Wednesday 16 January 2019

The Armies assemble

It seemed a shame to set out the Saxons and not the Normans so yesterday both sides took to the field.

Previous post here

Obviously my table is not big enough and I haven't even added the hill, woods etc

Even so there is a lot of plastic ranked up and ready to rumble.... 

Normans on the left - Saxons on the right

Off to focus on how I can bring this battle to the table...

Sunday 13 January 2019

28mm Saxon Army Complete

Following on from the Norman Army I am delighted top present the Saxon Army - now all complete bar some banners

previous post can be found here on the Norman Army

These are all predominantly Gripping Beast Dark Age figures sourced from the following boxes

I have mixed up the Vikings and Saxons - I know its heresy but fundamentally they look the same.

There are a lot of figures to assemble.

So the Saxon Army takes shape - first up some skirmishers - please note I am only showing some examples of these units not all of them

Then we have the unarmoured Fyrd - I need a few more of these boys and two more boxes are on order

and of course we have the mainstay of the army - the armoured thegns

Of course there are the Huscarls - an extra big unit and differentiated with their red cloaks. The cloaks came from spares I had from my Fireforge Crusaders

I thought it would be a bit of fun to give the Saxons at least some cavalry - these were created from some Norman Cavalry spares and a box of dark age cavalry.

Finally King Harold and a few command stands (only showing Harold today) - He still needs a flag.

So here is the entire Saxon Army

And that's the next post I'll show both armies side by side (over 1000 figures) and talk about how we are going to play that iconic battle Hastings

Thanks for following

To see both armies facing one another go here

Thursday 10 January 2019

Norman Archers & Command

previous post here

So here comes the third and final post for the Norman Army. In this we are focusing on the Norman Archers and the Command Stands.

The Archers have all been assembled using the Conquest Games Medieval Archers and the Gripping Beast Dark Age Archers. I managed to squeeze out 8 units of these chaps – some of which can be used as skirmishers if required. A couple of observations on these plastic figures.

Conquest Archers

Gripping Beast Archers

First up the Gripping Beast figures appear to be slightly smaller in bulk against the Conquest ones and for that reason I have avoided where possible putting them on the same bases. The Conquest versions are beautifully sculpted and give the modeller plenty of opportunity to create plenty of different poses. Indeed you can give them short or long bows. These are probably the best of the range that I have seen from conquest and despite being called medieval archers on the box they have a very strong dark age flavour – conical helms and short mail coats. So as mentioned I can field 8 of these units.


Conquest Archers
My research into Hastings suggests that 25% of the Norman Army were archers, 25% horse and 50% infantry. As of today I have 35 units for the Norman Army in the following numbers – Archers (8), Horse (10), Foot (17) – close enough I think.

Gripping Beast Archers


Skirmish line
Archers on the table

As far as the command stands are concerned I created four from the plastic Norman Foot boxes and a further five from metal figures sourced from the likes of Conquest, Footsore and another manufacturer I cannot recall. These have all been mounted on circular bases to differentiate them from the standard units. Both rulesets we are going to use – Hail Caesar and To the Strongest call for separate leadership stands.

So there we have it folks the Norman Army – just need to add a few banners and then it is all complete

Conquest Plastic

Close Up

Pictures of the Duke (conquest games - bloody big horse)

Still need to add the banner

And there we have it the Norman Army - 35 units and 10 command stands

Up next (as soon as more static grass arrives) is the Saxon Army of King Harold.

which you can now find here

Monday 7 January 2019

The Norman Cavalry

Thanks for all the great comments on the Norman Infantry and as promised here comes the cutting edge of the Norman Army - their Cavalry.

previous post can be found here

These have all been exclusively sourced from Conquest Games and are probably the best value cavalry figures you can buy - 15 horses and riders for £20.

I have procured over the last nine months sufficient numbers to field over 100 of these - formed up into 10 units (each with 10 men) - Again these are based on a combo of singles, doubles and fours.

The following pictures are just a few shots of the painted forces - they certainly look like they mean business

The costs of buying transfers to do all the shields was going to be prohibitive so I have painted my own..

The charge....

First six units on the table...

Second group of four...

and now added to the infantry....

Archers and command stands next and then that's the Norman Army finished

next post here

Saturday 5 January 2019

The Norman Infantry

Its been sometime since I posted on this project - the starting link is here

Since April of last year I have been working my way through almost a thousand 28mm figures for my Dark Ages project and although I didn’t quite complete all the figure painting by the New Year – two days later I could finally lay down my brushes. 

The Norman Infantry

This has not been a fun project and there have been plenty of times along the route where I have cursed and almost cut my losses and sold up. However perseverance has paid off and I can finally relax. Almost – there is just the small job of basing these troops. 

Some of you might be asking why this was not a fun project and I think I can distil this down into a couple of simple statements. The first is that pretty much all the units are the same – chainmail and more chainmail. To get the randomness of what you want from a dark age force this means there is no continuity in the clothing (other than chainmail) so that means every tunic, set of leggings and shield has to be different for each man standing next to another. The second reason is also very simple my ambitions were too big – I needed two forces (Saxon & Norman) that would look sufficiently large enough on my table. To recreate Hastings (the first game planned) needed a sizeable number of troops (aka units) for at least three players either side. This roughly meant I needed to create at least 30+ units a side for the [players to command a reasonable number of troops.

I also rather foolishly decided that no troops would be finished off until all the figures were painted. This ultimately meant I didn’t see the progress of the finished article coming to the table until the very end. From a motivational point of view this was not good and for future projects I’ll go back to my tried and tested route of finishing off units as a project comes together. So enough soul searching – lets celebrate the first units to be completed.

In this post we are going to focus on the Norman Infantry – these have almost all been sourced from Conquest Games (there are a few Gripping Beast Saxons mixed in with Kite Shields). 

For the great value of £20 you get 44 plastic figures in a box. Each box contains 8 sprues with five different posed and clothed figures and two command sprues (each with two figures). 

The figures themselves are fine (most see to be advancing) and where there are sufficient kite shields to kit out all the figures there is a rather mixed bag of weapon poses to choose from.Spedifically not enough spears being carried upright.

Rather disappointingly the arms are not interchangeable with the Gripping Beast range. Each main sprue consists of two armoured chaps (one in mail and the other in scale) and three that appear to be in cloth tunics. I decided early on that the armoured boys would be separated from the non armoured chaps to create two distinct types of units.

All these figures (as have my entire project) have been based on either 5cm x 5cm mdf bases or 10cm x 5cm bases (sourced from Warbases) – typically the armoured units are based in 4’s and 8’s whereas the lighter unarmoured folks are in 4’s and 7’s. Units size can be adjusted according to the number of bases and can range from typically 20cm to 30cm frontage. In the pictures below the units are based on a 25cm frontage with a typical unit containing 24 warriors.

This gives me some 7 armoured units and 10 unarmoured units. The bases have all been finished off with sand, static grass and tufts sourced from War Painter on ebay 

Onto the figures...

Unarmoured Normans

Unarmoured Normans

Scale Mail wearing Normans

Chainmail Normans

More Infantry

Taking to the field

All the infantry - 17 units

In the next post we will look at the Norman and Saxon Cavalry

which can be found here