11th century Flemings

Another rather productive week draws to a close, and I’m happy with the results. Due to the weather taking a turn for the worse again (but that’s Belgium for you) I was unable to do much painting at home, but I still churned out 16 models. Which takes me over the 250 model mark that I’ve painted these last six months – huzzah! Let’s dig in, shall we?

The model on the left is a Fireforge Foot Sergeant, the rest are Conquest Games Norman Infantry.

The model on the left is a Fireforge Foot Sergeant, the rest are Conquest Games Norman Infantry.

I picked up a box each of Conquest Games Norman Infantry and Fireforge Foot Sergeants fairly cheaply from a friend who tends to buy more than he needs, and another friend and I split these boxes between us. In all, I got 48 plastic infantry for 15 euro – quite a steal! The two kits are both excellently produced, although the Conquest Games ‘system’ of having the upper arms attached to the bodies does hinder kitbashing with other manufacturers’ models.

You can see there is no noticeable scale difference.

You can see there is no noticeable scale difference.

I decided to mix Fireforge and Conquest models for this first batch of Flemings, in order to achieve a great variety of poses and such. In terms of historical accuracy, the two kits are sometimes incompatible, with the Normans’ equipment being solidly 11th century stuff, and that of the Foot Sergeants rather more 13th century. I solved this anachronism by picking the bodies and heads with simpler armour and helms from the Fireforge kit, as well as the kite shields with the round tops. In this way, I hope they blend in nicely with the Normans.

Three swordsmen and one hornblower.

Three swordsmen and one hornblower.

In terms of painting, I used a combination of simple methods and plain old layer highlighting. After having drybrushed any metal parts with runefang steel over the black undercoat, I set about basecoating the various cloth and leather parts with warboss green, rakarth flesh, xv-88 and, for the leather, mournfang brown. Then, the models were washed entirely with agrax earthshade, the green parts getting an additional wash with athonian camoshade. The green was then left this way, but the other colours were highlighted again with their basecoat paints, while the leather was highlighted with skrag brown – an exhausting process withe the leather armoured models!

I failed horribly painting the lion on the rightmost warrior's shield.

I failed horribly painting the lion on the rightmost warrior’s shield.

As you might have expected, most of my time went into the shields. For the yellow, I decided I’d try a more traditional technique instead of my habitual yellow washes over white. The basecoat consisted of two layers of averland sunset followed by a layer of yriel yellow, which was then washed with seraphim sepia. I then painted on some battle damage with dorn yellow (an edge paint) and dryad bark. The lions were freehanded on with simple black (because decals are for cowards!) and then I layered the shields again with yriel yellow, working around the lions and the battle damage. I’m fairly pleased with this result, although the battle damage does seem a bit stark sometimes.

These chaps were painted up for a variety of game systems. That’s the beauty of historical models: to begin with, they cheap when compared to Games Workshop’s recent toys, but they can also be used for any game system as long as they are appropriately based and conform to the time period of whatever battle it is you’re gaming. For instance, here’s what I’ll be using these Flemings for:

  • I can field them in Saga for a Hereward the Wake warband or just eight as a mercenary unit in most other warbands, though I’ll have to work around the smaller base sizes with a movement tray
  • There is a Crusades expansion for Saga coming up, so I can use these as early crusaders
  • With a suitable unit filler, they could be used as Bretonnian Men-at-Arms in Warhammer
  • They can be used in Hail Caesar for anything from 1066 to the early crusades
  • They can probably be used in games of Deus Vult, if we decide to explore that ruleset in the future

So as you can see, the possibilities are quite numerous. I still have around 16 of these that I’d like to paint up as part of that Hereward the Wake warband, but I’m not going to do these immediately. As for next week, it’s Napoleonics again – a unit of the 6th Chevau-Leger Lanciers. I have no idea yet when I’ll be able to show them to you, as I have yet to decide whether I’ll paint all eight of them in one go or split them into two batches. But you can however count on another episode of Yesteryear Wednesday, of course. Until then!



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