Sunday, September 19, 2021

Lightning Strikes - Roman Carroballista

Christmas 2000, Joseph my good friend and gaming buddy, and I met for our annual Roman Civil War. We were playing WRG 7th edition rules. Suddenly I found myself on the receiving end of massed fire of a unit of carroballista. Joseph and his wife, had spent the evening before my arrival, converting some Airfix Ancient Britain chariots, mated with Airfix Roman scorpio bolt throwers. It was a nasty surprise and the speed of the unit on the battlefield was inspiring.  

Three of Joseph's carroballista run circles around his Legion

Warlord Games used to offer a scorpion mounted on a mule cart. From the time I first saw the image until recently it was always out of stock. This afternoon I couldn't even find it listed on their site. Meanwhile I squandered my hard earned sestertius on other frivolous figures and projects. 

While combing my mountain of lead, I uncovered some ancient (30+ year old) Ral Parta/RAFM scorpions. The Early Imperial Roman Cart is nearly always available  for purchase. So I ordered three. This project has been sitting on my painting table for the last 6 months and I finally found time to complete it,

Image of a carroballista on Trajan's Column

I am now seeking some 25mm artillery crewmen. I have some Foundry figures, but the 28mm heroic scale of the crewmen seem rather out of scale to the bolt throwers themselves. However when compared to the carvings on Trajan's Column, maybe I shouldn't worry. If I am unable to find what I am searching for, I will paint the figures up.


  1. Yup, that's the Joeseph I remember. Good to keep the memories alive.

    I thought RAFM had Roman crew but I don't see it. Perhaps one of their packs of legionaires with separate weapons and shields. Bare handed they should work.

    1. Thanks Ross, you got me thinking. I may have some figures I can use from Jef Lauzon's Roman Army. I will take a look there.

  2. Wow, superb and impressive carroballista!

  3. >some ancient (30+ year old) Ral Parta/RAFM scorpions

    Believe ir or not, I have some of these...unpainted for ~30 years(!).

    1. Hi Bruce I've dug out some older figures to paint during The Twelfth Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge that have been in the pile of lead since time immemorial. A group of 6 dwarves that were originally to be passed to a gamer who is no longer with us. Long time since Maritime Mall days.

    2. I switched careers from IT into acc'ting starting 2007. (At middle-age, mm, mebbe not so advisable?) Anyway, I remain wargaming - both minis & boardgames - plus paintingpaintingpaint. (huff!puff!) I've never entered a minis painting competition. Too lazy to clean my Iwata. ha.
      My "brush with the Grim Reaper" = a double lung transplant in there during 2005. But I still had unpainted miniatures so 'the fix was in': you can't die while owning unpainted house ballast(!).

      >A group of 6 dwarves

      --wait. what? I thought there were 7!

      >a gamer who is no longer with us.

      ...Ah. That explains it. :D