Jinetes for the Age of El Cid

I’ve been spending a few hours organising units from my El Cid collection this week. We’re planning to put on a version of the Battle of Bairen (1097 CE) at the Partizan show in Newark on October 10th, giving my own Midgard rules their first public run-out.

Midgard uses a standard base frontage of 120mm for 28mm miniatures, although you can play with any size whatsoever as long as the frontages are roughly similar across both armies. Scrivs, Tom and I have painted rather a lot of stuff for this period over the years, so we decided to go for units on a 160mm frontage for the Partizan game.

Looking grand: the old campaigners feeling smart with their new 160mm bases.
Berber Cavalry from Gripping Beast, with a banner based on a period manuscript. This was one of the first ever units I painted for my El Cid collection.

My whole collection was orginally used for Warhammer Ancient Battles, with a variety of single and multibased figures. With all the bases being magnetised, it hasn’t been too much trouble to create suitable movement trays for them. The ever-wonderful Warbases provided me with some round-cornered 2mm MDF bases, which I have then tarted up with a layer of magnetic sheet before adding rocks (from tree bark chippings) and my usual basing mix and tufts.

Stage 1: MDF plus green ferro steel, then marking out the positions of the figures with a pencil.

The self-adhesive ferro steel (visible as a green layer in the photos) was acquired from Magnetic Displays (stalwarts at Partizan and Hammerhead shows and a super quick mail order service to boot, as I have discovered since March 2020). I’ve found that as long as you don’t put too much paint over it, and avoid getting flock or sand on it, magnetically-based figures stick pretty well and will stay in place for gaming and transport.

In progress shot with a layer of green ferro steel on top of the MDF and then bark chippings fixed on top with wood glue.
Here you can see the smooth areas of ferro steel, kept free of texture and flock to make sure that the figures stick well. The flat areas are just dry brushed and stippled to create texture.

I could have gone down the route of permanently basing all the minis on a single base, which I know looks amazing, but wanted to maintain the versatility to be able to use the figures singly as well. While the models’ bases can be clearly seen, I think that this method is a good compromise between the mini-diorama effect and playability.

Andalusian Jinetes – a mix of Gripping Beast and Perry Minis on GB horses with some minor conversions to shields and headgear.
The same unit from a different angle. This was a slightly later addition to my collection so didn’t get to make the photo sessions for the El Cid WAB supplement.

Horse archers, Gripping Beast figures.

Hand painted shields based on Spanish manuscript illustrations.

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