Vol. XV, no. viii, August 2005


       A small and easy gig on short notice.  We have been invited to appear at the National Capital Model Soldier Society's Annual Show in Annandale, VA, on August 20-21.  That's in a couple days!  The website for the show has a schedule, directions, and maps:
        It looks like our hours will be from 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, and 9 AM (or a little earlier) to 2 PM on Sunday.  The location is the gymnasium of the Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale, VA.  Make your way to the Virginia side of the DC Beltway, I-495.  Take Exit 52A, Rt. 236 Little River Turnpike, west towards Fairfax. At the third traffic light turn left onto Wakefield Chapel Road, and the campus will be on your left.  Go past the first entrance (looks like a sort of double entrance), and take either of the next 2 lefts (one seems to be Center Drive) into the parking area.  Sections E and B-3 are for show participants.  There may be construction between the lot and the gym, so follow the signs.
       We will be indoors in the lobby all day, so no tent and no weather worries!   The hosts are happy to see impressions other than our usual mid-first century portrayal.  If you happen to have equipment suitable for later in the Empire, or the Republic, or cavalry, or heck, even a Thracian, by all means, wear it!  I'm going as a Greek hoplite, myself.  Ladies, they didn't specifically mention women, but they didn't rule them out, so please do attend!
       Participants will receive free access to the display area and the dealer room.  Admission for the general public is $7 per person, children under 12 free.   For more details, see the Society's website, or contact Quintus.


       Already??  September 10-11 is the Legion's Fall Encampment at Marietta Mansion in Glenn Dale, MD.  Public hours are 10 AM to 4 PM, so of course participants should try to be there about 9.  I believe admission is free, though house tours cost a couple bucks.  This is our small and casual event for the year.   Visiting Romans from other groups and any stray Celts and such are certainly welcome, but there will not be any vendors or large activities.  When the public demands action, we'll march, otherwise we chat them up informally.  If anyone doesn't know how to get to Marietta by now, see the Schedule page of the website!  Oh, I will only be there on Sunday, not on Saturday, but I expect you'll be fine without me for a day!  Please let me know what your plans are.


       At long last I have carried out some experiments with coating the casein or milk paint on our shields to prevent water staining.  I glued leather and linen to a piece of the same wood used on most of our shields, then painted it red with yellow, white, and black stripes across it.  After the paint had dried for several days, I applied vertical strips of three different coatings on each half of the surface (leather and linen, that is): neatsfoot oil, boiled linseed oil mixed 50/50 with turpentine, and Sno-Seal wax finish (basically bees wax with an emulsifier).  The oils were simply brushed on in a single generous coat, while the wax is spread over the surface and then heat is applied with a hair dryer or heat gun to smooth it and melt it in as much as possible.  One strip on each surface was also left uncoated as a control.
       After the coatings had sat for several more days, the oils were practically invisible.  There was no discoloration of the white or yellow paint at all, and nothing seems to have smeared.  The wax was visible as a slightly glossy sheen.  Then I dumped some water on the whole thing.  The wax just laughed at it, the water beading up and rolling off.  There was some beading on the oiled surfaces, too, though they did indeed get wet like the uncoated areas.  After the water dried, whitish markings had appeared on the paint, mostly on the red, as if something had leeched out of the paint.  This was most visible in the uncoated sections, but could also be seen on the oiled parts.  Oddly enough, most of it was near the bottom of the board, too.  The waxed surface was completely unchanged.  It is possible that more coats of oil would give better protection.
       Conclusion: Wax works best.  Actual bees wax can certainly be used, by melting it and applying with a brush and heat gun or hair dryer.  But Sno-Seal is an acceptable option, and is available from camping supply stores.  There may be other wax coatings on the market, but of course they should be mainly bees wax for this purpose.  Interestingly, there is currently some confusion on the exact composition of the paint on the Dura Europas shields.  While the first solid information we had (via Holger Ratsdorf) was that they were painted with casein, it turns out that the original excavator back in the early 20th century thought they were painted with wax encaustic.   We have not yet discovered the reason for this discrepancy, but we're kind of hoping that the paint is casein with a coating of wax for waterproofing!   Anyone who is happier using neatsfoot or linseed oil is welcome to use those instead.  And anyone who knows how much we get rained on will not delay in coating the casein paint on his shield!


       Rusty Myers would like to remind everyone that Castra Romana will be hosted by Legio VI in South Carolina this November.   Legio XX members are certainly encouraged to attend, though we have not yet participated as a unit.

       Ed Jadaszewski would like to put out an invitation to a time line event at "The Fort at #4" this September 24-25, 2005.  The event is in Charlestown, New Hampshire on the New Hampshire/Vermont border.  The site is beautiful and reenactment-friendly, and they hope to make this an annual event. Suttlers and any kinds of period demos are also welcomed, and of course camping and campfires are permitted.  For more information, the website is , and please contact Eric if you are interested, jrjada AT juno DOT com.


       Charles Pecquet is selling his kit as a set, with an asking price of $1500.  Deepeeka Gallic H helmet (a good one, before they ruined the back!), Museum Replicas "Newstead" lorica, plus scutum, Pompeii gladius, tunic, caligae, belt with pugio, pilum, cloak with pin, pack pole and bag, and a canteen.  Contact him for photos and more details, thepecquets AT cox DOT net or 504---.

       "Archeologists Unveil Pompeii Treasure",
       Legio XX Website pages updated in the last month include Links, Suppliers, Helmets, Belt, Lorica, Scutum, Gladius, and Pugio.

   August 20-21 --National Capital Model Soldier Society Annual Show
   September 3 --Monthly Workshop
   September 10-11 --Fall Encampment, Marietta Mansion


ADLOCVTIO is the Official Newsletter of the Twentieth Legion, supposedly published on the Ides of each month.  I am Quintus, aka Matthew Amt, the Legion's Commander and Editor of the Newsletter,