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From Ancient to Medieval Greeks

I have shifted focus from the 4th C BC to the 11th C AD. This is down to a planned Siege of Antioch game (1st Crusade) in January and Manzikert (1071) later in the year.

This has given me a great excuse to dust off my 10th-11th century Byzantine army which has not seen action in decades due to a lack of suitable opponents. Now, with friends building armies of Normans, Arabs and Turks, they will have plenty to fight. A mini-campaign in Italy is a distinct possibility, as well as action agains the Seljuks.

My existing Byzantine figures are Minifigs and Hinchliffe 25mm first painted in the late 1970s/early 80s. With a little bit of touching up the paintwork and improving the basing I think they still look pretty good.

I have also delved into my unpainted lead mountain to rescue some suitable auxiliaries that had been languishing in boxes for several decades.

I recently painted this unit of Minifigs Italo-Normans, from the lead mountain, to represent Normans and ‘Franks’ in Byzantine service.

These figures I converted long ago from the sadly defunct Corvus 25mm range of Normans. I gave them quilted armour and mail aventails to give them an eastern look and mounted them on (mostly) Wargames Foundry horses. I have just finished painting them as Georgians (using Georgian symbols on their shields) but they could happily represent just about any 11th century Christians.

A newly purchased Gripping Beast command group is my latest addition. They are lovely miniatures and I really enjoyed painting them.

Of course it is difficult to fit newer 28mil figures into a 25 mil army. However my 25s are mounted on quite thick bases. By using a thinner base for the 28s they do not look too out of proportion next to this Garrison general and Minifig escorts — especially when viewed from a distance.

I still have a few figures on the painting table — to flesh out older units and add some more command groups. Fortunately Minifigs are still available from Caliver Books as are Hinchliffe from Lancashire Games.

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