Arthur

 

arthur_merlinBeing a great lover of bears, growing up on the stories of King Arthur and fiercely proud of my Celtic heritage it was natural that I would gravitate towards the etymology of Arthur being derived from the Celtic bear gods Artos or Artio.

Arthur as a historical figure is of course shrouded in legend, bias and conjecture. I am totally guilty of this and totally support the belief that he held power in Wales, Cornwall and the West Country the lands of my forefathers. 

The fifth century Welsh word art  means ‘bear’. One theory is that art and ur, meaning ‘man’, gives us the name Artur – literally, bear-man. This is supported by late Latin writings which give the name Arturus.

There are other variants have been put forward, including Arturius, Arcturus, Arturos and Artursus combining the Welsh for bear – art – along with its Latin counterpart – ursus. 

I used to play Arthur as  my mounted Welsh warlord in Saga, although I almost exclusivaly play as the Irish these days.

I am putting together a more extensive and legendary Arthurian War-band for play in Dragon Rampant. Complete with more bears, magical boars and a dragon.

Arthur is a Welsh, mounted, Teulu, (Hearthguard),  figure from Gripping Beast,  mounted on an old school Citadel Miniatures Wood Elf Bear from the 1980’s.

Shield transfer by Little Big Men.

Merlin is from the exceptional  Footsore Miniatures.

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Stonehenge

I was on the road in the south west a fair bit lately so decided to stop and make an inspirational visit to Stonehenge.

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This was my favourite of the photos I managed with my phones camera.

At one point as we made our way round a Merlin settled atop what is left of the Great Trilithon and peered down at us before flying off to the South East. A nice romantic poetic moment for me.

The site definitely does have a powerful energy which despite being quite busy and obviously commercialised I experienced as very introspective, reflective, peaceful and thoughtful. (Although all the audio tours do make you feel a bit like you are Charles Xavier at times 😀 )

I will be thinking of this visit when I am painting my ring of miniature standing stones.

Incantations

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At the foot of a towering wicker man druids have gathered to summon a dark aspect of the  mighty Cernunnos the horned god. In a desperate, last ditch, attempt to drive blood thirsty invaders from their lands.

Cernunnos comes flanked by standard bearers and musicians from the realms of the dead as the druids open a door to the underworld to destroy their enemies.

In the distance astride a bear and under the guidance of Merlin flanked by some of his bravest warriors Arthur rushes to prevent them finishing their incantations and close the portal before the very order of time and space are ripped asunder !

The druids are from Warlord Games: Hail Caeser range.  With the addition of one further model from Ral Partha .

Cernunnos and his attendants are from Brigade Models: Celtos: Fir Bolg range. 

CernunnosStandard bearer, Musician, Musician (mounted). I got all four of them in a blister pack which was really good value from Rochester Games, Models and Railways which is where indeed I get most of my supplies from.

More on Arthur and his warriors in a later post. 

Exterminate

Some Daleks I have been working on.

A bit of science fantasy to throw into the mix 🙂

There have been a number of Dr Who stories involving Merlin and I am definitely intending to devise a scenario like this in a future game possibly of Dragon Rampant.

The figures were part of a give away with Dr Who magazine which I was lucky enough to pick up in bulk for 25p a packet second hand.

(These are the last few left that I kept for myself, the others have already been sold.)

Keen Whovians will notice they are the newer type of Daleks. From the later more modern series of Dr Who of recent years. I have however painted them more like the Daleks I knew and loved from my own childhood.

So it begins

The Vikings are coming !

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Let battle commence !

A lone Irish Curaidh, (Champion) and a group of four Fianna, (Hearthguards) survey the advancing Viking lines of Hirdmen, (Hearthguards) and Bondi (Warriors).

3 Crusader Miniatures Irish figures. (With 2 non Irish subs), Lancelot from Footsore Miniatures and a random Saxon from the Gripping Beast plastics range.

(Full new Irish war-band project ongoing ATM.)

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The Curaidh and Fianna have been cut down in the kill zone and utterly defeated. The Bonnachts, (Warriors) of the village step up to the mark to defend their homes.

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Bonnachts vs Bondi clash of the Warriors. A nonchalant Warlord, his jeering band of Hirdmen armed with Dane Axes and a berserker bear bring up the rear.

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The Irish Bonnachts push for advantage the Viking Warlord falls back to cover. More Hirdmen rush to close the gap.

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On the flank the Irish Kerns (Levy) armed with slings destroy the Viking advance.

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A great sorcerer inspires the Irish to victory on the field of battle this day !

My Troops, Irish Bonnachts and Kerns, consist of Gripping Beast plastics from the Dark Age Warrior set. They were the very first army painted and were originally fielded as a Welsh war-band. They have been subbing as the Irish for some time with the addition of a band of warrior war dogs.

I now have a full Irish war-band under way.  There will be pictures 🙂

The sorcerer is Merlin from Footsore Miniatures.