Home Forums Ancients The fashion choices of Gauls and Germans…

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    Would the purists howl if I use Warlord’s Germanic command figures as ‘Celtic’ commanders around the time of Julius Caesar?

    I accidentally purchased a pack of Germanic commanders (my finger slipped right over the buy button  ) while ordering sun screen lotion. Hmmm…

    They look mostly appropriate to me. Enough so that I decided to use them for my Gallic troops. I think the hair styles might be a bit off (top knots and pony tails), and they wear furs–which none of my other Celts do. But to be honest I’m not familiar with the differences between the two.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    Gone Fishing

    I’ve been wondering over this very question myself. Let other, better informed, members have the last word, but it seems from my preliminary reads (mainly Ospreys at this point) that some Gauls did wear beards – perhaps it varied by tribe? – and while I haven’t seen much evidence of topknots, I wouldn’t let it concern you too much. Remember that some Germans joined the Gauls at the prospect of good violent fun (and loot), so you could always say they were Teutons mixed in with the ranks. So I say go for it!

    I’ll be interested to hear what others say.

    A Lot of Gaul

    Since you asked, I wouldn’t do it personally, any more than I would use WWI German command figures in place of French ones. It would just look ‘odd’ to my eyes, especially since the Warlord Germanic Command figures tend to highlight their ‘Germanic barbarian’ beards, hair and and fur in a fairly OTT way. On the other hand, historically there was a fair amount of blending and crossover occurring between the various tribes prior to Caesar’s invasion, and the Belgae especially may have appeared as a visual mix of the classic Celtic and Germanic ‘types.’ So if the figures look okay to you, and you want to save a little money, then you should go ahead and use them. After all, they are your figures, and you should do what works for you.

    "Ventosa viri restabit." ~ Harry Field

    Guy Farrish

    Absolutely what ‘A Lot of Gaul’ said. If it works for you go ahead. I don’t think anyone can say definitively that it is right or wrong.

    It would look odd to me, but that is because I’ve been conditioned to expect a certain look for both (mainly through 19th century illustrations thinking about it and probably figure manufacturers’ interpretations thereof!). I don’t think we can put hand on heart and say we have a full Germanic or Gallic wardrobe to know exactly who wore what, when.

    I’d probably be tempted to do something with the hair with a scalpel and some putty, maybe add a cloth cloak or two but you don’t need to bother really.

    (Of course if they lose every game I’d guess they were trying to tell you something!)

    Gone Fishing

    Just took a chance to look at those Warlord figures. You know, I think their leaning is correct: I’d say those figures look too German to be Gauls. You could, of course, say they were allied tribes.

    Or you could ignore the whole problem and include them in your forces because they are fun figures. I’ve done that many, many times!

    Let us know how you get on…


    My Ancient Celts and Gauls get used interchangeably as generic ‘barbarians’ covering a few hundred years. They are hairy blokes with pointy sticks who aren’t Romans, so I’m really not that fussy, anything to avoid painting any more of them. Go with what you are happy with.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke


    I’ve always assumed the tribes in the border areas of the north and northwest would exhibit a fair amount of blending with hair, clothing and weapons essentially being a mix of cultures and styles.

    The tree of Life is self pruning.

    Rod Robertson

    Just argue that a fad of “Germanic Chic” swept through the ranks of the Celtic elites in your tribal confederation during this time. Deutsche-Kelter was the neuschartz!




    So kind of maybe… maybe not. I’ll end up painting them anyway. The figures are a bit bigger than my Gauls, so I’ll put them on a stand of their own and do more of a vignette. If I play a game which needs command stands I’ll simply say they are German brutes kicked out of their tribe for their poor manners at tea time and ended up bullying some neighboring Celts to fight for them.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/


    Here are my Germanic Brutes in a painting step-by-step sequence. From bare metal to colorful characters.  I think these are the first 28mm (oops, almost wrote 25mm!) figures I’ve painted in 5 or 6 years. I’ve done some re-basing and some 54mm but none of my traditional size. I pretty much have to wear the Optivisor to do it, but I really enjoyed it. It’s like coming home! I primed with black gesso, drybrushed with white gesso, block painted, then added details including some washes and highlighting, then washed with Pledge floor wax tinted with black or brown to add some definition (my version of ‘The Dip’). I’ve just glued the figures to a round base so I’ll add a final picture once the basing work is done.

    I suspect the historic colors are really anybody’s guess so I went with what I thought appropriate.

    bare metalprimed and dry brushed with gessoblock painteddetailed and polished

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    Gone Fishing

    Those look great, Jeff. I’d certainly let them join my horde…


    Thanks, Gone Fishing.

    Last posting of these figures… I promise. All based up and ready to… go into the box with the Celts.

    the big cheese himselfla petit fromagethe one man band to close the deal

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    Gone Fishing

    They look suitably smelly and ferocious. Very well done!



    If someone put those on the table in front of me, I’d smash them with a hammer.


    (That’s a joke.)


    I’d feel very uncomfortable mixing them. Hairstyles, weapons, shield designs, styles of fighting were very different. Germans with loincloths and topknots, and frequently clubs, long spears, non-metallic javelins, wedges, no saddles, certainly no chariots, and horrifyingly often not even swords, against Gallic tartans, trousers, moustaches, slings (I trust Caesar more than I do Phil Barker, for some reason)…why not have a  few French cuirassiers in the Indo-Chinese war while you’re at it?

    Phil Sherlock

    I don’t think the differences between the various groups would always be as clear cut, especially in border regions, where a mix of styles may be likely. Look at Celtiberians for example, a mix of Spanish & Celtic dress, equipment and tactics. You may justify him as a mercenary commander, or a Gaul that had fought with the Germanic tribes. I believe the German tribes were described, at least once, as trans-Danubian Celts.




    Today is a good day to diet

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