Saturday, 2 January 2016

The Tomb of Cyrus the Great - a DBA camp project

As my next DBA-camp project I started with the construction of the Tomb of Cyrus the Great, King of Persia (Cyrus II 580/90 - 530 BC). 
Construction drawings of the Tomb of Cyrus the Great

Cyrus the Great
Cyrus established the Empire by shaking of Median dominance and conquering vast territories in the 6th century BC. He traditionally figures as a model king in historiography, allegedly freeing deported people after conquering Babylon, defining human rights for the first time in history, making friends with former enemies etc. 
Tomb of Cyrus the Great

True or not, Plutarch and Arrian report his tomb stood in a luscious garden complex in Pasargadai (Iran), the burial chamber decorated with rich tapestries and an eternal light left burning attended by a number of distinct individuals called "Magi". An epitaph stated: 
"O man, whoever you are
and wherever you come from,
for I know you will come,
I am Cyrus
who won the Persians their empire.
Do not begrudge me this bit of earth
that covers my bones."

The tomb was held in highest esteem by the following Achaemenid rulers but was looted soon after Alexander's destruction of Persepolis. Seeing himself as part of Persian imperial tradition, Alexander restored the compound and contents. The tomb still exists today as a significant part of  Iranian cultural heritage.
Work in progress: The pyramid shaped pedestal and the burial chamber are left to dry before assembly
The model I'm creating can be used as part of a DBA camp for several armies such as 
I/60 Early Achaemenid Persian 550-420BC (lists a & b represent Cyrus' army)
II/7 Later Achaimenid Persian 420-329BC
II/15 Imperial Alexander 328-320BC
II/19 Seleucid 320-83BC
II/37 Parthian ?(not sure, they seem to me to be a breach in tradition, discussion is open...)
II/69 Sassanid Persian 220AD-651AD
and later Iranian armies, since a number of Dynasties founded their claim to power on ancestral, spiritual, ideological or cultural relationship to Cyrus.

Now, in a next step I create a scale model for 15mm tabletop figurines from modelling clay and create a mold of silikon-gum. In the end I'd like to cast copies from stewalin. Later I might try poly-urethan resin.

Work in Progress: The scale model is complete. Six platforms are stacked upon each other, glued together, crevaces filled  and the chamber set on top.  Height 6.5cm

Work in progress: Molds made of silikon gum taken from the original model. Lower und upper pedestal, chamber and roof.
A stewalin copy of Cyrus' Tomb with some Achaemenid Persian Infantry and Cavalry (Xyston)
I made several copies of the Tomb of Cyrus. They are for sale here at the MENIX MINIATURES SHOP. If you prefer you can also directly write me an e-mail by Bye for now and thanks for dropping by! Cheers  Menic

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Thematic Byzantine Army III/29

In the late seventh century, Byzantium lost large parts of its territory to the Sarascenes notably the wealthy provinces of Palestine, Egypt and Syria, thus reducing imperial income and defences dramatically. As a result, the Empire reorganised the governement of the threatened Anatolian provinces and the army by establishing a new division of territory into "Themes", each with it's own army commanded by a Strategos who presided the civil governement of the theme as well. This arrangement proved efficient enough to ensure the survival and eventual recovery of the Empire for centuries to come. The theme system desintegrated after the Seldjuks defeated the Byzantines in 1071 at Manzikert and overran most of Anatolia.

The thematic armies of Byzantium are represented in DBA as a cavalry-heavy force (mostly Cv, some LH) and a small core of heavy Infantry (Pikes & Bows). The Figures are from Alain Touller and Essex.
Thematic Byzantine DBA Army, all options.

The Startegos (3Cv)
The Strategos with a cavalry unit (3CvGen + 3Cv, Alain Touller)
Cavalry (4x3Cv, Alain Touller)
Two units of double based 6Cv (Alain Touller)
Three squadrons of Light Horse (Essex Huns)
The Infantry (1x4Bw and 1x2Ps, Alain Touller and Essex)
The Infantry (2x4Pk, 1x2Ps, 1x4Bw)

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The Theodosian Walls of Constantinople

The baggage train is marching out through the gates of Constantinople to join the column of the Byzantine Army. Three mules carry provisions, tools and kit lead by boys while a wine merchant walks along looking for a good deal to sell his cheap stock to unsuspecting customers and thirsty soldiers.

It is the camp for my upcoming DBA Army of Thematic Byzantium III/29

This Byzantine Gatehouse is inspired by sections of the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople, today's Istanbul.

It is a  truly original piece, a stewalin cast from a silicon mold I made by myself. Copies are now for sale, you might contact me by e-mail or go to the MENIX MINIATURES SHOP. Please note it comes unpainted and unassembled just like on the image below.

Constantinople's patron is Maria. So, I thought I'd put  her marble effigy over the gate. The statue is made of trinkets you might find in souvenir shops at places of pilgrimage like Rome, Santiago or Einsiedeln.

Stay tuned for the next post when the baggage train catches up with the Byzantine Army! More pictures to come....

Friday, 18 December 2015

Byzantine Baggage Train (work in progress)

Three mules, two kids and a pilgrim form the baggage train for my Thematic Byzantine Army coming up soon on this blog.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Parthian Camp

It is set up in an ancient ruin in the arid region near Palmyra. I thought I'd put up some camels loaded with quivers getting ready to resupply their Light Horse archers.

I like to create some kind of mini topography on the drastically constricted area allowed by the DBA rules. Consequently, most of my camps turn out to be maximum size. Tactically I don't mind because my playing style is aggressive enough to keep the opponent preoccupied (which doesn't mean I win!) The material is simple modelling clay from DAS. But I have to say it is not ideal because
a) it takes ages to dry (this camp took one week!!!),
b) it shrinks about 1/8 an
c) deforms while drying
I had to do all kinds of cover up jobs like file the bottom level with sandpaper, fill cracks with putty etc. I have to find an alternative. Can you help me here?
After drying I cover it with a putty from NOCH.
I'll try to remember to make some pictures next time :-)

Wednesday, 16 December 2015


I'm sure you fellow collectors know the same predicament: you are left with tons of unused miniatures stowed away on the attic in dusty boxes due to  lack of time to paint them or because you  shifted fields of interest to other historical periods or rule systems. Now, I decided to let them go and sell them to gamers and  painters like you who can make better use of them. In the MENIX MINIATURES SHOP on Ebay I sell anything from 28, 25 or 15mm figures painted by me, anything from fantasy to historical. Some on auctions or favorable prices, others somewhat more expensive, since I spent much love and time assembling and painting them. So, feel free to drop by once in a while, bookmark the MENIX MINIATURES SHOP, and be sure to be the first on the block to own an ORIGINALLY MENIC-painted miniature!

23 Imperial Halbardiers Warhammer Fantasy Battle, 28mm, Games Workshop, fully painted: Go to the action here!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

II/56 Early Imperial Roman Army

This is the LEGIO XI RAPAX (latin = "predatory") and was stationed in Vindonissa (Windisch/ Switzerland) from AD 43.It is represented by one DBA Army 15mm, figures cast by Eureka Miniatures, Corvus Belli, Essex and Baueda.

Aquilifer, Signiferi und Bucinarii as Camp Followers (Eureka Miniatures)

The XI Legion deployed in battle order one

The XI Legion in battle order two
The Legionaries (4x4Bd, Corvus Belli)
The Legionaries (4x4Bd)
The Auxiliary Cohorts (4x4Ax, Corvus Belli)
The Legate (3Cv Gen, Eureka Miniatures)
Cavalry Cohort 1 (3Cv, Corvus Belli)
Cavalry Cohort2 (3Cv, Corvus Belli)
Cavalry Cohort 3 (3Cv, Corvus Belli)
The Ballista with crew in a fortified position (Art, Corvus Belli)
The Ballista with crew in a fortified position (Art)
An Auxiliary Cohort of Bows (3Bw, Corvus Belli & Essex)
Bows supported by slingers (3Bw + 2Ps, Corvus Belli)
Bows supported by slingers (3Bw + 2Ps)
Light Horse from North Africa (2LH, Corvus Belli)
The Camp with Camp Followers,legionaries (Baueda) building the marching camp (scratch built) and tents (Baueda).

This blog is dedicated to ancient and medieval miniature wargaming. I'd like to share pictures of my painted armies and models, self made terrain-pieces and sketches of projects still residing in my head or on a piece of paper.
My main interest at the moment is creating armies and accessories, researching for historical or made-up scenarios and campaigns for the fast-play wargaming rules from "De bellis Antiquitatis" (DBA) with 25mm and 15mm figurines.
I use the blog-format rather unconventionaly. It is more like a scrapbook. And I update the older posts so keep checking. I recommend utilizing the labels to the left. So if your just interested in miniatures click the "Miniatures"-label and you will be presented with posts concerning painting, figurines etc. And don't forget to click on "older posts" at the bottom of the page for more. And many thanks for commenting!
Photographs showing painted toy soldiers, terrain pieces, scratch-built things and drawings © Menic Rüttimann 2.Nov.2006. Please notify me if you wish to use these.

Let your fancy flow...