Saturday 22 August 2009

Legio I Hastati

These are my newly completed Hastati for the 1st Legion at Zama; figures by 1st Corps. I bought all of the heavy infantry for this legion at Claymore at the beginning of August, and now the production line is beginning to roll. I find painting these figures easy, but the shields need a lot of work to do them justice. Having already used Little Big Men transfers, I decided (wisely, as it turns out), to finish the shields first, before gluing them to the figures. The reason for this is that the designs need to be carefully cut out and placed on the shields in two halves, one either side of the spine. Doing this on an already finished figure seemed as though it would be too difficult for my mediocre modelling skills, especially since some touching up is always needed. It took a while, but I am very pleased with the results.
I decided on a couple of specifics for these guys, so as to differentiate them from the Principes. First of all, I decided that I wanted men with pectoral plates for the Hastati, while the Principes are in mail as, of course, are the Triarii. I know this may not strictly be accurate for the Zama period, but I thought it would help to show the differences on the table top, as well as enabling me to use the figures for earlier legionaries in other games. Secondly, I decided to use slightly different colours for the crest feathers. Basically, the idea is that the more senior the troopers, the less deep red they use, and the more black. So the Hastati have two red feathers and one black; the Principes will have one red and two black; and the Triarii will have all black. I'll still keep the small ruffle of feathers around the base of the crest red for all three lines. I know that there is still a lot of debate about these colours, especially over exactly what constitutes what the sources describe as "purple", but my feeling is that we'll probably never know for certain anyway. Plus, red means Roman to me, and they're my figures...

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