Saturday, 29 February 2020

Footsore Anglo Danes

These little fellas popped through my letterbox the other day. They are Anglo Danish Huscarls by Footsore Miniatures and are beautifully sculpted by Matthew Bickley.  These are very lively action packed belligerent sculpts and they really do look the business.

The castings I received were very clean and crisp. There was minimal flash if any. They came with an assortment of round shields some of which had sculpted wooden planks on the front and back(!) of the shield; this is plainly not the sort of equipment a well armed Huscarl would have carried. Perhaps a lowly Ceorl who could not afford anything of quality but not an elite warrior. A shield made purely of lindenwood ("Lindenwood" is the wood of the linden tree) would not have lasted more than a minute in combat. Quality shields of the period were lued together with a glue made out of cheese(!) but what really have the shield its strength and durability was the convex construction and the leather stretched and glued over the lindenwood. Also, by this period it is most likely that a large proportion of the high status Northern European warrior class would be using the classic French (and Norman) kite shield as this shape offered added protection to the lower limbs. The kite shield was not just a mounted warriors piece of kit. In fact, it is not beyond the bounds of reason that the army Harald Hardrada arrived with in 1066 would have a had a proportion of their elite warriors carrying kite shields. After all, keeping up with the best battlefield kit was a warriors best chance of staying alive on any given battlefield.

So then, it would have been nice to get a few kits shields with these excellent models and that is something I am going to remedy by adding some kite shields from Crusader Miniatures and Gripping Beast. I was going to order some from Footsore but they don't seem to have the early variety available at present. To make up the numbers in the Huscarl units I'm going to be adding mini's from various other ranges as well. The one's in the pictures are from Gripping Beast and Saxon Miniatures, great sculpts that as well as making up the numbers will add more drama to the bases. Cloaks and straps will be added where applicable with ProCreate and Greenstuff.

A Closer Look:

Battle of Shrewsbury 1069; Interior Buildings I

Due to having to the time constraints of having take extra care of the "oldies" in the family the Shrewsbury game has been cancelled for Partizan in May this year. Instead it will be featured at Partizan II on October 11th later in the year.

Anyway, I have found time to continue work on some of the buildings that will act as either the suburbs of Shrewsbury or stand stand inside the Motte and Bailey.

This building was scratch built by me many a moon ago and a resin castings were made that was made by Stronghold Miniatures with the agreement that for a number of castings I would agree for the model to become part of their catalogue which I was more than happy to do. To be honest I am not even sure if they are still in business but I have included a courtesy link to their site above by way of recognition.

I have included a pic of the painted scratch built model as well but please be aware that this is only for a comparison shot; I'm not after extra points :>)

The Resin Casting:

Resin Interior:

Scratch Built Interior:

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Partizan I Game Cancelled- Game will be at Partizan II :>(

It is with some regret that I have had to cancel the game for Partizan on May 16th this year. Time that must be spent increasingly with the health issues of some the older members of my family which inevitably has encroached on the amount of time I could dedicate to producing the game. Family first.

As you might have noticed on social media I toyed for a few weeks with setting up a different skirmish based game, Aedric the Wild, Battle of Shrewsbury 1069, but in the end it felt like I was going to be putting on a second rate game and just did not sit right with me. I think the right decision has been made at the end of the day.

Apologies to all who wanted to see the game (I am making the assumption that there are a few of you out there?) and to the organisers especially Richard Tyndall who has offered to send me an invitation for Partizan II.

The good news is that the Reconquista game will continue to be worked on and will be on show as a display game in October the 11th and Partizan II.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Battle of Shrewsbury 1096; Curved Norman Outer Wall III

Yes, the excitement is now tangible as I present to you a section of a Curved Norman Motte and Bailey Outer Wall! I know! It's so exciting!

Seriously though, I've actually had great fun painting up these resins thus far and have some village type buildings ready cleaned and undercoated ready for some action with the brush.

I'm going to start working on the terrain tiles that I have ordered from Panel Systems which I will talk about a little in a future post. To start with I am just going to go for a tile that is very plain; the theory being to build up your skills slowly. Not to jump in feet first as I have been known to do. These will make a nice surface in which to position the buildings on for photography as opposed to my workbench which is kind of, well, a work bench.....

And of course, the now ubiquitous attention to detail!

Friday, 21 February 2020

Battle of Shrewsbury 1069: Norman Outer Wall II

The tension mounts as yet another terrain piece is finished and ready to be put into the field! This time it is yet another part of what will represent the Motte and Bailey outer wall at the Battle of Shrewsbury 1069.

Again, the large part of the painting was  done with hobby paints from a craft store as they are decent enough if you give the terrain a gloss then matt varnish is stops the paint from shipping about 99% of the time. From the dark craft paint, which I described last time as like Vallejo model Colour German Black Grey, when I meant to say German Cammo Black Brown! If you're painting up resin terrain pieces for the first time (you might be; there's a first time for everything) then please don't waste your money and paint on using paints that you would use on your miniatures unless you cannot get the paint you want and you really have to. I say this with the caveat that I often finish the highlights and details with Vallejo model Colours. The browns were painted and dry brushed up using various light creams and light greys to hopefully achieve the effect of weathered wood and a grey-ish soil. I don't use white to highlight as this is too stark to add to a mix. I have put some static grass on the models and I will be adding some grass tufts but that will have to wait as I'm saving all that I now possess for the bases of the miniatures.

Yet again, I got a little carried away with adding the fine details. The crossbow, quiver and shield could easily have been dry brushed a brown with a little colour added to the shield perhaps but I think that it's the details on a wargames table that make all the difference. Or at least I am trying to convince myself that this is so!

I'm currently working on a corner piece for Shrewsburys walls and I have a few buildings that I bought and one that I scratch built a while back that a mate cast in resin for me. I still have the original which is nice!

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Battle of Shrewsbury 1069; Norman Outer Wall I

EDIT: Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge folks- I've taken stock of my painted miniature collection for the suitability of said collection for Hereford and changed the game to that of the Battle of Shrewsbury 1069.

My Reconquista project has stalled a little as I await some miniatures from the USA which are taking far too long to get to me for my liking as the deadline is Partizan on May 16th! Not that I'm complaining....... OK, maybe a bit but we all want everything yesterday these days :>)

In the meantime I've been working on plan B which is the Battle of Shrewsbury 1069 as I at least have a lot of Normans and some Anglo Saxons painted up from years ago! The battle took place in front of the Norman Motte and Bailey in Shrewsbury as Edric the Wild leading an army of Anglo Danes and Welsh besieged the Norman occupants of the town.

More on the history in a separate post very soon.

I've got various pieces of terrain, which I have painted up in no logical order at all! I've had the pieces for over fifteen years and they have not seen a lick of paint in all that time. Shameful really :>)

The piece below is by Grand Manner and is one section of the Norman Motte and Bailey Outer Wall, which will serve as the town walls of Shrewsbury. Grand Manner is simply the best terrain that money can buy IMHO. No one else comes close for historical resin. Oh, Dave Bodley who runs the company apart from being very nice chap he has a real passion for his subject which shows in both the depth of research and detail.

So, without further ado, a wall section! The bases started out mainly with the hobby paint equivalent of Vallejo Model Colour German Black Grey and were highlighted up with various creams etc to replicate the look of old wood and soil etc. Greens were then added ans were the greys for the rocks as I wanted them to look cold and wet to suit the climate.

I've become a little obsessive about the details such as the shields, crossbows and quivers lying around on the battlements. Given the time I have to prepare the game this is probably a little too much but I cannot seem to help myself!


More Battle of Verneuil Salute 2011 Pictures (From La Journee Blog)

Credit for these pics and the former must go to Joe Dever, Phil Steele and Ray. without the generosity of these gents I wouldn't have anything to show for our efforts and this blog would be a less happy place. Lesson learnt- always check your camera for the battery before you leave for a show!

Thanks again guys- hugely appreciated given that I forgot the battery for my camera on the day lol

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Speed Painted Franks Rescued from Photobucket

Of late I have been trying to retrieve some of my old pictures which never made it onto the internet from my Photbucket account. It is possible! Basically, I keep getting a notice saying that they want to send me something on an email account that no longer exists. Once you get past this pop up box then you're in. It is best if you labelled all your images prior to adding them to Photbucket as the pop up box can keep on a popping and it is a royal pain in the bum.

A long time ago, when Foundry still did their Hordes, I went all out and bought three sets of their Early Saxons/Franks! I did not get around to slapping any paint on any of them except for one unit which did not even make it to basing before being sold. I sold the rest of the bare metal recently but I'm beginning to wish that I had not as the sculpting is exceptional and the mini's are just so full of belligerent animation.

Here are the results!

Wargames Foundry Franks: