Saturday 5 January 2013

Basing Experiment: Huscarls for Hastings

Mark at t'club has become involved in a Society of ancients project to do with refighting Hastings, and since I have a couple of old armies that will do the job, I agreed to bring them in for the game.  The Normans are a sorry looking lot, because they were the last figures I painted using enamels, and so have really dulled down over the years.  The Saxons, though, are in a lot better nick, being the first army I painted and varnished with acrylics.  The problem is, they need rebasing, so here goes nothing:
These particular guys will come in two flavours for the battle: Harold's household guards, and the rest of the axemen spread across the front of the central fyrd.  The picture above shows the freshly rebased guard unit, which is made up of a mixture of Old Glory Saxons and some figures made by Simon from Prince August moulds.
I wanted a style of basing that is quick to do, and which works for England in autumn.  This is completely different from my tried and trusted method for Mediterranean/semi-arid bases, and the result is a bit of an experiment.
The look I'm after is grassy patches of different kinds, without distracting attention too much from the figures themselves.  In any case, I don't wish to spend any time on repainting the Saxons.
Although these figures are about fifteen years old, they are the first I've based for Northern Europe using more recent innovations in basing materials.
I hope the top-down shot gives an idea.
By chance, I came across this model railways landscaping material when I went in to D&F Models in Glasgow before it closed due to the owners' retirement.  I had already started using silflor tufts, but what caught my eye about this particular product was this:
Unlike tufts, it comes as a small mat of material, and although it seems pricey at £12.00, it probably works out about the same area as that cost in tufts because it is relatively compressed.  And here's the good part:
This is what it looks like from the reverse.  Unlike tufts, you just tear apart the mat with your fingers, which means that you can get any size you need.  It's ideal for fitting in between figure bases, and I'm certainly pleased with the results for the Huscarls.  I've just bought some more from Osborne Models in England and I have to say their service has been excellent.  It's well worth taking a look at their online catalogue; some of the other Faller landscape materials are lovely.


  1. What a great product. Thanks for letting us know about it. I will order some directly.

  2. Very nice! I like the mix of fine turf and the tuft patches. Those tufts also seem to have a more natural color variation than some of the gaming specific tufts I've seen. Nice find!

  3. Cheers, guys, thanks for looking. I can't really claim any credit - the find was pure chance!

  4. That's a very good find! Thanks for the tip!