Sunday, 26 May 2013

The Death of Leonidas


The climatic end to the legendary Battle of Thermopylae surely rates as one the greatest ‘last stands’ in history.  The fate of the ‘300’ has been continuously immortalised through popular culture, perhaps no more graphically, if not entirely accurately, as in the celluloid adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic work – certainly one of my favourites, but then I have never claimed to be a student of the classics!


Following on from the previous post of 'Spartan Hoplites' I am delighted to have finally completed this generously donated vignette depicting ‘the Death of Leonidas’ again from ‘Wargames Foundry’.


As previously mentioned this was originally destined to be part of my entry to the ‘Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge’, but failed to meet the deadline!  Now having completed a couple of test miniatures, I managed to resolve the painting in a relatively short period of time, by my standards anyway, with many of the pitfalls deftly avoided.  Once again, however my Achilles' heel would prove to be the shield decals that I still managed to fudge annoyingly!



The rest of the terrain was the usual pumice paste, small stones and tufts; the only additional extras being the arrows.  It is said that on hearing that there were so many Persian archers that the sky would grow dark with their arrows, Dieneces replied laconically, 
"So much the better, we shall fight them in the shade.”



Now I appreciate that there are not nearly enough arrows on display to have blotted out the sun, but the truth of the matter is that I was somewhat anxious that my arrow supply would lead me into a spot of bother!  To explain; I had stumbled across and article about using the nylon bristles from a household brush as arrows, one end of the bristle flattened with a pair of pliers to represent the flights.  This was all well and good and actually worked rather well, but I was conscious that if I kept harvesting homemade arrows then the 'Saintly Mrs Awdry’s' dustpan was in danger of needing a new brush!

Before & after


All in all a most enjoyable distraction, but not a subject I plane to revisit in any real depth – at least for the time being anyway!







79 comments:

  1. Wow - brilliant as ever. This vignette could be displayed at any angle and still look amazing. Great tip with the bristles too.

    Frank
    http://adventuresinlead.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. Thank you so much Frank, I kept the landscaping down so as not to restrict the views of the miniatures.

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  2. Excellent, very animated. It tells a great story.

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    1. Thank you, it was great fun to do.

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  3. I am so glad that I am not currently painting this period. I would simply look at this and feel inadequate! As mentioned by Furt (above) great bristles tip as well.

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    1. Thank you Clint, I hate the idea of making anyone feel inadequate though.

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  4. This is an excellent combat scenario piece. Love it.

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  5. Michael,

    As always, very nicely realised. Glad to deposit more lead goodness to help clutter up Awdry Towers. I might not have another 200-odd of these lying around, but I could probably furnish you with the start of a phalanx!

    Pip pip

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    1. Thank you, but don't you even think of it! The Saintly Mrs Awdry may have a word or two to say about and abandoned phalanx on the dining room table.

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  6. I say classics smashix, Michael that is a really nice vignette you have there and some amazing painting skills on display.

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  7. That's quite splendid, good idea with the arrows.

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    1. Thank you Sir, hope you can use the tip.

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  8. What an excellent piece.

    Persians being one of my favourites helps

    Ian

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    1. Thank you Ian, it made a great change of pace.

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  9. Great work michael and i really like the arrows what a good idea

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    1. Thank you Mr. Smillie, I was really pleased with how they turned out.

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  10. Excellent , great work Michael .

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  11. Replies
    1. Thank you Ben, quite enjoyed the change of style.

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  12. That's a fantastic vignette Sir Michael :)

    Great use of brush bristles for the arrows.

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    1. Thank you Tamsin, but may need to buy Mrs. Awdry a new brush though.

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  13. That is a stunning result Michael!! Great stuff!

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    1. Thank you Rodger, very kind of you to say so.

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  14. Great work Sir Michael you have a real talent for bringing these vignette's to life
    Peace James

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    1. Thank you James, I have to confess I do like putting them together.

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  15. Looking amazing as usual! Especially like the shot with the two Spartan warriors in the background!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, really enjoyed this one.

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  16. Hola
    Muy bonita escena,as conseguido un gran movimiento
    "Tonight we dine in hell"
    un saludo

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  17. Cracking!!
    One Thing with ancients..fighting either barefoot or in sandals. It´d be bad enough getting an arrow or whatever stuck in you but the thought of stubbing a toe!!!!!

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    1. Thank you Paul, nothing worse than stubbing your toe, when trying to look all manly!

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  18. Very nice - and I like the smuggled reference to Laconia too!

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    1. Thank you Edwin, it is amazing what you pick up when researching the background to these miniatures.

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  19. Fantastic Diorama. Lovely attention for detail with the arrows and posing. I'm very tempted to get some Ancient Greek type stuff done especially with the release of 7th Voyage by Crooked Dice. Read some good things about it.

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    1. Thank you Simon, I could see some of these working well for 7th Voyage; loved the look of their demo game at Salute.

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  20. I'll join the Greek chorus: great tip on the bristle-arrows.

    Fantastic work overall as usual.

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  21. Fantastic looking vignette, love the arrows!
    Phil.

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    1. Thank you Phil, wish I could claim it was all mine.

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  22. Lovely painting, I like the arrows too. But their not wearing designer underwear.

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    1. Thank you, I knew I'd forgotten something! ;)

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  23. Wonderful vignette you have done here! Nice idea with the arrows too.

    Christopher

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    1. Thank you Christopher, I must admit that I really enjoy putting these things together.

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  24. She's a beaut and right up there at your normal amazing standard. The bristles for arrows idea is genius! I've always been worried they would break but these will just bend.

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    1. Thank you Millsy, I was worried about snapping arrows so was thrilled when I stumble across this idea - and it's cheap!

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  25. Wonderful piece! So powerful and so sad.

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    1. Thank you Monty, I hadn't thought of it as sad before, but of course you are absolutely right; I suppose all sacrifice is.

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  26. Absolutely wonderful! You have outdone yourself sir!

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    1. That's incredibly kind of you say so, although I do have some ideas for next winter.

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  27. It's always a pleasure to look at your work.
    This one's no exception. Great work, mate!

    Cheers
    Stefan

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    1. Stefan, thank you; your kind words are always appreciated.

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  28. Nice action scene here, Michael. That ax is gonna hurt!

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    1. He is definitely intent on leaving a lasting impression!

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  29. Very fun :) Love the addition of the arrows.
    I too enjoy the Frank Miller's vision of the Spartans, interested to see what the 'prequel' movie will be like

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    1. There is a prequel? That sounds like fun, must look out for that.

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  30. Great little vignette, you can't beat a classical looking Greek warrior, especially one peppered with arrows. I've always enjoy seeing the quote from Dieneces ever since my dad explained, when I was a small kid, what 'laconic' actually meant. Very apt with this model.

    Regards,
    Matt

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    1. Thank you Matt, great fun to do too - now let us see what's next?

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  31. I do love a good vignette, and this is a lovely piece, tremendously well-executed. The bristles are a stroke of genius, and the composition gives the whole a sense of urgency.

    Well done!

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    1. Thank you Ev, that is mighty kind of you to say so Sir.

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  32. Fantastic composition, and the idea of the unsurpassable brush, good work. Regards.

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