Work in Progress

[Basic Impetus Army] Ancient British Celts - In woad clad

Posted by OwenChpw on 26 Apr 2021, 02:33

Edmund2019 wrote:Hi Owen,

I've just read this thread, great celtic army, with lots of flavour and details worked.

And I am glad that you were published!!


Thank you sir! :-D The different colours make them very fun to paint, unlike the Indians I'm doing now, where I have to find variations through skin colour rather than clothing. I'm not quite done with my Ancient Britons, still waiting for Linear-A to release their new Celtic set but I placed an order for some resin Celts from Russia so hopefully I'll continue the updates later this year.
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OwenChpw  Australia
 
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Posted by OwenChpw on 08 Dec 2021, 05:08

I've been meaning to come back to this project log for a while - my Celtic army is so very close to being completed! I was waiting for ages to order the recent Linear-A Celtic set before I began my next unit but my favoured distributor didn't stock them for months after their release date - agony! So I was forced to wait until they got an order in. The miniatures arrived very quickly and I'm happy to report that the sculpts are excellent! I haven't seen any other painted examples online, so if you're waiting to see how they look like, I've got a sample below, arrayed with figures from other manufacturers.

My final unit of skirmisher javelin warriors is now waiting for Germania-Figuren's new Celtic command set to be released. So again, there might be a while until the next and final unit update for this army!

--

1/72 Ancient British Celtic Army

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The Gweltijo-lāto (Wild warriors – Ancient Brittonic) are fierce ambushers and cunning guerrillas; woad-clad and howling like otherwordly visitations of vengeance. From the forests they strike, hard and fast, like lightning from a clear sky, only to fade just as easily when eyes turn their way. The Gweltijo-lāto are slingers with a talent for subterfuge and deception. Not for them the frontal charge of massed shieldwalls and bloodrage, but the predatory patience of the hunt, which, while less theatrical, is where the real killing begins. And without exception, all of the Gweltijo-lāto are expert hunters. They scorn the Lummo-Woret as young amateurs, skittish as deer, a distraction at best and dangerously incompetent at worst.

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The Gweltijo-lāto serve as scouts for the Iceni, taking note of enemy movements from concealed positions, probing for weak points, watchful for attacks from unexpected quarters. Without the speed and dash of cavalry, their approach is quieter and more methodical. With the patience of hunters, the Gweltijo-lāto do not lose themselves to blind fury or the possession of battle lust but weigh the balance of battle carefully before committing their strength, but then fight with all the ardour the celts are known for. They feint, retreat, harry their foes, always on the outskirts with their slings and swords, dashing to prepared ambush positions for their next round of attacks. Named as the 'wild warriors,' their title was earned from their fierce independence from king Toirdelbach's command, being nearly uncontrollable and 'wild' in their isolationist tendencies. They are given this freedom to operate simply because of their effectiveness, so their unit name is a great honourific; a mark of the tribe's confidence in their capabilities and trust in their good judgement in battle.

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The Gweltijo-lāto adorn themselves in woad en-masse. They have embraced the noble tradition of their ancestors, with many warriors also spiking their hair with lime, fighting naked and making trophies of enemy heads. Their leader, Cunobelinus, is a dour, pious warrior and a staunch traditionalist. Even before his family was cut down by plagues, he seemed unhappy, always on the verge of anger and his murderous temper has only become worse as the Romans have closed in. Cunobelinus fights to maintain the Iceni way of life and to venerate the gods but he seems to do these things only out of practice, with no more passion for them than anything else. Regardless of his bitterness, he has proven himself a staunch fighter; calm in calamity, murderous with a blade and his warriors trust his instincts that have seen them victorious time and time again.

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(As part of my effort to make each unit distinctive, the Gweltijo-lāto are my second unit of skirmishers. My skirmisher units are arrayed on diorama bases, perched on cliffsides or high hills to imply their light-footedness. The height of this slinger unit allows the base to tell a story; in this case, the slingers are hurling rocks from above while the warriors in the first rank are charging into close quarters.

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The recent Celtic set from Linear-A: Hannibal Crosses the Alps Set 5 "CELTIC SALASSI / TAURINI TRIBE VS. CARTHAGINIANS” has many evocative, characterful poses of Celts levering or pushing boulders upon enemies below. When I saw the masters of this set I knew I wanted to use these for my 'slingers.' The strength of the Basic Impetus basing system is there are many models on one base, allowing a scene to be set, and grouping these boulder-pushing models with slinger models allows people to see they're part of a slinger unit at first glance.

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The first rank of charging warriors uses two dynamic poses from the Linear-A set, which are full of movement, seeming to charge and pounce. The warleader is posed to urge his warriors on, while the single head-taker is brandishing his trophy. I refrained from painting blood on his axe; I want this army to not seem so vicious, their traditions may be barbaric, but I want a nobility and richness in their culture rather than a grim cruelty. The left most Linear-A figure has had a very watered down blue (almost made into a wash) applied as woad warpaint, and this is my attempt at a new way of painting Woad, almost like a very light smearing across the body, as inspired by the Iceni units in Rome Total War 2 promotional art.

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In keeping with the themes of the army, there are plaids, bare flesh, woad and disorganisation. The severed head plays into the sub-theme of Celtic head taking. As the skirmishers are some of the least prestigious in the army, the plaids are minimal, and decorations for the warriors are mostly stripes instead. Cunobelinus does not wear chainmail either, in keeping with the other skirmisher leaders. The Revell model has wings on the helmet; a classic Celtic theme. Relieved I didn't have to sculpt these, I've painted them white to keep them simple; which is different from all the other winged helmets in the army. I added a greenstuff sash to him as I've seen recent depictions of Celts with sashes and I couldn't be bothered further modifying my Celtic king. As such, Cunobelinus has three pieces of separate plaid items on him; shirt, pants and sash. It was a lot of painting work. I also gave him a greenstuff sling for visual consistency with the other slingers.

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I wanted to distinguish the Celts from the Romans by having lighter skinned warriors, so I've tried some lighter skin colours. My current skin recipes are:

Flesh painting techniques:
Tanned flesh, dwarf flesh, elf flesh
Barbarian flesh, devlan mud, barbarian flesh, barbarian flesh/skull white
Tallarn Flesh, elf flesh, bleached bone
Cadian fleshtone, kislev flesh
Ratskin flesh, barbarian flesh, barbarian flesh / skull white
Pale: Rakarth Flesh, Elf Flesh, Bleached bone

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I like using a variety of different models from different manufacturers for figure variety; every single one of my models are unique in this army. With models from Airfix, Linear-A, Italeri, Revell and Caesar Miniatures, I have a range of differently shaped and posed men, which emphasises the individuality of the Celts which is a hallmark of this army.

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One of the elements of my Celtic army is inconsistency; they are a tribal confederation, not a formal, uniform organisation. I don't have a single unit where a theme applies to every figure. The Gweltijo-lāto have the most spiked, limed hair figures, the most blonde figures and the most woad-painted figures but these themes are not across every single member of the unit. All of my skirmisher units will have naked figures, but this one only has a single one, the least of all the skirmisher units.

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The base was made in a similar fashion to the last unit, with foam staked on top of each other to form a cliff face, then sand applied, then flock, shrubs and flowers.)

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(Unit 10 of 11 - Ancient British army - Basic Impetus)
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OwenChpw  Australia
 
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Posted by Iceman1964 on 08 Dec 2021, 19:25

Great work Owen, at the end it's a very nice small diorama :-)
Your painting on Linear-A is interesting for me, good ideas for my future romans-britons diorama 8)
Do you think these figures can be applicable also for "late" britons (Boudica rebellion period) ?
or some conversion is needed ?
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Iceman1964  Italy
 
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26 Dec 2020, 17:43

Posted by Minuteman on 08 Dec 2021, 20:13

Nice work. But my Goodness, did we Brits really look like this 2000 years ago???
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Minuteman  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Santi Pérez on 08 Dec 2021, 21:01

Another great addition to your Celtic army, Owen. You are a bit like me in that you carry out several projects at the same time (I have in mind your ancient Indian army), with the difference that yours include many more figures than mine, so your merit is greater. :winky:

Best regards.

Santi.
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Santi Pérez  Spain
 
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Posted by Peter on 08 Dec 2021, 22:57

Great contribution again Owen! :thumbup:
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by OwenChpw on 10 Dec 2021, 01:10

Iceman1964 wrote:Great work Owen, at the end it's a very nice small diorama :-)
Your painting on Linear-A is interesting for me, good ideas for my future romans-britons diorama 8)
Do you think these figures can be applicable also for "late" britons (Boudica rebellion period) ?
or some conversion is needed ?


I saw that you acquired the Celtic Linear-A set in another thread, I hope to see your spin on it at some point! From my readings, I think the Celts are very applicable for Boudicca's rebellion. Celtic warfare seemed relatively unchanged from when the Romans first landed to Boudicca's rebellion (although the Gauls had discontinued the use of chariots, the Britons kept using them, but that's kind of irrelevant to a discussion about Ancient Britons specifically). The description that Caesar provides about the Britons being:

"All the Britons paint themselves with woad, which produces a dark blue color; and for this reason they are much more frightful in appearance in battle. They permit their hair to grow long, shaving all parts of the body except the head and the upper lip."

seems to suggest that the Britons looked like other Celtic people, except their distinguishing features were the use of woad, and perhaps their long hair and shaved chins (no beards). It does seem that sources say Gallic men spiked their hair with lime and this doesn't seem to be mentioned for the Britons, however I've never seen any evidence contradicting the use of 'limed' hair for the Britons and I think it could have been possible they could have also adopted a similar hairstyle, we simply don't have the sources to conclusively say (and limed hair is a cultural archetype for the Celts, in the same way the use of red for the Roman legions have been enshrined in the popular perception, so I kind of just want it in). I think the Linear-A figures would work great!

Minuteman wrote:Nice work. But my Goodness, did we Brits really look like this 2000 years ago???


Haha I think everyone has come a very, very long way since the days of head-taking and blue face-painting (fun for the whole family).

Santi Pérez wrote:Another great addition to your Celtic army, Owen. You are a bit like me in that you carry out several projects at the same time (I have in mind your ancient Indian army), with the difference that yours include many more figures than mine, so your merit is greater. :winky:

Best regards.

Santi.


Thankss Santi! Oh it's not about the figures that are painted, it's about the care invested in projects that give them value! I do like to juggle a few projects at once, who knows, I might start something completely left-field sometime soon (waiting for Linear-A to reveal their masters for the Indus culture sculpts - the Ancient Mauryan Indians are on hold just for that. I rely on Linear-A far too much.)

Peter wrote:Great contribution again Owen! :thumbup:


Thanks Peter! :-D
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OwenChpw  Australia
 
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Posted by Howlin on 27 Mar 2022, 05:25

Really these Celts are some of the most beautifully painted minis. There is a Van Gogh like impressionist quality that makes them like a work of art. And the plaids are fantastic! Not to say what others do is not art, but what I do is much more like painting in the numbers for each part, and then add in some wash techniques.

Who are you matching up against them?
Do you have a club or friend that is making some Romans?
Or will they be pitted against some fun fantasy Indians?


I have been on the fence about getting the linear A celts just because I have so many other projects, but also a addiction to collecting basically every single ancient army in 1/72 plastic. (especially from Linear A)
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Howlin  United States of America
 
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Posted by OwenChpw on 30 Mar 2022, 12:48

Howlin wrote:Really these Celts are some of the most beautifully painted minis. There is a Van Gogh like impressionist quality that makes them like a work of art. And the plaids are fantastic! Not to say what others do is not art, but what I do is much more like painting in the numbers for each part, and then add in some wash techniques.


Oh, I almost forgot to update this blog! I sometimes think of saving content into a big bundle, but I've been quite busy recently and the painting has definitely taken a backseat, but I have plans to restart once I get back to Australian shores.

I am flattered to be even remotely compared to Van Gogh, thank you very much! :mrgreen: I am very proud of some of the plaids, such as on my eagle-helmed king, my Queen's dress and on the pants on one of my cavalry leaders, but they were so time intensive! It really was a matter of patience, thin brushes and a matter of fixing mistakes, which are so easy when accuracy is needed on such a scale, but the end result is so rewarding, as you can see!

I sometimes do want to paint in the numbers, in batches, and finish with washes but I don't have it in me. When I try it, I look at my models and I always think, but I can add more highlights, do more on the faces, and the whole piece usually takes three times longer than expected. I'm just a bit of a perfectionist for my works, and this extends to my other creative ventures. I do want to try an army that is just quick and fast at some point - I thought it would be my Mauryan Indians, and it is for my troops, and then I get large surface areas such as elephant cloth and then I try to recreate paintings haha.

Howlin wrote:Who are you matching up against them?
Do you have a club or friend that is making some Romans?
Or will they be pitted against some fun fantasy Indians?


I've deployed my Celts only once (against the Imperial Germans!), so far, I started this army a little before Covid I believe, so the whole world went into lockdown for a while. I wish I did have some local friends making some historical enemies but I don't. I have a wargames club started by my ex Ancient History teacher, and we recently tried a very unhistorical match of the Iceni against the Imperial Germans. I filmed it and you can see it here (with a fun little animated introduction):



It was very fun to get into gaming again post-lockdown. I owe quite a lot to my Ancient History teacher: he introduced me to 1/72 as a scale when I was still in Warhammer, and now 1/72 is my favourite scale. He opened me to the possibilities of cheap, accessible wargaming, which I think is great because I don't think people should be restricted by budget for something so simple and fun. He actually gave me his collections because he was running out of house space:



I definitely will pit my Ancient Britons against my Indians as soon as my Indians are finished, shouldn't be more than a few more years :p

Howlin wrote:I have been on the fence about getting the linear A celts just because I have so many other projects, but also a addiction to collecting basically every single ancient army in 1/72 plastic. (especially from Linear A)


Oh I love Linear-A's miniatures. Absolutely adore their works. I've accidently ended up collecting almost every 1/72 ancient army :p in online shopping sprees. I really like how the Linear- A Celts expand the number of poses available to collectors, with some dynamic cliff-action and some boulder pushing. I did a review here, with some 360 spins of each figure:



I've felt I've content-dumped enough here to tide people over until my final unit (It's coming, I've placed the orders). To provide some foreshadowing, I've really liked the look of Germania Figuren's Celtic figures so I want a final unit of javelin skirmishers made of many different figures from many different manufacturers. I have so many spare Celtic miniatures I might have to make a Galatian army for the Diadochi wars at some point. Hmmm. I could see it being thematically different too (Greek influenced helmets, furs, less plaids, blue as a primary army colour). Oh well, more plans in the pipeline!
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OwenChpw  Australia
 
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Posted by Rich W on 30 Mar 2022, 23:22

Looks like you've been given a lifetimes supply of figures. They'll keep you busy for a very long time, or pay for some other nice things...
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Posted by Howlin on 30 Mar 2022, 23:55

Yeah I have watched those videos already, very entertaining reviews.

I still have yet to play a game with mine, from a childhood though I imagined it differently. Like you know as a kid you were like, well my super hero have this power, and your friend is like, uhh but mine can do this...? has infinity etc....

I want my battles to be a bit like that, where each side as to tell a story and based on its believably gets a score.... so for instance, I send a cavalry charge into a flank of archers and say I am going to clean the floor with this mass of troops... sounds plausible so 80% chance they kill the archers unscathed..... they roll a 18.... very successful..... they roll a 10,,, they achieve job but lose a few men in the process, get a 1, front horse stumbles and they all fall over and the archers counter the attack while they try to get up or are crushed....

Kinda like that. Rules with only guidelines,... may get messy, may need a referree!
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Howlin  United States of America
 
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