Monday, November 17, 2008

The Workbench

The Normans are coming, the Normans, are coming!

Everything is up in the air since my last workbench post. Three weeks ago it was all about plastic Warlord Games Romans with a subsidiary concentration on WW1 Germans, Zulu Wars, Sudan Highlanders and Early Saxons. That was before I bought some Perry French plastics of course! Looking forward to very little painting time between now and Christmas (I will be travelling for four weeks) my workbench is now looking very different!

At least I finished the batch of Early Saxons I was working on but this has got me back into Dark Ages again. With my little boy doing the invasions of 1066 at school I rounded up a few odd Anglo Saxons I had in the lead pile for basing; a mixture of Gripping Beast and Black Tree Design. I am very fussy about not mixing miniatures from different manufacturers but for warband types even I don't mind so much. Then I saw Foundry had a good sale on Darkest Africa and went and bought an army deal of Baluchi mercenaries. Given that I wasn't paying the postage I added a couple of packs of their new (ish) Anglo Saxons too. The Baluchis are great (I'd forgotten just how good (especially with faces) Mr Copplestone is compared with many of his rivals) and I will paint some up fairly soon.

I was in Oman recently and see that many of the figures are armed with the characteristic khanjar dagger. I was quite tempted to bring one of these back but I only had hand luggage on the way back from Muscat to Dubai and didn't think the security people would have been too impressed!

The real surprise were the Anglo Saxons. There has been a lot of criticism lately over Foundry's new offerings (there is a lot of criticism of Foundry anyway) but these Anglo Saxons are superb. Lots of real character and wonderful sculpts. On these the criticism is that they only have round shields but kite shields are easy enough to buy (Gripping Beast and Crusader do packs of them). Anyway by not giving them too many kite shields I can use them for the earlier King Alfred period; confining the Kite shields to those figures who are obviously late 11th century.

To compound the Dark Ages revival I also got a good lot of Crusader Norman infantry on eBay and the one I have painted was very quick to do. I have just ordered some bowmen and a few cavalry. I also ordered a pack of Crusader's Anglo Saxons. I suspect that these will be a bit shorter than the Foundry figures but mixed up it shouldn't be too noticeable.

I'm still working on the Napoleonics though!

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