You know I love my painting, right? It helps me unwind after writing and dealing with the small atomic whirlwind that is my son. When I relax I have to be doing something, I can’t just sit about. I have this deep fear that life is wasting. Painting models allows me to take the load of my feet and my brain. I’m still doing something creative, but it uses parts of the old grey matter entirely different to those I employ for hours a day in writing. It’s meditation with a stick in hand.
Time’s been tighter than a gnat’s bum recently, so I’ve not managed to get much done. I’ve been painting 1/72 scale models for Bolt Action, but my attention wanders easily, and last week it lit upon my Saga models. I play Saga at least every fortnight with my dad, so the figures deserve a lick of the old colourful, plastic-impregnated water. Grey plastic armies are dull.
This is a Crusader Warlord and attendant I painted for my dad. When I model warlords for Saga, I usually put hornblowers and standard bearers on the base, like with this Saxon. This helps the leaders stand out and justifies the whopping five attacks they get in the game.
I enjoy the reading and research associated with historical gaming. You’ll notice I’ve avoided the traditional white with red cross that crusaders are usually depicted as wearing as they didn’t often wear this. Instead we see the beginnings of medieval heraldry at this time. Likewise, many crusade games I see pictures of take place on a desert battlefield, whereas much of the Holy Land was and is fertile (it’s not called the land of milk and honey for nothing), so I’ve modelled the base with a light soil and plentiful grass.
I’m really, really fussy about what models I use. These Norman Knights by Conquest Games meet my pernickety standards. Their metal models are not to my liking, being too much on the bobble-headed side, but these plastics are well proportioned and sculpted. The equipment they have is perhaps a little old fashioned for the period and they’re not wearing the surcoats knights adopted when fighting in the east to keep the sun off their armour, but otherwise they’re eminently suitable, reasonably priced at £20 for a box of fifteen, and very nice to paint.