Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Vikings and Saxons Project Episode 1

So we begin, while I have been working and have painted nearly 48 viking models already, one thing that makes this part of my Dark Ages project different is firstly im allot happier with the models and whats more I have spent some time on the planning and thinking about this project.

I have had an image in my minds eye now for nearly 3 months thinking about how the armies should look, how they are based and more certain solutions to issues I have identified.

 So due to a misunderstanding from foundry my amazing wife allowed me to have part of the collection well before I was meant to get them ( my birthday to be exact), the remainder of the collections remain out of touch at the stage to be given to me on the 23rd of this month. 

What this has done though is give me an opportunity to begin to identify some of the key elements and parts that I need to obtain for this project to build it to my expectations. 

I feel amongst the collections I have built, the Napoleonic French, the Austrians, the Space Wolves the Grey Knights, Arctic Templars, High Elves and the Flames of War Americans this project for me is something more important, if that can be said about a collection of toy soldiers. 

In the first case the collections are a gift from my wife and this then adds a level of importance if not for the fact that I will be in allot of trouble if these models end up in a pile of could have been models. 

In addition to this the more and more I read about the period and build a deeper understanding of the period and how it shaped england the more I feel a major drive to build these armies.  I remember the very 1st army I ever built was a late romano- british army for DBM with my father using 15mm essex miniatures over 15 years ago now and how much I enjoyed the early dark age period then.  Barely 15 models have survived from moves and damage from that collection.Whats more my late grandfather made a very special effort to get those models for me from the UK on one of his last trips and as such in allot of ways Ive always felt some guilt in losing the collection.   

So with all that emotional stuff sitting behind this I find myself looking at this project with some very specific focus on a commitment to detail as well as resolve not to compromise on what  I want to achieve. 

Upon unpacking the 1st few blisters I realized I needed a specific solution to how these models will be based, a few key things where important. I wanted the models individually based on circular bases, this will allow me to use them for skirmish games if I wanted but add to that I want the bases to be attached magnetically to a movement tray what has Sabot slots for each base.  

I have approached Warbases in the UK to en-quire about creating the movement trays roughly 16 of them as well as over 300 bases with holes in them for the magnets.  I am waiting on them to get back to me about a quote but the truth is I hope this can be achieved with a fair amount in terms of cost. That aside I have ordered 450 magnets to meet the needs of the project already

The next thing that came to my attention was the shields, I'm not happy with the shields that foundry provide, i find them to think, and further they wont work with the LBM shield transfers.  So even though I'm not impressed with the broad collection of models from Gripping Beast I am going to be replacing the foundry shields with Gripping beast shield, which thankfully are sold separately.  To begin with though I will use shields from the plastic kits that I'm not overly impressed with myself with work well and the remaining metal shields I have from the saga starter kits. 

Next will be to buy North Star spears from War and Peace games though I will hold off on that till I have the majority of the collection.  In addition I plan to critically assess some of the command models and if needed will replace with Crusader Miniatures which fit nicely with the foundry style.

So with these considerations in mind I have begun to clean up and build a few models that will be ready to go when the bases and movement trays arrive. 

So far I more happy with these models than the vast majority of the Gripping Beast models,  while I think there some nice sculpts in the gripping beast range I feel as a whole collection there are inconsistencies and failures in level of detail that just do not hold up to Foundry and Crusader and that's a shame, as this will see some models make into the collection but the majority will be from the other two companies.   What gripping beast do well is their work with LBM, and the range of shield transfers and that will feature as a key element of the models.

One of the planned warlords for the armies with his trusty hound and standard bearer. The model in the center is from the Eureka Beowulf range and I like him as an earl for the vikings. 

Anyway I hope to have some more information on what can do for me as well some other thoughts and parts of the project I have planned in the next coming days.