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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Under a Raven banner

To finish my Norse-Gael warband, I decided to paint up a raven banner.  Accounts of the Battle of Clontarf (fought between the Norse Gaels and the Irish) include Jarl Sigurd and his magical raven banner.  Here's hoping that one of these bring me some magic in my games of SAGA.

How did it turn out? Well, I didn't like my first banner so I ended up with versions 1, 2 and 3. That gives me 4 choices for a banner.  I'd love to hear which you like the best.  And I promise I won't be offended if you choose the LBMS transfer.

I painted the white linen down to a dark base color.  It seems to me that you need a dark base and at least two highlights to make a banner pop. Below, you'll see an odd figure that comes from a 10th century Norse-Gael coin.  I love the figure but I haven't figured out how to make it look good on a banner.  So he ended up being a bit of a dead end.



This shot includes the green version. Since the background color was quite dark, I had to use a light color for the raven. I used bright red dots to try to make him pop.  


For my 3rd and final attempt, I painted the linen black.  Then I worked up to a sky blue background and highlights, being careful to keep black intact for a rough look.  


Thanks goes out to Michael of the Dalauppror blog for his tips and suggestions.  I was getting a little frustrated with this and he helped see me through.  That is the great part of blogging, isn't it? You can always reach out to a fellow blogger when you get stuck or need encouragement.  

Both of my kids are home from college and that is the best part of Christmas.  Where-ever you are, I hope you get to eat well, drink well, and spend time with the people you love.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

49 comments:

  1. I like blue and black best. Merry Christmas!

    FMB

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    1. Merry Christmas Marcus and thanks for the vote!

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  2. Difficult to choise! I think the Black and white is my favourite...Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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    1. Thanks Phil, loved your latest AAR! And Merry Christmas to you and yours as well!

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  3. Brilliant!

    I love the first Banner white field black bird (eagle/hawk?)...love it!

    I hope you consider continuing designing your own flags/banners and hand painted shields etc. instead of using LBMS transfers/decals... you really produce great "character" with your work on the miniatures..

    cheers,

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    1. Thanks Phil!

      With a bolt of linen leftovers, I plan on painting banners in the future. The shieldwork will be a little trickier but I'd like to do a warband with all scratch painted shields.

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    2. Merry Xmas and a Happy safe New Year to you Monty and to your Family/friends!

      "keep on brushing" ;o) during 2015!

      cheers,

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  4. Very nice, Monty. You've certainly mastered the technique well from Michael. An art form in itself. Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thanks Dean and the 3rd time is a charm it seems. Merry Christmas to you too!

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  5. Black on white is my favourite! Merry Christmas!

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  6. All nifty work but I prefer Version 1, the black bird on off white background. Very stylish and reminds me a bit of the Nazca Lines in Peru.

    As Phil noted above, I prefer your artistic touch over the commercially available banners and suggest you do more!

    Merry Christmas to you, Monty!

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    1. Thanks Jonathan I appreciate your opinion. I think like all things, I can only get better at this with practice. You and the Mrs have a wonderful Christmas as well!

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  7. These are all very nice. I like the red on green, but prefer the black on white.

    Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thanks Edwin and congrats on your 500th blog post. And Merry Christmas to you too!

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  8. The black raven over white field is my choice. They´re all very nice, but that is the most realistic one. :) Merry Christmas, Monty :)

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  9. Hi Monty,

    great work done, You must be happy of your first tries on your banners!
    as personnal choice,I prefer the black raven on white ground, but don't put the others to the bin they are great too.
    Have a merry Christmas too with your family!

    Cheers.

    Gilles

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    1. Thanks Gilles! I was a little unhappy at first but all in all, it's not too bad. I hope you have a great Christmas with family, friends, food and drink!

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  10. Black on blue is my favourite. Merry Christmas to you too, great to have your family home with you :-)

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    1. Thanks Paul, I do like that one too. You have a great Christmas as well!

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  11. Well in left to right order in the first Image I'd say banner #1 and banner #3.

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    1. Thanks Robert, I do think there are a couple of consensus picks in the lot. Since I have 2 bannermen, I can use both of the banners.

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  12. The Black and White Raven for me - may it bring you Victory in battle!

    Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thanks much, Paul. Fingers crossed on the victories, and Merry Christmas to you too!

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  13. I prefer the red on green one as it really sticks out and is very striking. But they are all very good and have plenty of character.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family

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    1. Thanks Panzer, it does seem like green is a good base color for a Norse Gael banner. Merry Christmas to you Panzer, and may you roll many 6s in SAGA.

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  14. I think they all look great.
    But the blue one is definitely my favourite
    Tom

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    1. Thanks Tom, I appreciate the feedback. And wow, you've got a great Lion Rampant force going. I hope to try those rules in 2015.

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  15. Your work looks great as usual Monty. My favourite amongst the linen banners is the one with th red raven, but personally I would go with the LBMS one. Nothing to do with your work,Mobutu only the fact that I never liked linen banners. They always look too thick and heavy to actually work at this scale, so they never convinced me.

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    1. Oh and I forgot... A very Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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    2. Thanks for your frankness, Burkhard. It's only fitting that each banner gets some votes. Vive la difference, and Merry Christmas to you as well!

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  16. Nice banner work Monty! From the ones you did I like the Black Raven on the cream background the most. I would suggest putting some waves in your banners like wind as it would help make them more convincing if your looking for suggestions. Anyhow still very nice freehand work indeed on difficult material.

    LBM are of course excellent and are my go to for Dark Age banners.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks Christopher, and Merry Christmas too!

      Good tip. I think I might need to put a diluted coat of PVC glue on this as I put a bend into it and then it straightens right out.

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  17. Excellent! Very nice banners. cheers

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  18. The blue one works for me and a very Happy Christmas Monty.

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    1. Thanks Michael, I hope you have a Merry Christmas at Awdry Towers!

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  19. I love that one on the cream background! It looks like a proper Norse-Gael banner has to look! Like Chris already suggested you should maybe add some folds to the banner to make it look the bit more realistic.

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    1. And a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year of course :-)

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    2. Merry Christmas Moiterei, and I should be able to get a proper fold in there without too much difficulty!

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  20. Light blue with black raven. Merry Christmas to you. All my banners are paper so kudos to you for making them in linen. Very cool.

    BTW, I like yours (and Dalauppror's) painting style. Having tried to emulate it, with some success at that, can you point me to any tutorials and/or videos? All I'm doing is guessing. I've dug around on your blog as well as Dala's but decided to ask you.

    I hope 2015 is fun and prosperous for you. Thanks in advance.

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    1. Gabriel! Thanks, and Merry Christmas to you! Here is the link to my Google + folders: https://plus.google.com/photos/+MontyLuhmann/albums

      Look for the SAGA and SAGA2 folders for examples. My technique is to block in the base colors, wash with Army Painter Strong Tone. I really lay it on and when it dries, its very dark. From there I bring in highlight colors, each a step up from the blocked color. I paint neatly, keeping the shadows intact. A second method to get similar results is the Kevin Dallimore method but that works best if you have triad paints (Foundry for example). Eyeing the color jumps does take practice so don't get frustrated. Email me at m_luhmann@yahoo.com if you get stuck. Good luck and thanks for ringing in!

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    2. Thank you, this will come in handy.

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  21. What a feast for the eyes! Top work, Monty, your Clontarf army will definitely look the part - be sure to post pics of the refight please!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family and all the best for the New Year!

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    1. Thanks Evan and big congrats on your grandchild. That is the best Christmas present!

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    2. No argument here!

      I'm still completely gobsmacked by how gorgeous she is!
      : D

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  22. Monty, these are terrific, and so much more fun and original than paper transfers. They're wonderful......perfect for any Hiberno-Norse Jarl to march under....!

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    1. Thanks so much Sidney! I really appreciate that.

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