The Waving Flag: Another Month Nearly Over

Saturday 28 February 2015

Another Month Nearly Over

I've just realised that it's nearly a month since my last post. So what have I been up to? Well the Islamic Persian project continues to progress. This month I have:

  • Finished 4 of the second six bases of Turcoman cavalry.
  • Finished 6 sample figures of armoured Persian Qizilbashes.
  • Prepared the figures for two Persian command bases.
  • Drafted a 650 point list to see how much more I need to paint before this year's Stoke Challenge.

The sample figures are an important breakthrough for me. The army has both Elite and "regular" qizilbashes and I need to easily distinguish between them in the midst of the hurly burly of a game. To this end I've finally decided how I'm going to do this as well as deciding how to get a touch of variety into the bases.

I've decided to make the elite qizilbashes identifiable in two ways:

  • Bases will have at least two figures with lances.
  • Figures will all ride horse with quilted horse armour.

The one drawback is that I've only found one suitable horse (Navwar) and the lancers will all be the same figure. As a result the bases could lack a bit of variety. To counter this the horse armour will be painted in coloured themes (to allow me to distinguish between battlegroups) with the necessary variety provided by a range of chequered patterns. Most importantly I now have reference models painted for both of the main colours (currently, red or blue) and a range of quilted patterns.

For the "regular" qizilbashes I have decided to identify these as follows:

  • Bases will have at least two figures with a bow.
  • Figures will ride either lamellar or cloth barded armoured horses.

The lamellar armoured horses will be painted in a variety of striped patterns based on the rows of lamellae. As before I will colour co-ordinate the battlegroups. I have painted sample figures for both types of horses in red & blue and most importantly I have figured out how to paint the stripes.

To paint the stripes I've decided to "dry brush" the lamellar horse armour with the darker of the two colours then undercoat the lighter stripe before painting the lamallae using a small spotting brush. It sounds crazy but I've found it much easier than trying to dry brush the lighter stripes or using an ink wash: painting gives a more striking lighter layer than dry brushing or inking ever can.

By doing this I should end up with three distinct types of cavalry based around the three main Persian cavalry packs from Navwar but leavened as follows:

  1. Turcomen: mainly archers (Navwar RKP4 with a few RKP3) with some Mamluk lancers (Navwar RKMA2), a few Mughal cavalry with mace (Navwar RKMU2) and a smattering of later Timurid figures (mainly Donnington TIMC05 & 19). All mounted on unarmoured horses (Navwar & Donnington). 18 bases in groups of 6 with distinguishing helmet pennants colours.
  2. Qizilbashes: mainly archers (Navwar RKP3 with a few RKP4) with some Mamluk lancers (Navwar RKMA2), a few Ottoman heavy cavalry with mace ((Navwar RKOT2). All mounted on either lamellar armoured horses (Navwar) or cloth covered armoured horses (Donnington OH04). Currently planning 12 bases in groups of 4 distinguished by major colour of horse armour.
  3. Elite Qizilbashes: mainly lancers (Navwar RKP2) with a few Ottoman heavy cavalry with mace (Navwar RKOT2). All mounted on quilted armoured horses (Navwar) . Currently planning 8 bases in groups of 4 distinguished by major colour of horse armour & painted in chequered patterns.

As you can tell I've taken to heart the findings of my research into Indo-Persian armour. Namely that it's impossible to distinguish Mamluk, Ottoman, Persian or Mughal armour and that armour circulate throughout the region. Museums only seem to ascribe a region if there's a "traceable" name inscribed on the armour. As a result I've mixed figures with abandon.

Finally, when my newly ordered light box arrives I'll illustrate all of this with some photos.

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