This is the progress so far. There are 15 'classical' hoplites on the left (blue shields) from the 'classical hoplites' set set to represent Athenian forces of Peloponnesian War while the 25 hoplites on the right are meant to represent a the '300' Spartans and 700 Thespians from Thermopolea.
Free-hand shield designs
I really liked the transfers provided with these miniatures. However after applying them I found that they are quite shiny/reflect light unlike the normal paint. I am not sure if matt varnish would remove that shine but instead I decided to some free-hand designs. Here are two design from the Athenian hoplites.
Cloaks made from the 'Green-stuff'
The raised Corynthian helmet
The Corynthian helmet hides the face of the hoplite so ideally the command figures could have the helmet resting on top of their head like the famous Pericles bust and in fact I set out to have a Pericles miniature that would lead the Athenian phalanx. This helmet option is not provided in the 'Immortal Miniatures' sets so I made my own version by cutting the top of the bare-headed head option and attaching the helmet on top, filling the gaps with green-stuff.
Here are the results (I quite like the fact I did not use any metallic paints on the Pericles figure except for the spear points):
And another example on a different figure:
These are just a few simple ideas to make the figures more unique.