Sunday 28 April 2013
Here is the first unit of my Novgorod force for the Baltic Crusades project – a unit of mounted Novgorodian druzhina led by their Prince. (Or maybe it's the druzhina of a lesser Prince sworn to Novgorod, I haven't decided yet.)
The druzhinas were the medieval Rus/Russian Princes' retinue. They were in some aspects similar to the western knights, and in some very different: e.g. they were influenced by the Mongols and other steppe warriors, and were sometimes equipped with bows when mounted (although they probably didn't use the traditional "hit and run" tactics usually associated with mounted bow units). They were also free to leave the service of the Prince and seek new employment.
Sometimes I just seem to struggle with certain miniatures, redoing and repainting all of or parts of them again and again. I have no idea why, but these mounted druhzina were definitely some of these. I think I've redone most steps on most of them – basing, posing, painting – until I was happy with them. Consequently they have taken a long time to finish. Of course, being cavalry it's like painting two models in one which also adds to the time.
Originally I was going to do them using my prefered "big army" painting method of base coat, wash and using the base coat as a highlight. However, I thought the models looked too dark (ages) and so I added another highlight to make them look a bit brighter. After this, they came out all right I think. I would have liked some more kite shields, to again make them look less dark ages, but I ran out of suitable transfers.
Despite my thorough testing of techniques for doing snow bases, thanks to Dalauppror's good advice I ended up using the much simpler method of applying a good splash of wood/carpenter's glue in patches on the bases and then just dunking them in the snow flock. Great result with a minimum of work – what more could you want?
Anyway, here are some more pictures:
The miniatures are all from Gripping Beast's Early Russ range, but with some models mounted on barded horsed from their Medieval Russians range to show their status as "senior druzhina". The shield transfers and flag are from Little Big Men Studios.
As we're using this project as an opportunity to playtest the upcoming Lion Rampant rules by Dan Mersey, due to be published by Osprey next year, unit sizes are from these rules: Mounted units are composed of 6 models, and most foot units are 12 models strong.
I'm working on the second unit of druzhina for my initial force, and it should be finished some time next week.
Finally I would like to welcome a new follower: David Brits. Thanks for joining, I hope you'll like the blog
Thanks all for reading!