In my first post, I described the early Muslim infantry that I recently painted as part of my Crusades project. In this post, I'm going to talk about figures that are specifically part of Crusader era Muslim armies. I purchased the figures specifically for my Ayyubid Egyptian army. This is the army led by Saladin which fought both the Kingdom of Jerusalem and King Richard the Lionheart's army in the Third Crusade.
The first batch of figures are four stands of javelinmen. They made up the bulk of the Muslim auxiliaries in the period, and could be of either Kurdish or Arabic origin. I used the same techniques as in my previous post: prime white, raw umber wash, paint the rest of the figure. I also used the "standard" Middle Eastern color palette. Since these troops were a step up from the city militia, I assumed that they would have less "natural" fiber. I painted them with a bit more color than the either the swordsmen or the archer. For the shields, I used designs almost exclusively from Saracenic Heraldry. Since these figure represent troops from the 12th and 13th centuries, I feel a lot more comfortable using the later devices.
Again, I'm pretty pleased with the results. The figures are from Legio Heroica, and I really like the sculpts. I also like the fact that the shields are separate from the figures, so you can really mix and match to get the effect that you want. The only down side is that the javelins are also separate, so you have to individually glue them. We'll have to see how they hold up with repeated play.
The last batch of troops are four stands of Arab lancers, also known as askari (Arabic for "soldier"). The made up the bulk of the heavy cavalry in Ayyubid armies. Unlike the Mamluks, which were slave soldiers specifically trained to fight, the askari were all nobles and free men. They would be the rough equivalent to knights in Western armies. One of the most famous (infamous?) of these troops is Usamah ibn-Munquidh, author of "An Arab-Syrian Gentleman and Warrior in the period of the Crusades." He lived during the first half of the 12th century, and his memoirs are quite an interesting read. The figures are all from Legio Heroica, same as the javelinmen.
Once again, I used the standard painting technique for these figures, somewhat altered to account for horses. For the horses, I started with whiter primer and a raw umber wash. Then, I block painted each horse with a different color according to the type of horse that I wanted to paint: brown for dark bay, sand for dun, mahogany for chestnut, toffee for roan. After that, I washed the horses again, using black for the bay and brown for the other colors. This really brings out the detail on the figures and makes the colors more lifelike. I then paint the manes and tails, black for bay, dark gray for dun, and brown for chestnut and roan. Finally, I add a few markings on the face and legs.
For the riders, I followed the standard Middle Eastern palette for color. As these would be nobles, I assumed that they would have brightly colored robes over their armor. All of the figures have armor, and about half of them have robes while the other half do not. The shields all had designs as part of the sculpts, so I didn't add any heraldry. I painted them using the standard palette, but picked colors to be aesthetically pleasing. (Pleasing to me, of course!)
That completes my post. These four stands will almost complete my Ayybid army. I still need to paint a few stands of militia, but I hope to complete them in the next week or so. Once they are done, then I'll create another post containing pictures of the entire army. After that, I will start cleaning up my Later Crusader army to provide an opponent for the Ayyubids.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask.