We decided to take a small diversion and do some Indian Crew for the elephants, we have no intention of expanding this to include infantry or cavalry.
There are 2 crews which can be mixed, the archers are 2 part and have their bows cast separately. The legs have been carefully crafted to fit in either the front, middle or back position on the elephants.
Having added upgraded elephants to our store we decided to revisit the crews for them. Adam created completely new figures for the two basic crews which should cover all the sets for this period including the Carthaginians. The figures have no bases to help fit them into the howdahs, they have separate heads and a new feature in the store allows you to pick from 7 different head sets in a drop down menu. The heads are also available in a pack of 28 (HS1 in the successor section). We found that it is better to fit the mahout to the elephant before the howdah as it can be tricky to get him in place once the head and howdah are glued. The packs come with a small sheet of alloy to use(or not) as a base on which to mount the crew figures, this is best dropped into the howdah and the figures then glued to it, this allows you to be able to remove the crew when transporting or to exchange for a different set. Photos show the figures on the base and in a howdah.
We had been toying with getting the elephants cast in resin for years and finally late last year we did it. Adam re-modelled the 4 bodies and the 6 heads from the Hellenistic section(body 1+2 will go into the Sassanid range) and off they went to Rob at Hysterical Miniatures. We now have them in stock. Adam has adapted 3 howdahs to fit them and has started on new crew sets which will include astride sets(more on that as we progress). So what have we on offer, well it is a bit different in that we listed the bodies and heads separately, you pick a body then a head and then a howdah if that is the way you want to go, they are all priced a bit lower that the metal originals. The howdah tusks and tails will be cast in pewter. The assembly is easy, take the body super glue the head in place, drill the holes for tusks and tail and paint. The ones I have done needed no filler at all and very little in the way of clean up.
Elephant body 3
Elephant body 4
Elephant body 1 head 1
Elephant body 2 head 2
Now sporting more skin detail, thinner legs and an ability to use as astride mounts, we are very pleased with how this worked out and will be moving the Africans and the Sassanid King’s elephant to resin asap.
We will also add some unit deals with 2 elephants and crews once we have the figures completed. All this has taken time so the list of releases will be pushed back a bit, this needed to be done now so we had no choice. Byzantines will arrive.
Late last year we decided to move our elephants to resin and contacted Rob to tackle the project. Adam then decided to take the opportunity to update his original sculpts. We also added the option of using them all without howdahs, this will require new astride crew sets which will be added as soon as we receive the initial castings. We are posting this to allow customers the choice of getting the original metals now or putting off buying until the new ones are ready, only fair we think. It will be 6-8 weeks until they are all ready to list in the shop.
So what elephants are we working on this time, ELH001-ELH006 and all the heads that go with them. We intend to list the bodies(now in one piece) and the heads separately so you can build the elephants as you would like. No doubt Adam will refresh the crews as well.
What does this mean for our other projects, well to be fair to all waiting on the start of the Byzantines, it will add some time on to the start date. Rest assured that we want to start as soon as possible but we are committed to adding the seleucid infantry and cavalry listed on our to do list.
I will post the photos of the resin beasts asap( in other words as soon as I get my hands on them)
We have revisited the mounted officers for the Republican Romans, Adam has sculpted them to go with the newer set of Republican Cavalry, they have new heads and different poses etc. They are also supplied with new horses which will now go into the Republican cavalry with the existing RRH1+2 sets. All but the standard bearer in wolfskin come with separate heads, each pack will have 5 different heads which will allow the figures to have an earlier or later period styling. Many will suit mounted Romans well beyond the Republican period.
We have now listed the remodeled Late Parthian/Early Sassanid cataphracts, they have minor changes to facilitate the separate heads but are essentially the same bodies as those in the UD56 unit deals and associated packs. By doing this we can use them with the newer heads made for the Sassanids, we will continue to list the original versions as well. Why do this? Adam tried one of the bodies with the new heads and liked it so much he went ahead and converted the whole set, he also added more heads to the mix so each unit deal will come with 18 heads to choose from, 12 of which will be specific to which ever set you order ie P or S. In the next week or so we will paint a unit each and post the results. We also added a mounted drummer to the ranges SASS6, it is listed as a separate model as not everyone will want one in the units.