When I paint a unit I try to do just that — paint the unit as an entity rather than several individual figures. I find the key to getting the right look is to keep to a relatively small number of colours and use those colours that complement each other.
Black will be the predominant colour as the Black Prince’s livery. I am not entirely certain that black was Edward of Woodstock’s livery colour but decided to go with it anyway, even though the Black Prince did not get that sobriquet until the 16th century. I like the look, so my little men (or some of them) will wear black.
Natural linen for the aketons matches nicely with the black and I use various shades of green and red as the other main complementary colours.
Black is quite a tricky colour to get right. I start with a very dark grey (with some tan mixed in) thinned down and painted over the white undercoat to create highlights and shadows. I then touch up the highlights with a medium grey followed by a very thin pure black wash over the whole thing to deepen the shadows. Then I added a white feather as the prince’s livery badge.
I created the unit banner on my computer then sized and printed it. The design of the three white feathers on black is from the Prince of Wales’ ’shield of peace’. Legend has it that he adopted the badge along with the motto 'Ich dien' from the King of Bohemia whose bravery so impressed him at Crécy. The veracity of this is far from certain.
I then cut the flag out and overpaint it. This may seem like an unnecessary chore but I find a printed flag looks like… well, a printed flag. Overpainting makes it look more natural and vibrant. I paint the bit between the two halves the colour of the flag pole. In this case I have experimented with a few bars to represent the cloth that would have been wrapped around the pole — not something I have done before.
I attach the flag to the pole with white glue. I know banners tended to be stiff in this period (held at the top as well at the side). But without having a horizontal pole at the top I don’t think it looks right. Therefore I do give it a bit of flow but not as much as I would normally. I create the folds by gently wrapping the flag around a cocktail stick or paint brush handle when the glue is still wet. When it dries the falg will remain in place.