Saturday, 30 June 2012

Black Tree Designs Early Imperial Romans

Black Tree Designs recently ran a sale on their infantry which saw the prices plummet. Not wanting to be left out, I ordered a fair few packs of Early Imperial Romans for a Western frontier project I am planning. I was a bit reticent as opinions seem rather mixed regarding BTD, but at £2.75 for a pack of five infantry I could afford to take a risk. I ordered Legionaries in cloaks in the less animated poses, as well as Auxiliaries with cloaks, about 30 of each. I also bought some casualties as they are a nice way of adding variety, and will make nifty casualty counters for Hail Caesar.

My order was placed in late May and arrived a few days ago, so the turn around time was about a month. For me this wasn't a major issue as I was in no rush, but be warned, this company has a reputation for being quite slow to deliver. Other than that I am quite pleased with the figures, the sculpts are clean and detailed. In terms of scale, these chaps are a bit on the big side, and tower over a Perry Foundry Roman, fitting better with the Saleh Foundry sculpts as you can see below:

From left to right: Foundry (Perry), Black Tree Design, Foundry (Saleh)
One thing I do really appreciate is that the auxiliaries come with pila, which allows us to choose to equip them as either pilum armed or spear armed, provided of course you provide your own spears. As a Classicist who has read Agricola in the Latin and studied these things, I am very much of the opinion that the difference between Legionaries and Auxiliaries is often over stressed, being in my mind largely a difference in status, but that is a differed discussion for another day. In short, I think that ranked auxilia should be armed like their legionary counterparts.

I haven't painted any of Black Tree Design figures yet, but I imagine look like they will come out nice. One thing I was hoping to do was to avoid using Black Tree's command figures, which look thoroughly uninspiring. Gripping Beast and Warlord Games tend to match the Perry Romans, but the tall Saleh and BTD chaps will need more robust command figures. Based on this picture, I would say that Aventine looks like a good place to look.