Several years ago, the Dark Age project was expanded to include a number of Muslim armies, Fatamid, Bagdad Buyid, North African to name a few. In my enthusiasm I painted ten in quick tempo and looking back at recent photos decided to re-do them with a bit more care.
As we play more double size commands, I decided to consolidate the Muslim collection as the principle enemies of the Nikephorian Byzantine, the Fatamid, Dynastic Bedouin and the Iqshidid Egyptian.
Clothing would be given a dark base colour and highlighted in a lighter shade, dark blue – light blue, dark green – light green and so on. The turbans, painted with a bit more care, have more folds, the clothing colours have better eye appeal as do the archers. Colour schemes and banners set apart the three main adversaries and this is explained below.
Clothing - All turbans have a colour which is also found as a topcoat for another miniature and these are red, blue, and two shades of brown. The same colour selection is used for the shields with a few painted with a horizontal bar painted in an off white or cream.
Banners – From D. Nicolle’s Medieval Warfare Source Book, volume II, the Fatamid had green and yellow flags in a variety of size and shapes. Further searching I found it was not uncommon to have quotations from the Koran painted on the banner. Inscription will be done in gold or white.
Second on the list are the Dynastic Bedouin, specifically, the Emirate of Aleppo. These took less time to paint and were a joy to do.
The Dynastic Bedouin
Clothing – These differed somewhat from the Fatamid; turbans would be mostly white with a few tan coloured in between, Topcoats had fewer brown, but more red, blue and purple. I reasoned the brighter colours would be prevalent among the settled inhabitants. This also can be seen among the shield colours.
Banners – These would be of similar size and shape but basic colour would be an off-white or cream. A dark vertical bar would have text painted is silver or white. Kurdish allies would have similar flags, but painted red.
Armies of the Dark Ages 600 – 1066, Ian Heath, 1980
Medieval Warfare Source Book, David Nicolle, 1986
Saracenic Heraldry, Leo Aryeh Mayer, 1933
The Tulunid/Iqshidid Egyptian
The Tulunid/Iqshidid are next in the queue. Photo one is an overview of the elements collected for this army. All the infantry will be rebased to improve the distribution of poses among the blade and bow. Infantry on the left of the photo will have their javelins replaced with spears. At their rear are two elements of cavalry which will form three light horse leaving the Ghulam cavalry the only elements untouched.
Photo two displays the ravages of bases lost with the figures now repositioned on their new bases. Next step is to replace javelin with spear.
Clothing – Having rebelled against the Abbasid Caliphate, I had doubts about using black for their clothing and as a minor concession, the turbans would be painted mostly dark colours with a few in white. Topcoats would follow a similar palette as the Fatamid, red, blue and two shades of brown.
Banners – Most likely banners would have remained unchanged from the Abbasid model and colour. Therefore, banners are black with some colour sections and/or tails with gold lettering. If not accurate at least they would look cool.
The Egyptians in battle array
Compare the older paint work in this old battle report between the Tulunid Egyptian and the Abbasid.