So it is supposedly summer here in Europe, so I wanted to take photos of my Spanish for SAGA outside. Well two weeks of almost constant rain and thunderstorms later I finally found one sunny day and was able to do so.
First of all a few general comments on these minis. Some time after the 2015 German Grand Melee I had decided I wanted Crescent & Cross army for SAGa as well. The one that intrigued me the most were the Spanish. Their style of play seemed vastly different from what I already had and they seemed to be rare as hens teeth (I usually y do not like playing what everyone else plays). So they were ordered and that is where things got a bit of track. Back in fall Gripping Beast was unable to deliver the Warriors both mounted and on foot to my German dealer of choice. So all I got was one point of Levies, three points of Hearthguards and the Warlord. Not wanting to paint an incomplete army, I let them rest on the lead mountain for a while. Then during the winter, I decided to start with my Anglo Saxons, which got finished just in time for the tournament at Klingencon as you know. That left me only about eight weeks to get the Spanish done in time for this years Grand Melee and I still did not have any Warriors. And what I had was not cleaned or primed or anything. At least my dealer got back to me with the good news that he had secured those Warriors for me. Unfortunately his packaging service messed that order up and what I got was two Welsh and two Viking starters each.About a month before this year Grand Melee they finally arrived, too. All in all I painted 57 minis, 29 of them mounted, in about 7½ weeks and that is besides my day job. Timing was pretty tight and in the end I put the flock on the bases 2200h the day before the Grand Melee. All in all this meant about a third of the average number of minis I usually paint per year were done in two months time. Add to that the 51 Anglo-Saxons and Monks painted right before these Spanish, I can say, that I am now content with painting any medical minis for this year!
Well enough of my ramblings, let’s get to the minis. I will show them in the order in which they were painted. All minis are by Gripping Beast. I have to say the minis were a bit of a mixed bag over all. The casting on the horses was abysmal. At times it felt more like carving new horses out of a block of lead than cleaning away flash. Otherwise the castings were OK. Animation was good, but the faces were a bit hit and miss. The mounted Warriors had great expressions, their brothers on foot were quite poor. The rest was in between.
Up first I painted the Levies with Crossbows. The minis were quite nice and far better than the Norman Crossbows. I would have wished for a little more variety (there are “only” four different poses in the pack), but even that did not stand out too much, as those four poses are quite different. I went a little more adventurous here and gave two of them black skin. Not sure why. I guess I imagined them as Moorish prisoners of war who had switched sides or had been press ganged into fighting for the Iberians.
Up next came the Hearthguards. What I really liked about these was the variety I got, for all twelve riders are different (maybe that is what I was a little disappointed with the Levies). For their spears I tried something new. They are no brass like the ones I usually use, but bristles from a nylon broom, cut to length with flattened and shaped tips. And I am quite happy with that experiment. They are flexible so the do not break off as easy, do not hurt if you touch them, are much cheaper (I got a set of roughly 400 at Aldi for 3,50 Euro ;-)) and the paint sticks well. Although when it comes to the paint sticking… I used a broom that had been in use a couple of years (which was actually replaced with the Aldi one), so the bristles were sanded, which might improve paint adherence. In the end I used this type of spears for all my Spanish with spears or javelins.
For the shields I used transfers from LBMS. I had hoped, that this would actually reduce the time spend on them, but I was slightly wrong there. The way the shields are sculpted, they are covered by painted hide, drawn over the rim and nailed to the back. So not quick fix like painting the rim in metal. So I had to continue the pattern over the rim and onto the back, which was a paint with those checkerboard patterns. Also the transfers have 3 slightly different shades of yellow, so that was hard to match.
So with me still waiting for the Warriors, I tackled the Warlord. Not much to say about him, except that I went for finer fabrics on his clothes than I did with the others. And the yellow for the shield failed me. The paint was a little too thick which unfortunately left make on the shield face.
So now my Warriors had finally arrived and the mad rush to clean and paint them begun. I went for the ones on foot first. For one I figured that these would be superior to their mounted version in the second game of the tournament. And second… well should i have run out of time completely, I could have gotten away with just painting the riders and ripping my Byzantines off their horses mounting the Iberians on the Byzantine horses. Fortunately it did not come to that.
The tear shaped shields on the majority of these Warriors crossed my best laid plans for the transfers, as all the LBMS transfers are round and I had to handpaint most of them after all.
And last came the mounted Warriors. Not much to say about these, as they are quite straight forward. I only removed the hassles off some of the shields, so I could use the transfers for them.
And this is it… a massive 8 point army. But I will probably add another point to it in the future, since I also want some Levies with spears, in case I ever have to play a scenario in a tournament where crossbows are useless due to a range reduction.