Sunday 27 October 2013

Dark Ages Saxons 1

By now I think most of you know that despite occasional detours into other periods, my real passion lies in the so called "dark ages" and especially the British Isles during the 5-7th centuries. So unsurprisingly, for my next trick ... ahem, I mean project I will paint up a force of everyone's favourite Germanic raiders for Dux Britanniarum: yes, finally it's Saxon time!

This is the standard starting-force straight out of the rulebook and consists of:

1 Lord
1 Champion
2 Nobles
12 Elites
18 Warriors
4 Skirmishers with bows

The miniatures will be a mix of Musketeer and West Wind, as well as a couple from Gripping Beast.

I have decided to forego the smaller bucklers and instead use regular-sized shields as I just think it looks much better. Also, I've read somewhere that the historical evidence for bucklers is somewhat ambiguous. But mainly, as I said, I just think the large shields look better.

Anyway, here is the first unit to be finished – the skirmishers.

I've gone for a very muted palette on these, as I like to do for my skirmishers. It makes their job of hiding in the bushes to surprise the enemy easier.

The miniatures are from West Wind, and very nice they are too.

Have a nice week everyone, and thanks for reading!

Sunday 20 October 2013

Sabot Command Bases

In the last post for my Pictish raiders, I showed one of my custom made sabot command bases and said I would get back to those in a later post. Well, here is that post!

First, some background may be in order: I prefer to keep my models single based, as it's much more flexible – with single based minis you can easily switch to multi based units using movement trays like the ones from Warbases, but obviously not the other way around. But I do like these mini-dioramas you can do with multi based units. Especially command bases benefit from this I think, becoming nice centerpieces for your forces.

I've had this idea of doing sabot command stands for a while – I suspect I've seen it on someone else's blog, but can't remember where. I knew I wanted a couple of variants, for fun at least, and started to play around with different layouts.

In the end I decided on four variants, and made blueprints in Adobe Illustrator, saved them as a pdf file and sent it off to Warbases, asking for a quote. They responded quickly and had some suggestions to make the production better, which was very helpful. I ordered 5 of each variant, not that I needed that many right away but I thought they would come in handy for future (unplanned) projects. Delivery were quick as usual when ordering from Warbases, even though this was a special order and not something from their regular ranges.

As I base all my infantry on 25 mm round bases, the round holes were made to fit these. They are made much like the regular movement trays from Warbases, ie 2 mm mdf for both the layers.

As you can see, I drafted some miniatures from my Welsh army to act as models ...

The first base has a diameter of 40 mm. The idea is to use it with rules were the commander should have a strict base-size, for example games such as Saga. I could also see it being used for marking out nobles in Dux Britanniarum.

The second one you've already seen in the Pict post. The diameter is 70 mm, and it has place for two round bases. This is probably the largest size I would use for Dux Britanniarum, and then only in battles as I think it would look a bit silly for a simple raid.

This one has a diameter of 80 mm and has place for a 25 mm round base and a 25x50 mm rectangle base, which I now use for all my cavalry.

The final one has place for two round bases and one 25x50 mm rectangle base. The diameter is 100 mm. This base would suit the supreme commander of a large army – maybe even a king!

In hindsight I think I could have tweaked the positions a bit more, but overall I'm pretty happy with these. I don't think they will see use every week, but they're certainly a nice addition to the look of an army.

As a sidenote, after having once again struggled with the photos I have reached the conclusion that I need a lightbox. I rely on natural light when taking pictures, which is somewhat stupid as natural light is, by nature, very fickle and during this time of the year in Sweden, in short supply – and it will soon be even shorter. So, yeah, I will have to bite the bullet and build myself a lightbox. I'll do a post about this later, when I've got something to show you.

Finally, a warm welcome to the new followers Tomsche and Paul of the Man Cave. I hope you'll like the blog and find much inspiration here.

Thanks for reading, have a great week everyone!

Sunday 13 October 2013

Welsh Warlord

This week I took a break from the "modern" Swedes and painted up a mounted warlord for my Welsh army. I've had this Gripping Beast miniature for a while and thought I'd paint it up as a quick diversion. I do love me some dark ages!

It's a great, dynamic sculpt – and a one piece casting which was nice for a change. I deliberately kept his clothing very plain, without any patterns or frills as I thought it would only clutter up the model. Instead I spent a little extra time on the base.

Seeing the close-ups you notice all the sloppy mistakes you've made which can be a bit disheartening, but it's also useful as you can identify which parts of your painting you need to improve.

Painting this warlord up made me think about adding some mounted teulus to give the army that extra punch. This will be a project for the future though, as I've got enough on my plate as it is right now.

I'd also like to say a long overdue welcome to all the new followers: Alex Yakaitis, Mateusz Żbikowsk, qazbnm, John Shoemark, Chris, Flo, Mi7, GranTurismo Driver, Itinerant, Rens van Vliet, Black Powder, JP and commissarmoody.

Apparently, if you don't have an avatar you get pushed to the last page in the list of followers – this has unfortunately caused me to fail to notice a couple of you even if you have been a follower for a while. I'm terribly sorry for taking such a long time to welcome you!

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday 6 October 2013

Röda nävar

Right then, last week I was away on holiday on sunny Mallorca so not much got done hobby-wise and consequently no update on the blog. I didn't get to do any historical sightseeing, apart from walking past the impressive cathedral in Palma. But this, coupled with the sight of the arid landscape, was enough to give me much inspiration for one of my "could-be" projects. As a result I'm 99% sure I will actually do the project, and it will probably be one of the first for next year. I'll let you know more when I post my plans for projects for 2014 around New Year.

It was a bit of a shock coming home though, as it apparently autumn has arrived while I was away. I went from 28 C and sun to 8 C and rain! However, the good thing is it's now perfectly acceptable to stay indoors and work away on my hobby-stuff.

Well, that's enough of my ramblings for now – on to the miniatures. This week I have finally managed to finish the miniatures for my own faction for our A Very Moderate Swedish Conflict project, the Röda nävar communist militia.

Röda nävar (Red fists) is one of the most well known of the many smaller Red militia bands formed during the battle for Gothenburg. Mostly drafted from the workers of the city's shipyards, they made a name for themselves after capturing the Pripps' Brewery, an important strategic victory and a major symbol for the Red's resistance.

After the battle, they have fought in a number of defenses against White forces trying to re-capture the city but mostly they have been on guard duty – a boring mission which they fail to see how it will further the cause of the people's revolution. As a result, they have answered the urgent call for help from the Red forces on the new front line in Bergslagen, and are now ready to bring their fighting selves into the fire once more!

The whole force, ready to bring the White scum to their knees in the name of the people:

Röda nävar is led by Karl Weiron Ottosson, a former foreman and staunch union activist of the Götaverken shipyard. He is charismatic and well-liked by his men, but lately he's been getting a bit paranoid, looking for possible traitors in his own ranks. Maybe it is time for a purge to root out those without the true revolutionary spirit? Good thing he has The Book to help him in his struggles.

The miniatures are all from Musketeer Miniatures' Interwar range. The leader's head is from a plastic Warhammer Empire flagellant, his hands and the rifle are from the WW2 German Infantry plastic boxed set from Warlord Games, and the book was made from a piece of plasticard.

There are some minor conversions, like headswaps, on some of the other models as well. And all the miniatures have armbands made from grey stuff.

Some more pictures:


  And a parting shot for good measure:

So there you have it. I hope you like them.

Thanks for looking – have a great week everyone!