Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Building better Greek Heavy Cavalry- A How To

As part of my goal of having a full Greek Hoplite army for Impetvs, I required some Heavy Cavalry!

Now Greek Heavy Cavalry is an interesting topic. They are a little bit forgotten in the Hoplite period, as it was really the Hoplites themselves who (according to sources) won the day. It was only the likes of Thessaly which was famed for it's cavalry that really gets talked about as being horsemen.

Of course, come the times of Alexander the Great, Cavalry was an essential part of his army. Both his Companion Cavalry, and his Thessalians anchored each flank of his battle line, with his sarissa armed Phalangites in the centre. This usage of Cavalry can not have existed without precedent, so it is known that there was Heavy Cavalry in the times before Alexander.

But, finding good quality 28mm miniatures for Heavy Greek Cavalry is darn hard! My usual go to company, Immortal Miniatures (sold now through Warlord Games) don't have any, and the others I did find, I didn't really like. Apparently I am picky about my Greek models!

So, I headed to 1st Corps where I found that they had some cavalry which would fit the bill as CM Greek Horsemen. But, being that I am picky about my Greeks, some changes had to be made.

This is the original, unmodified Greek Horseman.

As you can see, there are some things I didn't like about the model. So, naturally I have decided to change a few things!

First off, remove his head. In my opinion, the helmet is far, far too large for the model! The head will be replaced with a suitable armored Greek head from the Immortal miniatures plastics.

After removing the head, it is a relatively simple matter to reattach the new head (in true Frankenstein style). I use two part sculpting putty (grey stuff) to help the bond attach- between that and superglue I am yet to see any breakages! The sculpting putty is also important because the head and the body don't align perfectly, so I have sculpted some long hair for him to cover up the join.

Next issue to be remedied, is his spear. At the moment, it is scaled to be very short, and also very fat. This is the tragic result of having to make the spear out of soft metal. To replace it, it is a simple matter of using one of the North Star spears, cut down to a proper size.

On the left, the North Star spear, on the right the original 1st Corps spear.

Attaching the spear on the face of it is a simple process, get glue, put spear in hand. To make it a better fit, I used pliers to close the horseman's hands; which were meant for the much larger spear. I also again used a little sculpting putty, to help the join have strength.

The final result then, looks something like this...

So, that is the first of my 12 Heavy Cavalrymen! He has been undercoated, to be finished as a tester model for the remainder of the unit.

Hoping to have some painting to show off soon, I have spent far too long assembling recently....



  1. Lots of work to get what you want but at the end of it you will have figures that no one else has!!! Looking forward to seeing the unit painted


  2. Looks really good Chris. Nice to do something different from time to time. Looking forward to seeing them painted.

  3. I really like this article Pooch. Nice work!
    Use the green stuff kids.
    Also, I may only ever use North Star spears in the future. They look so much better and no assembly!

  4. It was a decent model to begin with, but your modifications really made it better. Looking forward to seeing the completed unit. Best, Dean

  5. It's not a case that the models were bad per say, rather that I didn't like some bits of them!

    Wasn't too much effort to do one, it's possible numbers 2 through 12 could be a bit more challenging.....