Punic War Painting Guide – Roman

Split into Poor (basically infantry) and Rich (i.e. cavalry, officers, and generals).

Poor Romans

Includes most Hastati/Principes (Blades), Triarii (Spear), Velites/Leves (Psiloi)

Note: foot officers are covered in the section on rich people.

Item Description
Tunic Base material: White
Generally painting guides suggest Romans wore coloured tunics during the Punic Wars, red being the most likely contender; Head (1982) suggests red for example. However, There is an on-going debate in academic circles about the tunic colour in the Late Roman Empire, and I find the “white” argument more convincing and apply the same logic to the Republic. Dye was expensive making white or off-white far more probable for state issued gear. .
Hair (their own) Black or dark brown
Body Armour Mail: Iron
Plate (square or corslet): Bronze
Greaves (leg guard) Bronze
Helmet Bowl: Bronze
Crest: Two black & one red feather
Shield Face: Red* with no pattern. The wooden spine should also be red.
Boss: Iron
* Generally painting guides suggest giving Romans shields of various plain colours, possibly varied by unit. All Head (1982) does is cite a light-brown illustration, and a red illustration although the latter is for non-Roman troops armed in Roman style. For better or worse I chose a standard red for my Romans; in hindsight I might do something different now.
Sword and dagger Handle: Ivory or wood
Scabbard: Bronze
Blade: Steel
Javelin, pilum, spear Haft: Wood
Shaft + Blade: Steel
Standard Emblem: Silver
Haft: Wood
Trumpet Bronze
Sandals + straps + belt Base material: Leather
Fittings: Bronze
Wolf skin Wolf – now there’s a thing

Rich Romans: Foot Officer, Cavalry, Generals, Consul

My Rich figures are:

  • Foot officer = guy with rimmed, round shield and cloak (Essex Miniatures).
  • Roman Cavalry trooper = guy with sword raised and separate shields (Battle Honours Miniatures)
  • Ordinary General = guys with empty hand raised (Essex Miniatures)
  • Consul = guy in wrap around cloak (Essex Miniatures from Greek range)

As Roman infantry (above) except

Item Description
Tunic Base material: Red
Cloak Base material: Red (Purple for Consul)
Helmet Crest: Red, black, or white; or alternate these colours
Shield Face: Red with no pattern.
Rim: Bronze
Body armour Pteruges (leather strips from arms and waist; if worn): White (?)

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