Monday 28 May 2012

Early Saxon Casualties and Killers

Continuing the Dark Age Drive are three of the four Duguth Casualties and Killers.
Sculpted by Soapy for the mighty Gripping Beast
Great models, full of character and nice and easy to paint.
First a group shot:

First up, what I think of as the Andy Hawes model. Not because he resembles Andy, or I wish Andy to suffer a similar fate, but because of a quote in Andy's e-mail signature about the only thing better than a dead Saxon being a dying one who tells you where his mates are. This one looks like he's got a bit of killing left in him before he starts divulging the whereabouts of his chums.

Next is my favourite of the pack. A really vicious vignette that I suspect rather typifies the warfare of the era. It also puts me in mind of a scene from Rosemary Sutcliff's The Shining Company, where the Gododdin warriors capture, then summarily execute, a Saxon "spy". A key part of the coming of age journey for Prosper, the central character.
In this model however the roles are reversed and it's a Romano Brit or Welshman on the receiving end of a seax.

And finally a brave warrior taking a well aimed sling stone to the face. Lovely dynamic model this one, I especially like the way the helmet is flying off.

A great, characterful pack of models. I've based them on 2p pieces as I'll probably use them as casualty counters for Hail Caesar, or just as battlefield dressing, rather than in units.

Where's the forth model from the set I hear you ask. Well he (or rather they, it's a Saxon slitting a prisoner's throat) unfortunately suffered a minor mishap at the undercoating stage (they fell off the painting stick) and as a result have lost their place in the painting queue.

Lastly, because some people were asking, here's a couple of comparison shots with one of the Musketeer Thegns. As you can see they're a pretty good match and I think you could easily mix the two ranges.

Friday 25 May 2012

Renedra Wattle Fences

Late last week I popped into Northstar to get a pack of their excellent (if sharp) spears.
Whilst there I also picked up a set of the splendid Renedra Wattle fences. And nice Mark did me a deal, so shop with Northstar I say!

I've been after some fences like this for quite a while, and was on the point of making my own when these hit the market. At £10 for almost 5 foot of fencing they're a bargain. So I had to have some.

So what do you get for you cash?
Two of these frames actually:

Each frame contains five long strips of fencing and two shorter ones, one with a gate. There are also six little "feet" that you glue to pegs in the bottom of the fence to stand them up. Two of the long strips have some "wear and tear" modelled into them.
They're nice clean, crisp castings that look like wattle fences to my untutored eye.
The long fences measure just under 12.5cm/5", the short pieces 6cm/2 1/2"
Here's some of them:

Clipping them out they needed minimal tidying up and were easy to put together. I trimmed a little around the peg and foot to make sure the base of the fence was as flush with the ground as I could, but it wasn't really necessary, and certainly not if you're planning on adding any sort of base.

So I hastened to apply paint. There now follows what may well be the most boring and self evident step by step guide to painting them

Having cleaned them up and glued on the little base/foot thingy I sprayed them black. They were then given an all over covering with Charadon Granite:

Stage two was a simple drybrush with Graveyard Earth:

The next stage was a light drybrush with Bleached Bone:

Then I added a little bit of sand, painted brown and drybrushed followed by some static grass to the foot and they were done:

Overall I'm very pleased with them. Cheap, effective and plentiful. My only concern is that they are (inevitably) very light and with only the small foot attached they may move around/fall over. Obviously this would be easy to fix by adding a base but I'm lazy and also would like to be able to use the same fences on both my green and desert boards, so the unobtrusive foot is ideal. Also, by the time I've made and added bases I've increased the cost and labour involved to a point where it might be better just to buy resin ones.
I'll give them a whirl as is and can always go back and add a base later.

Here's a couple of shots of fences with their proud Late Roman owners for scale.

Great product in my opinion. If you need wattle fences, grab them.
Now it might be time for some of their Saxon tents...

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Musketeer Saxons

Continuing my Dark Age theme a pair of Early Saxon Thegns.
Again sculpted by Bill at Musketeer Miniatures. From SAX02 Athelings and Thegns.
I painted the third one from this set earlier

Having finished these I think the only remaining Musketeer Early Saxon still unpainted in my house is the Priest.
Time to buy some, I mean paint the Late Romans

Monday 21 May 2012

Heroes of the Viking Age

A couple of lovely models.
Both limited edition freebies with SAGA and it's supplement Northern Fury.
Both sculpted by Bill Thornhill of Musketeer Miniatures.
And jolly nice they are too:

First up is Mac Bethad mac Findlaích or MacBeth as he's more usually known.
Regicide, ruler, pilgrim and not the only king to be misrepresented by Shakespeare.

Second is Sweyn Forkbeard
Cnut's Dad, conqueror of England, King of Denmark and all round double hard bugger.

Lovely models to paint, full of character and look great all finished.
Do some more Bill!

Monday 14 May 2012

Vikings for SAGA (1)

Some time ago I was given a unit of the old Citadel Viking models (thanks John).
They were going to be part of my WAB army or somesuch.
Anyway they sat mouldering in the lead pile for some years until I recently dug them out to see if they'd work for SAGA. There were 22 in the box, so I figured I might just squeeze a small, hearthguard heavy, force out of them.
Here are the first four. Unfortunately they came without shields and I've not got anything suitable lying around, which may necessitate a trip to Foundry as they make some that may work. The absence of shields means I've not varnished them or finished their bases either.
I've gone for quite bright colours on them as I think it suits the models, and all that Dark Age brown can get a bit depressing. I'm imagining them as well dressed wild and crazy pirate types, raping and pillaging their way up and down the Humber.

Group shot





Perry sculpts from around 1986 I believe, though the castings are from a bit later than that.
White Dwarf Pages here and here
Interesting models to paint, a bit fussy in places (at least compared to the Musketeer ones) but very characterful and lovely sculpts. I was a bit worried about their voluminous pants, thinking they might be a bit of sculptors license, but James assures me that a Viking was judged by the size of his trouser (rich material being very expensive) and so they are apparently quite accurate.
The models also quite small (especially compared to Harald Hardrada) but they'll be great for my games of SAGA.

The next four are already on the painting bench and ready to go.