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WIP Roman Signifer bust, 1/9th scale

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by tonydawe, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. tonydawe A Fixture

    Country:
    Australia
    Hi guys,

    This is my first modelling project for 2011; a 1/9th scale bust of a Roman Signifer produced by Foxwood Studios.

    Following some lengthy research and a great deal of help from Romaholics on pF and MedRom Forum; I've chosen to present this bust as the famous Pintaius, who carried the signum of the 5th Cohort of the Asturian auxillary unit in Germania in the late 1st Century AD.

    In doing so I have made several modifications to the pelt sculpted over the helmet of the bust. I've cut off the snout and modified the ears, and I intend to paint it to represent a lion's pelt rather than a wolf. Most of the historical evidence seems to suggest that animal pelts worn by standard bearers in auxilary units had the face removed from the pelt. The privilege of wearing a pelt with a face seems to be reserved for standard bearers in the legions only.

    I've attached a couple of pics to illustrate the advantages of doing your research and also of asking lots of questions of the "experts" here on pF before you commence. There's nothing worse than spending weeks trying to get a model as historically accurate as you can, only to find out later that it's completely wrong, and you could have avoided mistakes by taking the time to check your information first.

    Attached is a pic of the tombstone of Pintaius the signifer, which is the primary reference source, now in Bonn Germany. The line drawing (no.53) shows the configuration of the signum of the 5th Cohort of the Asturians, and the colour photo shows a section of replica lorica squamata armour, as worn by the figure.

    I'm toying with the idea of adding a belt and attaching a sword, and scratch-building a shield to put in the left hand.

    Once its finished it will be quite an impressive sized bust, almost 20cm from top to bottom.

    Attached Files:

  2. Marcel Active Member

    Country:
    Spain
    Great bust Tony and nice conversion.
    Looking forward to see some paint on this one.

    Cheers,
    Marcel.
  3. housecarl A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Looks an interesting start Tony, the scratch built armour looks well.
    Carl.
  4. gordy Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Great plan Tony (y) - Thanks for supplying pictures and references something the 'experts' rarely, if ever, do!
  5. sam b Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Great start Tony , looking forward to seeing wip as time goes on n well researched to .
    Sam
  6. sarouman A Fixture

    Country:
    Greece
    Hello
    My friend Tony Happy New Year and we have to, I see you have chosen to construct an amazing bust in 2011.
    Expect the next step is painting to complete this amazing job

    Alexandros
  7. Ferris A Fixture

    Great idea Tony. Looking forward to your painting!

    Cheers,
    Adrian
  8. MCPWilk A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    There is a master of the shield floating around, but I don't know whether Foxwood has got around to having it cast.

    Best wishes,

    Mike
  9. rheath Active Member

    Country:
    South-Africa
    VERY impressive Tony, look forward to the progress on this one.
  10. tonydawe A Fixture

    Country:
    Australia
    Hi Marcel, thanks for your comments my friend. Paint will be going on soon.

    Hi Carl, thanks mate. Just to clarify, I didn't build the armour, I just used a photo of the armour someone built for a replica as reference.

    Thanks Gordy, no worries mate. I know what you mean.

    Hi Sam, thanks for your comments.

    Happy new year to you too Alexandros, and thanks for your comments my friend.

    Hi Adrian, thank you for your comments. I'm looking forward to getting my brushes on this guy.

    Hi Mike, that's an interesting bit of news. The bust would certainly look better with a shield IMHO. I still haven't decided whether to add a shield, and if I do, I plan to build it from scratch.

    Hi Rob, thanks mate. It will certainly be an impressive looking bust once the signum is added. I appreciate your comments.
  11. Christos Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Greece
    Looking forward to see it finished!!
  12. megroot A Fixture

    Country:
    Netherlands
    Looking allready forward to your next step.
    Great work so far.
    Hope you keep it dry into the west. What i see on the news is a great disaster into the east. Looks like 1953 here in Holland in my part of the country.
    Anyway....keep painting this great boy.

    marc
  13. FigureLover A Fixture

    Country:
    Australia
    Good to see you are getting into this one Tony, hope to see it soon.
    Ben
  14. davidmitchell A Fixture

    Country:
    Scotland
    Looking forward to seeing some paint on this impressive bust Tony.


    Cheers David
  15. mil-mart A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Tony, a great start and looking forward to following.

    Cheers Ken
  16. tonydawe A Fixture

    Country:
    Australia
    Hi Chris, thank mate. I'm looking forward to seeing it finished too.

    Hi Marc, thanks mate. I've started painting and will post some updated WIP pics soon. Over here in Western Australia we are experiencing the hottest and driest period ever. By contrast, the east coast of Australia is having one of its wettest seasons on record. It's definitely a land of extremes.

    Hi Ben, thanks mate I will definitely bring this along to our first HMFS meeting of the year. Any idea when that is??

    Hi David, the paint has started to go on. I'm starting with a black wash over the armour and around the back of the helmet.

    Thanks Ken, I appreciate you following my progress. I'll try and get some more photos up soon.
  17. Harry New Member

    Country:
    Netherlands
    A bearskin is also a possibility. It's arguable what Pintaius is actually supposed to be wearing. Some would argue that lionskins were the prerogative of Praetorian standard bearers, or of senior standard bearers in the legions. Regrettably the ancient writers only ever mention "wild animal skins" without specifying the species.

    Drawing no. 53 doesn't show an accurate representation of the standard on Pintaius' stone. The one in drawing no. 53 is apparently a pastiche of several features with the intention of showing a "typical" auxiliary infanty standard. In particular they've misinterpreted the Punic crescent as a medallion and added a unit title and pendants.

    [IMG]

    Note also that this is possibly not the standard of the 5th cohort, but that of a subunit - either a maniple of two centuries or an individual century (ancient, and modern, authors disagree on the exact scale of issue of standards to subunits). The fact that only the cohort is mentioned in Pintaius' inscription doesn't help since subunits are almost never mentioned in soldiers' epitaphs. There is evidence that suggests that the standard of an auxiliary cohort was of a different form than that shown here.

    Another thing that might be of use in painting is that the conical fringed objects on the staff of the standard might represent the bunches of grass and leaves that Roman and Greek writers say were used in archaic times as standards by the Romans. This means that they could possibly have been coloured green rather than red (as they are usually reconstructed by reenactors nowadays).

    A late-Roman writer says that the spherical object represents Rome's domination of the world. The exact meaning of the other symbols is really unknown.

    You might want to consider this as an option. There's good evidence for the practice of tin-plating every other scale to make a decorative two-tone pattern. Joined-up sequences of scales like this were found at Ham Hill in S.England (and other locations, but Ham Hill is the most well-known). Here is a pic' of a modern reconstruction of a scale shirt so constructed:

    [IMG]

    In this regard note that Pintaius very clearly wears his sword on the left, which is unusual for the time-period of the stone. Other signiferi (in this period) wear theirs on the right like most other common soldiers. This is a good opportunity to do something a little unusual (with indisputable pictorial evidence to support it).

    One last thing to note when painting the face and skin-tones is that Pintaius was apparently actually a Spaniard - which might not have been the case for all of his comrades. His epitaph names him as "Pintaius son of Pedilicius. From Intercatia in Asturia across the mountains".
    sarouman, tonydawe and gordy like this.
  18. jimias A Fixture

    Country:
    Greece
    Tony this one should look pretty impressive when painted.
  19. gordy Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Harry,
    A most excellent reply with sources (y) thank you!
    tonydawe likes this.
  20. tonydawe A Fixture

    Country:
    Australia
    Harry, thank you for your very informative reply, and as Gordy says, its so much more authorative to illustrate your points with photos.

    I like the idea of alternating scales on the armour. I would also imagine that after an extended period on campaign the armour would also be subject to running repairs where individual scales would be replaced by cruder materials, such as leather ,bronze or iron.

    I'm going to stick with the lion pelt, having already shaped the ears and painted a brown/ gold undercoat.

    The conical fringed objects on the staff of the signum (I don't know what they are called) will need to be replaced. The ones in the kit are poorly cast and full or air holes. I'll replace the threads with thin fuse wire. I like the idea of painting the threads green, which would make a change from the usual red. Do you have any evidence to support the green colour?

    I have a gladius from the Verlinden Signifer 200mm kit that I intend to use as Pintaius's sword. I will fix it on his left side and add a belt, as you suggest. It makes more sense given the left side is open, and the right side of the bust is occupied by the signum. The sword will add some balance.

    As an Asturian, I intend to paint Pintaius as a young, swarthy dark haired man, typical of a man from northern Spain.

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