Painting SAGA

SAGA Anglo-Saxon – The Rest

Again, I am behind in posting (and photographing) models. I have now completed the rest of the Anglo-Saxon Warband with the addition of two units of Hearthguard and a generic Warlord. I will be painting some of the special leaders later, as well as adding a generic pool of peasants from which different warbands can draw their levy contingent.

The models are a mix of metal and plastic as usual. At the very bottom are some fatigue markers using the wooden dial bases that I use for other games (not sure how useful it will be as the dials go from 1 to 12 which seems overkill for SAGA – I might replace them with simple “chip” style fatigue markers later).

SAGA Anglo-Saxon - Thegns 1

SAGA Anglo-Saxon - Thegns 2

SAGA Anglo-Saxon - Warlord

SAGA Markers - Fatigue Counters

Painting SAGA

SAGA Anglo-Saxons

Well, I my have gotten carried away a bit again. “Making a few SAGA warbands” turned into “Buy the entire Gripping Beast line-up plus all available plastic boxes from all manufacturers”. So the last couple of months were devoted to cleaning up models, basing everything and generally breathing in lots of metal dust. But that’s done and finally it is time to paint. I give you my first step into the world of SAGA: three units of Anglo-Saxon Ceorls!

Pretty standard models – a mix of plastic and Gripping Beast metal models thrown in for variety.

SAGA Anglo-Saxon - Ceorls 2

SAGA Anglo-Saxon - Ceorls 1

SAGA Anglo-Saxon - Ceorls 3

Painting SAGA

SAGA Warbands

With the Warmaster High Elves completed, I am turning my ambitious eyes towards the SAGA system for Dark Age historical battles. As you can tell from the blog, I am usually building armies around Games Workshop rule systems which offer a single source of models. Historical 28mm models for the Dark Ages on the other hand come from tons of different manufacturers. Not really knowing where to start, I used my common approach of “buy everything” :).

So a while ago I received a bunch of boxes from the main manufacturers: Gripping Beast, Wargames Factory, Wargames Foundry, and Conquest Games. I basically bought one box of every Dark Age/Ancient plastic set these manufacturers offer as well as a few metal models (mostly Gripping Beast character models and a 6 point Jomsviking warband do cover their distinct style). That yielded over 400 models of mostly interchangeable styles – enough to build a few warbands surely!

The plastic kits are all pretty nice but I have to admit that I was disappointed that the models in the Wargames Factory “Saxon Fyrd” and “Viking Bondi” box are the same (except some weapon choices maybe). I bought one of each to get more body variety but alas that is not to be. Fortunately, I can mix them with Gripping Beast Bondi and Fyrd, and probably mix in some of the Celtics/Ancient Germans from Wargames Factory. Should be ok.

The plan is to build 3-5 points per warband of “distinct” units and then have a generic pool of common levy to draw from (they all seem to look the same). Visual distinction is tricky for Dark Age forces so I will try to use some simple archetypes to keep the forces apart. For the more “civilized” warbands we will go with chainmail for the hearthguard and clothing for warriors. Anglo-Danish and Anglo-Saxons will get mostly spears with Christian symbols on their shields. Vikings will get mostly axes and pagan/viking symbols. For the wilder nations, such as Scots, I am tempted to go with mostly naked torsos from the Wargames Factory Ancient German/Celt sets. Probably not historically accurate but “Hollywood approved” and the only way to visually distinguish them from the other warbands.

With that thought, here is the plan:


Warlord with Dane Axe

Cnut the Great

Hereward The Wake

Brodir of Man

8 Huscarls with Dane Axes

4 Huscarls with Spears

24 Ceorls with Spears [shared with Anglo-Saxons]


Warlord with Sword

Warlord with Sword and Horse

Harold Godwinson

Alfred the Great


8 Thegns with Spears

[24 Ceorls with Spears shared with Anglo-Danish]

12 Geburs with Spears



Ragnar Lothbrok

Harald Hardrada

Gunnar Hamundarson

8 Hirdmen

4 Berserker

16 Bondi



Wardlord with Dane Axe

Sigvaldi Strut-Haraldsson

Vagn Akesson

16 Jomsvikings

8 Jomsvikings with Dane Axes

16 Dreng


Warlord on Horse

William the Bastard

12 Milites on Horse

4 Milites with Spears (on foot)

16 Spearmen

8 Crossbowmen



Kenneth Mac Alpin


4 Thanes with Spears

4 Thanes with Spears on Ponies

16 Soer-Chele with Spears

12 Doer-Chele with Bows

Generic Pool of Levy

24 Archers

24 Slingers

12 Javelineers

12 Naked Javelineers

I might do some more “naked” armies – maybe some Irish or Welsh – but let’s see how will it goes with this lot. The first step will be an orgy of sprue clipping and inhalation of plastic cement fumes… More to come soon.

Blood Bowl Painting Warmaster

Warmaster High Elf Page and Halflings

The High Elves are now enshrined in their own gallery. One down, eight more Warmaster armies to go 🙂

Also, I finished up some Halfling bases for my Empire force (Eureka models that I ordered together with the Wood Elves.

WM Empire - Halfling Skirmishers

Painting Warmaster

Warmaster High Elf Big and Small Dragon

The big one is classic. The smaller one is converted from the plastic dragon in the Dreadfleet boxed set (got the model on ebay). It’s a nice mid-point between the mini-dragons (Eagle proxies) and the big dragon – making it an ideal proxy for the Griffon Rider. The rider is kitbashed from some high elf and Eureka wood elf models.

WM HE - Hero on Dragon WM HE - Dragon Rider

Painting Warmaster

Warmaster High Elf Characters

The lords of Ulthuan are ready to lead their forces into battle.


WM HE - Mages WM HE - Heroes WM HE - General and Chariots

Painting Warmaster

Warmaster High Elf Warmachines

Some with wheels, some without (how on earth are High Elf Boltthrowers moved to the battlefield?)

WM HE - Chariots WM HE - Bolt Thrower

Painting Warmaster

Warmaster High Elf Cavalry

Yee-haw, some horses to go to with the foot sloggers.

WM HE - Silver Helms 1 WM HE - Silver Helms 2 WM HE - Reaver Knights

Painting Warmaster

Warmaster High Elves

Time to make some progress on that New Years Resolution. The folks over at TacComs convinced me to start with a Warmaster army. High Elves it is, since that’s the last “core” army not yet completed (see the Warmaster Gallery to see the other 5 core armies).

I am going with a red and white dragon theme for the army as my Dwarves are already blue/white (the other “classic” High Elf scheme). At a small scale like Warmaster, it’s best to stick with unique schemes per army (of course, my Empire army is also white/red but I have vague intentions to repaint them red/blue for Altdort since the paint job is not that great).

So first up are some core units and mini-dragons (Eagle Rider proxies). I shamelessly confess to copying the dragon shield design from this beautiful army.

WM HE - Archers WM HE - Spearmen WM HE - Dragons


Status Updates

New Years Resolution

Happy 2015 Everybody

Looking back, 2014 was sadly aa very quiet year for the blog (and, associated with that, my gaming productivity). A combination of “Space Marine Fatigue”‎ from my overly ambitious 40k Blood Angel force and just generally a lack of painting time made 2014 probably the least productive year of the decade.

So I wanted to start 2015 with a resolution to step up the painting rate again. Specifically, I am hoping to tackle at least some of the projects that have been lingering in my “active projects” cabinet for a while (yes, I have such a cabinet with some 40+ drawers full of “active” projects… see picture).

Active Project Drawers

Warhammer 40k

Blood Angels: I really want to finish these just for the mental achievement of seeing it through. I am missing some finishing touches on a few of the “red” infantry, a dozen Terminators, the Death Company and all the vehicles (4 Rhino/Predator/Whirlwind magnetic chassis, a Death Company Rhino, a Land Raider, a Vindicator ‎4 assorted Dreadnought, a Drop Pod and a flyer).

Other Projects: The same “fit of airbrushing enthusiasm” that led to the Blood Angel project also saw me pick up 200 or so Ultramarine models. I also still have a large 300+ model Ork army left but I doubt that I will even start either of these in 2015 to preserve my sanity.


Empire: About a decade ago I participated quite actively in the North American Grand Tournament circuit and even picked up a few awards. My Empire army from that era was painted to my (then) best quality which means that it is still adequate today. My goal for 2015 is to finish up the few remaining units and photograph the army for the blog (gotta get some 28mm forces up here!).

Other Projects: ‎None of my other armies are really re-furbishable either due to low painting quality (done in the 90’s) or totally outdated models. The only thing I could see myself doing is to dip my super old Dwarf army (300+ Marauder era models). They were painted cleanly back then but without any shading or washes (not invented yet). I think a nice dip followed by updated basing might just bring these guys to a presentable level with little effort. Maybe…

EPIC Armageddon:

I was on quite a productivity trend with EPIC armies and generally enjoy completing those. Then GW hit the TacComs hobby modelers with a Cease and Desist letter. The subsequent “purge” sort of killed my enthusiasm. I would like to get back into the groove and finish at least one of the remaining EPIC armies in 2015

Tyranids: about 10k points all based and ready for painting.

Adeptus Mechanicus: all ready to go but 100% proxy models. Not sure if TacComs would allow images of those these days.

Titan Legion/Knight: 8 Titans and some 20+ Knights waiting to be done.

Other Projects: I don’t actually own anything else for EPIC but the recent release of Dark Eldar and Sister of Battle proxies by Onslaught Games is really tempting (so are their Tyranid proxies but I have those already). Maybe I will pick up a small force of each just for fun.

Warmaster and Warmaster Middle Earth:

When Specialist Games shut down, I did a bit of a panic purchase of all the remaining Warmaster armies (as well as most of Lord of the Rings forces just for good measure). For 2015, I hope to paint at least two of these armies to reduce the lead mountain a bit:

Warmaster (3k-4k each): High Elves, Dwarfs (re-basing and adding some units), Kislev, Lizardmen, Vampire Counts, Bretonnia, Dark Elves‎, Skaven

Warmaster ME: Rohan, Gondor, Isengard, Sauron‎, Battle of Five Armies box.

If I am particularly productive, I might reward myself with a Chaos Dwarf or Beastmen force from the awesome Eureka line.


I have always been intrigued by historical settings but starting another huge army never seemed appealing. Along came SAGA – a Dark Age skirmish game. As usual, enthusiasm got the better of me and I bought a few hundred models from Gripping Beast, Warlord Games and Wargames Factory (thus utterly negating the small model count benefit of a skirmish game…). At minimum, that’s enough to build decent sizes warbands for Saxons, Danes, Viking, Jomsvikings and maybe some Welsh or Scots (for once, I didn’t really plan much beyond getting all the available plastic kits and some metal models – historical models are dirt cheap to somebody used to Games Workshop prices so I just bought all the available boxes from the three manufacturers). In 2015, I hope to finish at least two of these warbands.

Mordheim/Necromunda/Blood Bowl:

Talking of skirmish games, I still have lots of Specialist Games groups in assorted boxes. Ideally, I would like to paint a couple of these in 2015 but SAGA will take precedence.

Mordheim: Orcs, Goblins, Amazon’s, Carnival of Chaos, Beastmen, Chaos Warriors, Lizardmen, Ogres, Averlander, Ostlander, ‎Marienburger, Possessed

Necromunda: Esher, Delague, Goliath, Ratskin, Scabbies, Tau

Blood Bowl: High Elves, Dwarf, Lizardman‎, Chaos Dwarf, Halflings, Khemri

Other Projects: There are a few other items that would be nice for 2015 but they are all low priority:

– Dystopian Wars Prussian and British Fleet (basecoated but need detailing)

– ‎Flocking and river-pouring for a new set of half-finished terrain tiles

– Finish painting a few already built Hirst Art buildings to complete the Mordheim terrain collection

– Build some more display bases for the model cabinet

– Finish the Man-o-War Chaos fleet to complete the collection

So, finish a 40k and Warhammer army each, an EPIC army, a couple of Warmaster armies, a couple of Saga warbands, a couple of other skirmish game warbands. Maybe 400 models which seems somewhat manageable in a year. We will see :).