Friday 7 February 2014

Tanatus Saxon Archers Review Part 1

When I first started playing Saga, I did so by buying two boxes of plastic figures for a Saxon warband. It allowed me to quickly assemble six points at relatively low cost. In fact, I could probably double the force with the bits I have left over from the plastics. I really wanted to make up a unit of bow armed levy troops, but they are not that convincing when assembled this way. What to do?

I started to look around at metals. There are some decent figures around, though I do find a lot of historical metal ranges to be far too chunky. I was beginning to think I would never find a suitable range, when I stumbled across Tanatus Miniatures. As you can see from the link, they are distributed by North Star Military figures. I thought they looked very well proportioned from the pictures, but balked a little at the price - a unit of 12 metal levy troops, the worst in the army, would cost the same as a whole box of hearthguard, the best in the force. Put another way, twenty pounds can buy you one point of metal mediocre troops, or ten points of plastic superior troops. It's easy to see why many stick with the plastics. For me, however, the aesthetics are as important as performance on the gaming table. Having spent so much time looking for decent figures, I decided to take the plunge. I have recently sold off some excess vikings on ebay, so the funds had been raised anyway. I ordered on Monday and they arrived on Thursday.

When you tip the figures out of their plastic bag, they look like this. The excess metal bits are easily clipped away and, after a couple of hours of tedious filing, I had removed the mould lines. The casting I would class as very good, with no obvious flaws to be seen. There are no bases included, but this is no problem as most historical gamers have their own preferred way of basing. For me, this means glueing them to pennies, then adding a sand/pva paste mix.

After a white primer and a thin guiding wash, they are ready to paint. You can see that they are quite finely detailed, with good proportions, not too clunky or chunky, which has been the main stumbling block with most historical metals I have experienced to date. I have a ten point Saga game planned for next week, hopefully they will be ready by then. I am playing my vikings, but I think a few Saxon slaves with bows being pressed into service is not an unreasonable thing to do. When the figures are fully painted, I will take a few comparison shots to show them alongside my other Saga troops.

1 comment:

Killshot Productions said...

I've looked at this line a number of times, I thought they'd make great evil men in some LotR gaming.

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