After I completed my 28mm DBA Armenian army I went to Cold Wars 2012 and entered into a DBA tournament ... and got smashed. Not really surprising because I had never played an Armenian army, not even a single time, so I really had no practice. (That I was not playing much DBA at all did not help either.) I came back home, put the box of troops on the shelf, and there it sat for four years until I recently took it to show it off a friend. We played a couple of DBA games using 15mm troops, but it started me to think that I need to make an opponent to this army so I can use it more.
I've looked at the enemies of the Armenians before and was thinking about the Early Imperial Roman army, but as noted when I tried making some, the helmets are quite a project. I needed something simpler. As DBA is up to 3.0 now, I looked through the new army lists and found that they could match up against the Hunnic army, which consists of one General as Cavalry or Light Horse and 11 Light Horse elements. I like Light Horse armies and this seems simple enough.
I decided to start on the first element – the General as Cavalry – and use a few new build ideas that I had been thinking about. So here is the final build of the element. It has two different style of figures.
The figure in brown is made with two beads, one stacked on top of the other, while the other two are a single, oval bead.
One of the inspirations for building this army was finding a novelty bead called a 'moustache bead'.
The bead in the center is the original, unaltered bead. By sanding away some of the underside of the bead (on the left) you get more of a composite bow look. By sanding on the top and bottom sides you get more of a longbow look. The figure in brown is carrying the bow, so you can get a sense of scale.
The figures in orange and blue represent a huge leap in minimalist (for me) in that the head and body are a single part, an oval bead.
At first I was skeptical about using these beads would be useful, given their simple shape. As I started adding the other bits, for example for the head covering, the arms and legs (hot glue), and the weapons, I saw that it actually worked out well. The key was giving the figure a hat, so the head did not look so pointy.
For the hat I found another novelty bead. I am not sure what it is – maybe some sort of flower – but it makes for a great padded leather cap.
I glued these to the top of the bead, sanded the top down a little so the hole was not so prominent, filled the hole with glue, and then added a short piece of yarn between the head and the hat to act as fur trim. All in all, I liked the effect. I just need to find a way to vary the look a little, other than by painting different fur colors.
The brown figure was made differently. For this I used two cylinder beads – one of which is shown below – and stacked them on top of one another. The bead for the head is shown here, with a taller cylinder for the body. I used the same novelty bead for the hat. As a way of making figures, it worked fine, but I was so struck with the look of the single oval bead that I will probably not use these for this army.
With my experiments on making horse in 12mm I started using oval beads – similar to the ones that I used for the bodies of the orange and blue figures – for horse's heads. Normally I use the split eggs, shown on the left below, for the forequarters, hindquarters, and the head. I was never really fond of using the exact same size egg for all three. I always felt like the head should have been smaller.
Now I use oval beads for the head, only I use ones that are more "squat" in appearance. Almost what are called barrel beads. Using these kind of beads allowed me to stop using a flathead plug as the neck, so I have essentially swapped two wooden parts for one.
Well there you have it. One stand down, 12 more to go. I just need to come up with a way to vary the head coverings a little more. I guess I will have to suffer a trip to the craft store to get some inspiration! 😉
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