Converting 1/72 ancients plastic figures: Early Libyan part 2

This is the second part of the Early Libyan project, if you have missed the first part it's here.
The first issue with the Warbands was to find the right figures. I began with looking at the existing references, the best I could find is this famous painted relief from Karnak that shows Seti I thrashing Libyan warriors. Most of these are armed with bows but the figure at the top right is clearly holding a sword and a dagger, so these must be some of the swordsman classed as Wb(F) in the list.

Karnak Painted Relief

I'd like not to use the ESCI Zulus again to make them somehow different from the Auxilia, but I also want them not to be too different... after looking around I finally settle for A Call To Arms Zulus, for one thing they are conveniently dressed, that is almost naked, and at the same time they are different enough from the ESCI ones as well as having quite suitable poses.

A Call To Arms Zulu

There are eight poses in the set, all of which are usable with some work, so there are almost enough for all different poses for all the three elements I needed.
A Call To Arms Zulu

After washing the figures in hot water and soap to remove any trace of mold release agents I cut them from the sprue and trimmed the extra bits of plastic using a sharp surgical scalpel (be very careful with those, they are VERY DANGEROUS!) I've also removed most of the short spear shafts that extended behind the hands, and the back of the rifles. I left the forward part of all those weapons as they provide a rather convenient support for building up the swords on.
The first major operation was to give them all a cloak. I made those using small rectangles of a fine, very thin fabric, cut out from an old handkerchief. I've soaked them in PVA and stuck them roughly in place. Once the glue is dried they become fairly stiff but still flexible, so you can model the folds in them as you like. Additional layers of PVA made them more rigid and lock them in place and in shape. As you can see from the Karnak relief there are two kinds of cloak shown, some made of hide and some probably made of a woven cloth material with a fishbone and circles decoration. As I wanted to do both I left some of the fabric texture show on the top of the cloaks by applying the stiffening coats of PVA only underneath, while on others I've applied it also on top to make the surface smoother.

Lybian warband

Once the cloaks were well set (some of them took five coats of PVA) I'd started to work on the swords. I've modeled those using Green Stuff, a two component modeling putty (available from any Games Workshop store) which is perfect for conversions on plastic figures as it remains quite flexible when it harden. I roll up a small amount of putty around the original weapon and then model it into the shape I wanted. They are admittedly way too large, but after making the first one in the right proportion (as illustrated on the relief) I decided they looked more like kitchen knives than swords and so I decided to go for a more suggestive if less accurate look... I guess I'm a victim of all those Hollywood movies too after all... :)
Lybian warband

Here they are all painted and based like the others. As you can see for the last figure missing I've used another of those contort guys from the Imex Sioux set, after all the pose is remarkably similar to that of the guy armed with sword on the Karnak relief!
Another thing that is quite obvious to me from that relief is that the cloaks are made of giraffe skin, that strikes me as absolutely beautiful so I just had to paint one of the elements like that. One of the others has the woven cloaks decorated as the other warriors in the relief, and to the third one I've given bull-hide cloaks as they are usually depicted in contemporary literature.

Lybian bowmen
Lybian bowmen

And finally, last but certainly not least, it's time for the foot command element... I spent quite some time looking at many different possibilities for the figures, but in the end I've decided to use some of the old Atlantic Egyptians, from set 1501 - "At The Pharaoh's Court". As you can see on the PSR page dedicated to them there are quite a few excellent command figures in this set, and since the Libyans were culturally very close to the Egyptians it's pretty reasonable to assume that the nobility would be dressed in a similar fashion. The only problem is of course that this set is out of production since the seventies, but you can still sometime find them for sale on e-bay. If you look for non complete sets without a box and not on a sprue anymore, which makes them virtually worthless for the hardcore collectionists, you can get them for a reasonably low price. Being the old git I am I just had some still left laying around, and after almost thirty years I figured it was about time I paint up a couple... ;) In the end I've chosen what looks like a young noble warrior and an older counselor, as a military advisor.
The temptation was enormous to use also the standard bearer, but AFAIK Libyans did not use battle standards, so in the end I decided I'll save him for when I'll get around doing a NKE army. What I do know the Libyans did made use of is war drums, so I thought a drummer would be a perfect replacement for a standard bearer... I was originally thinking to use the one that comes with the ESCI muslim warriors set (just being re issued by Italeri now, grab one before they disappear again, it's a great set!) but it is dressed in a rather arab muslim like fashion that would be quite out of place in a biblical army, so in the end I went for another historical dinosaur, the african drummer that comes with Airfix set 01733 - Tarzan figures now re issued by HAT with the title of "Jungle Adventures". One day will manage to find a use for those spearmen too... :)

Lybian Foot Command

I relied on the paintjob and the basing to harmonize the command element with the others, and I think they work quite well, even if two figures out of three are wearing much more clothes than the rest of the gang, it seems quite reasonable for a Royal Prince and it's retinue.
Lybian Foot Command

So here it is the full army, in all it's plastic glory. Time to move on a new project now, so what will be next? Ancient Greeks probably, if nothing else because it has been laying around half painted for a few years already... then again, so are Numidians, Parthians, Armenians and Carthaginians... I've got the feeling I'll end up starting a new one as usual... :)
Lybian Army
Lybian Army The LH is actually from my Numidian army, the figures are Newline Design leads.

More Conversions:

Conversions: Early Libyan part one

Conversions: War Elephant

Conversions: Imperial Roman Auxilia

Conversions: Celt-iberian warrior

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