Friday, February 18, 2011

On the Table: Saladin and His Army

In my previous two posts, I discussed painting an assortment of Muslim troops for my Ayybid Egyptian army. In this post, I will describe the last elements of the army and Saladin himself.

The last batch of troops needed for the DBM and FoG versions of the army are the Adath Militia. They represent the local town militias and were quite common in Syria. For my figures, I chose the standard palette and gave them generic Muslim heraldry. I did have one base of guys with a bit more interesting blazons. I suppose they were the more wealthy townsfolk!

Last, but not least, we have Saladin's figure. I spent some time agonizing over his banner, but in the end I decided to go with the Bismillah on a yellow banner. Most of the references that I found showed banners with some form of Islamic text, so it seemed appropriate. Yellow was the color of the Ayyubids, so I used that as the banner color. To make it, I laser printed the text and outline for the banner on regular paper. I painted the banner yellow, using a thin enough mixture so the text was still visible. Then I went over the text with some black paint. Finally, glued it to the staff and put a little kink in it so it looked like it was flowing in the wind. I also used yellow for Saladin's cloak and the shield and trim for the standard bearer. I used red for the other horsemen because it is an appropriate Muslim color and, well, I like it!

Shown below is the DBA version of the Ayyubid army. I painted all of the figures, just not all recently. We have the cavalry, Kurdish auxiliary, and the light archers from the previous blog entries. We have one stand of Mamluks that I painted a while back. You can tell them apart from the lancers by the barding on the horses. We also have a pair of Turkish horse archers and a stand of Bedouin light horse. Finally, we have a pair of stands of Sudanese archers. I've used the army in the past and have had pretty good success with it. It doesn't have any killer troops, but it also doesn't have any real weak spots. The army is very mobile, and if you are patient, you can capitalize on your opponents mistakes.

My next project is a Later Crusader army. I'm actually assembling figures for two armies: one representing the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the other representing the army of Richard the Lionheart on the Third Crusade. As with the Muslims, I already have a lot of "generic" figures for the army. What I'm doing now is adding a handful of figures that are specific for the period.

I'm still working on things, but here is a sneak peak. There are two stands of spearmen with the colors of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and a stand of spearmen in Richard's colors. They are flanked by several stands of Knights Hospitaller. The spearmen are some older figures that I had, but the knights are recently purchased from Legio Heroica. I hope to have another post soon describing the Crusader army.