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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

SAGA Late Romans - Painting update

 Recently, I've started up a 5th Century Roman army for SAGA, built out of a box of Gripping Beast Plastics Late Romans and a box of generic Dark Age Warriors for the British auxiliary.  My goal is have a point of models completed each week, which means I should only need 6 weeks in total to have the army tabletop ready!  So far, I'm on schedule!  I've also coe to realize that I do not really enjoy having to paint an entire army at once, simply because it feels like it adds a lot of pressure to speed things along, and I end up rushing a bit.  I've always considered myself more of a gamer, than a painter, I just happen to really HATE playing with (and against to an extent) unpainted stuff, but I'd still rather not rush!  (Like I have been)  Thus far, I've finished up the Warlord, a unit of Bowmen, and a unit of warriors...

Anyway, really briefly, I'm basing my force around the 20th Legion in Britain, which based on the fountain of knowledge that is the interwebz (/sarcasm) were one of the last legions to be pulled out of Britain to fight for Constantine III in 407 ad.  (Perfect period for the SAGA A&A book)  Eventually, I plan on doing an army of Picts to counter them...

Up first is my Warlord.  He was kind of my general test model as well.  The real struggle with him was the banner itself,  as I struggled due to the size of it.  Initially, I created my own decals of the standard I posted above, but it didn't work over the red and come out barely visible.  I then painted the banner white, placed a new decal, then tried to fill everything back in with red.  While it was a little bit better, it still looked sloppy, and illegible.  Finally, after practicing the boar symbol on the warrior's shields, ended up going back in for a 3rd time, and settled on the banner you see here...

After the Warlord came the warriors armed with Bows.  For these guys, not only was the white and red stripes a bit of a struggle, but some of models have open mouths, which was also a struggle to figure out what to do with.  There really wasn't any teeth or details to pick out, just a gaping hole.  I may need to figure something out, and go back in an rework it.  The black just doesn't look natural in my opinion!  I faced a similar issue with the next unit, but for them, I tried a new approach which had some better results...

For these, my warriors with spears, I tackled the issue of the open-mouthed warriors a little bit differently.  I left their mouths unpainted, and gave it a black wash, in the hopes that they would look more teeth-like as opposed to a gaping black hole!  While not perfect, I can live the results.  The shields themselves took a bit of work as well.  Initially, I designed some decals for the shields, using laurels, the boar, and the legion's XX designation, but ended up scrapping them in the end.  They just didn't seem to fit the shield designs of the 5th century, they look a little too "imperial" in my opinion, so I scrapped em.  Instead, I went with a simple, 5th century Roman shield pattern, and in order to tie it into the 20th Legion, I added a small boar to the top of each shield.  Freehand work is definitely NOT my forte, and it was a bit of a struggle.  Overall though, I'm pleased with both the design as well as the outcome of the freehand work.  You should have seen my initial attempts at painting the tiny boar emblem... *shudder*.... it was BAD.
Scrapped shield designs...

And there you have it!  This should give you a pretty good idea of what my army should look like in general.  I've got another unit of bowmen, a unit of spearmen, and a couple units of levies to finish.  The levies themselves should be very interesting, as they'll break the white/red color scheme and really let me utilize some color variation.  I'm going to try and save the levies for last if I can.  I've also got a ballista coming.... eventually.  I ordered it from my LGS to further support the place I play at, but the waiting period is especially slow.  Pretty sure I could have ordered it online myself and have already had it in hand.  But, hey, ho, I've got plenty of stuff to keep me busy as it is!

Until Next time,


  1. Those look fabulous! Love the shield look you ended up going with. Simple and uniform.

    1. Thanks for the complement and for stopping by and commenting!

      I'm pretty pleased with how the shields turned out too, my hope is that the more simplistic design is also the more historically accurate one as well. (Even if it is still a custom design)

  2. Freehand is better than you give yourself credit for. I like the boar image, very fitting. Looking forward to hearing more on your Saga adventures mate.

    1. The previous iteration of the banner was pretty rough, the 2nd one pictured turned out better. Overall, I'm pleased with the shields, and I don't think I could have done any better than I did. (my hands get shaky sometimes when I try freehand work, too much coffee I think!)

  3. Look real nice. I'm looking at building a late Rome force and I hope mine look good as yours

    1. Thank you, sir! Good luck with your build as well!