Here is a new submission that should help me leave the back seat: my first batch of Franks knights of the First Crusade. Since Tamsin showed her Norms yesterday I thought I had to echo them with my Franks today. I have always been fascinated by the First Crusade and more broadly by the look and attire of the XIth century rider, so it has been a very long while since I wanted to paint those.
These twelve horsemen are intended to represent 3 pts of SAGA Mounted Hearthguards, and will form the core of my new SAGA warband: Franks Capetians. The First Crusade was largely a Franks affair. Although there was two armies of Normans joining the Crusade, nothing except for their banners and their way of speaking would really differentiate them. Yet we have seen a lot of Normans in SAGA so far, so I aimed at something a little different with the Franks, and sat my choice on the Army of Raymond de Saint-Gilles.
Raymond de Saint Gilles, Count of Toulouse, former Count of Provence, who raised an army of about 10,000 of his vassals from the southern parts of France to answer the call for Crusade of the Pope Urbain II. The knights of Raymond were called, a little derogatory, ‘the Provencals’ by other crusaders, probably a little jealous that they would form together the most numerous and powerful army of the First Crusade. And, since Adhemar de Monteil, Legate of the Pope, was ridding among them, Raymond de Saint-Gilles and his knights were almost the official army of the Pope.
Therefore, I have try to give them some sort of southern aspect by painting their shields mainly with red and yellow, and avoiding the more common Normans Shields designs and patterns. It was tricky though because, on the other hand, I did not want them to be mistaken for El Cid’s knights, so I had to avoid patterns that would look too clearly Spanish at the same time. Last but not least, I had to keep in mind that heraldry did not really exist before the first quarter of XIIth century… I hope the result is up to the task.
The figures are Perry Miniatures First Crusade range. And, to be honest, it has been a nightmare to prepare them and assemble the pieces together at all stages. First of all, they required an horrendous amount of clean ups. Second, the legs of the horses are quite weak and always needed to be bent in one way direction or an other. Third, the Shields were quite hard to fit on the arms. Fourth, the legs of the knights are way too open for the the width of the horses, leaving a not so nice gap beautiful the leg and the flank of the mount. Fifth, the hands were too tight and gluing the spears proved a total mess and waste of time… Still need to make a few touch ups on them to mask the stains left by the glue… Anyway…
Next time more Franks, on foot this time, and hopefully a Ronin, since my order has finally been delivered last week.
Beautiful work Nicolas! You may have had a trial in getting these lads ready but they've certainly benefited from your efforts. And those hand painted shields: magnificent stuff - bravo!
These twelve Frankish riders will give Nicolas a base of 120 points, but I'm adding another 24 for the fine work on the shields. Well done!