Bucellarius of Majorian: Blandford Warriors Episode 1

This is “Biscuit Dude”, and he’s come to fight you with his sock dragon.  He’s my first painted miniature of 2018, and it’s exactly thirty years since he was released.

Rock out with your (dragon) sock out.

“Biscuit Dude” is a Late Imperial Roman standard bearer, released by Citadel Miniatures in January 1988 as part of the Blandford Warriors range – twelve medieval(ish) characters also appearing in the 1987 Blandford Press book Medieval Warlords.

The complete Blandford Warriors range, image from Stuff of Legends

The range is a curious mix of generic fighters like “Teutonic Knight” (top left), and named personalities like “Betrand du Guesclin” (one in from top left).  If you’re unfamiliar with medieval history it’s confusing who’s a character and who’s a unit type – Alan Horseman, I am looking at you.

Looking at the name of the miniature on the flyer, I assumed “Bucellarii of Majorian” was a person, but turns out “bucellarii” (singular: “bucellarius”) is actually a name for the household troops in the Late Roman period.  It’s Latin for “biscuit dude” – troops were so named as on campaign they were given their grain ration (or “bucellatum”) in the form of a hard biscuit.  This kind of diminutive naming humour is common in the Late Imperial Roman military – the heavily armoured cavalry troops were called “clibanarii” or “little ovens” as it got so hot inside their armour.

I based the paintjob for my miniature off the Angus McBride colour plate from the Medieval Warlords book.

 

 

Vandal and Moorish pirates flee to their ship after an ambush set up by Biscuit Dude and his seahorse, Seabiscuit.

The Bucellarius fits really nicely into my fledgling Late Imperial Roman army, as will the two other fifth century Blandford Warriors  – “The Warlord Aetius” and “Alan Horseman”.  Here’s my mighty army so far, needing a lot of reinforcements before they get that Warhammer Ancient Battles +1 rank bonus.

The mighty Triumverate of Maximianus, Biscuit Dude and Araneus.

The complete set of twelve Blandford Warriors miniatures was re-released last summer by Wargames Foundry, so now everyone can own them without paying ridiculous prices on the secondary market.

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15 thoughts on “Bucellarius of Majorian: Blandford Warriors Episode 1

  1. My grandparents are from Blandford, so yeah… that’s a totally irrelevant detail. Yup.

    I’m a big fan of biscuits, and your biscuit dude, so don’t let me confuse them because it’d be a shame if I dunked him and his windsock into my coffee and then ate all that lovely work :)

    1. Is Blandford worth a visit? I once tried justifying a trip there with AJ, but she correctly spotted my specious reason for visiting.

    1. Fanks! I am actually tempted to paint a version on horseback – most of the characters were illustrated as mounted by Angus McB, and it would be fun to buy another set to saw in half and stick on horses. It’s especially fitting for Biscuit Dude as his draco standard was actually cavalry standard.

  2. Very nice Curis, Late Roman period was a realm passion of mine so I enjoyed this post, excellent painting and post, wait till you have to explain the difference or not between Cataphractii and Clibinarius, Angus McBride was a great artist, I always felt his paintings were a little bit fantastic when it came to some of the hardware.
    If you are looking for books to own i can recommend
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5081730-justinian-s-wars
    https://www.amazon.com/Roman-Army-Brasseys-History-Uniforms/dp/1857532120
    and https://www.amazon.com/Armies-Enemies-Imperial-Rome/dp/B000U28MN0/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1516025652&sr=1-5&keywords=wargames+research+group+rome

    for starters.

    Be casreful which miniatures you mix, Perry’s are so small compared to GB, A&A, Black Tree and some the other fantastic ranges out.

    1. Thanks Jason! I don’t have any of those in my library. I’ll get them all!

      The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome is something I’ve been after for for a while now. It seems a lot of the studio Foundry colour schemes were based directly off that book.

      The two Foundry Romans in the shot are a bob smaller than the chunky Blandford Warrior. But he does fit nicely in with the Mark Simms Late Romans is style and scale.

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