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"Uniform Questions Alexandrian Macedonian and Persian Armies" Topic

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Mjr Stalwart28 Apr 2018 8:05 a.m. PST

I'm starting Macedonian and Persian armies for some ancients gaming and I have a couple of questions.

I've collected some of the Osprey books and have looked on line but I need some general advice on painting.

We're units of phalangites all uniformed the same or we're their uniforms mixed?

Also the same question for the Persian army. We're units of Persians uniformed the same or we're they mixed?

Need some help on this. Thanks.

wrgmr128 Apr 2018 9:29 a.m. PST

Duncan Head's book Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars published in 1982, is quite extensive on uniforms and equipment. According to Mr. Head, there is no real extensive evidence about colors or even uniformity.

Our group has 2 Alexandrian armies and a number of Successor armies. All of them are painted in uniformity of units. They look great that way. I would suggest you paint them any way you like.

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP28 Apr 2018 12:04 p.m. PST

For ideas I also used uniforms depicted during the 2500 celebration in Iran back in the 70s

Phillius Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Apr 2018 1:26 p.m. PST

Personally I struggle with the concept of uniformity in these armies.

Other than shields, it is unlikely they would have been uniformed. There would probably have been a lot of similarity in clothing colour, due to the availability of natural dyes.

I am possibly going to paint my Seleucids Guard phalangites in uniform colour, as they were standing troops, and the rest of the phalanx was reservists who had been through the guard units (in theory).

But, paint them the way you like.

Ivan DBA28 Apr 2018 4:04 p.m. PST

Agree, there is no evidence they were uniform. But there is no evidence they were not uniform either. So paint them either way.

Also, "we're" is the contraction of "we are." There is no apostrophe in "were."

evilgong28 Apr 2018 4:42 p.m. PST

Xenophon mentions Persian officers trying to out compete eachother by providing their soldiers with expensive clothing – which might get you some way to 'uniforms'

David F Brown

gavandjosh0228 Apr 2018 6:33 p.m. PST

Duncan Head has updated his book. In the update he draws attention to Sekunda's Osprey on the Persians ad its argument for Persian uniforms.

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP28 Apr 2018 6:34 p.m. PST

Shields were probably the only uniform item that the various units had. There is some evidence that the cavalry units wore similar clothing, but not much else. I painted all of my Seleucid phalanxes in different colors, which isn't as hard as it sounds. There were a limited number of dyes available so if for example, you chose white, red, a few blues, maroon, etc., and just stuck with those you can have some very good looking units that are not uniform.

Mjr Stalwart29 Apr 2018 2:06 p.m. PST

Wow. Thanks guys for all the helpful information.

Winston Smith29 Apr 2018 5:12 p.m. PST

Duncan Head is a TMP member, but he is currently in the "talk with Gwen" limbo.

aynsley68330 Apr 2018 9:04 a.m. PST

I did some Persians a year or so ago. I googled aroaound for ideas and then came across these on Micks Land Of lead blog-
I must also admit to shamelessly copying the colour schemes for my own. As well as using Duncan Heads book, below are my poor copies of Micks Persians .

RobSmith30 Apr 2018 12:14 p.m. PST

There is also the "supply theory" of uniforms. That being, we just got a boatload of blue cloth. Now everyone has a blue tunic. Uniform!

Six month later, the color may be red.

We know that in the English Civil War, for example, this is how many regiments got their distinctive colors.

davejl06 May 2018 12:58 p.m. PST

Great links Hensley, thanks.
I have 10mm and 60mm Macedonians and Persians.
I have to admit that I paint them as the Osprey books suggest, in uniform, and find that it works well. The only variations I use are with the 60mm Expeditionary-force figures, where the Macedonians have a mixture of lamellar armour and bronze armour.
I tend to think (but obviously could be completely wrong) that the different clothing for Persians (different colours and dots etc) tended to be in the Early Achamenid Persian era.

Good luck.


Mjr Stalwart07 May 2018 5:13 p.m. PST


I'm using Expeditionary Force's 60mm Macedonians and Persians. These lines are well sculpted and cover all the major troop types. For my rules I've decided to use Ancients D6.

Most of the gaming at the shop I play at is usually WarMachine/Hordes/40K, etc. I'm trying to get some interest in historical gaming and I thought that the Ancients D6 rules were relatively easy and had a good flavor for the period. Also they aren't very "figure heavy" so to speak. XForce's miniatures are nice, but the price is a little steep.

If you have any painted 60mm miniatures I'd really like to see them. Now that I've gotten an idea of my color scheme's I'm trying to decide HOW to paint them. I had considered just blocking in the basic colors along with some highlights and then using the Army Painter mid tone shade on them. My concern is that this may muddy the colors too much.

I'll try to post some pics when I get some painting done.

Thanks agian.

The Major

davejl09 May 2018 8:09 a.m. PST

Hi Major

I've tried posting pictures and follow the hints on how to do it, but with no success (I'm asked for my URL address, etc. Which means nothing to me, a techno inadequate!!)

Would love to share pictures, but not sure how to get them to you or if there's a way of sharing email addresses on this forum.

Any ideas would be welcome.

Just for information, when I've painted my figures (I do shade them) I outline them in the old toy soldier style.
I use a very dark brown on the Ancients (to compliment the colours) and use black to outline my Napoleonics.

Best Wishes Dave

Mjr Stalwart11 May 2018 4:51 p.m. PST

Thanks Dave. I appreciate it.

davejl12 May 2018 11:17 p.m. PST

Hi Major,

As an addition to the question about uniforms, when painting horses, I do different colours for the light cavalry on both sides and for all the cavalry on the Macedonian side.

However, for the Persian medium/heavy cavalry, I tend to paint the horses in a unit the same shade. This is because of the breeding of horses in the Persian empire and I read again the other day (can't remember the source) that the black Nisean horses were very popular.

So I thought that the "aristocratic" nature of the Persian cavalry might lend itself to this unit uniformity (you tend to think of only Napoleonic cavalry units having horses of the same colour).

As you're collecting 60mm Ex-Force figures Mjr Stalwart, have you thought of joining (if you haven't already done so) the 54mm wargaming forum?
If you don't know about it, you can find it at link
It's an interesting forum and if you do join, it would be a way of getting in touch as there is a messaging facility and I could send photos to you via the forum as putting photos on is fairly easy.

Just a thought.
Happy painting Major.
I now have 17 Macedonian units painted (4 to go) and 8 Persian units (28 to go!!)

Best Wishes Dave

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