Posts Tagged ‘Saxons’

New Saxons

December 19, 2009 1 comment

Guido got some unarmoured Saxons for me in return for a box of Republican Romans.  When he left, he commented that he expected to see a painted miniature finished in 24 hours.  Easy to say, but harder to do.  Anyway, inbetween looking after my 10month old daughter and other work, I managed to do a quick job on one miniature.  Once again I’ve resorted to Army painter, I’ve resigned to the fact that this is the fastest way to get miniatures on the board and I will reserve taking time to paint miniatures, for ones that I really like.

Crusader Miniatures - Saxon


My first Saxon unit

December 2, 2009 1 comment

My first Saxon unit

OK, it’s taken me ages, but hopefully it has been worth the wait.  Here is my first Saxon unit, a unit of 24 Ceorls who are the beginning of my later Saxon army.

Yes I used Army Painter to save on time (family, films etc…) are all taking up most of my waking hours.  I am pleased with the result and hopefully I can get onto my next unit soon.

Hope you like them.  Oh… the film is coming along quite well, check out the link below.

Here you go Beccas

October 16, 2009 4 comments
Size comparision of Saxons from various manufacturers

Size comparision of Saxons from various manufacturers

Beccas wanted a comparison if West Wind miniatures with Gripping Beast, so I grabbed whatever miniatures I had and took a photo.  What you see are four miniatures from different manufactures of 28mm Dark Age miniatures.  I am building up a Saxon army which can be used as an early and later Saxon army.  The first (L-R) is a West Wind miniature.  These minis come with different head combinations, I really like the poses and variations.  Next to it is a Gripping Beast, Late Roman which I will be using as a Saxon, basically because early Saxons used much Roman military equipment that they either bought, were supplied with or stripped from the dead after battle. The next is an Early Saxon from Musketeer Miniatures. Lovely miniatures, but the big beards and hair give them a little fantasy edge, still I think they are great.  Finally is a Renegade Miniatures, Late Saxon, the bulkiest of the selection displayed and probably the least exciting range in regards to poses.

In conclusion, I feel that they all fit well together, especially the Gripping Beast and West Wind.  My Early Saxon units will be a combination of GB, WW and MM, which will be added to by RM when I make up a Later Saxon army.

Oh, I also have some Crusader Miniatures Varangian Guard, which I will be using as Huscarls in a later army.  Both the RM and CM are bulky, but en mass it’s not going to make too much difference.

Hope that helps Beccas!

My purchases

October 15, 2009 3 comments

Guido came over yesterday to have a peak at my pockets full of miniatures.  I think he was surprised at the quantity there was.  Anyway, I got him a Pictish Command packet from West Wind Productions when I was in the UK.

West Wind Productions Pictish Command

West Wind Productions Pictish Command

I discovered a link to West Wind Productions quite by accident, I think it was from the WAB Forums if my memory is correct.  I really liked what I saw on the website and had to sample the Early Saxon miniatures.  West Wind were very prompt with delivery which took two days after the order was placed (Even with an apparent postal strike in effecting the UK).  I received a Saxon Command and Armoured Spearman pack in the order and liked the service and the miniatures so much that I immediately placed another larger order, which included Guido’s Pictish Command pack. The Picts are really nice miniatures and should make a good addition to his Pict army, but we’ll see how long it takes Guido to paint them.  Hopefully I will be able to feature the finished product on my blog.

So, I ended up purchasing Saxon Warband and some special characters from West Wind.  These were added to 5 regiment packs I had previously purchased from Renegade, which included later Saxons and some Celts.  So you see, my pockets were really quite full!

BTW: I am attempting to make another short film.  It is not 100% confirmed as yet, but hopefully we will start shooting in the first week of November.

Back to work…

October 11, 2009 2 comments

Apologise to all my readers who started following a wargames blog, which turned into a travel blog and a photography blog, but that is just who I am.

As you all know, I am back in Western Australia and to my distress, I am back at my day job, although I am desperately working hard to get out of it and into my chosen career. There are just a number of steps I have to take to get there.

I have had limited time to get back to painting, because of the jet-lag my daughter is going through, but I thought I’d post a couple work-in-progress photos so that you can see I haven’t dropped off the face of the wargaming Earth. This is the Saxon unit I have been working on for some time, but there is also a bonus photo of a miniature I picked up in the UK and couldn’t resist painting (see work-in-progress below). Some of you may recognise the manufacturer. I really liked their Saxon range so I made many purchases when I was in the UK, to build my Early Saxon Army.

Basing underway, but without a command stand

Basing underway, but without a command stand

My distraction.  Saxon command figures in the background.

My distraction. Saxon command figures in the background.

If you don’t know the manufacturer, check back soon as I will be painting more in the near future. In-between my day job, making another short film (one of my true passions) and everything else!

Categories: Wargames Tags: ,

Maldon battlefield – review

October 5, 2009 1 comment

When I asked the Maldon Tourist Information Centre staff about the Battle of Maldon battlefield, I was greeted with blank looks.

“Oh, there is a statue,” said one of the ladies, “but there’s nothing there.”

“I know,” I respectfully replied.

“No, there is nothing to see,” she continued.

“I know,” I said, yet again.

“But there is nothing there,” she tried to convince me.

“That’s the point,” I argued.

With a shrug of her shoulders, she took my 60 pence, payment  for a brochure they found about the battle and she dismissed me as a stupid Australian, a weirdo or both.

“It’s a good 30 minute walk from the office, depending on how fast you walk,” she said to me as I thanked her and went on my way.

Armed with my new brochure, camera bag and water bottle, I strode through the streets of Maldon to the battlefield.  As I walked, I pondered  why the tourism services in the city knew almost nothing about the Battle of Maldon?  There is a definite audience who would visit the site and with a little planning and funding, the site could be made into more of a tourist attraction, which would translate into dollars for local businesses.

Anyway, after 10 minutes I was surprised to find a statue of Earl Byrhtnoth on the banks of the River Blackwater.   Didn’t that lady say it would take be 30 minutes to get there?

The imposing statue commemorates the battle in AD991 and I to my displeasure, I discovered it did not mark the battlefield, instead it looked out across the flood-plain towards that site.  So, after another 10 minute walk out along the seawall I found the plaque to mark the battlefield.  Standing on the sea wall, with the City at your back, you have to turn right once you reach the junction of the seawall and the causeway road.  Down the road there is a slightly overgrown battlefield carpark, where a National Trust plaque is secured to a farm gate.

Maldon is the oldest registered battlefield in the UK and the placement of the plaque just didn’t seem to do it justice.  I took a photo of the plaque and it is included below.

Plaque on the farm gate

Plaque on the farm gate

I then walked back over the sea wall to the causeway where the first part of the battle was fought.  It was low tide and the river becomes a wide mudflat with only a narrow causeway, which joins Northey Island to the mainland.

The Vikings had landed an army of 3-4000 on Northey Island, to the East of Maldon and the Saxon army cornered them there.  It was high tide, so there was a shouted negotiation between the armies.   Byrhtnoth refused to pay the invaders to depart and challenged them to battle . As the tide fell the Viking force attempted to cross the causeway, but a small band of Saxons held them back. Needing to bring the enemy to battle and defeat them, if he was to protect East Anglia from further destruction, Byrhtnoth withdrew and allowed the Vikings to across to the mainland. Formed up in a shield wall the Saxon army waited for the Viking advance.

It is easy to see how the Saxon tactic could work.  The mudflats are quite extensive and the causeway is really the only way to cross, even at low tide.  Although it is no Thermopyle, the tactic is similar, funnel the enemy into a small area where he can’t brings numbers to bear and he can’t maneuver.   The question as to why Byrhtnoth allowed the Viking army to come ashore to do battle, has been hotly debated and I’m not an expert to say why he did.

The causeway from the Saxon side

The causeway from the Saxon side

When you stand at the causeway and look to either side you’re greeted by very rough ground, which would not allow any type of movement besides skirmishers, but that would still be muddy and hard going.

Once you move back inland, over the sea wall and into the farmland that is the battlefield today, the geography immediately gives clues as to where Byrhtnoth may have withdrawn to in order to form his shield wall.

I walked around the area and tried to soak in the feeling of what it may have been like, but to be honest, it is difficult as you can’t go onto the farm and the existence of modern man-made structures in the area doesn’t help improve the atmosphere.  The walk however, is highly recommended.

I finally made it there!

September 30, 2009 Leave a comment

I finally made it to Maldon today, it is a nice little town which doesn’t know much about it’s historic past.

The battle at Maldon in AD 991, was fought between the Saxon forces the earldorman of Essex, Byrhtnoth and a Viking army lead by Olaf Tryggvason.

The accepted site of the Battle in Maldon, hasn’t changed since AD991 and is the oldest recorded in the English Heritage register of battlefields.

I took a number of photos of the battlefield and I can understand why the Saxons chose to make a stand, where they did.  The photos include a couple panoramas of the site, which I have to put together when I get back to Australia, next week.

Here is the plaque commemorating the Battle.  Keep an eye out for my future posting, which will include a full review of the battlefield walk and surrounds, including pictures.

Plaque commemorating the Battle of Maldon.

Plaque commemorating the Battle of Maldon.


Kind of sad that the plaque sits on a farm gate.