Seleucid Shields of Silver

I thought of making argyraspides first, since their shield designs are on the easier side at least in this scale of things. Also, they had potential to look really intimidating and imposing at the field of battle. Instead of regular three ranks deep for FP, I thought that pike blocks ought to be represented something more substantial. I ended up with four ranks in depth, totaling 48 figures in 6x3cm base. There are four more stands to follow in this batch (batch containing 2 argyraspides and 3 of regulars), albeit only 4 bases are needed for the Basic Impetus army. I do like the new Baccus models (albeit the shields are still too big), so it is likely that sometime in distant future I manage to build a bit more substantial phalanx army.Agyraspides3


A group of hand picked men, hypaspist whom fought in Alexanders army under Nicanor, son of Parmenion changed their name to Argyraspides (silver shields) during Indian campaign. They are so named because of the shields they carried were supposedly plated with thin layers of silver. Their panoply was a splendid representation of Alexander’s lavish taste, but must have also served as psychological weapon against enemies of lesser monarchs – which included roughly everybody. After the death of Alexander, Argyraspides sided Eumenes who unlike his compatriots, attempted to keep Alexanders empire intact. In 316BC at the Battle of Gabiene, Antigonus captured their baggage train and in traitorous act Argyraspides sold Eumenenes to Antigonus in exchange of their loot and families. It was not difficult to see that Antigonus did not much appreciate the treason, and made his best to dissolve Argyraspides to the far ends of the empire. They were never heard of again, save distant rumors of valorous but suicidal deeds. Not until Seleucid kings established their power in the neighborhood.


Agyraspides2So, what I am building for Seleucids, are clearly not the original Argyraspides, but a remake by Seleucid kings of Syria. As all successors, kings of Syria attempted to emulate Alexander. If not in governance of the Empire or skill in strategy, then in splendor of court and arms. The guard was indeed equipped in similar fashion to the original Argyraspides, an elite formation of Seleucid king with no link to Alexander but the name.Agyraspides1

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3 Responses to Seleucid Shields of Silver

  1. Good stuff. The colour scheme works well and gives them a certain elite look. Are the pikes cast on or did you replace them wit thin wire? I really like how the pikes look, much better than the often encountered ‘tree trunks’.

    • Tichy says:

      Thanks for your comment. Sarissa are thin dressmakers pins, cut to right proportions. I tried few different methods for the sarissa, but blunt end, while perhaps more user friendly, looked rather bad. I tried to use very thin wire but that was not pleasing either – it would be if there would be *many* pikes (if unit would have 200 or so troopers, then the body of men with very thin sarissa would have nice ‘forest of pikes’ effect).

      Of course sarissa are too think (in 6mm scale they would always be), and for that reason, I tried to play visual trick and they are actually a tad longer than perhaps should be (in scale about 6m). Of course we do not know precisely how long Macedonian pikes were (we can of course make educated guess based on the fact that it should reach four ranks forward and still be usable to stab enemy in front of first rank).

      We might(?) presume that anything longer than about 5m would have hefty droop (of course any wooden shaft would droop anyway, but at some point between 5m and 7m it becomes impossible to wield because of the droop).

      • I agree, the pointed tips look better. I hope there will be no accidents during deployment ;). I think the length of the Sarissa is fine and as you say provides a visually pleasing result. I guess with miniatures in the smaller scales (but even with 28mm heroic scale) one has to compromise sometimes if it comes to the thickness of weapons and spears etc. to make stuff look cohesive.

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