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Author Topic: war elephant comparisons and suggestions?  (Read 1013 times)

Offline mithril

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 59
war elephant comparisons and suggestions?
« on: January 12, 2020, 05:05:28 AM »
i'm working on a greco-roman themed army for Kings of War's 3rd edition, using warlord game's plastic early Imperials for the bulk of the army's infantry, and mixing other cultures and eras to fit the unit types (late roman cavalry for example) one of the units for the Kingdoms of Men army list i want to use is the Mammoth, which for my army i figured i'd do a Macedonian Successor War Elephant. i'm just having trouble deciding which manufacturer to get, since it is really hard to gauge size for most of them, and i haven't been able to find any good images showing relative sizes. that some of them don't make it clear whether their elephants are meant to be african or indian doesn't help.
i'm also not that good of a modeller, so ideally i'd like to find one that doesn't require a bunch of greenstuff work to make look good.

anyone willing to chime in about the following?
Gripping Beast's polemarch successor range (this is the one i'm not sure if they are supposed to be african or indian)

Aventine miniatures. (though they don't have the armored indian elephant bodies for sale anymore?)

and of course the warlord games kit.


Offline Aventine

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 277
Re: war elephant comparisons and suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2020, 10:41:35 AM »
The armoured bodies are being recast and we expect the restock next week.

Cheers
Keith
Aventine Miniatures

Offline fastolfrus

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 4942
Re: war elephant comparisons and suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2020, 11:27:42 AM »
Curteys have some resin elephants that look good:

https://1stcorps.co.uk/product-category/ancients/elephants/
Gary, Glynis, and Alasdair (there are three of us, but we are too mean to have more than one login)

Offline Hu Rhu

  • Scatterbrained Genius
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Offline mithril

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 59
Re: war elephant comparisons and suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2020, 02:16:00 AM »
Victrix have some.

https://www.victrixlimited.com/collections/ancients/products/warriors-of-carthage

i am aware, and i'm keeping them as my "Plan-B" if my budget ends up strained when it comes time to buy that part of my army. but those are rather small (they are african forest elephants after all) and since this is a fantasy army, i'd been looking mainly for Indian elephants in order to get a suitably fantasy-esque feel of it towering over the battlefield.

does anyone have esperiance with assembling the kits i mentioned in the original post, who would be willing to chime in on how hard it was and how much work is required for gaps and such?


Offline wmyers

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 41
Re: war elephant comparisons and suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2020, 03:49:10 AM »
I only have one elephant, so far. It’s a Newline Designs one. It looks like a good sculpt but seems a bit small (not having anything to compare it to it could be just average, large or small!

You could email each potential company you want to buy from and ask them the height of their elephant models to the “whither” (top of shoulder).



Here is a good site that shows some very good quality photos of 28mm elephants.

Offline warlord frod

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 560
Re: war elephant comparisons and suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2020, 04:25:36 AM »
The best way to decide if a model is an African or an Indian elephant is to look at the ear size - African elephants have the larger rounded ears. African elephants also tend to be a little larger then the Indian elephant. If you a stickler for historical accuracy you may be hard pressed to find both varieties.

Offline Hu Rhu

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2519
Re: war elephant comparisons and suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2020, 12:23:19 PM »
The best way to decide if a model is an African or an Indian elephant is to look at the ear size - African elephants have the larger rounded ears. African elephants also tend to be a little larger then the Indian elephant. If you a stickler for historical accuracy you may be hard pressed to find both varieties.

My understanding is that the 'African' elephants available in the ancient world were a sub-species call bush elephants, they were of a similar size or smaller to Indian elephants but less effective (training etc). They were found north of the Sahara.   The true 'African' elephants we see today in places like Kenya were not available to the Cathaginian/Successor armies due to distance and perhaps as yet undiscovered.

That means you don't have to worry about 'size' and only worry about scale with different manufacturers offering different 'sizes' of elephant.

Offline Madmick

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 240
Re: war elephant comparisons and suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2020, 02:30:21 PM »
1st Corps/Curteys do both Indian and the smaller African elephants for the ancient period.

Offline Barbarus

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 127
    • A Fantastic Saga
Re: war elephant comparisons and suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2020, 05:14:37 PM »
My understanding is that the 'African' elephants available in the ancient world were a sub-species call bush elephants, they were of a similar size or smaller to Indian elephants but less effective (training etc). They were found north of the Sahara.   The true 'African' elephants we see today in places like Kenya were not available to the Cathaginian/Successor armies due to distance and perhaps as yet undiscovered.

Something like that, yes. Though it's much more complicated. In recent years our understanding of what a "species" is, has changed quite a bit.

There are two sub-species of African elephant, that's correct, but there seem to be hybrids of the two as well... though, the question is: are those two sub-species two species in development, with what we call the "hybrid" as their still living common ancestor or have the two sub-species existed for a while and just recently or occasionally throughout time made contact and produced those hybrids?
Hard to say.
As far as I know it's also not clear if the current habitats of these species were the same during earlier times, 2k years ago they might have had different ranges and could have been more wide-spread than they are now.

So the way I see it, it's likely armies could have had one of the two sub-species or hybrids or all three of those... folks probably would have seen them and considered them the same animal and just thought that the large African sub-species individuals were exceptionally large individuals...
Fanmade and completely free fantasy rules for SAGA:
www.a-fantastic-saga.com

11 factions!
Undead, Dwarves, Barbarians, Elves, Dark Elves, Orcs, Troglodytes, Archaeans, Goblins, Empire, Beastmen

Offline tin shed gamer

  • Supporting Adventurer
  • Scatterbrained Genius
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  • Posts: 2460
Re: war elephant comparisons and suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2020, 06:25:19 PM »
There's so many holes in the sources and presumption of the behalf of older researchers. Period accounts mention the search for the largest elephants.
Africa is just a mass of trade routes. It's just not realistic to assume that 'word' of the Blokes Up North with the big cheque books are  on the look out for big elephants.
Even if you skip a little further forward or indeed backwards and you have both Egypt and Rome buying in big game from the heart of Africa.
Or simply look North You've items of of North African origin in the archeological record of  England and France in the same period.
I prefer the simple and honest approach to trade in the ancient world and pre history .If there's people then there's contact and if there's contact then there's trade and or conflict.Trade is more preferable to conflict. Because beating to death everyone you meet isn't a long term survival solution.


So if theres a Demand and there's money then there will be a supply. Distance isn't an issue if it was we wouldn't drinking tea and eating chocolate.



Offline Andrew_McGuire

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 533
Re: war elephant comparisons and suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2020, 06:57:48 PM »
All of the above comment is very sensible, but it overlooks an important point, which also does not appear to have been brought up earlier: African bush / savannah elephants are widely regarded as too aggressive to train, and their use in warfare for this reason seems highly improbable. There is some evidence that they have been used as beasts of burden - supposedly by the Belgians in the Congo -  but if true, this would appear to be exceptional. As far as I'm aware, however, there's no explicit evidence that they were not, or could not be, used in a similar way to Indian and African bush elephants, but one would have thought in this case their greater size and ferocity would have been remarked upon. In a fantasy setting, of course, this matters relatively little, if at all, but as the original post was about historical precedents, it's at least worth bringing it into the discussion.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 11:48:53 AM by Andrew_McGuire »

Offline mithril

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 59
Re: war elephant comparisons and suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2020, 09:28:34 PM »
as interesting as this discussion is, does anyone have experiences with the Aventine or warlord elephants, and is willing to discuss how well they fit together, the amount of work to remove moldlines, flash, etc?

Offline fitterpete

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 652
Re: war elephant comparisons and suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2020, 09:47:23 PM »
If you want big bulky fantasy elephant go with Gripping Beast or 1st Corps, or the old Vendel even. I dont know what they're supposed to be or how accurate the size compared to the range minis you have but they are pretty cool. Especially the ones with lammelar or quilted armor, Timurid maybe? I use them as either beast of war or even a group of chariots in KoW.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 09:55:21 PM by fitterpete »

Offline wmyers

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 41
Re: war elephant comparisons and suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2020, 01:40:43 AM »
I don’t think you should be worried about any modelling woes.

Having been a scale modeller before getting into war gaming figures, I am continually amazed at how so many people are worried about any hobby aspect of building.  Things modellers would consider very basic.

Yet, these same people think nothing of painting techniques that modellers would consider highly advanced.

Knowing Victrix kits, their elephants would be very easy to put together.  They would probably have no flash and the mould lines would be very minimal. 

Metal kits would need more work.  Yet, said work would not be that hard.

Old Glory miniatures make elephants, both armoured and unarmoured.

I am not sure how much cost is a factor, but if you’re made of money, you can get firms to build and paint them for you.