Painting Warlord Games 28mm Roman Legionaries

I’ll start here with a little intro to this project.
In roughly summer 2013, my local gaming club had a run of Hail Caesar games which got me hooked, but as I don’t have much knowledge of the “ancients” period, but still wanting to get an army, I thought I would buy a roman force. I learned a little about the Roman empire in High school (although, the further I get from high school, the more I realise how little I actually learned in history lessons! and how biased it was!), but it’s my only real experience of the period, so I decided to give them a go. I kept looking at the warlord site every few days, trying to pick what to go for, and decided on either the Conquest of Gaul set, or, the Roman starter army. Both would be a good starter force, The starter army being better, but the Conquest of Gaul set had the rulebook. Both had pros and cons. Then, in August 2013, a certain internet retailer who I’ve used a couple of times before had a sale. I ended up picking up both sets for roughly 60% of the price I could get them if I bought from warlord direct. Not quite half price, but damn near! I’m a sucker for a bargain, but my oh my HOW many figures turned up at once?!
When learning of my project, a friend also gave me a box of legionaries he had lying around, and i think i bought one more box.  so that’s a total of roughly 160 legionaries all in one go (as well as praetorians & veterans!).
I stuck some together, then realised that these would be incredibly hard to paint, too late for the 2 units I’d already stuck together, but the rest went onto slats. I also stuck the shields onto slats too.
This was in August 2013. They were started by priming and a base coat, then, they went into a cupboard. 150+ 28mm figures in one go was enough to destroy my enthiusiasm for the project, they were put into the cupboard of shame and every time I looked at them I died a little bit inside. That was, until about 3 weeks ago (it’s now June 2015) when something inside me demanded they be finished. I hunted round the endless piles of boxes and found the precious pile of shield decals, I set myself up in the garage and after wiping the tears from my eyes and remodeling the whole garage using tips from autonews.center I finally plucked up the courage and went for it.
Now, 3 weeks on, after a couple of hours of painting each night, I’m done with painting 7 24 man units. At the time of writing this, I just need to finish basing them. I enjoy basing, and it’s fast, so essentially, these guys are done!

The steps I followed to paint these figures are as follows:

Legionaries:

1) I primed the models white using my airbrush,
2) Sprayed silver on the armour with the airbrush. (model air metallic gungrey)
3) Sprayed the red on the tunics with my airbrush (trying to be as neat as possible) (vallejo model color red)
4) Sprayed flesh on the legs, arms and faces with the airbrush. (vallejo game color dwarf flesh)
5) I tidied up anything that have oversprayed or missed with a brush using the basecoats listed above.
6) Brush painted brown on all the weapon hilts, feet wraps/shoes, bearskins, straps etc
7) added vallejo model color old gold on the command units (armour plates, banners and musicians)
8) Vallejo game color black shade over the armour plates.
9) Vallejo game color sepia shade on all the brown, gold and red parts of each figure.
10) Vallejo game color fleshtone wash on the flesh.

Shields:

There were a couple of different types of transfers in the different boxes, some old with a date of 2008, some with a date of 2011, some 2013. Each was different in terms of technique to how it could be applied. The old old ones are slightly darker than the other two, but are opaque, so the base colour didnt matter.
the old ones (2011) were translucent, so they needed to be painted white underneath the transfer, the new ones were much better that they were bright and opaque so base colour didn’t matter.
The shields were attached to tooth picks (using sticky pads cut up and a small square placed in the position where the hand would glue to the shield.
1)These were then primed black. (airbrush)
2) painted red (airbrush)
Then i realised about the differences in the transfers and how they worked. I didn’t need to paint the sheilds red. in fact, it made my job even harder by doing so. so, I started again.
1.1) “primed” silver (airbrush. model air gungrey) (the shields already have been painted black then red, so no need to prime again, the airbrush coats are so thin that stripping would be unnecessary too)
2.1) the reverse side was painted brown (airbrush. flames of war flat brown)
3.1) sepia wash applied to silver on front and brown on the rear (airbrush. model color sepia wash)
4.1) the shields that needed to have the tranlucent decals applied to them were then painted white in the centre part of the shield. This only applied to about 25 out of the 170 figures I’ve painted here.
5.1) gloss varnish the shield (only the front, where the decal will stick to – applied with a brush).
6.1) apply the decal
7.1) matt varnish the shield (only the front, where the decal will stick to – applied with a brush)

Once the shields were dry, apply a shield to the mini,
then, take all the minis off the slats and PVA glue them to bases. (I’m playing with 24 man units, in a unit with a 160mm frontage, this means using 4 40x40mm bases each with 4 minis on a base, then a rear rank of 4 20x40mm bases each with 2 minis to a base.
giving a total unit size of 160mm x 60mm, 3 ranks of 8 figures.

Thanks for reading this post, I hope you’ve enjoyed it, if you have, please leave a comment below. You can also always share on facebook or twitter which helps other people see my articles, and you can always follow me on twitter at @CJSutherland86 and check out my facebook page for smaller more regular updates at https://www.facebook.com/CJSutherlandPainting

About The Author

Chris has been a Wargamer since he was 12 years old, progressing through 40k, WFB now playing a diverse range of games from 15mm WW2, to space combat games, and even the odd game of judge dredd.

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