Thursday 3 December 2015

The Bosporan Kingdom of the 2nd/3rd c. AD

The Miniatures.

In Phil Barker’s book The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome, the Bosporan Noble lancers of this time period are describe as similar in appearance to Sarmatian but ride un-armoured horse, light cavalry are described as Scythian and this may mean their apparel or method of fighting and citizen infantry have a similar style of uniform as Roman auxilia of the period.

Noble Lancers.
The Old Glory Sarmatian shown here all came with armoured mounts. These figures have been ordered in the past and generally had a mix of armoured (3x) and un-armoured (6x) per pack and this was not the case, so all horse were painted with cloth or leather protection. The cloaks, shirt and trousers of the riders were done in red, blue and purple or madder red to give a near “Byzantine” look. This was done for no other reason than to make them distinct from the 24 elements of Sarmatian cavalry in my collection.

Horse archers.
These are Scythian cavalry and painted with lighter shades of blue, grey and beige. Trousers, caps and harness were painted in different shades of brown. I am pleased how these turned out.

Citizen infantry and archers.
These are Roman auxilia figures and have a uniform appearance than the mounted units. The bowmen (3Bw and Ps) are Palmyran figures sporting boots, trousers and tunic with some wearing a cap or are bareheaded. These represent the Sindi and Maiotian farmers that fought as archers.

Mobile artillery.
The mule cart is scratch-built from thin triplex and scored. Fixed on an extra Napoleonic limber the cart is pulled by mules from the OG Colonial baggage pack. There has been some discussion at Fanaticus whether the bolt-thrower was fired from the cart or transported to a location and assembled for use. I opted for the latter as all the pieces looked much better when placed on a 40 x 40 mm base.

These are now ready to field against the Sarmatian, Alani and Huns.


  1. Excellent write up of the Bosporan and miniatures used to put this army together. Great article Robert well done Sir!

  2. Thank you both.

    The Bosporan Kingdom was nearing its decline at the time of my project and very few details were available on the Internet.

    I had thought about adding pennons to the lances and horse tail plumes to the helmets of the lancers, this would in effect give them a rather Byzantine appearance. The idea is still an active one, but for now I am looking forward to field them against the cavalry armies of Sarmatia, Alan and Hunnic.

    Vacation time soon, so there will be time.

    Next enemy is African.