A Sacred Banner for Blood Eagle

It suddenly dawned on me yesterday that I didn't have everything I needed for our next game of Blood Eagle on Monday evening.  I'd become so chuffed with myself for managing to paint four monks last weekend, I'd completely forgotten about the Sacred Banner! (cue Pythonesque cries of "Oh, no!  Not the Sacred Banner!")  This, of course, meant that I had to do something about it.  Quicksmart.  Here's what I did...
First up, as you can see, I assembled everything that I'd need.  Or at least I thought I had.  You'll notice I forgot the brush for spreading PVA around the base.  And the magnetic disc to go on the base.  That's the joy of rushing, I'm afraid.  But please do notice the sudden appearance of direct sunlight on my workstation.  That doesn't happen very often.  On the downside, it plays havoc with the photos as I think you're about to see!
The first job was to drill a hole in the base. I chose to do this at an angle, pointing in the direction of the wind.  Should make a nice effect, even if it makes no sense whatsoever when you write it down.
I cut myself a 5.5cm length of florists wire, put a drop of super glue over the hole in the base, inserted said wire and held it there in position while it dried.  Of course, I was quick to lift it off the cutting mat as soon as this had happened to make sure that it didn't get stuck there.
After adding the magnetic disc to the bottom of the base, I spread a generous amount of PVA on the base.  I then deliberately put some cork chippings in place.  The intention was to make it look like the banner had been wedged between two rocks.  I then placed a few smaller pieces of cork on the base.
Then it was simply the case of putting it in my base mix of sand, ballast and cork chippings to finish off the texturing part of the build.  It was then left overnight to dry.
Here's a view from the other side just before the sunlight faded.
 This morning began with a flurry of activity as I have a busy day ahead.  I undercoated the base black and left it to dry.  Then I applied a drybrush of English Uniform over the base.  I repeated this three times, each one applied lighter than the last.  There was no change in the paint, but by doing this you build up the depth of colour and give the impression of subtle shading.  Then it was time to drybrush the stones with Khaki, then with a 70/30 mix of Khaki and Stone Grey.  A final light drybrush of Stone Grey finished off painting the base.  A mix of Black and English Uniform was applied to the wire and then, as you can see, I attached the banner.

The banner was found by searching for an Anglo-Saxon banner on Google.  I wanted something that had Christian iconography, which admittedly made this harder.  However, I found this design eventually and thought it would do the job perfectly.  I copied the picture, opened Publisher and inserted it.  I then shrank it to a height of 3cm, hit the print button.... and then the problems began.  Wireless printing is great, but last night the printer decided it didn't want to talk to my laptop. For the best part of an hour.

Still, I was able to print it eventually and cut it out for glueing in place this morning.  To do this I simply brushed on a small amount of PVA, making sure that it completely covered one side of the banner.  I then inserted it around the wire pole and lined it all up.  After a few minutes, I began to manipulate the banner to give the impression that the wind was blowing it.
 When it was dry, I began to add flock to the base.  I apply the PVA with an old paint brush, working it in around the stones and leaving some of the painted base visible.  The base is then put into my Woodland Scenics Ground Foam Grass Blend.
 Then a few more dabs of PVA are put in place with my brush, and the static flock is applied with a pair of tweezers.  As usual, I'm using Noch's Spring Grass
 After this, I add a few tufts of Dark Green Coarse Turf from Woodland Scenics, and hey presto, there's your completed base.  As you can see, I also added flock in the same way to my monks' bases.
 And there you go, one Sacred Banner ready for tomorrow's game.  I expect it'll be stolen quite successfully by the raiding Draugr.  I've lost every single battle in our Saga so far, so I don't expect it will go well for either the banner or the monks...
I really should write up a report of the Saga.  I might have been losing, but it's absolutely brilliant fun.

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