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Saturday, 24 September 2016

JJ's Dark Ages - Saxon Warband


It was on my little sojourn to France last month I put together the box of Gripping Beast (GB) Saxons that I bought in February and I received  a very nice birthday present from Tom of the GB King Penda and his champion.

The reason for embarking on a collection of Dark Ager warriors is two fold, firstly the Xmas game at the DWG in December where everyone in the club comes together to play in one big end of year extravaganza, and this year it happens to be Dux Brittaniarum and we all need to bring some figures.

Secondly I love this period, particularly the 8th century onwards with the Viking and later Norman raids and invasions.

So I thought I should get on and at least have my minimum of six warriors done in time for the game and then I can add to the collection as I go from then on. That idea saw me pick up two boxes of GB plastic Dark Age Warriors, a box of Viking Hirdsmen and assorted bases at Colours the other weekend.


So here we go with the Penda and champion figure that Tom got me together with some command and theign figures from the plastics.

I love the King Penda model with severed heads in hand astride another fallen foe, perhaps one of the five or so Saxon Kings he did in during his remarkable reign of Mercia.


I have continued the Warwickshire theme for my contributions to previous club games when I fielded the Earl of Warwick for our Wars of the Roses big game a few years ago and being a son of the heart of England and birthplace of the great Bard of Stratford it seemed fitting to have Penda at the head of my Saxons.

King Penda and his champion, mix well with the Gripping Beast plastic range
The banner was fun to do using one of the Little Big Men offerings that requires soaking the decal onto white paper and then cutting to shape and fixing on to the pole,

Like wise the shield decal for Penda's champion, the fierce looking fellow with spear nonchalantly carried over his shoulder (far right above), required a bit of cutting and painting to allow for the hand on the shield.



I was really pleased to see how well the plastics match in with the metals, with the latter very slightly larger but not really noticeably so, when in a group on the table as I hope my pictures illustrate.

King Penda was famously, the last pagan English King and stands here among his warriors sporting Christian crosses at their necks, which is not to much of a problem as the King was not known for forcing his religious beliefs on his fellow Mercians or the other Saxon Kingdoms he conquered, which probably explains the religion surviving and prospering after his demise.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penda_of_Mercia


Once the collection has grown I will put together a JJ's Dark Ages section on the blog where I can bring all this stuff together in one place. Still it's good to have things underway and to know from small acorns mighty oaks do grow.


It has been interesting times here at Chez JJ this week as the bare brick wall on the right in the picture below illustrates we have the builders in.

Carolyn has decided we need a new bathroom and a refit in the others and so a new door way was needed to gain access to our bedroom to allow for the addition. This entailed knocking holes in walls with the new door just visible in the picture.

As you can see my little painting desk is very close by and with the first bit of serious knocking the 1930's vintage plaster evaporated into a dusty air choking miasma that covered my desk in plaster remnants.


Once I had rescued important stuff off of it and chucked a dust sheet over the rest I had to temporarily relocate the painting table and was only able to tidy up and rearrange the desk later this week once the wall was finished with and now needs the attention of a plasterer.

Anyway things are sort of back to normal and the desk gets covered in the day just in case!

So it seems that every other wargame blog features the painting desk at some time, so here is my little altar to the God of Wargaming all tidied up with everything in its place and minus the plaster and brick debris.


So there we are and it will be back to the Spanish in the next post with the Alcantara Heavy Cavalry Regiment.

16 comments:

  1. Fantastic looking dark age warriors!

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  2. Very nice. I look forward to making you put them back in the box !

    Vince

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    1. Cheers Vince, that sounds like "fightin talk!" Hail Penda!

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  3. Looks excellent! It reminds me that I really need to get back to Dark Ages...

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    1. Thanks Engel. Well this collection was always going to get done at some stage, the club game just brought it forward a bit.

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  4. Great looking warband you have there. Really like the mix of figures from Gripping Beast including the older metal figures.

    Great to see them painted.

    Cheers, Ross

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    1. Thanks Ross, glad you like them. They were fun to paint and I am looking forward to a bit more time to add to them.

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  5. Great looking figures. I find myself drawn to this period also. I have to seriously resist the temptation to "invest" in another branch of this hobby....at least for the time being. Seeing your figures makes it a tad bit harder to resist the temptation!

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    1. Cheers Adam. Yes this figure collecting thing certainly requires an element of discipline to avoid being side tracked. I guess my approach is to focus on a main project but allow an amount of time to work on other stuff in between. This has allowed me to build the core of another project which is there and done for when that period becomes the main project in time.

      Well it works for me and allows me an element of variety in my collecting.

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  6. Great stuff! My favourite period too, the time of Bede through to Athelstan & the battle of Brunanburh!

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    1. Thanks John. You and me mate. I loved following this period on the British History podcast and the time spent listening to Penda strutting his stuff helped the French Napoleonic infantry job slip by.

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  7. Great looking saxons , I have to admit to having lots of unpainted dark ages. l bought saga and dux bellorum with great plans, one day!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks Iain. I plan to mix in a unit of six figures every now and then with the Napleonics just to give me some variety and build up the collection gradually. I reckon I can also keep adding the odd unit when I get stuck into the Romans and Dacians next year. So much to do so little time, but a nice problem to have.
      Cheers
      JJ

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  8. They look superb, well done...Superb and fierce...

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    1. Cheers Phil, that was the look I was after.
      JJ

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