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Friday, 28 February 2014

Almost there...

        Progress has been good this last week. I finished the two skirmish elements and a warrior group and today I have prepared another warrior element and two cavalry element. With a bit of effort the Saxons will be complete by the middle of the week and then its the picts.

Friday, 21 February 2014

I love getting post!

           Today the postie brought me the packet of shields from LBM. Not just any shield designs but resized 28mm Irish and pict designed set to match the shield sizes I use. . I can't say this enough. The "Little big men studios" decals are just beautiful!






Repeat after me. I must finish the Saxons before I start on the Irish and Picts. (it's not going to be easy!) . The photo doesn't really do them justice but they are great.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

On a happier note...

                                    After my momentary loss of drive last week I have had some news that has really kicked me into gear again. What was really holding me back was the thought of painting four or five hundred figures and having to hand paint the shields . So last week more in hope than certainty I decided to conact Little Big men Studios to discuss my problem. To my amazement he explained to me that resizing the 28mm shield designs to the sizes I required was relatively easy as long as the proportions stayed the same. The cost was very reasonable too. So I am currently waiting delivery of a large number of Irish and Pictish shield designs made to my size specifications. This has REALLY motivated me and I set to work again with some relish.. 

                                  As a result I have in the last few days completed 2 elements of saxon warriors, one of Javelin skirmishers and one of bow armed skirmishers. They took me a little longer as I tried to use as many figures from as many ranges as possible . I'm well pleased with the results. 


I continued trying to get an irregular look by the positioning of each figure. I also went for a very mobile look by the positioning of spears and the animation of the figures. 










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Tried for a less mobile look here. Not so pleased with this one something isn't quite right. Maybe the "hole" in the middle is a bit big






 





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Nice little skirmish element. With so many figures to choose from you can really get a lot of variety.















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Bit boring this one. I couldn't get excited about doing another bow skirmish base so not many conversions here.














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Well that has really eaten into the "elements to do pile" . All that is left now are two warriors, two skirmish and two riders. Time to crack on.

Friday, 14 February 2014

whoops!

      As I near completion on the sixth of the nine Saxon warbands I decided to take a short break and look at the figure requirement for the Irish. They are next!

OH DEAR GOD!

340 figures. I'm a little stunned. I think I will quietly finish the Saxons and shut out the Irish for now heheheh.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

More bloody Saxons

                           I'm still working my way through the Saxon bases I want to make and  I have the one shown here painted and another one rough prepped ready for shields and spears. I have to admit it's quite hard work. When I planned on this project I hadn't calculated just what it meant in terms of sheer effort (something I am a little short on). So far I have made some 36 bases of infantry, making  around 650 infantry and 15 elements of cavalry giving 180 cavalry. I certainly didn't appreciate how laborious it would be as every figure is a conversion. We live and learn. I don't want to give the impression that I'm no longer enjoying it but am daunted by the number of bases I still have to do.

                           This element brings the total to five ordinary warrior elements done and have four left so I guess I should be encouraged by being more than half way to completion  heheheh.


This unit uses figures from across the various Kallistra figure ranges that I have found useful. I mixed original and new shields and varied spear lengths etc. so the element looks really irregular. I'm pleased with these



Thursday, 6 February 2014

but....but... he's riding a horse!!

                      Way back in the distant past when I was at school I KNEW because history said so, that King Arthur kicked the shit out of the Saxons with his cavalry because they had never fought them or used them. I knew that! No arguments, no discussion, that's just how it was. However as we all know history and truth are not always the same thing. Modern history recognises the idiocy of Saxons fighting against and alongside the Romans for two centuries and not knowing about cavalry. No self respecting gamer can deny that Saxons had cavalry.. For goodness sakes they make figures on horses so it must be true. I finally gave in and decided to mount at least the warlord on horses.
                        That was the easy bit. The hard bit was they don't exist in 10mm gaming. I was stuck with converting the Kallistra Romano-Brit cavalry and attempting to make them appear more German (or british) than Roman. I used the cavalry and the mounted archers from this range and swapped heads shields and weapons from the infantry packs. Here's the end result:-




Because of the large amount of conversion work needed on these figures, they are probably one of the most technically challenging jobs I have done. I am highly delighted with the way they have turned out.


                          While making the cavalry I had a lot of waiting time for glue etc. to set so I decided to work on a couple of bases of skirmishers. These are from the Saxon skirmish pack with a few conversions thrown in for variation.



The bows were first. It's difficult to get much variation on these but a subtle change to arm and bow positions with a head change here and there helped.






 
All I could do with the slingers was modify sling positions , change a couple of heads and I added a helmeted figure after changing his sword for a sling.




                                 I'm in a bit of a quandary with these bases. In the case of Saxons we are talking basically warband organisation. The question is, is it likely that there would be a bow armed group and a slinger group? Would the tendency be for a band to use slings not bows and vice versa? Finally would they all be mixed together in one group ie slings and bows on the same base. Anyone got any thoughts?


                   As an afterthought I am amazed that, in a time when "dark age" Britain is so popular via "dux bellorum", "dux britannarium" and "saga to name a few, I cannot find any manufacturers with a decent range of enemies in 10mm. For me, because a decent army is 300 to a 1000 men, 10mm is the perfect scale to game in . Almost all the manufacturers in 10mm make late Romans or Romano-british, however the enemies are notable by their non existence! Is someone missing an opportunity?  I wonder how many more of their late Romans would sell if they had someone to fight?. 

Sunday, 2 February 2014

The rest of the saxons - strike 1

                  So Saxons it is. In preparation I laid out and photographed the army so far.



They looked ok. The individual figures were reasonably painted and the character of the figures said "SAXON" but I just felt a little dissatisfaction with the appearance. Took me a while to work it out but then It occurred to me the problem was regularity. They were supposed to be warriors. Headstrong, willfull and hard to control. Mine looked a little bit too formal in terms of  layout..  What I had so far was the lord and companions (heavily armoured). Three minor warlords and their companions (majority armoured) and three lesser warbands about a third armoured. I had six of these lesser bands to do so decided on 3 courses of action.
  •  Every figure would be different or at least repositioned and only 3 of them armoured.
  • I would use only 15 or 16 figures in each warband leaving room for a less organised look
  • They would be made to look more like my idea of irregular warriors in that I would try to make smaller compact groups, push some groups forward on the base and leave others further back to represent the less armoured or "reluctant" warriors

With those points in mind , I set to work on Friday night. I finished the first element last night. Mighty pleased I am too.



The warband has only three armoured figures. I used very few decorative shield designs. There are a far greater variety of shield types. Finally I dumbed the colours down to use less striking colours to give a "poorer" appearance and finally applied the grouping I considered earlier.  This is best shown in the lower right. with a group of 3 armoured figures including the warlord pushed forward with several of the second rank trying to crowd forward onto them. The finishing touch is the line of 6 warriors to the rear of the base shouting their encouragement . heheh. Yeap very pleased with the end result. That only leaves another 5 to do. Knowing my ability to concentrate my efforts , like Captain Oates "I may be some time "!  

Saturday, 1 February 2014

It's all down to the Saxons..

I finally decided to max out the Saxons next. I need 6 warbands, some skirmishers and a bit of cavalry. I already have enough for a game so it seems a shame not to finish them.  I'm still planning the Irish and picts. The figures are not a problem but having used great decals on the brits and saxons, it pains me to settle for second best for the other groups. I finally decided to contact LBM amd ask about the possibility of them downsizing their Irish and Pict decals for Gripping beast to 10/12mm. Guess its a matter of time and cost..