In my last post I said I would be busy for about a month, so no miniature painting. Well it's been getting on for 2 months since the last installment so here it is an Aventine Miniatures Elephant.
I have 2 of these beauties and I'd started to paint them together, but after a bit of thought I changed my mind and painted this one first. The origins of Classical War Elephants is subject to a lot of conjecture, as no one is really sure of the species of elephant used around the Mediterranean. It is claimed by contemporary sources that the Seleucid Empire used Indian Elephants from the Eastern expansion. Hannibal's last surviving Elephant from his invasion of Italy was named Surus, which translates according to some sources as "Syrian" which could mean that at least some of Hannibal's Elephants were the now extinct Syrian Elephant these behemoths were the largest of the Asiatic Elephants stood up to 3.5mtrs (11'). They ranged along the eastern side of the Persian Gulf through modern day Iran and Iraq and up as far North as Turkey, an area covered by the Seleucid Empire. Another contender is North African elephant another extinct species who used to range across North Africa from the Atlas mountains in the West to the Persian Gulf in the East, across the Carthaginian and Ptolemaic Empires. Smaller and more docile than the untamable African Bush Elephant and the Asiatic Elephants this beasty stood a modest 2.5mtrs (8').
Anyhow I don't suppose it made a great deal of difference where the elephants came from to the guys standing in front, trying to stop them.
As you can see by it's small ears, this is an Indian (Asiatic) Elephant, when I ordered it I asked Keith from Aventine for his most generic looking crews as it will be seeing service with Pyrrhus and his Epriotes, Carthage and possibly Seleucid and Ptolemaic armies. I took a little longer with the painting than the last one, I put a pattern on it's blanket(?) and tried to paint the lighter skin on the head. I'm not entirely happy with the skin tone but I'm an optimist and the next one will be better.
While we are on the subject of Carthage... Here's a few Crusader Miniatures Numidian javelinmen, cheap and cheerful and just the job to escort Elephants.