Monday, 29 December 2014

More Saxon Kings for Saga/Valhalla and a Longboat

Well I was lucky this Christmas and got a little time to paint and I thought that I would finish off Rædwald, King of Anglia and his bodyguard and banner man, again these are from Gripping Beast. I guess I will finish this Saga boat that I am on, but at the moment there doesn't seem to be an end and I am rather happy about that. Anyway as I am actually putting on a game at Hammerhead in February, I am combining my two loves, Very British Civil War and the Dark Ages together, I wonder what or rather Hoo that can be about, it seemed fitting that I got around to Rædwald.

But more on that later, but firstly Rædwald and crew. I have to say I am impressed with these sculpts and in fact I remember seeing them years ago in Wargames Illustrated and wanted them then but never got around to getting them as I thought I would never play Dark Ages. I am glad I did as this as wonderful sculpts and are bagged full of character.

Rædwald is King of Anglia and is a rather famous chap or rather his helmet is rather famous, imagine being trumped by your helmet? Maybe you could see what the Hammerhead game might be about? I do like this figure, his pose and the way he is holding himself. I have gone for a rather bright violet tunic, not you can see much of that and a fancy yellow and jade hem. I have gone for a simple leather jerkin and mail with gold arm and leg protection as is fitting for a King. But I wanted the figure to be simple as the helmet is where it is at. The actually helmet is a copy of the Sutton Hoo helmet and I have tried to paint it as such which polished steel and silver inlays and gold trim. I think this makes him stand out rather nicely.

Next up is one of his bodyguard who has the famous Sutton Hoo shield or rather is carrying a shield that is similar to the Sutton Hoo shield. I have again gone for a simple palette for him with a green tunic and a jade trim and brighten this figure with a wonderfully bright helmet in bronze and gold and a red shield with bronze fittings. I think this has worked a treat with him and just lifts the figure.

The second bodyguard I have followed what I have done before with a muted palette for a natural weave cloak with a couple of red lines to add interest to it, a red tunic with green trim and a blue striped trousers. The helmet is basically mail with a iron crown and gold trim and the shield is freehand, yes folks I have not used any LittleBigMen transfers on him, is differing reds striped and a bit of blue to bring it out. I am rather happy with the result.

Lastly is Rædwald's banner man without a banner at the moment, I am waiting for this to turn up from LittleBigMen. I really like this figure as it is a simple figure to paint with just his cloak and trousers to worry about. I again have gone with a muted palette with him with a natural grey colour for his trousers and a muted blue colour for the cloak. For interest I have painted his helmet bronze and his horn in well horn colour to add some colour and brightness to him which I think I have managed to do.

Last up is the start of a Viking Longboat or Knarr which I got from WarBases at Partizan in the Park. The actual kit is rather simple with a resin hull and MDF parts and shields. Now for the money this is a good kit to use as a base and with a couple of simple additions I have turned it into something more like a Longboat. All I have done is to plank the fore and aft decks, made a rudder, added a couple of cross beams and wrapped some wire around the mast. Now the wire might get changed for some dental floss as I am not totally happy with it.

Next thing to do is to basecoat the whole thing black and get to painting the wood on it, but I am not sure as too paint it natural wood or go for something a little more colourful. I guess we will have to wait and see about that, but I need it finished for Hammerhead in February so I better make my mind up quickly.

Anyway that all from me folks and see you all soon. I have noticed that i am only two and a half thousand short of 300000 hits some if we make it by the New Year I will do a prize of a painting by me for one luck winner. So spread the word and if I reach 300000 hits by New Years Day then I will do a competition for one of you to win a painting by me.

Have a nice day.


Thursday, 25 December 2014

A Very Merry Christmas to All

Yes indeed I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and I hope it is a good one for you all.

From Mrs PK and myself

Monday, 22 December 2014

Oi You'll Have Someone Eye Out With That!

See what I have done as I have painted out some more Anglo Danes for Saga/Valhalla this time in the form of King Harold Godwinson and his brothers. These figures are from Gripping Beast once again and are lovely figures. They are from their Heroes of the Viking Age range and are on the Heroic scale side of 28mm being closer to 32mm but lovely all the same.

First up is King Harold himself and he is a wonderfully posed figure with his Dane Axe and cloak, he is very imposing. There is a lot of detail on him with the fur on the cloak and his mail shirt to his leather jerkin under the mail and broach and sword he looks every inch the King he was. I had to go to town on him and gave him a lovely violet cloak with a yellow lining and a fancy cuffs to his tunic fitting someone of his status. I am rather pleased with the whole look and will prove to be a very valuable addition to my Anglo Dane force.

Next up is one of his brothers so lets call this one Gyrth. Again is his wonderfully posed and again looks every inch the hero that he is, I just wished I knew who the sculptor is as he has done a wonderful job on them. Again like Harold is has that typical Anglo Dane Huscarle look with his mail shirt and leather jerkin under it and his great Dane Axe in hand ready to come down on some poor foes head. I have gone for a more nature look with him and too am pleased with the way he has turned out.

Lastly is Harold's other brother Leofwine, who is a again in a wonderful pose with his Huscarle look and his Dane Axe ready for the swing. Again he is full of detail with his mail shirt and leather jerkin under it but also fine detail on the helmet brow and a small cross and chain around his neck. I have gone for a brighter palette for him, with a red tunic with a blue and white cuff and trim detail. I am also pleased with the way he turned out too.

I think this is one of the best sculpted sets that Gripping Beast do and I think something that all Dark Age fans should have and in fact even if you are not a fan of the Dark Ages you should get this set as it is so good and the figures are so nicely posed, I could see them in a fantasy RPG quite easily. It not often that I get carried away prizing figures but these do deserve it and whoever sculpted them, and they have the look of Bill Thornhill about them, they are blooming good.

So every have a good day and a very Merry Christmas from Mrs PK and me.


Friday, 19 December 2014

Ragnar Hairypants and Viking Warlords for Saga/Valhalla

I am coming to the end of my Viking force for a little while, until I start adding more to it, another band of levies and another warrior unit, which will not be long as I have enjoyed doing these so much. So it is now for the Warlords for the Vikings as I have another unit of Levy archers, that I have not painted as yet as I won them from Stefan and they are nice as they are but I want to paint them up in my style to match the rest of my force.

But first up is Ragnar Hairypants or rather Ragnar Lothbrok, he who the TV series Vikings in based on and again this figure is from Gripping Beast. Now he is a lovely figure, a dream to paint and full of detail, with the hide cloak and fur trousers and a very characterful face. I simply love the figure and its pose, it just shouts HERO!. He is also a little larger than the average Gripping Beast figure, them being 28s he is Heroic 28, or 32mm scale, but as he is a hero he should be larger than life.

He is so full of detail and large flat surfaces so you can freehand some extra details to him. I went for a lovely deep blue colour for the tunic and added some fancy trim to base of it and around the neck. I added a golden sand colour for the under tunic and edged this with a blue and white trim. The rest I painted as fur. I really tried to go to town of the animal fur pelt and i am rather happy for the results.

With Ragnar but not in the set, actually Ragnar is a single figure, is his bannerman. Now I wanted to paint him as a more traditional Viking and when for a earthy tone for his Tunic and under tunic. I tried to keep this simple and only added trim to the tunic. I brighten this figure up by panting his trousers a bright blue with red stripes and finished him off with a traditional Viking helmet.

The horn I had fun with and tried to make it look like an animal horn topped with a gold band. I think this came out rather well. I also added a banner from LittleBigMen Studios of a dragon and I think this lifts this figure up and is my forces banner.

My other Warlord is from the plastic Viking hirdmen boxset and is a again a very nice figure. Stand with his raised sword and shield I think is fits the part of leader very well. I have gone for a bright red tunic to make him stand out and fitting of someone of his stand and trimmed it with a bright blue to make it stand out even more. The rest I gone for a more neutral tone to make the bright stand out even farther.

The boxset comes with a wolf pelt and this had to be his and I enjoyed painting this trying to bring out the wonderful details on this. I had to go with the dragon theme that the force has and this is shown on his shield, again a transfer from LittleBigMen Studios.

With him is his personal bodyguard which I had to do as a traditional Viking with a dirty big Dane Axe. I went for a rather natural tone palette on his tunic, but still it is a rich colour and a light colour trim. I wanted that typical Viking look and went for the the typical helmet with face guard and had this guard highlighted in gold. I rather like the look and might add some more figures like this to my force.

Have a great day,


Sunday, 14 December 2014

Viking Berserkers for Saga/Valhalla

As the title states here is the next unit for my Viking force and this time its another unit of elite hearthguard troops upgraded to berserkers. Now again these are from the plastic boxset of Viking Hirdmen from Gripping Beast and I think it shows the versatility of this boxset in the way you can create most of the unit types for Saga with it.

I have sort of gone for a unit of armed warriors with dual weapons, mainly as I like the look and partly to me they scream VIKINGS!!!!. I have done these in this way so that I can use them of normal hearthguard or berserkers, depending on my mood, which I guest means that I will be playing them of berserkers most of the time but it does give me the option of having a large unit of eight strong heathguard to chop its way across the battlefield.

What I love about the plastic boxsets from Gripping Beast is the extras that come with it and the way you can customise the figures to make them all different. With these it was a simple chop the hands off and put on a new weapon and being plastic it only takes a couple of seconds, the hardest part is getting the hand is a natural position.

I have gone for the bright colour palette of these as these are the elite warriors and should and would of the very best in the of clothing, weapons and armour. Actually what I from found the colours of dyes seemed to be much brighter but I didn't want them to bright as it would notof looked right and artificial.

I have added shield to their backs, mainly as I see these as the first into battle and being raiders, their would be heavily armed and the shield is a must. Also as I simply like the look of warriors with their shield strapped across their backs and again its that typical Viking look. The transfers are from LittleBigMan Studios, of course, I am not trying to paint those designs.

Thats it for today but before I go I noticed the dust of these figures and I wish I had noticed before taking them, the new camera does wonders in the picture taking part with the detail and now I realised I will have to gently wipe clean the next lot.

Have a nice day folks



Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Viking Hearthguard for Saga/Vahalla

Well here is the next unit of my Vikings for Saga/Valhalla and I have enjoyed these. Again the figures are from the plastic Viking boxset from Gripping Beast with the exception of one, the one with the red raven on a black field, which is a metal Gripping Beast special, limited edition figure based on Kurt Douglas in the film Vikings.

Now these are some of my favourite figures and I have enjoyed assembling and painting them greatly. Them are very characterful and actually, like the Saxon boxset, quite easy to put together. Now these are warrior elites and as such I have got for that harden warrior look with these. So I have gone for the sword and shield combination and the addition of the limited edition figure I think these have bags of character.

I have gone for a more mixed, bright tones and trim as fitting of elite warriors and though not as fancy as the Saxon elite warriors I still think that I have captured that hard fighting look of these. I generally have gone for rich earthy tones with these, with the odd bright colour to add colour to them with the exception of the Kurt Douglas look-a-like. For him I have gone for the look in the film, which was mainly browns and blacks and I think he does look like him especially the chin.

As I have mention before I am rather pleased with the effect on them and I think they fit the position of my Hearthguard in my Viking force. While they maybe be not the most colourful of the ones I have painted I think that as a unit they should cut their way though the foe that stands before them.

As you may have noticed I have added so extras to the back and foreground in the pictures in the form as a sheep, carts and a Celtic cross. The sheep is from Redoubt Enterprises and is a nice model. I have them for battlefield fluff at shows with a ton of other animals and birds as a point of interest for the onlooker. I have painted the sheep as English Leicester Sheep, which is a basically white sheep which a touch of brown in it.

The carts and Celtic Cross are from Warbases and are a dream to put together. They paint up rather well and rather look the part. They are two different types of carts and they are rather generic and can fit in almost any period you can think of. The Celtic Cross was a little bit of pain to assemble, lining up the holes in the cross is a pain, but once assembled ad a lick of paint has been added to it, it really looks the part. I have added some ivy and weeds to it too to give it that aged look and like the carts it can fit into most periods.

Thats all from me today and have a good time whatever you are doing and more Viking goodness to follow soon.


Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Start of Something New, Well a New Illustration

Well here is something I have not done for a while and though I cannot say much about it or what it is for I can show you and explain a little. Having not done any illustrations for a couple of months, in fact the last one was the Wild West Law Marshal I did for Wargame Bloggers Quarterly and yes there is going to be a new one for the the E-Zine shortly, I though I would try again.

So I though it would be nice to go back to the begin and do another Very British Civil War illustration. Now this illustration, not the one above that's the Wild West Marshal, its the one above, is taken from the Canterbury front of a Anglican League tank crew posing for the camera. I have gone for that typical civilian look of a typical League militia unit with one of the crew wearing his civies, complete with flat cap and tank top and the other, the tank commander, wearing a French style tankers leather jacket and tank cap. I have gone for that generic look and it could easily be again of the factions in VBCW. The actually tank is a Vickers Medium Mk3, not that you could see that much of it.

I hope that you like it and you never know I might actually doing some prints of my illustrations for people to buy, not this one, if there is market for it, so let me know. Anyway have a nice day.


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Viking Warriors for Saga/Valhalla

Now that the Anglo Danes/Saxons have been done, for a while at least I have turned to my second Warband the Vikings. Well you cannot have just the one Saga army can you and beside if I need to fight another who has not played either game before it does give me I force for them to play with. So here is my first unit of Vikings and it is a unit of warriors.

Now this unit is from various figures that Gripping Beast do in they Viking range and frankly I have been watching too much Vikings on the History Channel. Now these figures are mainly metal figures, with three being plastics, not that you could tell which where which. I wanted this unit of warriors to be more like raiders than actual armoured clad warriors and I think as a unit of raiders they work well.

The bearer-chested warrior was one of the specials that Gripping Beast did in 2013 and to tell the truth I am not totally sure if he is a Viking or just a generic Dark Age warrior, but I actually like him and wanted him in my group.

I have actually enjoyed painting them chaps and have sort of limited myself to a small palette of colours to try and bring them together, which I think I have done but have kept them still rather individual too. I think I will be adding another unit of warriors at a later date, but they will be more you traditional armour clad warriors from the plastic Viking boxset but these I think fit the bill as I wanted them to be.

You all have a very nice day.

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