The Kushan empire was on of the three empires that ruled the trade from east to west and back again during its time between 135BCE and 477CE. During the time they had diplomatic relations with the three great empires of the time: Rome, Persia (Parthian and laters Sassanids), and the Han Chinese. This from their beginnings as plains nomad types who were driven from what is now China to take up lands from the indo-skythians and the Indians further south!
I really like the character of these figures. It is interesting how a single manufacturer like Khurasan miniatures can have such different styles of figures between different ranges; the first range I painted from Khurasan were the dark age stuff, Normans and Anglos, which were sculpted my a different sculpter from these ones. Still, the quality and the character in the figs holds up from this line to that one for sure. They were a pleasure to paint!
Something about seeing the whole army together that makes it all come together for me! This army is unique for me in that it is made up of more than a couple of disparate cultures! Very cool really. I look forward to pushing around this army!
The Kushan kings leads his host into battle against one of his empire's many enemies! For me, these figs didn't really come together until they were done. There is a large amount of detail on the armour, as well as having a lot of metallic armour as well. Both factors made these interesting figs to paint... First went on the non-metallics. But when they were done, the figs were barely painted! Who would have thought that this much metal armour existed so much earlier than the medieval age? All in all though, a lot of character in the figs!
The second element of kataphrakts for the army. These, like the general's element didn't come together for me until they were completed, but I am happy with the way they turned out in the end! For these especially, I felt the face gave them a lot of character, even though there is so little of it showing. They are sculpted in such a way that they could sport a moustache, or a shaved upper lip, which adds to the quality of the figs I think!
Here's a picture of the general and the second element of kataphrakts. The densely packed, heavily armoured horsemen are certain to cruch the lines of those Classical Indians!
Some light horse for the Kushan army, these are Indo-Saka type light horse. Around this time the nomadic horse cultures of the steppes were on the move, and the Skythians, or Saka had moved into northern India, which becamse a part of the Kushan empire. The above are the Saka nobility, shown by the rich colours of their clothes as well as the detail embelishments on their fringes and whatnot. Nice dynamic poses here for sure!
More Saka nobility, differen colours. Overall I am pretty happy with the way these turned out, and I am looking forward to feilding this army, it has almost everything!
Now we get into the lower class Saka horsemen here. They wear a one-piece tunic that doesn't open down the middle, which is unlike the Saka nobility. Also note the pale colours of their clothes; the less wealthy could not afford the rich cloth of the nobility. It's kind of interesting, as for us, colourful clothing doesn't really have any class ties!
Again, more lower class Saka light horse. I really liked the way the pale red turned out, being faded and not dyed as darkly in the first place! Faded colours would have been common, even pink!
I had to do something fantastic with this figure... Some really nice elephants have been showcased lately (the 28mm Aventine miniatures stuff) and I was inspired! Also, I wanted to do something a bit more than the typical flowery Indian looking stuff. So, I figured I would put in some effort and do a Buddha mosaic. The Kushans were into Buddhism for part of their time, and they built a lot of buddhist monuments and art, etc, so I figure it is plausible! Also, I couldn't find Indian elephants with the iron panels outside as an example. Often the metal plates were covered by rugs and whatnot! After I was finished, I *almost* primed it black and started again, as it sorta looks like an ancient Indian hippie van in elephant form! But, in the end, I went with it! The pierced Parthian light horse on the base is not from Khurasan, but Peter Pig's Parthian line, and it works perfectly scale-wise with the Khurasan stuff!
All the army together so far! This is the first half, made up of the Indian subjects.
One of the first five elements that I did for the Kushan army, these are the upper class Indian subject cavalry in the Kushan empire. I imagine these would work perfectly well for the classical Indians that faced off against Macedonia as well. Fun stuff for sure and the figures have so much character and are fantastically sculpted. Some of the best figs I've painted. Nice like Xyston, but without the bulk and the separate shields!
More Indian warriors, these playing the role of auxiliaries. The character of these figs is fantastic, they actually look Indian and are very convincing. Also, although the poses aren't overly dramatic, they are very dynamic. Nice stuff here. I am happy with the way the painting turned out as well. The shield designs were simpl but characterful, and the colours really work well I think.
The character of these figs really came out with the painting. Again, same colours as I used on the previous Indian figures, and it worked very well. These guys are ready to reign down arrows of death on to Parthian cavalry!
The second element of Indian subject bowmen. Very similar to the previous element, but again you can see how nice the character of these figs comes out with some paint.
These guys are my favourite of the army I think... I really like the poorly motivated soldiers... I can imagine these two chatting 'How many elephants do they have over there?', 'I don't know, but too many... Let's wait until the general isn't looking and run off into the forest over there...'. A lot of character here! I can hardly wait to get these guys into fights with big knights and elephants!