Sunday, 7 December 2014

From AlanD - 15mm WWII German Volkssturm Platoon (66 Points)

I'm kicking off my painting challenge this year with a platoon of Volkssturm for Battle Group Fall of the Reich. Basically we have a command group, three rifle squads (each based as two groups of four), a MG-34 team, and a Panzerschrek team.

Figures are a mix of Peter Pig and Skytrex. The bloke carrying the MG-34 is a conversion. I really enjoyed painting these, and went for a mix of figures in civilian clothing, some with Wehrmacht uniforms bits and pieces, and a number in the uniform of the RAD. All of them have the Volkssturm armband on their left arm, which were a bit of a swine to paint.

This was also my first attempt at making urban rubble bases. I happen to have a bag of bits and pieces of plaster walls that I tried casting a few years back and completely stuffed up, so they have finally found their calling.

33 Figures should put me on the board with 66 points. Huzzah!

From Curt:
Welcome back aboard, Dux! This is a great first entry. The rubble effect looks quite good and is evocative of those terrible last months of the Third Reich. I also like that your bases are irregularly shaped which I seems more 'natural' to the eye than the usual precisely cut fare, and again conforms better to the subject matter. (This is a theme that I'd very much like to do as well, perhaps in 20mm...)  Great work!

First Entry from JuanM - Pulp Hero 'Abraham Washington' and Boromites from 'Beyond the Gates of Antares' (20 points)

This year´s Challenge I expect to paint a main group of figures for a particular project and some others of the many figures I have awaiting their turn on my painting table.

And I have a 250 points "victory condition" to achieve...

Here is my first entry for The Challenge:

He is Abraham Washington going to work; a 28mm Pulp Figures miniatures I have painted to use in games of "Strange Aeons" or "Pulp Alley". Very nice figure, with a great quality. My first idea with him was to use a light grey undercoat, but I have returned to my old black Citadel undercoat.

I expect to paint some more of them during The Challenge.

Just finished this evening, a 28mm command group of the Boromites, one of the "ultra" factions of Mankind  that are part of the new Warlord Games´ SF ruleset, "Beyond the Gates of Antares". 

I was part of the playtesting of the Alpha version of this ruleset, and I was not too pleased with it, nor with the miniatures, who have that Warlord Games "touch" of not being well finished. But they are SF miniatures of a very interesting concept.

From Curt:
A great debut entry Juan! Abraham Washington (love that name) looks to be a gritty, grimly resolved character, ready for some two-fisted Pulp adventure to be sure. The Boromites are great as well, though they have a name that somehow reminds me of a 1960's house cleaning product... Nonetheless, I really like their 'scaly, lumpy bits' and the bright orange terrain flock provides a perfect  terrain accent for the subject matter. 

From PhilH: 28mm Sudanese Bazingers (30 Points)

I harboured grand plans to get out of the blocks quickly with new projects. But the chilly weather has kept me away from the garage to spray my prepped minis up. So instead, I delved into the leftovers from last year's challenge an came up with a small unit of Sudanese Bazingers for my Mahdist War project. Having not painted much in the past month, it was nice to ease into the challenge with something familiar.

Bazingers were African irregular soldiers, either mercenaries or slave-soldiers. They could be found in government service or the private employ of Arab slavers and merchants. They formed part of the garrison at Khartoum and Suakin and fought in Egyptian service at El Teb. They can also serve as the troops of local Shaykhs and warlords loyal (or not so loyal...) to the Egyptian government, provided with standard-issue Remingtons. 

I kept the colours fairly uniform so they fit in well with my existing Egyptian troops, while their motley equipment suggests they are irregulars. But they are  not as flamboyant as the Bashi-Bazouks. They are from Perry Miniatures. These two are my favourites:

To join the initial rush, they haven't been varnished or 'grubbied up' yet - I'll wait until a few more things have rolled off the painting table! Six 28mm miniatures, I make that 30 points.


From Curt:A day without fezes is a poor day indeed and we've been treated to two entries of them today (they really need to come back into fashion)! Wonderful work Phil. As with Clint's work you've really done a great job on their off-white linens. I also really like the work you've done with your sabot trays - the rock scatter and horsehair scrub is brilliant.

From AaronH - 6 Romano-British Levy (36 points)

This unit is six 28mm Romano-British levy from Gripping Beast.  I bought the starter army for Dux Brit from Too Fat Lardies and it includes 18 of these guys.  I had planned to paint the first six as my last entry in last year's challenge but ran out of time.  I finished them up after it was over, and haven't painted a thing since then other than some of my son's 15mm Sci/Fi.

Six levy from Gripping Beast.
The models themselves are very nice to paint.  They have great detail but not too much clutter.  They were fun and easy (which is why I was able to get six done in a few hours).  I finished them off yesterday but needed to wait until today to take the pictures.

The unit champion.  Not all rules need these, but I paint one for every unit.
Spearman #1, also known as Blondie.
Spearman #2.
Spearman #3.  Gramps.
Spearman #6 with #5 photo-bombing him.
One of things I like about dark ages models is the large shields.  I'm not very good at free hand but I do enjoy painting these shields.  I have decals for the better troops but I figured levy would be painting theirs around the hearth at home rather than having Artsy McArty paint them up for the whole unit.

I'm happy with my start to the Challenge.  These will be the last Romano-Brits you see, unless I get distracted.  I'm planning on hitting a bunch of different projects to keep things fresh since this is a marathon, not a sprint.

From Curt:
Great work Aaron! Sometimes the sculpting detail from Gripping Beast can be a bit soft in the features but they always paint up very well - as we see here with yours.  Nice work on the freehand shields as well!
These Britons will give Aaron 36 points, which includes a little extra effort on the shields.  

1st Entry from MartinN: Not "Dorian Gray" Entry Fee Figure (20 points)

To bring myself and my brushes up to operating temperature for this years challenge I wanted to stay within the theme of the challenge with my first submission.

Ever since Curt has announced this years topic I knew what I wanted to do for the Entry Fee figure. Back then when West Wind did their "Empire of the Dead" Kickstarter I almost joined in because of the dark and menacing look of the Steampunk world they created which I liked a lot. But as I had (and still have) much too many distractions on my table I passed on the chance and said to myself that one day I could still paint the one or other figure.

So when looking for suitable figures I knew it had to be something from that range and indeed I found a figure which to my mind perfectly matches Curt's description of the to be Entry Fee figure.

So I present to you Mr. Dorian aka as (Not) Dorian Gray.

Having myself set the target of doing as much Greyscale figures as possible and get my First Indochina project off the ground he too now suffers of a little monochromity. Also quite fitting in regard of his surname me thinks.

I have to say I came to love this kind of painting and the more you practice it the easier it gets and it can safe quite some time compared with my regular way of painting. I also quite like Curt's idea of adding some eyecatcher in red (I assume films like Sin City and 300 being his main inspiration for this) and so I had to copy it shamelessly.

So I hope you like him Mr. Curt especially as he reminds me of some amiable Canadian with similar fancy facial hair and a preference for tweeds.

From Curt:
Ahh, wonderful stuff Nick! Thanks so much. He's a marvellous figure and I'm flattered you did him up using a greyscale approach (a technique which I think you've eclipsed from my original efforts).
The facial hair is spot-on. Now, if I could only come up with that impressive mane of hair...
20 points to you Mr. Niklaus! 

From Millsy - ECW Royalist Dragoons (124 Points)

Hi Everyone!

I'm off and running in this year's Challenge with some historical miniatures in 28mm scale. These are two x 12 figure units of dismounted Royalist dragoons - Sir Arthur Aston's (in red) and Colonel Henry Washington's (in blue). These are Bicorne Miniatures, although Washington's has a couple of very old school Essex thrown in to make up the numbers.

Aston's uniforms were relatively easy to research and I found a number of references to red coats. Some said red breeches as well but I've gone for a mix of neutral colours as I generally do for this period. The cornet (flag) is hand-made and painted but is something more of a guess. There are very few documented reference for dragoon flags in general and even fewer that clearly identify the regiment. What we do know is that Aston raised regiments of both horse and foot and used a white cross motif on a black background.

Washinton's uniforms were a much bigger issue and I found nothing at all describing colours. In the end I went with a blue which was a common colour in Royalist armies. Oddly enough the cornet was easier to find info on and I located a couple of references to a plain white colour, to which I've applied a hatched edging that was typical of many. Again this is hand-made and painted, something I do with all my ECW flags.

Later on in the Challenge I'll be presenting a mounted version of Aston's dragoons. Now that Renegade Miniatures are back in production I might be doing Washington's too but we'll see.


From Curt:

Ooh, wonderful stuff. I'm sure these horse-whallopers are a welcome addition to your growing collection, Mr. Mills. Beautiful. I love the punchy red and blue that you've gone with and the tall drums look very fine indeed. 
I'm also happy to hear that Renegade is back in production. They offer some wonderfully chunky figures in their ranges. 

And let's give a few more points for the hand-done flags. Great job!

From MilesR: 15mm US 105mm Artillery Unit (82 points)

My second entry in this year's challenge sticks with an Artillery theme.  This time its a 15mm US 105MM Artillery unit for Flames of War.  The miniatures are from Battlefront and did require a bit of slash clean up prior to painting.

I tried to do a little free hand work with the map on the staff team (left, front) but have decided that 15mm cartography may not be in my skill set.  The painted map will be replaced with something I can download and print.

I needed to get this unit completed quickly as it will be used in a local FOW tournament next weekend.  One time saving trick I did use with these mini's is to use Vallejo's Olive Green surface primer (#73608).  It's a nice shade and really looks good after an umber wash.

This unit was actually the first entry I planned for the event so hopefully I'll be back on track plan wise.  Of course that will hold until something shiny gets my attention....

The unit consists of 1 vehicle, 4 guns and 31 figures so the points will be:

Vehicle 6 points x 1 = 6
Guns 4 pts x 4 = 16
Figures 2 pts x 31 = 62

Initial Total = 84

I do feel a bit bad about giving 6 points for a tiny Jeep so lets dock the score 2 points and leave my net score at 82.

Time for a break form the painting workbench!

From Curt:
You've got your steam up already Miles, excellent! Wonderful work here. I really like the bases on the 105s. Are the spent shell casings a stock part of the bases? I really like that addition as whenever you see pictures of modern guns in action you always see a hill of spent brass. 

Clint:( AKA Paint Monkey) Egyptians Circa 1882 (124 points)

Well I feel a little slow at posting this year. But today I have 24 Egyptians by Perry miniatures. I started at 6am the day of the challenge and finished them by Sunday 6am. (Then had to wait for decent light to photograph them.

We have 2 officers in their distinctly darker uniforms, 2 standard bearers and two musicians (Both Drummer and Bugler). There was nearly 3 officers and 1 standard bearer as I painted the flag carrier on the right as on officer and had to repaint him. Opps. Oh well it happens sometimes.

In addition we have 9 troops firing or at least aiming.

And 9 rankers loading. There is some variation in the figures but not very much as can be seen on the arm placements of the right hand on the loaders. I have tried to do a group shot but due to the darkness and poor depth of field I can only apologize for how it's come out.

But at least it should indicate them all together. In Reality the uniforms were very simple with little or no embellishments on collars and cuffs, just a white uniform with metal buttons and a red fez. You just don't get much simpler. As they are for the desert I have even kept the bases simple with a few tufts on random bases and nothing else. Overall I am quite happy with how these simple paint jobs have come out even if ANNE did beat me to publishing. But that should be 120 points and I am off the blocks lumbering if not sprinting!

From Curt:Beautiful (and blisteringly fast!) work Clint. I love the off-white you've achieved on their uniforms and, really, who can go wrong with a good tasseled fez! 

I'm also going to award you a few extra points for the standards as, while fiddly, they always go a long way in finishing a unit. Great work and a great start!