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Romano-British for Dux Britanniarum

Romano-British for Dux Britanniarum

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Project Blog by Cuirass Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

This was a project started during lockdown to build a Romano-British war band for Dux Britanniarum by Too Fat Lardies. It's stalled of late, so my hope is that by documenting progress on this project I'll be incentivised to finish it.

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Casualty bases/Shock markers

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Casualties are removed in Dux Britanniarum, but like a lot of Too Fat Lardies games there is a system of shock to represent the attrition and fatigue of battle. You can represent shock with counters, but I wanted something that would be more integrated into the tabletop.

To address this I bought some dial counters from Charlie Foxtrot to keep track of the level of shock and some casualty figures from Gripping Beast to represent the overall weariness of a unit.

Saxon shock markersSaxon shock markers
Romano-British shock markersRomano-British shock markers
Dial counter broken into its constituent parts for those who want to see how it goes togetherDial counter broken into its constituent parts for those who want to see how it goes together

My advice is to attach the miniature to the top base of the counter (the one with the square hole to see the numbers through) and paint and base everything on that first.

Attach the pivot to the bottom base using undiluted PVA. Use the bevel as a means of aligning the pivot to ensure it is central to the bottom base. Carefully lift off the bevel once the pivot is aligned as you don’t want it to be accidentally glued in place!

Once the pivot and bottom base have dried, place the bevel back over the pivot being sure to keep the numbered side facing upwards. Place undiluted PVA on the upper face of the pivot and then place the top base on top.  Use your fingers to ensure a good alignment with the bottom base and bevel.

Be sure to keep the PVA away from the edge of the pivot when gluing down the top base. You don’t want to push any excess PVA onto the bevel, as that could glue it in place and prevent it moving freely.

Also, ensure you give plenty of drying time. Resist the urge to touch the completed assembly and try it out as it will just pull apart or become misaligned if you use it before it’s ready.

Complete Early Saxon warband

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Skill 4
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The completed warband. Warlord and Champion at the front with archers to the left. Behind you have two groups of Hearthguard to the right and three groups of Warriors to the left, each led by a Noble.The completed warband. Warlord and Champion at the front with archers to the left. Behind you have two groups of Hearthguard to the right and three groups of Warriors to the left, each led by a Noble.
Berhthun the Devil leads the Warriors forwardBerhthun the Devil leads the Warriors forward
Ceawlin and his Champion Cenfus lead the Hearthguard with archers in support.Ceawlin and his Champion Cenfus lead the Hearthguard with archers in support.

Saxon Lord - Ceawlin

Tutoring 3
Skill 4
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Do you ever get the feeling that a miniature just doesn’t want to be painted? That you can’t get the colour combination correct or you just aren’t satisfied with what you’re doing? We’ll Ceawlin was like that and he took me far longer than he should have done.

By way of background, Ceawlin is my Saxon Lord and the last figure in this force.  He is 29 and has a Man Mountain physique meaning he will get a bonus for feats of strength like breaking down a door.  He also  has the Lustful attribute meaning he covets the women of others, so suffers a penalty when testing the loyalty of his men (possibly he has been led astray by Saebert who had the same attribute). He is a Wodenborn aristocrat, born in Britain the son of a foederati in Roman service. He has a Tribune’s Tribute in wealth.

Too many coloursToo many colours

Ceawlin is Footsore’s Early Saxon Chief figure.  I wanted to give him some finery, so started off by doing a light blue tunic with yellow trim. The blue was a base coat of 50/50 VMC Grey Blue and VMC Prussian Blue which was then highlighted up by adding White. The yellow trim was a base of VMC Beige Brown, the a 50/50 mix of Beige Brown and Yellow Ochre and then a final highlight of Yellow Ochre. So far so good.

I then gave him a green cloak with red trim and this was just too much. My wife then told me that there is an old saying that goes “Red and Green should not be seen, except upon a Fairy Queen.”

Now I fully accept that the OTT project system is a place where you stand a greater chance of spotting a Fairy Queen than you might ordinarily. But this is a historical project and I wasn’t  having my Saxon Warlord described in such a way, so the green cloak was hastily painted over in black.

I then went into a bit of hobby funk with Ceawlin and couldn’t summon up the energy to finish him.

Saxon Lord - Ceawlin

The change came when I decided to try the cloak again. This time I decided to go for a brown cloak that was less likely to distract the eye from the blue and yellow tunic. But I wanted to make it a bit finer than the norm. I therefore tried a technique from the Dark Ages edition of the Painting War series of occasional magazines. This involved starting from a base of VMC German Camo Black Brown and then gradually adding Chocolate Brown to the mix in 25% increments. In between each highlight you put in a glaze of 50% of the previous highlight mixed with 50% of the next highlight heavily diluted with water. This went on until you had a highlight of pure Chocolate Brown. This was then mixed with 50% Flat Earth before a final highlight of 100% Flat Earth.  Very time consuming, but you get a nice transition between highlights.

Saxon Lord - Ceawlin

The brown cloak was a much better counterpoint to the bright tunic and I started to feel a lot better about Ceawlin. One interesting thing I noticed about this figure is that he wears a fairly long hauberk of scale mail that comes quite a way down the front of his legs. Interestingly, this isn’t sculpted on at all on the rear of the model between the scabbard and the cloak. This seems to have been an oversight on the part of the sculptor as it should be there if it came to the same length at the back. As such, I had some fun painting on the scales (something that would have been harder if he wore chain mail) in the small area where they should appear.  You can see my efforts in the Lloyd shot above and I’m quite pleased with them.

Saxon Lord - Ceawlin

As Ceawlin is an aristocrat, I decided to risk giving him a glided helmet. It was a bit of a risk as it could have looked a bit over the top, but I think it’s worked well.  I always use VMC Old Gold for this sort of thing as it has a more muted tone than VMC Gold proper.

Saxon Lord - Ceawlin

An LBMS shield transfer completed the figure and Ceawlin is now ready to lead his troops.

I’ve now completed two opposing forces for Dux Britanniarum. I think Ceawlin took so long because I couldn’t quite bring myself to make that final leap to actually finish a project.

I’ll try and post some pictures of the complete Saxon force later this weekend and then maybe actually play a game and do a battle report!

Having said that I couldn’t quite bring myself to finish a project, I should add that I have some extras and some terrain still to bring into the mix.  However, I think having two table-ready forces is an important milestone!

Saxon Noble - Berhthun the Devil

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
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This is the second of my two Adeligs or Nobles for my Saxon force.  Berhthun is 23 and has a short and wiry physique. Like Saebert he also has an existing reputation as a Devil, so clearly he is not above raiding a church or two.  He has the Athlete attribute which gives him certain advantages in withdrawing from combat if he needs to.  He is the son of a Peasant.

In view of the short and wiry physique, I chose one of Footsore’s Saxon nobles to represent Berhthun. I thought the darting forward pose suited the type of fighting style someone with that description might adopt.

His gilded helmet is a prominent feature of the miniature and I wanted that to be the focal point and not have brightly coloured clothes drawing away that attention.  Berhthun therefore got a black tunic highlighted with an 80%/20% VMC Black/VMC Neutral Grey mix, increasing the Grey by 20% for a top highlight. He also got a grey cloak which was a base coat of VMC Neutral Grey progressively highlighted by adding White. To ensure that  it wasn’t completely unrelieved darkness, I gave his cloak a red lining to give a brighter counterpoint to the rest of the miniature.

A Little Big Man Studios shield transfer completed the job.

Saxon Noble - Saebert the Old

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This is the first of my two Saxon Nobles or Adeligs, junior leaders that assist my Warlord.

I used the name generator on the Too Fat Lardies blog to roll up the name “Saebert” for this character. Then, using the tables in the Dux Britanniarum rulebook I found that his age was 34, quite an old man by contemporary standards. He has a physique of average build and has an existing reputation. Appropriately enough that reputation is “Old”, so clearly his men think he’s been lucky to last this long as well! Fortunately, this is not one of the reputation descriptions that have an impact on the campaign.  However, what does have an impact is Saebert’s roll on the Character Attributes table where he gains the “Lustful” attribute and is described as coveting the women of others. This means that should Saebert ever rise to command the warband, he will have a penalty in gaining the loyalty of his men, although this is probably more of a problem for a Romano-British character than for a Saxon.  A roll on the background table shows that Saebert is the son of a peasant, born in a hovel in northern Germany. Fortunately, he is not the Warlord as that roll would reduce his starting wealth.

Saebert is the command figure from Footsore’s Early Saxon Heavy Infantry Command set.  He had an open hand which was rather wide and wouldn’t close round my usual wire spears. Instead, I gave him a spare Gripping Beast axe cast from metal which I think looks better. A bit of greenstuff was used to extend the thumb around the axe handle slightly and to embed it in the open hand. I thought about trying to do his eyes, but then decided against it, as in real life you would have to be up very close to see through the vision slits of his closed helm.

Saebert’s fellow Adelig “Berhthun the Devil” is next on the painting desk!

Saxon Champion

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
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Like the Romano-British, the Saxons also get a Champion to accompany their leader. He’s useful for aiding the troops in combat, taking a hit for his boss and engaging in trial by combat with the enemy champion before a battle. A quick roll on the name table tells us this particular psycho goes by the name of Cenfus (pronounced Chen-fuss).

Foot on head, a variation on the classic foot on rock lookFoot on head, a variation on the classic foot on rock look

Cenfus is a Gripping Beast sculpt from their Early Saxon Characters set. I’d not really painted someone displaying so much flesh before but I’m happy with how he turned out. I started with VMC Light Brown as a base, with a 50:50 mix of Light Brown and VMC Sunny Skintone as the first highlight. I then did a final highlight of VMC Sunny Skintone and thought I was done. I then received feedback from my wife (always my harshest critic) that he looked very orange and was he meant to be a Dark Ages version of Donald Trump. Stung by this I then went for a further highlight of VMC Flat Flesh in order to tone down the perma-tanned look.

Invading Britain. Suntans unlikely.Invading Britain. Suntans unlikely.

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I was a bit uncertain about whether or not to cover up the severed head and disguise it as some form of moss covered hillock. In the end I decided to keep it. I have to say that there wasn’t really much to work with in painting terms and I’m not sure it helps the miniature.  It’s essentially part of the base and given that faces and bases are what people look at the most, it does draw attention to itself. Unfortunately, it’s then not particularly obvious what it is unless you look closely and then it’s a distraction from the rest of the figure, which is a pity as I think the rest of it is great.  Perhaps I could have painted the severed head better, but I rather feel that with this miniature  less would have been more.

It takes work to get a physique like this…It takes work to get a physique like this…

However, this is really a minor gripe and overall I’m very pleased with how he’s turned out. I’m perilously close to finishing the warband now with just the two nobles and the warlord to come.

Must remember to use my axe next time I decapitate someone. This sword is blunt!Must remember to use my axe next time I decapitate someone. This sword is blunt!

Hearthguard

Tutoring 4
Skill 5
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I finished the two groups of elite Hearthguard this week.

Hearthguard group oneHearthguard group one
Lloyd shotLloyd shot

Each group consists of three Footsore and three Gripping Beast. The Footsore are a combination of their Early Saxon Thanes and Heavy Infantry command group, whilst the Gripping Beast are the Gedriht from their Early Saxon range. The shields were done with LBMS transfers. If you know the figures you’ll be able to tell the difference, but the two ranges are a good size match and gel well when grouped together.

Hearthguard group twoHearthguard group two
Lloyd shotLloyd shot

All of the Gripping Beast models came with empty scabbards, implying that they should be holding their swords. They are all open handed figures but come with a variety of white metal swords and axes. It seemed odd to give a figure an axe if he had an empty scabbard, so I did try to see if I could fill a scabbard but chopping off the hilt of the sword and gluing it into place, but the fit was impossible to get. Instead I embedded the now broken sword into the sabot base as a weapon shattered in combat!

I particularly enjoyed painting the figure in the wolfskin cloak. This was done with a mix of VMC Olive Drab and VMC Ivory, steadily lightening the mix with Ivory before a final highlight of White.

Hearthguard

These two were particularly striking figures.  The one on the left is the standard bearer that comes with Footsore’s Early Saxon Chieftain. But I’ve given him a Gripping Beast axe to make him stand out. The one on the right I just like because of the pose.  I think of these two as the leaders of the two groups, even though that has no impact on the game. But they will probably be always the last to fall!

Next up are the two Nobles, the Champion and the Lord.

Slowly making progress

Tutoring 6
Skill 7
Idea 6
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I finished the third group of Saxon warriors and the group of four archers this weekend. Slowly making progress with the two groups of elite hearthguard next on the painting table.

Saxon warriors. Four Gripping Beast figures and two Footsore.Saxon warriors. Four Gripping Beast figures and two Footsore.
Lloyd shot. Decided all of these would be blondes. Gripping Beast boys seem to like to braid their hair, whilst Footsore boys like to let it blow free in the breeze!Lloyd shot. Decided all of these would be blondes. Gripping Beast boys seem to like to braid their hair, whilst Footsore boys like to let it blow free in the breeze!
Archers. All Footsore figures.Archers. All Footsore figures.
Lloyd shot. I was sent the late Saxon archers in error and I think you can tell. They look more early medieval rather than late Antiquity. I may swap them out for the real deal at some point.Lloyd shot. I was sent the late Saxon archers in error and I think you can tell. They look more early medieval rather than late Antiquity. I may swap them out for the real deal at some point.

Saxon warriors - Groups 1 and 2

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Skill 10
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“…a fire heaped up by the impious easterners spread from sea to sea. It devastated town and country round about, and, once it was alight, it did not die down until it had burned almost the whole of the island and was licking the western ocean with its red and savage tongue…”

Gildas, De Excidio

Saxon warriors. In two of them I managed to get paint either on or behind the shield transfer, but I think it passes nicely as battlefield muck!Saxon warriors. In two of them I managed to get paint either on or behind the shield transfer, but I think it passes nicely as battlefield muck!

With a suitable introduction from Gildas, here are my first two groups of Saxon warriors. I was a bit hesitant in starting these, spending too much time agonising over colour choices and how I would ensure that they didn’t look too uniform. In the end, the solution came when I decided that it was more important to get started.

As most of each figure is covered in mail, I did that first, drybrushing with VMC Gunmetal Grey followed by a drybrush of VMC Silver.  Once that was done, I did the faces.

Next came the tunics and it was here that I decided to stop worrying about colour combinations and mixes and see it more as an opportunity to try something new. So I resorted to the very simple expedient of grabbing any colour I hadn’t used before and putting it down as the base coat. I then mixed it with varying amounts of either White or Iraqi Sand to fade and mute the colour in the first and second highlight.

It helped that I had recently read in a book on the Vikings that their clothes were very brightly coloured and not the dull browns and blacks of popular depiction. I took that as carte blanche to choose whatever colour I pleased and go with it for these Saxons who would have come from a similar culture. The LBMS shield transfers were also brightly coloured which helped validate my decision. In the end it was very liberating and I was able to bash these out relatively quickly. I think I’ll take a similar approach with anything prior to the late Seventeenth Century in future.

Lloyd shotLloyd shot

Ominous signs

Tutoring 8
Skill 9
Idea 8
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Garcianus and his men occupy a watchtower Garcianus and his men occupy a watchtower
But who lurks at the edge of the forest? (Must get those trees based.)But who lurks at the edge of the forest? (Must get those trees based.)

Watchtower completed!

Tutoring 9
Skill 9
Idea 8
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So the watchtower is finally complete after what turned out to be a far more significant undertaking than I had anticipated. I’m glad I stuck with it though, if only to show that completely enveloping an MDF model in green stuff is possible, if not particularly practical.

The final painting steps were the wooden platform and stairs. I adapted the sound advice on the Gerry Can on New Wood, using a base coat of Khaki Grey (VMC 70.880) washed with a mix of water and Army Painter Dark stone. Once dry, this was drybrushed with Iraqi Sans (VMC 70.819). The door was Burnt Umber washed with the same Dark Tone and water mix. The stairs were painted first and then glued into place in the contact points I’d left free if basing texture and green stuff.

Finally, I painted the basing texture with my usual mix of Beige Brown and Yellow Ochre, followed by a wash of Chocolate Brown with 10% Black. This was the. Drybrushed with the Beige Brown and Yellow Ochre mix followed by a second drybrush of Buff.  Finally, tufts, flowers, flock and some small rocks made of leftover green stuff were glued on to complete the model.

Brickwork painted

Tutoring 11
Skill 11
Idea 11
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I’ve been a bit lax in keeping this project updated over the last month, so apologies for the lack of new posts. However, I have been working away at it, so you should see some more over the next few days.

First up is how I did the brickwork on the watchtower. I did a base coat of VMC Orange Brown (70.981) which was then washed with Army Painter Strong Tone. This gives a very dark look which didn’t match the quite bright orange that can be seen in the photos from Dover. So I took a risk and highlighted with Light Orange (VMC 70.956 my bottle is old so I think this is called Clear Orange today) mixed with Ivory (VMC 70.918). I created a 75:25 mix first and then did a second highlight of 50:50. I was a bit nervous about this as the Light Orange is very bright, but the Ivory tones it down.  The ratios are very approximate and I suggest experimenting until you get a mix that works for you.

I was still concerned once I’d finished this step that the brickwork was still too bright. However, I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler alert if I say that I’ve now completed the model and am quite happy with how it’s turned out. I’ll cover that in a future post shortly.

Brickwork research

Tutoring 12
Skill 10
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Brickwork research

The kids had a day trip to Dover Castle earlier this week as a last hurrah before the end of the Easter holidays.

They very kindly took some research photographs of the tower of the church of St Mary in Castro. Which are shown here.

For those who might not be aware, St Mary in Castro is a church located within the curtain wall of Dover Castle, hence the name “in Castro”. The church itself is very old, being built around AD 1000 in the late Saxon period, possibly on the site of an even older Saxon church dating from around AD 600.

However, for our purposes, the point to note is that the church adopted as its bell tower the remains of a Roman lighthouse or Pharos built around AD 130. This structure is still four stories tall and may even have reached as high as eight stories when first constructed. It was one of two built by the Romans to guide ships into Dover harbour which was then known as Dubris. If you look at the pictures, the characteristically thin orange bricks of the Romans are clearly visible. This is the colour I need to try and replicate on my watchtower.

Watchtower stonework

Tutoring 12
Skill 12
Idea 10
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Stonework paintedStonework painted

I managed to paint the stonework this week.  A very easy process starting with an undercoat of black primer.

Watchtower primedWatchtower primed

It was then a case of putting on a base coat of London Grey and then progressively dry brushing with lighter grey tones.

I also added a wash of Army Painter Dark Tone after the first drybrush of Neutral Grey.

The paints used in order from left to rightThe paints used in order from left to right

These are the paints I used. In hindsight, I wouldn’t bother with the Neutral Grey dry brush as it didn’t add much and would be mainly covered up by the Sky Grey and Silvergrey anyway.

Next up is the brickwork where I need to do some experimenting with different colour combinations.

Watchtower Stuffed!

Tutoring 11
Skill 11
Idea 10
1 Comment
Hopefully painting will be quickerHopefully painting will be quicker

So the green stuffing of my watchtower is finally complete. The last cornerstones and lines of brick were smoothed into place on the top platform and it still fits snugly. You can see the line where the two levels meet, but I think that once the model is under coated in black and painted, this should be less obvious.

I also found that my fears about the green stuff hardening in lumps and spoiling the fit of the platform were unfounded. I remembered watching a Gerry Can where it was pointed out that you can cut green stuff very easily with a modelling knife and lo and behold this is true (I should not have doubted the great man). It trims very easily and so I was able to slice it off bits where they were interfering with the fit. I also went around and trimmed off areas where I thought the stonework looked a bit off to give it a more angular look.

In the foreground you can see three rocks which are a good use of leftover green stuff and can incorporated into terrainIn the foreground you can see three rocks which are a good use of leftover green stuff and can incorporated into terrain

I’ve glued to tower onto a 15cm x 15cm terrain base from Warbases so it occupies a similar footprint to my other buildings. A lot of people tend to elevate this sort of building, but it is taller than the other buildings I have and I think keeping it this way gives flexibility. If I want it on a hill I shall just have to make sure it is a large one so the model can sit comfortably.

Vallejo ground texture has been added to obscure the step down between the base and the terrain base. I should note that I’ve not glued the wooden stairs in place yet. This has enabled me to build up the green stuff around where they will be placed (note where I have left bare MDF showing around the contact points) and will also allow me to get in to paint this area.

The Watchtower build continues

Tutoring 8
Skill 9
Idea 9
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Hmmm, what exciting paint schemes will I try out over the long weekend? Oh, hang on, I can’t do any painting because I still have to keep green stuffing this wretched Watchtower!

Still, we are finally getting close to the finish Still, we are finally getting close to the finish
Window arches have been addedWindow arches have been added

I left the row of bricks and corner stones where the top platform meets the body of the tower till last. This is because I want to ensure a smooth join between the two pieces. I want to avoid any bits of green stuff hardening into lumps that then lift off the top platform and prevent it fitting properly, whilst at the same time I don’t want to have too obvious a gap between the connecting rows of bricks and stones.

Interior of the rampartsInterior of the ramparts

I also made sure to add green stuff to the interior walls of the ramparts so that all external stone surfaces were covered.

Once I’ve done the last rows of bricks and corner stones, this should be ready for basing and painting.

How not to enhance a watchtower

Tutoring 10
Skill 10
Idea 10
5 Comments
I don’t recommend thisI don’t recommend this

My brother kindly gave me this Roman watchtower from Sarissa Precision for Christmas. It was easy to build, but I felt it was too Mediterranean in style with its clean lines. I felt that a watchtower in Britain would be more obviously made of stone, rather than have a plastered facade.

So I added some green stuff to the bottom layer, without stopping to wonder why I’d never seen this done before.

I soon had my answer. Once you start, there is no obvious place to stop. I realised I would have to green stuff the entire thing!

The whole process has taken ages but I am now three quarters of the way through. Think of this post as a warning rather than a recommendation!

If you choose to do this, I suggest keeping the brick layers level and flat to distinguish them from the stone layers.  Also, you’ll need a lot of green stuff. This is a 90cm roll!

Saxons!

Tutoring 11
Skill 12
Idea 12
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Saxons!

Having completed the Romano-British force I decided that I would continue this project and build the opposing Saxons. The Saxon starting force in Dux Britanniarum consists of:

A Warlord
A Champion
Two Nobles
Two groups of six elite Hearthguard
Three groups of six Warriors
One group of four Archers
You can therefore see that it is numerically smaller than the Romano-British force, but it is made up mainly of Warriors or Elites. There are no Levy or Numeri equivalents.
The first question was which figures to get. I knew that I wanted to base the army around Footsore’s Early Saxons range, but this immediately created an issue. When selecting my Romano-British I had decided to choose mail-armoured figures for the standard Milites. I know this is the equivalent of everyone turning up for work driving a Ferrari, but it is so much better than some guys in tunics who look like they didn’t want to be there (leave that to the Numeri).  However, this meant that when choosing figures to represent the Saxon Warriors they would need to be similarly attired to avoid disparity.  This immediately narrowed down the number of eligible figures from the Footsore range as only a few of their Early Saxons are wearing mail. Whilst I was willing to tolerate a few repeat poses, too many would spoil the charging warband look I was going for as they would look too disciplined. I therefore needed to look for another range that would inject variety.
After much internet research, I decided that Gripping Beast’s range would probably scale well against Footsore and I placed an order. I considered some of the figures available from Warlord, but I couldn’t find any pictures of them scaled against a Footsore figure so was reluctant to risk it. When the figures arrived I prepared and based them and you can see a comparison of two similarly posed figures from the two ranges side by side below.
Overall, the Footsore figures are better quality sculpts and more correctly proportioned. However, they are a bit static. The Gripping Beast sculpts seem to be older and the detail is less sharp. Also, the proportions of their fists are rather large, approaching the size of the head in some cases. The chainmail is also more chunky than that on the Footsore figures and sometimes gives an impression of being a woolly jumper rather than armour. However, the Gripping Beast figures are much more animated than the ones from Footsore so I’m confident that they will give the wild charging impression I’m after.  I’ve seen some pictures of Footsore figures set alongside Gripping Beast and once painted it is hard to tell the difference.
One gripe I have with the figures from both manufacturers is that they come with open hands.  On the one hand this gives you more discretion about how to arm them.  I took advantage of this to equip some of the hearthguard with swords and axes that came with the Gripping Beast order.  On the other hand, it does make it harder to affix my preferred wire spears as they are a lot thinner than the vast metal spears that I expect these open hands were designed for. In the end, I used green stuff to embed the spears into the hands and made an attempt to sculpt fingers and thumbs where necessary.  This is not perfect as the green stuff can become dislodged, but at least that then gives you more of a surface with which to glue the spear back in place.  However, on the whole I prefer drilling out closed fists and inserting the spear as is the case with the Romano-British figures.  The drilling out is a pain, but gives a more solid result in the long run.
The two nobles. If you look at the figure on the right you can see an attempt at sculpting a thumb.The two nobles. If you look at the figure on the right you can see an attempt at sculpting a thumb.
The other slight annoyance was that Footsore sent me a pack Late Saxon Archers rather than the Early Saxon Archers I ordered. However, it clearly wasn’t that important as I had prepared and based them before I realised, so I will make do with them for the time being.
These minor gripes aside I am pleased overall with how these figures look when set alongside each other. However, judge for yourself by taking a look at the photo at the top of this post.  I’m particularly looking forward to painting the Footsore Warlord and his Gripping Beast Champion as together I think they make a fine pairing!
The Warlord and his Champion. On closer inspection I saw that the Champion is resting his foot on a severed head. Not sure whether to keep that or cover it up in the name of good taste...The Warlord and his Champion. On closer inspection I saw that the Champion is resting his foot on a severed head. Not sure whether to keep that or cover it up in the name of good taste...

Farmhouse completed

Tutoring 10
Skill 12
Idea 12
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Farmhouse completed

I’ve finally got round to completing my farmhouse. The actual building was painted some time ago, but I couldn’t work out how to do a convincing vegetable garden. Eventually I decided that it was more important to get the thing done than agonise over the theory of it. I therefore rolled out some flat leaves of green stuff and then curved them back in on themselves to make an approximation of cabbages. These were then painted blue and  a deep purple, because I wanted at least one row of red cabbages as they are one of my favourite vegetables.  I also pushed some trimmed down tufts into blobs of green stuff to make turnips and laid out a MiniNatur purple blossom strip to make a bed of lavender. With that, I called it done.

For those wondering (which may well be no one) I checked and cabbages, turnips and lavender were well known in Ancient times. I also seem to recall the Emperor Diocletian saying after he retired that he got more pleasure from tending his cabbages than he did from ruling the empire, so that seems pretty good authority to me. This may seem a little obsessive, but somehow I always notice when someone slips something like a pumpkin into a piece of terrain from the Ancient and Medieval world, which at that time should only be seen in North America. This is perhaps button counting and rivet counting at its worst!

Building a storehouse

Tutoring 8
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Building a storehouse

I recently added a storehouse to the collection of buildings making up my Romano-British farm. The image above shows the completed build. I spread PVA over the walls and then sprinkled sand on them before sealing it with a mix of PVA and water. The building was from Warbases as was the mounted MDF terrain base in which it is mounted.

Building a storehouse

This shows the painted building. The roof tiles were painted VMC Hull Red and washed with Army Painter Strong Tone ink. I then picked out individual tiles with VMC Cavalry Brown to show areas of recent repair. I then drybrushed the lot with Cavalry Brown.

The walls were painted Light Grey, then Light Grey mixed with Off White, then finally highlighted with Off White.

The stone window was painted in the same way as the drystone walls described in the entry below, whilst the door was painted Khaki Grey, washed with AP Strong Tone and drybrushed with Iraqi Sand. I then picked out the details in AP Dark Tone ink.

The storehouse is actually intended to be part of a larger Roman villa set and be glued in place alongside an adjoining building. As such, one end of the roof is flush with the wall while the other extends out to form eaves. As I wanted this to be a free standing building I needed to extend the end of the roof that was flush with the wall in order to make it look even.

the sequence above shows how I did that. When laying down the tile strips on the roof  I took care to extend each row out to the distance I needed. Because the tile pattern alternates with each row, every other row needs to extend out a little further than the distance required. I then glued strips of card under the tiles and adjoining the roof. This extended it out sufficiently to balance the building and ensure that it wouldn’t be lopsided. PVA glue ensures this a rock hard. Once the glue holding the card strips in place was dry I trimmed off any excess tiles that were protruding beyond the now extended roof.  The final step was to extend the piece of dowling that forms the apex of the roof. This was done by rolling a small piece of green stuff to the approximate shape and pushing it into place. If you look at the image at the top of this entry you can see it at the left end of the roof.

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