Footsore Arabs Under the Brush

I’ve had a thing for painting and playing SAGA ever since I painted my first Viking warband. Since then, I’ve painted 14 warbands and published 58 SAGA posts on my Twin Cities Gamer blog.  I’m sharing how I painted my Mutatawwi’a warband hoping it might help a fellow SAGAmite get their favorite faction on the table.  I like lots of options for each faction I paint and play and the Mutts muster out at 2 warlords, 8 Naffatun, 32 warriors and 16 hearthguard.   

Below are the Footsore Miniatures Arab packs I used to build my Mutts:

12 Arab Heavy Infantry = 3 points of foot Hearthguard.

12 Arab Heavy Cavalry = 3 points of mounted Hearthguard.  Foot Hearthguard are versatile but I also love the speed of mounted troops. That means I paint up both.

32 Arab Infantry with Swords & Spears = 4 points of warriors.

8 Naffatun. 4 = 1 point of Dogs of War Naffatun.  Naffatun are indispensable with Mutts because they dish out fatigue easily while the battleboard allows you to shed your fatigue easily.  You can only field 4 Naffatun in an Arab warband but I bought 8 so I could paint 2 sets, one in black and one in color.

Step one is to take your Footsore figures out and admire them!  The level of detail is exquisite and there is LOTS of variety in the poses.  I adore the character sculpted into each face.  After a suitable period of admiration, sort and prep them for basing. Scrape off any bits of flash or lines with an X-Acto knife or small file.  Lucky for us, there’s very little cleanup needed on Footsore figures because they’re superbly cast.  

I use Renedra’s 25mm plastic rounds for basing and attach figures using a hot glue gun. It’s fast, easy and adheres perfectly.  I use FireForge Games plastic spears but metal spears work even better.  Most hands are predrilled but for the few that aren’t, a twist of a pin drill and you’re done.

For flocking, I use a mix of Woodland Scenic’s fine, medium and large ballast (1/3 each).  Apply a coat of white glue (PVC) to the base and dip it into the ballast.  If you miss any bits, put down a spot of glue and dip again.  Once the ballast dries completely, apply a wash of 70% water, 30% white glue.  When it dries, this wash locks up the ballast for good.

Once the ballast is dry, it’s time to prime.  I use Army Painter’s Leather Brown for most Dark Ages priming including the mounted Moors below.  If you leave it intact on the spears, shoes and the back of the shields, it saves some brushwork. I use black for Hearthguard so I can easily drybrush chainmail and metal.  I use grey for the warriors for a neutral base for painting white robes. 

My warrior paint scheme is white uniforms with shields, turbans and sashes done in bright colors.  There are many ways to paint white.  You can prime white and wash for shadows.  You can paint white neatly over a grey primer or light grey base coat, leaving grey in the folds for shadows.   I use a Vallejo Khaki to Sand Yellow to White transition.  Khaki lightened with some white is my base color.

Vallejo Sand Yellow goes on next.  Leave Khaki intact in the folds for shadows.  Work in batches of 8 or more figures for efficiency.

Vallejo Oily Steel goes on all metal bits and is washed with P3 Armor wash. German Camo Black Brown goes on the back of the shields and skin.  White is liberally applied over Sand Yellow.  It’s a bit ragged but remember, gaming distance is 3 feet!

Saturated color alert! A dark base color is applied to sashes and turbans for the highlight color to pop against.  Vallejo Dark Prusia Blue is the base for Deep Sky Blue highlights, Magenta for Squid Pink highlight, and Black Red for Carmine highlights.  If you don’t have these colors, no worries, find a dark and light combo that works for you. 

The highlight color is carefully applied to the turbans and sashes, leaving the base color intact in folds for shadows.  Shields are painted with simple geometric shapes using a pallet of black, white, red and yellow.  Repeating color themes and a tight palette help give a warband visual unity.  Skin is painted last to avoid the trial that comes from getting stray paint on painted flesh.  Foundry Flesh 5A is the base, then a flesh wash, followed by Flesh 5B for a highlight.  Spears are Vallejo Iraqi Sand.

Script on the shields is a done with a Black Micron pen or a 000 paintbrush.  I tried copying Arabic script and decided squiggles work better for me.  I add grass tufts to the bases for visual interest and finish with a protective coat of spray-on Matte sealer. 

That’s it in 19 easy steps, more or less!  I still need to paint a linen banner and mounted Hearthguard to finish the warband.  These Footsore Mutts are my second Mutt warband.  My first (below) was painted in all black which is another option. I love the bright colors and exquisite detail of my Footsore Mutts so much that they’re going to the US Grand Melee with me in March.

When you paint your next Footsore warband, remember, it’s your lead and your brush.  Have fun bringing your vision to life! 

 

 

Author: Monty Luhmann
I'm a Minnesota hobbyist who's passionate about gaming, painting and history. SAGA introduced me to skirmish gaming and the Dark Ages. I'm looking forward to the Aetius & Arthur SAGA supplement and the chance to paint and play new warbands.

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