Design Notes

Design Notes

Design Notes

The figures are 28mm tall from sole of foot to eye when standing completely upright, though some figures will measure less than this if in a stooping pose. The heft of the figures are more proportionate to their height compared with some other styles of 28mm figures and are therefore slim in comparison. I have, however, made some compromises, in that inevitably some weapons have to be made slightly overscale, to ensure they are generally robust for general game play. The figures are also designed to fit comfortably onto bases 20mm in depth without overlap, and therefore, where required, 4 figures can fit in a line on a 60 x 20mm base. The figures are cast in a superior quality alloy with a high tin content, (Pewter) and all weapons and shields are attached for the most part, though some shields will be separate if attachment would cause casting issues. This does save considerable time in preparation of the figure for painting and hence there will be no complaints about weapons and shields falling off in the 'heat of battle'. However, it is easy to cut off a weapon from a hand, drill a hole in the closed fist and either add a wire javelin, spear or other weapon if so desired. This may also increase the strength of the figure and whilst I consider the figures are strong and robust because of the metal used, (and which is increased further by painting them), spears and javelins naturally have an inherent weakness at this scale. Consideration has been given to the possibility of adding wire weapons and converting a figure.

I have also tried to create designs for the figures which will facilitate ease of painting. Photographs of painted figures can be found in the galleries in the various army categories to show the result that can be achieved by an average painter, like myself, rather than a professional. However, these are also interspersed with some professionally painted figures.

The initial range of figures are from the Early & Middle Bronze Age of the ancient near-east. I have opted to use the archaeological classification of time for this period and split the ranges into the Early and Middle Bronze Age; the Late Bronze Age; and the Iron Age. Taking account of more recent revised chronologies of the ancient near east and using a simplified model, when I refer to the Ages in the various army categories, I will take the dates to mean as follows: for the Early Bronze Age:- c. 3000 - 2000 BCE; the Middle Bronze Age:- c.2000 - 1500 BCE; the Late Bronze Age:- c.1500 - 1000 BCE; and the Iron Age:- c.1000 - 500 BCE.

Many of the figures have been designed as fairly generic in terms of dress so that they can be interchangeable with different armies. Many warriors of the Bronze Age (indeed later eras too) would have worn their own clothes and whatever was available, rather than uniforms. Clothing would have been fairly similar across the states and kingdoms of the era and, as a result, many armies would have looked similar in appearance. Conversely, I am mindful that wargamers will still want to distinguish between the different armies and troop types. I have therefore tried to represent this as best as possible and whenever is appropriate, so that each army will have a distinguishable appearance from other armies. This will also be useful when a particular army is used as an ally of another and fighting on the same side. The evidence for this range of figures' appearance is based upon pictorial, archaeological and literary sources where available. Unfortunately, in the Bronze Age there is a scarcity of evidence from a military context and indeed conflicting evidence between the types of sources.

It will be noted that I have had all the figures sculpted with footwear. Although pictorial sources often show warriors barefoot, in some literary sources mass production of sandals for armies is mentioned and archaeological remains have uncovered quantities of sandals dating from both the 2nd and 3rd millennium BCE. It is my contention, based on the available evidence, that warriors of this period would, on the most part, have used some form of footwear. If footwear was available, would it not be common sense to wear it on the hot desert sands or even boots in the rugged mountains, surrounding the fertile crescent of Mesopotamia? I can’t see how an army would be able to function efficiently without such an essential piece of kit.

Furthermore, the figures for most of the warriors in the Early Bronze Age are depicted with animal skins, leather or felt clothing. Felt was the first man-made clothing and produced from crushed skins or fur. Later in the period, by the middle of the third millennium, linen, produced from the flax plant became more commonplace. The earliest warriors therefore, from whatever army, would have been dressed in animal skins, leather or felt, and then later in various linen kilts and robes. The exception to this would have been in the case of the Highlanders, who continued to wear animal skins until a much later date, as furs and skins were much more suitable for keeping warm in the colder climate of the mountains. Such attire also gives the Highlanders an appealing rugged look, distinguishable from the more settled 'lowlanders'.

It is my belief that armies of the Bronze Age did not distinguish between weapon classes in the same way wargamers differentiate warriors with different weapons and then place them into artificial categories. Therefore, in the design of the figures my priority has been to represent what weapons were known to have been used historically and then secondly how this can be incorporated into weapon or warrior type classes for wargames purposes. For example, historically, most of the Amorite warriors were armed with two or even more weapons, including Javelin, Spear, Axe and sometimes Throwsticks. How they are represented by the wargamer is a choice for them and the rules they use. They can either be classified as Javelinmen, Spearmen, Swordsmen/Blade or with Mixed Weapons, including a Sidearm, depending on the rules used. Therefore, the figures have a mixture of weapons to replicate the known historical reality. Some Amorites also had a bow and sling in addition to close combat weapons, other than just a sidearm. However, I have separated close combat troops from missile troops in the design of the figures as a concession to the workings of wargames rules. The exception to this will be Commanders, who may have multiple weapons, so they can be used in units with various weapon classes.

In most wargame rules which rely on a points system, representing the armies of the Early and Middle Bronze Age can require a lot of figures due to the poorer quality troop types. However, painting the armies of this period can be quickly achieved due to the simple attire worn by the troops. In addition, as most of the armies wore clothes which were similar to each other, the wargamer can produce mulitiple armies from the initial range of Early and Middle Bronze Age figures. The potential for "morphing" such armies is greater in this period than in any other.  I have differentiated between troop types and armies for better identification on the tabletop and for army flavour, but many of the figures can be mixed and matched between armies. I have indicated this in the specific army categories  where appropriate.  The figure packs, as such, appear in more than one army category where applicable.

Finally, I am happy to help in suggesting which figures are suitable for any army in any ruleset in this period.



Above: Comparison of Cutting Edge Miniatures with other similar lines: from left to right - Newline; MDS; Cutting Edge; Immortal; Foundry

Basing Tip

Many people have asked how the basing, shown on many of the pictures on this site,  is achieved. The following is a brief and simple explanation of how to:

1. Mix up white PVA, fine sand with a little cat litter for the bigger rocks, earthy brown paint and a little water, into a paste in a tub. When you have the right consistency, spread it over the base with a fine brush, covering the bases of the figures. Experimentation may be needed with the consistency, as it should not be too watery or too stodgy.

2. When the paste is dry (leave overnight), paint over the base sides with with the same earthy brown colour used in the paste above, to blend in with the rest of the base. Then dry brush a lighter yellowly sand colour followed by a paler stone shade over that.

3. Dab watered down white PVA in patches around the base and scatter green static grass onto the wet PVA. (a mixed green grass blend is best). Once this has dried, shake the base and blow off the excess. Finally dab further PVA in a few patches and stick late fall/autumn Silflor grass tufts onto the base. The brown tufts contrast with the green static grass for a pleasing effect, imitating scrubland. 

4. When all dry, spray varnish with Testors dull-cote for a very matt finish.