Thursday, September 16, 2021

Hannibal's Spanish Allies Painted


Two units of HaT Industrie Spanish Allies for the Carthaginian army.


Today I completed the painting of a second set of 16 Punic War Spanish Allies for my 1/32 scale (54mm) Hannibal Project. The first set of 16 figures has predominantly red-brown shields and the second set has green-white shield combinations. This makes it easy to tell which figures belong to which infantry unit.

Two units of Spanish infantry: green shield and red-brown shields.

A pair of Balaeric Slingers skirmish in front of the Spanish.

My intention is to field the infantry in 16-figure units; however, in this picture I have pushed both units together to form a 4-rank by 8-files unit of 32 figures, just to see how this would look compared to the 2 x 8 organization. I have set up two units of Carthaginian African troops in 16-figure units (unpainted) for a comparison. I will have up to 5 single elephants.

I will eventually have 4 x 16 units of Spanish infantry, 2 x 16 Africans, 2 x 16 Celts, and 1 x 16 Veterans and 1 x 16 light skirmishers in the Carthaginian army. There will also be 5 elephants and one or two units of Numidian light cavalry and one unit of Carthoginian/Spanish heavy cavalry.

So while I seem to have settled on fielding 16-figure units in two ranks, other possible organizations might include 24-figures in three ranks or 32-figures in four ranks. While "bigger is better" seems to be my way of thinking, I want to keep the infantry units at a size that will allow me to use a 6ft by 12ft table and have three feet of open space on each flank. The math indicates that my infantry has to fit into a space of 6 feet in order to have three feet of open flank space on each end of the table. An 8-figure frontage takes up about 14-inches so I could pack in four infantry units frontage in the six foot area in the center of the table and have an equal number of units forming a second line of infantry.

If I used 24 figures in three ranks and eight files, then the frontage is still the same as that of the 16-figure units. However, this means that I would need one and a half boxes of figures to create a unit, whereas the 16-figure unit equals the contents of one box of figures. A 36-figure unit would have to be in four ranks by eight files. See the picture below for an idea of what this might look like.

Four units of Hannibal's infantry supported by a pair of elephants.

When going to four ranks, do you think that visually it looks better to have a wider frontage of, say, ten figures or even twelve figures? 

FYI, the figure bases shown in these pictures have 40mm round bases that fit into the sabot.

While I work these things out, tomorrow I will start washing more figures in soapy water, and then spritzing them with white primer as I will soon be running out of my stock of primed-and-ready-to-paint figures. I will start on a 16-figure unit of Carthaginian Veterans wearing chain mail, tomorrow, and plan on having them finished by the end of this coming weekend.

Notice: If anyone has any spare HaT Punic Wars figures that they would like to sell, then send me an email or leave a message in the comments section below. I'm particularly looking for boxes of Roman Triarii and Carthaginian Veterans. I'm also looking for Numidian, Roman, Spanish and Carthaginian cavalry boxes.


  1. Very impressed with how these figures have come out. Interesting figure size 54mm (now my mind starts to spin and go to work over possibilities). I do prefer wider fronts like 12 figures for a depth of 4 figures….typically armies of the ancient world would have a front decent size wider than its depth….so I like to keep that visual appearance if possible when considering table space.

    1. Agreed. I’m wrestling with “the look” versus having more figures and “depth”.

      Using 54mm plastic figures has been an eye opener for me after painting the Sudan Project. The figures are much easier to paint (and to see). I was also considering the Zulu war, but the elephants won me over to the Punic Wars. 😄

  2. Had a quick look on the Plastic soldier blog and some of the UK web shops eg Hanants and Drum and Flag seem to good supplies of these boxes including the elephamts.


    1. I saw the elephants but no Roman Triarii or Carthaginian veterans and cavalry in 1/32 scale. You may have been looking at some of the HaT 1/72 scale figures in the Hannants listings. Thank you for the tip though. I will keep checking these UK sites periodically. 😀