Saturday, September 7, 2013

Progress update - reinforcements and painting on the road

I write software for a living.  And unlike many software products, ours releases on a strictly annual schedule.  This has it's pros and cons, but one advantage is that the crunch times are very predictable each year.

Well, we're in one now.  So, progress on the Dark Ages project has slowed a bit.  I have managed, through people who have reached out to me through this blog and through the forums at The Miniatures Page, to add some figures to the collection.  A little over a dozen Conte Normans will be joining the throng, as well as about a dozen Conte Vikings.  Both are good matches in scale and detail to the Emhar hard plastic figures.  In addition, I've picked up some 60mm Vikings and Saxons from Cherilea and Jecsan.  These are more fanciful, but charming.  They are also very, very tall, when stood beside the 54mm figures that make up the bulk of the collection.

Several years ago I found the "Legend of Kern" trilogy (by Loren Coleman) in a local used bookstore. This trilogy is set in Robert Howard Hyboria, the home of Conan the Barbarian. Kern is a white-haired, pale-skinned outcast trying to live his life in Cimmeria.  The antagonists in the books are the Vanir to the North of Cimmeria, and especially the children of the frost giant Ymir.  The Ymirrish are huge, white-haired, powerful warriors and cunning sorcerors.  The books are fun, and well worth reading.

My thought, at this point, is to paint up these giant 60mm, fanciful figures as Ymirrish warriors.  It helps that the Vanir, in Hyboria, are distinguished by their horned helmets, which these Cherilea and Jecsan figures have in abundance.

Yes, this will represent a deliberate turn toward the fantastic, in this project.  But I'm very much OK with that.  This project was inspired by the adventures of Prince Valiant, the many tales of Conan, and my early childhood reading of books like Lloyd Alexander's "Chronicles of Prydain" and the many novels set in mythical Ireland by Kenneth Flint.  Barely human "half-giant" men of frost and iron fit right into my vision for this project.

I'm heading out on a business trip for a few days.  After much thought (mostly about the TSA and how to get my figures there and back again safely), I've decided to take a dozen Marx Vikings and everything I need to paint in the evenings.  We'll see how this goes.

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