My recent Battle of Degsastan game got me thinking that I should refurbish my beloved 28mm Dark Age armies. These were originally mostly based up for Warhammer Ancient Battles, with each model being on a small square base. I’ve always liked vignettes, so my later armies featured command bases on 40, 50 or 60mm round bases, but I’d never done this for my Irish and Picts.
Collecting the armies for this period was great fun, very much encouraged and enabled by two particular ranges: Gripping Beast’s Irish and Foundry’s Picts, which both trailblazed the better representation of ‘Celtic fringe’ types in 28mm wargaming. Now, of course, we have the miracle of two plastic boxed sets of Irish from GB and Wargames Atlantic, but back when these were collected, it was metal or nothing!
To create the vignettes, I went back through my units to pull out my favourite standard bearers, horn blowers and commanders and played around with arranging them on various bases. These were painted (and in some cases, repainted) over a number of years, dating back to my earliest dabblings in 28mm historicals, so you can probably see some variations in the brushwork!
Flags and shields were all done by hand, using sculptural and pictorial references. It’s unlikely that any banners were as large as these in history, but for me , the visual appeal and ease of identification on the table is just as important.
It was lovely to revisit these old fellas, so much so that I impulse-ordered a few West Wind Picts to create a new command stand for these armies. More soon!