Dark Ages: Bring Your Kid to Work Day

I'd been eyeing up Footsore miniatures for a while now and finally picked up a few to try out.  I wasn't disappointed as they are of fantastic detail and quality.  The sculpts ooze character with expressive features I would go as far to describe as soulful.  The casts are sturdy and arrived with minimal flash requiring little clean up with only hairlines from the molds to remove.

I most enjoy painting figures that speak to me and these are some of the most enjoyable I have put a brush this year.  The whole of the painting process went off without a hitch; Even the embroidery required only a little correction.  Stylistically the models have rich crags and lines that complimented my old painter layering style of painting.  They are technically excellent but remind of of the best things about classics like the Foundry and Citadel miniatures.  I've been saying a lot of models painted themselves recently but these ones seemed to take over brush duties and got me a coffee as I did some "research" (Goggle) on Saxon garments in the 9th century.

Ulfr or Eadwulf; A wolf by any other name.

First up is Aella, King of Northumbria.  I love this guy.  This model made had me coveting from the moment I laid eyes on it.  I'm guilty of being affected by shiny models but there was a long time between initial viewing and actually hitting the buy button.  I've been working on my impulse buying all year (hit and miss) but this a figure I am glad I allowed myself.  I intend to use him as a minor lord or mercenary captain loyal to the Saxons.  I don't think he is going to be a native Saxon but is a convert who soldiered for the proto-English.  When I do get around to fleshing out his story he will probably share elements of Cornwell's Uhtred and Rollo from Vikings.  Ulfr, (now Eadwulf) the former Viking has been tied to the Saxon cause for bout 20 years by a marriage and grant of land.  In a fight fire, with fire fashion rather than fight the wolf, they domesticated him.  Eadwulf dresses richly.  As a campaigner he has amassed riches but respect from the Saxon nobles remains in short supply.  I was reminded of the scene where Rollo presented himself to Gisla dressed like a Frankish Fop and got laughed at.  Form still follows function but Eadwulf still powersuits in hope of obscuring his roots and gaining respect.

Ara's name means opinionated, cursed or seeing.  Which will it be?

Guinevere is another excellent miniature.  She is smaller than Aella with fine features and crisp details.  I chose to paint here sharing some of the colours I chose for Eadwulf but giving her a little of her own so she could remain distinct.  I "dressed" her in colours that I felt would reflect some wealth and position with rare colours that would have been expensive and will make here stand out in the company of common soldiers.  Afra is Eadwulf's youngest child.  Church, State and alliance building have taken his two sons and eldest daughter from their father's trade but 16 year old Ara is his favorite and an act of defiance against his overlords.  From childhood his daughter has been regaled by tales of the Norse sagas and her father's battle and grown up among soldiers.  Feeling as though the destinies of his other children have been  dictated to them Eadwulf has encouraged Ara to follow her own path and she chose to take up a sword inspired by tale of Norse sheildmaidens and the Valkyries.  She has marched with her father for the last 4 seasons and until recently had often been mistaken for a boy.  In the field Eadwulf calls his daughter Hillevie.  Ulfyr had to renounce his Pagan name before the Bishop but his daughter's second name is a secret they share.  

The Norse rune Othala features on Afra's shield.