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Koyote

Koyote's Britons & other SAGA Stuff

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I've (mostly) completed my first 10 Briton warriors.  

I need to do some experimentation with basing materials and I'm still waiting for my Ammo Autumn leaves to arrive, so I haven't added any static grass and/or tufts to the bases.  Once I figure out what I'm doing, I'll post another photo of the completed models.

Their shields are so large that getting and angle that shows more than just shields is difficult.  I suppose I should include shots from the side and the rear.  

I will need to take their shield size into account when determining how to arrange the models on my army display base.  The Briton warriors will need to be angled so that a viewer looking at the display from directly in front of the display will see the models' bodies and not just their shields and heads.

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I've been complaining about this for years, but I really need to buy a better camera and get myself a decent backdrop.

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From time to time, Jim Graham, the proprietor of Worldsmith Industries gives me some of his miscasts and other resin terrain goodies.  One such gift was a circular 6-inch diameter area terrain base.  He plays Wood Elves, so I suspect that he made the original to serve as the 'free-forest terrain' that Wood Elves get to bring to the table.  

The Aetius Arthur mercenary unit, Guides, have a mechanic similar to the WFB/9th Age Wood Elves, except that the owning player may remove or move an existing piece of terrain or add a M x M element of uneven ground to the table.  I've used Guides in my last three games and they've been nothing but win, so it was certainly worth my time to paint a purpose-built piece of terrain for them.  

The Celtic swirls work great for my Britain based warband.  Also, I decided at the outset of my Briton project that my Guides are Cymry mercenaries, so the swirls symbolize these largely, non-Romanized Britons.

The modular nature of the terrain lets me decide between terrain types.  The photos below depict Rocky Ground, which doesn't block LOS, but it does give my Guides hard cover.  If I need terrain to block LOS, then I replace the rocks with trees and voilà, it's a Wood.

The rocky outcrops are made by Worldsmith Industries.  The gnarled tree comes from GW's, Citadel Woods kit.  The GW trees work great with the Worldsmith area terrain because the diameter of the GW tree bases match that of the Worldsmith Industries' spotface recesses.  

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Except for one pose (which is poorly scaled), the Footsore Miniatures wolfhounds are quite nice.  Nevertheless, once I got to see them in person, I realized that none of the poses are quite right for what I have in mind.  Plus, I wanted Mordred's doggies to look a bit more vicious.

After searching around a bit more, I decided to give the Malifaux Guild Hounds a try.  Neither their armor or breed matches that of the Roman war dog (dobermans were first bred in Germany, 1,400 years after the fall of Rome), but their scale, poses and best of all, viciousness are all spot on.   Will I be forgiven for this anachronism?  Who knows.  Do I care?  A little, but I really like these models, so my Britons may end up including two time traveling canines.

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Except for their bases (I'm still waiting for those damn leaves to arrive), I've completed another 6 warriors.  I now have two painted units of 8 warriors, each with a Decanus (or the Romano Briton equivalent) and an infantryman holding a draco.

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The 6 point warband that I've been playing includes 3 points of warriors.  Because I've been fielding 1 point of mercenaries (typically Guides), in order to generate 6 SAGA dices, I need for my warriors to generate 3 SAGA dice.  I've experimented fielding them as either three units of 8 warriors or two units of 10 warriors accompanied by a unit of 4 warrior that hides in the rear.  I've found that a unit of 10 combined with their Briton defensive orders can take (and deliver) a pretty good hit and remain combat effective, while the units of 8 warriors tend to struggle.  Right now, two tens and a four is my preferred configuration.

 

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As I noted in an earlier post, my preferred distribution for my 3 points of warriors is 10, 10, and 4.  If the game goes well the unit of 4 warriors spends the entire game where it was deployed.  If the game goes less well, it spends the second half of the game in a "strategic retreat" in order to preserve the SAGA die that it generates.

This small unit doesn't see much action, but that doesn't mean it has to be an easily forgettable unit of grunts. To jazz up the unit, I assembled it from cool command models that I couldn't fit into my other units or baggage models.  Perhaps this unit represents the century's aging centurion and his bodyguards.

Except for their bases, the first two models are done.

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Except for the bases, my  "reserve" unit of 4 warriors is done.

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The autumn leaves saga continues...

The AMMO autumn leaves and basing materials that I ordered from Kings Hobbies & Games (over 3 weeks ago), are still on back order, so I cancelled my order.   Kings Hobbies refunded my order immediately and with no hassle, which I greatly appreciate.  Thanks KHG.   

I placed a new order with the manufacturer in Spain.  My order shipped the next day and I expect to get it early next week.  The expedited shipping from Europe cost me a bit more, but buying products directly from AMMO is 20% less expensive, so it is essentially a wash.  

Because of the savings and larger variety of products to choose from, I went a bit crazy.  I added to my order some of AMMO's grass mats material, tufts, shrubs, ferns, and meadow flowers.  I have tufts from a few manufacturers, so it will be interesting to compare them to AMMO's products.

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Here are my first four Cymry Guides (or Scotti Sea Wolves).  I'm still dragging my feet on adding tufts and leaves to the bases, so the models aren't quite finished.

I experimented with a couple of different shield transfers and finally settled on the LBM's Saxon buckler transfers without shield design.  Initially I reasoned that their shields are unadorned because these men are local raiders and brigands who don't want to advertise their clan or tribal affiliation for fear of reprisal.  However, after appraising the results, I decided the shields made the models look unfinished, so I added some simple, hand-painted designs.

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My last four Guides (or Sea Wolves).

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When planning my color scheme for Morgan Le Fay I knew that I wanted her hair and at least some of her garments to be black, but I'm not a good enough painter to pull off both a black dress and a black cloak, so I knew I that either the cloak or the dress had to be a different color.  Also, I wanted her coloring to both fit in with the other models in the unit and stand out. In the end I opted for a 'Guide' green dress framed by black hair, a black shield, and a black cloak (the latter of which is hard to see in this photo).  Matching the color of her studded leather vest to the leather shield covers to the other Guides also helps to tie her coloring to the rest of the models in the unit.

I realize that the Morgan's sword blade looks really bright.  The flat surface of blade is facing the lamplight, causing the brightness. In RL the blade looks darker and more tarnished.  Next time I photograph her, I will try turning her a bit more.

 

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My "reserve" unit of 4 warriors turned out so good that I couldn't resist buying Footsore's 4-pack of Late Roman Elite Infantry.  I REALLY like the look of the plumed helms.

My plan is to have enough painted minis to play either a Briton or Late Roman warband.  I want the composition of my Roman warband to differ from my Britons, so when I play Romans, my cavalry elites will be replace with infantry elites.  I think that these lovely models plus the four I've already painted will fill that role nicely.  

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I began experimenting with flocking my bases.  I have several different colors of static grass, a box-load of tufts, and of course my AMMO leaves.  I didn't want to use my painted models as guinea pigs so I put texture on an 'empty' base and painted it like I normally do (Rhinox Brown base with half 'wet brushed' Vermin Brown and part Blue-Grey/Codex Grey/Administratum Grey).  I wanted the yellow and light brown leaves contrast with the static grass, so I applied some dark green static grass and added the leaves.  The static grass blended into the dark brown of the base and I couldn't get the leaves to look right.  Next I tried a lighter shade of static grass and I didn't care for the look of that either.  Then I blended the light and the dark static grass and still just, bleh.  I gave up on the leaves, but continued to pursue the Autumn look I had envisioned. Try as I might, I just couldn't get good mix of static grass and brown "Autumn" tufts. The problem was dark brown base.  Unless I completely covered it up with static grass, I couldn't get a good contrast of between the dark brown base and Autumn colored flocking.  In the end I settled on Army Painter XP Mountain and XP Winter tufts and no static grass or leaves.

It's kinda funny.  After spending all that time and money on different types static grass, tufts, and leaves, I ended up using simple tufts. Doh! e5020524.gif

My cavalry and "baggage" bases are larger than my infantry bases, so perhaps I will have better luck devising a more sophisticated flocking recipe for them. e5003766.gif

 

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Four Briton/Roman elite infantry assembled, puttied, based, and now ready for primer.  I made too much Apoxie Sculpt, so I used the extra to do a bit of work on my Warlord's display base.

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Below is a photo of the simple device that I use to primer and paint shields. I cut each dowel down to a blunt tip and add a small dab of superglue to hold the shield in place.  When I've finished painting the shield, it's easy to snap off the dowel.  I use a pin vice with a large bit to remove the dried glue from the rear of the shield.  To protect the painted surface I lie the painted shield, face down, on a folded up paper towel and drill straight down to 'drill out' any dried glue.

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Well, here's the first two mounted Briton Hearthguard.  

The horses didn't turn out half bad considering these two horses represent my second and third attempts at painting horses, ever.  Nevertheless, I'd be lying if I said that I enjoyed painting them.  I do not like painting horses.

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Seven down, two to go.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  e5003765.gif

This is the first of my Warlord's companions.  I used the black and white chi rho shield transfer to distinguish the model from the other commanipulares.  I'm not 100% satisfied with this decision.  The shield design is too simple.  It doesn't properly communicate this warrior's rank.  I've already ordered some transfers that may work better.

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Eight down, one to go.  e5013914.gif

Companion number two.  

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To strengthen the visual tie between my warlord and companions, my warlord's shield will display a symbol that matches the companion's pennant.  It's not something that I had planned ahead of time.  After adding the pennant to the companion, I remembered that another one of my LBM sheets includes a shield transfer with a similar device.  Sometimes things just work out. e5003765.gif

Oh, and speaking of my warlord.  I added texture, small logs, and rocks to Mordred's display base. Warlord and display base are now ready for primer.

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The metal bits didn't photograph very well, especially the face on the Ribchester face-mask helmet -which is my least favorite part of the mini.  Oh well.  As a child of the 80s I couldn't portray Mordred without his Excalibur-esque helmet.  Once I finish the model's display base, I will try to get a better photograph.

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I finished my first baggage maker.  It's titled The Death of Gawain.  

Grievously wounded by Lancelot, Sir Gawain returned to Britain to convalesce.  Upon learning that his brother had seized the throne, Gawain hastily organized a resistance. Gawain may have been a paragon of knightly virtue, but the wounded knight was no match for Mordred.

As a cruel irony, Mordred had Gawain's head removed from his corpse and paraded about under Mordred’s banner.

As king, Mordred has chosen a red dragon to serve as his sigil.  As a nod to his family’s heraldry, Mordred’s standard is topped with a double headed eagle. 

Piled on the log are Gawain's helmet, sword, and shield.  In the story, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Gawain's shield device is not portrayed as his family's double headed eagle, but rather a gold pentangle (pentagram) on a red background.  I couldn’t find a suitable LBM transfer, so I had to hand paint the shield.  Gawain was among the most virtuous of knights, so I painted his scabbard and sword handle white.  I chose the face mask helm because, well, it looks cool.  

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