Friday, April 14, 2017

Normans/Crusaders for Saga

Here's the latest installment of my Saga factions: the Normans, who also can double as Crusaders. These guys were fun and easy to paint, they being almost entirely covered in chain mail. 

First though, are a  few shots of basing. I had wanted to do a whole entry on this but this'll have to do. My primary basing material comes from the construction project next door as two new houses were built. I have used lots of materials in the past but it occurred to me one day that real dirt may be the best material of all, and it's free. I grabbed a bucketful and started sifting it with colanders. I ended up with three grades which I labeled '0', '00' and '000'. What you see on these bases is the 000. 

The figure on the left has his base coat of 000. I use white glue with a special brush I cut and apply liberally and let dry. Then after using a soft brush to remove the excess dirt and dust, I dry brush the bases with Vallejo's Stone Grey. The figure on the right has been dry brushed. I never worry about getting a little of the paint on feet/shoes/boots. After all, if you had dirt/mud on your boots, it would be the same color as the ground you're standing on.

Static grass has been added to complete the basing. I will use the grass to hide spots on the base I don't like; either from paint splotches or uneven coverage of material. The whole process is time consuming but I like the end result. I've seen many types of basing and generally like them all. This is just my way to do it.

The Bastard and his brood.

Close up of the mounted knights. Shields once again by Little Big Man Studios. Love 'em. The banner is as yet unpainted clearly. I haven't decided to use a Norman standard from the Bayeux Tapestry or the cross of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Foot warriors. Prolly lost their mounts on the way to the Holy Land or in their first skirmish with the Turks and they charged headlong into retreating bow fire.

Foot slogging archers.

Foot warriors #2.

The deadly crossbow. You'll get no quarrel from me about them.

Foot warriors #3.

Close up shots of knights.

I like this guy for some reason.

The basing style is the same, only bigger, for cavalry.

If you look closely, you can see the two guys in the back right of this unit are guys who's hands didn't match up properly. As I said, I was able to paint them as if they are wearing gloves and you can't tell that it's a seam.

I'm looking forward to seeing these guys in action. Opponents that I can field include Anglo-Danes, Welsh, Vikings and Saracens.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Saga: Late Romans

Finally got my Romans done for Saga. It was tough to make a decent army without the AEtius and Arthur book to know for sure what was in the list. However, I was able to freeze frame a video review on You Tube and get a snap shot of (almost all of) the correct page in the book to work off of. As far as I know A&A is still not available in the U.S. so I ordered my book direct from England. It turns out I may have to paint a few more guys to tweak my list, making more Levies for example, but for now this is what I got!

This army and book is right in my wheelhouse, maybe my favorite period of history. A big fan of Arthur and his exploits since I was a child, I was very happy to see Saga move into this era. I love the information available on Late Imperial/Patrician Romans, specifically the Notitia Dignitatum, so this has been a fun project from start to finish.

So, without further ado, let me present to yinz my Romans for Saga.

The whole kit and kaboodle. A Warlord, mounted and on foot, two points of infantry HearthGuard, three points of  infantry Warriors and 1 point of Levy. Also, 8 cavalry which can be either a point of Warriors or two of Hearthguard, depending how I want to construct my list.

The Warlord. Love how the camera focused on the building behind him.

I love that shield pattern and got two copies, so, one for each.

The cavalry. I just bought them and for the life of me can't remember the maker. Metal figs, came without weapons, so once again I added plastics from left over Gripping Beast sprues. Worked. These can be fielded as 2 units of HearthGuard or one of Warriors. All shields from Little Big Man Studios; I cannot say enough good things about them. The only issue was trying to decide which ones to use.

I like the Valentinian shield. Also note the lack of stirrups. Nice when they get it right.

The legionnaires, or HearthGuard for our game purposes. Probably new citizens recruited from German tribes, who cares once you put on the uniform?

The game designers are calling this a 'manuballista'. It's been fun watching the gaming 'scholars' scream over top of each other about what it should be called. I haven't seen that many declensions since Gerald Ford was president. Who gives a shit? It's the first artillery piece in the game system and shoots 2 x Long range. I can't wait to use it. It counts as a Levy. I'm going to call mine peanut butter and jellicus just to piss people off.

The first unit of Warriors. I love these guys. They are Gripping Beast Plastics. Shields again by LBM Studios.

Warrior unit #2. All pissed off because they wanted to be #1.

Warrior unit #3, the Auxilia Palantina. I may buy a couple more sprues of these. I've found them on eBay but the shipping is exorbitant; the guy wants over $20 for something that prolly costs him a buck. 

Next up is the opponent for these guys, Arthur himself and the Britons. (Romano-British, Sub-Roman British, take your pick...) I'll prolly get a box of 'Dark Age Warriors' from Gripping Beast and use the leftover oval shields from the Roman box. LBM has 'Arthurian' shields transfers that combine some Roman designs with Saxon and Celtic knotwork. They're nice.

I can't wait go give these guys a go. I don't care if they're a 'good' faction to play; I already love them.