I present to you Belisarius' Boukellaroi/Bucellarii. I have enjoyed painting up this unit more then any of the rest in the army and I think that is really says something! Every unit from the Aventine Early Byzantine range so far has been a real pleasure to paint up. Minimal cleaning up, perhaps a little filing here and there and very crisp castings. Adam's sculpting is sublime. I really think the whole range is exquisite.
The banner will be a dead giveaway to many so it will come as no surprise that I have painted up this unit as Belisarius' Boukellaroi. I have tried to include as much variation in colour on the horses to keep a real sense of individuality. Same with the bards on the equines. I have equipped the Boukellaroi in similar colours as their equipment would have been personally handed to them by the general himself and a degree of uniformity with minor variations such as patterns on the caparisons beneath the horse armours to allow for a small degree of individual expression without diminishing the uniform look.
I have been debating with myself as to whether to include pennons at the end of the kontos. I am almost certain that pennons would not have been used to decorate such a lengthy weapon as it was used as both a thrusting weapon and a fencing weapon. Fencing with a four meter long "spear" would have been almost impossible with the added encumbrance of the pennon.
I have included a Draco standard in the back rank, carried by an officer, as I believe dressing the ranks would have been paramount for the unit as it entered combat at a cantor. The Draco standard also helps to offset the whopping great banner of Belisarius to the right centre of the unit. In "art college speak" by placing the Draco where I have the eye will move around the unit. Or at least that is my hope!
The Whole Unit:
A More Elevated View:
So, a lot more to come but happily much of the work has been done. Another four cavalry units, one armoured Skutatoi and Unarmourds Skutatoi and two or three units of Psiloi should round them off. Oh, there's the army generals too!