Sketches and collections of Military Figures from the ages

For quite a time now, I’ve been doing a lot of drawings, for fun but also to express drawing military figures of soldiers with their weapons and armour throughout the ages. One of my great works of this military sketches was my historical army sets or collection showing soldier figures in drawing form from each of the ages from the past and it shows how each of them looked different as they were from separate countries from the past. The periods these sets of sketches I’ve done covers up from the Ancient Greek age (800-300BC), then the Roman age (200BC-300AD) together with its extension, the barbarian invasions or early middle-ages (400AD-800AD), then also another set covering the middle-ages from the time of the Crusades (1100’s-1200’s) and of Medieval Europe (1100-1400), aside from European soldier figures from the ancient and middle ages, another set covers up Medieval Japan during the Samurai times, as shown in the Japanese set. These sketches are shown on different sheets, each period in history has its own sheet with either 2 or 3 soldiers with different types of armour and weapons drawn on them…. Photos shown below:

Ancient Greek set part I
Ancient Greek set part I
Ancient Greek set part II
Ancient Greek set part II

The first set of my soldiers sketches is the Ancient Greek set back-to-back showing 6 sketches of 6 types of figures of soldiers in Ancient Greece. It starts on top with the Ancient Greek set having the pattern of the Greek chain and the Greek flag together with the ancient symbol, then starts the 6 figures of Ancient Greek soldiers. Figure1: a Macedonian soldier from Ancient Greece, a sample of a common soldier with a the Macedonian helmet and the common Macedonian/Greek soldier’s white cuirass armour with a red tunic under, holding a Greek curved sword or kopis, and the round Macedonian shield with a curve. Figure2: a Spartan hoplite commander with a red cloth drape over the leather cuirass armour, wearing the hoplite full helmet with officer’s side crest, on arms an legs wearing plates, holding Greek sword or xiphos and on the other hand the Spartan flag. Figure3: an Athenian hoplite or elite force soldier, with hoplite’s heavy cuirass armour with a tunic inside and blue cape at the back, on arms and legs wearing plates, full hoplite helmet on head, with Greek sword sheathed but carrying Athenian symbol shield and a phalanx spear or dory. Figure4: a Greek archer wearing just a tunic and cape for battle, with a Greek hat on head, holding a bow and arrows behind, with a dagger sheathed. Figure5: a Thracian peltast or skirmisher from Thrace, wearing just a tunic and cloak with the Thracian cap, holding a curved Greek shield with skirmishing javelins and a sling sheathed. Figure6: a Greek/Lydian cavalry soldier not on a horse, holding a cavalry lance, wearing the common white cuirass armour cover with a cape, with a cavalry helmet on head, and a sword sheathed. Thats it for my Greek collection sketches.

Roman set part I
Roman set part I
Roman set Part II
Roman set part II

The next soldiers set that I made was the Roman times set with the title above having the Roman pattern, below showing 6 Roman army figures of all classes from the Roman army. Figure1: a Roman Republic foot soldier from the time of the republic (400-100BC) having a much different look from the advance Roman soldiers, this one just has a common bronze helmet, a chain-mail armour with a chest guard in front, holding a sword an a foot soldier’s shield, this how the soldiers looked earlier on in Rome before the army became advanced. Figure2: a more advanced form of a Roman soldier from later on ruing the time of the late republic and early empire, this auxiliary soldier or just an infantry soldier shows the newer version of the Roman helmet, wears the Roman chain-mail armour with a tunic under and with bracers for the arms and legs, holding an infantry soldier’s shield or parma and a Roman javelin with the sword sheathed. Figure3: the elite force Roman legionnaire cohort soldier, with the elite soldier’s helmet or galea, wearing the legion’s heavy padded armour with a blue tunic under and a cape behind, holding the heavy shield or scutum and the javelin called pilum with the gladius sword sheathed. Figure4: a Roman centurion or commanding officer, with the centurion’s helmet or galea with the sir crest, wearing the centurion’s chain-mail armour with red tunic inside and a cape, holding a gladius sword unsheathed. Figure5: a Roman legion standard bearer, wearing a distinct uniform of the German forces in the legions, wearing the same helmet but with the bearers unique headpiece of animal’s heads (this one using a bear’s head), wearing the scale-plated armour of a different type of forces, with the sword sheathed but holding the Roman legion’s standard. Figure6: the elite Roman Praetorian guardsman, with the special praetorian’s helmet with the crest, wearing the praetorian’s uniform armour of a metal chest plate with their guard’s uniform colour of dark-blue or purple in their cape and tunic, holding their spear or hasta and their hexagonal shield, with the sword and dagger or pugio sheathed. Thats it for my Roman collection sketches.

The Barbarian Invasions set

The next set of my soldiers sketches is the Barbarian Invasions or early-medieval sketch set only showing 3 types of warriors and soldiers from this period of time. At this period in time, the barbarian forces basically ha almost the same type of armour with fur, capes, helmets, shields, and weapons, it was just that their colours sometimes were different telling the difference of each barbarian tribe whether if they were Goths, Franks, Huns, Slavs, Vandals, or eastern people such as the Sassanids, the new Romans too had a change in their style of armour and army units. Figures 1 and 2: a Goth and a Frank soldier/warrior having nearly the same type of barbarian’s helmets, wearing a set of chain-mail and fur, the Goth wearing a red cape over and the Frank with a blue cape, both wearing barbarian’s pants and boots, the Goth holding a spear and a striped round shield, the Frank holding a Frankish sword and a war-axe sheathed within the round patterned shield. Figure3: the new form of the Roman soldier during the latter period in the Barbarian Invasions and beginning of Byzantium, the new type of soldier with the new form of helmet, also with the new type of Roman armour which is like pieces of thicker chain-mail, holding a spear and a shield with the new Roman crest of PX orPax Romana replacing the SPQR seal, the spatha sword sheathed. Thats all for the late-Roman and early-medieval sketch set.

Medieval set part I
Medieval set part I

The next soldiers sketch set is the Medieval set, the Medieval set has 2 parts in 2 different sheets. Shown above is the Medieval set part 1showing knights and soldiers from the age of the Crusades on the same paper, back-to-back an in collage for. The figures may not be seen as a whole but most of it is till seen and theres more to explain on these 5. Figure1: a Crusader knight of the Hospitallers order, wearing the full helmet on head, with chain-mail armour and crusader’s outfit above the chain-mail with the Hospitaller’s colours of black and white and their symbol, holding a crusader knight sword and the order’s shield with pits colours. Figure2: a Crusader from the Jerusalem knights, with a soldier’s head helmet and chain-mail around the head with the face uncovered, wearing the Jerusalem knight’s colours of red and white over the chain-mail and with a red cape behind, at the back holding the order’s flag and the Jerusalem knight’s shield and the crusader sword sheathed. Figure3: a Saracen soldier, from the opposite Islamic armies from the east, wearing a Saracen cone-shaped helmet lined with a headscarf, wearing eastern plated armour with chain-mail under and a cape over, fully equipped with weapons having the Saracen bow and arrows, with the Islamic sword or kilij sheathed and a having a round Saracen shield too. Figure4: a heavy-infantry Byzantine soldier or the Varangian guard from Medieval Byzantium’s army of brutes and mercenaries, wearing the Byzantine helmet with chain-mail covering the head, wearing the Byzantine gold-plated armour and chain-mail with a thick green cape behind, though not much seen but having a curved Byzantine sword sheathed, holding the Varangian’s phalanx weapon, this type of soldier being a heavy armed hired Nordic soldier of Byzantium. Figure5: a Templar Crusader foot soldier, in a lighter form of armour as the common soldiers do, wearing the common-soldier’s helmet and chain-mail, with the Templar colours of red and white and the symbol in the cloth over the chain-mail, not much seen but holding a war-axe and a short-sword sheathed. Theres still some more to the Medieval soldier’s set on the next slide.

Medieval set part II
Medieval set part II

Above is the next part of the Medieval set, this shows an extension to Medieval warfare and how the soldiers and knights then looked as they were in Europe during the times of warfare. With the knights in Europe and not fighting in the Crusades in the east, the colours of their uniform changes and each country has a different colour, the armour too changed in the next centuries of the middle-ages. Figure1: an English solider from the peasant army of Medieval England, wearing the common helmet and with a piece of chain-mail at the head and body, over the chain-mail wearing a tunic of the English crest and colours usually red, also with a short-sword sheathed and the English longbow with arrows behind. Figure2: an elite French knight also from the time of the hundred-year’s-war,  wearing a full knight’s helmet with feathers, wearing too the full knight’s armour of the elite knights from the late middle-ages though with chain-mail under and the French blue tunic with the country’s crest over, holding in one hand a French longsword and a crossbow on the other. Figure3: an elite Spanish knight from the late middle-ages too, with the full knights helmet having a pointed edge at the front, wearing the full knight’s armour of the late middle-ages thug the chest armour covered with the Spanish knight’s tunic with the red and white colours and the lion crest, parts of the heavy armour still shown like the shoulder plates and the chain-mail under, holding the fine medieval Spanish weaponry like the halberd held upwards and the fine Spanish steel sword sheathed. Figure4: a German common foot soldier from the medieval wars in Europe, wearing just a common soldier’s helmet, the armour only being chain-mail with a tunic over with German colours of yellow and the black eagle as the crest, like any medieval infantry soldier, holding a crossbow with bolts and kept sheathed, a dagger. Figure5: an Italian elite knight, one of the elite knights of Italy’s states, at the head wearing an elite knight’s full helmet with feathers and a visor, the armour this time seen as a whole with the chest armour shown without anything covering it, the armour seen in fine steel and shape but still supported with chain-mail underneath and having a red cape over, holding a mace of finely made Italian weaponry and an Italian shield with the seal of a cross made of fine craftsmanship. Thats it for the Medieval set, next and last the Samurai set.

the Japan Samurai set
The Japan Samurai set

The next and last set of my soldiers and warfare sketches is more a special edition set, the Japanese warfare sketch set in one sheet back-to-back. This one shows 4 figures of both Japanese samurai warriors and common soldiers from Medieval Japan. Some of it may not be seen fully on this collage but the rest to be explained, each of these figures from a different state or clan in feudal Japan at the time of the shogun. Figure1: a Samurai or elite archer from the samurai units, wearing a samurai soldier’s helmet, below with the samurai plated armour placed over their outfits, having a weapon selection of the yumi bow and arrows behind with a katana dagger sheathed. Figure 2: an elite samurai warrior or knight, with the elite samurai helmet and a face mask, wearing the Japanese samurai’s elite armour also placed over the outfit under, with the samurai’s clan’s symbol in the flag behind, with a katana dagger sheathed and holding a katana great-sword on both hands. Figure3: a Japanese infantry soldier from the feudal times, this soldier type not a samurai but an ashigaru wearing the foot soldier’s helmet for the head with a cloth behind, wearing a small piece of armour too but not an elite armour covering most of the body, this one just over the outfit having the chest-guard and shoulder pads together with arm and knee pads too, having 3 strands behind as a signalling material, the dagger and throwing weapon sheathed, holding a naginata or sword-spear. Figure4: another ashigaru soldier but this time a more unique one in Japan’s army of the shogun or the feudal lord, this one is a special type of soldier wearing the same uniform as the rest but this holding a European rifle and a smoke grenade as some soldiers did copying European warfare style in the 16th century, wearing the soldier’s head helmet with a cloth behind, wearing just the common light armour just placed over the outfit but with shoulder, arm, and leg pads, holding a European musketeer rifle as an advanced weapon and a smoke grenade too. From the Japanese set, this is all for now and this was inspired by the game Shogun total war 2, the rest of the sketches sets however were inspired by other sources too including my military figures collection.

my army figures collection
My army figures collection

Collected from different countries, I set up this army figures collections of soldiers from all the ages in history. The collection includes a set of soldier from ancient Greece and Rome, mostly Roman army units either Greek, Roman or barbarian (shown on the first box from above). Another part of my collection is the Medieval collection, in which I have quite a lot more pieces of knights and some samurai too (shown on the lower box). With the different types of soldiers I have in my collection ,I based it for my drawings……… To my collection there is quite a lot more to explain, the collection though is still expanding as I collect more types of soldiers of different countries of different periods in history as I travel.

Published by The Byzantium Blogger

Powee Celdran, currently majors in Entrepreneurial Management, a Byzantine scholar and enthusiast, historical military sketch and bathroom mural artist, aspiring historical art restorer, Lego filmmaker creating Byzantine era films and videos, and a possible Renaissance man living in modern times but Byzantine at heart. Currently manages the Instagram account byzantine_time_traveller posting Byzantine history related content.

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