Sheppard's Crook

The occasional blog of a closet would -be wargamer and modeller

Bless those Swedes #3

My wife has made a similar sort of light box for photographing her cake decoration creations but it relies on overhead lights alone. The added permanent lights adds a degree of elegance to the solution. I thought it would be good to share it on my blog as it is the sort of thing I might to come back to in time.

Dawn of the Lead

I’ve noted in previous posts that IKEA is often a very nice place for a wargamer to visit, so here’s my third instalment of Bless those Swedes (see here and here for the previous ones).

Recently the photo quality on the blog has deteriorated, mainly due to me not focusing that much on lighting. As I like quality photography as much as the next person, I wanted to do something about this, and the solution was quite simple. I just bought one of these TJENA boxes:

tjena Photo © IKEA

Combined it with a set of these DIODER led strips:

dioder Photo © IKEA

And ended up with this (with an added A4 sheet):

Click for a larger version Click for a larger version

Now as you can see, the light is fairly yellow in tone, and the brightness isn’t the best possible – which was a bit of a letdown. However, this was easily remedied by using…

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Dux Britanniarum – building the Romano-British in 1/72

I have long been admirer of the rules by Too Fat Lardies that depict the twilight years of Roman Britain after the legions had left but before the Saxons had taken over. It is probably something to do with my childhood being brought up reading the excellent novels by Rosemary Sutcliffe which really seemed to sum up the end of an era. Bernard Cornwell’s “Winter King” books about the rise and fall of a Dark Age King Arthur gave a rather more grown up and evocative depiction of life in 5th Century Britain.

So when TFL brought out their Dux Britanniarum rules complete with a campaign setting with the minimum of book-keeping it was only a matter of time before I bought a copy. This I did at Salute in 2014, complete with a set of cards and a box of Gripping Beast Dark Age Infantry. 

And there they have all sat on the metaphorical shelf for the past year or more waiting for me to pluck up both courage and paint brush to make them into a fighting force. The only problem is that 28mm figures still seem expensive to me, even the plastic ones, especially if this were to be a marginal activity alongside my preferred ECW forces.

So here is the sum of my research into the rather more affordable realm of 1/72 plastic figures, which are both surprisingly detailed to one brought up on Airfix figures and ideally suited to the skirmish type game such as Dux due to the variety of poses in the box which are, perhaps, less suited to larger scale and more regimented games.

With thanks to the Plastic Soldier Review, please take a look!

Romano-British Infantry

According to the rules, the infantry are divided into Levy, Warriors and Elite troops while I will also add the Harassing troops of Skirmishers and Archers. Each will be shown here in turn.

Elite Troops

Italeri do an excellent set of Late Roman Legionaries who would be ideal for use as elite troops. Looking at the review on Plastic Soldier Review confirms that these are really well moulded figures.


HaT also does a set of Late Roman Heavy Infantry who would also fit in well in the elite troops role. These are also well moulded though maybe not quite so sharp as those from Italeri?



The HaT Medium Infantry could make up the Warrior or even the Levy class.


These Miniart Legionaries are a bit crude in comparison with the Italeri and HaT figures but they could “do a job” as Warrior class.



Harassing Troops

Another set by HaT provides a range of missile troops, both javelin men and archers, while these can be rounded out from the Italeri and Miniart legionary sets.



Italeri’s “Gothian Cavalry” looks to be ideal for the Shock Cavalry of the British, especially as they have a Germanic look about them.

HaT’s Light Cavalry look pretty good, but are perhaps better suited for a more “organised” period of the Late Romans.

The HaT Gothic Cavalry might be a better bet for Roman cavalry, being a bit less uniform.

The HaT Medium Cavalry could be a good bet for those parts of the former Roman province that remain closer to the spirit of the Empire.


The Miniart Roman Cavalry could also be pressed into service as Shock Cavalry but, like the infantry from the same company, look a bit crude.



All pictures of the figures are courtesy of the Plastic Soldier Review, which is a fantastic resource for being able to see what the 1/72 plastic figure has to offer wargamers. Check out the site for detailed reviews of the figures. 

The figures can be bought from a variety of sources but for a good range of plastic kits in general and 1/72 figures in particular, you can’t go too far wrong with Hannant’s.


So what is Sheppard’s Crook all about?
Well it’s about wargaming and military history as will quickly become obvious from the posts. It is not about regular battle reports and projects but it will act as a kind of scrapbook where I can collect ideas and thoughts about wargaming which might form projects in the future or which just caught my attention. I also hope to use this blog to experiment with some other web resources that may be useful. And after that I will just have to wait and see!
I hope you enjoy it!

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The occasional blog of a closet would -be wargamer and modeller

Wargaming for Grown-ups

The occasional blog of a closet would -be wargamer and modeller

Sheppard's Crook

The occasional blog of a closet would -be wargamer and modeller