Friday, 2 January 2015

From PeterD - Moorish Horse Archers (81 Points)

Ok no regular posts for 3 weeks and now two in one day – but it took me til the 26th until I could get painting.  I have completed a unit of 8 Moorish Horse Archers in 28mm to add to my El Cid hordes.  I think that this gives me 80 points towards my very far distant goal….

The figures are hard plastic and produced by HäT, who mostly do a wide range of 20mm figures.  I picked up 3 boxes of 12 figures each on my last business trip through Vancouver in June at Imperial Hobbies, which is a well-stocked store and is conveniently located when traveling by Skytrain to the airport. 

These were the first HäT figures that I have painted, and they in the end produced reasonable results (to my eyes anyway).   The detail is not a clean as found on metals, but the plastic is neither bendy like Airfix nor brittle.  They are also a little lighter in build than metals, but that doesn’t hurt for a LC unit.   In particular the horses are very nice and have the look of fine boned Arabians. I painted them in my artist acrylics with generous washes. 

Originally I tried to line them up so no one was shooting a fellow rider, but after a while I couldn't be arsed...

The shields and flag are free handed, because that’s how I do them.   I may redo the flag later but I am mostly happy with my results. 

I’ll toss my thoughts into the forum on free hand vs. bought flags and shields.  Which is I see no point in paying good money for products that are more frustrating and time consuming than DIY, especially as the results never seem to be worth the bother, cost and time.   Yes I am an old fashioned curmudgeon but my first ancients army was Hoplite Greeks and I handled that so can handle anything else.  As for flags, free handing ancient banners is quick and for Horse’n’Musket I get them free from Warflag, or in some cases DIY on the MacBook.  So if you are buying flags and shield designs, you need to grow a pair and get on with doing it the real way!

From Curt:Great looking figures Peter! I really like how vivid these fellows turned out and, like you, I appreciate the slimness of these horses - they seem to reinforce that these are light cavalry. I also really like the shield and banner, which brings us to our next topic... 
In regards to bought vs hand painted, I have to say that even though I find working with decals a pain I will take them over my freehand efforts any day of the week. There are some patterns, scripts, intricate designs, etc. that demand to be present on particular models (Roman Legionary shields for example) but are just too difficult to paint (especially in repetition) for some, and transfers/decals etc. do the trick nicely. As for banners, Flagdude is my man. A fully animated flag, staffed, finialed and tasseled for the price of a cavalry figure? Sold.
So, I'll happily keep 'my pair', grit my teeth and stick with bought flags and transfers.  But, horses for courses, of course.  :)


  1. Nice work on these Peter. Like you, I prefer freehand for shields. I think my most insane was doing Rene, Duc de Lorraine et Bar in 15mm.

  2. Those look great! Very nice movement to them and great brushwork!

  3. Those look great! Very nice movement to them and great brushwork!

  4. Nice. Free hand flags are beyond me but I always do shield free hand, although I tend to just do colourful squiggly lines or Mondrian style blocks. Actual animal designs etc. send me running to the hills. There are reasons why I don't do Napoleonic or Medieval

  5. Thanks for all the kind words, and excuse the rant. Decals, stickers and transfers have never worked for me, and become a painful and frustrating black hole of a time sink producing results of ever diminishing quality. Where as free handing is a blissful joyful experience that I use to reward myself when the figs are done.

    I agree with Curt that the flag dude peddles nice wares, bu I am cheap and impatient. Free and now trumps paying and waiting several weeks anyway. Plus I like the challenge of research and DIY, even f it is DIY at the laser printer.


  6. Very colourful and full of movement. Great work mate.

  7. Nice work, and your post had me most amused.

    I've never bought flags or shield transfers (well, none that I've used at least) and I just make my own. But that's because I'm from Yorkshire and we're tight when it comes to spending money on things (people would have others believe ;)

  8. Very nice indeed. I am 50/50 as I paint 15mm Macedonian Shields but other more complex I tend to buy


  9. I hand paint most of my iconography too mate. Kudos to you for doing your own (although there is absolutely nothing wrong with using other methods!)

  10. Very fine, Peter. They are full of light cavalry élan - cue Corb Blund's "Horse Soldier" CD.
    I beg to differ with you on flags, but it's a free country. ;)
    Again, well done.

  11. Thanks for all the comments
    @ Roy you had me thinking of the Monty Python 4 Yorkshiremen skit