Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Arthurian Intelude II! Hengist!

As with the Arthurian Interlude! Merlin! post (seen HERE) I've been painting up the odd mini that I took a fancy to many a year ago but never got around to painting due to other painting commitments. The aim is to eventually build up a warband for the Early Medieval/'Dark Ages' version of Lion Rampant and Dux Britanniorum. I may put together a session of just Arthurian mini's (will be about seven at one time) soon as I work my way slowly through the Hastings stuff.

Without further ado, I present to you Hengist, the almost certainly mythical character and supposed founder of Kent!

Bye for now.

The Search for Alfred the Great

Currently on BBC iPlayer, The Search for Alfred the Great, narrated by Neil Oliver:

Watch it HERE

Harold Godwinson Command Base Close Ups

I've been meaning to take a few close up pics of the King Harold Godwinson Command Base Vignette for a while now and finding myself waiting for a spray of primer to dry before undercoating I thought I'd take the opportunity to do just that,

Bye for now.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Harold Godwinson Command Base (Hastings Demo, Salute 2016)


Today I am very pleased to announce the completion of the Harold Godwinson Command vignette. It was inspired by the arrangement for the army to rendezvous at the Caldbec Hill where stood the "Hoary Appel" tree" I was originally going to include an apple tree as part of the base but decided against this as it would detract from the actual miniatures which is after all, what the vignette is all about. The Harold Godwinson miniature was a freebie that was handed out by Gripping Beast in their 1066 and All That WAB Campaign weekender which was part of the much larger campaign weekends hosted by Rob Broom at GWHQ! As I think back now it seems inconceivable that Games Workshop would host a WAB event, especially a weekender but host them they did and they were as much fun as they were varied.  The horn blower is in fact a mini from Gripping Beast's Viking Range. The two Standard Bearers are from Saxon Miniatures and their Saxon Huscarls pack. I'm a bit of a fan of Saxon Miniatures as they are sculpted by a chap that used to sculpt for Gripping Beast and are very much the same style of sculpt that I collected quite a lot of back in the day! The sculptor was Colin Patten and the last mini's he did for Gripping Beast were the Shieldwall Miniatures Vikings of which I'll probably be adding a few to the Anglo Danes as I progress through the rank and file. I had in fact expected to be a little further along with the rank and file but an untimely dose of man flu and a very bad tooth put pay to my plans. Still, they are progressing nicely and I will soon be posting pics of the Huscarls that will stand in front of the Ceorls featured HERE and HERE. The banners are all by the very talented Steve Hales from Little Big Man transfers- the best in the business for the Early Medieval period IMHO.

A View from All Sides and Back Again: 

And a Decent Close Up:

Bye for now.

Clubbing it!!! CWC, Lion Rampant & Johnny Reb 2

There were very nice looking games at the club yesterday, Johnny Reb 2, Lion Rampant Dark Ages style and Cold War Commander in which I was taking the unenviable task of  the Russian commander (oh dear.....).

So, Cold War Commander; scenario was that I was trying to hold out for 12 turns from a defensive position until relieved.

Terrible Deployment or "Shame and eternal shame, nothing but shame!":

"Thus come the English, with full power upon us" And the Welsh, Scots and Irish.....


Slight traffic jam.... 

One of the other tables was hosting Shaun's ACW collection and was worth a few pics in between moments of hilarity on our table:

And in the other room there was once again a great looking game of Lion Rampant Dark Ages style:

In the event anyone is wondering what has happened to my usual relaxed conversational style of writing today- well, I had quite a lot of dentistry work done earlier and it's amazing how much actual pain can dull a mans senses :>)

Bye for now.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Colours of Early Medieval Warfare

I recently was in touch with an old pal who used to do a lot of Viking reenactment and has quite a lot of experience in the matter. I had asked him about the colours that an Anglo Danish army might have been wearing and he sent me the following (I thought that I'd share as it was a question posed on the LAF Forum and might well prove useful to others who are painting up similar armies):

"Dark Age Colours

There is much debate about the colours employed by the Vikings to dye their clothes, particularly as so little survives. What is clear from experimental archaeology however, is that the brightest and the most colourful dyes were usually the most expensive and thereby used by the more well to do Viking. In this category we also find Jet Black and Brilliant White. The former was a mixture of three of the most expensive dyes: cochineal - red, woad - blue, and a brilliant yellow probably weld. The latter was produced by the repetitive process of wetting then sun drying, or else bleaching the material white with wood ash. More mundane shades of grey and very dark brown were commonly worn by the populace, similarly shades of off white were common amongst the lower classes. Earthy shades of brown, pink, yellow, pale blue and brick red were also fairly common. Yellow occurs in many plants and can be quite bright, although some may eventually fade. Wool should always be washed in cool water, to prevent shrinkage, and in any case modern detergents contain optical brightening and bleaching agents, and should be used with care.

All these basic colours are fine for this guide but to help you further, a colour chart of naturally dyed wool using authentic dyes from Sweden is included. (See figure below.)

One final point is that Linen is fairly difficult to dye naturally, and so even a fairly advanced garment may be left undyed, particularly if it is an under garment; for example the Viborg shirt. In the same vein, the York socks were made from undyed wool but decorated at the top with red bands."

Bye for now.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Steve Dean Forum Swap AWI Mini Finally Photographed!


It's been a while since I revived The Steve Dean Forum Swap Mini Painting trade off originally started by another member of the forum. It's taken a while to get these pics taken as I Gloss varnished everything except the flag and then Matted down using Windsor and Newton Professional Spray (that had never failed me) only to come back to the mini the next day and find a lot of Frosting in the colours! I glossed the banner again and was not pleased when I got the same result again! I just couldn't figure out what was making this happen as it wasn't happening on any other miniatures!!??

I eventually got the mini sorted out by leaving another layer of gloss on for a week before I applied the Matt spray. This time it worked. I can only guess at the causes but I'm thinking that as I left the colours unvarnished before matting them down that the Matt varnish that I applied has somehow made the colour more porous and it took a few coats of gloss  to sort it out. That or some chemical reaction unknown to me had taken place(???).

Anyway, the up side is that the mini was finished a few weeks ago- I was meant to deliver it to a friend at Partizan who doesn't live too far away from Iain (Flags of War) but of course I forgot! This was after my aborted attempt to deliver the mini to Iain at Claymore! In the end I was unable to attend.

I'm pleased to say that I can announce that the mini is nice and snugly packed and awaiting transit! So, Iain, if you're reading this, the mini will be on it's way to you this weekend :>)

Iain posted some pics of the mini I sent him on the SDF Painting Swap Thread which elucidated his beautiful painting style nicely so much so that it would be rude not to include a couple of pics here:

Iain's Beautiful Templar (Mine !All mine!!):

My Efforts at Iain's AWI Ensign:

Hope you enjoy the pics of both miniatures.

Bye for now.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Hastings Demo Salute 2016, More WIP's

Just a few more mini's that have gone through the time consuming process of painting on the Humbrol polyurethane Gloss and then Matting down with Windsor & Newton Professional Matt spray (which for those interested in getting a Matt that doesn't leave any residue at all is superb BTW!!- Thanks again Jeff!!!)


Some (Unfinished) Casualty Vignettes:

(these are mini's that I painted a while ago for a WAB army that I've now re-based to use as Casualty Markers for the Demo- BTW, I know there were no Beserkers in the Anglo-Danish and Norman armies but they do look suitably aggressive for the type of warfare involved!)

Bye for now.