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Author Topic: Koyote's SAGA Britons  (Read 13357 times)

Offline Koyote

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Koyote's SAGA Britons
« on: April 23, 2017, 06:37:47 PM »
    After an amazing experience at this year's Adepticon SAGA events, I am eager to get started on my next SAGA project, 6+ points of Aetius Arthur Britons.  My models will be (mostly) period appropriate, but I want to add some Monmouth and Mallory to the warband's backstory to add flavor and guide my modeling and theme.

    Rather than build a Briton warband around Arthur or a heroic Arthur-like character, I want to build it around the infamous Mordred. I want Mordred's mother to be present in the warband. Like many modern adaptations of the Arthur story, I am going merge Mordred's mother, Morgause, with her sister, Morgan Le Fay, making them one in the same.

    To add some variety to my Warband I will include a unit of Mercenaries, either (Saxon) Sea Wolves or (Cymry) Guides. Is Mordred's pact with the despicable foreigners evidence of his treacherous nature or simply an act of desperation by a man who believes the throne is rightfully his? 

    Mordred's mother will join the Mercenary unit. As a student of the Old Ways, the followers of the Christ god will not keep Morgan's company, so she has beguiled a band of foreign warriors to serve as her bodyguard and swords for Mordred's cause.

     My build will be:

    Warlord & 2 Companions -mounted
    5 Hearthguard -mounted
    5 Hearthguard
    8 Warriors
    8 Warriors
    8 Sea Wolves or Guides[/li]

Below is an early WIP pic of the troops starting to muster.  All the models pictured here, with the exception of the Sea Wolves leader (Gorgon Studios), are Footsore Miniatures' minis.



Offline Koyote

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Britons
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2017, 06:56:30 PM »
Selecting my mounted Warlord was a fairly easy choice.  Footsore Miniatures' King Arthur model is fantastic, plus using an Arthur model as the foundation for my Mordred model is ironic.  One of my favorite features of the FS Arthur model is its  helmed head, but sadly this just won't work for my vision of Mordred.  So, in the words of the Queen of Hearts, it was "off with his head." 



I began with a simple head swap.  I removed the head and replaced it with a head from Warlord Games' Imperial Roman Veteran sprue.  It looks like the sculptor based this helm on the Romano-British Ribchester cavalry helmet on display at the British Museum.  I like the head because it reminds me of the helm worn by Mordred in the 1981 movie, Excalibur. Ah, memories.



I want to reuse Arthur's head, so I had to make a deep v-cut to remove the head without damaging it.  I then rebuilt the neck and fur trim with Green Stuff.  I also used GS to make his right foot a bit larger.  This model, like many historical metals, suffers from small-footitis.

Below is a WIP pic of Mordred.  I like that the new head's engraved laurels give it a regal look, while the expressionless face mask makes the model look cold-hearted.  Both are attributes that fit my vision for Mordred.




Offline Koyote

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Britons
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2017, 07:06:34 PM »
The model that I've selected to serve as Morgan is a Bad Squiddo Games mini. The sword and breastplate balanced against the long dress and cloak gives her just the right balance of martial prowess/war leader and enchantress/seductress. Yes. I know. I think about this kind of stuff way too much.



If your minis are armed with spears, I highly recommend 'wire spears' (which is a misnomer because they are made from thin metal rod, not flexible wire).  Spears made from white metal (the metal metal minis are cast from), are too bendy and typically so thick that they look kind of ridiculous in the mini's hand.  Plastic spears are better than white metal spears, both aesthetically and in the bendy-department, but they can break if the model takes a tumble or you snag the spear on something.  Wire spears do not break and they fit nicely in the hands of 28mm models. 

If you purchase wire spears, be mindful of the thickness.  I ordered some wire spears from Arcane Scenery & Models, but I failed to read the description of what I purchased.  The diameter (thickness or gauge) of the spear shafts is tiny (about 1mm). If cut down to the right length they'd made good arrows for 28mm minis or perhaps good spears for 15mm minis, but they don't work as spears for 28mm minis.  Doh!  The spears pictured above are sold by Gripping Beast and are just the right thickness.


Offline Ogrob

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Britons
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2017, 07:08:20 PM »
I randomly browsed your SAGA stuff on another forum yesterday, and all of it is just lovely. Your conversions and miniature choices and paint jobs are always on point.

Offline Koyote

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Britons
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2017, 07:15:38 PM »
I've settled on pill-shaped bases for my cavalry.  The bases pictured below are 25mm x 50mm x 1.5mm Pills, made by LITKO Game Accessories.  The bases look a bit thin in the photo, but they're actually the same thickness of the Renedra & Renedra-style bases that I mount all of my SAGA minis on. Like my Irish warband, my Britons will be mounted on magnetic bases. The magnets that I inserted are glued to both the surrounding wood and the bottom of the metal horse base, so hopefully they won't pop out.

Despite the fact that all of my cavalary minis were originally made by Musketeer Miniatures (now Footsore Miniatures), King Arthur's horse (now Mordred's horse), is noticeably smaller than the other MM horses. I can't have my Warlord being dwarfed by his men, so I used pieces of styrene sheeting to give Mordred a little boost.

The Companion to the left of Mordred is the bannerman from King Arthur set and the Companion to the right is from Late Roman Cavalry Command set.

I don't like using duplicate models in a warband, but I really like the overhand pose of one of the Late Roman Heavy cavalry models. I solved this problem by twisting the model's head so that it's pointed to the model's left rather than to the right. White metal has some give to it, so you can do a certain amount of bending and twisting without breaking the model. The challenge is to twist the head without crushing its features or putting pliers shaped grooves in its head. My solution is to use a small piece of cork sheeting to cushion the teeth of the pliers (SEE below). I used the same technique on the crested helmeted model, third from the left. I moved the head from facing left to facing forward.

One of my frustrations with two part, metal cavalry models is that they rarely sit on the horse properly. I always end up taking my hobby knife to the horse's saddle and rider, but even then the fit is far from perfect. To get the fit just right, I stick some GS to the bottom of the rider, wet the saddle with some water, and then gently place the model on its mount. Once seated, I apply a little bit of downward pressure to get the model seated just right. Then I remove the model from the horse and use a clay shaper and hobby knife to clean things up. It may require multiple seatings to get the right fit.




Offline Koyote

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Britons
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2017, 07:18:00 PM »
I randomly browsed your SAGA stuff on another forum yesterday, and all of it is just lovely. Your conversions and miniature choices and paint jobs are always on point.
Thanks.  

The Tomahawk forum doesn't get a lot of traffic, so I reproduced my Briton thread on this forum.

« Last Edit: April 23, 2017, 08:00:15 PM by Koyote »

Offline Phil Robinson

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Britons
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2017, 07:26:04 PM »
Very fine conversions for your theme.

Offline Koyote

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Britons
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2017, 07:34:55 PM »
CAUTION: MUCH NERDINESS AHEAD



Okay, you've been warned...


With much of my warband mostly assembled, I got to work on my baggage models.

I'm going to stick with what worked for me in the past and use my baggage models as an opportunity to tell a story. This particular story depicts Mordred's plot to seize the throne of Britain.

As the legend goes, Arthur and the bulk of his warriors have crossed the Oceanus Britannicus and landed in Gaul. Depending upon what version of the story you prefer, they are either pursuing Lancelot or fighting against the Romans for control of Gaul. Mordred, Arthur's nephew has been left in charge of the kingdom.  Mordred believes that how Arthur was conceived makes him unfit to rule, so Mordred has placed himself on the throne.  

The first baggage model is titled, Merlin's Arrest. Mordred must silence Arthur's most trusted (and devious) advisor, so he has ordered his warriors to imprison or kill the wizard. The tree adds some height to the diorama and gives me a place to put an owl, which, like Merlin, is a symbol of wisdom and watchfulness. Merlin's magic is comes from Britain's pagan past, hence the rock with the Celtic swirl engraving.

The second baggage model is titled The Death of Gawain. In one version of the Arthurian myth, Sir Gawain is grievously wounded by Lancelot and returns to Britain to recover.  When Gawain learns about his brother's move to seize the throne, Gawain organizes an armed resistance. Gawain may be a paragon of knightly virtue, but the wounded knight is no match for Mordred, who slays him in a 'death duel.'  In my version of the story, Mordred has had Gawain's head removed from his corpse and paraded about ( la Joffrey) to serve as a warning to others.

The second baggage model shows one of Mordred's warriors holding Gawain's head aloft (which is an ironic nod to the story, Gawain and the Green Knight) and the gore stained axe. Gawain's sword, helmet and battered shield, are also on display. In the background a warrior holds aloft Mordred's banner and second warrior blows a horn to draw the common folk to the spectacle.

According to the Inter-netz, Mordred's coat of arms depicted a double headed eagle. As a former 40K player, I have plenty of Imperial Eagle bitz collecting dust, so I had no trouble finding a good banner pole topper for Mordred's standard. Gawain's coat of arms is either a gold pentacle or, like his brother's coat of arms, a double headed eagle. I don't want Gawain's heraldry to be confused with Mordred's, so Gawain's battered shield will display another heraldic symbol associated with Gawain, the gold pentacle.



The third baggage model, will depict Guinevere's fate. In at least one version of the Arthur story, Mordred abducts Guinevere and forces her to marry him. In others, she evades capture and escapes to the Tower of London. Since I'm on Mordred's side here, she doesn't get away.

Offline Koyote

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Britons
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2017, 07:39:18 PM »
My Little Big Men Studios Arthurian shield transfers and banner have arrived. I cannot recommend LBMS transfers highly enough.  They are really easy to use and they look great. Once they are sealed with some brush-on matte clear coat, you can modify the designs to your liking by painting directly on the transfer.

I knew that the symbol that looks like a combination of the letters P and X was associated with Arthuruan Britons, but until very recently I had no idea what it meant. This symbol is called a Chi Rho (pronounced "KEE-roe").  It is a Christian symbol consisting of the intersection of the capital Greek letters Chi (Χ) and Rho (Ρ), which are the first two letters of "Christ" in Greek (ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, Christos). It's use as a military symbol is purportedly based on Constantine's use of the symbol after receiving his famous vision before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 AD.



Below is a WIP of my warband with the hard-basing added.  For the larger rocks, I used small pieces of plaster of paris leftover from another project.  I used my snips and a hobby knife to shape them an cut them to size. I've also added some debris from an old battlefield (e.g.  damaged shields, weapons, helmets, etc.) to most of the bases. 



The skulls and bones skulls and other bones come from Toad King Casting's Skull and Bone sheets.  For years, I've been cutting up plastic skeletons to add bones and small sections of rib cage to my bases. These sheets will make that task largely unnecessary.  The quality is quite good, but many of the bone fragments are really, really small. They are dwarfed by a grain of rice, small. Nevertheless, $3.75 a sheet is a good price for the usable bits.



Offline Koyote

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Britons
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2017, 07:43:10 PM »
Putting a Warlord on a big base looks cool, but during game play I prefer keep my Warlord's footprint on the table as small as possible.  This makes it easier for me to move my Warlord in between my units and around enemy units and obstacles.  My solution to the Cool vs Utility problem is to base my Warlord on a regular base (my "game base") and then create a large display base with a magnetized insert for my Warlord's base.

The last time I did this I placed the Warlord's game base on the display base and puttied around it with grey-stuff.  This worked fairly well, but after the grey-stuff cured, the sides of the insert weren't vertical, so I had to reshape the hole with a hobby knife.  This time, the plan is to use a styrene cut out to create the insert.




Because of my Warlord's pose, the other models on the base need to be in motion.  My plan is to have Mordred accompanied by huge mastiff.  The war hound will be leaping at a hapless Saxon warrior who is reeling back in terror.  The mastiff and victim models haven't arrived yet, so the mock-up pictured below includes a stand-in for the war puppy.  

The 60mm base doesn't leave much room for Saxon, so I've ordered some 4 inch (102 mm) bases from LITKO.


« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 06:29:53 PM by Koyote »

Offline Phil Robinson

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Britons
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2017, 07:49:24 PM »
Cracking thread this, wonderful vignettes and back stories.

Offline Koyote

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Britons
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2017, 07:52:35 PM »
The display bases at this year's Adepticon SAGA tournaments put mine to shame, but next year, things will be different.  Well, at least I hope so...

Like many of the best display bases at this year's event, I want my display base to tell a story.  Inspired by my mounted Mordred model, which looks like it's about the chuck a spear into some poor bastard's chest (or back), my display base will depict a battle scene.  More specifically, it will portray the rout of a Saxon warband.  Casualties will lie scattered on the ground where the Saxon shield wall once stood. The ranks of my Britons will be advancing and on one flank the Briton cavalry will be galloping ahead of Briton infantry, in pursuit of the fleeing Saxons. 

The models that I will use for the prone casualties arrived this afternoon.  They are made by Curteys Miniatures and sold by 1st Corps, out of the UK.  The two columns on the left are Saxons and the two columns on the right are Britons.  The models are resin and the detail is amazing.  For casualty models, I give these 4.5 out 5 stars. Or, if you prefer, 4.5 out of 5 butchered Saxons. 




I ordered some blisters of birds from Kromlech, hoping to get a good crow/raven for Morgan Le Fay's base.  In contrast the Curtey models, these models are terrible -poorly sculpted and cast.    Nevertheless, I was able to find one that, with a bit of GS, will work for what I need.

I may want to play my Britons as all infantry, so I've assembled a foot Warlord and companions and another unit of 5 foot Hearthguard. I distinguish my HG by their cloaks -HG have them, warriors don't.  I'm not going to include any War Banners in this warband, but I want each Briton unit to have a Roman style Draco.  I ran out of cloaked models that are suitably posed to hold a Draco, so I broke out the GS and added a (passable) cloak to the standard bearer from Footsore's Mordred blister.




Here's my foot-Warlord (center) and his two Companions.  Foot-Mordred is the Arthur model from the 2006 Salute model, Arthur & Mordred.  The The Companion on the left is (ironically) West Wind Productions' Mordred. There can be only one Mordred, so I replaced the original Mordred helm with a different head.nnThe Companion on the right is Footsore Miniatures' Vortigen. The half drawn sword and the face are what drew me to this model




The models the foreground are my auxiliary unit of foot HG. The models in the year will be my first string HG foot.  I love the model holding its helm in its arm.  It's made by West Wind Productions. 




Offline Too Bo Coo

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Britons
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2017, 08:11:37 PM »
Great project!
"A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men."
-Willy Wonka

Offline Koyote

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Britons
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2017, 10:07:52 PM »
Below is a (very) rough sketch of the plans for my display base. 

Guides are A&A mercenaries that are armed with javelins and not slowed by uneven ground.  Guides permits the owning player to: 1) move one element of terrain, or 2) remove one element of terrain, or 3) add to the table one M x M element of terrain.  I have the perfect piece of 6" DIA modular terrain (made by Worldsmith Industries), that I will rest in a circular insert in the display base.




Offline Breazer

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Britons
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2017, 10:26:51 PM »
This looks like an amazing project. Can't wait to see it all coloured up!

 

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