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Small Recruits for Carthage

I have now completed the four units of 6mm Spanish scutarii I need for my Carthaginian army. Recruited for the Society of Ancients Ilipa Battle Day (24 March 2024), some of them will see action next week in a smaller test game. For this (and at the battle day) I shall be using an updated version of my Legio VI rules — more on this later.

Although the ancient Iberians probably had individually painted shields I have given each unit a distinctive colour scheme. In this small scale I find that a consistent bright, bold, colour (or colours) for each unit makes it more easily identifiable on the wargames table when viewed from a distance. I am still amazed at how quick and easy it is to paint 6 mil figures. These four units (192 figures) took me 14 days from start to finish — including basing and giving ground texture to their movement trays.

All these figures (a mix of Baccus and Rapier) had been languishing in my lead mountain for several years. I had more than enough scutarii (with large oval shields) to complete three units but not quite enough for the fourth (red shield unit in front). Rather than purchasing yet more figures I co-opted a couple of Gauls and a number of light infantry with small round shields and decided that they would become a unit of Lusitanians. Roman writers said that the Lusitanians carried the caetra (small round shield). Black cloaks are also mentioned.

According to Polybius, the Spanish wore white tunics with a purple trim. I have therefore painted all the tunics white. This helps them stand out nicely on the tabletop even from a distance. I did not bother giving every man a purple trim as this will not be easily seen but I did give it to a few of them (using various red-crimson-burgundy shades). Although painted fairly uniformly, I think that the mix of figures, and varied positioning on the bases, gives these Spanish an appropriately irregular look.

Next up on the painting table are some Liby-Phoenician infantry to go with a unit of Carthaginian veterans I painted many years ago (Rapier Miniatures). The latter unit incorporates bits of Roman kit picked up on the battlefield. The newly recruited unit will not yet have had the chance to do this. I have not yet decided whether I shall give all of them shield blazons or only a few — or even leave them plain for greater contrast with the veterans.

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