Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Answer to the Norman Conundrum, or Crusaders!

But Bohemund, powerful in battle, who was engaged in the siege of Amalfi on the sea of Salerno, heard that a countless host of Christians from among the Franks had come to go to the Sepulcher of the Lord, and that they were prepared for battle against the pagan horde. He then began to inquire closely what fighting arms these people bore, and what sign of Christ they carried on the way, or what battle-cry they shouted. The following replies were made to him in order: "They bear arms suitable for battle; on the right shoulder, or between both shoulders, they wear the cross of Christ; the cry, 'God wills it! God wills it ! God wills it !' they shout in truth with one voice." Moved straightway by the Holy Spirit, he ordered the most precious cloak which he had with him cut to pieces, and straightway he had the whole of it made into crosses. Thereupon, most of the knights engaged in that siege rushed eagerly to him, so that Count Roger remained almost alone.

Returning again to his own land, Lord Bohemund diligently prepared himself to undertake in true earnest the journey to the Holy Sepulcher. At length, he crossed the sea with his army. With him were Tancred, son of Marchisus, Richard of Principati, and Rainulf, his brother, Robert of Anse, Herman of Cannae, Robert of Surda Valley, Robert, son of Tostanus, Hunfred, son of Raoul, Richard, son of Count Rainulf, the Count of Roscignoio, with his brothers, Boellus of Chartres, Albered of Cagnano, and Hunfred of Mt. Scaglioso. All of these crossed the sea to do service for Bohemund and landed in the region of Bulgaria, where they found a very great abundance of grain, wine, and bodily nourishment. Thence descending into the valley of Andronopoli, they waited for his forces, until all had likewise crossed the sea. Then the wise Bohemund ordered a council with his people, comforting and admonishing all (with these words): "Seignors, take heed all of you, for we are pilgrims of God. We ought, therefore, to be better and more humble than before. Do not plunder this land, since it belongs to Christians, and let no one, at the cost of blessing, take more than he needs to eat."
-Excerpt from the Gesta Francorum et aliorum Hierosolimitanorum


So a while back, I had wondered what to do with my Crusader Normans. I liked both the Crusader/Foundry ranges and the (at the time) forthcoming Footsore Normans. But, they don't really mix well. My solution came in the form of the first crusades!

While researching the Normans, I learned how much involvement they had in both the Mediterranean and the first Crusades. For anyone interested, I heartily recommend the Norman Centuries Podcast. Although that was not my only source of information, it really made me interested in Robert Guiscard and his illegitimate son, Bohemond. These two men were easily as good of warrior-leaders as their countryman William I.

At the time I was doing all this reading, two gaming coincidences conspired to further push me towards the crusades. The first was the the second edition of Saga was announced including the news that crusades lists would be redone in a new setting book. But the second bit was the announcement of a new game from Osprey called Outremer: Faith and Blood, (and check out the author's blog). From that point on, there was no turning back!


To paint these, I largely followed the same method I previously used. Although I did got back and rebase the original. I also liberally applied Ammo's Light Dust wash along their torsos and shields to simulate marching through the desert.


For the basing, I pretty much followed Footsore's desert basing tutorial from Jamie Tranter. The only slight modification I made was to paint the rocks a grey-white, as according to a friend of mine who has actually been to modern Israel, that's what color most of the rocks in his photos from the trip where.


I also was not super happy with the the decal on the shield, it just didn't look right. So for the second one, I freehanded the shield and added lots of scrapes. Not that freehanding a few lines was terribly hard!


Next in line for this project (when they make it to the front of the queue) will be some crossbowmen from Foundry. I'm really looking forward to getting them painted as they have so much character, but I have so many minis and so little time.

11 comments:

  1. Absolutely beautiful work! Stunning! As the author of Outremer: Faith and Blood it is really rewarding to see my rules inspiring such awesome models! I hope you enjoy the game!

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    1. Thanks! I've got a local who's ready to try it out, bit I have to get more stuff painted first!

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  2. So many minis, so little time. Sounds like an epitaph. Great looking Normans.

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    1. Thanks! And that'll probably be my epitaph 😂

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  3. I like these. The bases are rather realistic too.

    Question on the chainmail though - why the difference in definition between the mail on their heads and shoulder areas and darker past the lower chest/waist?

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Thanks. I liberally applied ammo by mig's dust wash to the Head and shoulders to emulate the accumulation of dust from marching in the desert.

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  4. I like the way you did the coloured helmets - it really makes each figure stand out.
    As for the decals... I find that they are tricky, and that they always look worse under the camera than they do the naked eye. In any case, your battle-damage on them looks great.

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    1. Thanks! The biggest problem I have with the LBMS decals is that they are so thick, I have to do a lot of work to hide the edges. And thr crusader kite shields have beveled edges, making it stand out worse. That's was a big party of the reason I said F it for the second should and just free handed it (that and the rim meant no LBMS decals for anyway!)

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