19 January 2015

LAF resurrection project (gladiators) - 1

In my "plans for the new year" thread I mentioned that I'd pledged myself to the LAF Official Threadomancy Project. The idea is that you pick one of your unfinished projects, of which I'm sure you have as many as I do, and between now and the end of June you concentrate on completing some aspects of it. In my case I wanted to resurrect and complete my gladiator project.

The rules I'm going to use are the rather marvellous Blood on the Sands by LAF's very own Furt. I did some playtesting for it early on but taking part went on hold at the same time as work on the arena stopped. The arena's construction so far is detailed here, a post that also contains the picture below which I'm using as inspiration for my own group of gladiators:

Picture from the prolific and talented Carmen's Painty Fun Time

Aren't they pretty? They're 54mm Alpha Forge miniatures that are sold by Black Cat Miniatures in the States. Postage was reasonable, but then it was a eighteen months ago. I got six of them for variety (retiarius, thraex, murmillo, secutor, provocator and hoplomachus) but, if this goes well, may get another murmillo and bits suitable for making a dimachaerius, and even a couple of noxii, or some venationes.... No. Stop. Must. Focus.

The goals I set myself are:
  1. Complete construction and painting of the arena
  2. Paint at least four gladiators to form matched pairs to allow variety
  3. Create tokens for dropped weapons etc. from spare bits and paint them up too
I started by addressing number two, cleaning up and basing the promised four: a retiarius, murmillo, thraex and secutor. Look! Proof!

The shields, weapon arms and heads were separate, except for the retiarius who was a single piece except for his trident arm. They're really nice figures, with good posture, proportions and detail on their kit, without being fiddly. The only downside is that must have been a slight pressure problem on some of the casts as there is a little bit of filling required on the loincloths, like with the retiarius below. Shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes to get that nice and smooth again, ready for priming. I'm going to try a trick I saw of using watered down milliput, which I guess is a bit like how GW's liquid greenstuff works.

valete omnes,


  1. Those models are glorious and I look forward to seeing them painted up.

    1. They are nice, aren't they? Given the depth of frost this morning it might be a little while until the temperatures are good for spray priming, but I've cleared my painting desk so that they are front and centre. They WILL get the next bout of brushwork!

  2. This will be a great project!!
    Just one question... is it possible to download that rules?

    1. I hope so! As for the rules, I'm not sure. Your best bet is to contact Furt through the blog I linked to, or by PM over on the Lead Adventure Forum. The copy I have has "please do not distribute" all over it, I'm afraid.

  3. Hi Stephen, so great to hear you are continuing with your gladiators and using Blood on the Sands! You were my original overseas play tester!! As you said, Hetairoi can email me from the blog if he likes and we can exchange gladiator stories - I'm a big fan of his work.


    1. That feels like a long time ago, now, but I'm glad to be able to carry on the testing. It's a great game already and I hope it receives its well-deserved publication in the not too distant future.