My first order of A&A Samnites has arrived. I have heard bad things about the fragility of their helmet feathers but only three had any damage. I have decided to paint one ala as Roman equipped troops with Roman shields and pila. I will use some Samnites, some left over Crusader Hastati and some Conqueror Miniatures Hastati which also seem to be very compatible. I'm not going to use any chainmail for these units and points wise I will treat them as basic legionaries (i.e not drilled). For "velites" I will use the Crusader javelinmen without shields.
For the other ala I will paint the Samnites in more Samnite colours and use the LBM shield transfers. This means that I can also use them as Carthaginian allies if necessary.
The Samnite cavalry have much smaller horses than the Crusader Romans. I suspect the A&A figures are closer to reality as the Romans had quite small ponies rather than proper horses. Hopefully it shouldn't look too odd.
I hope to finish the Triarii this weekend and get a good start on the Principes (who are at least all undercoated now).