Norman Spearmen & Bowmen

Norman Spearmen 2 Norman Spearman 1 Norman Bowmen

Figures by BTD, Crusader and Gripping Beast.

Paint plan for the bowmen include:

Plague Brown (Vallejo) with Yellowed Bone (Reaper) highlight

Highland Moss (R) with Khaki (V) highlights

Prussian Blue (V) with French Mir. Blue (V) highlights



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A variation on my standard Berber paint theme, turned a bit darker for fire wielding troops.

Musketeer Nafitum 1

Musketeer Nafitum 2


Figures by Musketeer Miniatures

Cloaks and scarves:
Cold Grey (V)
Redstone Highlight (Reaper)

Naffatun pots:
Grass Green (R)
Golden Olive (V)

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Crusader Command

King Richard with bodyguard.
Figures by Wargames Illustrated and Black Tree Design
Crusader Command

Mounted Command
Figures by Crusader and Gripping Beast
Mounted Cursader Command

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Perry Hospitallers

Hospitaller Command 2 Hospitaller Command 1

Perry Miniatures Hospitaller command units.  Rather than a true black color for the robes, a light brown was added over the black primer to create a sun bleached look.

Paint Plan

Black Primer

Robes:  Dusty Skin (Reaper) with 50% black shade

Horses:  Rife Butt (Howard Hues) + Tanned Flesh (GW)

By varying the amount of Rife Butt and Tanned Flesh, a variety of horse colors can be produced.   The base color produces a Chestnut shade which varies from a dark brown up to a warm brown/red. Adding Graveyard Bone (Reaper), creates a chalky brown/grey which could be roan or grey.


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Little Wars: Battle of Arsuf

For the first time in many years, I was able to attend Little Wars, a local historical gaming convention.  Mike, John and I hosted the Battle of Arsuf using Hail Caesar rules.  The two sessions were well attended with all 8 divisions having players for both games.  In fact, I had several people trying to get in because tickets were unavailable.

The Battle of Arsuf features a classic battle between two icons of the Crusades:  Richard the Lionheart of England and Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb  aka Saladin of Syria & Egypt.  The game opens with the rearguard division some distance from the other three divisions.  The army of Saladin is tasked with breaking this division.  An additional battle object is to charge Richard’s standard.  Richard’s army has the goals of destroying Saladin’s bodyguard unit, and breaking 2 of 3 cavalry/infantry divisions.

Both games heavily favored the Crusader forces, with games ending 2-0 and  2-1.  As happened that day out side of Arsuf, the Crusader knights were unstop-able.  The lances of the knights quickly broke any unit before it.  The Hospitaller knights were devastating, frequently taking on 2-3 units and emerging victorious.

Little Wars Table

Army List

Crusader Army:
Van: Templars
Holy Order Knights
Heavy Infantry
Heavy Crossbow – small
Mounted Sgts with Spear

1st Division (Norman/French)
Crusader Knights
Heavy Infantry
Heavy Crossbow – small
Medium Infantry with bow

2nd Division (Outreamer)
Crusader Knights
Heavy Infantry
Heavy Crossbow – small
Archers – small

Rearguard: Hospitallers
Hospitaller Knights
Heavy Infantry
Heavy Crossbow
Turcopole Horsemen

Saladin’s Army
1st Division
Mamluks with spear & bow
Berber Heavy Cav
Turcoman Light Archers
Turcoman Light Archers

2nd Division
Dismounted Mamluk
Medium Archers
City Milita with Spear
Dismounted Mamluk

3rd Division
Mamluks Bodyguard
Mamluks with spear & bow
Syran Heavy Cav
Turcoman Light Archers

Ghazi warband Fanatics
Medium Archers
City Militia with Spear
Light Archers
Light Archers


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Perry Brothers Crossbows

Perry Crossbow

12 Crossbowmen from the Perry Brothers 1st Crusade line.



Armenian Knights

Perry Armenian 2 Perry Armenian

Models by Perry, with 3 Gripping Beast filling out the back rank.

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Outreamer Infantry by Black Tree Design

BTD Spearmen BTD Spearmen 2
BTD Archers
Infantry by Black Tree Design.  Spearmen from the 2nd Crusade collection, Archers from the 2nd Crusade and Norman lines.

I used these figures to test a variety of paint & wash combinations.  After initial testing, Leather Brown & Redstone with Dark Sepia, and Dheneb Stone with Stone were chosen for further use.    After the units were complete, I started to find the all over washes were giving the entire unit a uniform dark look.  Going forward, I will need to find a way to brighten up the paint plan.

Armour colors:

  • Dirt (Vallejo)
  • Leather Brown (Vallejo)
  • Redstone Highlight (Reaper MSP)
  • Dheneb Stone (GW)
  • Desert Yellow (GW)


  • Dark Sepia (Secret Weapon)
  • Stone (SW)
  • Brown Ink (P3)

Results:  Brown Ink over Redstone, Leather Brown and Dirt are much too dark.  The base color is lost under the heavy ink.  Stone over Dheneb, Desert Yellow, Leather Brown are OK.  The greenish Stone adds good color to the light Dheneb, the other colors are lightly tinted by the Stone color.  Dark Sepia over Desert Yellow and Leather Brown, as expected the Sepia adds dark character to the base coats.


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Hobby wallet share for 2013.

A fun idea borrowed from The Emperors Blog. Who earned your hobby dollars in 2013?

Hobby Spend

The chart represents about $950 in spending for 2013.  Most of these purchases are actually second hand, coming either from Ebay or TMP.

Reaper takes the lead with the Bones II Kickstarter and a rather large paint purchase.

Gripping Beast, Foundry, FireForge, Perry, BTD, Musketeer and Old Glory all contributed components for my Crusader project.

Wire spears from Northstar are indispensable, but often hard to find in the US.  I pick up several hundred to insure myself a life time supply.

Shogun & GF9 for trays and bases.

Other Retail and Secret Weapon (love the Dark Sepia wash) were mostly paints & brushes from local art/craft stores.


Looking for a blog post on horses…

A year or more ago I found a 6 or 7 part series on horses in miniature games.  The series went into a detailed examination of the historical stylings of horses, their look and genetics, and how they fit into miniature war gaming.   The the migration from Google Reader, I’ve lost my old tagged articles.  If anyone would happen to have a link to this series, I’d appreciate it if you could leave a comment with the location of the blog.

More specifically, I’m looking for descriptions of the horses used by the Crusaders and Arabs from 1100-1300.   Links on this topic would also be appreciated.

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