Friday, 4 February 2022

15 mm Arab Slingers (Forged in Battle)

And so it begins.  New year: new army!

In choosing a new army I wanted something versatile and something outside my normal bailiwick of late medieval armies.  After a bit of reading I decided on the Arab Conquest period (600 - 800 AD).  This was partly because it would give me my first "Dark Age" army, allowing me to enter more competitions, and partly because the period offers lots of armies to chose from but all with a common core.

Having decided on the army the next step was choosing some figures.  As you can see I decided to go with the Forged in Battle range.  This is the first time I've bought and painted figures from them.

Figure review
The figures are from Forged in Battle's Dark Age, Arab Conquest range.  Specifically WE-AC15 Arab Slingers and Javelin men.   My pack contained 25 figures (listed contents 24 but I got a bonus figure) of which 10 were slingers in four poses.

There was some flash and the odd awkwardly placed mould line that had to be removed.  Some of the bases were incompletely cast (gaps between the feet) but the figures themselves were fine.

As you can see the faces are excellent with great character and easy to paint.  The hands and feet are also straightforward.  Before I painted anything I thought the hands were too fine to paint individual fingers but they were surprising easy.

In general the sculpting and animation is good although the right shoulder position of the figures using the sling (clearly from the same dolly) looks a bit odd, almost unnatural.  Looking at the rest of the pack this is the case for a few of the javelin poses too.

The only real gripe I have it that the lower boundaries, say between the waist band and the tunic, are not as clean as I'd like for ease of painting.  The junctions are a little rounded.  It took me a few goes to paint the basic shapes before highlighting.  I hope that I'll get used to this quirk: after all I have a whole army to paint!

Painting notes
I wanted a sun bleached look for these figures and so I trialled a new restricted palette using a lot of white.  I don't normally do this and had to relearn that it's better to add a small amount of a colour to a lot of white than try to lighten the colour with white.

I'm going to use strong colours very sparingly and avoid the multi-coloured look completely.  Some troops will have coloured items but they will be the exception.

As the following photos show so far I've managed to get three different shades of white.  It's ended up a bit like the old Dulux range of tinted whites.  Once I've got four or five colours that'll do for the army.

Basing Scheme
I wanted a decidedly arid look for my bases.  I adapted my original desert basing recipe by using paints with far less yellow for dry brushing and using brown, rather than green, static grass and tufts.

As always, the ground texture comprised two layers of sand and PVA (white or wood glue).  The first layer was fine sand; mainly to texture around and across the figure bases.  The second was a layer of coarse sand.   Before the second layer, small pieces of aquarium gravel were added along with some fine railway modelling ballast which was sprinkled on to create patches of stony ground.

When dry the sand was painted with diluted Desert Sand (CDA506 Coat d'Arms).  The aim was not to completely cover the natural colour of the sand. so the paint was diluted until it flowed freely.  This also makes painting the sand really easy as, when diluted, the sand "paints itself": capillary action wicks the paint throughout the sand.  This avoids the tricky bit of painting around the feet of the figures.

After drying overnight the sand was dry brushed with Iraqi Sand (70819 Vallejo) & then sparingly with Pale Flesh (71 Miniature Paints) paying particular attention to the rocks and ballast.

The bases were sparingly flocked with static grass between the feet of the figures (Autumn Grass, 171622 Faller) and finished with a few tufts (Muddy Dead 6 mm Mini & Yellow Brown 4 mm Mini tufts, both from Serious Play).

Slide show

List of all the project posts.

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