Tuesday 2 June 2020

Islamic Berber (III/75)

I began refurbishing the collection of Muslim armies by first reducing the ten to four double sized collections. The two months work produced the Tulunid, the Fatamid, the Bedouin Dynastic and lastly, the Abbasid (here).

The latter included four elements of Zanj which were converted Colonial Sudanese. The ease with which the conversion was done prompted me to convert more to build a Zanj army (here). From the first photo on that page you have an idea as to the quantity Colonial Sudanese that remain.

The creativity moved to full steam as more colonial Sudanese were culled to begin work on the next army, the Andalusians. It took about a week to paint the figures and banners, but photos of the completed army will have to wait as they lack shields. These should arrive this week from Donnington.

Keeping the momentum, I selected more colonial figures to build the another collection, the Islamic Berber or Almoravid. These past weeks I have been converting and painting the ‘veiled ones’. Conversion included freeing weapons that were held across torsos or head and repositioning them. In addition, Milliput was used for the veils of all the figures, saddlecloths and decorative trappings for horses and camels.

Painting the Almoravid has reached its final stage. All figures have dark blue or indigo turban and veils and include the clothing for the majority. Others are painted beige or cream colour to represent the number of vassals included in the Almoravid armies. Banners will be dark coloured, most likely dark blue to bring uniformity to the army.  

15 – 06 – 2020

The Almoravid are of similar strength; two commands strong, but have minor differences between the two. All have blue turbans and veils with blue robed figures representing the core group of Sanhaja mixed with the off white of vassal tribes, such as the Guddala and Massufa. A speculative decision on my part, but the other colours do break up an otherwise a sea of blue.

As mentioned earlier, excepting the archers (Essex), all figures have been salvaged from the large Colonial Sudan war army, principally the Ansar infantry, cavalry and camelry. Milliput was used to enlarge the saddle cloths, add veils and wool trappings for the camelry. Shields were supplied from Donnington and they have a fine range of North African and Spanish types.

My experience with Milliput has improved over the past year with the construction of buildings, camps and the odd fur cap. This video by Marco Frisoni very helpful bringing my skill level up a notch, “How To Use Milliput To Fix Everything” 

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