One of my favourite periods of history is the Dark Ages. I love the image of chain-mail clad warriors bearing down on each other with axe, sword and spear; of splintered shields and cloven helms; of spear-wielding cavalry, last-ditch defences and the roar of the victorious.

Having said that, I confess to getting bored with “straight” historical gaming, of any genre, and I much prefer my Dark Age to contain elements of Fantasy. Most gamers know something about King Arthur, Beowulf and the Tuatha dé Danaan; add to them the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and T.H. White and you soon end up with an immensely rich background of fantastical creatures and peoples, all of whom live in stylised versions of a Dark Age environment.

They are believable in their own right because the world in which they are set is real; great fantasy novels and films always use a recognisable “real” world setting, which grounds the observer’s subconscious mind, and only introduce the fantasy elements in things like the peoples, creatures and magic. Our conscious mind then takes care of the Dwarves, Elves and Goblins, all of which we have grown up with anyway, in the form of fairy tales. It sometimes makes me wonder, since these creatures don’t actually exist, why we find it so easy to accept that they do in a book or movie!

So then we’'ve created our own vision of the Dark Ages; Legends of the Middle Kingdom.

Greens of a warrior pair

Greens of a warrior pair (1 of 6)

The four models have been sculpted with a missing right-hand; this is to allow the positioning of either a spear or a sword, which will be supplied to the customer’s wishes. Choosing a spear-hand will entitle the model to come with a scabbard showing a sword-hilt; choosing a sword-hand entitles the model to an empty scabbard.

The fantasy element comes from the details; helms, badges and shields. All models will come with a separate round shield, which shows a great design of a swan-ship with full sail. They are dressed in typical Dark Age clothing and, as they represent the more affluent nobles of the Lake-town, they are wearing chain mail armour. Their tall-helms are taken from the source material, not historical records, and they also bear the emblem of the swan in flight.

I must point out that the choice of the swan as an emblem represents the most noble and graceful of the creatures that visit the Great Northern Lake on which these men make their home; it has no connection to a certain Prince of the Southern Realm!

Whilst this first batch of figures can create up to eight individually armed soldiers, it will be noted by the keen-eyed that it is not as versatile as our Victorian Science Fiction figures. As always cost played a part but, if they do prove popular, we will expand the range not only in terms of figures, but also in terms of separate heads with varying faces and headwear, and more separate weapon choices.

If you like the greens, please drop us a line at hello@blackpyramid.co.uk and let us know!

The sculptor of these pieces is Simon H. Lee. Examples of his work can be seen at unicornsculpting.blogspot.com, you can reach him at simon.h.lee@tesco.net.

As with our other ranges, we will have examples of these figures cast in metal during September and new photographs posted on the website soon after. They should be available as a set of four, plus one choice of weapon, for about £6.00, subject to final confirmation of prices.

Thanks for reading, please come back soon!

By the way, if there are any conspiracy theorists reading this then, yes, you are right; The Black Pyramid exists throughout all our ranges. Keep looking and you will discover more!