Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Soldiers SR-59 Vexillarius of Constantine The Great

Well as if on cue, the weather has begun to change. One day it is in the 80's and sunny, the next it is in the 60's and wet. I never like it when it changes this quickly but it does signal the time to start focusing more time at the workbench and less time on the bike. I'll still have another month or so before I'm forced to completely give up but in the meantime it has given me a chance to start planning the winter projects.

I am back on my other earlier projects but I couldn't help starting something new as well. This fine figure from Soldiers is a very nice Vexillarius carrying the "Labarum" of Constantine the Great, early fourth century AD. Story has it that on the eve of the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, Constantine had a dream that led him to convert to Christianity. The reality is more along the lines of his conversion happening on his deathbed but the story remains and this standard is the documented item carried to battle against the Emperor Maxentius. To many this figure may seem familiar. You would not be mistaken in thinking this as the body is for the most part the same exact figure as my previous Soldiers kit from this time period (SR50). Enough is different however to make this an acceptable use of a previous kit by Soldiers in my opinion.

As you can see in the pictures below, I have assembled the kit almost entirely except for the cloak. This will allow me to paint the piece unimpeded and attach the cloak later as I did with the earlier kit. Groundwork is the usual A+B putty with sheet plastic backing on a very nice Ken Thomas round rosewood base. I will apply some plant life, mask the armor and prime prior to beginning the paint.

To give an idea of the direction this piece will go, I have included a photo of the kit box art as reference. The standard will most likely be copied as seen in the photo but I will play with the clothing colors a tad as I proceed. I have read conflicting descriptions of the labarum but I would expect my interpretation to be very similar.


  1. Mr. Johnston I have been trying to find any articles on painting symbols on flags and uniforms (such as medieval knights and spartan shields) any suggestions?


  2. There is a nice article on the Soldiers web site about painting Roman Shields. I would also check out the various posts on Planet Figure as there are many ideas for you there. I don't really read the magazines anymore so on-line is all I can offer. Jim