Thursday 29 March 2012

No SAGA, But More Warbands

As it turns out I will have to wait another week or so for my first taste of SAGA as the game planned for this coming Sunday has to be postponed. Oh well, it gives me time to prepare some more terrain I guess.

As most of you are aware, "Northern Fury", the first supplement for SAGA, are up for pre-order everywhere on the Internet (or so it seems). I realized my newly finished anglo-danish warband could easily be morphed into an anglo-saxon one. And say what you will about the anglo-danish, but in my opinion the anglo-saxons are a bit more ... iconic.

Doing some easy counting, there are only nine miniatures to be painted, as the warriors could be used in both warbands: two units of four thegns each and a new warlord. Great!

Fortunately, I have a box of Gripping Beast's plastic thegns, which means I don't have to buy any new miniatures. Again, great, as I'm off on paternity leave in just one day and trying hard not to spend more money than necessary.

Yet more work to fill the my time in waiting for that first game of SAGA!

Sunday 25 March 2012

Anglo-Danish Warband

Last weekend I finally managed to finish my anglo-danish warband for SAGA and today I took the time to snap some shots of them. I'm the first to admit I'm not a very good painter. My miniatures look OK on the tabletop but terrible in close-ups were you can see all the mistakes and short cuts. You have been warned ...

The anglo-danes were painted using simple block colours and Army Painter strong tone dip. To add some depth to the models a single highlight was added to the skintones before brushing on the dip. Afterwards I also added highlights to the wood areas on the huscarls (the shafts of spears and axes, and the back of shields) to make them stand out a bit more.

Here are some closer shots of the different units. First off we have the huscarls with the mighty dane-axes.

Here is the second unit of huscarls, more traditionally armed but still sporting fabulous facial-hair.

Enough with the fancy stuff, here is the first unit of the hard working warriors.

And here is the second unit of warriors. Salt o' the earth types one and all.

Finally, the man behind it all – the mighty (and hopefully victorious) warlord. He has had his axe swapped for a bigger one – size really does matter as we all know. I spent a little more time painting him, using the traditional 3–4 layer technique (and/or some washes) instead of the dip

Figures by Gripping Beast and transfers by Little Big Men Studios.

Next up for a photoshoot are the vikings, which I actually finished before these guys. 

Oh, and if everything goes to plan, fingers crossed, I will get my first game of SAGA next weekend ...

Thursday 15 March 2012

Empire of the Dead

West Wind is now taking pre-orders for their upcoming steampunk-horror skirmish game Empire of the Dead. I'm a big fan of all things Victorian and was looking forward to this release, but I must confess this first batch of miniatures leaves me a bit cold. Too "rural looking" and not enough of the dirty and desperate smog feeling I was after. Well, maybe future releases will be more to my liking.

As to the game, I wasn't particulary impressed by the  free taster scenario available from their website. Obviously there's more to the game than that, but for now I will hold off investing in this game and see what others are saying first.

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy Issue 59

The new issue of Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy was waiting for me when I got home yesterday evening. I've been subscribing since September or so last year, and very much enjoyed every issue this far. I find the articles less "opaque" than those in Wargames Illustrated (to which I am also subscribing), with more focus on actual gaming and less on history.

I just had the time for a quick flick through the magazine, but it looked good as usual. This issue's theme is "Viking Invasion", which is good timing indeed as I'm nearing the end of the startup phase of my SAGA project. I'm especially interested in the article about SAGA campaigns. Hopefully it will give me some nice ideas.

Saturday 3 March 2012

Customer Service

So two examples of great customer service:

1. Gripping Beast. I ordered my anglo-danish warband from Maelstrom Games but discovered one of the huscarls with daneaxe was missing in the pack (I got an ordinary hurcarl instead). I could have contacted Maelstrom Games and sorted something out, but reasoning it would probably be easier I e-mailed Gripping Beast and asked if it would be possible to buy just a single miniature from them. They very kindly responded and offered to send the missing figure free of charge and it arrived within a week.

Here he is, waiting for the glue to dry on the base before I attach the axe and undercoat him.

Service such as this should of course be encouraged, and I now ponder what to order from GB ...

2. Black Scorpion. I managed to snatch up a couple of miniatures during their recent metal sale. The popularity of the sale must have caught them somewhat on guard however, because when I received the package one of the miniatures was a resin version. Obviously the metal version was sold out, but rather than refunding me a sending out my order without the miniature they included the resin version at the same price. Nice!

Here are the miniatures I ordered – all to be used in my Old West project (well, except the pirate of course) – and the resin Pat Garrett.