Lead Astray‎ > ‎Past Projects‎ > ‎Ancients Projects‎ > ‎


When I was beginning the Lybian Project I pondered which equally puny biblical army I might pair them up against.
I happened to be reading Hitti's History of the Arab people at the time, and I gave some thought to Midianites - lots of equally weak FV3 LHI, but with camels to counter the slightly higher fighting value guard infantry of the Lybians.
At the last Glasgow Armati weekend, I mentioned this to Mark F, who said he had a surplus of said Midianite camels, which he would post up to me.  He also seemed to snigger, which I suppose is entirely understandable, since when you ask most gamers on their current projects, you get a few powerful and imposing new armies mentioned (Romans, Byzantines, Normans)- whilst my list was a series of weak and puny make-weights (Lybians, Midianites, the Herodotean Persians ...).
Anyway, the camels duely arrived, Chariot miniatures and enough for almost a quater of the army compliment, and a set of tethered camels to use for the dismounted options.  An excellent beginning, although the paint job these came with was deplorable.  Mark got them at a bring and buy, and I guess it must have been in 1962 to judge from the consistent application of single solid coats of the basic Humbrol gloss brown range (camels = mid brown, riders = dark brown, sand = light brown, and some black hair -euch) which seemed to be the previous owners attempt at painting the poor things.
Now I don't claim to be any great shakes at figure painting myself, but I do know enough to know that a touch of highlighting, or shading - even a wash - can make a figure worth putting the effort into preparing, and that matt colours are always going to give a better effect than thick gloss.  But these, well, at least he stayed within the sculpted lines, I suppose, which is more than I usually manage.
So, a large bottle of nail polish remover, a well ventilated (sub zero over mid Christmas) room, and some throw away rags, and they were soon stripped back to almost original lead.
I'm quite happy with them now that they have been painted up.
The only issue I now have, is where to get some decent foot figures from.  I quite like the Essex camels, and I think the combination of both will work well for all those camels in the army.  But the infantry figures I have seen are not inspiring at all - Peter Pig also do some, although I have only heard uninspiring reviews of them.  A project for much later in the year, I think.  Besides, my Lybians have acquired a Sea Peoples component, which makes them quite playable now against their Egyptian natural opponents, so I've no pressing need to pair them up in time for November.
Project compelted !
I've now fiinished these guys, they make an impressive display of camelry, and have given  them their first run out.  Naturally, they lost to the Hittites, and you expect this as that's what first games are for, but who is anyone kidding, in Armati, these guys are at the bottom of most food chains with an army of FV3 frontal.
You will note the difference in photos - the first is my actual phone, which is pretty poor at macro, the rest are my old phone, which seems a bit better at these sort of things.
Camels, Dismounted camel option, the Midianite Guard (I resisted the tempation to put a black cube on the base), and the general.
Figure-wise, I was less than impressed. Lots of good ranges doing the two-seater camels (Magister/Chariot, Peter Pig, Essex), but the infantry figures were very poor - and not consistent.  PP had shaggy guys with shaggy loin cloths.  Magister's infantry were just poor, and the essex were their usual semi-generic lot.  There was not even a consensus on hair and beard styles. 
But the historicall dubious two-seater camels, they were good from every range.  I also used the dismounted camles shown above (I think they are Donnington) and I went for some Vexillia Hebrew to use as the Meteorite Guard.  Hopefully someone will be picking up Vexillia, who I hear have announced they are closing down and are putting the molds up for sale.
More of the slightly dubiour two-seater camels, and the three varieties of light-ish infantry.
I also tried a couple of new ideas with basing this time. Most obviously was not painting the edges as my supplier is now using laser cut mdf which is naturally burned black, and the other was using a pumice style basic mix rather than my usual molding paste to get a sand texture appearance. 
As I still have a hefty mix of old cut and new lasered bases waiting, this is not a permanent change, but I am quite happy with it for these guys - the black bases give more of an illusion that the figures are on their own piece of ground, although Ian has already commented that he does not like the idea himself.
If anyone is looking for a quick army to do, I can recommend Lybians, Midianites and other such desert armies - they have such simple paint jobs, and the flesh tone (when not pasty northern European),comes up well every time, I think.