Medievals have turned out to be the trickiest period I've tried. With World War II there are reams of uniform information to reference for painting. Dark Ages are pretty much "muted earth tones to taste" and information for Ancients is so spotty you can get away with painting them however you'd like, but Medievals... there's just enough heraldry to be confusing and intimidating enough to put me off getting started.
Luckily the Analogue Painting Challenge was just the kick in the rear I needed to throw caution to the wind and paint up these Fireforge Foot with a "good enough for now" paint scheme.
Researching potential paint schemes, I became interested in Edward I. The bad guy from Braveheart was involved in battles from his youth until his death, fighting across the British Isles in the Baron's War and against the Scots, even taking part in the Crusades. His livery was a striking yellow and red, also used by his son Edward II at Bannockburn, and variations on that color scheme appear amongst much of the nobility that fought with or against him. Standardized uniforms were not used during the medieval period, but it's not beyond reason that soldiers would use some sort of identifying color (either a piece of clothing, strip of cloth, or shield color) to identify themselves as belonging to the retinue of a lord.
I painted these Fireforge figures up in various earth tones, with a number of red or mustard yellow tunics, surcoats, and leggings. I gave the shields a variety or yellow and red color schemes. I thought there might be some shields provided by a lord, but most would be provided by the men themselves. Without a factory stamping these shields out I tried to vary the color tones and patterns to represent the variety of sources these shields would come from.
Hopefully the colors will tie the figures together but avoid looking like a uniformed Napoleonic regiment. I'm planning on using these as Edward's household troops, but with such a common color combination I can also use these as the retinue for any knights or nobility with red or yellow heraldry.
I sabot based these for mass battles (such as Hail Caesar), but based them individually so I can try them out with Lion Rampant.
That's 48 foot, at 5 points each, gives me an extra 240 points by my count.
Despite your difficulty in getting started with these John you clearly made a great success of them in the end. Red/yellow is one of my favourite colour combinations for any period but works especially well for medieval as it combines well with earthy browns and muted greens. I can't fault your reasoning regards the shields, quite the opposite in fact.
48 figures in one batch is a cracking effort and your resulting 240 points gets you well within sight of your initial target of 400. Nice work!