Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Planning an Arab Army for Crescent & Cross

With the upcoming release of Studio Tomahawk's next Saga supplement, I've been inspired to get cracking on some opposing armies for the First Crusade.

I have a nice start to a Norman army, but I have zilch painted for their arab opponents. Entering a new period, I'm a bit scattered in what I'd like to collect: Ben Yusef's Black Guard, Berber tribesmen, Saladin, etc. are all begging me to get them to the paint table. I've decided to go with a starter band of Berber tribesmen and some arab archers from Gripping Beast to serve as some fairly neutral figures that can be used in any muslim army of the early medieval period.

Picking a Paint Scheme

With figures primed and ready to go, I also need to settle on a paint scheme. My knowledge of arab dress is woefully lacking. I get the sense that the muslim armies featured a wide variety of exotic colors and fabrics, but I'm drawn to the idea of a solely monochromatic army of cream and black, with a few figures sporting a bit of vibrant color to mark leaders and elite troops.

I've picked out some examples as reference, but I'm still researching. Do you have any advice on colors for arab armies?

Arab warriors by Artizan in earth tones

Berber spearmen by Gripping Beast in cream

Berber spearmen by Gripping Beast in black

Moorish Black Guard by Gripping Beast. These guys look awesome.

Arab archers in more colorful dress, by Gripping Beast

Friday, April 11, 2014

My Review of Agema Miniatures Republican Roman Legion

Look at this! Agema Miniatures is releasing their latest plastic kit, a box of 28mm Republican Roman hastati, princepes and triarii. I received a pre-release sprue that I've assembled and painted up. Pics and my thoughts after the jump.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

More Conquest Norman Cavalry

Two units of Norman cavalry

Finished up some more plastic Norman cavalry by Conquest. I'm not too particular about the precise number of figures per unit, and managed to stretch two boxes of their horseman into three 10-figure units.

They all received colors and shield patterns to match the unit I completed last summer. With such a large number of horse, I figured they deserved a large banner for the leader of one of the units rather than the smaller plastic flag that comes in the box.

I designed and printed a flag and finished it with some weathering and distressing techniques described in a recent Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy. I've included it here in case you also need a free printable Norman flag.

This should be resized to 2.98 inches x 0.627 inches at 300 dpi in your graphics program of choice

I think I have enough to field a very small Norman force for some test games, but I don't yet have a suitable historic opponent. With Gripping Beast offering plastic Arab warriors soon, I don't expect my Normans to be enemy free for long, but I might need to run them against some orcs or something first just to get them on the table.