Monday, 15 August 2016


Box Art
Gladiatoris is a board game that has been developed over several years now and finally looks like it is at the stage where it will be put into production, probably by some form of crowd-funding.
The picture on the right I think shows the final box art for the initial release. Whilst not to everyone's taste I'm guessing, there's no denying that it's pretty and piccies of semi-clad females is always a good selling tactic I suppose.
My reservations about it is of course the fact that it depicts a female Retiarius and the evidence for female gladiators in the first place (let alone female retiarii) is very sparse to say the least.
Here's a list  of what the new game will have in the box.
Early version of the game

Rulebook (24 pages)
Games Book (24 pages)
15 Twelve sided Dice (6 x attack, 6 x defence, 1 x beasts, 1 x blue)
 44 Miniatures (10 x red, 10 x green, 10 x blue, 10 x orange, 4 x grey)
157 Cards (67 x fighter, 30 x munera, 60 x manoeuvre)
24 Board Sections (13 x hexagonal, 10 x trapezoidal, 1 x CRONOS)
23 Hexagonal reversible markers
173 Tokens (65 x wounds, 96 x coins, 6 x pavidus, 6 x palms)
2 Help cards
Since the early version of the game (see photograph above) the board has been made into a re-arrangeable one using individual sections (there are also other shaped sections coming in the inevitable planned expansions). The miniatures included with the game have also had great care taken with them and have been commissioned  with some superb sculpts.
The Yellow Faction

The initial release has four factions, each themed to specific Gladiator themes, for example the red faction "The Scutarii" are referred to as the large shield faction
The Scutarii Faction
The quality of the sculpts can be seen from the photographs and I have no doubt that some of the many great figure painters out there will produce some wonderful renditions (myself not included)

The Green Faction
All the core gladiators, that you expect in any gladiator game, are represented amongst the factions (as well as some what I would call had artistic license - such as the female retiarius) , but there are also three animals and three identical unarmed male minis in each 'set' that I have no idea of their purpose!
The Blue Faction
   There are plans for many expansions too, to allow for up to six players in the game, by the introduction of another two factions and many other features.
Gladiatoris has a Facebook page HERE and a website HERE  if you wish to follow their progress in this project. There is also a blog (I think is probably now pretty much defunct) that shows the then intended expansions, HERE, very useful for the history of this game
There is also a Boardgamegeek page (of course), that can be found HERE that does show the older (read inferior) original minis.

I'm quite excited by this game and hope if you're interested in Gladiator combat games then you are too.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Hastati and a little more progress

Box Art
Following on from my last update, at the same time as getting he eight Italian Allies ready to serve in the arena, I also added to their number four Hastati  from the Hat box of the same name.
The hastati box follows the same format of all the other boxes in their ancient series in that there are four sprues of four different figures.
The basic four sculpts
In this particular set there are two each of  sword-armed figures and spear-armed figures, which fits nicely into my idea of substituting spear-armed figures with the sword-armed ones once their spears have been 'lost'.
The four figures are shown in the photograph to the left, pretty much as they appear straight from the box, though I may have tweaked their arm positions a little.
I like these figures, they're identically kitted out, their proportions are superb and although the detail on them is minimalist, they'll be very easy to paint up.
I based these up alongside the eight 'Italian Allies' figures  on my now standard 40mm x 30mm bases, using superglue to stick the plastic figures to their  plastic bases. I've been using old credit cards, phone cards etc. for this even though I only normally get 2usable bases from each.  Next step was covering them all in "Poundworldbargainland"  ready-mixed filler, 'painting' a layer of pva over the filler and finally sprinkling some sand onto the base for texture.
Textured bases
The filler was left to dry overnight before applying the pva and sand as  I don't like to hurry such processes and I was in no rush anyway!
Once thoroughly dry of course they were undercoated in my usual £1 primer, this time grey rather than my normal matt black for no other reason than I had grey.
After undercoating, I did realise that I hadn't added the sword required by the (now) disarmed spear men.
This was quickly fixed with he aid of some scrap sprue, a file and a scalpel.
The sword bearing counterparts .

I'm quite happy with the results of my scratch-built swords although they're maybe a little too long to represent a gladius they'll probably still pass as a spatha or similar.

Over the next week I hope to get one or two pairs of these dozen figures, but that's it for this week.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Small Update

A rare small update to this blog brought abut mainly because of the disaster that befell my paint table (it fell over scattering everything upon it to the four winds), but once sorted it did give me the opportunity to re-visit some of my 54mm figures destined for the arena in one form or another.
The figures this time come from the HaT box set "Italian Allies"
As usual there are four identical sprues in the box, each with four figures.
The first photograph shows two of the  figures still on their sprue with some form of unusual trapezoid shields. They're not the best of stances and the figure on the left has his spear attached to his helmet.
What looks like a 'bun' on the other figure's helmet is in fact a horsehair

The other two figures on the sprue can be seen on the photograph to the right, both of whom are only slightly closer to what the box-art promises.
The detail on all the figures is a little sparse, but I can't help but emphasise that I consider these to be toys soldiers and are really nothing more then mere counters.

 So far all I've done to these is pair them up with an identical figure from another sprue and started the process of removing its spear, to be replaced with a scratchbuit sword though none of the original figures have any suggestion of being sword armed.
For each of the sword-wielding counterparts, I've moved the sword arms where possible to make a slightly different stance, using the hot-water, bend, dunk into cold water process.

You can probably tell from the photographs that there is still a bit of flash to be sorted on the models (and of course the swords have still to be made and added), but once all sorted, based and painted then I'll have another 8 figures to add to the arena combatants (effectively four as each has a differently armed counterpart).
I've also revisited my Hastati, from the HaT box set of the same name, but I'll be posting about that in the near future.

That's it then, yes it's been a while, but finding enthusiasm for this project has been difficult when I can't drum up any interest for it in my very limited wargamng circle.

Thanks for taking the time to visit.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Last of the Carthaginians

The original two
Yes, it doesn't quite have the same ring to it as "Last of the Mohican", but I have managed to add another two figures to my gladiator pool.
Having used all eight of the other figures in the box I looked at the remaining eight and their two poses didn't take my fancy at all. as there really is little variation that can be had with the these two stances.
The running figure can have his leg bent into a more suitable stance, both both figures suffer from their spears being firmly attached to their shields, thus preventing any significant altering of their pose.
Arrghh, where's the gap ?
I had however already started on versions of these two and had them already undercoated, based and some primary colours done.
My sticking point in finishing them off was the standing figure's awful lump of plastic between his spear, torso and shield as can be seen in the photograph.
Cutting this excess plastic out to  leave a gap was an obvious solution but proved far too difficult for me. Instead I cut away the whole of the spear and then cut the plastic out, trying a shard as my limited modelling skills allow, to disguise the surgery. I did leave the small spear-point intact to give me a target point for the shaft to align with.
The replacement spear was a cocktail stick filed down along its length, to about half its width. The holding hand had the fngers carefully separated to take the new spear shaft.
Cocktail stick spearman.

By itself, the cocktail stick spear is hardly noticeable even though it is thicker than the original and that gap is there as it should be (though not completely obvious on the photograph)
Rear view.
Running man
The second figure had little extra work done on him, the most noticeable thing being his running leg has been bent (using the boiling water, bend. immerse in cold water technique) into what I consider a more suitable position.
I did fully repaint both figures, from their original white tunics to more rough looking ones, their shield too were given rather bland colours. 
As they are, they're usable as generic light gladiators, criminals or for fighting animals, but as I've got more than enough other, more suitable figures I don't intend to use the remainder of my Carthaginian light infantry, other than maybe as a casualty figure or two.

Rear of "running man"

So that's it for now, goodness knows when I'll manage another one. My enthusiasm for this project is still there but getting any from my erstwhile opponents is difficult as they seem more interested in their orcs and dwarfs,, so I'll still be plugging away be though it as a slower rate (my throwing rules for example are now complete).

If there is anyone still out there, thanks for taking the time to look. 

Monday, 29 February 2016


I finally got around to finishing off my retiarii by affixing the nets (the Retia of the title) to the
Onion mesh bag cut into suitable sizes ;circles'
figures. They have been painted for a while now after many changes in colour choices. I'm quite happy with the overall effect I've achieved by using so many different colours (three different browns, two greens and yellow ochre.
Originally I had made the nets to roughly circular scale 4 metres diameter (about 4 inches or 10cm), as my best research seemed to indicate. bebut found that when adding them to the figure they occupied far to much space, especially as I had to really fit them into the 3cm sided hexes I use.
Retiarius with net added
I therefore cut them down to a more practical size of about 3inches which suited me far better.
The attachment was very straight-forward in that I looped one hole in the net over the hand of the retiarius and glued  in place. The remainder of the net was then draped either around his had (if it was one of the gathered ends)  to represent the retrieval rope for a cast net or on the ground by his left side. spots of superglue on both the net and firmly attached the net both to itself and the base, finishing off the figure.
Same figure, different view
And again
Another 'net-man'

I did make an extra net to represent a discarded one, but haven't based it up yet (along with all the other detritus of the arena that still needs doing - i.e. weapons and shields); and that as they say is with these figures now 'finished',  my Gladiator project is all but finished.
And another different one...
...who has probably the most dynamic pose
The final one named "Blurius"

There are a few bits and pieces still to do of course, like the aforementioned detritus and a few counters too are needed.

I also have other, fairly suitable figures that may make an appearance in my arena and some animals too, so I will be still adding to the collection but not at the same rate as this last year and as they are added I will of course post about them.

Thanks for taking the time to visit here and I hope you've found something of interest.

Monday, 15 February 2016


"Red" sword and spear
I have managed to finish off the Carthaginian light infantry "conversions" that I posted about last
time; lack of enthusiasm, time and illness have all lead to my very slow output since pre-xmas and
I'm finding it increasingly difficult to produce anything  - I blame my age !

Although initially I was going to use the same format as my other pairs of figures, but I went this time with colour co-ordinated tunics , but as I was unhappy with the resultsI only managed two pairs  like this, the other two pairs being in white with some colour to denote their pairing with their sword/spear version.

I wanted to have some fairly drab colours for the tunics and wnet for a dull red and a basic yellow ochre , although the shields on the "yellow" paring are in facte several different washes of brown (probably not that evident from the photographs).

"Team Green"

The blue and green pairs each were given a stripe of their allotted colour around the base of their tunic in addition to their shield colouring.

The whole group


I did discover that there is only so much you can do with 'converting' these figures (at least at the level of conversion I'm talking about) and some of the sword-arm poses s look a bit suspect, but what the heck, as I've said before these are merely playing pieces in my own elaborate version of a board game,  

Thanks for taking the time to visit, I hope you found something of interest.

Next time (note maybe not next week), I may even get around to fixing those nexts to my retiarii figures!

Monday, 1 February 2016


HaT box front
I don't really know if what I'm doing to my figures really qulifies as converting them as I'm mostly just re-purposing and adjusting their stances.
My latest efforts in press-ganging figures comes from the HaT box (*smirk) 9120 - Carthaginian Light Infantry (as shown)
As usual there are four sprues each of four different figures in the box.
This was my first HaT box of 54mms that I bought and came from a fairly local model shop for the princely sum of £4.50 (less than 30p a figure!).
Rear box art
Unlike the newer box art of a single figure , this older version features an artists impression of the four figures in the box, whilst the reverse shows line drawings of figures within and a' painting guide' .
Opening the box is where reality clashes with artistry,
The two figures I'm currently interested in are the two helmeted ones, as shown on the front, with their red shields and long bronze spine.
Once more I've paired the two similarly dressed figures for use in the arena to be used as a spearman and a duplicate for when he has dispensed with his spear and drawn his sword. 
Even the line illustrations of the two figures
 don't give cause for concern as there seems little conversion work to do on either figure and all that will remain to be done is to re-position their stances a little to give at least some semblance of variation.
These of course being very lightly armed will be used as velites in the animal hunts (normally the first session in an arena's day (and in my games too- if they ever get really going on a regular basis).

The original on the left and plume-less on the right
 So where's the problem then?
Mr. Spearthrower (Thruster ?) has what appears to be a small plume atop his helmet,which is probably just sprue to enable easier moulding and was fairly easily removed, but his shield has none of the lovely veriucal spin on it as shown on the front box art - even the small drawing showed the pose on the left, thus hiding the omitted spine.

The Spineless Spearman
Original swordsman on the left, and 'converted' one on the right

His sword armed counterpart on the other hand does have the spine on his shield - as illustrated.
So for uniformity between the two figures (spear and sword armed) I got to cutting away the spine and the supporting pieces to the centre boss on the sword-armed version. This a more or less gave a suitably similar figure to the spear armed one, save for the very nicely done shield edge, which of course had to be cut away too as Mr Spearman didn't have one on his shield!

Re=positioned Spearman
  The spearman took little to no time cutting his his plume off and slightly re-positioning his spear-arm and leg (there's only so much that can be done) and were duly based up.
You'll probably notice the bases are cut-up plastic 'credit' cards and are great for my purposes. 
The quillons on their sword hilts were also cut back to more represent the gladius (- and as I thought the ones present looked odd)
The swordsman took a little while longer to finish off, especially after I stabbed my index finger on my left hand and slashed the corresponding one on my right hand a day later (the latter not hobby related! - for a change).
There wA A litttle more that could be done re-positioning the sword arm, but not much.

And in case you're wondering where the fourth figure of the group is - he went awol at the time of the photoshoot (but now found).. These will have their bases finished and painted in the coming week (or more) and I'll be taking another look at adding nets to my retiarii 0 which is all I managed to do to them in the last week too (i.e. look at them).

That's it then for this week.