast released their Sassanid range (2007/8??) I saw them at Salute and went home with a big bag full of cataphracts.  They are at the front, 20 in total including leader and standard bearer figures.

Start and Inspiration

Over the years I added the Elephant and crew (also Gripping Beast), the 12 Huns at the back (Wargames Foundry), one random amazon horse archer (Eureka), some banners (LBMS) and a party pack of 32 foot skirmishers (Black Tree Designs).

I know I’ll need more horse archers/LC and a block of infantry with sparabara and bows which get fielded as a combined formation in Swordpoint.  I’m looking to get to a 1000 points in total.

Firstly off to raid my library for some reading material:

Start and Inspiration

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