Friday, 17 November 2006


Well, as I spent most of yesterday curled up in bed under a duvet and two woolen blankets wearing two jumpers and a pair of trackie bottoms, I didnt get much in the way of painting done. No, the heating hadn't packed in, the cold Ive been fighting of for the last six weeks came back with a vengeance. Luckily, by late last night my fever had broken.

Unluckily, I'd slept so much during the day I couldn't get back to sleep. Work today was a bit of a choare, but as I had plenti of flexi time left to spend I popped out for a long lunch and popped into Static, my local gaming store. There, I was very pleased to see Spence and even more pleased to here that Spence had decided not to sell his own Perry Normans after all.

Not only did I now have a darkage/early medieval opponent whose army could pass for Shieldwall Western Franks or Crusaders (which they originally supposed to be anyway), but it turns out Julian has a massive Saracen/Moorish force he's been tempted to dig out as well. One of the guys also has an infantry based Berber army with a rock hard reputation as well. And here I was wondering where I was going to find some opponents (beyond Julians 6 or 7 thousand points of Celts (not very authentic) or Andy's 1000pts of Republic Romans (likewise, not very authentic).

All in all this was great news: exept for one thing. Given that the only potential "period" opponents Im now aware of have "eastern" armies I cant very well go giving my Normans European bases can I? Certainly, I can use the same list to represent the "Norman" element of the crusade under Bohemond and Tancred without having to change my army about (much). But as I`m not aware of any other Shieldwall armies (other than Spence) at the Glasgow G3 club I may have to change my basing plans.

Not a huge problem. Basically, I've based all my (very few) painted figs using a light cork material and haven't quite gotten round to "undergrowthing" then up yet. So, for the time being, I`ll leave the sand-highlighted cork as it is. If it turns out that my only regular opponents will all be fielding crusdade style armies I can leave the bases as they are, with maybe a patch of static grass, a boulder and a few discarded turkish shields and weapons here and there. If not, I can give the cork a brown ink wash to make it look like the bark you find underfoot in pine forests and add plenty of lichen and static grass. Voila: fairly convincing temperate european undergrowth.

Sorted. I even ran up a couple of samples on empty bases: one "pure" european with the brown-stained cork and lichen and a "compromise" base of mostly sand coloured cork with some lichen, a few patches of brown dyed cork and a tiny " babies head" patch of static grass, just to see how it would look. The idea being that if a few Shieldwall armies do suddenly crop out of the G3 woodwork I could then use this style of basing to represent poor european soil AND fairly "rich" semi-arid soil. I`ll put pictures of both these bases up for you to have a look at, along with some painted Normans, later (once I can get my digital camera working). Just bear in mind they`re mock-ups with "exagerrated" amounts of undergrowth. I wanted to see what colours of lichen and other decorative bits would look good with each option and being a tight fisted git when it comes to anything not made of lead (or chocolate) I couldnt bring myself to part with more than two bases as samples. (OKay, I admit it. I only had two 20mm bases to spare. Seriously, even Im not THAT bad)

Also, I have an apology to make. Those shield transfers were from LBM (not Gripping Beast). They are only sold through Gripping Beast Miniatures to fit their shield designs. By the way, those transfers look even more stunning when their on the mini. One thing though: now that Ive seen two minis with the same shield design side by side I`m tempted to have each unit use the same shield design for every minaiture. At least for the infantry. I don't want to do things this way, because its not approppriate for the time period and it`ll limit my options as far as fiddling with unit sizes is concerned, but I`m tempted none the less.

But speaking of transfers: gutted! Those Norman "banners" I ordered are actually "lance pennants" (well I had been wondering how they managed to fir twenty-four of the things on one page). Their absolutely gorgeous but as I wont be modelling my mounted Milites with actuals lances (too difficult to store without bending) their kind of pointless. Purely my fault of course. The site does clearly state that they're pennants, but somehow in my cold addled state I read that as "banners" rather than "lance pennants". Twnety-four full size banners for a tenner eh? What was I thinking? That chrtistmas had come early (well, okay, not by much)? Ah well. Maybe Ill find a use for them when it comes to modelling that Norman village I keep salivating about.

So other than a confession, thats that! I got distracted tonight and ended up basing some of those Flames of War Germans I mentioned in that first post rather than working on my Normans. I also got distracted by typing up this post.


Won't happen again, honest (right) but it does mean that while the first 6 Norman Milites on foot are now fully based (on their temporary "arid" bases), shielded and painted, the second batch of six have barely had any work done on them at all.

And that, I think, is an excellent reason to stop nattering right there. So long, folks I have garters to highlight (and tunics, and hose, and spears and shoes and so forth).

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