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Dux Bellorum Saxon Warband using home casting molds


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While I was on with the Hangouts painting group last night, I was working on the last four figures for this stand of 8 Saxons:

 

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They have been languishing for a couple of years at this point, and I wanted a break from what I had been doing, and had been reminded of them recently. The Osprey rules series (e.g. Frostgrave, Dragon Rampant) was kicked off in 2012 with Dan Mersey's _Dux Bellorum_, a game of small warband combat in Dark Ages Britain. I have had a set of mostly out of production Prince August molds (601-608) which make multi-part figures, supplemented by a few barbarian molds from their fantasy line and some molds from Dutkin's Collectibles making some earlier Romans and some opponents. Happily, most barbarians in tunics and trousers look the same for centuries. I had been wondering what to do do with these molds and realized that I could probably work up some plausible Saxon, Romano-British, and Later Roman armies for this game.

 

A typical warband is going to consist of 8-12 stands of figures, which I'm depicting as 4-8 foot or 2-3 horse.

 

The group I finished off last night was the last foot stand I had ready to go, so this morning I dug out my sorting box of raw castings:

 

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I need to do some additional casting soon, because my starter warband design wants 3 Saxon noble (i.e. better equipped) warrior stands, and the one finished last night leaves me two to go. While the total number of castings I have is large, I'm running out of good copies of the round shield, and more than half the figures need one.

 

Nevertheless, I filed, assembled, and converted (lightly) the next eight figures.

 

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One of the 7 or 8 poses from the fantasy barbarian molds is a swordsman holding his shield in an awkward position. I had a go at repositioning it into something a little more reasonable.

 

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The nice thing about working with home cast figures is that you can always remelt them if something goes wrong, so they are good for practicing metal skills. The bad thing is that they are never as crisp as spin cast figures, so there's a limit to how good you can make them look. I'm aiming for a "nice old school" style, which would have looked really good in 1974 when we were painting with enamels using brushes that wouldn't hold a point.

 

Because I had the metal working tools out, I was playing around with a couple of figures that won't be needed immediately for this warband. I'm not sure whether I'll be extending my Saxons with additional ordinary warriors, or whether they'll end up as Romano-British. The figure is a Dutkin's barbarian with a leveled spear held in both hands. The spear seldom if ever casts, but is pretty easy to replace with wire. I've done one here as a straight replacement; the second is holding his spear in one hand while a round shield has been added to the other.

 

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 My FLGS still has a set of Prince August molds, and I've contemplated picking it up over the years, but it's for some Napoleonics, I think, which I don't really have any use for...

Prince August in general is still very much in business; it's just the multi-part ancient molds that have been being discontinued as the tooling wears out. They don't come up for sale on EvilBay very often either; I was outbid on the only lot of them I've seen in the past 14 months that I've been active.

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While I was fooling around with metal working stuff yesterday, I started to wonder if I could make a Roman horse archer; it turned out that the torso of one of the Prince August fantasy archers matched the lower body of a Dutkin's Gallic horseman reasonably well. He'll need a little modeling paste to smooth over the join, but, since I only need two of them to max out the Roman horse archer choice in the army list, looks like I'm good enough to go.

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