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


  1. An Arab force for Crescent and Cross is on my to do list as well.
    The new plastic box looks the business.
    As far as colour scheme. Not a clue. But those black figures look awesome.

  2. Gorgeous, especially like the Black Guard...

  3. Those are lovely! Indigo dye is still a very valuable commodity from places like Oman, and might make a nice rich colour to pick out a wealthy leader type for some variation.

  4. Will follow this with interest.

    Im currently building an Saracen army my self. But I cant help you with what's accurate in colour choices. I went with a rather colourful choice as excuse to get an army full of colours rather then a more dull brown of an western medieval army.
    Is it historical correct? Maybe not but I do love the colours. Cheers/ Jonas

  5. pretty nice blog, following :)

  6. I don't know too much about arab colors, but I do think that you have to be careful with the color green. I once read that that color is reserved for only the direct descendants of their prophet.

  7. They look splendid as does the rest of your blog! I was looking for some way to contact to propose a blog partnership could you contact me or supply me with a contact email adress?


    Wargame News and Terrain