Byzantine Birthday Build

My main gaming buddy Steve Gausche had a Birthday approaching and being a guy with everything I had to figure out a gift he wanted, he needed, and something he couldn’t get anywhere else….? Easy! A Byzantine Cataphract! Steve had SAGA Byzantine Warband painted by “Monty” he purchased about a year ago, but it had not come with the very cool fully armored heavy horse cavalry used by the Byzantine Emperor Belasarious! Steve had mentioned several times he might pick up and paint some of these. Knowing Steve I sensed this would not happen soon if ever!

BYZ7So with a couple of clicks on Gripping Beast website a 4 figure unit of 28mm BZC06 Byzantine Kataphractoi were winging their way across the sea to me and my waiting paintbrushes. Within a week they were sitting on my “workbench” going through the pre-paint process. That’s where I trim flash, alter poses, and fix any casting problems a well as make custom changes to the figures. I like to have figures that are unique and a bit better than a just painted of the shelf figure set.

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One of the first problems I found in the casting was that the riders did not fit very well on the horses, they fit but if simply glued in place there would be huge apparent gaps between horse and rider. I’m somewhat of a perfectionist in my figure work and known for taking time with details that most of the time only I would notice….oh well that’s me!

BYZ6I knew that the gap was way to big for simple filling with glue. Even milliput of other filler would not look right. I decided to use kneadite, blue / yellow, the 2 part sculpting epoxy (used for sculpting figures from scratch) and sculpt the missing space to look like the rest of the figure. This would mostly be some padding and chain armor around the figures legs.

Besides the filling around the legs I would do scratch built steel spears, spear points, copper flags, and a few other additions. I was planning on just using decals for the shields but as usual I was not happy with that and painted the shields by hand. BYZ4BYZ3

The Byzantines Kataphractoi Cavalry used “Kontos” a very, very long spear (some estimate it at around 21’) and I wanted that to be represented on these figures if I could. The only problem with that was that a true scale 21’ spear would create problems with storage as well as their use on the battlefield. I chose to use a spear length of about 15 scale feet as it gave a good “long” look and still worked reasonably well for storage in my case.

To the spear I added some flags and pennants. I sculpted some horse tail pennants as well just to give variety. I was not sure about the job at first but later pictures show it came out great, in fact I sometimes forget it was not part of the factory “sculpt”.

BYZ5On to the prime coat and as with most of my “metal” mini’s I used “Krylon” auto primer flat black. This primer not only works great but is very inexpensive, about $5 a large can.

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No more “gaps” after the additional sculpting/filling.

Well after this point I got into my painting mode and didn’t take another picture until they were based and painted! I think they came out quite nice. I went back and forth as to a shield design, at one point I was just going to decal them, but in the end I hand painted them BYZ9as I like to do. Its a lot more work but I think it then gives you a true hand painted figure. I’m not a real good painter (figures yes but portraits, no!) but I took a stab at painting the “Savior” on their shields as I thought that was very appropriate. This gives them the feel of “being Protected by their Faith!”

 

The “Kicker” of this who story of “Steve’s Birthday Figures” is that Steve was touched, happy, and impressed with the gift of the “Byzantine Cataphract” but let slip that he was thinking of selling the “warband” since he did not like playing them….Lol! So I guess I’ll just do a unit of Viking Archers for him as he will like them a whole lot more….. the Byzantine Cav?  Well I may sell them or I just might paint a Byzantine warband for myself!

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VonLostnarm

We are all in this together!

Most of us in the miniatures world love to see others work and games, its what inspires us with our own efforts and exposes us to different ways of doing things. We surf the internet devouring the efforts of other hobbyist and gamers who take the time to build websites and post articles and pictures for our enjoyment. We need to take a moment and leave a comment on these sites we visit, it’s a way of saying “thank you, I found value in your efforts” it gives the site owner feedback to say that others are not only looking at but appreciate what they are doing. The result will be more and better articles for you the “surfer”!

Another thing you might think about doing is becoming a “User” or “Subscriber” to sites you like. By doing that you will receive a email notice when the site gets new content or updates. We all love this hobby and we all need to take just a minute to give some recognition to those who go the extra mile to provide even more enjoyment to us in those moments we aren’t playing or painting but just “getting our fix” by surfing the internet and “dreaming”

Bill W

PS; You can subscribe to this site by looking in the column on the bottom right and clicking on subscribe! Please put your real name in there so we can tell you from spammers that are routinely DELETED! Comments can be left by clicking on the “greyed speech” bubble at the top right of every post or at the bottom of every post. Remember a little encouragement goes a long way!

First official “SAGA” day at Game Empire!

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Dave Dandridge and Jeff MacArthur of the you tube “Combat Commander” video’s fame, fight a Crusader battle

Well the “SAGA” game day at Game Empire in Pasadena California was a great success this weekend even though this was only the second time the “Dogs of War” gaming club has gone down there and really the first “Official” time. This time we had Five club members show up with all their gear ready to demo SAGA and we had plenty of interest. Near a dozen folks came by with interest in playing then or in the future with 3-4 actually playing a few SAGA games with us!

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Sid checks the “SAGA” phone app for the proper move for his Viking Warband

Sid Sidhu was positively on fire with both his desire to play and his “hot” dice rolling! He is admittedly very new to the game having the rules but playing few real games (he’s got a half painted Irish Warband and a few others on deck!) when he took on Steve Gausche in a Viking verse Viking Bloodbath using the Warlord scenario out of the book. It went all 6 turns with neither warlord dieing. Victory went to Steve 30 to 29 points! Bloody…and Bloody close…really a draw!

Chris Snell and Dave Dandridge, did a quick Crescent and Cross game while Joe Nacchio umpired a game between new players Tim Divar and George? Sorry busy umpiring the other game…. We had to breakout a third table where Joe Nacchio umpired a beggineers match between George and Tim (if I have names wrong let me know!)

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Most of the Club members had on their Hawaiian Shirts to make us visible! Joe’s had Mustangs on it!

Sid was still up for more before heading all the way back to Bakersfield! So I trotted out my “Normans” to once again fight Sid using Steve G’s Viking army. Sid is a quick leaner and and I had to work to pull a “Norman” victory out of him.

The Norman battle line!

The Norman battle line!

The Game Empire is a great store and is growing on us as a place to socialize outside our normal “digs” Its nice to meet others and spread the fun. Loading in and out is easy (parking can be tuff but never impossible). The Store was FULL all day into the night with lots of gaming, flames of War, a 40K tourney (30+), and us, but it never felt hot or too crowded. Tim Robbins came by a few times (GE’s owner) and made sure we were taken care of.

A 4 way Crusader battle topped off a great day!

A 4 way Crusader battle topped off a great day!

The evening was rounded out with a 4 way battle of “Crescent and Cross” between Jeff, Joe, “Crusaders” and Dave and Chris as the “Saracens” I think the Saracens squeaked it out…If you are interested in joining us for future gatherings email me at vonkluge@ca.rr.com, check the calendar section here, or check with Games Empire. I will the rest of the day speak through the pictures below.

See you all soon!

Bill Witthans

“SAGA” Dark Ages Skirmish to be played on a Regular basis!

Bridge4The Los Angeles based miniatures gaming club the “DOG’S of WAR” are putting on a series of gaming sessions at the “Game Empire” located in Pasadena, California. We will be running the popular Dark Ages rules “SAGA” over the course of several months leading up to a tournament finally with prizes. The series of games before the tournament will be to introduce new players to “SAGA” by providing everything they need to play their first games, troops, dice, rules, and a few helpful club members to guide them through the first few games. Those already familiar with the game are also encouraged to bring their favorite warband(s) and come on over to brush up, meet other players, get ready for the Tourney, have fun and make a few new friends!

This first “series” will concentrate on the “Dark Age” side of “SAGA” but we will also be playing and demonstrating the new “Cross and Crescent” rules (basically “SAGA” for the Crusades period) and you are welcome to come and play that as well.

A little bit about the “DOG’S of WAR” gaming group;
The group has been around for 20+ years and has been at the forefront of miniatures gaming (primarily Historical, but STEAM, Sci Fi, and many others are also played) for a least that long. There are many former officers of the Historical miniatures Gaming Society Pacific South West among its members. The group has been prominent at conventions through out the LA area with the group and individuals taking home awards for the lavish miniatures games they host. The group puts FUN and FAIR play at the forefront of all their gaming endeavors. Members all have just as much fun losing while making you a better player as they do winning (sure winning is always good too!)

The Game Empire is a great place, open, spacious, well lit, and full of friendly gamers including the legendary “Dogs of War” this weekend! The Games Empire is located in Pasadena, 1795 E. Colorado Blvd,Pasadena, CA 91106

Start times and weekends will be on the “Game Empires” website http://gameempirepasadena.com/, and also published in the Calendar section of this site. For questions please email me at vonkluge@ca.rr.com Our first official game day will be this Saturday, November 8th, 2014, at 12 noon (we will go as long as there is interest in gaming, 8pm?).

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The Gods Decend! My almost LPL8 entry….

Well there has not been a post lately because as some of you know I was painting for the Lead Adventure forums annual painting challenge. Entry’s cannot have been posted elsewhere on the internet before. Well the best laid plans of mice and men go awry and despite painting like a fiend and having my entries ready (first 15 of 50, 5 new ones each week for ten weeks!) I worked all week shooting on a TV show 16 hours a day all nights, outside, and was a wreck by the weekend I was to have a few hours to take pictures and submit them. I was such a wreck I misjudged the time difference (it’s a European based worldwide competition) and realized in the middle of prepping photos that the deadline had already passed.

So the good news is that I can just post them here and at my leisure. I can also continue with other projects and gaming….heck its not like I was winning anything great just a small icon by ones name….lol!

VIKINGgodsRnd1a

Thor (Donar) – God of thunder and battle, Freyja – Goddess of love, fertility, and battle, Lofn – Goddess of forbidden loves, Odin – The “All Father” God of war, also associated to wisdom, poetry, and magic (The Ruler of the gods), Magni – god of strength. Son of Thor.   VIKINGgodsRnd1bb