Monday, 5 August 2013

Dux Britanniarum - Britons - Work in Progress

I have already mentioned that I'm already working towards playing Dux Britanniarum but I still have some way to go. I have made some progress with my Romano-British force although I'm trying to make them more British than Romano.

I started with an eBay purchase of two boxes of Wargames Factory Saxons, retailing at around £14.50 a box although I got both boxes including postage for £27.40. A good start at keeping the overall cost down.

Yes, I know they are Saxon and also from a period later than that covered by Dux Britanniarum but they are available, cheap, and will do fine for me.

These boxes supplied 32 each of armoured and unarmoured Saxons with separate heads, arms, weapons and shields. For the Britons I needed 10 armoured figures and 48 unarmoured figures so I have a bit of adjustment to make. I might also need some mounted figures but I will tell you about them later.

To start I need to have a Lord, two lesser Nobles and a Champion. These are probably the best equipped guys in the force so they have chainmail armour, helmets, shields and swords. They are singly based on hexes as they need to move about the battlefield and join other groups when appropriate.

I also need 6 Elites who are the personal following of the Lord so are also armoured in chainmail, with helmets, shields and hand axes. There weren't enough round shields to supply all the figures I used so they got Norman looking tear shaped shields as they were included on the sprues. Not quite accurate for the period but I think I can get away with being a bit loose here. The whole project is designed to get up and running at minimal cost as you will see in due course. In any case I can always relegate these figures to Foederati (who are quite mercenary) if better figures come my way.

The next group are the Warriors, unarmoured but with helmet, shield and mixed weapons, largely spear although some with sword or axe. I need 12 of these and possible another 6 as re-inforcements so I made up a total of 18.  I didn't have enough unarmoured bodies to make all that I need so some of them are armoured bodies modified into unarmoured ones by some careful scraping with a hobby knife and several thin coats of polystyrene cement. They're not brilliant but they will do.

The last major group of figures needed are the Levy. 18 in total, unarmoured with bare heads, shields and spears. I found that when I was basing these figures that the supplied plastic spears were very fragile and snapped as soon as I looked at them. I replaced all the spears with ones I made from some wire I had lying around.

I also need a variety of light troops, archers, slingers and javelinmen, in groups of 4. The bows were supplied on the sprues but I had to scratch build the slings and the javelins were shorter versions of the wire spears I made earlier.

You can see that the movement sabot bases are in a variety of finished and unfinished states as are the figures themselves. This is a work in progress report.

The final group of figures that I may need as re-inforcements are cavalry. 4 Shock and 4 Light cavalry which I will get from this box of Celtic Cavalry purchased at Claymore. It contains 12 horses and 24 riders, half armoured and half unarmoured.

So, there you are, a British force, in the making for Dux Britanniarum.

Once these are complete and my chum hasn't finished his Saxons I'll get on with the Gripping Beast Saxons that I bought at Claymore last week.


  1. Looking good :D Smart move with the spears - half my Saxon warriors are GB and WF plastics, and I'm about to (rather too late) follow your example.

  2. Thanks Mike.

    I've seen some of the Gripping Beast plastics and their spears look a bit more robust.

  3. Very nice work Jim. Keep it up mate.

    All the best,

  4. Thanks Chris.

    I hope they play better than they look!