While I suffered from the dread disease this summer, I still wanted to paint, but my hands were so shaky and sore that my results were not up to professional levels. Still, I find painting relaxing and therapeutic. What to do?
Well, I dusted off an old, half completed project: a ninth century Saxon army for Saga or Lion Rampant. The figures all came from Black Tree Designs with one exception: a 3D printed miniature MacPhee from Minuteman Miniatures.
The motivation for this project came from Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories, which are ripping reads, and my eldest daughter's interest in the Viking age.
Unfortunately, the period is extremely difficult to research. What did Saxons wear? Who knows? Wool, certainly, and mostly dyed with vegetable dyes, but which colors? How popular were vibrant colors? How likely were ornate decorations? How accurate are illuminated manuscripts and the Bayeux Tapestry? To a certain degree, everything before widespread photography involves educated guesses, but Saxon England involves much more guesswork than education. The Dark Age is called "dark" for a reason.
I settled on more natural colors and less hem decoration for the poorer warriors and more vibrant colors for the better equipped. That seems most likely to me.
Warrior Group One
Warrior Group Two
Warrior Group Three
Archer Group One
Archer Group Two
The Whole Force
Set piece battles were extremely rare during this period. Most warfare consisted of small scale raids, which makes Dark Age Britain ideal for skirmish gaming. I doubt I will ever need more Saxons than this, so we have here the rare project that I can call complete!