After spending several months in the Dark Ages with Saxons, Vikings and Saga (and successfully completing two large warbands), I'm now firmly back in Roman mode.
One of the reasons is the forthcoming Scarab Miniatures War & Conquest Gaming Day on the 19th August. I had thought to try to get enough Saxons done for this event but (a) I can't paint that fast, (b) many of the other gamers will be bringing along suitable allies or opponents for my Romans, so Rob has persuaded me to use my Romans ... and paint some more! For details of the event please have a look here.
Another important reason is my discovery of Aventine Miniatures newest Early Imperial Romans. I knew about their 160-190AD range (with Niedermörmter style helmets) but my existing range of figures had the Gallic style helmet, so imagine my delight when I saw the range had expanded to include figures with Gallic 'I' & 'J' style helmets!!!
I ordered a couple of packs and Keith very kindly sent me a mix of figures so I could get a better look at the range. Here's a pic (from Aventine's website - Keith, hope that's OK). More pictures and details on the Aventine website http://www.aventineminiatures.co.uk/
These figures are absolutely superb!!! I've not been so excited about a range of figures for ages. But first I must say that Aventine's customer service, speed of delivery and packaging are excellent.
Now for the figures themselves... the detail is crisply cast with very few mould lines and almost no flash, so very easy to prepare. Scale-wise they are at the larger end of the 28mm spectrum, so should match well with Saleh Foundry, Black Tree and Copplestone figures. They are available in a range of poses which will allow you to build some very dynamic looking units, clearly these fellows are keen to get to grips with the enemy. Standing / advancing poses are also in the range if you want more traditional looking 'single pose' units. A few of the figures come with a separate weapon arm; I presume this is to make casting of the figures easier given their more animated stance. The joints are well cast with plenty of 'surface contact' so the slight extra assembly should be straightforward. Pila and shields are also separate and nicely cast.
I also got a few command figures, Centurion, Signifier, Cornicen, etc. These are even better than the Legionaries, if that's possible! A couple of the figures are available with a selection of helmets so you should be able to make each command group slightly different.
If you're interested in seeing some painted examples then make sure you have a look at this post on BigRedBat's superb blog. Lovely work!
In summary, it looks to be a wonderful range of figures and I'll certainly be adding them to my collection. I may even sell on some of the unpainted Black Tree figures and replace them with Aventine ... although you can never have too many Romans.