Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Horses for Saga Normans.

Here are my Conquest Plastic Norman Knights horses in progress for a Saga warband.
I don't usually like to post Work in Progress images but these have been a real test of my ability and/or patience. Not because they were difficult to build (opposite really, easy enough to glue together) but trying to make horses look like actual horse colours.....sheesh! A bit of a steep learning curve and you would think that the average war gamer had completed a horse unit at some stage by the time they reached 41 years old but I don't really recall doing 28mm unarmoured horses before. Perhaps the closest I came was some Beastmen Centaurs commission painted for a friend a while back.
Horse colours....yep been to plenty of Rodeos here in the Northern Territory in recent years. Seen them in the rural areas occasionally when out and about. So I set about slapping base colours on from memory and a sort of intuition of how I would like them to look. I like black horses so I painted a fair few of them. Panzer Grey with a black wash. The wash was a drama because I used Vallejo Black Shade. My advice. don't use it. My previous bottles dried shiny and did the trick on figures but the last bottle I got seemed to dry Matt and even goes a chalky white in the folds when you need them to go black on the first few horses I did. Grrrrrr! I mixed regular black paint with the Black Shade wash and it seemed to get rid of the white areas.
For the lighter coloured horses I used Army Painter Strong Tone dip but applied it with a brush and thinned it further with Turps. As smelly as it was (I used a mask) it worked well and I could even thin it further quickly after it was applied.
I only wanted one white/grey horse to stand out as my Warlord and this horse worked out really well in my opinion. Strangely enough I used a cool colour Pale Grey Blue (moves towards the blue part of the spectrum) as the base with a warm colour wash (Army Painter strong tone). Normally I would prefer to stick with the same temperature wash/shade. As an example a Dark Blue wash over a Light Blue colour or a Brown wash over a Red colour. The danger was that a Brown wash over a hint of Blue colour has the potential to have an unnatural green tinge about it when they combine (by combine I mean to say the transparent nature of the wash means our eyes will blend the colours). I used London Grey for the Tail and Mane and also lower legs. I like how it turned out. I don't feel the need to highlight the horse after the wash actually. Some of the others I felt turned out too dark so I went over them again with the base colour. They do have a slightly dirty look about them which suits me just fine. Even though no doubt the average Norman knight looked after their mounts I visualise those times to be filthy really and a bloody Saga table top is no place to be a regular old show pony. As I was progressing on these horses I thought I would be using magic green to start again on some of them but while not perfect they will do for now. By the time the knight is on the horse there will be so much going on visually that hopefully gamers will quickly forgive my horse painting faults.
For your reference I highly recommend prior to making your choices about horse colours to have a look at the chart that Justin at Model Dads blog found here. Looking at that chart I think I need to put black socks on a Golden Buckskin. Who would have thought that?

Cheers from Brendon (The Kiwi)


  1. These are great looking horses, you do yourself a bit of a disservice as you have them looking much better than you suggest.


  2. I agree, looking good. I sweated for hours on mine and these look twice as good without the angst! Good job :)

  3. I would be very happy with them too! They look great Brendon!

  4. They look great, looking forwards to more progress pictures.

  5. Thanks everyone. Thanks again to Justin for the Horse colour chart. You rock! These positive vibes are very encouraging. Hopefully I find time to progress further on them real soon. Looking forward to gaming with them as I have been flogged enough by Normans in Saga so far.