Tuesday, February 10, 2015

AHPCV Moorish Horse Archers

OK, it has been several weeks since my last posting.  Part of this was due to illness, part due to a hectic time at work (relatively speaking, my work life is still way simpler than it used to be) and part due to problems with this @#$%&* unit!!

Anyway we have an 8 man unit of 28mm Berber Light Cavalry mercenaries to fight alongside my Andalusians.  The figures are by Hat and produced in a hard plastic, and as such as a little "lighter" than metal 28s.    But the effect isn't bad if one keeps the figures in separate units.  And as I noted on a prior posting, the horses have a very nice fine boned Arab look to them.  The plastics don't paint up as well as metals since the detail is not as clearly defined.  While the plastic is harder than Airfix or Ecsi it lacks the crisp details of the Perry or Victrix plastics.

Anyway I ran into two issue with these guys, both of them originating between the seat cushion and the paint brush.  Issue one was I decided to go with a black primer since there was to be a lot of white on the figures, and I thought it might bring some crispness.  This worked really well with the horses, as the leaving a thin line of black primer gave a very good shading effect and highlighted details.  But it work less well on the riders since it required a lot of second coats with lighter colours (like whites, creams and yellows).  And before anyone asks, I am a "fix the riders on the horses and paint them both as one casting" kinda guy.  Therefore the idea of priming the horses in black and the riders in white isn't gonna fly.

Issue two came when I decided to go for a "Berber Indigo" colour on some of the cloaks and head wear.  Great idea, but an Epic Fail on initial execution.  I used a "primary blue" acrylic with Black washes, and the end result was aptly described by my better half as "too shiny".  So I got grumpy and sick for a while and contemplated binning the lot, but fortunately thought better of it after a while.

One of the advantages of working on campus is that there are neat resources available, like an on site fine art supply store that gives me a staff discount.  So I pottered off to chat up the store manager for ideas.  Her solution for Berber Indigo was a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Carbon Black, plus an optional dab of Dioxazine Purple.  Those are the names given to the Artists Acrylics shades that I work with, but I am sure that GW and other modelling lines have similar shades available with gaddawful names at three times the price (end of rant).  It turned out that my Purple had been binned a while back so I went with the Black and Blue mix but it greatly improved the figures and I rather like the effect.  It also got the approval of my at home colour conscious quilter.  I don't what the visual equivalent of "perfect pitch" is, but she's got it.

The flag is free handed based on Moorish tile designs plus artistic (sic) license.

I am not super enthused by the photos, they came out very dark and I had to play with the exposure and thus messed up the colours a bit.  But these guys are off my to finish list and on the blog roll!


  1. They turned out nicely, despite your aggravation while painting them - that's not a unique experience as I've been there too ;)! Again, they look great.

  2. She was right again, the colour looks good to me as do the finished figures.

  3. I quite like these chaps, Peter. Very ferocious and dangerous looking bunch. Glad you stuck with them. The flag is especially fine.

  4. @Ross, Padre Mike and Cpl. Trim Thanks, PD