Macedonian and Successor Painting Guide

This covers Macedonians, Seleucids, Ptolomaics etc. The core of my army is Seleucid and the photos reflect this.

All figures painted by Ian Galley unless otherwise noted.

Macedonian Pike Phalanx

The core of any Macedonian army was the Pike Phalanx. Most Macedonian shields were covered in bronze but elite troops often had silver shields. White shields also appeared. According to Head (1982):

  • Argyraspides = Silver shields
  • Chalkaspides = Bronze shields
  • Leukaspides = White shields

Ian has the helmets either silver or bronze. However I believe that historically Macedonian helmets were painted bright colours.

We know of a few shield designs from the Macedonian Wars. Some styles may have been favoured by certain kingdoms or, more likely, with our limited evidence we know that some kingdoms used them but that doesn’t rule out the possibility that others did as well. I believe you can pick what you want.

Ian gave all his pikemen a “Seleucid” style pattern from VVV. He gave all the silver shields a red pattern.

Silver Shields

Macedonian Phalanx: Silver Shields (Argyraspides) with Seleucid Shield Design

Ian gave the bronze shields the same “Seleucid” shield pattern from VVV but in this case Ian varied the colours.

Bronze Shields

Macedonian Phalanx: Bronze Shields (Chalkaspides) with Seleucid Shield Design

I followed Ian’s lead with my white shields: shield pattern from VVV (in this case an antigonid pattern I believe) and various colours as they are not an elite unit. Some of my white shields have trousers indicating the men had an eastern origin. That is just an accident of my purchasing history and shouldn’t be taken as indicating historical precedent.

White Shields

Macedonian Phalanx: White Shields (Leukaspides) with Antigonid Shield Design
Unknown painter, although I did the shields and pikes.

Other heavy infantry

The Thurophoroi were mercenaries.



After a couple of wallopings by the Romans the Seleucids rearmed half their silver shields in the Roman style. Ian has interpreted this as meaning they adopted Roman colours. So both the silver shield and purple tunic have turned red. I am unconvinced about this. Pilum and long shield, sure, that is being Roman armed but I see no reason why they would have abandoned their tradition colour schemes.

Roman Style

Argyraspides armed in Roman Style

Macedonian Cavalry


The Seleucid Agema were equipped like the earlier Companions and Xystophoroi but had a partially armoured horse.


Seleucid Agema

Agema (back)

Seleucid Agema (back)


After fighting the Parthians in the east the Seleucids adopted heavy armour for most of their cavalry. Bronze scale for the man and iron mail for the horse.


Seleucid Cataphracts

Cataphracts (back)

Seleucid Cataphracts (back)

Asian Troops

Just like the earlier Persian empire, the eastern successor states used Asian troops, particularly for the lights.

Asian Slingers

Asian Light Infantry Slingers

Asian Archers

Asian Light Infantry Archers

Asian Light Horse

Asian Light Horse with Javelin and Shield

Horse Archers

Asian Horse Archers

Other Troops

Scythed Chariots

Scythed Chariots

Scythed Chariots


Arab Camelry

Arab Camelry


Head, D. (1982). Armies of the Macedonian and Punic wars 359 BC to 146 BC. Wargames Research Group.

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