Friday, February 23, 2018

No Biga deal

Time for the Quadriga ... Lets get this Circus underway. 

(Editor's Note: Mr. Housemartin, you need to discover the wonders of page breaks. - JnR)

First a note

J&R - I have Roman civilians and the rules for Gangs of Rome as Anton mentioned.  I plan on doing just as you suggest.  However, I have basically no Byzantine civilians and the figures from the game are completely wrong for the Byz.  Hippodrome is out.  I will be sticking with the Circus. 

So as Anton gets the Drivers done, now I have finished up the Quadriga (the standard four horse Roman Chariot, a "Biga" is a Two horse Chariot).  Here is the completion of that process. 

First up I needed to find 32 horses in more or less 28mm.  They could not have saddles, or bridles, or other tack.  Basically I could not find them.  Those that I could find were prohibitively expensive (some old Ral Partha cavalry starting at 8 dollars each)  Enter the Toob.  This is from a company called Safari Limited that sells plastic figurines in various sizes at many hobby and craft stores here in the states.  Each Toob has a varying amount of figures in it based on the size of the figures.  They sell two different Toobs of horses, I selected the smaller sized horses and found that most of them were pretty close.  I received 12 horses in each Toob for $10 per Toob.  I then used a coupon for 40% off on each Toob and ended up paying $6 for each of the four Toobs I needed for a total cost of $24.  Some of the horses were too big so I gave them to my youngest child who is in a "pony" phase currently and put the remaining 36 to work for my purposes. 

Next I needed a glue to attach the horses.  I selected Gorrilla Glue Gel and was VERY happy with its results. 

Finally I needed to find a base.  The 2x4 bases that came with the chariots would not take the four horse versions I was using.  Fortunately a former student of mine is the manager of a local home improvement store and when I spoke with him he volunteered to cut up some scrap plexiglass into 4x4 sections.  I decided to go with plexiglass because this way when Anton finishes his fantastic work on the Circus itself all his work will show through gloriously and the Chariots should appear to just be floating across his track terrain work.  Now all I had to do was figure out how to get the chariots attached without screwing up the clear plexiglass. 

First, I lined up the four horses that would make up a team on the Plexiglass. 

Second, I set the chariot down and maneuvered the horses into position under the yokes. 

Third, I carefully picked up the chariot and put a bead of the gel glue in each Yoke. 

In the background here you can see another base wit just horses on it.  This was scrap from the scrap plexiglass.  It was longer than the other bases so I decided to keep an extra set of horses and glued them down without a chariot to represent a wrecked chariot team that could be running around on the track out of control. 

Fourth, I placed another bead of the gel glue on the backs of the horses where the Yoke sat moments before.  Again the runaway base is just visible in the back left. 

Fifth, I placed the chariot back in position so that the Glue Beads linked up.  Note that I am not gluing the Chariot or Horses to the base at this time, just the Chariot to the horses. 

Sixth repeat Seven more times and all eight chariots are attached to the teams.  I then employed a decent day here in Michigan and put the tray of the chariots out on my porch to dry in the light breeze.  I remembered that Cyano glues like Gorilla Glue will discolor materials like plexiglass if fumes are allowed to rest on them.  So I hoped the breeze would prevent this from happening.  I then took a couple of hours off to run some errands. 

When I returned I took the tray in the house and gave the chariots a few minutes to warm up.  I then checked and found that the glue had set up nicely.  So I flipped the first chariot and team upside down. 

Next, I added a heavy bead of glue to the bottom of each hoof and each wheel. 

I then flipped the chariot and team over and carefully placed it down on the plexiglass.  I did discover that one horse on each to two different teams had not set up properly so there were some vexing moments as I struggled to keep the horses on the yoke and get the glue in place, but all did come together without too much insanity. 

Finally I repeated the process seven more times and voila!  All the chariots ready for their drivers to take their positions and the circus to get underway. 

Now where is that Circus? 


  1. Pretty cool! Great looking chariots, came out nicely. 😀

    Now I must go watch Ben Hur.

  2. Housemartin has conned me into building him the spina for his racetrack, I have Ben Hur scheduled as well.....primary research!

  3. Thank you Stew.

    JnR Some of us "Do", Anton does the most! Some of us "sort and sift". Page Breaks, we don't need no 'stinkin' page breaks!

    I got it posted without having to make work for Anton so all is well.

  4. Very nice modeling, Anton.