Thracians: seizing the means of production

After a long stretch of painting productivity, I struggled to get anything done with the old brushes this weekend. So I’ve been building stuff instead.

First up: the rhomphaia.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you might remember my dissatisfaction at some of the models available for this Thracian sword (TW: Rome 2 is, perhaps incredibly, one of the few places I’ve ever seen the weapon reproduced accurately), so I decided to apply some positivity and try to make one myself.

And there it is. It’s made of two pieces of plasticard (or plastruct, or whatever you call it) – the main shape of the weapon was cut from a piece of .75mm plasticard, and then another piece of .25mm plasticard was glued with poly cement to the back of the blade. This gives the blade kind of a T-section that serves to give it some rigidity (it basically creates an ad-hoc fuller on each side of the blade). Once all the glue had been given ample time to set, I used clippers and an x-acto knife to trim that back side of the blade down to size and bring it to a good sharp point. Once I was happy with the final size and shape I then applied yet more poly cement into those fullers in order to soften the shape of them a little bit.

Once all that was set, I used my knife to give this thing a little bit of a cutting edge and drilled those holes that appear on a lot of the archaeological examples.

Not sure about those holes, by the way. Are they actually for a carrying strap? Or just fittings for a knife handle-style grip? I might avoid them on future examples.

Anyway, the finished article is… Enormous?

Say hello to the notorious, completely ficticious, megarhomphaia!

So, some adjustment is probably needed for the future. But it’s a decent prototype.

Moving on, the other thing I’ve been wanting to figure out for a while is how to sculpt a cloak. So I did that.

After several abortive attempts I eventually hit upon a sausage-based method that owes a lot to my experiences building vampire horse barding some time ago. Some tidying up to do here but I’m pretty pleased with the end result and knowing that I can do this (along with fuckin Rhompzilla up there) opens up some interesting modelling possibilities in the not-too-distant future.

A section of Victrix’s mercenary hoplites sprue

Basically, the big idea is to take that second-left hoplite in the muscle cuirass, give him a cloak, swap his spear for a rhomphaia, give him a different shield and base him up to use as a heavy lochagos for my Mortal Gods force. But that’s going to have to wait ’til March. For now, I’m happy enough to have put together these little proof-of-concept pieces.

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