We’ve been making Imperial Romans for coming up for 3 years now and there’s no sign of us stopping any time soon! Now we have these lovely Roman engineers (or, if you prefer, Legionaries building a camp) and a selection of Sudes spikes.
One of the true strengths of the Imperial Roman army was the fact that each soldier was also a highly trained specialist with the ability to construct their own camps, fortifications, and structures on the march from local materials. The miniature above is carrying the iconic sudes stakes – these would be used to help defend marching camps or lashed together to form obstacles to defend a mobile position.
While there were stone masons, carpenters and the like among the Legions, each Legionary assisted with the construction of the camp as well as any building which needed to be accomplished while on campaign. The Roman above is hacking away with his dolabra axe – a stylised axe/pick combination.
While all Legionaries were trained for dirty and difficult construction jobs such as road building which involved the breaking and placing of rocks, tradesmen with special skills were known as immunis and were not required for such duties. The miniatures depicted here were most likely not these much-envied troops. The engineer shown above is clearing rocks into a wicker basket. Shielded from the sun with a straw hat he’s also shed his cumbersome (and hot!) armour.
Our final (for now!) model shows a Legionary digging using the Roman-style spade. Unlike spades and shovels we’re used to seeing the Romans used wooden spades but with a metal ‘shoe’ along the base to stop the wood splintering.