A Dark Age Update…

I’ve been plodding on with y Dark Age project and painting more Saxons. Despite having almost finished off another batch of Fyrd I decided to drop all my current stuff for this project (the Saxons and the Normans from Ayton last year) on the table to take some pics. Just to see how it was coming together.

Normans and Saxons clash

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Quite pleased with the progress I then set about finishing the basing on the Fyrd so I could add them. Along with a couple of character figures. I then took delivery of  the Gripping Beast Dark Age Archers set and realised the Saxons had no missile troops to combat the Norman archers and crossbows. So I then painted twelve of them in one day. It’s a nice box set. There are only three poses and some of the heads appear a little small to me but with a growing plastic spares box it was easy to vary them a bit. So then I was ready to post some pics of them. But no! Wait! Today I took delivery of some Last Valley scenery so I thought I’d lay some of that out to take pics of the new stuff…

And on the bridge are Eorconweald and Aethelwald of Steadwick, the rather stubborn and belligerent Viking (and most other things) hating brothers!

I’ve got a few more bits of stream and a load of hedges. I quite like the stuff and for the price it us pretty good. I’ve got some civilians to paint and a few odds and ends of Normans and then, as I keep saying, I really must play a game!!!

More Saxons! And a Norman. But not that one…

Finally finished the other four Huscarls, a banner bearer and the ‘lord’ for my Normans. Huscarls are Warlord/Saxon Miniatures. These chaps have the kite shield so later which probably fits with my proposed narrative.

Next up the warlord for my Normans. I know I’ll eventually need to do a mounted one but most of what I have planned at the moment is foot based. Figure is Foundry I think.

And finally a banner bearer for the Saxons. The figures is from the Warlord/Saxon character packs but he’s clearly meant to be holding a flag and doesn’t look too King-like so he’ll do. Banner didn’t come out as well as I hoped. The knot-work pattern just didn’t seem to work in gold and was bloody fiddly! Hence, scrunching it all up a but to hide. It’ll do for now.

I really need to do a few more Fyrd figures but I think I need a tidy up and clear the decks and assess where I am. And, as ever, try and play a bloody game!


Saxons and a hut…

Finally finished the next lot of Saxons. The main lot are from the Gripping Beast Dark Age Warrior pack. I’m less keen on this than the Thegn pack. I don’t like some of the poses and I had a few issues getting heads to sit the right way so a couple look like they have their shoulders hunched. Which may be accurate if they are about to get battered!

I’ve got eight of the Warlord Huscarls but just did four to be going on with. Had problems getting the primer to take (the metal kept repelling it) but they have come out OK.

And finally a building to fight over! A Battlefield Buildings solid resin grub hut from Caliver Books. I can’t really be bothered having a removable roof so solid is fine. Cleaned it up using wet and dry paper in a bowl to avoid dust and gave it a good wash. Spray primed black and then assorted paints and washes to give the desired effect. Annoyingly there are a line if air holes across the front and back which I missed when cleaning and spraying and only noticed when I was varnishing! I’m happy that is just looks like rotted wood!

I want to do another ten of the Dark Age warriors and the other Huscarls. But I reckon I’ve got no excuses for not playing something now!


Dark Age Characters

After completing the big batch of Saxon Thegns I wanted to play with the spare bits of plastic for some characters and also finish the Saxon warlord figure. So…

Thirty years ago the small coastal village of Mynyddwych was raided by Vikings. It was unexpected. There had not been raids in the lifetime of the village elder. But it was brutal. The men fought valiantly but were no match for the veteran warriors and all were put to the sword. The women and children were  rounded up and taken away to be sold into slavery. All except Brona, wife of Fridolph. She took up  her dead husbands sword and fought until subdued. She was then assaulted and left for dead. When the local lord, Aethelbricht the Falconer, arrived the raiders were long gone. But Brona still lived. And nine months later gave birth to a sturdy blonde haired boy. And died in the process.

Aethelbricht , took the boy into his household and named him Grimmwulf. As he grew he learnt the martial skills to serve his lord. He also learnt of his origins, the raid and the death of his father. And he vowed to track down the raiders and exact vengeance! For ten years he travelled to the Viking lands, through the lands of the Rus and finally to the seat of the Roman Empire in the East. He learnt many new skills and now fought with two swords! As he continued to track down the raiders he would often free captives, intended for the slave markets.  Among those were two Arab warriors. For their freedom they swore loyalty to Grimmwulf and so he was joined on his quest by Abdul Khaliq el-Rahimi and Kameel al-Hameed.

Abdul Khaliq el-Rahimi was a fine warrior. Never afraid to face any number of opponents.

Kameel al-Hameed, the younger man, still had much to learn but could be relied upon in battle.

But both swore to protect Grummwulf with their lives. Grimmwulf, a sword in either hand and his shield strapped to his back was a deadly killer.

His quest still unfinished, Grimmwulf returned to his home. His lord had summoned him. All was not well in the kingdom. Aethelbricht the Falconer was still a warrior to be reckoned with and still lead his household on behalf of the king.

So there we have some characters! And I still need a game!

Next up are the rest of the Saxons for SAGA. Having a nightmare with the Warlord Housecarls. Tried priming on with my usual Vallejo Surface Primer and the stuff just wouldn’t stick! So I washed the rest on soap water and tried again. Same problem. I’m having to go back over them three times or more to cover up the bits where the primer has just slid off the figure leaving gaps! What a pain!! Never had a problem before priming metal figures.


Saxon drugs and rock’n’roll!

After last year’s Ayton game where I painted assorted Norman types for Lion Rampant I acquired a partial box of Gripping Beast Saxon Thegns and some Dark Age Warriors with a view to producing some opposition. Despite having finally painted the half dozen (from bits) figures a few weeks ago that was all I’d done towards this plan! So having acquired SAGA v2 at Partizan I decide to stick together 16 of the Saxon Thegns. To be honest, they were a bit fiddly to do. More from the case of matching shields and arms so they didn’t look like contortionists! But eventually they all went together and the result are:

As with the figures earlier in the month I kept the general look ‘dirty’ by using assorted light to mid browns and applying a GW Agrax Earthshade wash with no further highlighting. I did a few with a nice red, blue or green to reflect higher status. I’m saving the fancy edgings for the Hearthguard types. And then the shields are what add the colour to the unit. All hand painted. I know the transfers look nice and realistic but I’m not sure they fit my painting style.

So in theory I’ll be doing some of the Dark Age Warriors next which I’ll keep very basic and then some huscarls and I should be SAGA ready! But in the meantime I have discovered the Song of Blade and Heroes system which seems rather neat and good for small skirmishes. So I’m going to give them a whirl! Oh, and taking advantage of the flexibility of plastics I’ve got  a trio of ‘characters’ on the workbench as well. And some buildings coming from Caliver Books!

So, yet again, despite not being a fan of plastics I’m rather enjoying them!

Musings of an easily distracted wargamer