Thursday 14 June 2012

What Didn't The Romans Do For Me?

(Minifigs PBs Republican Romans)

To which question the answer is: Inspire me.

(Minifigs S range Imperial Romans. L-R, Legionary, Eagle-Bearer, Praetorium (sic), Auxiliary Javelinman, Auxiliary Slinger. These are the original 1968 figures later they were redesigned and the legionary looked like this...

Over the years I've painted, bought, planned, abandoned and sold a couple of Roman armies at least. I mentioned the EIR version in an earlier post. That actually made it into battle - battering a large army of plastic Germans, as I recall. But for some reason I wasn't taken with it. I think it was the ruthless efficiency that put me off.

The Republican version didn't even get that far. I'd seen them as the final piece of the Ancient jigsaw, able to fight Successors and Carthaginians alike. I imagined a tri-partite camapign on Sicily. I painted the sample figures above in an attempt to goad myself to action (I had two legions, somewhere between 300-350 figures, plus cavalry). It didn't work though. There was just something about them that failed to excite. The Romans were undoubtedly excellent at fighting, but in terms of swashbuckling or eccentric military fashion elan they lag behind - no armoured bactrian camels, scythed chariots, or peephole shields for these guys. In the end I gave up and sold the castings to Uwe from History in 1/72nd to use in the big Pyrrhus diorama. Lately I've been hoarding PBs late-Republican Romans in the hope that they will do the trick and I'll be able to engage in some Pontic War battles. I like the look of them more, and I can use my Spanish and Numidians as auxiliaries, but....

(Minifigs PBs Legionarius of the Civil War)


  1. Those redesigned Minifigs were my lads, they didn't have their own army but we both wanted them to. My inspiration for Romans came from the Rosemary Sutcliffe and from Classic Comics' Caesar's Conquests. None of this chainmail stuff!

    However, my late Roman army of Britain came and went and the only Romans left are a score of 40mm Elastolins for a skirmish. They are just enough of a cross of exotic fancifulness and Romanishness that I think they may keep the smaller children of wolves from the door.

  2. I've actually had several Roman armies over the years. First true army was several Airfix cohorts plus converted cavalry and auxilia I did when I needed a lightweight 'travelling' army once. Since then, there's a couple of cohorts plus supports of the old Ros plastics, then a few Lamming, finally settled on a small Irregular force. Having said that, numerically all my Roman armies past and present would probably be heavily outnumbered by my current Persian cavalry force.

    The Irregular figures will possiubly be 'retired' if I ever get round to doing a Garrison 20mm force.