Roman Funditor (slinger)

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Thread: Roman Funditor (slinger)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    366

    Roman Funditor (slinger)

    The sling was a key weapon in many ancient armies. It could outrange a bow, fired a projectile that the enemy couldn’t see coming and very rarely ran out of ammunition. Its main drawback as a weapon however, was it’s accuracy. It took years of practice to be able to use it effectively. This was not such a problem to the people of the Balearic Islands, where even young children were taught to use the sling (accounts describe how mothers would place food on a pole and the child could only eat after knocking it off with a slung stone). The reason for this was that most of the islanders were shepherds and the sling was vital to protect/control their herds but it also made the islanders valuable recruits to any army. (the term Balearic is thought to have come from the Greek for throwing/casting stones) Balearic slingers were used by the Greeks, Hannibal and Alexander the Great. The Romans were no different and once they had conquered the islands they began to recruit the slingers into their auxiliary forces. This figure represents such a slinger. He’s based on what little I could find about Roman and Balearic slingers so any inaccuracies are all my own!!
    He’ s wearing Roman clothing with a pair of leggings made from an old tunic to protect his legs from thorns etc. He carries a Roman dagger but as he’s not intended to face enemies in close quarters, he wears no armour. He does have a shield to protect from enemy missiles. It's based on the Caetra shields used by the Balearic slingers. It's small, light and can be easily slung when both hands are needed. As for his slings, he carries 3 of different lengths for close, medium and long range. Each sling is made from braided fibre (usually rushes or animal hair) and unused slings are worn tied around the head or waist. The sling had a finger loop at one end, usually slipped over the middle finger, and a knot at the other which was gripped between the thumb and forefinger. To launch the projectile the sling was swung and the knotted end released. While any suitable sized stone could be used as ammo, Roman slingers tended to use lead bullets called glandes which could be produced in molds, making the bullets more standardised and further improving accuracy. (Glandes often had names or crude threats inscribed on them... the one loaded in his sling has DEXA (catch!!) scratched into it!!!)

    HS - Twisting Toyz
    Body - DML
    Cloak, Tunic, Belt, Dagger, Scabbard, Sandals - Ignite
    Bag - Manitou Free Traders
    Slings - Custom (embroidery thread braided following instructions for a 1:1 sling)
    Shield - Custom (Balsa wood, Ignite shield boss, “Fixit” putty, split rings, DML rifle slings)
    Leggings - Custom (old material and thread)
    Wrist bands - DML belt cut up
    Brooch - Custom (painted drawing pin)
    Glandes - Fimo

    Just posing!!
    http://www.majhost.com/gallery/greg3/Romans/sling5.jpg

    Preparing to fire “Greek style” so called because Greek coins depict this stance. The sling would be swung once in a horizontal circle above the head and released.
    http://www.majhost.com/gallery/greg3/Romans/sling6.jpg

    Copying a pose from Trajan’s column - using the cloak to hold ammunition allows him to use his shield. Modern slingers have shown that although it looks impractical, it is still possible to load the sling one handed although it slows the rate of fire. In this case, the sling is swung in a vertical circle and can be released overarm or underarm. This method allows slingers to operate close together and concentrate their fire.
    http://www.majhost.com/gallery/greg3/Romans/sling1.jpg

    A few close ups...

    The sling... I made 3 each of a different length but all made the same way with a finger loop, split pouch, and release knot. Made using a method adapted from this site about 1:1 slings http://www.slinging.org



    The Caetra shield - based on diagrams in an Osprey title



    The slingshot (Glandes) I made about 40 of these (each about 5-8mm long) but only this one has the inscription DEXA (catch!!)



    I really enjoyed putting this figure together and I hope you like him - comments are always welcome
    Cheers
    Greg

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    743
    Nice detail on the figure...and nice brief history lesson, felt like I was watching history channel. I love seeing other military styles aside from the more popular modern WWII stuff.
    "Nothing is more frustrating than piloting concentrated adrenaline in a sea of buzzkill."

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    329

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by greg3 View Post
    The sling was a key weapon in many ancient armies. It could outrange a bow, fired a projectile that the enemy couldn’t see coming and very rarely ran out of ammunition. Its main drawback as a weapon however, was it’s accuracy. It took years of practice to be able to use it effectively.

    <snip>

    I really enjoyed putting this figure together and I hope you like him - comments are always welcome
    Cheers
    Greg
    Wow. Once again an inspiring custom job!!

    I wish IGNITE would think long and hard about the Romans (and Greeks) they have (and have NOT) given us so far, and come out with more inventive figures!! Your work here certainly points out how much fertile ground there is for them to work on!!!

    I'm not a "slinger," and obviously the "slinging community" you pointed us to are pretty expert, but I just have visions of centripetal force throwing the "glandes" out the back of that open split-pouch!! My preference is for something I saw Simcha use on "Naked Archaeologist" which looked to me like the pouch was a solid device of webbing (braiding, I mean). I also saw on the website you sent us to where an alternate method entailed two pierces of cord the ends of which were much like yours, but each was tied into a hole in a leather pouch.

    Anyway, regardless, you have inspired me!! I may have to try to make my own 1:6 scale sling now and see if I can come up with a "funditor!"


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  6. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Discovery Bay, Ca
    Posts
    7,541
    That's very cool and rich with detail.

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    112
    Excellent!
    Never would of thought of doing a Roman Slinger.
    Great work!

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