Crusader armies needs large block of spear men. After all, the humble spear was the primary infantry weapon for almost every organised army until the musket got good (pikes are just long spears). If you were to go and ressurrect someone who died in battle, chances are it was a ‘he’ used a spear. Hell the bayonet is just a way to turn your gun into an overly complex shaft and make your musketeer/rifleman a spear man.
These units are made up of two different Legio Heroica: most are CRU14 (Heavy Infantry). But there is also a handful of command figures from CRU13 (Heavy Infantry Command).
There are 3 different variants in the Heavy Infantry packs: 1 in padded armour and 2 in a chain hauberk. It speaks to the ubiquity of the spear that despite being called heavy infantry, the pack only contains spearmen. They’re very similar to the crossbowmen in their equipment (save for the primary weapon and shield) and so they’re very similarly painted to them (see my last post for this army). The spears and shields come separate, I glue the spear prior to painting, but the shields are done individually and attached at the end.
The spearmen are mounted as strips of 4 models on a 40x15mm. So each pair will make up a full ADLG unit; 14 bases means 7 ADLG units, which is a good sized block.
There are also 3 variants in the command pack: a flag bearer, trumpeter and sword guy! I don’t fully get sword guy, but it’s typically how commanders are differentiated in wargamming so I see what Legio Heroica is doing with it. Anyway, they’re great little models and give some visual interest, and also differentiate some units. Which can be important in ADLG, as it’s possible to have different trooop qualities and inbuilt commanders. So a couple of distinct blocks can make this aspect of gameplay better. It’s also nice, as otherwise it’s a lot of the same 3 guys standing in big blocks.
As mentioned earlier the colours are the same as I used for the crossbowmen. So there’s not much to add, except for the shields. I’ll give a couple of details on how I paint the shields. Because it’s a bit different to how I do everything else.
After prep and black primer, a dark brown is sprayed onto the back and white onto the front. The front gets a good coverage so it ends up a white/very light grey. It’s then a matter of painting on some patterns. I use period heraldic shield images as inspiration. Some are identical to actual shields, while others are just inspired by the patterns. Once I’ve done the patterns I then put a little black wash on the shield bosses (to mute the metallic) and then add a filter over the top.
I do tend towards simpler patterns. As it is each shield takes around 5-10 minutes to paint and there are lots of them. It’s not complex, but it is time consuming to get the lines straight, stripes the same thickness, good coverage with white/yellow/red, and painting my crappy freehands.
- Shield back: NATO brown (VMA 71.249)
- Shield patterns:
- White (VMC-70.951)
- Nacar (SC-02) — grey elements
- Eclipse Grey (SC-16) — black elements
- Golden Yellow (VMC-70.948)
- Boreal Green (SC-41)
- Irati Green (SC-43)
- Blood Red (SC-36)
- Antares Red (SC-37)
- Tesla Blue (SC-52)
- Shield boss: Steel (VMA 71.065)
- Shield filter: Filter for NATO vehicles (AK076)
I’m really happy with how these look; individually the shields can be a bit plain and not quite symetrical. But grouped up into large blocks, which is how they’re played, I think it’s a great affect. The colours, different poses, but similar equipment make them look like a big, prickly block of troops. Which is exactly what they are meant to represent. I’m most please when I compare these to the ones I painted a while back for my Hospitaller army. I look at those shields vs these and I think I’m improving, particularly with my freehand and the patterns I chose. Shows I might still be getting better at this whole thing. I’m definitely getting more efficient.
These spearmen have pushed this crusader army to a decent size. There are now 21 bases of generic Crusaders, which is almost enough for an actual army. Mind you, this force needs some horses and angry men to sit on them.