I was reading Conn Iggulden's Genghis Khan series this month and had decided to include animal skin cloaks for the Barbarian character archetype. I had forgotten all about it when I saw the trailer for the new Hercules movie with "The Rock" sporting a rather nice lion skin. I decided I needed to make a set right away before I forgot again. Lucky for me I already have a bunch of beastmen so it was a piece of cake to cut down a beastman mesh and re-rig it as a cloak.
They are so primitive, and feral. It really gives a lot of character to a model right away. Animal skins may well give a morale bonus or a partial immunity to fear. There's a great bit in the book where Genghis' eldest son fights a tiger and afterwards has the skin made in to a saddle blanket:
The two generals rode together down the slope to the valley, comfortable in each other’s presence.I would never buy or wear an animal skin in real life, well, not unless I'd killed it with my bare hands anyway. :) There's no reason for people in our modern world to wear animal skin, but for preindustrial societies they were a powerful totem, and of course warmer and more comfortable than any man made material available at the time.
“I have been giving thought to a name for my tuman,” Jochi said.
Jebe looked at him, raising his eyebrows.
“Tsubodai has his Young Wolves and it has a better ring than ‘Jochi’s warriors’ or ‘Jebe’s tuman,’ don’t you think?”
Jebe had witnessed this strange young man standing his ground when a tiger leapt at him. The striped skin lay under Jochi’s saddle and Jebe was uncomfortably aware of the rotting bearskin he sat upon. Jochi did not seem to have noticed it.
“Are you thinking of tigers or something of that sort?” Jebe said warily.
“Oh no, it doesn’t have to be an animal,” Jochi said, and then he did glance at the bearskin.
Jebe felt his cheeks flush and chuckled again. He liked this khan’s son, no matter what was said of him in the camps