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"Seleucus' helmet... horns?" Topic

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2,216 hits since 25 Jan 2012
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Lovejoy25 Jan 2012 8:37 a.m. PST

I've got to sculpt a 115mm model of Seleucus I, and I was basing the helmet off this coin:


But I noticed this figure on TMP's main page this morning:


The helmet is based off the same coin, but the horns are pretty big I had assumed that they were modelled in relief on the original helmet but now I'm unsure…

So, should I sculpt the helmet with the horns (and ears!) in relief, or sticking out?

Michael Lovejoy

RelliK25 Jan 2012 8:56 a.m. PST

I sculpted the helmet in such a way to make ease for casting. The length of horn can be reduced by customer and can be positioned back as well using fish tank air tubing clippings slid over the ends of needle nose pliers to help protect the minis surface from damage while making carefull twists and/or bends. Use the clear tubing not the green.

Hey, never noticed his cape was made of leopard skin but the surface of the helmet is covered with it. That paw could be a broach as well.


DeanMoto25 Jan 2012 9:41 a.m. PST

Wow that's a nice close up of the coin. Never noticed it before, but it even looks like cowrie shells are embedded into the helmet. Mike what's up with that?! grin Dean

Sane Max25 Jan 2012 9:44 a.m. PST

They are Coffee Beans Dean, that's how Seleucus got the jump on the rest of the Mob, They were all 'gah, whu time is it?' and he was already leading his Pikemen to victory.


RelliK25 Jan 2012 9:54 a.m. PST

I read that the coffee beans were the leopard spots. That was the way the artist depicted the leopard skin glued over the helmet. I painted His helmet that way, although cant really notice that.

Allen5725 Jan 2012 10:18 a.m. PST

Interesting helmet but is it possible that the horns are really a relief on the helmet? Ive read a lot which questions the idea of horns on helmets.

Great figure BTW.


RelliK25 Jan 2012 10:52 a.m. PST

Well, in those days people were free to do what they liked. They could be embossed on the helm or actual horns stuck on. Hmmm but why would someone stick fur skin on a helmet and have the embossing of horns show? So I would say it is either all embossed including the fur or the opposite where animal parts were attached. Possibly a mix of both too, fur embossing and real horns….


Lovejoy25 Jan 2012 11:29 a.m. PST

Yeah, for my 15mm model I was leaning towards sculpting the horns and ears in relief, but the fur on the helmet does scotch that idea… unless of course the spotty fur was modelled onto the original, like the hair on those Roman cav helmets.

Oh, and lovely figure – a well deserved win!

BTW, good call on the fish tank tubing – I've got some in the shed, but never thought of using it to protect bits I was bending! That'll be very useful in the future. Thanks!

TKindred Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2012 4:12 p.m. PST

I'd lay odds that if that was actual or painted leopard skin, that the horns and ears would be gold or gold/plated, or perhaps silver or silver-plated.

TKindred Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2012 4:20 p.m. PST

Just to add to the mystery, what's the chance that that helmet is covered with crocodile skin?

Look at how the crocodile skin is portrayed in this Egyptian tomb painting:


Lovejoy26 Jan 2012 3:50 a.m. PST

Here's another coin in the same series:


Seleucid Kingdom. Seleucus I Nicator. 312-281 BC. Tetradrachm, 17.12g. (h). Susa, c. 305-294 BC. Obv: Head of Seleucus I right, wearing helmet covered with panther skin and adorned with bull's ears and horns, panther skin tied around neck, dotted border.

The horns here seem to stick out a bit more at the top – so I reckon Relic's interpretation looks the most likely…

Lovejoy26 Jan 2012 3:55 a.m. PST

And from 'Seleucus I, Zeus and Alexander' by Kyle Erickson:

In associating himself with Zeus, and other local deities, particularly the adoption of a bull horned helmet, Seleucus sought to elevate his stature both to the Greco-Macedonians and native groups. The use of horns on the helmet also recalled the Ammon horns which adorned Lysimachus' portraits of Alexander. This paper argues that the bull horns adopted by Seleucus are an attempt to link him with the divine Alexander.

So sticky-out horns it is, I reckon!

RelliK26 Jan 2012 8:01 a.m. PST


JJartist26 Jan 2012 10:50 a.m. PST

The horns are not relief, as that would not poke up above the helmet!


Later Seleucid coins often show ibex or goat horns -- definitely not in relief.

Alexander was not called the ten horned beast for nothing…

Personal logo Swampster Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2012 11:59 a.m. PST

It is also possible that the horns are purely a feature of the coin to echo Alexander's and that he didn't actually have them on his real helmets.

JJartist26 Jan 2012 1:09 p.m. PST


(Ancient Greek Coins. KINGDOM OF SYRIA. Seleucid Kings, Seleukos I Nikator (312-281 B.C.), Silver Tetradrachm, 16.70g, . Mint of Pergamon, struck 281 B.C. Bridled head of horned horse (Bucephalus?) facing to right, its mouth open. Rev. BAIE / EEYKOY, elephant walking to right, a bee above, an anchor below)

Hard to say this is modeled in relief.


Ibex horned helmets of later Seleucid kings

RelliK26 Jan 2012 2:11 p.m. PST

JJ, that last coins helmet is facing right, no? Looks facing left to me…

JJartist26 Jan 2012 2:16 p.m. PST

The Ibex horn is to the front like a unicorn, note the cheek pieces.

RelliK26 Jan 2012 2:20 p.m. PST

Looks like it might be coming out the side but wouldn't feel right…regarding balance…That unicorn idea is suspect to me. Could be a shoe horn in the back ground :P

Even still… that horn doest appear to have anything to do with the helmet to me so far….

DeanMoto27 Jan 2012 9:12 a.m. PST

Looks like a tea pot grin – I'd definitely wear it! Dean

JJartist27 Jan 2012 10:57 a.m. PST

Sekunda's Montvert on Seleucids has a representation of the helmet- color figure 6. It's quite a hybrid Eastern type-- like a tall Boeotian… somewhat Bactrian… surprising no award winning figure manufacturer has ever made a 28mm figure of this Politikoi cavalry troop…

RelliK27 Jan 2012 12:39 p.m. PST

Ok JJ you petition for that commission and Ill petition for your successor book to see the light of day…

JJartist27 Jan 2012 1:53 p.m. PST

"successor book to see the light of day"

The Successor lists (for the most part) see the light of day in WAB AoA2.

RelliK27 Jan 2012 5:58 p.m. PST

I know, but your book is by JJ.

Lovejoy28 Jan 2012 9:53 a.m. PST

Well, I've done my 15mm Seleucus figure, the foot version anyway. I chickened out on the full sticky-out horns, and did them attached to the sides of the helmet – I reckon it'll be easier to cast that way, and at 1/100th scale I think they'd be too thin if I had them sticking out. From the side it looks similar to the coin though.


RelliK28 Jan 2012 12:38 p.m. PST

Looks like your having fun there!

JJartist28 Jan 2012 4:10 p.m. PST

Nice 15mm dude!!

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