Thursday, 10 December 2015

Rus Princes for Saga

The completed Rus army
To my shame, it has taken nearly a whole year to finish painting this army, since being given the 4-point starter warband last Christmas (lovely present). The starter set comes with 12 Levy archers, 8 foot Warriors, 8 mounted Hearthguard and a Warlord. Probably not the most effective of army lists, but there you are! I added a few things to this for variety and playability - 8 steppe nomads, 8 more mounted Hearthguard, and two different figures to use as Warlords (I don't much like the psychotic look of the chap that comes in the starter set). All figures are Gripping Beast, either taken from their Saga range or from their Rus: Pagans to Princes range (many of which are actually the same casts).

Levy Archers

Levy militia arches
These figures represent city militia archers, and unusually for most levy are depicted with helmets and some armour. Nice castings that work well together.

Foot Warriors

Militia warriors
More city militia, but these are the ones who are more serious about fighting. Spears are made from 1mm brass rod. I wanted these chaps to be in some sort of uniform so equipped them with the same large teardrop shields which I painted with a cross design. I always find it difficult creating plausible (and paintable) shield designs and knowing next to nothing about the Rus beyond what I could find out from Osprey books (very interesting, but of fairly limited use determining painting schemes) had a search of the Internet for something suitable. This design is a simplification (so I could paint it) of a shield design used by a Rus re-enactment group. I probably could have done better, but there you are.


Malaia Druzhina
Junior Druzhina
My intent with the mounted Hearthguard was to be able to field two units of 8, both of which would be easily distinguished, but allowing each man to have his own unique shield design (as befits nobles). With this in mind, I gave each unit different shields, using round shields and small teardrop shields with bosses. It's cold in the steppes, so I added cloaks made from green stuff to each of them. The cloaks would be uniform for each unit as well, with the unit I would use as Malaia Druzhina having purple cloaks and the Junior Druzhina unit red ones. I added a simple border to each cloak painted in black with brass detail. Lances are made from 1mm brass rod. I gave one of the Junior Druzhina a standard which is loosely based on the one of the illustrations in the Osprey book, basically being a flag depicting a religious icon with added horsehair pennant.


Warlord #1 (nice hat)
Warlord #2
The warlords were mounted on half-armoured horses and equipped with axes to set them completely apart from their men. I added a green stuff cloak to the chap with the fez.

Bases were made up in the usual way but I used a darker static grass than usual (trying for a more steppe-like finish) and tufts in two colours. Overall, I really like the effect, as I hope anyone reading this does as well!