15 March, 2022

Livestock and Objective Markers for Saga

Five of the scenarios contained in the Book of Battles supplement for Saga use either livestock or objective markers as part of the victory conditions.  I wanted to upgrade what I had available as part of my ongoing terrain improvement project.  I needed six bases of each type.  

Along with the ruins and rocky ground pieces I bought from Acheson Creations and which I posted recently, I also bought some resin pieces to use as objective markers.   After the usual washing with soap and spraying black, I painted them with several coats of Ceramcoat Terracotta, then a wash of GW Agrax Earthshade, followed by a matt varnish.  I painted watered-down glue on the bases, then dipped them in a tub of brown ballast.  After that dried, I used more glue to add patches of static grass and small bushes.

Clockwise from top left are a stack of amphorae, a large pot which came without a base (I glued it to a 40mm round base), a 28mm Cretan archer guarding the loot and showing the scale, and my favorite piece which has two half-buried amphorae along with a large bull's head; perhaps a relic of a collapsed Bronze Age civilization?

Four identical groups of amphorae.  They came cast on 40mm bases which are the perfect size for objective markers.        

With a 28mm Cretan archer to show scale.

I needed six bases of livestock.  I already had 2 Highland Cattle and 2 pigs from Irregular Miniatures that my daughter had painted for me in 2014 for use in Saga 1st edition.  They were on different size bases so all I had to do was rebase them.  The Highland Cattle got a coat of Iron Wind Red Brown, followed by a drybrush of Howard Hues Mideast Flesh, then a brown wash.  When my daughter painted the pigs, we googled English heritage pig breeds and she picked the Wessex Saddleback (l) and the Gloucestershire Old Spot (r).  A Viking is attempting to rustle them.

I had a pack of 6 Gripping Beast Manx Sheep that I had bought for this purpose and put 3 each on two bases.  For the sixth base I looked through my unpainted miniatures and while I didn't have any more farm animals, I did have 4 deer from Iron Wind/Ral Partha, so I used one of them.    After some quick paint jobs they were finished.

For the Manx sheep, one base was painted Iron Wind Khaki and the other left with the white primer.  Then I used GW contrast paints (Aggaros Dunes or Skeleton Horde), followed by a drybrush of Army Painter Skeleton Bone.  The lower legs and faces got a wash of dark brown.  Now that they're finished, I can't tell which base was painted khaki and which just primed white.

I painted the deer as a European Red Deer with an initial layer of Coat d'Arms Barbarian Leather followed by a wash of GW Doombull Brown to give it a reddish tint like the photos I saw online.  The face and hindquarters got patches of off-white and I used GW contrast Skeleton Horde for the antlers.

Thanks for reading!

07 March, 2022

28mm Samnites and Thureophoroi

When choosing mercenary units to paint for Saga: Age of Hannibal, the Samnites were a natural choice.  They would provide the Epirotes that I was building a unit that is good in rough terrain, which the Epirote phalangites want to avoid..  I also decided to build the thureophoroi, who besides having some nice special abilities that work well with the Epirote phalanx, should also be usable with some of the armies in the upcoming Age of Alexander book.

For the Samnites, I used the 'Samnites in Triple Disc Armour' pack from Crusader Miniatures because I liked the look of the disc breastplates.  The pack of eight miniatures contained two each of four different bodies and four different heads which resulted in plenty of variety.  While I am not a big fan of separate heads in metal, they fit very well and superglued on securely.  The tunic and shield designs are heavily borrowed from/inspired by two books:

Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars by Phil Barker

Caesar's Legions by Nick Sekunda

The Thureophoroi are also from Crusader, the 'Greek Thureophoroi' and 'Greek Thureophoroi Command' packs.  I gave them the white shield that is often seen in depictions from the Hellenistic era.  While the mercenary unit only has 8 figures in Saga, I have 12 in case I want to use them as Epirote levy skirmishers instead.

02 March, 2022

Ruins and Rocky Ground Terrain Pieces

One of my ongoing projects has been to improve my terrain collection.  The primary goal is to cover all the terrain possibilities for my Saga games, though most of the pieces are usable for other games and periods.  In 2021 I bought a set of terrain pieces from Terrains4Games.  Included in the set were 6 area templates that I could use for woods, rocky areas or ruins by placing different pieces on top.  At the end of 2021 I got a bunch of new trees by 4Ground secondhand but unopened.  They are great trees but no longer appear on their website so are likely out of production.

In July 2021 I bought some resin terrain pieces from Acheson Creations.  They have a wide range of items and are my first stop when I am looking for terrain.  The owner is retiring at the end of May so I encourage you to take a look and order something before then.  Part of my order consisted of pieces to use for ruins and rocky areas.  After finishing an army project in late February 2022, I was motivated to paint them.  After running them through the dishwasher on the gentle cycle to remove any mold release, I spray painted everything black.  Next I used thinned black craft paint to cover any areas I missed. 

Hellenistic thureophoroi advancing past eight ruined columns, painted with successively lighter shades if gray until I was satisfied with the look.  The final coat was Vallejo Silver Gray.  The stones surrounding the pillars were painted in various shades of gray.  The columns will also be useful in my Stargate project.

I drybrushed the 12 boulders in various shades of gray craft paint.  Next I coated the base with glue, then dipped them into brown ballast.  When that dried, I used glue to add patches of flock and bushes.

Two of the Terrains4Games templates as rocky areas with boulders and some 28mm Vikings for scale.

Various types of stone walls and pillars.  First drybrushed a dark and medium gray, then I painted some of the individual stones in one of 3-4 different shades of gray for variety.

Two of the Terrains4Games templates as ruins with 28mm Vikings for scale.