When I first made the Usurper, I decided that it would have some firepower in the form of a bolt-thrower or ballista or something. I duly snaffled a couple of Roman scorpions from Warlord Games... and then broke a key part of one of them.
So, with a solitary scorpion and a set of rules that requires 6 figures per unit, I was a little stumped. My initial plan had been to represent the scorpions as a unit of Crossbowmen – two machines and four crew, making a small battery. Due to my clumsiness, that was no longer an option. Happily, the Gripping Beast Arabs provided me with plenty of good crew figures, but I didn't really want 5 crew for a single war machine!
I was looking over the scorpion sprue when a realisation struck – the number of figures in a unit are merely a representation of that unit's combat functionality, so all I needed to represent would be elements crucial to the operation of the device. Off the sprue came two quivers of spare ammo, and all of a sudden I had a semi-vignette that would serve as a plausible unit.
The shields were a late addition as the crew looked a little bare without them, and Pavises are an optional upgrade for a unit of Crossbowmen, so I thought it made sense to model them right off the bat in case I want to use them in a later game.
Painting has just started, but I'm pretty chuffed, and the unit will look great once I get everything in a movement tray.