As the domestic dust slowly settles after my second child’s arrival a couple of months ago, I’m finally getting into old habits when it comes to painting and modelling. A relief, no doubt – especially since I’m way behind schedule on some of my major projects.
The most major of these undertakings is undeniably the 6mm Achamenid Persian army that have been in the pipeline ever since I started my 6mm journey with the Greek project.
With big army projects you always run the risk of having it die off before you’ve even started, unless you make a conceded effort to hit the ground running. So when I was finally able to start on my Baccus Persian lead mountain a couple of weeks ago, I just had to buckle down, get back on track with my painting routines and start producing some results from the get-go.
First off, I did some levy spearmen with hoplite shields. While these troops technically belong in the later period of the Achamenid Empire and thus won’t feature too much in my games in the near future (my current interest being mainly focused on the Greco-Persian Wars), I decided to paint some of them anyway.
Why? Well, due to a misunderstanding at Baccus, I was sent two of these unit types instead of the Sparabara and Immortals I was expecting in my Early Achamenid Army Pack. This mistake is now being rectified, thanks to the friendly and helpful Mr. Peter Berry. But as the levy spears are nice models in their own right they ended up serving as guinea pigs for my Persian color scheme.
Just like with “proper” hoplite shields, these were a bit of a hassle to paint. But as I’ve already done hundreds of Greeks by now, and since the levy troops aren’t supposed to impress the enemy with their unique and shiny shield emblems, the process was quite smooth.
Next up was a couple of regular archers. A huge part of the Achamenid army was of course made up of archers, so it’s only natural that they’ll serve as the backbone in this particular project.
These models are wearing shields and will probably represent higher-quality archers of some kind or the other. They’ve even managed to rank themselves up quite nicely.
The color scheme is based on blue, white and orange, with some red thrown in for contrast. The idea is to give a coherent look, with just enough disparity to avoid the impression that they’re wearing uniforms.
Then came the cavalry. First to leave the painting table were Arachosian horsemen – super light, super fast skirmish cavalry armed with javelins. Your run-of-the-mill chaff units, if you will.
They were also super easy to paint – both because there are so few of them in a unit and because I went for a simplistic color scheme: basically purple with some orange details.
Yes I know that purple was one of the more hard to come-by colors of the period and that it’s unlikely that troops like these would sport it, but it does looks good and provides a distinct look.
Speaking of looks, the last guys in this batch have a lot going for them in that department. The Persians sure knew how to dress flamboyantly, and this unit of Colonist cavalry is no exception.
While they’re rather standard medium cavalry (armed with spear and bow) and far from the cream of the crop in the Achamenid army, they still know how to dress. Red, purple and gold really bring out those huge jet-black beards and angry stares!
More shields! These are a bit more intricate than the levy ones, but not by much. After all, they will rarely be used in combat but are of a more ornamental nature.
And that concludes this first contingent of Really Small Persians. Not more than about a single command’s worth of troops, but a decent start nevertheless.
I’m now firmly into gear with my 6mm painting and have already started with the next batch, which will include scythed chariots, heavy cavalry and generals, among other things. So feel free to stop by again soon for more Really Small Persians!