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Crusades Knight
Fall of St John of Acre, 1291

by Glen Phillips


Crusades Knight
Fall of St John of Acre, 1291


Soldiers' 54mm Crusader Knight is available online from Squadron.com




Soldiers’ 54mm Crusades Knight (SRSA034) is a well sculpted, well cast, and well fitting figures. ‘Well’ seems to be the operative word. The figure builder and painter can’t ask for much more.

The metal kit comes broken down into left and right hips, torso, helmet, right arm with sword, an upper left arm, the shield with the integrally cast lower left arm, sword scabbard, knife, front and rear coat tails, and a stepped metal base. The base is not the one depicted on the box art. An optional head with a mail coif is also provided.

The figure is in a combat pose wearing a ‘coat of plates.’ This is basically rectangular metal plates sewn or riveted between two layers of heavy cloth; sort of an early version of the brigandine. The plates give the coat an interesting faceted appearance. Beneath the coat of plates, the figure is wearing a quilted gambeson and pants, chain mail, and ‘knee cops’ to protect the knees.



Cleanup and Preparation


Cleanup was fast; only about 45 minutes with nippers, a file, and a sanding stick. I had to take a close look under good light to find the seams, but I did find them. I assembled the legs and torso using 5-minute epoxy. The remaining parts were left separate; thorough test fitting ensured there would be no problems during post painting assembly. The figure was then pinned to the base in preparation for priming.



Priming and Painting



I primed the figure with Floquil Gray Primer, slightly thinned with lacquer thinner, and applied with a soft brush. No points for originality there. I left the helmet and sword blade in their natural metal state. These were buffed with a motor-tool and small amount of polishing compound. The idea is not to create a chrome appearance, but one of dull used metal. The helmet details were given a pinpoint wash using Andrea Acrylic Flat Black. No other coatings were applied.


I painted the area under the tunic first, then followed with the quilted gambeson and pants, the spurs, and any leather straps or padding on the chain mail. The chain mail was painted using Andrea’s Gun Metal and a Flat Black wash. The wash is heavier in some areas such as under the armpits, inside folds, etc. When necessary I’ll drybrush a bit of Gun Metal to restore highlights.

I painted the cross on the coat of plates and shield off-white. This allows the use of pure white as a highlight. The coat and shield were then painted Andrea Dark Red, darkened with brown for shadows and lightened with yellow for highlights. I paid particular attention to the coat facets; each facet has its own set of highlights and shadows. This was a first for me and I was pleased with the result.

Final Assembly

Once the paint was dry, the remaining parts – arms, shield, scabbard, knife, and helmet – were superglued into place. All of these parts were pre-painted. The only filling needed was the seam between the scabbard and it supporting belt. This is where the cleanup and test fitting pays dividends! The ailettes were the last items to be added to the figure. These are the small rectangular pieces on the shoulders. By most accounts, these were made of heavy parchment, metal, or wood. Their primary purpose was to serve as a means of identification from the side. At least one of my references states they were only worn during tournaments. I added them anyway, since not doing so would require filling in the mounting hole and restoring the chain mail. I don’t feel my sculpting skills are quite up to that. Yet.



The individual stones on the base were painted in shades of gray tinted with blue, green, brown, etc., and then given a light coat of dusty brown. This same dustcoat was worked up the lower legs and the coat flaps.





Overall, this particular kit was a no muss, no fuss figure. The parts breakdown is logical and everything fit together the way it was supposed to. I’m looking forward to another one.

Model and Images Copyright 2004 by Glen Phillips
Page Created 09 June, 2004
Last Updated 13 June, 2004

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