Saga and Valhalla

This page is dedicated to my adventures in Saga from Gripping Beast and Valhalla from East Street Games.

Saxon Warriors for Saga/Valhalla

As I have said in the last post I am on a different painting trip, for me that is, and I have slowly been finishing off my two Saga armies, Saxons and Vikings. You will be seeing more of these over the next few weeks but here is first of them and it is a group of Saxon Warriors.

Now I have tried to be quite historical accurate as I can be, really there is not a lot of information about what these chaps where really clothed like but I have looked into what colours where common and was surprised but just how bright some of the natural dyes were.

These chaps are the from the Saxon Thegns plastic boxset by Gripping Beast and I love them. The multi-part hard plastic means that you can make them individual and the equipment that they come with is quite amazing. Plus the number you get in the boxset is staggering, you get forty four figures in box and all for a the princely price of £22.00, making each figure only 50p each.

The actual sculpts as very good and fit in the rest of there range of metal figures very well and they are easy to assemble and a joy to paint. In fact this boxset is the foundation for my whole Saxon Saga army with all my Leader, Huscarls or Heathguards and Ceorls or Warriors unit coming from this one box and I still enough left over to make a couple more units of warriors.

As I have said before, these are a dream to paint as the level of detail is good, deep and clean, though I have to say like all plastics, there is a bit of flexing when painting, especially the swords and spear, which can be alarming at first, but they are rather strong and robust and I have had no breaking or damages. I have found that having a metal base instead of the plastic one that come with the box, helps to give them weight and an added bonus of if they are knocked off the table or dropped they seem to land standing and thus further protects the figure from getting damaged.

I am also planning on use these chaps for East Street Games, Valhalla, which is a very interesting small level Dark Age Skirmish game and worth checking out, the rules are free to download or only cost five quid for the book. Is has an interesting narrative playing style and is great fun.

Saxon Levys for Saga/Valhalla

Next up are my Saxon Levies for my Saga/Valhalla game and these chaps are from another plastic boxset from Gripping Beast, this time from the Dark Age Warriors box. Again the boxset is priced at £22.00 but you only get forty figures this time, and that is still stupidly cheap for forty Dark Age warriors. In this box set you lots of weapon choices in fact you have enough to arm them all with spears and shield or have thirty two slingers or sixteen armed with javelins as well as swords and hand axes. They are quite generic so there well fit in most Dark Age forces and being hard plastic there can be converted very easily.

Now please bare with me with the photos as I have just got a new camera and I am still learning how to use the bloody thing. But as you can see I have assembled twelve of them for as I have said to be used as my levies for my Saxon force. I have to say I have cheated a wee bit with these as I have included a mix of weapons so I can use them as normal warriors or as javelinmen or slingers depending on the force I want to play.

Like the Saxon Thegn boxset I have no idea who has sculpted them but there are very nice and you could mix of match, especially the heads for the other boxsets, just to add a little more interest and give the unit the odd helmet or two, as I have.

Now I have enjoyed painting these chaps as I have had less in the way of armour, well mail shirts, to paint and more in the way of clothing. I have actually gone for a more natural colour scheme with the odd bright colour to accent them, especially around the cuffs and trim around the neck and on the bottom of the tunics. But it is still amazing just how bright these natural dyes can be.

The shield again from Little Big Men Studios, the Dark Age set especially designed for this boxset, add more colour to the figures and I think them really set them off.

Overall these were a dream to paint and a fun unit to build and I am happy with the whole result. I think that I will be adding more of these figures to my Saxon force in the future when I next build some more of them.

Still on a Raga Tip, or Rather a Saga Tip

Yes indeed I am carrying on with the same theme of the last couple of posts about my Anglo Dane Saga force and this time it is the time of the Elite units my Huscarles. Now this is the fighting elite of Anglo Saxon/Dame society where the best and latest armour and weaponry. I have armed these chaps with hand weapons and once again these are from Gripping Beast's Saxon Thegn boxset.

This just goes to show how versatile the boxset is as you can use this for both the Huscarle and Warriors alike with very little changes if any to be made, I have simply armed my warriors with spears and my Huscarle with swords and axes.

Again I have gone for that darken palette with a bright colour for the trim around the sleeves and at the bottom of the tunic. Coupled with the helmets having a bit of gold trimwork to them I think this makes these warriors look like they are a cut above the rest.

Again I have used Little Big Men Studios transfers for the shields and they work really well and so look the part being nice and crisp and getting my detail in than I could with just painting them myself.

I have enjoyed painting these chap up and I feel that I am getting into the Dark Ages vibe now and just getting into the swing of things. I have at the same time found this quite a challenge as it as been really hard to keep a uniformed look to them and actually I have given up on that and opted for the shield to bring them all in together.

Now I am nearing the end on my another unit and warlord to do to finish then the Anglo Dane/Saxon force with be finished. I say finished I mean until I add a couple of more uniforms to them in the future. I have enjoyed painting these and will be visiting back to them shortly in the future.

The Anglo-Danes Axe of Men

This is the last unit for the Anglo Danes/Saxon force that I have and these are my hard hitting, wall breakers, the Huscarle armed with Dane Axes. These are the stock troops of my warband and rather fitting that I have used the Saxon Thegn boxset by Gripping Beast and also taken the Axes and some of the arms from the Viking boxset.

I am using these as my super elites and as such I have gone to town on them trying to make then stand out as the rich elite warriors that they are. I have gone for a slightly brighter palette on these and bright trim too but I have also gone for the most decorative helmets in the boxset and painted them with a lot of gold and bright metal.

I have enjoyed assembling them and have tried to give them that flair that you would expect from elite warriors. It is quite amazing how the Saxon and Viking boxset work so well together and how you can mix and match between them. This does give them that little different look but all in all it is well worth the effect.

As hearthguard I have given them a shield strapped to there back as I believe they would still carried their shields into battle and I have again used Little Big Men Studios transfers for the shield pattern. I have gone for the most striking ones and I think that they do work well together.

Now thats all the units painted and completed for the Anglo Danes/Saxons and the Warlord from to be completed and it is them who will be next to do. Once these are completed then I am going to add another unit of Warriors and Levies to my force and then these will be totally finished but thats for the future to do.

Saxon Warlords for Saga/Valhalla

This is the last of the Anglo Danes/Saxons for a while until I get around to assembling and painting the additions units for them but next coming up is someone to fight them. So here are my Warlords for my force, actually I have done two warlords and both are from Gripping Beast. The first one is from the Plastic Saxon Thegns boxset, strangely enough, as are most of the figures that I have used for my Saxon force.

He is one of the two leaders that come with the boxset and I have gone the traditonal leader look with sword in hand, shout encouragement, leading from the front. I have again gone for a bright palette with him, giving him a red tunic and toning this down a bit by having his cloak painted blue and a light blue trim.

Again I have used Little Big Men Studios transfers for the shield and used a red one to match his tunic to unify the look. Also I have given him a more ornate helmet with gold trim and inlays just to pick him out as someone of important and wealth.

I see him as a traditional leader and have go for that more 7th/8th century look of a Saxon warlord rather than a 10th/11th century one that would be fighter the Normans. But saying that he is rather generic so he could be used for that two.

The other Warlord that I have painted is again as I have stated before fromGripping Beast, but this time it is actually one of their metal figures and it is the King Penda, The Last Pagan King set with Penda, his shield bearer and bannerman.

Firstly I have to say I really nice this figure of Penda as there is something very striking about him. Also I like his shield bearer too but the bannermen is the weakest if the three and even then is a good model but it is just me and I think it could of been better.

So back to King Penda, now I know there are no special rules for him, like some other Kings and Heroes in Saga but really I don't mind or care as I simply like the model. As a King I went for more unusual colours and the bluey/green I used to the tunic just shouted out at me to use it. It is a nice colour, bright but overly bright adding a large trim in red and gold set him out from the average run of the mill leaders and heroes. I have also gone for a purple cloak, as is fitting for a King and the helmet is heavily trimmed in gold too. I like the way he is step of a fallen warrior and carrying two severed heads as I think it finishes off the look.

Now to his shield bearer, or bodyguard. Again I really like this figure too as there is something about the way he is standing and the helmet with the mail hanging from it that makes this figure different. I have again gone for a bright colour for his tunic and given him a brighter trim, as is fitting for the King's bodyguard, but is simply in design. But I have put a lot of gold trim on the helmet to make the helmet stand out from the mail shirt and to mark him out as a man of importances. Again I have used a Little Big Men Studio's transfer for the shield, which I think works well.

Now for King Penda's Bannerman. Now before anyone says anything, yes I know it is a Christian banner and not a Pagan one but it was the only one I have and I like it. Also it means I can use this as my force Standard Bearer whichever force I want to go with, Anglo Saxon or Anglo Danes. I have go for a more plainer look for him, but have added more trim to both his tunics and his undergarment too.The banner is again from LBMS and it is a lovely design adding both colour and presence to him and set him off.

For the keen eyed amongst you, you will have noticed that there are now two Viking A frame tents in the background as I have finished the second one. These tents are from WarBases and are cracking bit of kit. I will try and get a better picture of them when I do the Vikings.

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