Sunday, November 28, 2021

Foundry Sumerians

While painting remains focused on 25/28mm Biblicals, today sees a switch from Hittites to Sumerians mustering out from the painting desk.  These twelve Sumerian spearmen are part of a recent Foundry order.  If my counts are correct, there may be enough spearmen to field eight or nine such stands.  Some BMUs will have a shielded front rank like and caped rear rank like this one while others will march out with two ranks of cape-protected warriors with no shields. 
For this stand, the front rank of spearmen carry the barn door-sized shield while the second rank wear the protective cape.  With the shielded front rank, the BMU presents a formidable sight.  A second such unit is in work with more to follow.  These Foundry figures are quite good and a pleasure to paint.  A simple paint scheme means quick turn-around.
What else is on the workbench?  Painting has finished up on John de la Pole's WotR Battle and basing has begun.  Work also progresses on two, 28mm Spanish/Italian buildings from Brigade Games.  One or both of these structures may make an appearance in an upcoming game.  The decision I have is whether these buildings will see action in Napoleonic Spain or 1898 Cuba.  I am very tempted to pull the Spanish-American War collection out of boxes for an upcoming remote game.  Still needing to decide upon the rules to use.  For remote games, simpler is better.

Finally, the long Thanksgiving holiday is usually a time to get in a game or two while others are distracted by the shopping frenzy of Black Friday sales.  Not this year.  Nancy and I spent the week in Seattle for Thanksgiving with dinner hosted by Daughter #2.  You know what?  She has become a superb cook!  A Thanksgiving with no cooking and preparation stress is quite nice.  I could get used to this treatment.  I will not get off so easily at Christmas.

45 comments:

  1. Nicely looking Sumerian spearmen, Jonathan. Love their faces, very lively emotions :)

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    1. Thank you, Dmitry! The sculpting including faces is good on these figures.

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  2. Lovely looking Sumerians! I've just had a long weekend in London, part of which was wandering around the Egyptian, Assyrian and near Eastern sections of the British Museum, what fun!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks, Iain! Oh, I am really envious of your ability to visit the British Museum. I imagine I could be lost in the Ancient Near East wings for quite some time. One day, I will visit.

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    2. Make sure you do before they make us give all the stuff back.

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    3. So true. If the world goes back into lockdown, visiting may be impossible again anyway. Sigh.

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  3. Lovely figures - are the spears wire rods?

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    1. Thanks! The spears are rigid, steel rods from NorthStar.

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  4. Those shields really are enormous aren't they? They must have been very unwieldy on the March, or perhaps they were carried in a baggage train and only issued just prior to battle? It's nice you were able to spend a long weekend with your daughter and have some relaxation

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    1. The shields are HUGE! They make quite an impression, do they not? Unwieldy, yes, but how heavy were they actually? Situated in the baggage train on the march seems reasonable to me.

      Yeah, we had an enjoyable visit especially getting a chance to spend time with the youngest granddaughter.

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    2. The classic interpretation of the shield bearing is that the shields were handled with two hands, as were the spears, so you have a row of shields then rows of spears men behind. See page 123 of Stillman & Tallis "Armies of the Ancient Near East". You will see that the historical notes written by Stillman on the WF website are suitably vague.

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    3. Well, if the shields required two hands to wield then many of the figure manufacturers have it all wrong. For me, artistic license allows me to field the shield bearers as sculpted with spear. Perhaps the creators of the Vulture Stele were using their artistic license to convey an impression rather than absolute? Some argue that the combination of shield bearers with cloaked spearmen is incorrect too. Again, I put them in the same unit.

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    4. Yes. A lot of manufacturers make figures that look that way. I can't tell you why they choose to do that. It isn't just the Vulture Stele, but later depictions in other cultures show the shield bearer - who may have an axe of close combat weapon - discrete from the spearman. In most rule systems it isn't important, and the design enables more animation and creates a figure type wargamers are used to from later periods, such as Hittite and Egyptian.

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    5. Eureka Miniatures follows this notion of separate shield-bearer with their 28mm Sumerians.

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  5. Those Sumerians are superb. Loce the shields

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  6. These look great Jonathan. I find I surprise myself how the simple paint schemes can be the most effective, whereas some of those that I put much more time and effort into can fall short of expectation. Iain's comment has reminded me how good that section on the British museum is, and it must be ten years or more since I have wandered through. It's always exciting see the Rosetta stone, and it will be great when we can all travel freely again. Well done on a stress-free thanksgiving.

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    1. Thanks, Lawrence!

      It should would be great to visit the British Museum. There are so many exhibits on my Wishlist to visit there. One day. As Graham notes above, I better visit before the museum is forced to return all of the artifacts to the original owners.

      Stress-free Thanksgiving, yes, that was pleasant.

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  7. Very nice Jonathan, always a fan of large shields, unless I am shooting at them.

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  8. Great work on those Jon and the very large shields certainly make an impact visually. I wonder what they were made of, because even thin wood would have been very heavy given how big they are.

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    1. The shields are dyed oxhide, with copper bosses. The oxhide is probably stretched over a wicker or light wood frame. The evidence that we have for shields used with spears is that they were the smaller rectilinear type, with concave edges, caused by stretching and animal hide over a cross batten frame. Even with the oxhide construction, which must have reduced weight against all wood, the physical size of them, stretching from toe to chin/nose would have made them very difficult to wave around as some manufacturers would have you believe. Especially as all the illustrations we have - most notably the standard of Ur - shows spearsmen holding the spears double handed, like Jon's rear ranks.

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    2. Thanks for the clarification graham and I imagined that's how they were made, but wasn't sure as they are always shown as being very thick.

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    3. Thank you, Steve, for the encouragement, and thank you, Graham, for the weaponry construction lesson. One illustration I have shows the shield made from timber. That would be a heavy lift, for sure.

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    4. I'm equally guilty of calling them barn doors in my more light-hearted moments, but there's no way they'd be made of solid wood at that size, even if you were moving them round on carts, and employing both hands on the battlefield.

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    5. In my part of the world, something large, red, wooden with brass/bronze fittings IS a barn door.

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  9. Nifty work on those Jonathan, they look most intimidating with those big blocks of wood and long pointy sticks.

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    1. Thanks, Phil! An intimidating wall of barn doors and spears, for sure.

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  10. They look great Jonathan and the large shields look really cool!

    Christopher

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  11. It's always nice when someone else takes care of dinner ;) Spearmen look ace, and will look even better en mass.

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    1. Very nice when someone else takes on the holiday cooking chores. Yes, this will be a handsome army when arrayed for battle. Thanks, Markus!

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  12. Lovely shields and wonderful spearmen...another success!

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  13. I've never managed to like Foundry's style but these look good as you have painted them.

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    1. Yes, that was meant to be a compliment on your painting but was poorly worded...

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  14. If I were a biblical soldier I’d want an enormous shield too. Also about 5 guys in front of me who were meaner than me. 😀

    I also had a vacation during thanksgiving with no prep or chores and it was fantastic. Worth the price. The wife and I think we might do it next year too. 😀

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    1. With shield, you would be front and center. Lurkers with the longest spear to the back.

      Yes, it was fantastic. Where did you jet off to for your getaway?

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  15. Very nice additions and troop types I’d not seen before. Those shields must be lovely to hide behind when closing in on the enemy formations but I doubt they could offer the same protection at the same time from ranged attacks.

    Nice to hear your Thanksgiving was an easy affair! Due to Covid worries ours was too, we stayed home and ate pasta. Lol

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    1. Thank you, Dai!

      Pasta for Thanksgiving is thinking outside of the box.

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  16. Good looking figures I actually have a few of these although I was going to use them with different shields for my Persian army. Hope thanksgiving went well 👍

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    1. Thanks, Matt! Sumerians as Persians? I await their debut.

      Yes, Thanksgiving was perfect!

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