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Carthaginians, Ancient Spanish and Elephants. Historical miniatures 15mm Corvus Belli and Xyston


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while I am waiting for my hoard of Bones miniatures some other projects have to be finished to make room for hundreds of little Fantasy guys. I am working quite sometime on a Field of Glory army. The idea is to depict Hannibal Barkas army in Spain, before he went on to cross the alps and fight in Italy. This means there will be a lot of spanish mercenaries as well as a good number of war elephants.


The miniatures are either Corvus Belli or Xyston and I am very pleased how they turned out for 15mm gaming miniatures. I also tried for the first time a proper photo set up with background and matching terrain. I did not photoshop much of the pictures, only added some more blue in the one picture on th left (the background was not big enough, and the wall paper is beige...). The trees are hand made and shall depict pine trees.


I understand you guys are more a Fantasy bunch, but maybe someone is also doing historical wargaming. I am looking foward to some conctructive criticism and general remarks.


On a warm spring morning spanish mercenary Scutarii cross a small hilltop followed by Liby-Phoenician spearmen. while the Scutarri are accustomed to the rough terrain the spearmen have some problems in keeping up. The small force is sent out to subdue a nearby tribe of Iberians, as they do not recognise the supremacy of Carthage and their general Hannibal.




Caetrati, so called because of the small shield, Caetra, they are carrying, support the infantry and the elephants. they will also cause havoc amongst the tribal warriors before they clash with the main force:




The Elephants follow on the right flank. These beasts are not as big as Asian or African elephants, as the smaller African Forest Elephant was in use, nor can they carry a tower. These strong animals do not need a tower. The mahout will make them charge the enemy and cause chaos amongst him. The tribe never encountered such animals before and Hannibal is sure that they will have the desired psychological effect.






Finally the spearmen and the tribal warriors meet. While the mercenary scutarii hold the right flank, the elephants storm the left flank of the tribal warriors. They are fierce fighters and would rather die than lose their freedom. It is not undheard of that facing defeat they rather commit suicide then bow to anyone.




When the dust settles it is a glorious day for Carthage and victory is total. Soon all of Iberia will be under the rule of Carthage or shall we say under the control of Hannibal?

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Really cool looking army. I especially like the elephants. The soldiers look nice as well, with nice shading and highlighting. Since you are looking for constructive criticism as well, the only part of the soldiers that lacks the same amount of detail on shading is some of the brighter colored shields.

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thank you very much for your comments so far.


@zoroaster 100: You are right, it seems especially true for the caetrati Shields. While I did apply some highlights I have the feeling the were rather swallowed. I might go for a stronger contrast between highlights, too. I guess I leave them as they are for the moment and try to finish the army, then go back to some of the miniatures and improve them her and there. Unfortunately I am only halfway through and a lot of Spanish cavalry is waiting to be painted.


@Goblyn: That would be a funny idea. Maybe I shall do this with a *.gif in some point. ;)


@Doug: I would agree that it seems Hannibal did not seize the moment after the battle of Cannae and total defeat of the Romans. If a march on Rome would have defeated the romans is however questionable. Further it is not entirely clear if he had enough troops left to actually take and hold Rome. While Cannae was a total victory it came at a price. As the Romans proofed in the next decade they had a vast supply of recrutes and where able to replace all the losses of Cannae and succesfully avoid another decisive battle. During my research I got the impression that Hannibals plan was to get the roman confederates and allies on his site. This workd in some cases, but overall this plan did not work out. I am reading a book at the moment which provides case studies of different regions in Italy and their reaction and stance towards Hannibal. After finishing this I might be able to assess the situation after cannae and in the following year better.


Where he - surprisingly - failed was at the battle of Zama. While it was unlucky that the Numidians defected to the Romans, the whole plan with the Elephants and the counter by the Romans with forming corridors seems very unlike him. Why did he not expect something like this? The Romans had years to think of something to counter War elephants and Hannibal should have known that they will be prepared. Maybe he just ran out of steam in the end. I might need to read a bit more about this battle and look at the sources to make a more elaborate guess.

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Cool figures. I play historicals too (in fact, my college degree is in History, concentrating on ancient and Medieval European history), and it's always nice to see some good paint jobs. I always wanted to do an Ancient Spanish army (though I was looking more at 28mm), and might do so once I get some of my projects off the table...



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For Zama, I think it's well to remember that Scipio was (or at least could have been — it's difficult to tell at this remove, after all) a tactical genius as well.


As far as the time after Cannae, Hannibal had 14 years to exploit his victory, in an area that is frankly not physically large at all. The usual claim is that there were no trees with which to make a siege train. In 14 years, I'm pretty sure it would have been possible to import trees from the Alps, or Spain, or Gaul, or nearly anywhere. Instead, he dithered, wandering back and forth across southern Italy, never making any significant gains.


I find it useful to compare this to the Mongols, who took larger, better defended cities one after another with a cavalry army. Or with the Arab Conquest, who did much the same with a mixed infantry and cavalry army, but also with no great surfeit of trees.


For me, at least, Hannibal is one of the three most over-rated* generals in history (with Lee and Montgomery as the other two).


* Which is not to say "worst". There are many worse generals, but each of the above has a reputation (at least in some circles) that is not matched by his achievements.

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The Reaper Minis are getting closer and closer. I hope I can finish this project before February next year, as there will be a local tournament I would like to attend. In the meantime I finished some more troops and also made some close ups of the elephants, now with finished bases. Entirely new are the Numidians and the first rank of Xyston spearmen. Very nice miniatures and I think they actually mix well with Corvus Belli and Old Glory.











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IT's funny. All of my friend talk about how amazed they are that I can do small detail in the 28mm figures, But you guys who do 15mm...holy cow!

I am especially loving the work on the hide shields. They just look incredible.

Also, I have to compliment you on the photos themselves. Background, foreground, it's all great. I fell like I'm looking into a diorama box.

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