February 15, 2016

Imperial Issue 2: The Imperial Legions March

Greetings once again dear readers,

I come to you now with a small piece on the basics of basing and combining sets of miniatures. For this enterprise, I have requisitioned four Romans from a different set, this time Strelets Mini-Roman Imperial Legion on Ceremonial March (STL-M101) As an addition to the original 4 romans that are at parade rest/in ranks, these bring the unit up to a single contubernium, or tent grouping.

In the legion, these tent groupings were the smallest organization of men. Equivalent to a squad or section in todays military, the men of a contubernium ate, slept, bathed, and fought together.

To begin, I painted these four Romans the exact same way, and in the exact same steps as the original group. A unified paint scheme not only brings the models together as a coherent unit, but allows them to integrate into the army as a whole.

Key part to this integration however, is the basing scheme for the army. Working in tandem with a quality paint scheme, the way you base your models can make all the difference in creating unified, stunning army.

For these Romans, I decided to use a mixture of two materials from Gale Force Nine scenics. These are the gale force nine fine basing grit, and gale force nine summer blend flock. I combined these in a tupperware container, using half the container of basing grit and adding the entire round (a type of container) of summer blend flock. This mixture gives even coverage, while allowing the summer blend flock to stand out. The basing grit provides contrast and texture. The results you can see below.

While subtle with only two multi-bases, the combination of the marching and at rest sets allow for a variety of interpretations of formation. For example, in the pictures above the set of 4 men to the left are marching to come in line with the men at rest beside them. Place that base of marching troops behind, and they are marching to reinforce a held position. Once you multiply this effect into units of 40 and 80 romans, you have the impression of a moving wall of troops supporting a stalwart front line.

The lesson here is to pay close attention to the poses your miniatures come in, see how you can modify them, and then also spend time on ranking them up in various ways to produce subtle yet powerful imagery.

Next time on Imperial Issue, we will be leaving the Romans behind for awhile and skipping foward in time to the Middle Ages, where i will talk to length about heraldry and armor, and how to incorporate layering and highlighting with these details to accentuate the stunning detail of the kits. 

'Till next time,
Maxwell McDougall

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