Friday, June 2, 2017

Crusader 28mm Apulians

From spring 2014: 28mm Apulian spearmen by Crusader Miniatures, bought from Age of Glory. Shield transfer decals by LBMS.

Apulia is a region in the southeastern "heel" of the Italian peninsula, which experienced Greek colonization and influence as early as the Myceneans.

These figures from Crusader carry Greek-style hoplon shields, colorful tunics that remind me for all the world of soccer jerseys, and what look like lace-up wrestling-style boots.

Fig. 1 Based and primed brown.
At the time I started these I was using 20mm square magnetic bases from GF9, which are no longer made. I don't like how the angled "glacis slope" looks on such small bases, though. 

Fig. 2
Since I did these, I discovered that merely super-gluing the shields to the figures' arms wasn't strong enough to hold them, even when both surfaces were clean and roughed up. Since then I've started pinning the shields to the arms of these figures with short (5mm) lengths of brass rod; to be detailed in a later post.

Fig. 3 The Apulian tunic designs look a lot like soccer jerseys. From the back you can see the Greek-style swords.
These are probably middle- or lower-class members of Apulian society, as they can't afford helmets or body armor. Note that they do wear bronze belts, sort of like a wrestler's championship title belt, the same as the Samnites and other Italian tribes of this era. These belts apparently had some cultural meaning:
Wide bronze belts with several clasps, often in the shape of palmettes, are well known from finds, especially in the regions of Apulia, Lucania, and Daunia, and from representations in Campanian and Lucanian painting. The term Samnite applies to one of the indigenous peoples of Southern Italy whose language was Oscan—thus, for instance, the Oscan warriors on Apulian vases. The belts are connected with warriors and often occur in graves with other military equipment.
I wonder if there is some historical connection between modern championship belts, and these ancient warrior belts.
Fig. 4 The headband only adds to the FIFA impression.

Fig. 5 Shield decal transfers. I can't paint this level of detail freehand. 

Fig. 6 The abstract shield designs are a nice change from the simpler representative images on greek hoplons. 


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