Wednesday 17 February 2016

6mm Carthaginian Citizen Infantry

I worked hard last week to get my biggest ever submission to the Analogue Challenge posted for the Tuesday deadline. Once again my wife has been a trooper, giving me the space and time to work on my mad little hobby. And boy did I need the time, two hundred and sixteen 6mm figures is the biggest little project I have undertaken since starting this period and it tested all my stamina before the end. 

A unit of Carthaginian Citizen Infantry

The models as usual are from Baccus and are listed as Citizen Infantry. They don't wear armour but have a bronze helmet and large oval shields. They are armed with a short sword but their main weapon is the short spear.

Six units containing 216 figures.

Painting the shields in particular tested my skill and patience. I wanted the white to really pop but I also needed to use an ink wash to show up the details. In the end I painted the shields white, added the bronze Boss in the center and then applied the ink wash. The final stage involved a 000 tipped brush, a lot of patience, some swearing and a lot of time as I picked out the white highlights. The result looks great, but I was knackered and goggle-eyed by the end!

Frontal view of the troops

Now I have probably made a terrible mistake but I was having problems trying to figure out how these fitted into the To the Strongest! army list for the Carthaginians. In the end I labelled them as African Spearmen but I'm not entirely sure this is right. Some of the research material I have found says the Citizen Infantry were recruited for the first Punic War but not later while other sources are less clear, suggesting these troops were only employed when Carthage itself was under threat. I clearly need to do more research but if anyone can point me in the right direction I'm not above accepting help!

In column

Rather embarrassingly I managed to completely miscalculate the number of figures I had painted. I finished these late on Monday evening and should have waited until I had had some sleep before writing my draft post and adding up the numbers for the Challenge Blog. Twice I added the numbers up coming up with three ranks of nine per base times six bases equals 164 figures or 82 points. But thankfully the eagle eyed Tamsin pointed out that these are ranks of twelve not nine so I had actually painted 216 figures worth 108 points, Clearly painting so many 6mm figures in one sitting had made me a gibbering wreak unable to cope with basic mathematics. 

From behind, showing the simple details of the backs

Another view of the shields

I'm not sure what I'm painting next. I'm having a few days off for family engagements and I have a busy weekend coming up, so whatever I paint it'll be small (ie not another couple hundred infantry!). I currently have a couple of Carthaginian War Elephants on my desk waiting to be primed, but I also have some Italian AA trucks for my WWII Desert war project waiting to be finished....I'll give it a couple of days and see where the muse takes me.


  1. Great stuff Lee. Really good looking troops. 6mm really does give the mass effect that is lacking in other does look like an army on the table.

  2. Most impressive troops Lee, the mass effect is perfect!

  3. Hello. Great pictures. More encouragement for me to take the 6mm high plunge. My understanding is that the Citizen body were used early on in the 1st Punic war, but proved disappointing. The Carthaginians could not afford to lose large numbers of citizens, and so relegated them to garrison duty in North Africa, and 'internal security'. So not likely to appear in numbers in the field.

  4. They look EPIC! and that's mighty hard to do in 6mm. Awesome job Lee.

  5. The Citizen Levy were also used in the Mercenary War (Carthage against Mercenaries/Libyan rebels after First Punic War) and formed Hannibal's second line at Zama. They should be rated as relatively poor spear phalanx due to their lack of armour and fighting experience.

  6. Nice looking units!
    You are right to some extent - the sources have them used only in Africa in all three Punic wars. In addition, citizens put up a reasonably good show in the mercenary revolt, following the first Punic war, as Carthage did not have money to pay for mercenaries. They were also used in fighting against Agathocles' Syracusans, which invaded Africa in 310-307 B.C.
    There is the question on when the thureos shields were introduced, replacing the small round Punic shield (a different shield to the large "hoplite" shield used by Libyan mercenaries). They were described as being used in the third Punic war, but many authors believe they entered use around 300 B.C., after being introduced by Gallic mercenaries. That's quite handy, as with a bit of liberal thinking you can use them for any of the above conflicts!
    Now, there is one more avenue to make more use of them - Punic settlers in various cities of Africa, Sicily, Corsica and Iberia would have mirrored any developments at Carthage. Although never present in large numbers or even mentioned in Carthage's armies of the period (except when 3,000 citizens came out of Carthage Nova to confront Scipio's army), there must have been some present, at least when their cities were threatened.
    Good luck with them!


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