Saturday, 31 October 2009

Out for a walk ...

Brother Nothelm has gone for a brisk walk in the country near his abbey and has stopped for a chat with the local swineherd. [figs and swine from Gripping Beast]

Friday, 2 October 2009

More new arrivals

A few more new boys to paint, some extra fyrd and some mounted men (from Gripping Beast early saxons)

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Quiet times

Nothing recorded in the Nothelm chronicle since June ! Either Brother Nothelm has been idle or perhaps nothing of note has happened ??


Anyway some new arrivals wait patiently on my modelling desk for painting, including some extra skirmishers and some axemen.

I've also ordered a small boat, house and a few more figs from Gripping Beast.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

As Olaf bids goodnight and makes his way towards his hut, a dark shape appears on the river.Unbeknown to him The crew of the White ship have returned to rescue their leader. Their plan is complex, perhaps too much so, for tis a cloudy moonlight night.

The left wing, with instructions to reach the far end of the fortlet, silence the sentries, and release the captives, before escaping the way they came, set off whilst cloud covers the moon.

Their passage is slow, but noise would be fatal to their plans.

Leaving a strong boat guard the central reserve moves forward until they can just make out the outline of the fort, and takes up position. They should be out of sight even if the moon comes out, but within easy reach to assist their fellows.

The Right wing, tasked with preventing the Huscarls in the seperate small fort from interfering, and with launching a diversionary attack, move quietly forward.

Olaf meanwhile, thwarted from picking the lock on the prison hut, by a group of villagers chatting in the street,a Baby cannot sleep.moves round the side to assess the possibility of breaking through the wattle wall. It will take him some time, but as he begins, a sentry appears on the battlements behind him.

He freezes back into the shadows and waits, heart thumping for the challenge.

The left wing of the raiding party is nearly discovered by a herdsman, sleeping outside the fort who, disturbed by his animals, rises to investigate.

He is silenced without a sound escaping. and the party continue towards their objective.
As they approach the sentry on the rampart stops, turns full circle trying to see what has disturbed him. The raiders freeze, not a moment too soon as the moon comes out from behind a cloud.

Luckily he fails to spot them, and a lone viking climbs the embankment to silence him whilst his back is turned.

The other sentry, still suspicious, spots Olaf , and yells out a challenge.
Olaf, abandons his cover and racing to the door kicks it in with one mighty blow.
The alarm is raised and the other sentry turns just in time to avert a blow to his head and strikes out as the vikings swarm over the wall behind him.
The first sentry races down the bank as the captives burst from their cell.
Leave him to me" shouts Hagar
But the first of the Saxons are pouring from their sleeping quarters, will the captives escape?

Hagar, without armour and armed only with a sharpened stick, strkes out at the sentry, but his blows are turned aside by helmet and shield.
The sentry manages only one blow.
But it tells and Hagar falls.

Olaf, and the remaining captive, back towards the wall, the entire village is alive with saxons and they have to fight every inch of the way, as one saxon falls another takes his place.
The Huscarls are out, and only feet away from cutting off the escape route.
The right flank of the vikings takes up position to hold them off, unaware of exactly what is happening.
On the ramparts the vikings inside the fort, race along the walkway felling saxons like ninepins. They can hear fighting, but are unable to see who is fighting who.
Only Olaf remains on his feet. The captives have both fallen and he needs to make his escape quickly. But he is facing three men now, one falls to his sword, but the others strike him down.

The first rays of dawn fall on the scene, the vikings inside the fort, see that their leaders are down and not moving, Saxons swarm everywhere, it is time to go.

The horn is sounded and they begin their withdrawal, the saxons, with many men down are only to pleased to let them go, only the huscarls pursue to ensure their departure.

Sunday, 7 June 2009


Midnight, on a cloudy moonlit night.

Olaf bids goodnight to the sentry at the main gate of the camp of Beornwulfs brother, and heads towards his bed.

The countryside seems quiet. only the owls are stirring.

But what of the river?

Friday, 29 May 2009

Beornwulf's Hall and Fortifications

Beornwulf has returned home to find the palisade and ditch he ordered constructed, to enclose his new hall, has been completed.

A closeup of the gate into the enclosure ..

The sentries are vigilant; there are rumours of viking raids ....

Monday, 25 May 2009


The war of the fortifications continues.
Having finished work for the day, the serfs retire,
leaving the sentries to watch for Viking marauders.

When will they come?
The 8th of the month will be a moonless night, perfect for a night attack.
Which set of fortifications will they choose?
Which will you choose?

Palisade - the gateway

Finished off the gateway section of my palisades; front view :

and rear view ..

The steps were taken from my G scale railway spares box. I have to nibble out the top of the palisade on either side of the gateway yet - then its painting time.


The Russian Trader Olaf, admires progress on the defence works.

Palisade Sections

I've been making some palisade sections with my favourite materials cardboard, foamboard and paper sheets. The palisade is cardboard with 'wooden stakes' paper stuck to either side. Below is a nearly finished 9" section.

A corner section, with the top of the carboard palisade 'nibbled out' to show the stake points ...

I liked the look of what I'd made so I went on to make more - I've made five 9" straight sections, four corner sections and one 9" section with an entrance gate. Next job is to fill in a few holes and paint up.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

The Giants build a Ship

The gentle giants of Caer Tidi, fed up with continual viking raids on their smaller coastal settlements, decide enough is enough and have made themselves a ship to take the fight to the raiders.

[I've got to get a few more giants (40mm figs) and also do some work on the ship model - Playmobil Viking ship; figs Sash & Sabre 40mm vikings]

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Great Hall - more pictures

A couple more views of Beornwulf's new hall; front and roof view

rear and side view...

The hall is made from the Zvezda 1/72 Thatched Country House (code ref 8532). The kit comprises of a number of sections for the walls and roof; the roof was rather awkward to construct. I omitted some of the timbering to give it a more 'dark ages' feel. I added my own large door to the front.

page layout ..

I'm fiddling with the blog template at the moment. I want to tweak the margins around a bit to widen the parchment width - so far I've got it slightly better. So if the blog looks all weird - I've obviously made a mess of it.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

No place like home ...

Boernwulf and his wife admire the newly completed great hall ...

Sunday, 15 February 2009

The Fyrds Revenge

The White ship is nowhere to be seen, so he knows only a part of the crew are asleep in the tents and decides to attack with the small force to hand.
Holding his bodyguard on the ridge, he sends the rest to attack the sleeping camp.
The sentries fail to spot them until they are almost upon them, and it is the sentries dying cries that awake the rest of the camp.

Vikings die as they struggle half armed from their tents, smashing their tents into the mud as they fall.
Harald Hagarsson can only watch in horror, he dare not leave his post as boat guard.

As daylight finally comes to the scene, he can see the bulk of the Fyrd arriving in the distance.
Where is the White ship? Indeed where are the rest of the crew?

He sees his father fall and leads the last few desperate defenders to retrieve the body for a true viking funeral.
With only a few men left he may well have to use the ships boat he has been guarding, but as he leaps to the shore he slips and falls; rising to one knee he manages to fend off the blows of a determined villager. He stands, parries another blow, then falls wounded.

The villagers, decide to waste no time and release the livestock from the holding pen, their own and that stolen from the neighbouring village of wittemburgzoo.

The last viking falls, but still the fyrd approaches cautiously, not quite believing their success.

Perhaps they are right, for the clearing mist reveals more of their foe advancing down the river bank towards them.
Seeing their shipmates lying on the ground.
Bjorn leads his force to rescue the wounded and give the dead a viking funeral.
The fyrd will pay for this. The tide is rising and soon the white ship should return.
Then the saxons will learn the fury of the northmen.
Pressing forward, he leads his men into the attack, only to join his colleages, dead and dying on the foreshore.
As the white ship finally hoves in sight, they see
Karl of the blue shield and his last companion fall in the surf.
Igor the shipmaster, reluctantly gives the order to sail on.
Today is not a good day, but tomorrow, the saxons will pay in blood.
The villagers are happy, their goods have been reclaimed. and the viking taught a lesson.
As the fyrd scavenge the battlefield, they discover most of the vikings are still alive but that is soon altered, and they leave the scene, taking with them both Hagar and his son Harald in chains and the bodies of their dead, Brice and Alun the shepherd.
As Hagar is lead away, he can only ponder on his fate and that of his son, but he wonders if Igors voyage had been a success, the information Bjorn had has died with him. So that must be learnt again, assuming that the Nones are kind to him.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

A Good Day for The Fyrd?
Alun, the shepherd has discovered the base of the raiders, and rushed hotfoot to raise the Fyrd.
Their leader, realising that there is no time to waste, gathers the men immediately available and sets off to destroy them, ordering his remaining men to march and join him.
It is now almost dawn and as he lies waiting, he still only has those few men to hand, and must decide whether to rely on surprise and attack now, whilst they are still asleep, or wait until reinforcements arrive, and risk them escaping.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

On Watch ....

After Harald Hagarson's raid on Hooktun, the rest of the villages near the coast line are being extra vigilant. Two men from Dunham keep an eye on the nearby estuary, hoping they don't see a sail ...

Lothar Hargason's Raid

The sleepy town of Dunham, the locals are nervous, they have heard of the raid at Hookton; they hope they will be spared ...

The vikings arrive. Lothar, brother to Harald Hargason, moves his ship up the estuary and into a side channel. Mooring up he sends out his scouts and orders his men to disembark.

The lookouts spot the vikings and run back as fast as they can to warn the village ...

The vikings put the first group of raiders ashore ...

Soon they are on their way to the village, skimishers take the lead while the main body follows, one group halts on a hill to act as a reserve and to counter any possible response from the fyrd.

The skirmishers near the village and start to attack the defenders ...

The abbot of the monastery and the lay brothers have armed themselves and entered the village to try and hold off the vikings. The men of the village have suffered heavy casualties and the abbot orders them to retire to the abbey church to protect the women and children.

The main body of the viking raiders approaches the village ....

The vikings get into what they are good at - pillaging. Meanwhile the abbot has formed the men up to protect the entrance to the abbey church.

The fyrd arrives somewhat tired, they have come hot foot from Hookton having picked up some extra men on the way to replace their losses. Beornwulf orders the horn to be sounded to let the villagers know they are here ...

The vikings start to return to their ship, with their plunder, as the fyrd nears the village ....

The fyrd try to envelope the vikings but they are too slow to deploy. The chase to the ship begins ...

The vikings get to their ship and start to re-embark, they moved too fast for the fyrd.

Beornwulf can only watch with dismay as another viking raiding ship sets sail after a successful raid. The fyrd had suffered minor casualties and a few vikings had been killed.