Sunday, 7 December 2014

A bit of a re-think

Well, I finished my first week in the new job and they want me to go back next week. The commute isn't too bad, - about what I did last time I was in London back in 2013. The job is a bit more unpredictable at the moment, and the opportunities to juggle my start and end times are probably restricted too. I'm a long way up in a tall building which doesn't help at "going home time" with only half a dozen lifts serving the tower.

What this means is that I'm not clear on how much weekly wargaming I'm going to get in for the near future. It also means for sure that my painting time is massively curtailed.

My current painting project is Hat 20mm plastic Murabit/Almoravid North Africans. I had to put the Taiping on stand by as I ran out of bases. I use the Peter Pig 30mm square plastic bases and they have a particular thickness no one in the MDF market supplies. I need to wait until I, or a local friend, is visiting a show with Mr Pig there. I could always order them direct, I suppose, and just take the postage charge, but the postage will end up being 40% of the order total.

With virtually no painting time in the week the Murabits are going to take a while to finish. I've been painting towards an Armati / AMW size army, and I recognise that I'm going to need to buy a few more boxes to get the army numbers right. In the mean time I have done enough for a DBA 2.2 army (III/33). I have DBA 3.0 on order for Christmas but I don't expect much of a change in the list, although having said that it has no archers in it, and the Murabits were famed for having archers hide behind their spearmen.

What I think that means is that I should rotate the armies being painted. I have enough toys given to me by Jim to get an "El Cid" Spanish army out of the boxes and an Andalusian one as well. So I think I'll focus on doing those, with the Spanish next. When I've done a DBA sized army for each I'll go around again and do another DBA sized army and so on.

Anyway, here's my DBA Murabit plastic army:

First up we have the Command element (1 x 3Cv (Gen)). These are from Hat box 8249, "Moorish Command". The drummer figure on the right is riding a donkey. The best of these in pose and fit is probably the trumpeter, but they all do the business.

Next we have an element of Murabit heavy cavalry (1 x  3Cv). The plastic lances have been replaced with florist wire and are painted as bamboo. Unusually for me I have mixed the poses up to give them a more "irregular" feel, rather than having them all with vertical lances etc. These are from Hat box 8247 "Almoravid Heavy Cavalry".

The cavalry are rounded off with some Riff/Berber light horse (3 x 2LH). Javelins have been replaced with pins, as per my normal approach. I've mixed up the tunic colours a bit. We, as wargamers, tend to paint our North Africans/Arabs in white a lot. My various holidays to North Africa would indicate that when you get out of the conurbations where people dress in Western style tunic colours are a lot darker. I've kept quite a few figures in white to make the army look a bit brighter however. These are from Hat box 8246 "Almoravid Light Cavalry".

For the infantry I've gone for some subject people skirmishers (3 x 2Ps). Javelins replaced by pins as you'd expect. It hasn't been obvious up until now but I've gone for a really dark flesh tone, - African rather than Arab, using Colour Party's MA10. I like the tone it gives. The General is done in a lighter shade, - Colour Party's MA36, which I also used for my Indians. These figures, and all the other infantry, are from Hat box 8189 "Almoravid Infantry"

I've gone for some Black Guards in this army (2 x 4Sp). These have been on screen before. I'm considering re-painting the white head coverings. The spears on these haven't been "pinned" as they're held quite close to the tip. I'm hoping they'll be okay.

Finally I've got some light infantry who are a mix of Berbers and Arabs (2 x 3Ax). Spears replaced, but otherwise pretty much standard.

There are some nice foot command figures in the Moorish Command box, which I will work into future units. I will need another box of infantry anyway for my final plans to bear fruit.

I'd got quite a few more infantry painted already, before I decided to stop and go "DBA", so I can vary the infantry mix. My sources for these were the two Ospreys on the Western Islamic forces, the Warhammer Ancients "El Cid" book, and the WRG "Armies of Feudal Europe".

My actual research into the Murabits has otherwise been a bit scanty. I'm sure I got some stuff when I was in Morocco, but apart from my Rough Guide I have no idea where I put it.

This afternoon we have to sort out the Christmas Tree, then I can prepare my Feudal Spanish. I'm liking the look of those figures.


  1. Great looking units, Black Guard is really impresive!

    1. Thanks. That figure is nicely posed and easy to paint. The green/black combination in their costume is a good look, and the white bank with the Koranic verses sets them off nicely.

  2. Nice looking army for the Reconquista. One of my favorite periods as well. I have been considering using S&T279 as a basis for a miniatures campaign.

    The S&T game looks daunting, though.

    1. I don't know if the pictures are doing them justice. They're nice looking figures for what they are.

      Many S&T games are daunting. Wonder what ever happened to my copy of Armada?

  3. Oooh, Armada. I remember that. Possibly one of the most unplayable games S&T every published.
    Your figures look ace. Good luck with the new job.

    1. As for Armada I photocopied the rules and the errata and resorted them so you could play it. I played one solo game, lent it to someone. Never got it back.

      That was in 1982, I think.

  4. Looking good. What's that wash you use? I think you've probably posted about it before, actually (and indeed you have - Ronseal!). Good luck with squeezing some painting in in your down time.


    1. It's Ronseal Quick Drying Antique Pine.

      I do go on about it quite a bit.