How to: Paint Saga Anglo-Dane Warriors, Part 1

Saga is a game I’ve recently gotten into, and you can see my first forays into Dark Age gaming here. Having painted up twelve hearthguard and twelve warriors for my Anglo Dane force, I decided to crack on and do a tutorial of the quick and easy way I paint them up. It’s allowed me to hammer through them at great speed while still having them look great.

All the miniatures are made up of Gripping Beast Plastics’ Dark Age Thegns and they’ve been undercoated using Halfords Matt Black Spray. I’ve broken the post down into specific sections so that they can be painted up in bulk. I’ve been painting them in twelves which hasn’t been a problem.


For the helmets of the Anglo-Danes I wanted to have them look a little like the helms on both the Bayeux Tapestry, and also similar to some of the helms in Last Kingdom. The ones I liked from the Last Kingdom were brown leather, with brass or iron coloured bands, while the Bayeux Tapestry shows them as being like the lower helm, all metal of some sort, but with different colours – black, a brass and an iron colour.

For the colours, I used the following:
Iron – Citadel Leadbelcher, washed with Citadel Nuln Oil
Brass – Citadel Retributor Armour, washed with Citadel Agrax Earthshade
Leather – Vallejo Burnt Brown, washed with Nuln Oil


Now if you look at the Gripping Beast website, they sell a lot of stickers that you can whack on your shields and have done with them. They’re not expensive, but if you’re on a budget like I am at the moment, then you can always freehand them. Now freehand is sometimes a pain, and you can spend ages whittling away a stray bit of paint so that the shape was right, but it’s satisfying to see the end result. Also, you’ll improve every time you do it.

Rim and boss basecoat – Citadel Leadbelcher
Shade – Citdel Nuln Oil

Flat of the shield basecoat – Vallejo white or Citadel Averland Sunset

The designs on the shields look more complicated than they are in some cases, but if you break them down, they become fairly easy. Below, I used Vallejo Black to quarter the shield. Once quartered, I added a curved section on one side of the black quarter. I then did the same with the White quarters – the outline shown in the third picture.

To do the next shield, I plotted six rough sections out with Vallejo Black before filling three of the sections. Once filled I evened them up, adding a strip of yellow or black to the edges of the sections so that they were all roughly the same size. I used the method explained above to get the curved edges to each section.

Below are two of the other designs, showing the start off and how they ended up. You can see from the red and yellow shield that the rough planned outline is bloody awful, and it was slowly whittled into the shape I was after. The red used was Citadel Mephiston Red.

Once the shield was finished, I used Citadel Seraphim Sepia to coat the whole shield, then using the cleaned and slightly damp brush I absorbed some of the sepia from the central ring between the shield’s outer trim and the boss in the middle.


I always think of Dark Age chainmail as being darker than how you’d paint it on Age of Sigmar or Warhammer Fantasy miniatures, where I’d always paint it shiny so that it looked polished. To give the chainmail the darker look I skipped the highlights and left it after it had been shaded.

Basecoat – Citadel Leadbelcher
Shade – Citadel Nuln Oil

Leg wraps and shoes

The leg wraps were painted in a similar way to the chainmail using only a basecoat and a shade.

Wrap basecoat – Vallejo Beige Brown or Vallejo Flat Earth
Shade – Agrax Earthshade

Shoe basecoat – English Uniform
Shade – Citadel Agrax Earthshade

Part two will be up in the next week or so, and it’ll be linked here once it is.

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