Norman Cavalry

Bayeux for the Bayeux God!

I mentioned the other day that I was kind of intimidated by the fact that I’d have to paint a fair amount of cavalry for this warband.  I’ve never painted horses before, and I know that they’re one of those things that, when painted badly, looks really bad.

After looking around for some approaches, the one really key piece of advice I got boiled down to “get reference material; horses don’t actually look the way we picture them in our heads.” Which is to say, there’s (almost) no such thing as a single-color horse: there are always spots,  socks, transitions, etc. So, that’s what I did.

I settled on this picture: mostly chestnut, with a white stripe on her forehead, white stockings, a black mane and tail, and grey around the muzzle and knees.

Horse Sample

If I felt more adventurous or confident, I’d have done a few different variations… but this was my first attempt.

All of these are Conquest Games Norman Knights, which share the clever design of the Norman Infantry and are still pretty cheap (15/$32)… but do require some determined green-stuffing around the neck and along the rump.

So, here’s the horse:

13-2013-10-14 15.09.47

12-2013-10-14 15.09.33

11-2013-10-14 15.09.19

I’m pleased with how the horses turned out. They’re not perfect, but they’re perfectly acceptable.  They painted up super-fast, too, which is never a bad thing.

Here’s the whole unit of Hearthguard/Knights:

08-2013-10-14 15.07.24

10-2013-10-14 15.08.32

09-2013-10-14 15.08.00


The technique I used on the horses was:

Chestnut

  • GW Rhinox Hide basecoat
  • GW Mournfang Brown heavy overbrush
  • GW Mournfang Brown very thin layer touch-up
  • GW XV-88 drybrush
  • GW XV-88 very thin layer touch-up
  • Wash
    • 3 : GW Agrax Earthshade
    • 2 : Water
    • 2 : Matte Medium
  • GW XV-88 very thin highlight

When I say “very thin” here, I ain’t kiddding around.  The paint’s nearly translucent, and I might do a couple of passes.

White (spots, stockings)

  • GW Zandri Dust basecoat
  • GW Tallarn Sand layer
  • P3 Menoth White Highlight thin highlight

Grey (muzzle, stockings)

  • P3 Cryx Bane Base basecoat
  • P3 Cryx Bane Highlight layer

Black (mane, tail)

  • P3 Thamar Black basecoat
  • GW Dark Reaper drybrush
  • GW Russ Grey drybrush

Hooves

  • GW Steel Legion Drab basecoat
  • GW Tallarn  Sand layer
  • GW Zandri Dust highlight
  • Sean Parker

    Very nice horses, I think you nailed them very well. Love to see them in person.

    • Thanks!

      In theory, there’s Saga up at Huzzah that I need to check out… but that’s in the wrong direction for you, isn’t it?

  • G Red

    Nicely done. They look very good. But y’know that you want to paint one to look like Mr. Ed. Everybody who paints horses (Empire pistoliers etc. in my case) has the urge. Go ahead, give in. ;)

    • Thanks!

      I suppose there’s no reason not to paint one like Mr. Ed. Maybe I’ll do my Warriors’ rides in that pattern. I did the Warlord on a different type of horse.

  • John Randall

    what paint is GW XV-88?

    • Games Workshop has a paint called XV-88.