So as another figure painting project comes to an end its time to think about another. If you missed my last post about the Afghan forces for the North West Frontier you can find it here.
The Afghans effectively close my Colonials figure painting project for the time being. I still need to go back to the terrain aspects of these games and I still have plans for the River Nile, A walled city (Khartoum), and significantly more rocky terrain for the North West Frontier however for some strange reason my terrain building mojo is still missing – hopefully it will return soon because it has been a long time since a big terrain build has taken place.
So in the meantime I have been considering what to do next and at Salute last month I finally decided. The latest venture will focus on the Dark Ages and over the coming months the plan is to build Saxon, Viking and Norman forces of the Dark Ages. I figured with the wealth of plastic ranges available this would be an opportunity to build some really big armies. Fortunately the Vikings and Saxons are fairly generic with their roundshields etc so I suspect many will be pressed into action on either side.
Unlike other recent builds where every figure is based on his own washer and then slotted into a movement tray these forces will all be mounted on 10cm x 5cm bases. Depending on how these look I’ll placing four horse and either eight or ten infantry on one base.
So back to my Salute purchases –
For the Normans I have procured three boxes of cavalry and three of Infantry from Conquest games. The cavalry in particular are great value with 15 mounted troops for £20.
For the Vikings I bought two boxes of Hirdmen from Gripping Beast and a further two boxes of generic Dark Age warriors from the same manufacturer.
Finally I bought a big Starter Saxon box from Warlord games. This was actually procured post Salute on a deal from Warlord – 128 Foot for £60.
By my reckoning each plastic foot soldier is going to cost around 50p and the Horse around £1.20. I’ll go down the metal route for personalities and commanders but that is way off in the future. Using my previous army projects as a guide I reckon I’m going to need a minimum of 1600 figures to field two good sized armies. I’ll let you figure out the maths on how much this is going to cost.
I have already made a start on assembling some of these figures – a box of the Norman Knights and one box of Norman Infantry. Both sets are really easy to assemble although I was frustrated to discover that there were insufficient Kite Shields in the Cavalry box – did the Normans use round shields? Fortunately there are some spare in the Infantry box and I’ll be able to use them. The Norman Knightbox contains predominant mail clad warrior but there is one figure on each sprue in a simple cloth top. The thought occurred to me that I might be able to use these as light Saxon horse and give them the round shields.
A cursory glance at the three ranges I have bought (Warlord, Conquest and Gripping Beast) suggest that there is not mush opportunity to mix the pieces – some have arms joining bodies at the elbow and others at the shoulder. The heads do look more interchangeable and I’ll report back on these in a future post. It took around three hours to assemble these two boxes.