Irish Bonnachts (Warriors) for Saga

Next up in my Irish War-band for Saga are my warriors . The Irish Bonnachts. Made up of 3 groups of 8. Totalling 3 points in Saga. Most are armed with javelins. Though for variety I have included some command and feature characters which offer some aesthetic variety.

They are mostly made up from Footsore’s excellent range of Dark Age Irish models, here and here with some additions from Warlord’s Celtic range.

The banner is from the extensive range offered over at Little Big Man.

I’m again pleased with how these have turned out each group has a lot of individuality colour and character. I think I have managed to inject just enough colour without overdoing it for the dark ages. All of which my earlier Welsh Priodaur (Warriors) were definitely lacking.

I’ve been continuing to really enjoy the photographing and compositing process. I have learnt a lot and am happy with my progression and continue to move forward with the practice finding my way though trial and error.

I have found the Irish to be a formidable force on the gaming table a good match for all comers and great fun to play.

Hope you enjoy I certainly have.

Irish Kerns (Levy) for Saga

So I’m back at the table and keen to show off my Irish War-band That I was working on when last I was blogging. First up are my Levy. The Irish Kerns. Made up here of a group of 12 slingers, 1 Point in Saga.

I made the group up from a mix of figures from Crusader slingers & skirmishers and slingers from Warlord.

I’m really pleased with how they’ve turned out, with a lot of character. You can see everyone in the settlement banded together to drive back the invaders.

With the Irish’s formidable shooting abilities they make a force to be reckoned with on the table. Strategically placed they can be a real headache for your opponent for a good many turns and a considerable drain on their troops.

Lots of fun to play !

Blue screen experiments

Thought it would be fun to share some of last nights process of experimenting with blue screen compositing my images of my little men with you.

I just messed around with a free app Bluescreen-it which I down loaded from the App Store on to my trusty iPhone 6S. It was simple fast to learn and easy to use. Being very basic it of course had its limitations.

So here they are warts and all.

1. Dark Age Pylon ūü§£

Didn’t closely check the background image I was using here. I was selecting from tiny thumbnails whilst not wearing my glasses. Made me chuckle once I spotted it.

I can just imagine this on a larger scale on a film shoot. Trying to re-create the dark ages out on the marshes or an alien land scape in a quarry somewhere. Reviewing the footage later only to spot an errant pylon in the background.

The hard comic book line around the rocks is far from ideal. On the positive side the image took  no time at all to achieve few minutes making selection then just seconds of rendering time a quick trim then done. Ok

2. Red sky at Night Warlords Delight.

Went for something more dramatic second time around hoping it would hide the hard edge. Wasn’t fully successful. But moving in the right direction.

3. And the Sky Turned Black with Rage !

This was far more effective and completely made up for the limits of the app in creating a quick effective image. Over all however I may have to seek out a more effective app to use for creating these kinds of images as I don’t want to exclusively use dark or night sky’s.

I will experiment with green screen next as there seem to be more apps available for that.

I will also look at finding a piece of software which might allow me to soften the hard edge this app is creating which might also be the way forward.

I am now enjoying photographing these little guys just as much as painting and gaming. It brings a whole new dimension to the creative process.

Back at the Table.

Well life as they say sure does get in the way ! Finally after a long hiatus from blogging painting and gaming I am all set up in a new place with a new work space. Back at the Table !

A lot has happened since I last posted a blog.

It seems an age ago that I was so excited about Saga’s Age of the Wolf. We’ve had The Saga Aetius & Arthur Which I really enjoyed, and has now been revised and updated. Now there’s an entire new edition of Saga complete with the soon to be released Age of Magic. Something I am quite excited about as I have always wanted to be able to incorporate more of a mythological element within the framework of the Saga Mechanic.

I haven’t yet had a chance to check out the 2nd edition of my favourite game. I admit my feelings on hearing about it were initially cynical, feeling that I was being exploited in the manner of Games Workshop for more money. Looking at things more positively thought everything can be improved upon and after all it’s not the same as having to constantly buy new figures to keep up or an entire new painting system (Made up of paints which constantly bloody dry out !)

Now I’m finally back at the table I’m sure I’ll be checking out the new SagaV2 soon enough. Hmmm sure are a lot of new books to buy and more to come ! Well I’ve never had a problem buying books before! Just ask the Mrs. In fact she’d tell you I do have a problem with buying books ūüėā I’m sure the guys at Gripping Beast won’t let me down and it’ll be worth it ! It’ll be worth it won’t it guys ? As you can probably tell I’m still a little conflicted over this one !

Now I just need to crack on with this backlog of miniatures that need painting ! I need to get some new paints mine have all dried up ūü§£ūüėā Army Painter for me in future me thinks !

Really enjoying getting some photography done of everything I completed before I had to temporarily pack my life up for a time.

Did my first experiments with blue screen tonight one result of which can be seen at the top of this post.

Nice to be back at it catch up and begin to move forward ūüėä

Saga: Age Of The Wolf. Warband and first impressions.

So Omer my good friend and main Saga adversary managed to get a copy of Gripping Beasts Age Of The Wolf, a new campaign system for SAGA, which we have both been eagerly awaiting.


My Four point warband for Age Of The Wolf. Made up of some of my newly painted Irish figures. Lead by M√°irt√≠n Mahon (Warlike Bear), Scourge of the Jomsvikings.

I first learnt to play saga using a 6 point warband and we had just start playing regularly with 8 points, so going down to 4 points, which is what you begin your AOTW campain with seem strange to me at first though I soon adapted and have tabled Omer on our first 2 campaign seasons. (Although casualties and warlord death are handled differently in AOTW.)

The first thing I really liked about AOTW was the fleshing out of your Warlord who is named and given a motivation which you choose then 2 traits and 1 extra special rule  which are randomly generated using dice making him a lot more varied and fun.

 AOTW brings more of an ongoing story into your SAGA game something myself and Omer being lovers of stories myths and legends have always incorporated into our games anyway. A game called SAGA just begs the players to create one.

I liked how each season was also made up of randomly generated scenarios which are also affected by your style of play. Whether or not you chose to raid defend or campaign. As are your rewards of land wealth and reputation.  Land, wealth and reputation also affect how many units of men of each type you can have in your warband. You also roll for fate at the end of a campaign as the name suggests the out come of this roll can be good or bad. This lends a lot of both diversity and tactics to the campaign giving the game play a lot of depth. 

I like the system and am enjoying playing itūüôā


AOTW Roster Sheet available to download from the  Gripping Beast website.

My Irish forces are made up of a mixture of figures from Footsore Miniatures, Crusader Miniatures and Warlord Games.

For an in depth technical review of  how AOTW works check out Lee Brady’s excellent blog Harold’s Revenge.

There is also of course a great thread on the Studio Tomahawk Forum.

Check out Omers facebook page CAN’T SLEEP MUST PAINT.

Thanks to Brad of Suppressing Fire for picking up AOTW from Salute as neither Omer or I were able to attend.



arthur_merlinBeing a great lover of bears, growing up on the stories of King Arthur and fiercely proud of my Celtic heritage it was natural that I would gravitate towards the etymology of Arthur being derived from the Celtic bear gods Artos or Artio.

Arthur as a historical figure is of course shrouded in legend, bias and conjecture. I am totally guilty of this and totally support the belief that he held power in Wales, Cornwall and the West Country the lands of my forefathers. 

The fifth century Welsh word art ¬†means ‘bear’. One theory is that art and ur, meaning ‘man’, gives us the name Artur – literally, bear-man. This is supported by late Latin writings which give the name¬†Arturus.

There are other variants have been put forward, including Arturius, Arcturus, Arturos and Artursus combining the Welsh for bear Рart Рalong with its Latin counterpart Рursus. 

I used to play Arthur as  my mounted Welsh warlord in Saga, although I almost exclusivaly play as the Irish these days.

I am putting together a more extensive and legendary Arthurian War-band for play in Dragon Rampant. Complete with more bears, magical boars and a dragon.

Arthur is a Welsh, mounted,¬†Teulu, (Hearthguard), ¬†figure from Gripping Beast, ¬†mounted on an old school Citadel Miniatures Wood Elf Bear from the 1980’s.

Shield transfer by Little Big Men.

Merlin is from the exceptional  Footsore Miniatures.


I was on the road in the south west a fair bit lately so decided to stop and make an inspirational visit to Stonehenge.

IMG_001 (2)

This was my favourite of the photos I managed with my phones camera.

At one point as we made our way round a Merlin settled atop what is left of the Great Trilithon and peered down at us before flying off to the South East. A nice romantic poetic moment for me.

The site definitely does have a powerful energy which despite being quite busy and obviously commercialised I experienced as very introspective, reflective, peaceful and thoughtful. (Although all the audio tours do make you feel a bit like you are Charles Xavier at times ūüėÄ )

I will be thinking of this visit when I am painting my ring of miniature standing stones.

Saga: Age Of The Wolf

Very excited to find out more about the Age Of The Wolf a new Viking Age campaign system for Saga from Gripping Beast more details to be announced next week !


Age Of The Wolf will be a complete system for 2 or more players with each player leading a 4 point war band, (from any of the dark age factions), in an ongoing struggle to gain land and wealth and build reputation. Contesting the ultimate prize of becoming king.

It will hopefully be released at SALUTE.

Work in Progress 1 (Irish War Band)

So my 8 point Irish war band for Saga is now well under way. A good proportion of the troops have got some paint on to one degree or another, however no one is at a finished stage yet .


Most of these just need highlighting and detailing work now followed by varnishing and finally bases flocking. 

The group of slingers up on the box are a stage behind and still need an initial wash to dull them down before highlights and details.

One poor fellow is just recovering from some major re-constructive surgery on his hand as I chose to use plastic Javelins rather than the wire spears and the diameter was considerably larger making the drilling process quite hair raising! Fortunately only one casualty occurred.

So far there is 1 point of Kerns, (Levy), 12 models in a point. 2 points of Bonnachts, (Warriors), 8 models in a point. 3 points of Fianna, (Hearthguard), 4 models in a point.

The 3 points of 4 Fianna, (12 men in total),  have been broken down into 2 units of 5 Fianna, (10 men in total),  the other 2 will be upgraded to Curaidh, (Champions).