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"How should I/Would I" Topic

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917 hits since 25 Jan 2017
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Stepman325 Jan 2017 7:29 a.m. PST

…paint my units. I am painting Fireforge Games Archers and Foot Sergeants along with Mounted Sergeants and Knights. Should I keep the livery on the shields and clothing the same or mix it up? Would armies have a unified look to them?

Garand25 Jan 2017 8:45 a.m. PST

For knights I wouldn't keep them uniform. For some urban militias might be fairly uniform, but these figures were also from a period before livery coats and the like, so personally I would mix that up as well.


GarrisonMiniatures25 Jan 2017 10:00 a.m. PST

Some of the 'ordinary' soldiers would possibly have been in a limited uniform as they would be in the livery of their Lord.

JSears25 Jan 2017 11:21 a.m. PST

I had the same conundrum, and came to this solution. I've been working on some miniatures to run battles from the mid 13th to early 14th century. From what I've gathered, this is the dawn of formalized heraldry, but there weren't standardized uniforms used by mustered troops at this time.

I built my knights around real world heraldry from the time, grouping them into color coordinated units (which wouldn't have happened historically, but makes picking them out on the table easier)

A unit of "yellow" knights:

"Red" knights:

Each knight would have brought a retinue of of men. Those men would have likely outfitted themselves so you'd have a variety of clothing and shields, with colors at their owner's whim.

For my foot soldiers, I painted some in either yellow or red livery, some in both, and the rest in a variety of neutral earth tones. For shields I painted some either solid red or yellow, solid, halved or quartered while others replicate variations of their liege's heraldry.

Together they look like this:

I'm also intending to do some units of blue and white knights along with their color associated retinues.

While individually each figure has a unique color scheme with no single uniform shared between them, together the mass takes on a unified color scheme that should make identifying them on the table easy.

That's how I do it, hope it helps!

Terrement25 Jan 2017 12:28 p.m. PST


Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2017 12:54 p.m. PST

Lovely looking figures and a sensible solution from JSears!

As far as clothing goes in this period, there is almost zero chance of any sort of uniformity.

I think shields are a bit more interesting! Knights had their coat-of-arms, which was ONLY carried by the knight himself. There is no real evidence for the appearance of everyone else's shields. So you can have a bit more fun.

My vaguely-educated guess is that groups of men, a lord's retinue or city band for example, would have a 'group design' of shield. It seems to be human nature that people like to identify themselves as part of a group. Look at modern sports fans, clubs of all kinds, biker gangs, whatever. They all like to wear team colours, regalia etc. So you and your mates painting your shields the same would be a 'hey, this is us' kind of bonding thing.

Course, I may just be talking out me arse…..

Stepman325 Jan 2017 1:37 p.m. PST

Great advise folks. I kinda thought along the same lines…I am going with a red and white combo. Solid shields for the foot troops and a bit more fancy for the Knights…

I have one other army made from Fireforge I've done but it was more whimsical in nature. It featured the troops mostly in grey and white with a wolf motif on the shield. I sculpted fur collar on capes on all of them as well. This was for Dragon Rampant…Now I just want something that can be used in a more "historical" setting…

Personal logo Swampster Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2017 4:11 p.m. PST

Depends on the date you are doing. Even in the 13th century there is some evidence for a degree of uniformity in city militia in various places. By the end of the 13th and start of the 14th it gets more widespread and various mentions of provided cloth for contingents become a bit more common.
Shields are more of a problem. There is a comment that all the oarsmen of the Count of Jaffa c.1250 carried targets with his arms. That may have been noted because it was unusual or it may be more common but doesn't get mentioned. Certainly there are guild and city troops carrying shields with the arms of their contingent by the early 14th century and probably earlier.

gavandjosh0225 Jan 2017 8:58 p.m. PST

It would really depend on the scale of the game. 5 knights from 1 family might be similar but that effect would be lost if those were part of a unit where 1 figure = 50 men.

Stepman328 Jan 2017 9:11 a.m. PST


Clays Russians29 Jan 2017 9:23 a.m. PST

I play Lion Rampant, and I just posted a similar question without seeing this thread. Tho I believe after exploring LR, I think the scale would probably be more like 1:3or4 with a retinue being about 100-200 blokes. (Not figgers, but real men).

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