Knights Hospitaller

The Knights Hospitaller were Knights of the Order of Saint John the Hospitaller who were also known as the Knights of Rhodes, Knights of Malta, Cavaliers of Malta, and Order of St John of Jerusalem. The Hospitallers grew out of a brotherhood established for the care of sick pilgrims in a hospital at Jerusalem following the First Crusade in 1100 AD.


The Growth of the Knights Hospitaller

Many knights joined the organization, which soon proved to be very useful in defending the Holy Land. The order built many castles in Syria, the remains of which can still impress the beholder. They established numerous branches in Europe and, by presents and legacies, acquired vast wealth. These orders of religious knights, much like the Vatican today, ended up having their own states. The Hospitallers annexed the island of Rhodes then later Malta. The order of Knights Templar was disbanded in the fourteenth century, but the Hospitallers continued to fight valiantly against the Turks long after the close of the crusading movement, finally coming to an end following their ejection from Malta by Napoleon


Pegaso 90 mm Knight Hospitaller


I am about to start on the above figure and have decided to write up the build step-by-step to show my method of painting figures


This is a very “moody” figure by Pegaso sculpted by one of their top designers, Andrea Jula, and it has become one of the “must- have” figures.


After checking all parts with a “dry” fit I have filled any imperfections and blemishes and as usual with Pegaso there aren’t many! I have then washed all the parts with a soapy wash to remove any oil from my hands and any release fluid that might remain on the figure. The individual parts are then mounted on cocktail sticks for ease of use; the main figure, after having small nails inserted into his feet, is mounted on a work holder



All parts have then been primed with Tamiya light grey acrylic being given 2/3 coats and allowed to fully dry for 2/3 days






Higher resolution versions of these pictures are available in our Photo Archive, in the album ‘Knight Hospitaller’.

I use oils for painting my figures having used them for many years and been satisfied with the results, so the tutorial will be with oils. This is the mix I use for flesh:

The flesh colour has been mixed with the usual colours until I was happy with the mix bearing in mind that he will be located in the Middle East area


The photos show the early stage of painting the face is almost done, I shall give it a few hours to “settle” and then finish off with a few touches here and there


The helmet and chain mail have been given the first coat of Tamiya gun metal acrylic and then shaded with thin black oil washes to bring out the chain mail. This will then be given a dry brush to highlight the metal.  The line between the face and the chain mail has been darkened to emphasise the face

I have now painted the shield complete with damage and weathering and hand painted the white cross.  The dusty weathering is because these men fought a lot of their campaigns in the hot dry dusty regions of the middle east.


I used a dark combination of burnt umber, touch of black and a dabble of Prussian blue to achieve an almost black effect


The sword in its scabbard was painted black with silver ink to represent the steel hilt and pommel



The main tunic has now begun with a mix of colours to create the “black” colour and applied to the relevant parts The first highlights and shades have been applied and then he is given a couple of hours in the “oven” to kill the gloss




After “cooking” the second highlights were applied using Naples yellow hue and flake white also at this stage the belts and straps were painted using various browns, shaded and highlighted again using the Naples and white

The large cloak is next up and it’s a big ‘un! Lets hope I don’t drop it like the crusader!


First stage painted using the same mix of colours to arrive at a suitable “black”


First highlights applied and shading completed and then into the “oven” to hasten drying and dulling the gloss


2nd stage complete - second highlights applied and weathering also added at this stage.  More will be added later in the build


The face at this stage was “tweaked” by applying a thin wash of flesh to dull down the highlights it is done at this stage as the face colour has to dry toughly before applying the wash.

The figure is partially assembled and paint applied to the fastening to match the belt around his waist.

The figure is now fully assembled and now to start on the base





The base is selected from the box and a dry fit of the figure assures that he will be in the right place


The top of the base is now scored to give the sand or earthwork a key otherwise the material will just not stick notice also that the base has been protected during construction using masking tape


The base finished. I have used a mixture of fine sand, gravel from the bottom of a fire and a material that I obtained by accident - old carpet underlay that has powered over the years and makes the perfect fine sand

The dried grass is deer fur and the bristles off a shaving brush, the other dried grass is a product obtained from a retailer who specialises in diorama materials


Here is the completed figure, in all his glory, a real joy to paint and as usual a cracking sculpture from Pegaso

Pegaso 90mm

The shield strap was now painted using suitable browns to simulate leather, and then weathered.

The right arm was painted using the same method as for the chain mail for the upper body, with the handle of the battle axe painted in sienna oil with white highlights.

All text and pictures © John Norman, 2010