Murmillo (Scutarii)

Gladiatoris - Murmillo (Scutarii)


Typical representative for the Scutarii (Great Shields), he is easily recognizable by his helm, furnished with a fish figure (“mormyros” is Greek for “fish”): he is indeed the gladiator that the retiaria tries to catch with her net. Nearly impossible to knock over, his armor and heavy shield give him a huge resistance on the arena.

Gladiatoris - Murmillo (Scutarii)

At Level III has got three Skills: Great Strike (by spending a red attack card, allows him to lash out a deadly gladius thrust), Sure Feet (by spending a green card, he  raises his Defense and prevents being pushed, displaced or knocked over, unless a “Jupiter’s Lightning” is played); and Heavy Scutum (he can always use the counter-attack dice to increase his Defense). He is a Gladiator with an excellent defensive technique, very useful on arenas with Pits and Bottomless Pits, that can wear out your his unfortunate opponents rivals while they poor things try in vain to penetrate your armor.

Murmillo (pl. murmillones): Gladiator type, the typical opponent of the thraexhoplomachus, and the retiarius. It derives from the gallus, using his weapons. Sometimes his helmet was decorated with the motif of a fish. For this reason, the retiarius used to sing to him the following couplet: “I’m not chasing you, I’m chasing the fish. Why are you running away from me, Gaul?” The name murmillo derives from mormyros (μορμύρος), the Greek name for a fish species.

Excerpt from the glossary of GLADIATORIS, checked by Alfonso Mañas.

Design process

Gladiatoris - 01 Egoitz Pinto ago09 network MurmilloThe Murmillo from Great Shields was the very first 3D miniature we designed for GLADIATORIS, and it set the work stone for the many that would eventually come, undergoing numerous historical corrections from Alfonso Mañas, our expert.

But, a very long time before beginning the 3D design, our old friend Murmillo was also our first illustration and, since our beginnings in 2009, the very first  GLADIATORIS logo, thanks to the generous contribution of Egoitz Pinto “Darius”.

Gladiatoris - Alfonso Murmillo Mañas (abr14)

In 2014 our Historian, Alfonso Mañas, comes jumps into our team, sending us dozens of wonderful drawings and collages from all our gladiator archetypes. Amongst them, this Murmillo.

Gladiatoris - 3D in process Murmillo, June 2014

With a brief reference dossier, 3DBreed jumped started to into modelling model the first Murmillo miniature.

…And, taking much to our surpriseus by surprised, Alfonso Mañas accompanied his corrections with visual references and personal drawings by his own hands.
Alfonso: “…about the fish in the helm, as of today, we have not found any murmillo helm (or any other gladiator’s) with a fish. All found helms have a big crest (which we actually suppose is it representing symbolizes the fish’s dorsal fin, hence the nod to the name “murmillo”).”

Gladiatoris - corrected by Alfonso Mañas Murmillo

Gladiatoris - prototype (Crusader Miniatures, modified) MurmilloIn fact I was determined to have the freaking fish (we were saving the feathers option, like the plume that can be seen on the gravestone, for other gladiators). I had recently modified the prototype miniature to include add a little fish to its helm. But we still had another option, as Alfonso himself acknowledged: “Nevertheless, (…) there are sources that literally say there was a “piscis” on the helm (…) so we have to accept that there was were indeed murmillo helms with a fish, even if archeology no one has been found any.”

Gladiatoris - corrected by Alfonso Mañas Murmillo

In fact, the helm decorated with this “piscis” is, at least, plausible. In any case, it wouldn’t replace the crest: “if at any time they ever put a fish on the murmillo helm, I think they would have done it above the crest, because this is consistenly so: murmillo helms always have a crest.”

We discussed and remade a lot of other of the miniature details, like the ocrea, the subligaculum, the correct offensive stance for attacking with a Pompeii-type gladius… We were worried that, with so many details and changes, we were going could to “burn out” our sculptors… but their answer was enthusiastic.
3DBreed: “…Don’t be afraid of asking details, leave that in our hands. We’ll be able to include some of them, and some others will be hard to include because of the miniature size, but that shouldn’t stop you from asking.”

Murmillo v2

Second version was again harshly judged by Alfonso Mañas, unyielding who would not forgive any small historic incoherencewith the tiniest details… especially with the shield, which was the source of a juicy debate.

02 Murmillo Alfonso 01

Alfonso: “They have put spikes in the shield (Roman shields didn’t have spikes and this should be eliminated).”
We *love* Chaos Warriors with spikes (Luis had a Chaos Blood Bowl team that killed a couple opponents every match); we also love necromancers with skulls, or elves with little leaves… but we wanted a realistic game when possible.

correction Alfonso murmillo_03 network

Alfonso: “The scutum could also be used wielded with strap in the arm and handle in the hand. (…) When I was in Rome in 2010, I could was able to fight with this type of strap and handle scuta; and you it’s better when can hit better horizontally. If it only has a handle, it’s better for against vertical strikes. Gladiators could choose between both types, depending of on their gladiatorial style, but it seems that soldiers only used the horizontal handle (which allowed more versatility regarding movements, something specially needed in the army. While marching, during long battles… You needed that versatility with the scutum movements).”

3DBreed: “About the grabbing of the shield, we are try to create trying that the miniature is as solid as possible, because we don’t want it to break. We are afraid that, if the gladiator grabs it as they way Alfonso says, the wrist may bend or break because of the weight.”

Wise words! Finally we chose the two straps and we reserved , leaving the only handle for the next miniature, the Provocator (that hasn’t got an umbo, to complicate things further).

David: “We are talking about aspects details that, even if they are not strictly necessary, are not cared for they are usually omitted in a lot of gladiator miniatures (I have around a one hundred of them). Yes, made-up gladiators are wonderful: I’m thinking about Spartacus (by Stanley Kubrick, 1960), Gladiator (by Ridley Scott, 2000), the Spartacus series and, in general, all gladiator movies. You can play just as well with historical archetypes, but this provide and additional value. It’s valued by for serious players and history fans.”


And so, in October 2014, and after hours and hours of intense work, the sculptors sent us… the very first definitive Gladiatoris miniature! We also made some colour test with different shades of red, and we used this image for months as our Twitter logo.
3D Breed: “You can check the final miniature should be as in the pics I’m sending  send you. The changes are:

– Increase in the abdominal volume to make him fatter, but not excessively. We didn’t really thin reduce the miniature in the previous revision, but maybe it looked that way when we smoothed the muscles to make him more realistic.
– Muscle definition as in the test version.
– Correct belt with round buckle.
Manica with no rivets or screws.
– Helmet with a Medusa face on the front part.
– Correct left ocrea.
– Correct shield. (…) Lower position for the shield arm.
– Hexagonal base.”

In 2016, with the arrival founding of EscenaRYS, we checked the old miniatures: our sculptors had gained a lot of experience points, and we had some new guidelines from the 3D printer.
3DBreed: “We’re sending you some images about changes made to the Murmillo in order to prepare it for the 3D printing.”

“It seems that all postures we already had are doable. But chances are that, some miniatures will have to be “cut” in two or more pieces for casting because of the molds, taking out the pieces separately and join them.”
They were talking among others, to about the Retiaria miniature, and some others. We were always aware that her stance doubled the cost… but that mini was worth it!

With those last touches, the miniature was final. We also took advantage to change the tone to a more bright red. And this way, our first arena fighter was born!