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Painting 2mm hoplites

I like to paint my 2mm using the “expressionist” style of which a main interpreter is Mark Backhouse, of Strenght and Honour. This style is about mass effect, with no regard whatsoever for individual figures. You just paint the whole group with random dots from a selected color palette, to give the impression of a bunch of people seen at long distance. Very effective.

Problem is, these Project wargaming ancient pieces are great and are so detailed that they scream to be painted properly. Each hoplites’ block even have dozens of tiny individual spears, which are way cool but also a physical obstacle between your brush and the body of troops. It took me a while to find out an approach which works with them, so I figured I would share the lessons learned.

First of all, I base colour black, all of them. Then I apply a first round of dots, in white, using a toothpic (1). Then a second round of dots in a skin colour (2, I use Vallejo basic skintone) and finally a third round of gold (3), which is more visible than bronze. Take care not to overlap the dots, always leave some black between them. You will find it’s impossible to paint the troops without putting half of the paint on the raised spears!

Don’t be frustrated. Here is the first trick. Do NOT correct by painting in brown the vertical spears. Let them remain half-painted with white, skin and gold. Just paint those spears which are protruding horizontally from the front of the formation (4). The final result will look messy from close up, but perfectly balanced from playing distance! If you paint brown all of the spears, as your obsessive instincts tell you to, it will look “wrong” (I know you are obsessive because you are interested in 2mm miniatures).

The final painting step, and the second trick, is to paint with silver the tip of the spears – all of them, vertical and horizontal. To paint the tips of the vertical spears, just splash a generous amount of silver paint on the surface of one of those flat coffee stirrers, and apply it horizontally on the hoplite formation. This way all the tips of the vertical spears will get some paint. This will nicely “tie” together the appearence of the unit and provide some degree of overall uniformity, which balances neatly the messy coloured dots underneath. The unit is done!

Now, for the bases. I base my hoplites on dry terrain, which I guess works for Greece or Anatolia or similar climates. I have a very minimalist approach and go for very light colors, which are a good match for the pretty dark miniatures blocks. First of all, cover the base with white glue and lightly sprinkle the margins of it with some fine-grained sand. I mix two different sizes.

Then paint the whole base with a sandy colour and highlight it (I use Vallejo tan yellow, and then beige). I then apply large patches of white glue again and cover with Woodland scenics Fine Turf Yellow grass, which gives the appearence of a light growth on soil. Glue the figures on and add the final touch: apply dots of white glue to add sparse green bushes. I use Army Painter Grass green. There you go!



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9 Comments


David
David
2 giorni fa

I was looking at your ships on the irregular miniature site. Some of the starter sets include pentakonters. There are no pictures of them. Are they close enough in size that they could be used as triremes? Or do you have other uses for them that aren’t in the printed rules.

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David
David
21 ore fa
Replying to

Thanks for the answer. I went ahead and ordered the Peloponnesian War pack. I figure I’ll start with 3 vs 4 squadrons. I’ve read over your basing tutorial, although I’m thinking of shortcutting by mounting on clear bases.

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David
David
Apr 21

How many infantry do you typically use for your games?


Also, have you created any scenarios that incorporate the infantry?

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alkedominis
Apr 22
Replying to

so far I only played once with 2 units of hoplites and 4 of lights. Real life took over.. I will publish battle report, you could replay that. Not sure when I'll be able thought... maybe I can just send you the info

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David
David
Mar 23

I was curious. You say that squadrons were 10-15 ships.  Do you have a source that you could refer me to to learn more about how the squadrons and fleets were organized? I’m trying to learn more about this, but sources are sparce.

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alkedominis
Apr 07
Replying to

Hi David, sorry for the late reply! that data come from Morrison in his article "The Greek ships at Salamis and the diekplous", in Journal of Hellenic Studies vol 111, 1991. But there is not much more info than that. Apparently, ancient historians frequently described squadrons in such formation 5x3, something which was later confirmed to me by Andrew Taylor. I am not aware of any monography on fleet organization and tactics - the most complete work I know being Andrew's article that I frequently cite in the diekplous blog post here https://www.alkedominiatures.com/post/what-the-diekplous-are-you-talking-about-part-2. I suggest you get a copy of that. Wish Andrew would continue his work on that topic!

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David
David
Mar 16

Interesting article. Where are these miniatures from?

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alkedominis
Mar 17
Replying to

Hi David and welcome. These are 3d printed minis from Projectwargaming. Most recommended!

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