Archive for Historical

Saga: Crusaders and Crusadees

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , on November 25, 2018 by Sean


I’ve added more models to my growing Polish force for Saga: Age of Crusades. The militia were the Levies for the Polish forces, the serfs and city guard of the commoners. They’ll serve a defensive role alongside the strelzcy Men-at-Arms.

Units of Levy are groups of 12, so I’ve done up a dozen soldiers. Each bares the heraldry of their szlatcha masters, found via some research. I like that Polish heraldry has both Western medieval symbols as well as Slavic tamgas (the runic symbols). Like their Warrior counterparts they have a mix of gear, one with a very Eastern armor set leading the unit. Another leader-type is the one wearing the colors of the the Order of Dobrzyń, the Polish military order during the Baltic Crusades (he’s the one in white with the red cross and sword symbol on his shield). While it’s a bit odd that a Levy would be wearing the Order’s colors, he could be a commanding role or a Warrior for other armies.

I love the red squirrel; it’s real I swear.

The spearmen here can also be used in a Crusaders force as Warriors, in which case they get pared down to 8 men.

I’ve also finished 8 Crossbowmen, for use with a Crusaders, Spanish, or Milites Christi force.

Last up are a few fighters for the Pagan Peoples faction. I’m working on those alongside the Polish to give both a proper counterpart enemy. The factions would see fighting during the Baltic Crusades in the 13th Century.

The Pagans here are Balts and Wends, possibly from Latvia, Prussia, Pomerania, etc. I kept it pretty vague, and those areas have less visual references to fall back on. They got duller, darker colors to make them stand out from the brighter Poles/Crusades. I’ve already built enough for a full 8-man Warrior unit, and they can used alongside my Anglo-Saxons models (avoiding the ones with overt Christian imagery obviously). The Pagan models favor older round shields or the small tear drop shields more common to 10th-11th Centuries to represent their ‘backward’ status compared to the Poles.

More to come.



By Fire & Sword: Sweden

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , on November 15, 2018 by Sean



I’m putting the finishing touches on the Kingdom of Sweden starter set for By Fire & Sword. There’s only a pair of stands left, to be finished shortly.

The first pic is the Command stand for the skirmish force, representing a Colonel with his company musician and standard bearer. The banner is a sticker (one of several provided). The banner got a bit of spatter while painting, but I felt it helped age it appropriately with battlefield mud. The Colonel gets a white horse to make him stand out. I added a detail of the Colonel’s stand flanked by a pair of Dragoons.

The Dragoons here are the mounted versions. I painted the dismounted versions a while back (see previous post). These men got the same paint schemes as the infantry. There are still a pair of stands to finish.

Last up are the army’s Reiters, the mounted pistoliers. I painted them in the same fashion as the Dragoons, though I allowed for less uniformity to represent their general lack of armor. The pic has them in both in line and tighter ranked formation.

I’m not sure whether or not I’ll be adding to the starter set, but we’ll see. The sculpts still frustrate me, as there is a lot of tiny detail, but the sculpt and/or the casting created very soft edges and weird horse legs. Maybe the next round of sculpts will be cleaner…

Saga: Polish Rycerze

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , on October 30, 2018 by Sean

I’ve been working on adding some models to my Saga collection to allow my forces to be used for Age of Crusades scenarios. Using my old 10th Century Anglo-Saxons against Moors looks odd, so I wanted some contemporary models to the 12th-13th Centuries.

With that in mind, I’ve been working on models to represent the Polish forces of the Baltic Crusades. While I do need to add properly armed and armored Levy spear and axemen, I felt the mounted troops needed to be finished first. I lack enough cavalry to field for most armies; either I have Goblins on wolves, or Romano-British models fitting the Age of Invasions era.

So here are the first point of mounted Polish Men-at-Arms (Warriors). They were built from Fireforge’s Templar Knights kit, with some parts from the Foot Sergeants and Russian Infantry boxes. I wanted a mix of equipment for variety and to show the more ragtag nature of Polish troops (with a mix of Western and Eastern gear).

The rycerce have heraldry I dug out of sources online and in books. I wanted an ‘authentic’ look to make them stand out as Polish rather than Western knights. Some have simple color blocking with traditional symbols for their lords, while others have full heraldry of their lords or themselves, including some with caparison armor for their horses. It was fun to have a good variety of colors, and I even found myself painting checkers again (yellow and red ones to boot, for that extra difficulty).

Finally, alongside the mounted troops, I have finished some of a Crossbowmen unit. These men will be used for a couple different armies, including Crusaders, Milites Christi, Spanish, or even Normans. They wear generic colors, not reflecting any specific heraldry. These come from the same Foot Sergeants kit that I mined for bits for the knights. There will be 12 of the Crossbowmen, allowing me to field them as Levy (12) or Warriors (8).


Saga: The Saga(s) Continue(s)

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , , on September 7, 2018 by Sean


I’ve been working on various and sundry projects lately. Between larger blocks of units and such I’ve been working on a couple minies for Saga: Age of Crusades. I’ve finished all I need for The Age of Vikings era (for now), and now I’m turning my eye to Crusade-era factions.

The Warlord here is for the Pagan Peoples, the Slavic tribes and nations of the Baltic region of Europe. These peoples faced the onslaught of the Baltic Crusades. I can field my Anglo-Saxons to sub in as Pagans (Curonians, Prussians, or Latvians, etc.), but I plan on adding models painted up specifically as proper 12th Century tribal warriors. I wanted an appropriately ferocious model for the Warlord. I picked the Gripping Beast Viking special character of Njal, swapping a throwing axe for the spear in his left hand. The spear instead got planted in the ground to decorate the base, festooned with a pennant.

The model is a head taller than other figures of this scale so he has a suitable presence on the table. His lack of armor also helps differentiate him from my other Warlords, some of whom are covered head to toe in mail. His yellow shield has a stylized sun-burst symbol I found online; another shield with interlocking rectangles lies at his feet.

Next is a pair of Polish warriors, armed with great weapons. These models are from the Fireforge Russian infantry plastic kit. I plan on adding Polish units to my existing models- these are my test models. The warband will be a mix of Eastern gear (via Russia and Lithuania) and Western gear (Germany and similar). These guys definitely follow the Eastern fashion. The Polish warband would also allow me to play as Crusaders or Eastern Princes.

Last is an odd addition, straining the ‘historical’ nature of this post. The Mongols faction features in Age of Crusades rules, allowing me to use my Goblin Wolfriders models. The Gobbos already get fielded as any army made up of mounted troops, like the Huns, Spanish, and Moors. The models will once again ride forth. This time they will be accompanied by their Drummer, a hero-type of unit. In game he activates units nearby for free, allowing for amazing maneuverability for the Mongol warband. By the rules, the Drummer rides a camel instead of a horse. Since my Gobbos ride wolves, I figured a boar would be an obvious outlier to represent the difference.

I am going to go forward on the new warbands soon, either Polish or Pagans first. More to come.

Arena Rex: Morituri

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , on August 23, 2018 by Sean



Arena Rex, the fantasy gladiator game, came out some time ago. I chose the Egyptian-themed ludus, the Morituri, purely off the look of the models. Luckily for me the rules seem to be good for them too.

When it first came out, I painted up two of the Morituri starter set, leaving the third to wait on the shelf for a while. With renewed interest in the game at my FLGS, I decided to push through and finish the set.

The starter set is a great variety of body types and fighting styles. I decided on a basic red/white/blue color scheme, contrasted by linen, bandages, and of course lots of gold.

First up is Ur-Kek, the heavy hitter (fat joke unintentional). He towers over the other members, with a bladed staff as big as a person. The whole game’s line of miniatures has a ton of skin on display, and Ur-Kek is no exception. I game him a nice healthy glow, the complexion of a heavy-set giant in the middle of exerting himself. A few scars and stretch marks finish him off. I like the sculpting, especially his face. This is one smug bastard.

Next is Mago, who carries the net/trident combination of the Retiarius type of gladiator. He seems to also wear a Secutor-style helmet. I gave him a warm black skin for more variety of tones.  His skulking posture (the better to defend with that trident) makes him look tiny, especially compared to Ur-Kek’s bulk and Zahra’s extended height.

The last member is Zahra, the spear and whip carrying member. She was the hardest to paint, due to the projecting spear and (very) flexible whip, whip constantly got in the way. A liked the swirling tassels (?) on her headdress, giving them a black stripe like the character artwork. The color scheme plays out on her with a red torso armor, white skirt, and blue edging. The skirt, being an Egyptian-style shendyt, would in theory be translucent. With that in mind, I added a little flesh tone into some parts to suggest the skin underneath. As I was painting her, I realized I was dangerously close to painting Wonder Women (the costume and whip didn’t help), but I managed to pull back. The only addition to her model was a rock for her to be launching off of. I figured she could use more height.

I’ll be getting more of the Morituri soon, so there will be posts with them soon enough.

The Romans on Parade

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , , on August 18, 2018 by Sean

This is a follow-up to the previous post about the Roman army for Field of Glory. I took some pics of the whole force arrayed to show off its grandeur. I love to see a completed army on the table.

The force is 600 points, so has potential for expansion later.

Field Commander (CinC), 2 Troop Commanders, 4 x4 Hastati & Principes, 2 x4 Velites, 2 x2 Triarii, 1 x4 Roman Cavalry, 1 x4 Numidian Cavalry, 1 x8 Allied Italians, and a Fortified Camp.

Field of Glory: SPQR

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , on August 16, 2018 by Sean

The Mid-Republican Roman army for Field of Glory has been finished! Another notch on the old army belt…

The last batch included the army’s commanders. The Commander-in-Chief represents the legions’ Legatus legionis, a member of the senate and senior commander. Next down is his second, the Tribunus laticlavius. Also a member of the senate, he most likely is related to the Legatus (nephew, son?). The third commander is a Praefecti, a member of the equestrian class, acting as a sub-commander for a small contingent.

The commander models once again fall prey to the Essex Miniatures ‘one pose’ problem. With that in mind I had to use their bodyguard and personal color schemes to tell them apart. The Legatus is the officer with two mounted bodyguards, the Tribunus has a small foot guard, and the Praefecti has just a single bodyguard model. I painted white lines on the rear of their bases to make spotting them on the table during a game easier.



Next is a unit of Italian Allies for the Romans. These might represent Campanions or Samnites. They fight in a loose version of the Greek/Etruscan style of hoplites or thureophoroi, giving the Roman heavy foot some support in rough ground. Most bare shields with a common sunburst symbol. A good unit to add some color to the serried sameness of the Legions.

These models had a good variety, with 5 poses and good details. They do have the problem of separate metal spears, which required a lot of work to straighten (see my rant about this in my post about the Triarii).

Finally, rounding out the army is the very important camp. The Romans built everywhere they went, so this included their camp. Every night they fortified their camp with stockades, stakes, ditches, and gates. Given time, especially if the army was staying in one place for a while, the fort would build up with more ditches and towers. Here though it’s pretty stylized and simple, with enough detail to suggest a broader structure.

The front gate is guarded by a Triarius, as was custom. Slaves and reserve Legionnaires prepare the defenses. I liked the detail of the camp fire and the little dog. I painted him like a Roman mastiff. He even has a bone to chew on!


With that project done, I move on to something new. There’s already more Romans, as well as Gauls and Carthaginians, on the horizon…