Saturday, 25 March 2017

The Winner of "Painting War- Dark Ages Special" is........

Today the winning entry was drawn for the competition :http://jacksarge.blogspot.com.au/2017/03/competition-time-win-copy-of-painting.html

The receptacle chosen for the tickets was this appropriately themed tin:


The tin was thoroughly shaken, held by my fair wife and drawn by my daughter:



Here is the ticket that emerged:



The winner is Chris Steadman!

Congratulations Chris! Please get in touch with me by email - jacksarge777 at gmail dot com or 
message me on Facebook with your postal address.

Thank you to everyone who entered!

All the best,

John.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Gripping Beast Anglo-Saxons

Here's some pictures of a few Gripping Beast Anglo-Saxons from my collection. These were painted a while back. The shields are LBMS decals apart from the one on the far right  of the picture, which is hand-painted.





Here's the back row of spearmen:


I think I might draw the winner of the competition this weekend, as it doesn't look like there will be any more entrants. More on that later :-)

Sunday, 19 March 2017

The Welsh way of Warfare in the Dark Ages....

This is something of a book review of a volume I purchased & recently read.

The book is “War and Society in Medieval Wales 633 – 1283 Welsh Military Institutions” written by Sean Davies, published by the University of Wales Press as part of their “Studies in Welsh History” series.



I picked up my copy online from Books etc in the UK – it was on sale at the time too.

The synopsis, as taken from their website:

“This text offers an examination of Welsh military organization, strategy, tactics and conduct in war which goes beyond the military sphere and touches on all aspects of Welsh society in this period. It helps to explain the transformation of the country from a part of post-Roman medieval Europe to the series of independent principalities eventually conquered by Edward I. The author questions many of the traditional assumptions, notably the tendency to see the Welsh (and the Irish and the Scottish) as "barbaric" and provides a corrective to these current views. It demonstrates that, whilst allowing for differences given the nature, economy, geography and topography of the country, Welsh military developments from the end of Roman rule to the Edwardian conquest generally correspond to those seen in the rest of Western Europe.”

I purchased this volume in the hopes of getting a better insight into the Welsh way of warfare during the Early Medieval period (otherwise known as the Dark Ages). I have a 28mm Welsh force for my collection, which I eventually hope to get around to painting & gaming with, and thought that this might give some inspiration. 

It is to be noted that Dr Davies writes as an academic, so the volume is definitely not a “pop history”, full of lots of pictures with captions and unsubstantiated claims. The author makes use of primary source material, as well as secondary, taking care to examine the potential motivations of early writers. There is an excellent bibliography and copious footnotes for further reading.

As may be gathered from the synopsis, Dr Davies addresses some misconceptions about the Welsh which can sometimes portray them as hairy barbarians that only knew how to skirmish, ambush, and run away. You may have even seen them depicted in this way in some army lists and rule-sets. The reality, according to Dr Davies, is that they were as capable of open battle, siege warfare & ravaging, as any of their contemporaries – Anglo-Saxon, Irish, Viking or Norman.  Their military organisation was on par with other Northern European cultures, and could take the battle to their enemies, not just lurk in mountains & forests.

My personal interests are strictly in the Dark Ages, so I must admit that once the Normans showed up in the Welsh narrative, I tended to scan over those parts rather quickly. There is much of interest in the book for anyone who takes an interest in medieval or Dark Age warfare. Dr Davies gives a detailed discussion of the Teulu – the military household surrounding a Welsh lord; and the Llu – a larger force mustered for major campaigns. He also discusses use of mercenaries, and occasional co-operation with other peoples – such as temporary alliances with Anglo-Saxons against the threat of Vikings. Chapters three & four I found particularly interesting as the author deals with “Campaign Strategy & Tactics” and “Equipment & Tactical Dispositions”. This was great stuff for wargaming ideas, as he gives frequent citations from primary sources about battles and the different troop types being utilised. It appears the Welsh were skilled cavalrymen and noted for the breeding of fine horses. Further chapters discuss fortifications and conduct in warfare.

If you don’t mind reading a book that is more academic, but not inaccessibly so, then I can recommend this volume. For the wargamer or medieval history buff it is well worth a look.


In case you missed it, the competition is still open until the end of the month:
http://jacksarge.blogspot.com.au/2017/03/competition-time-win-copy-of-painting.html

All the best,

John.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Competition Time - Win a Copy of "Painting War- Dark Ages Special"!

To celebrate having some form of internet connectivity at home I am running a competition!
The prize will be a brand new copy of "Painting War Dark Ages Special" posted to wherever you are in the world. I have ended up with two copies of this splendid book - you can see my video on this book on my YouTube channel.



To enter you need to:
1) Subscribe/Follow my blog
2)Put a comment below this post to let me know you'd like to enter
Plus you will get a second entry if you put a post about this competition on your blog - just supply a link in the comments.
The winner will be drawn at the end of the month.

So guys, get your entries in! :-)

On a related topic, here's some figures I painted for my Anglo-Saxons - more of this in future posts...


Wednesday, 8 March 2017

An Old Wizard in a Wagon gets Transformed!

How's that for a catchy post title? :-)

This is a real "before and after" project. I picked up this miniature secondhand from a bloke on the Lead Adventure Forum. It's a classic old D&D type mini, not sure who made it, but I've seen similar ones around. I have given it a Dark Ages treatment, changing the Wizards pointy hat into a phrygian style cap, carving off excess decorative bits, giving him a greenstuff belly, and replacing the staff.

I couldn't find my "Before" picture on this computer, so I may put that up in a later post.

Here's the "After":












Still no internet at home....sigh

EDIT. 14th March.
Here's the "before" picture:



We now have internet at home, but a limit of 80GB, so we will need to be sparing with our usage. Priority will go to my son's university stuff. I will probably still head over to Dad's place to upload images.

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