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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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Double post - will update once more progress made

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Double-posted the last entry in error.

Slowly making progress

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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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“…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

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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!

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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.

Drystone Walls

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I’ve not had much opportunity to update this Project lately, but progress is being made.  Over Christmas I decided that I would keep the Project live whilst I embarked on a starter force for the Saxon invaders.  I’ll detail the planning process and a short miniature review in a later post, but in the meantime I got on with the far more prosaic task of painting some drystone walls.

This might be the most tedious set of images ever posted on the OTT Project System, however, you never know when you might need some ideas about how to paint a rock, so here goes.

The walls were resin casts from Red Dragon Scenics.  They arrived in good time after ordering and are pure white when taken out of the bag.  After a wash in soapy lukewarm water, they were given time to dry and then primed black.  However, there are a lot of deep crevices as you might expect with scenery of this nature and the spray primer didn’t reach every nook and cranny.  To remedy this I applied Vallejo Black Polyurethane Surface Primer.  This is meant to be applied with an airbrush, but works just as well with a normal brush.

Once the primer was on, I applied a Basecoat of London Grey (VMC 70.836).  Next was a dry brushed highlight of Neutral Grey (VMC 70.992). In hindsight, the Neutral Grey didn’t really add very much and I think in future I will skip that step and go straight to the next two.  These were a dry brush of Sky Grey (VMC 70.989) and a final light dry brushed highlight of Silver Grey (VMC70.883).

I then painted the base with  my usual combination of earth colours which I’ve listed several times in earlier posts before adding some flowers and a bit of flock.

I have enough pieces to put together two inter-linked fields or to delineate the boundary of a farmhouse yard and its surrounding buildings.

Father Christmas was also rather generous on the terrain front this year, so there is rather a lot of updates to post on.  In order, they will hopefully be:

Completing the painting of my farmhouse
Acquisition and painting of a Saxon force
Building and painting a storage barn
Building and painting a watchtower
Building and painting a church

Finding the time will be a challenge but I won’t be bored in this latest lockdown.

Farmhouse WIP

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Farmhouse WIP

This will be the farmhouse for my Romano-British farm.  I didn’t want to go for something as grand as a villa at this stage as it would probably dominate the tabletop and go beyond the small collection of buildings that the rules call for.  Moreover, I’ve read recently about the Orton Hall archaeological site near Peterborough which has revealed just this sort of arrangement for a Romano-British farm, namely a farmhouse surrounded by barns and storage buildings.  This is exactly the sort of look I want to achieve.  I therefore used the Vicus House by Warbases. A Vicus is the name for the settlements that sprang up in the vicinity of permanent legionary camps, so this isn’t a specifically agricultural building.  However, I think it will be ideal for a small scale farm similar to that at Orton Hall, where the owners ploughed the profits of their enterprise back into the business rather than spending it on flashy villas and mosaics.

In the three images above, you can see the application of roof tile strips.  These come from Warbases in laser cut A4 sheets.  You can get them in a variety of different tile patterns, but for this building you need the pantile pattern.

Starting at the bottom, you pull off a strip and then line it up with the pantile pattern etched into the roof.  You then glue it down with PVA.  The next strip will be offset against the previous one resulting in a half-tile overhang at one end.  This is intentional and the overhang can be sliced off with a scalpel once the process is complete. Make sure that this second strip is layered partially over the one below, just as tiles are in real life.  Repeat this process until the roof is covered.  This produces a textured surface on the roof that can be painted later and which hides the lug holes that you would have with the bare MDF roof.

The next three images show the application of further additional features to give body and texture to the MDF.

Coffee stirrers were cut to size with a sprue cutter and glued over the etched wooden beams with PVA. You need to take extra care where beams join at an angle to make sure they sit flat to one another.  I got a slight overhang with one join, so trimmed it with a modelling scalpel so it lay more or less flush.

The walls in between the beams were coated in PVA and then covered in fine sand.  The excess sand was poured away and once the glue was dried, the walls were given another coat of PVA to seal the sand in place.  This gives an impression of a finer plastering job than the polyfilla daub added to my earlier pig sty for example.

The plaster walls sit on a stone foundation layer.  These stones are etched into the MDF, but I used small pieces of Green Stuff to make it more three-dimensional.  I pushed them into place with wet fingers .  In doing so it isn’t necessary to be completely precise in following the etched pattern, but it is useful to do so approximately as it will keep you right when placing the interlocking stones at the corners of the building.  You also need to make sure that the Green Studd for those corner stones is bent around the corner as that makes it look like it is a single stone viewed from two angles rather than a blob of flat epoxy pushed  onto an MDF board.  Every so often, once I had done a few stones, I would scratch in some sharp chiselled edges in order to avoid uniformity.  This will also be useful later in providing texture for drybrushing.

The front door was covered in strips of card to simulate planking.  I cut up a box that had been holding some herb tea, but any cardboard packaging will do.

Farmhouse WIP

Finally, the model was fixed to a 15cm x 15cm terrain base and the ground covered in Vallejo base texture.  I heaped up some of the base texture into six raised beds that will become a vegetable garden.  Admittedly, at this stage it looks like six freshly dug graves, but hopefully the addition of some cabbages will correct this unfortunate impression!

Orchard

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Orchard

This is a small enclosed orchard. Nothing very fancy here. The wattle fencing was painted in exactly the same way as that used in the pig sty in the preceding entry. The trees are from Woodland Scenics and can be detached to make room for figures within the enclosure. They were originally purchased for a 15mm scale project, but serve equally well as 28mm fruit trees.

Terrain

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I’ve been working on some terrain recently. In the terrain generation rules for Dux Britanniarum you frequently need some farm buildings, so building those has been my first objective. I decided to go for a collection consisting of a farmhouse, storage barn, orchard and pig sty.

Terrain

The pig sty was tackled first. I’ve posted this image before and there are more details in that earlier entry, but briefly, this is the Warbases Dark Age barn enhanced with polyfilla covered walls, coffee stirrer wooden planking and thatch made from green stuff.

Terrain

The daub walls were painted with a base coat of VMC Light Grey, followed by a second coat of 50% Light Grey mixed with  50% Off White. Finally, I did a dry brushed highlight of pure Off White.

The thatch was give a base coat of 80% Beige Brown with 20% Cavalry Brown. It was then given a dry brushed highlight of 70% Tan Yellow mixed with 30% of the base coat mix. This was then washed all over with Army Painter Strong Tone ink.

After the ink had dried, l repeated the drybrushed first highlight. I then drybrushed a second highlight made up of 70% Tan Yellow mixed with 30% of the first highlight. The third highlight was 100% Tan Yellow, but this wasn’t quite light enough, so I gave a fourth highlight of 100% Buff.  The overall effect is one of fairly recently laid thatch. If you wanted older thatch that’s been on for some years, then you would need to go for a much greyer look.

The wattle fence was painted Light Grey and then washed with Army Painter Strong Tone Ink. It was then give a first highlight of drybrushed Tan Yellow followed by a second highlight of drybrushed Buff.

The wooden planking was base coated in Neutral Grey and then washed with Army Painter Strong Tone ink before being drybrushed with Tan Yellow.

Terrain

As this is a pig sty, I wanted the ground inside the enclosure to look muddier than my usual base colouring. I painted the base with a mix of 80% Chocolate Brown and 20% Black. I the. Added pure Chocolate Brown in selected areas to add some interest. The whole interior was then washed with a mix of 90% Chocolate Brown and 10% Black. I then added a drybrushed highlight of Beige Brown.

Finally, any pig sty needs pigs. I purchased some Iron Age pigs from Warbases. A bit of internet research revealed that the Iron Age pig has been recreated by breeding a Wild Boar with a Tamworth sow. This produces piglets with their mother’s ginger-orange colouring that goes much darker as the mature.

So the piglets were base coated with Orange Brown before getting a wash of Army Painter Soft Tone ink. They were then drybrushed with Light Brown before getting a final drybrushed highlight of 50%Light Brown and 50% Tan Yellow.

The adults were base coated in German Grey. This was drybrushed in London Grey for a first highlight, followed by a second highlight of Neutral Grey. This made them look a little bit blue, which wasn’t what I wanted, so a final drybrush of Beige Brown toned them down to where they needed to be and also gave a hint of their piglet colouring which you can often see in reference pictures.

The Completed Warband

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The Completed Warband

So this is the completed starter force for a Romano-British warband in Dux Britanniarum.

In the second rank you have three groups of Numeri, being led forward by one of the Nobles, Urien Cadwalladr. In the first rank to the right as you look at them are two groups of Milites and to the left are the elite Comanipulares. The Noble, Peredur Constantine stands in front of them. To the far left of the picture is the group of four Archers.

The Lord, Garcianus the Victorious stands at the front with his Champion, Gwallawc.

Urien Cadwalladr leads the Numeri forwardUrien Cadwalladr leads the Numeri forward
Peredur Constantine advances with the Milites and ArchersPeredur Constantine advances with the Milites and Archers
Garcianus with his Champion and Comanipulares Garcianus with his Champion and Comanipulares
The Warband advancesThe Warband advances

I now need to consider what I do next. I’ve achieved my initial goal of producing a Romano-British warband. I should say that using the project system to update on progress has been very useful in keeping me on track and not getting distracted. It was also extremely inspiring to be given a golden button back in August which encouraged me to keep going. Thinking back to that particular XLBS show I remember Been and Gerry saying that they wouldn’t mind seeing reinforcements and maybe a battle report or two. Well to do that you need a campaign and that means that Garcianus and his men need some opposition and that means the Saxons…!

The Lord

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The Lord

So we come to the final figure in this starter warband for Dux Britanniarum, the Lord, Garcianus.

Although he is only 24, he has already gained a name for himself and a roll on the relevant table shows that he is known as Garcianus the Victorious. This has no immediate effect, other than to make me hope that his performance on the tabletop will live up to his reputation!

He has a physique of average build and the Dutiful characteristic. This means he has the welfare of the people at heart and must follow the King career path in the game rather than pursue the life of a Warlord. The king he serves is 61 years old. This is relevant to the campaign, as the death of a king gives an opportunity for your Lord to take his place if he has gained enough support.

Garcianus is an exile, the son of a high-ranking father in a kingdom no longer in existence. This reduces his starting level of wealth and indeed, he only has a Beggar’s Bowl in funds.

The Lord

Garcianus is Footsore’s Romano-British Warlord figure and was great fun to paint. The fur collar on his cloak was probably something on which I went a bit too far. I followed a tutorial in the Dark Ages edition of the Painting War series of occasional magazines.  The end result was an eleven step process and although I think it looks good, I do wonder if that was excessive. Nevertheless, I shall list out each step so you can have a go yourself should you be so inclined. These aren’t the precise colours used in Painting War, but the ones I had available that most closely matched their instructions.  The colours I used were:

German Camo Black Brown (VMC 70.882)

Orange Brown (VMC 70.981)

Light Brown (VMC 79.929)

Dark Flesh (VMC 70.927)

Pale Grey Blue (VMC 70.907)

Army Painter Soft Tone ink

Note that all highlights are applied by drybrushing.  The steps were as follows:

Base: German Camo Black Brown

1st highlight: German Camo Black Brown 50% plus Orange Brown 50%

2nd highlight: German Camo Black Brown 25% plus Orange Brown 75%

3rd highlight: German Camo Black Brown 10% plus Orange Brown 90%

1st Wash: Army Painter Soft Tone Ink

2nd Wash: German Camo Black Brown 10% plus Orange Brown 90%

4th highlight: Orange Brown 100%

5th highlight: Light Brown 20% plus Orange Brown 80%

6th highlight: Light Brown 40% plus 40% Orange Brown plus 20% Dark Flesh (note that this mix looks suspiciously similar to Tan Yellow, so that might make a suitable single colour alternative)

7th highlight: Light Brown 20% plus Orange Brown 20% plus Dark Flesh 10% plus Pale Grey Blue 50%

3rd Wash: Light Brown 50% plus Orange Brown 50%

The Lord

The other prominent feature on Garcianus was the large jewel on his cloak clasp. I’ve always avoided jewels before now, but felt that I couldn’t do that with the model. I watched a YouTube video where a chap in Singapore was painting Eldar spirit stones and adapted the techniques he described.  Essentially it was a base coat of VMC Dark Vermilion over Black. I then painted a line of Orange around the lower left quarter rim, followed by an even thinner line of Flat Yellow over the Orange. Finally I did a small stroke of White over the Flat Yellow as the light exit point. This was complemented with a dot of White in the upper left corner to simulate the light entry point. Lastly, a coat of gloss varnish gave the jewel a general sheen.

The Lord

This completes my Romano-British starter force for Dux Britanniarum. I’ll try and post some pictures of the complete force over the weekend.

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