Dan Mersey of Wiglaf Miniatures kindly sent me a pre-release sample of the latest 18mm Wiglaf Miniatures Saxons a month ago, which I promptly cleaned up, undercoated, base coated…and then abandoned for several weeks as I got distracted by work and other things. Fortunately, I found some focus this week and got them finished off and based up.
As you probably already know, the second Wiglaf release is another pack of character models and a couple of packs of Vendel-style Saxons showing the Swedish influence that may have been present in the East Saxon kingdoms of the 7th and 8th centuries. These have some subtle differences to the original release: slightly larger shields ornamented with metal strips and plaques – similar to the Sutton Hoo shield ; tunics with a distinctive ‘crossover’ neck; and helmets based on the various Vendel-period designs with mail ventails and large cheek plates.
I thought it’d be fun to paint the Wiglaf Minis side-by-side with some Forged in Battle 15mm of a very similar style. While not described as ‘Vendel’, the FiB pack of ‘Saxon Raiders’ contains a number of 7th-8th century armoured Saxon warriors, including a version of the Sutton Hoo king, some Vendel helms and (fun but not quite sure of the provenance of this) a couple of guys wearing a wolf skin head dress.
Despite Wiglaf being described as 18mm and the Forged in Battle as 15mm, both are very compatible, with the Wiglafs being marginally broader and more animated.
Characters in the latest Wiglaf release include Edwin and Oswald of Northumbria, plus a praying monk, a banner bearer and horn blower and a number of leaders aimed at the South-East: Æthelbert of Kent, Sexred of Essex and Caedwalla of Wessex. These are all lovely sculpts that I’ve struggled to do justice to, especially after seeing Steve Dean’s work, but they’ve all painted up nicely. As usual with Mark Copplestone’s 15/18mm work, they are all good enough to be 28mms!
An interesting feature of the new leader pack is that it also contains some ‘banner pole toppers’ to add a bit of fun to the standard bearers (a cross, boar and deer – the latter not pictured). While quite fiddly to drill out, they absolutely look the part once finished.
The paint job was, once again, a white undercoat with GW Contrast colours followed by some selected highlights. I cut a few more corners this time, but spent longer on the metallics to make sure I had the shine on the armour and weapons that I like. If you want to see the painting method in more detail, have a look at my previous post here.
Unit bases were 40 x 80mm to play Age of Penda, with a micro dice holder at the back right to record damage. The heroes were based on 20mm rounds in order to fit into the gaps I left in the unit bases.
I’ll doubtless be doing some more of these in the near future, but right now my eyes need a break so it’s time for some 28mms!