I’ve stopped work on my Airfix Su-27 kit. It’s a big plane and it’s too hard to get good results with handbrushed paint – I managed pretty well back in the day, but maybe I’ve regressed a bit through lack of practice? But the big problem is that dark blue colour. The closest I’ve got is Humbrol 109 with a lot of white but it’s a little greyish. Anyway more research and a house I can use an airbrush in will help – maybe next year!
In the meantime I got the figures out to make DBA army III/72 – Communal Italians, which will be enemies for both the Hungarians and Byzantines. They will be joined by more armies in the fullness of time.
The mounted troops will be pretty Southern European looking if you look closely. I’ve got a pack of Old Glory Italo-Norman Kn that have Lamellar armour, and I’m mixing them in with a pack of Outpost Normans who have very nice late 11th/early 12th century helmets, with straight OG Normans to fill in the gaps. My plan is to paint the Communal Italians and Papal Italians as full armies, and then morph those into Italian Lombards and Early Crusaders by painting only a few figures. If I paint a bit more foot I should be able to use the Italian mounted troops to make Siculo Normans too, but they wouldn’t have any Italians to fight until I (buy and) paint my Norman knights. The Lombards will probably look a bit too European, they should be equipped more like Byzantines or Arabs, but never mind, if I like the army I could always paint some figures once I find good ones.
For the spearmen I thought that Communal Militia, being townsfolk, should not look too poor. So I went looking for unarmoured spearmen with helmets. I eventually got some quite small Essex ones with short spears, and Museum ones with very convex kite shields. Not wonderful – many hours of fun and entertainment getting all the spears to look consistent.