Monday, February 9, 2015

AHPCV Curt Geld Socrates

So for this year's painting challenge, Curt has required that we paint up a 28mm entry figure of for this year's theme - Antihero.  Here's my entry figures - Socrates (the philosopher not the brilliant Brazilian footballer).   He's a metal figure by Reaper from their Chronoscope range.  I found them in December while off marking Actuarial exams in Santa Monica CA, at Aero Hobbies and Games.  It's a great little shop and I enjoyed my poke around.

So let's look at what an Antihero is, and no it is not the opposite of a hero so the semi-obvious choices of villain and heroine are out.  An Antihero is a character who is cast in the main role and sometimes acts as the villain, but who lacks heroic attributes.  Clint Eastwood's "Man With No Name" and Harry Flashman are prototypical antiheroes.

So why Socrates - in some ways I dunno really it just came to me.  But let's follow this through, is Socrates the obvious choice of hero.  Well, actually he's mostly portrayed as a old codger who asks a lot of probing questions.  Depending on who you read he could also be considered vain, curmudgeonly and having atrocious personal hygiene (think Oscar from the Odd Couple).  He doesn't fit the traditional heroic model, but I figure that he can be placed in a hero's role for two reasons.

  • He fought in the Athenian Phalanx in at least three actions Potidaea, Amphipolis and Delium.  If you're up on your Thucydides, the first was an Athenian victory but the others were big defeats.  He also apparently saved Alcibiades' life at Potidaea (OK maybe that's not a plus as an Athenian). My first ancients army was ancient Greeks and the idea of the citizen Hoplite was part of the appeal.  And yes this is the one army where citizen soldiers actually meant people you study in history class!
  • For being put on trial and executed for ...well basically for being a crotchety old fart who questioned Athenian politics and morality.  But the official charges were impiety and corrupting the youth!  According to his pupils Plato and Xenophon (yes the Anabasis guy), he did have the option to escape but refused and drank the hemlock instead.
Oh yeah, and he played a darn critical role in the history of Philosophy but I am not qualified to comment there.  Instead I refer the reader to the following education video by some prominent philosophy scholars.

Enough historical babble, let's deal with the figure.  The reaper figure was cleanly cast, is on the large 28mm side and was nice to paint.  I opted for basic colours without much ornamentation on the clothing, as I figured that Socrates was a pretty basic guy clothes wise, but tried to bring out details with shading, washes and highlights.  There is a lot of layered folds in the clothing, arising from a clock over top of a tunic which took some figuring out.  I was amused that I actually got to use my "Linen" colour to paint his linen tunic and the "Parchment" tube to paint the parchment scroll.

I liked the base to the figure - it's a slotta type base with a circular well that extends almost out to the edge of the base.  I filled the well with white craft glue and a mix of kitty litter, sand and model railway ballast to give some ground textures.


  1. I thought he was a nice entry. Unusual, as well. Hopefully I said that on the AHPC blog.
    In retrospect, a steampunk, timetravelling Socrates with a big plasma cannon might have been truer to the Challenge spirit. :)

  2. Great choice of historical rogue. cheers