A miniature review

Successor Kings by Polemarch and Relic Miniatures

by Jeff Jonas

antiochus_ptolemy_000.jpg (152527 bytes)


Relic Miniatures 29mm Antiochus III

One of the sadder things about the incredibly long passage of time since the Warhammer Ancient Battles Successor supplement was completed and submitted... years ago.. and today, is the number of excellent miniatures that have been released over the intervening years to support gaming this period.  I have been lucky to have been asked for reference to develop some of these figures, and many of the sculptors have had access to the Successors MS.   In this case I provided help in development of both of these figures, so I will admit right up front that I am biased, in that regard. However, I have no affiliation or financial relationship with either company, so my review is based totally on the miniatures, which are cool in and of,  themselves.  These figures are: the Polemarch command figure of Ptolemy IV in 28mm, and the slightly larger 29mm Antiochus III by Relic Miniatures.  Both are mounted command figures.


Polemarch Miniatures 28mm Ptolemy and Relic Miniatures 29mm Antiochus III side by side.

One can immediately see the size difference.  The Polemarch Ptolemy is close to true 28mm and is somewhat dwarfed by the robust Antiochus III.  The owner of Relic has  related that he feels that command figures should be a bit larger "to stand out on the tabletop"..... it certainly does that!!  Gamers will judge if that kind of aggrandizement is warranted.  As you can see that both figures, as Kings are adorned with the trappings one would expect.  Purple cloaks, white diadems, fancy stuff.   In this regard the Relic figure really knocks it out of the ball park with the incredible detail.  Both figures are cleanly cast.  The Polemarch figure seemed to be a bit soft on one side, there seems to be some mold distortion there, this could be because I have a pre-production sample.  As you can see both figures capture the physique and facial features of their respective subjects as detailed in their coinage above.  The Ptolemy IV is a bit heavy featured and pudgy, exactly as depicted in artwork and befitting of the description of a weak girly man, as stated in the sources....   Antiochus III, on the other hand is aquiline as fits the statues and coins likeness perfectly as well.  Antiochus wears a helmet featured in a coin of his predecessor Seleucus I "Nikator", the founder of the Seleucid dynasty.  It is an interesting choice, and shows off more of the detailing of this figure.   Ptolemy is helmet less and sword less... he is not a battler like Antiochus and is not going to get "stuck in".... instead he has his hand raised to implore his machimoi and followers to stand firm against the invader.  He wears the white diadem to reveal he is king.  (What would be a really  great companion figure to Ptolemy, would be a figure of of his sister queen, Arsinoe- who also goaded on the troops at the battle of Raphia- with coins from her own purse, and may have been a bit more inspiring, or at least more foxy).


"When a bitter fight resulted, and matters were turning out rather in favor of Antiochus, Arsinoe went to the troops with wailing and tears, her locks all disheveled, and exhorted them to defend themselves and their children and wives bravely, promising to give them each two minas of gold if they won the battle."
~3 Maccabees



Antiochus III

The Antiochus III model has detail all around.... the horse's chamfrom and waist armor is especially ornate, even an upside down Seleucid anchor can be seen on it.  The model itself is presented in a number of pieces.  The head and crest are separate, as are the arms.  The body and horse are separated with a plug and socket system.  All the parts fit well and there were no problems except for the horse and rider socket, which after filing left a large gap.  I filled it reasonably well, but it caused some issues.  I left off the left arm, so it would be easier to paint everything.  Once the gaps were filled I black primed everything.  Both the Antiochus and Ptolemy were painted at the same time to deliberately share the palette.  The figure is a joy to paint.    The detail is so crisp it is one of those models that "paints itself" using my simple black prime, white drybrush, then colorize layering style.   Everything was painted with various acrylics, either Vallejo or Ceramcoat.  I paint all the cloth and flesh bits, then sprayed both with Testors Dullcoat... after that I painted on the shiny bits.  Some glazes were added to the metal bits to pop them out.  The simple ground cover is added last, although I did spackle these bases before I added the ground cover.


"Antiochus III the Great (the son of Seleucus II Callinicus and grandson of Antiochus II Theos), king of the Syrians, the Babylonians, and other nations, was the sixth in succession from that Seleucus I Nicator who succeeded Alexander in the government of the Asiatic countries around the Euphrates. He invaded Media and Parthia, and other countries that had revolted from his ancestors, and performed many exploits, from which he was named Antiochus the Great."
~ Appian




Ptolemy IV

The Ptolemy IV model has suitable detail, but is not as crisp or abundant as Antiochus.  The nice armor set is well detailed, but the boots are bit basic.... I reckon this is a result of following the Montvert book on the Seleucids a bit too closely-- Angus McBride did not do his best work on those paintings and left the details wanting.  I would expect Ptolemy to have a more elaborate laced krepides boots than these soft Iphicratean style slippers... but maybe those might hurt his dainty feet?  the lack of a sword is less disturbing since Ptolemy is such a wuss.... maybe it would have been better to add a rolled up papyrus of his beloved Homer in his left hand.... (hmmmm).  The Polemarch figure is in two pieces, horse and rider.  Cleanly cast, just a little schmutz had to be filed off the feet legs and such.  The joining of the rider and horse is a bit troublesome as the legs of the rider are splayed out so wide there is no grip, and the saddle blanket does not conform well to the rider's form.  Green putty rescued me here as I put a little glob of green stuff under the rider then let it sit over night.   The next day I cracked the figure off and then re-glued properly with CA glue.   Now the figure seems to be riding the horse, rather than just sitting on in a wobbly fashion.


There is quite a choice now as to which models to use to lead your 28mm Successor armies... if you want figures that follow the history and try to replicate the actual figures in play, then one cannot go wrong with either Polemarch's Ptolemy, or Relic's Antiochus.


Raphia- (TBD)

"Antiochus all this time, being still young and inexperienced and supposing from his own success that his army was victorious in other parts of the field too, was following up the fugitives. But at length on one of his elder officers calling his attention to the fact that the cloud of dust was moving from the phalanx towards his own camp he realized what had happened, and attempted to return to the battle-field with his horse-guards. But finding that his whole army had taken to flight, he retired to Raphia, in the confident belief that as far as it depended on himself he had won the battle, but had suffered this disaster owing to the base cowardice of the rest."
~ Polybius


Relic Miniatures Antiochus III


Polemarch Miniatures Ptolemy


Further reading:



(source for the coin art above)




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Copyright 2010 Jeff Jonas

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