Wednesday, 17 December 2014

From MartinC - Tyger Tyger Burning Bright (91 Points)

I thought about combining this post with my other unit but I think that 9th Louisiana Infantry, Wheat's Louisiana Tigers, deserve a post of their own, mainly because they were very hard work to paint. In reality I think only company B looked like this but I think they deserve a regiment of their own.

The Perry 28mm Zouaves miniatures box contains photos of this unit painted by Steve May, they are amazing and almost gave me a panic attack. After some gin all was fine. I reduced the stripe density, mainly because I don't think I could paint them many without obliterating the white and because they would look fine from distance, which contradicts my position regarding eyes. Like most people most of my opinions are contradictory and I tend to lose all the arguments I have with my self.

This is some of my best painting for a while, the Challenge is really making me up my game - no more going through the motions simply to pass the time. However if I never paint another stripe again I'll be happy.
Hope you like them.

From Curt:
Oh my, these are very snappy dressers to be sure. Definitely one of the more taxing uniforms to paint (a good shot of gin always adds a bit of courage). I'm chuffed to hear that the Challenge has provided a venue for you to bring out your A-game. I also had to smile about your conflicting (i.e irrational) arguments vis a vis trouser pinstripes and painting eyes - I won't say a word.  ;) 
Well done Martin! 

From JamieM - Eight More Dirty Dark Age-ians (40 points)

The 8 warriors promised in my last post are now here.  I've kept them fairly simple again (which doesn't do itself any favours with close up photography!) but I'm dead chuffed that they're now ready for the tabletop after years of languishing and occasionally being used as "bare metal warriors"

I kept to pretty much the same pallet as the peasants, but added green to make them look a little special. I have no idea how hard it was to make green clothes in the dark ages, but I have a pretty blasé approach to colours in historical wargaming as long as they "feel" ok!

Shields from Little Big Men Studios and basing partly from a kitty litter bag.

Having soldiered on through these, next up are some figures that will allow me to go to town on painting and highlighting a little more as a reward for getting these done. Although the next bonus round is fast approaching, so perhaps I should do that..... Decisions, decisions!

From Curt:Great work Jamie. I'm always delighted to hear that the Challenge has provided impetus to get a neglected project off the table. It warms the cockles of my dark, dark heart.  You didn't mention, are these Gripping Beast castings? They have that 'Beasitan' look. 

From MartinN - 28mm M3 Halftrack & US Crew (14 Points)

I really didn't expect to get something presentable done before the holidays but these four chaps were not overly difficult to get ready. So this entry is far from being a points bomb others seem capable of but one more tiny step towards the goal.

The figures (except the driver) are plastics from Warlord Games from their "American Infantry" boxed set. They were slightly converted to fit them as passengers into the newish plastic M3 Halftrack. The Halftrack itself unfortunately doesn't count points wise as it was begun before the challenge.

It only needed some cutting and gluing to make the figures fit. Well, almost... as you can see they're a little taller than the Halftracks side panels leaving their helmeted heads exposed to enemy fire. I'm not entirely sure as of how accurate this is as I could only find one picture showing how far above the panel the helmets would stand out.

Into the bargain these chaps are sporting the brodie helmet, so I still believe the figures are slightly too tall but I don't care.

As you can see on the picture below they made themselves pretty comfortable on the passenger seats.

The figures were a pain in the ass to put together and I definitely didn't enjoy painting them. Except for the weapons and the faces the detail is quite soft and the overall sculpting is pretty weak. The netting on the helmets for example was a real shame. In fact so much that I completely removed it from one of the helmets. Compared to their newer USMC and Blitzkrieg Germans as well as their rather nice Soviets these were a complete disapointmant and I'm quite happy I didn't buy the whole box but only the one sprue fur just that purpose.

The Halftrack itself is quite nice a model but I wasn't entirely happy with the way the plastic .50 cal and .30 cal looked so I swapped the former for a metal one and left the latter off completely.

The stars on bonnet and grille were painted by hand as I couldn't get those darn decals to fit.

All in all I think the crew really added to the look of the Halftrack and I'm pretty pleased with how it all turned out. As the figures have no basing and the driver has no feet at all I would rate them for 14 points unless The Snowman in all his wisdom decides otherwise.

From Curt:
Gorgeous work Nick! I've always admired your smooth paint style and these crewmen show it off quite nicely. That M3 is a wonderful lump of OD Green and rust. I love the weathering and you did a cracking job on freehanding those stars on the grill and hood. Brilliant stuff.

From JuanM - SCW Gun Team, Captain Grant and Italian MG Crewman (32 Points)

I´m here, on Wednesday, with my second entry. The Challenge is becoming really hard really early, and there are fantastic entries here, so I´m looking around my painting cave to find interesting models. In the meantime, I have found ANOTHER period/project...

1.- This is an MMG team for the Spanish Civil War, part of an International Brigades force for "Chain of Command" I´m painting to a customer. This team needs another figure, but I'm painting some surplus riflemen, so no problem with the five model crews. The figures are from Musketeer Miniatures and Empress Miniatures, sculpted by Paul Hicks, my favourite sculptor.

2.- Captain Grant, a new figure I have painted from Pulp Figures. Again, a very solid and good figure with a lot of character.

Here he is with his "sons", a work party from his crew (all of them have been painted previously). He is going to sail with an US Scientific Expedition to the mysterious Japanese South Pacific Mandate; there is something wrong there...

3.- And finally, a busy Italian MG crew member for the British Somaliland campaign. This is a very nice figure from Empress Miniatures; fantastic and much, much, much better than the North Africa Italians from Perry Miniatures I have been painting for a time.

I´m now very busy painting figures for the next entry (next week; it has been a great idea this of the assigned day, Curt). I expect to test some very good AK Interactive paints with the volunteer that can be seen in the background...


From Curt:
Beautiful work Juan! I love the HMG team, particularly the black gunner - you've managed to achieve a wonderful skin tone for him. Captain Grant looks to be a solid chap and his crew a capable bunch so we wish them all the best on their upcoming South Pacific adventure. 
These six figures will give Juan a base of 30 points, but I'm adding a couple more for the HMG as I know how fiddly they can be to work with.  Well done!

From MartinC - Here come the Rebels (91 Points)

Thought it was time to break out some Rednecks (apologies to any actual Rednecks out there). These are the 5th Louisiana Infantry. Much more ragtag than the Union troops and therefore much more interesting to paint than the much more well equipped Union.

The banner is courtesy of Google images (a godsend both here and in my job as a lecturer) and is the actual banner of the 5th not a generic one like the Union troops so far.

The officer is a tribute to Brigadier General Armistead, who was killed during Pickett's charge on the 3rd day of Gettysburg. The film of the battle, and the prequel Gods and Generals, were the inspiration behind my Challenge.

The eyes are getting better, although a little reptilian, thanks to Anne and  Paul for the pen advice. More practice and I'll be happy.

From Curt:
Ah, we finally see the Rebs, excellent stuff.  Again, nice clean work here Martin. As you say, the motley assortment of clothing and equipment attracts the eye. One detail, your 'Lo Armistead needs buff cuffs, collar stars and gold 'chicken gut' braid to denote his rank as Brigadier General (and to serve as a prime target for the Yankee gunline...). 
With this entry you move up the points roster to third place and I see we have another entry of your coming up. This should get interesting....

From JamesR - Eleven, no wait, Twelve Riders of Rohan (120 Points)

Due to Curt practically ordering us to paint Tolkien miniatures, I have a Riders of Rohan warband for the Hobbit/LotR Strategy Battle game completed.  These guys are the second warband that I've painted this year.  Rohan are super easy to paint and I look forward to painting a few more warbands.

Here's eleven of the twelve.

Here's a random side shot.

If you play Rohan, the good news in the most current errata is very good news.  Riders of Rohan do not count against your force's 33% bow limit.  You can now have a probably unplayable but fun all mounted force with bows.

Here they are running away!  Like should have done in their first game this Sunday.
Here's the twelfth guy out front.  I didn't notice he was missing in the group shots.  I posed him quickly with the other spear men.  It was getting dark and my battery was dying and I feared I didn't have the time or juice for another group shot.

The twelfth guy is on the lead black horse.
I've tried something different than a few random rocks on a base, by making mud puddles.  It's quite simple to do.  You simply leave blank spots on the base when you build up your ground cover.  Paint the "hole" the darkest color of your base and then gloss or lacquer over the top.  I'm experimenting with homemade miniature horse biscuits for future base decor.

the front base is a little fuzzy, sorry
Next time I hope I hope to have a couple more LotR minis (to please the All Seeing Curt), together with some medieval archers.


From Curt:
Holy smokes these are very fine James. I quite like your method of creating small puddles on the bases. This is something similar to what I was suggesting to Greg to do for his 'spring thaw' bases. It's a very cool effect. Horse biscuits? Jury's out on that one...
Welcome to the madness James and 120 points for your excellent efforts!