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Xenophon's Ghost covers military history and wargaming from the ancient period to modern times.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cavalry Gallery

Yesterday, I showed off my completed Macedonian foot elements.  Let's look at the Cavalry and Knight elements.

It would be fitting to start with Alexander the Great himself.  I'll use this element as a 3Kn General.  I preview of the DBA 3.0 draft Army lists show that the Knight elements will be 3Kn, meaning that 3 figures are used.  I had already purchased my figures before seeing the draft list, so I did create one 4 Kn element.  Unless the rules change, I should be able to use elements with either 3 or 4 figures.

The 4KN element used Essex Super Heavy Cavalry figures.  It was a tight squeeze to get four on the base.

I handpainted the Macedonian stars on the mounted element shields.

These two Cavalry elements include another General element.  The majority of Hellenistic armies use Cavalry or Knight Generals.

I made one Thessalian cavalry element, painting their cloaks a dark blue with a white band at the bottom. 

Finally, I need some Light Horse - Hippokontistai, so two elements round out the first batch of figures for the Morph collection.

Lessons Learned


I tried several new painting techniques this time, to include ink washes (covered in an earlier post), shading on horses, and more practice using white primer, instead of black.   I have also continued to differentiate my armies in the basing, using a different paint color and ground cover.


A major difference in Ancients figures and more modern eras (such as AWI and Napoleonics) is the lack of primary references on uniform color.  I used Osprey Publishing's "Alexander the Great at War - His Army - His Battle - His Enemies" as the main reference for my painting work.  While this book is comprehensive and appears well researched, there is generally much speculation on the color of clothing and equipment for this period.  I had the opportunity to visit Pompeii in March, and the Mosaic depicting Alexander and Darius is a key source for the period.  However, even this Mosaic was designed many years after the battle -by Romans, or possibly a Greek artist in the employ of Romans. Who is to know the accuracy of the depiction?

I frankly find the ambiguity liberating.  Rather than obsessing over the color of a collar, the Ancients gamers can aim to get the general concept right and not quibble on the minor details.


My only regret in this effort was biting off so many different figures all at once.  It was a challenge to stay on track.  I'll work on a smaller number of homogenous figures in the future when I can, so I can achieve some tangible progress quickly.   I recently knocked out the remainder of my Psiloi figures and artillery figures in a week because the project wasn't overwhelming.

Aloha from Waikiki,

1 comment:

  1. It is unfortunate that the animation for the Essex mounted figures is so unimaginative. I think you would do better to use another manufacturer's mounted or to use a mix of manufacturers for your army. Other than the cavalry poses, looks quite nice.