Monday, July 31, 2017

The Holy Land

I managed to pick up a copy of a book I'd been after for quite a long time on eBay, Peter Connolly's 'The Holy Land'

 This book is a real treasure trove of information, but it is an odd creature.  The history is brief and almost simplistic; somewhat at the level of a Readers Digest/Popular History feature; but it distills the key facts in an easy to read form as a result; the use of extensive photographs and illustrations on every page gives the impression of a children's textbook more than anything.

Historically, the book begins with Herod the Great, and carries on through to the end of the first Rebellion, so covering about a century of increasing Roman subjugation.  The real strength of this, personally, are the reconstructions in the illustrations, suitable inspiration for my long idle Jewish Rebellion project.

That said, in an effort to make my Jews look unique, I did decide to give them the Mantle, shown in some textbooks,but in few contemporary illustrations - including Connolly's - of Jewish warriors.

So, I guess the book worked for me, as I've been busy assembling new miniatures.  Given I've the sprues for some 150 or so infantry it was about time I got back to these guys.  Above are a nascent unit of light infantry, armed with javelins only.

My green stuff skills have taken a step forward here with the use of a plastic palette rubbed down with olive oil to flatten out sheets of it on.  This gave me thin enough strips to get nice folds in, and to allow a more Arabic headdress use of the mantle, as shown in some illustrations to be experimented with.  These warriors, not being part of the well equipped fighting line, have mainly no shields or simple wicker and hide affairs, and only a few helmets; no Roman equipment.  Hopefully I'll get a couple of units created before I get sidetracked or bored!

As to the Connolly book, it is hard to find, I paid about £15 second hand for my copy, but it is worth it if this is a period of history you are interested in, and if you would like quality reconstructions of the buildings costumes and artifacts of the period.

Suitable inspiration for this wargamer at least.


  1. Nice conversions! I have to admit that I haven't tried the olive oil technique - I'm concerned that I wouldn't be able to remove enough of it before painting.

    1. This was a concern for me at first, but it turns out my usual craft acrylic undercoat covered it with no bother.

  2. I like Connollys books, the Greek armies followed by the Roman army followed by the enemies of Rome books were the first I remember buying with my own money, lovely illustrations and clear history , your conversions look great too.
    Best Iain