Alexander's Cretan Archers
Cretans are also described by Xenophon as wearing red tunics, but I liked the painting by Angus McBride in the Greek armies book from Osprey and decided to paint mine black for a change of pace.
The Cretans themselves were a very effective unit in Alexander's army and numbered between 1000-1200 men. They were often taken with Alexander's forced marches along with the Hypaspists and Agrianians. Alexander had Cretans with him from his first campaigns in the Balkans to India. They were noted for their camp bickering and antics, also they hired themselves out to "protect" the baggage of other soldiers on the march.. obviously the came kind of protection rackets seen today!
Cretans carried small bronze shields and swords and weren't afraid to mix it up in hand to hand, which was unusual for bowmen.
This unit is a mix of Foundry Cretan archers and Essex figures. (The Essex figures have the larger physiques and the animal skins around their helmets). I like to mix different manufacturers figures together as sometimes this can add a bit of irregularity to your figures. The bow strings and arrows are made out of stretched plastic sprue, which I feel is the best material for this as it bonds very well and is straight.
This above unit is made up of very old figures... Ral Partha and Minifigs 25mm figures. These still can hold their own in a pinch, andt they don't match up in size or detail to more modern sculpts.... but they are veterans! What they do show is how far miniature gaming has come in 30 years!