Looking to paint my new Late Imperial Romans from Legio Heroica. One of the attractions of LIR is the shield patterns from the Notita Dignitatum (spelling optional). LittleBigMenStudios provide some of the best and most detailed shield transfers out there, but unfortunately don’t have any for Legio Heroica. They do have some for Khurasan Miniatures though and Lord Mather has some Khurasan LIRs for me to compare. The figures are very similar, such that I would add some in for variety if Khurasan had a UK distributor, and the shields are a similar shape if a tad smaller, so the transfers will fit.
The next step is to work out which units the transfers are for, which is possible with a moderate level of accuracy given the aforementioned Notita. Using Luke Ueda-Sarson’s excellent website on the Notita, I have identified some of the patterns, as shown in the table below. Some of them are also pre-Notita, so I have divided them by period as well.
Middle Imperial Roman
Late Imperial Roman (Western)
All of these shields do appear in the Notitia, so are extant at the end of the western empire).
Late Imperial Roman (Eastern Empire)
All of these shields are in the Notitia. There are no eastern cavalry shields in the Notitia unfortunately – those pages have been lost.
These look like they have been inspired by Byzantine frescos, especially those at Ravenna.
|Not in the Notitia, apparently some sort of guard shield from the Column of Theodosius.
|Can’t Find in Notitia – looks like a bodyguard from the Chi-Rho symbol.
|LIRI(KSM)5 15mmLIRI(GB_LARGE)3 25mm
The oval ones are for Khurasan miniatures, the round ones for Old Glory (who presumably have LIR legionaries with round shields because they have read the Notitia rather than looking at the sculptures).
So unfortunately for me most of them are Western, and I fancied an Eastern army. Not many people will notice, but somehow it feels wrong.