Saturday, October 3, 2015

Robert Guiscard, Duke of Apulia, Calabria and Sicily

Another Black Tree Design 2d Crusades figure from their command pack. He is depicted as Robert Guiscard, his shield bearing the arms of De Hautville. He was one of twelve sons sired by the Norman lord, Tancred de Hautville during the 11th Century. Most of these sons left Normandy to seek wealth and glory in Italy. Robert was the most successful of these.
The Greek (Byzantine) princess and historian, Anna Comena, described Robert thus:

"This Robert was Norman by birth, of obscure origins, with an overbearing character and a thoroughly villainous mind; he was a brave fighter, very cunning in his assaults on the wealth and power of great men; in achieving his aims absolutely inexorable, diverting criticism by incontrovertible argument. He was a man of immense stature, surpassing even the biggest men; he had a ruddy complexion, fair hair, broad shoulders, eyes that all but shot out sparks of fire. In a well-built man one looks for breadth here and slimness there; in him all was admirably well-proportioned and elegant... Homer remarked of Achilles that when he shouted his hearers had the impression of a multitude in uproar, but Robert’s bellow, so they say, put tens of thousands to flight."
He defeated the Byzantine Emperor Alexios Komnemos at Battle of Dyrrhachium in 1081. In this battle, Normans fought against their kindred serving in the Varangian Guard of the Byzantines. The Byzantines suffered heavy losses, including most the Varangian Guard.
Robert died of fever while on campaign in 1085. His eldest son Bohemond I of Antioch would be a leader of the First Crusade. Robert had several other sons, of whom Roger Borsa was named his heir. Roger ruled Southern Italy until his death in 1111.
How to paint a Dappled Horse - hopefully the following can be of some use - please feel free to contact me (via comments here or otherwise), for any questions:

1) Start with a white undercoat (I used cheap Walmart spray paint).

2) Add washes of thinned down black. In this case I used craft store black mixed with PVA (Elmer's Glue). The PVA slows the drying and allows the color to settle into recesses. This process not only helps for definition and black lining horse furniture, it also "grays" down the horse flesh for the white spots.

3) Use a fairly small/fine tip brush - I use an old 00-Series brush - for the dappling. Add groups of 3 to 5 white dots in a somewhat geometric pattern, staying away from the head, lower legs and underbelly. Try to arrange the groups so they appear separate from other groups. The dots themselves are irregular in size, as well as not too strongly white - I sometimes add a little water to the brush when applying the dots. This gives some dots a bit of transparency - which adds to the irregularity.

4) This last step is optional, but you can also soften the pattern with a very light dry brushing of white. This can blend in areas that may appear too dark in contrast.

5) The rest of the horse, like lower legs, mane and tail are painted like regular colored horses. That is, black can be used for the lower parts of the legs and white markings at the hooves. Tails and manes for dappled horses can be any color - from white to black.

It's a lot simpler then it sounds, I can assure you. Enjoy!

40 comments:

  1. Lovely Dean, horse came out ace to!

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    1. Thanks, Paul! Appreciate your visit and nice words. Best, Dean

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  2. Fantastic mini Dean! Lovly olours! I love yours historical mini!

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    1. Thank you kindly, Mike. Regards, Dean

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  3. Excellent, love this splendid horse especially...

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    1. Appreciate the visit and kind comments, Phil. Warm Regards, Dean

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  4. The knight himself is great, but the dappled grey - wow!

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  5. Excellent work on that grey horse Dean - really detailed and realistic. Great painting!

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    1. Appreciate the nice comments, Soren. Warm Regards, Dean

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  6. which figure was painted first, the Horse or Robert Guiscard? :o)
    lovely brush work Dean!

    cheers,

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    1. Thanks for the visit and nice comments/questions. I actually did both simultaneously - sort of. I went back and forth between the two. The horse was given a white undercoat, then washes of watered down black mixed with PVA (this makes it dry slower and settle in the recesses). Then I splotched white dots in irregular groups of 3-5; the dots also being irregular in size. Maille armor is one of the easiest stuff to paint - silver dry brushed over black. :) Regards, Dean

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  7. Amazing paint job Dean. Love your horse. I tried to get those effect many times and always failed. You did this in the best way.

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    1. Thanks, Bartek. Please see my comment above regarding how the dappling was done - you can also go over all of it later with a very light dry brush of white - to even/soften things out. Best, Dean

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  8. Great work on horse and rider Dean!

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    1. Thank you much, Rodger! Regards, Dean

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    1. Thanks for the visit and nice words, Fran. Best, Dean

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  10. He looks great Dean and I really enjoyed the pocket history too!

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks, Christopher. Glad to hear that. I would like to link informative sites to the narrative, but these days, it's too risky for readers due to malware, etc. Best, Dean

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  11. Dean, please explain your technique on the dapple. Nifty result.

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    1. Thanks for the kind compliment and query, Jonathan. I'll add it in the post above. Warm Regards, Dean

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  12. Lovely work! Thank you for the guide on dappled horses. I'm sure it will come in sooner or later.

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    1. Thanks, Nick. Who knows, you might want some pack horses for your Italian Campaign project :) Regards, Dean

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  13. That is really nice Dean. Dappling is something I haven't tired since attempting a 54mm Airfix Scots Grey model many years ago (and with many attempts!). You have perfected the dappling wonderfully well! Quite magnificent. Thank you so much for sharing your tips on how to replicate your technique - this will be useful!
    Best wishes,
    Jason

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    1. Thank you very much, Jason. Hopefully the technique can be put to good use. Warm regards, Dean

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  14. Great painting and history Dean - the dappled horse looks fab.
    Cheers
    Dan

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    1. Thanks, Dan! Appreciate your visit and kind words. Regards, Dean

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    1. Thanks, Neil. I only saw later there is another version of arms attributed to him. The checkers are white and blue on a red and yellow field. Regards, Dean

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  16. Great painting Dean, love the dapple on the horse!

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    1. Appreciate your kind words, Ray. Regards, Dean

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    1. Thank you kindly, my friend. Warm Regards, Dean

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  18. Really nice. Great work on the horse colours. cheers

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    1. Thanks for the visit and nice words, Brendan. Regards, Dean

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  19. What a nasty piece of work he was! His representation in 28mm is much nicer, and up to your usual high standards!

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    1. Lol! Appreciate the visit and cool comments, Ev. Warm regards, Dean

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  20. Big fan of the Normans in the South and the Guiscard, love your dappled horse Dean I shall give it a try. If you haven't already try John Julius Norwiches "Normans In The South" and "Kingdom In The Sun", I believe they now come in 1 book rather than two volumes. An excellent author and a great read.

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