A few weeks ago, I showed Coroticus, the warlord for my in-progress SAGA Strathclyde force. I bought this starter army at Claymore, in August last year, so it's about time that I made some progress on it. Today it's the turn of the warlord's inner circle/hearthguard, the "Teulu".
All of the Teulu are riding ponies and carrying short spears, swords or both. 7 of the 8 men are clad in mail, though interestingly the one in the pale cloak and blue/white tunic (at the back left) has a leather cuirass instead. I've just realised that this detail isn't really visible in any of the pictures, though the last image shows a little bit.
The figures are from Gripping Beast, whilst the shield and banner transfers are from Little Big Men.
The standard bearer already had a leather strap across his shoulder (for his scabbard, really), so I didn't feel the need to add any extra support for the shield. However the horn blower looked odd with nothing to hold the shield on his back. I gave him a strap of green stuff across his chest and shoulder; at least it looks plausible to me as a support.
not tartan" style) or they have decorative borders on their cloaks, or both. Their clothing and shields are also somewhat brighter and more colourful than the average Dark Age citizen. These, along with the armour and relatively abundant equipment, mark them out as richer and generally higher status individuals.
As with all my SAGA forces, the bases carry useful information. In this case, the grey border marks them out as belonging to the Strathclyde faction (it's very useful to be be able to tell the factions apart during a game!). In addition, they all have suitable names, just to give the force a bit more character. Of course, being Welsh (and ancient Welsh, at that), I cannot pronounce some of them...
I've still got 2 points of warriors to paint, so that's another 16 ponies. I'm beginning to hate preparation work for these animals, as they all have quite a bit of flash and damage that needs to be cut off. I think that some of Gripping Beast's horse moulds have been very heavily used! Still, the basic warriors are fine figures; they should be much plainer than the Teulu and therefore simpler to paint.
It'll be interesting to try an all-mounted force in SAGA, especially one that has the option of part of the force arriving during the game - from any table edge!
Very nice indeed C6, and I like that you've named them all too. I haven't seen those rounded long oval bases before either and they work very well indeed. Some great patterns on some of the clothing. Your tartan is extremely impressive. Cracking posting :-)ReplyDelete
Thanks! The bases are 50mm x 25mm "pill" bases. I get mine from Warbases (http://war-bases.co.uk/Bases/OVAL-PILL-BASES), though I imagine that there are other companies making very similar items.Delete
Lovely looking unit C6. Very nice paint and the transfers look great too.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Bob. I do love the LBM transfers, even if the designs are mostly guesswork for the Dark Ages :-) .Delete
Great work as usual, I really like what you did with the cloth!ReplyDelete
Most of the clothing is painted with a simple "triad" system: a single colour all over with a darker shade in the folds and recesses and a paler version for the highlights. The hardest part is really matching the dark/normal/light shades :-) !Delete
Great work on the unit. I especially like their cloaks and the horses! :)ReplyDelete
I was quite pleased with the way these horses turned out :-) . I tried using a much lighter brown/tan basecoat than normal on several of them and I think it worked very well. Also this is the first time that I've painted a multi-coloured "paint" pony!Delete
What an amazing looking group of horsemen. I want to see them in action now.ReplyDelete
Thanks, David. I want to see them in action too - but I'll have to finish off at least 2 more points worth before this force is really ready. That's 16 warriors and many more ponies!Delete
Very nice. The decoration on the cloaks is spot on and very nice to see. People of our time tend to forget that clothing was not mass produced so pretty much everyone (OK every woman) could sew and decorations and embroidery was far more common than someone doing it today.ReplyDelete
The other thing about decorative borders on cloaks or tunics is that they're mush easier to paint than if the entire piece of cloth was patterned :-) ! These guys are the richest men in their society, so I figured that pretty much all of them would have at least some showy trimmings.Delete
Very nice - you don't always see these types of troops in Welsh gaming armies.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Dean! They're more "Strathclyde" than "Welsh", really.Delete
Great lloking group C6, they do look the part of the upper class nobs, even with a cursory glance. Love the great coour variation poses.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Joe. That's very much the impression that I wanted to convey :-) .Delete
A great looking bunch, and a refreshing change form the WRG days when every dark age army seemed to comprise close order infantry with short spears (with a few archers/slingers/javelins to round out the points cost).ReplyDelete
I'm also impressed that the ponies are actually ponies. Too many dark age / early medieval models place their warriors on massive beasts that would be more at home pulling a brewery cart.
Source material (as late as the Bayeux tapestry) and archaeology place the size of a warhorse between 13 and 14 hands. The rider would be only about a head higher than a similar sized man on foot - and the foot warrior would look down on the horse's head.
The sculptors seem to have captured this about right. Your colours add a lovely individual touch to the mounts.
Indeed, I was always put off Dark Age wargaming by the thought that all troops were pretty much the same. Now, with SAGA, they are still all hairy men with spears, but they have culturally-distinct ways of fighting. Whether that's realistic or not is beside the point; it's fun!Delete
Yes, you're right about the ponies: they're not huge models :-) .
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I get the feeling that these lads won't be standing behind a row of mealie bags waiting to be attackedReplyDelete
Ah, wrong Welsh! Indeed, wrong century (or millenium, even) and wrong enemy :-) .Delete
Mind you, I do wonder how the Strathclyde Welsh defended Dumbarton castle from the Dublin Vikings if they were all mounted :-) . The SAGA warband does allow for warriors on foot as well, so I'll probably get some of those in due course.
Dan Mersey covers this in his Dux Bellorum. His model seems similar to SAGA. Nobles (Full time wariors), Ordinary fighters (Yeoman farmers of fighting age) and lower classes (Skirmishers).Delete
The Thesis is that the Nobles (and ordinary fighters in some cultures) were familiar with horsemanship. From there it's a small step to developing mounted fighting skills. If you're a raider, this is a very useful skill.
Most rules accept that a mounted fighter would be at a disadvantage against a well set equal on foot. The horsemen enjoy other advantages: mobility, break-off options and better options on either side of a post-battle pursuit.
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Lovely looking force! great work sir!ReplyDelete
Thanks! I've still got to build all the warriors before I can use the force, though.Delete
They look great Hugh nice job!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Simon. I'm pleased that you like them!Delete
They look very nice, great job!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Phil. I'm glad that you like them!Delete
Great looking riders. I find the riders have a good old' 90 look with their hands being as big as their biceps.ReplyDelete
I love the painting job on the shields and the variety in the tunics.
Thanks, Cedric. Gripping Beast figures (at least, these ones) have separate weapons, so the hands need to be moulded open to receive them. That, of course, means the hands need to be a bit larger than they otherwise might have been.Delete
Good stuff! It just so happens I've been considering putting together some Strathclyde. I'm collecting Celts for Hail Caesar and thought it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to use the Celt cavalry for Strathclyde. Given the number of figures needed for a couple of Divisions, working towards a target may encourage me to get started!ReplyDelete
I think you're right - the Celt cavalry should work very well. I might avoid any helmets and standards that are more obviously from an earlier age and I'd stick to round shields rather than oblong ones. Other than that, it's a man in a tunic riding a pony with a spear (the man has the spear, not the pony!).Delete