Saturday, 30 May 2015

Dark Age Fun: Basing and Conversions

Nothing terribly much new as far as the basing is concerned just tidied up one of my skirmish bases, a few final touches and some close up photo's. The photo's are generally taken just so I can plonk them on to the computer and check things in close-up, particularly useful during the painting process however I hadn't deleted these few so why not post them.

I'm pretty happy with how the base has turned out and I think I'll keep using the torn pieces of lush field/grazing railroad scenery mat for the second base (I have acquired some tufts to replace those in storage). So what is new, well I have some tree flock which also comes in a mat type format which is very low and it seems to work quite well for ground cover and I added a few lighter coloured tufts for variation. These new tufts break up the deep green grazing mat without conflicting in a seasonal sense.

Just as an aside I'm happy with the paint job on the javelins, very quick and on the table top they look quite good even if i do say so myself. I hate painting wood grain effects because I usually stuff it up and it ends up looking like a laminate bench top from the 50's, so all in all I'm well chuffed about cracking my little hoodoo.

I have also started work on some more conversions for my Saxons, a little more daring this time, besides adding a few items of clothing we're now removing and repositioning arms and heads! There might be some weaponry in the mix as well (not just javelins and spears) although I have plenty of plastic and metal spares I though I might play about with swords axes and saex.

The best tool for cutting off limbs etc., makes a very fine cut
Some of my must have tools for conversion work
 There has been a few set backs but I dont mind one little bit as each time we hit a dead end something new is learnt in the process. Frankly the new head I have used on one figure is just a little too big, in reality the figure is slightly smaller than the rest too which doesn't help, I have tried to compensate by pushing out (billowing) a cloak I'm adding to the figure. I'm a bit "meh" about the look but he can always go in the back rank so no harm done, we'll only notice the cloak then and that will look okay. I have also ground down the shield to buckler size as there was on occasion some variation with both Saxon and Viking shields, shield size and supply was not strictly regulated, but I now see that reducing the size also means repositioning the shield... I'm not sure what to do here but I'm sure Baldrick will along sooneth to to hatcheth ye cunning plan. All good lessons in modding and sculpting.
The cloak is being built up in stages so..... looks a little weird right now

Head is just a fraction too large

There are two figures where I'm repositioning the arms, the first is armed with an long axe and I want the arms in a logical position for weilding an axe of that size instead of looking like he is chopping wood. I'm not critical of the figure and it may well be the hands are positioned  to allow the figures to be molded in one piece.  It became apparent straight away that changing the angle of the shoulders will mean  taking off the shield as it will be at the wrong angle to the body but as the figure will also be getting a cloak I should be able to get away with burrying most of the shield under the greenstuff, I'll still have to remove the bulk of it though.

Comparison between the original and the conversion, it takes a time.... bend the wire so the length of the upper and lower arm are right
I had finished underpinning the armature with putty and everything looked okay waited for it to harden and started filling out the bulk on the upper arm which has chain mail. Once the bulk of the putty for the mail was to the right diameter I started working on the mail texture with a large pin, what I hadn't calculated for was the displacement of the putty as I worked the holes this had the effect of increasing the diameter and through everything out of whack. Not a hard problem to fix I just need to trim the putty back with a scalpel (proper scalpel not an exacto) and rework some more on adjusting for displacement

The spacing of the hands seems about right

I will have to redo the chain mail

Most of the shield has to come off

The last figure, for now, is the ubiquitous hand on hip chap, with this figure I have taken the left arm and cut it away from the body moved it out and forwards slightly then glued a sword into the hand to which I will add a bit of green stuff, the hand didn't need to be complete in the original position so it is missing some length and fingers. I'm going to make this chap a dual wielder so I have removed the right arm at the elbow and I will put in a wire armature for the lower arm and have it holding a short axe. This figure is also looking up slightly so I have removed a wedge of metal from the front of the neck so I can tilt the head forwards lowering his eyes line, this makes the figure appear to be sizing up the immediate surroundings

Another comparison between the original and the conversion

Shoulders have been ground down for the cloak to be added

Will have to add some putty to the hand

Thanks for looking


  1. You're getting into some very advanced work here. To me sculpting is the pinnacle. Anyone can paint, but only few can sculpt. It's the highest of talents.

    Hat's off to you sir!

  2. Nice update, Dave. Love your Green Stuff work.

  3. Thanks Anne but I think you make too much of it, sculpting a few pieces like cloaks etc is like painting it is all a matter of practice. I dont have an artistic bone in my body but I can still manage to run something up with a brush or putty. We will have to get you to try it when our houses are finished.

    I was pissing myself laughing as I typed run something up, fuq i sound like an old Nanna.

  4. Cheers Dean looks like Enfilade was full bore ol'mate, I kept a close eye on your blog and the games. Well done with your demo/participation games too, from memory they can be a bit trying mentally. Dont forget now, go and buy a new cabinet.... no more of this foolishness about dwon sizing ;-)

    1. Lol! Thanks for your continued interest in the blog and all. Warmest regards. Dean

  5. Very impressive job Dave!


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