Monthly Archives: May 2014

Saga Ghost Romans

Ghost Warlord 4

I finally dragged out the lightbox (the great thing about having a lightbox is the vast improvement in quality it brings to your pictures, the terrible thing about having a lightbox is that taking pictures becomes a bit of a production), so I probably should get around to posting the results.  Might as well start with the GHOST ROMANS.

As I’ve said before, one of the goals with these guys was, “Get them done fast,” so even though they’re a lot rougher than what I normally paint, I’m satisfied with them.  Not counting the Warlord, the whole lot took me about 3-4 days to do, which is something of a record.

The specific inspiration comes from Cornwell’s Saxon Stories; one of the novels’ leitmotifs is the idea of England as a post-apocalyptic world.  Artifacts and architecture of the Roman world that came before are scattered throughout the land: dilapidated Roman forts are frequently used for shelter, Uhtred makes his home in London in a Roman villa the fyrd believes to be haunted.  This is also something the most recent season of Vikings touched on, too.

So, I got a bug to get some cheap, plastic Warlord kits, paint them quickly, and run them as the restless, wrathful spirits of Roman legionnaires, bestirred to wreak vengeance and death on the barbari who’ve inherited and wasted their legacy.

Here’s the whole mess:

Ghost Romans

  • Warlord
  • Hearthguard x12
  • Warriors x16
  • Levies x12

That 3/2/1 Hearthguard/Warriors/Levies is how I always initially think about Saga lists (for good or for ill).

Ghost Roman Warlord WIP

I’m extremely pleased with the Warlord.  He’s a Warlord Imperial Prætorian Guard and a Gripping Beast Dark Age Warrior with some cutting, sculpting, and pinning.

Ghost Warlord 1 Ghost Warlord 2 Ghost Warlord 3

All of the unfortunate Viking dude is held up with that arm, so there was a lot of reinforcement going on.  The sculpting isn’t quite what I’d like it to be, but it holds up okay… especially with the quick and dirty paint job on them.

Ghost Praetorian

The Hearthguard are Warlord’s Imperial Roman Prætorian Guard; the idea is that the helmet crests would make them stand out.  In play, that hasn’t worked as well as I’d like: I got them mixed up with the Warriors more than I’d have liked.

Ghost Legionary

The Warriors are Warlord Imperial Roman Legionaries.  Initially, I’d planned to do them with the Early Imperial Roman Auxiliaries, but thought they looked insufficiently “Roman,” which is kind of stupid, but what kind of hobby is this if one can’t be stupid about it?

Ghost Velite

Finally, the Levies are Agema’s Republican Roman Velites.  I wanted to do a bunch of guys with the wolfskin, because it’s really distinct, but it turns out that it’s 1 wolfskin per 2 models, so I decided not too.  If I ever do another unit, I’ll do them all with wolfskins, so I’ll have one with and one without them.

It’s interesting to note that the Agema guys are way out of scale with the Warlord guys.  I came up painting Citadel minis, so I like the squat, broad, distorted, heroic minis that Warlord does… the Agema guys feel like they’re more realistically proportioned and in a larger scale.

Ghost Roman Comparison

All of these are nominally 28mm.  The Velite is half a head taller than the Legionary and the Prætorian, and he’s hunched over.


Here’s how I painted them:

GW Celestra Grey basecoat
1:1 wash
– GW Drakenhof Nightshade
– GW Biel-Tan Green
GW Celestra Grey heavy drybrush
5:3:1:1 wash
– GW Waywatcher Green
– GW Guilliman Blue
– Water
– Matte Medium
GW Celestra Grey drybrush
P3 Morrow White light drybrush

GW Steel Legion Drab basecoat
GW Tallarn Sand overbrush
GW Ushabti Bone drybrush
Wash 2:2:1:1
– GW Agrax Earthshade
– GW Seraphim Sepia
– Water
– Matte Medium

So, it’s a little more complicated than a quick drybrush, but fundamentally, that’s what’s going on.


I decided to do the warband before knowing what to run them as: Casey suggested I run them as either Irish or Pagan Rus, since both of their boards looked like they played in a way that could be articulated as “spookily.”  Since I’ve already got a bunch of Celtic Warriors, I went with the Pagan Rus.

Pagan Rus are, apparently, very good.  Possibly too good, which means I might need to rethink that, but we’ll see.

Wednesday Workbench

Messy Desk

It’s been a bit, but not quite as long as it feels like.  Things might have been quiet here, but not that quite here, ifyouknowwhatI’msayingandIcan’timaginehowyoucould.

Ghost Romans

Looks like the last time I checked in, I’d gotten the ball rolling on my Ghost Romans.  They’re done, now.  I’ll talk about them more after I’ve gotten them into the lightbox, but suffice to say: they painted quickly.

Those things they’re in is an attempt on my part to get a better feel for both transporting them and getting more use out of the Mantic Battlefoam cases I got from the Deadzone Kickstarter.  You know those plastic VHS-sized clamshells Mantic packages (packaged?) their minis in? The Battlefoam cases are sized to hold two of those next to each other.  Using them to sandwich minis between foam sheets seems… inefficient.  What I’m trying here is using magnetic sheeting from Wargame Accessories, which is pretty strong (stronger than the magnetic business cards I normally use) on one side, setting the minis in as I would with a plastic tray, and then setting foam across the top.

I like keeping minis in plastic trays with magnetic cards because it takes up way less room and is easier to pack/unpack… but if you drop it, you’re screwed.  The thought here is that the magnet sheet is stronger, and the minis don’t have anywhere to go to bounce around and break.  There’s foam above them, and the clamshells go into the case, which also has some padding.  We’ll see.


You can fit kind of a lot of minis in them, if you want.  That’s 6 points of Anglo-Danes, there.

War Altar of Stromfels

Finally, the Imp of the Perverse drove me to dig up this half-done conversion and do some more work on it: this is my War Altar of Stromfels, one of the reasons my Empire army stalled (when I got the inspiration to do this, I no longer wanted to do a Nordland/Cult of Manaan-themed Empire army, I wanted to do a heretical Cult of Stromfels army).  More travel’s on the horizon, so I doubt I’ll finish it any time soon.