I had a desire to do Persians ever since I watched that terrible 300 movie. I didn't like it, and I didn't like the way the Persians were misrepresented in it. Naturally, I wanted to paint up a cool Persian army and use it to roll over a few Spartan armies just to exact revenge on the world for that movie! Aside from that though, the Persians are just cool, so I had to paint them!
This army was a Xyston Persian army pack, and so it was easy to compose. I painted only the spear and auxalia options, but not the extra psiloi or 3Cv general; I would never use them and they take too much work :) I will use some of the figs for camp followers though! The figures are excellent, but not as well cast as the Aitolians. So much flash on the figs and despite that, the chariot wheels were all miscast with missing spokes! Still, I would buy the Xyston pack again since the figs are so incredibly well done. Note that with this army I used no decals at all, although I did copy some ofthe designs from Little Big Men; all of the shield designs are freehand, as well as everything else.
The army of Darius himself ready to defend Persia and his Persians from Alexander's evil mission of invasion and subjugation! A great set of miniature figures here, a pleasure to paint!
Darius III, the last of the Persian Kings! A very characterful miniature to paint this chariot set. I decided to go with bold purple and white simply because I liked the effect it has, and it differentiates this element from the scythed chariot that is also in the army. I took extra time on the driver and on Darius himself. I'm pretty happy with it overall.
A close up view of Darius III in the chariot. Note the leapard fur pattern and the sleeve fringe patterns; they are difficult to do in 15mm, but not impossible!
This is the second cavalry element in the Persian DBA army. Officially the figures are meant to represent an optional cavalry general element, and so they represent a Satrap and his guards. But, I knew I would never field a 3Cv general (why, when the chariot is classed the same as a 3Cv but looks cooler?), but I wanted to paint the Satrap. I am pretty happy with the way this turned out, especially the coat over the shoulder look! Originally the two guards were the same pose, but I wanted a standard bearer, so I converter one to have an arm up.
These two mounted warriors are light horse in the Persian DBA army, but I painted them up as the mounted Immortals as per the Osprey book. I wanted something different from the Scythians I painted up previously. I also wanted to avoid more fiddly bits of clothing patterns, so it worked out well. These are nice and bright but didn't take too much time to paint.
The first of the cavalry elements for the Persian DBA army. Overall I am happy with the way these turned out. One thing though, I think the little dot patterns on the middle and left most riders were a bit dark and hard to see. It's almost impossible to see the dots on the legs of the middle fig; when that happens it's a shame because all that work and effort and painstaking detail is just a waste! Oh well, I know it's there!
The latest Persian figs for my DBA army all together: the cavalry! From left to right we have an element of Skythian horse archers, a scythed chariot, and some elite Persian cav.
Skythian horse archers were a common site on the ancient battlefields of Persia. These ones are playing the role of mercenaries for the Persians. Overall I am happy with this element, although it turns out that prior to horse shoes nobody rode the white spotted horses. Apparently they had weak hooves or something. Still, I am sure there was one guy who rode such a horse into battle at some point, and so I left it! Overall I am happy with these two, but the white/red dots pattern on the fig on the right didn't turn out as well as I would have liked.
The dreaded Scythed Chariot. This was a fun one to paint, but was so much extra paint work for a single element. Those horses are so packed in there that the middle two are actually touching! No chance of seeing any detail on the horse blankets on the inner horses, so it is a good thing I didn't paint any ;) One thing to note, I can't believe how many miscasts these figs had. Note the missing spokes on the left wheel.
An above shot of the scythed chariot. I so rarely take above shots, which is kinda strange considering that the standard view of figs on a gaming table is from above :)
Here is all of the peltast Takabara auxalia and slingers for the army. All told, I have painted ten elements for this army, and I still am only half done! Too many options! That being said, I realized on just the other day that I should have simply painted the auxalia and psiloi and used my Aitolian hoplite spearmen for the spear option... which is what I had originally planned... Oh well, it looks good in any case.
The first of the 3Ax options for my Persian DBA army. I decided to go for brighter colours with these figs than with the spearmen I did perviously. Overall, I like the effect. I was also inspired to do more little details, thinner lines, and use the dot-inside-dot effect. It worked out well. I also realized that it does look good to put similar shades of colours together on a shield. As you can see on that middle shield there, all you have to do is put a dark outline to separate the two colours and it gives a great effect. I really like those moon-shaped shields!
The next 3Ax element for the DBA Persians. Note that between this element and the previous, there are a few figs that are similarily dressed and adorned. Well, to speed things up a bit I decided to paint only four different schemes on these 12 different figures. So, among the whole group there are some repeats in design, but never on the same element base. This isn't really all that unrealistic either. Overall I am very happy with how it worked out. All of these designs were based on various images from Osprey and other similar publications on the Late Achaemenid Persians.
The third 3Ax element for my DBA Persians. Note the slinger in the middle there. I think that Xyston mistakenly put in a few too many slingers and not quite enough peltasts in their Persian army box. Still, it isn't too innacurate though, as these guys would have been equiped with slings, javelin, and those little axes.
The final element of 3Ax for the DBA L.A. Persians. Overall, I like the composition of this one. It almost has a colour unity, although it could use a bit of red/orange in there to act as a compliment.
Here is a very colourful 2PS (psiloi) skirmisher element for the Persian DBA army. For this army I used a lot more white than I typically do, but I thought it looked really smart and so used it where I could. I think it turned out to great effect on these figures, especially the red and blue figure there.
As with the 3Ax elements, I went with a restricted number of clothing patterns for the psiloi. I painted only two different clothing designs on the four figs that I needed. With this one though I went ahead and put the white dots on the blue and red guy there. Once this one was done, I decided it was too busy looking, and so left it off of the previous element. I still like it, but not as much.
One of my favourite stands for these Persians... Something about spearmen that I really like! Fancy pants, fancy shields, and I decided to do the standard (flag) on the elements... I mean, these DBA elements really represent an entire unit of troops, so I figured I might as well represent the command parts of the element! Why not?
Not as uniform as the previous element of Persian satrap spearmen, but equally as cool! I got to do some cool faces and designs and whatnot! I also liked the yellow and black banner (flag) that I decided to do it even though it wasn't all that complex. More fancy pants and shirts as well!
Some persian Hoplite spearmen... No, they are not Greek mercenaries, but drawn from one or more of the Greek collonies on the Turkish coast such as Helicarnasus. I wasn't sure how these guys would paint their shields or their banners (flags), so I went with a mix of Greek and Persian iconography; I know that Helicarnasus was home to more than a few Persian sphinx statues, so why wouldn't it make its way onto Persian subject shields?
The final element of spearmen for the Persian army are these lovely Egyptian spearmen. Not sure if their shields would have been quite so large in reality, but they made an excellent canvas for me! Typically, these guys are depicted in monochrome outfits of off white with some hide covering their shields. I nudged that as much as I though I could get away with in actually painting the fur texture pattern on the shields and varying the armour and clothing designs.
Here is a collection of images of the shields that I did for this army. These are probably the most intricate shields I have done to date. However, on the auxalia figures (3 figs per base) I decided I would only do four difference shields for speediness instead of doing a different shield for each figure. As a consequence, this army has fewer distinct shields than others I have done. Still, I think that they make an impression anyway!
A work in progress of one of my Persian Hoplites.