Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Beginning

I've been fascinated with the Dark Ages since watching an episode of NOVA about a famous viking sword a few months ago. This led to me finding the most excellent Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwell. It's been down the wormhole ever since...

By chance I stumbled across a picture of a viking miniature while googling around one day. I've always been a gamer. Well not always, but I started in the 70's with first edition D&D. My love of mini's goes back to 1975 when my brother got an amazing book called The Wargame for Christmas (Thank you, Mrs. Schwartz!). I had a small collection of miniatures in the 80's. I would play around with them, but I never gamed with them. I never bothered painting them either. I think goes a long way toward explaining my eccentric nature! Well, that and genetics...

Back to today: my interest in the Dark Ages and miniatures led me to SAGA. SAGA is a miniatures-based, Dark Age, skirmish game by a UK outfit called Gripping Beast. There's a good intro to it on this much better blog. I've spent a number of weeks researching and acquiring rule books, miniatures, and all the stuff needed to assemble, paint, and base them. A lot of it was mail-ordered and some of it took way too long to get here (I'm looking at you Michigan Toy Soldier!). But finally, I'm all set up with my Scots starter band and a complement of levy.

I'm new to this whole painting of miniatures thing, so I've decided to experiment with some of the different techniques I've read about online. I've been so inspired and educated by the blogs of other hobbyists, that I've decided to document my stumblings publicly. Either that or I'm so intimidated by the quality of the work I've seen out there, I'll do anything to put off painting!


  1. I just ordered me a bunch of Saga Vikings that a friend will pick up from the upcoming Salute convention. Just like you, I'm in the process of reading the first book from Cornwell.
    That sword making film is amazing! thanks for posting. Good luck on the painting. Invest some time to get it right!
    Greetings from Belgium, Stefaan.

  2. Hello Wiatrog and welcome to the black hole that is SAGA. I've been following your story and if it's ok, I thought I'd share one of the great US stores for all things SAGA:

    Saga is just starting to take off here in Minneapolis/St. Paul and it's almost 100% of my painting and playing lately. Good luck and enjoy the adventure of painting and playing.

  3. Hi Wiatrog. Welcome to the Painting/Wargaming/Blogging feedback loop. It's utter madness but damned good fun and you'll learn a lot along the way.

    Like you I started with D&D over 30 years ago now, and quickly discovered WH40k and Fantasy Wargaming. If only I'd had access to the on-line community and all the resources of the interweb we have now, my painting would definitely have been much better!

    I'm not into Vikings or Saga myself (I'm a WWII geek) but the learning curve is the same regardless of the period you choose. Good luck with the blog and I look forward to seeing your progress.

  4. Hi Wiatrog, being something of a dark age fanatic myself this is going to be an enjoyable read as I play catch up on your journey into the world of blogging and painting.
    May you enjoy the experience the blog world can offer and good luck for the future.