Sunday, August 27, 2017

Dux Bellorum, back around for some more work

In the week before Gencon, I got Rosemary Sutcliff's book, The Shining Company, off of my shelf for a reread.  If you aren't familiar with it, it is a retelling of The Gododdin, an early Welsh poem about a band of heroes who almost all died in a battle with Saxons.  Like all of Sutcliff's books, it's very atmospheric.  The battles could be refought without too much trouble using Dux Bellorum, so I thought that it might be a good time to dust off my stalled Dux Bellorum project.  I took a few figures along with my portable paint kit as a backup, but didn't use them during the convention.

This week, though, I had to take my car in for some maintenance, so an enforced time to sit seemed like a good time to get some painting done.  Four of the figures on this stand were finished over a year ago, and have been awaiting the second four to complete the stand, which I polished off during the maintenance (I should note that they were partially painted, so I wasn't starting from scratch):

"Noble" Saxons

As with the rest of the war band in process, all the figures are made from Prince August or Dutkins molds.  They are a mix of Dutkins unspecified Roman and Barbarian molds, Prince August's 25mm fantasy molds, and the mostly discontinued Prince August ancient armies multiple part molds.

I also finished up a mounted standard bearer, a Dutkins figure with a Prince August head on a Prince August horse, leaving me two more riders to go for a stand.  At that point, they told me my car was ready...

Mounted Dark Ages standard bearer

My original minimum Saxon war band was going to have the one mounted stand, three "noble" (better armed/armored/motivated) warrior stands, three "ordinary" warrior stands, and two skirmisher stands, and I am now short one "noble" warrior stand and the riders.  Inspired by completing these figures, I sat down with my large box of Prince August castings to see if I couldn't put together the third noble warriors stand:

While I'm not getting too worried about archaeological correctness, I am still depicted these with a front rank of armored figures and a back rank including some less armored figures.  I glued them to sticks and primed them after this picture was taken.

I still haven't played enough Dux Bellorum to know whether that war band composition is going to give a good game, so, as long I was doing metal work, I started turning out a few more ordinary Saxons.

Their opponents are due to be some Romano-British and/or some Late Romans, so I've also started putting a few of those together from the Prince August ancients molds:

Those armies are permitted to blend by deploying allied contingents of the other, so I would like to get them on the field faster than the Saxons have gone.  The Romans have a few specialized units available, and I did a conversion of a Roman horse archer the last time I was doing metal work for this project.  A bit rough, perhaps, but I only need two, and I'd mostly like to keep this project in home cast figures.

I looked up the first Saxon stand; I posted it here in October 2014, nearly three years ago.  The exception to the home cast mandate will be for Ross's figures. Ross gave me some Romano-British from his collection a couple of years ago, so I think it's high time to get them rebased and refurbished to fight the encroaching Saxon hordes. 

All completed Saxons to date

I like the idea of getting something historical done again; it's been fun getting out the vintage fantasy lead, but it has ended up as a somewhat all-consuming project for the past two and a half years, and I'm getting the itch to mix it up again.


  1. The Saxons are coming along very nicely indeed.
    Bit early for Saxon cavalry isn't it? Or are these British allies?

  2. Well, it's just the leader and bodyguard, and I intend to get a foot companion unit put together as soon as possible. Against the Romans, you're probably right, but against the Romano-British, it may be more plausible.

  3. Commendable industry squire. Only marred by the fact that you've introduced me to a Sutcliff that I hadn't heard of.


    1. The kids and I think it's one of her better ones, although it's probably the gloomiest YA I've got.