Like Mark, I too am in the throes of choosing a pair of armies for IWC 2011. I bought a Lydian army for my ‘early’ (3000BC – 450AD) choice as it seems like the most versatile one that would still fit in with my Assyrians etc. My Assyrians themselves are a little disadvantaged by having two compulsary Hd, my Lybian Egyptians are a bit of a ‘death or glory’ army as victory for them always seems to depend on how well the warband behave, and my Philistines and Bedouins are fun but lack punch. For my ‘late’ choice (451AD – 1490AD) I am down to choosing between Komnenan Byzantines, Early Hungarians (I’d go for III/67b so I could have 2x3Kn), or Early Medieval Germans (IV/13a). The Germans would be a similar army to the East Franks but have the option of replacing 2x4Sp with Flemish 4Pk or Free Cantons 3Ax, also all of the milites can dismount. I might miss the Thuringian cavalry though as they are handy for exploiting gaps and riding down bows.
But just to prove it to myself I’ve decided to paint the troops I’d need for the Early Medieval Germans next rather than painting the Norman knights for my Sicilian army. I spent some time on Saturday looking through my boxes of figures to find troops suitable for their Flemish Pk. I eventually settled on some of the pikemen that Essex have as spearmen in their East Franks DBA army pack, mixed in with some Museum Miniatures figures. I replaced their weapons with Xyston’s vicious but attractive pikes. For the Museum ones I couldn’t get to the lower part of their spears so I just replaced the top part. I also replaced a broken spear for one of the Feudal Castings figures I’m using as the Free Cantons Ax.
To continue a productive weekend I’ve finished painting my Sicilian foot. They are my first Arab troops and I think they have turned out well. I’m looking forward to more. I decided a while back to use a different method of basing my desert/semi desert armies, as the Woodland Scenics ballast tends to get knocked around a little. So, inspired by this article on the Flames of War website, these figures have drybrushed bases. First step is to paint them with a mixture of Impasto Medium, Pumice Dry Medium, Woodland Scenics Fine Ballast, and Woodland Scenics coarse ballast. That gets a thin coat of a dark sand colour (Gunze Rough Sand), and they are then drybrushed heavily with Vallejo Green Ochre and lightly with Vallejo Iraqui Sand. I’m yet to decide on the ‘vegetation’ to use for them.