Saturday, 9 January 2016

From GregB - 28mm System Troopers from Pig Iron (45 Points)

"System Troopers" from Pig Iron Productions - 28mm troops
After Sylvian's huge points bomb landed yesterday, I felt a bit desperate to get something up on the board today. I've been away for over a week, but lucky for me I had some primed figures sitting around which had been waiting in the pending pile for ages - and hammering out figures like that is part of what this Challenge is about, after all, right? So here are 10 "System Troopers" from Pig Iron Productions.  These came off the painting table while watching the first round of the NFL playoff (go Chiefs!).

Mercenaries? Regulars? A lot of different settings can be conjured for these fellows

If you follow a lot of sci-fi gaming, you have surely seen the "Kolony Militia" range from Pig Iron on a gaming table somewhere.  That range is, I expect, the best-known one from Pig Iron, but they offer several. Pig Iron is home to some of the nicest, chunkiest, full-of-character 28mm sci-fi stuff out there.  The ranges are small, but have some pretty decent overall composition and completion to them (as opposed to others who released three figures and wonder why the sales don't roll in, but I digress).  I really enjoy painting the Pig Iron figures - nice, proper, heavy, chunky metal figures, the way wargames figures are supposed to be!

A view showing the back packs

These "System Troopers" are the heaviest of the heavy infantry (in fact, I think I stole that line directly from Pig Iron) - heavily armoured, carrying huge, frigging guns.  The sculpts are brilliant - the armour gives a sort of exo-skeleton sense, without being all encompassing/enclosing.  These heads are not the standard "System Trooper" heads - they are the "Inner Guard" heads from the "Kolony Militia" - there are many head options to choose from with these figures and I thought these heads looked spookier.

Red helmets to set the fire team NCOs apart
I had painted a small group of these figures years ago - might have been the first or second Painting Challenge, actually, but before sci-fi figures counted in the race.  I had a bunch more primed and ready to go back in that initial 2012 rush, but I moved on to other projects, etc. etc. and these have been sitting there, primed and ready to go, gathering dust in my hobby pile for years, until I got home yesterday, was spooked by Sylvain's huge entry, and broke out the paints!

Pointing fellows make great NCOs
The chaps in the red helmets are NCOs/section leaders. The rest of the fellows are regular grunts. As a group, I think they can represent all sorts of factions, ranging from ominous mercenaries acting on corporate interests to the heavy infantry of a futuristic science fiction army.
Regular troopers - heavy guns, love these sculpts
Some variety on the backpacks as well

There is a large round spot on the back of these helmets, and I painted these lense-style.  I think of them as part of the armour's "Decision Making Assistance System". The online DMAS helps the System Troopers stay in touch with HQ, know where to direct their fire, understand that orphanages make great firing positions, and realize that asking questions about the morality of their overall orders will have a negative affect on their own existence...

Close-up showing the active "DMAS" on the back of the Trooper's helmet - keep focused, trooper!

Some more points for the sci-fi duel...but not enough!!
There are 10 figures pictured, but one of these pre-dates the Challenge, as he was being used as a model to make sure I matched the colours the best I could, so this gets me 45 points. Even with these points, I'm still eating Sylvain's dust... hopefully I can bear down and go full-Millsy this week to get some more stuff ready for next weekend...but in the event I don't, I'm wondering Sylvain, what kind of figure would you like me to paint for you?

This is awesome stuff Greg! Like you, I really like the Pig Iron range. I have a bunch of their Kolony Feral and Infected castings that I want to use for my post apoc 'Metro 2033' collection. They have a nice, chunky heft and possess a more gritty look than most other manufacturers.
I think you've done a fantastic job on these bad boys. I like the red quasi-diving helmet of the NCOs juxtaposed against their sand coloured exo-armour. And their unanthropomorphic flat eye pieces are just too spooky. It's like they could care less that they could be a targeting point.
45 points for your Sci-Fi duel!

From TamsinP - 28mm Aztecs (40 points)

I know what you're all thinking - "We're three weeks into the Challenge and she's only racked up 75 points. Something is seriously wrong here...". Have no fear chaps and chapesses, things will (I hope) all be back to normal next week when my 6mm confederate infantry are submitted.

In the meantime, I wanted to add a few points this week so I decided to make a start on the Aztecs for my "Mexicagrave" project - Frostgrave transposed to an abandoned (or is it?) meso-American city hidden in the jungle.

I picked these eight Tequihuaqueh (low level warriors) for my first batch. Six of them have obviously campaigned before as they have the "ichcahuapilli" padded/quilted vests awarded to those who have captured an enemy warrior. The other two without any armour haven't taken any captives.

Oh yes, the captives. They get taken back home and sacrificed at the temples. Nice people the meso-Americans.

The archers:

The melee guys:

Cuahololli (club); 2 x Macuahuitl; Tepoztopilli. All with chimalli (shields)

I did attempt to replicate one of the three most common Aztec shield designs on one of them. I didn't really pull it off - I should have used a smaller brush I guess (or one with a better point).

Painting these guys has been fun. After some trials, I settled on using Vallejo grey surface primer as the base so that I can show off the bright colours better. I'd also done some trials with the skin tones (most important for these guys as they do have a lot of flesh showing) and came up with the following:

Base - Orange Brown
Flesh wash
First Highlight - 2:1 Orange Brown/Ochre Brown
2nd Highlight: 1:2 Orange Brown/Ochre Brown
Flesh wash

The highlights were done as multiple thin layers. I might be able to go straight to the second highlight for the rest as they only have faces, hands and feet showing.

In case you're wondering about the scatter material on the bases (and haven't been reading my blog), I've been doing a little experimenting this week with staining herb using inks and thinned paint. As the abandoned city is overgrown by jungle, I figured that there would be lots of fallen leaves and branches/twigs on the ground and herbs seemed to be the best was to represent this on the bases. the scatter I've used is a 3:1 mix of burnt-umber stained mixed herbs and sepia-stained rosemary (for the woody bits). I think it's worked quite well:

The figures are 28mm from The Assault Group and eight of them should give me 40 points.

Lovely work Tamsin. I like your freehand shields and the flesh tone recipe you've concocted looks very effective - I think I may try that out. I also really like your use of herbs for the groundwork - I've tried it for autumnal bases and I think it looks very effective for your 'Mexicagrave' setting.
40 Points for you Ms. P!

From ChrisH - The next few figures (80 Points)

The first couple of minis follow on from the Warmachine ones I submitted in my first post. These two are called light Warjacks, steam powered and magic infused mega robots from the Warmachine universe belonging to the faction known as Menoth.



Next up are some of the Reaper bones fantasy characters. I really loved the price point but I am finding it hard to paint them all. Some are great and take paint well others I am struggling with as the detail varies and the ability to hold onto the paint somewhat odd. So I am not really trying to go for top of the line paint jobs (I can't really do this anyway if I am honest). Finally some Reaper metal thieves and a couple of modern/Sci-fi Zombie Hunters.



Reaper Metal Thieves

Pink the Zombie Hunter (don't know who the manufacturer is?)

Different Angle
Bones Zombie Hunter with CHAINSAW how cool is this mini!
So going by the normal points that's 12 X 5 or anpther 60 but as the Light Warjacks are 3 times the size of a standard 28mm mini I plan on milking Curt for a few more..................please.........

Very nice work Chris. I like the bone base colour of your Warjacks, it gives them a very stylized look about them. 
Your character figures all look great but I think my favourite has to be the Blacksmith (thought I do like the zombie hunter with the pink bangs as well).
I've heard similar comments about paint adhesion with the Reaper Bones stuff. I wonder if it has something to do with the release agent they use. Would a good soak in a warm soapy dish prior to priming help? I often do this and then use an old toothbrush to scrub the figures down to make sure the release agent has been scoured away. It works the treat with my resin and plastic stuff and wonder if it might help here.
 As to the points, we've previously scored Warjacks as 54mm figures, but I'm thinking a 28mm vehicle might be more appropriate, so we'll run with that instead. That will bring your total to 80 points. Great job.

From PeterD - 28mm Falconets plus crews (60 points)

Next up for me is a pair of light artillery pieces with crews for my Italian Wars project. These are two different Perry Miniatures packs, both representing wrought iron breach loaders.  I have seen pieces like these referred to as culverins, and falconets among others, but will stick with falconets as it has a nice ring and avoids confusion with later culverins.  

The technology on these is outdated by the Italian Wars but old tech stayed in use for quite a while.  For instance similar pieces were carried on the topsides of the ships of the Armada in 1588, referred to as versos at that time.  While somewhat crude, the breech loading design allowed for rapid fire in an antipersonnel role since multiple breech chambers could be loaded in advance.  To wit each pack comes with half the crew loading or carrying breech chambers which pretty much scuppered my plan to repurpose the crew for other weapons.

The single arc piece went together nicely and was very nice to work with.  The gun is loaded and the captain is about to touch it off.  The crews are nice figures and actually look to be working the pieces not just standing around watching.  The clothes are perhaps a little too early and a little too Northern European for the Italian Wars, but they will work for my purposes.  They ended up being more muted and dull than some of my other figures but this was smoky work!

The double arc piece looks beautiful in the online catalogue but it is fussy to put together and was a royal pain in the tush.  The bits are fine and easily bent and it pushed my modelling skills envelope.  The double arc is still not right but it'll have to do.  On this piece the crew are just about to place a new breech block in place, and one crewman has a ready charge set to go.  The breech block was set in place then wedged in using wedge and a heavy mallet (lovely brute force tech).

I like the pose of the captain who seems to be trying to explain orders to a rather dense set of crewmen.
Ok pay attention lads, here's the plan.  Ray, I need you to focus over here.  Ray....

I waffle back and forth on texturing my bases, as I am normally too impatient and want to get on with the next unit.  This time I added texture in the form of glued on railway ballast before painting the base and adding foliage.  Not sure if it was worth the extra time or not. 

Two guns plus a total of 8 crewmen gives me 60 points methinks.  

Nice! I love the look of these guns Peter. I definitely have to get me one or two for my collection. I really like the brick red paintwork of the double arc culvern and, as you say, the crew look great servicing the gun.
To be honest, I'm not sure if I'm entirely convinced with your green foam groundwork Peter. Sure, it does the trick, but I don't think it flatters the work you put into your figures. Have you tried acrylic texture gel? I find it to be a wonderful product and it makes basework so much easier than the traditional tallus, flock and diluted white glue approach. Let me know and we could try it sometime on one of your upcoming entries.
 60 Points to add to your lead in our Renaissance Men Duel. I have to get going here or I'm going to get stomped...

From MartinN - Curtgeld: Han Solo (20 Points)

Finaly I'm able to submit my very first entry to this years challenge. May I present to you my latest project,  a terrain build in 1/1 scale:

State of the kitchen Friday evening

The lovely Mrs. Moiterei and me bought a flat in the heart of Nuernberg a few years ago. Now we're slowly about to renovate it. This year it was the kitchens turn to get a full make over. The walls were scraped clean of wallpapers, the seams between the sheetrocks newly filled and sanded, and the floor and one side were finaly tiled. Well, what's still to do? Plenty I'd say! Plastering the walls, building a new ceiling with integrated LED spots and assembling the new kitchen... With last years challenge also hampered by building works, my big goal is to be able to participate in next years challenge with the flat completely renovated and me taking full advantage of 4 weeks of winter holidays.

Well ok. As I suppose Curt isn't anymore likely to grant points for a terrain build , even if it's 1/1, than he is for office furniture, I should get on with something relevant I guess.

So here's my Curtgeld for this year. A (slightly larger than) 28mm Han Solo miniature from the Rebel Assault board game by Fantasy Flight Games. Actually this was planed to be my submission for the Nostalgia bonus round, but for reasons mentioned above I simply didn't get it done in time. So instead of waiting to submit it for the last bonus round (gamblers/ risk takers) I finally wanted to be on the roster. For god knows when I come around to paint something else than the kitchen...

So why Han Solo as Curtgeld and why Nostalgia, you may ask. As you're all aware Curt has asked us for a miniature of a gambler and/ or risk taker. Anybody who knows the original three Star Wars movies will know Han Solo fits both rolls perfectly. He's a daredevil par excellence and when he's not risking his or the lives of his comrades he likes to play Sabbac (a Sci-Fi kind of Poker I'd say). And therefore he's also literally a gambler.

And why Nostalgia? Well, Star Wars was one of the very first movies I can remember watching together with my father as a child. Since the very first moment I was hooked by this epic tale of good versus bad. It never really let me go and always was a part of my life, one way or the other. Be it for books I read, toys I collected or even video games I played. Fond memories of X-Wing vs. TIE-Fighter on my very first PC spring to mind....

Well, I disgress. Han Solo always was the character I loved the most. No Luke Skywalker, no Princess Leia, no Darth Vader, for me it was Harrison Ford as Han Solo who made the movies to what they are.

Due to the material used the figure was a pain in the back to clean but, except for some weak detail on the sleeves, was a joy to paint. In my opinion it captures the character perfectly and is a must have for any avid Star Wars enthusiast.

What a lovely figure Nick and a superb choice for your interpretation of Risk Taker / Gambler. Han is my favourite Star Wars character as well so I'm completely stoked at the prospects of having one of my very own Solo/Moiterei's in the display cabinet.
I'm pleasantly surprised this figure is from the Imperial Assault boardgame as it's a wonderful model - very dynamic, with that classic pose of Han fighting off the Imperial Troopers at Mos Eisley.
Thanks so much Nick and best of luck on your 1:1 'terrain' project. I've been there a few times so I feel your pain!

From BenitoM - Concluding the Fallschirmjager Rifles (40 Points)

My work this week are eight new German FJ rifles models for my Chain of Command platoon. With this I'm almost done for the basic platoon (three sections each featuring two LMG teams and the NCO), just need to complete two rifle models half way through on my painting desk.

I'm slightly behind schedule of my first project for the Challenge, as by the third week I should have painted the Platoon HQ section... but not too bad if taking into consideration that I'm a very slow painter.

Note there's a small variation in the models this week: five are aligned with the rest of models presented so far (mix of camouflage smocks and Luftwaffe blue coats) useful for the summer-autumn 44 period; but this week I have attempted some winter uniforms for the late 44 and early 45 battles.

My plan (…plans… what are they good for??…) now is to finish a total of 5 rifles and acquiring two LMG teams and a NCO model to feature a full section in winter gear. These will mix great with the German infantry winter models that I have in the pipeline for later in the Challenge... Still deciding though whether to add some snow to the base.

The eight models today will represent another 40 points for my personal score ...Yehaa!

Next week I will confront the HQ section (2 officers, radio-man, medic and anti-tank team) and hopefully will also start the supports (HMG, engineers, snipers, recoilless gun and SPGs)

Lovely work Benito! I admire your dedication to a single project and I also like that you've allowed yourself to play around with climate, uniforms and period of the war.  That keeps things interesting on the paint desk I'm sure.  Your winter-themed soldiers look excellent, especially with that blue-grey undertone. As you say, it might be nice to pimp their bases with a trace of snow to finish the image.
40 points in the bag! Great stuff and I look forward to the upcoming command group.

From PhilH - Fancy that, back to the Spanish Civil War (10 points)

Is it Saturday evening already? After a push to together my Nostalgia entry done last week, this week has been lower tempo. I've been full of cold, so concentration has been lacking, so I've been plodding along with something a bit lighter: my Defensive Terrain them round entry. Yup, a month ahead of schedule. 

I've did get two more Spanish Civil War minis done - another junior officer and a rifleman.

At Challenge start, I was intending to shake the habit of painting single or pairs of minis and get back to batch painting, to push things through quicker. Maybe next week. 

Empress Miniatures once again, to join all the other SCW stuff I've done over the past year. They'll serve as more crew for the Hotchkiss MMG that I finished up before the challenge.

Two 28mm minis, 10 points to me. Now where's Juan got to?

Lovely work Phil. I especially like the effect of the glasses on the jodhpurred officer and I must say your groundwork for this collection is just fantastic - it really supports the Iberian setting.

You and Juan are still quite close in points, but he is beginning to pull away. Maybe it's time for a Curtgeld figure to snaffle those extra points and close the gap. You know, just sayin'. ;)

From Millsy - 28mm Chaos Beastmaster and Hounds (40 points)

The older I get the more Oldhammer I get and today's offering is another example of that process at work. This is one of the original Citadel Chaos Beastmasters and seven "faithful" first edition hounds. Glorious sculpts all and ones I've coveted for some time. Thankfully my wife and kids are tolerant of my habit and got Santa pointed in the right direction this year.

One of my ongoing personal challenges is to improve my brushwork, specifically my blending. Given the hounds are relatively simple paint jobs I've really pushed that aspect but at the same time I've tried for some stark highlights to emphasise the wasted, rangy looks of the models.

Tintin's worst nightmare...
The Beastmaster himself is where I put the most effort as it is one of my favourite all time Citadel sculpts. He's packed with detail like a cloven hoof on one leg, chaos icons and rawhide whip. I wanted a deep, saturated red armour but didn't want his face to disappear so I gave him a proper Chaotic purple face on his helmet. Goodness knows what lurks beneath...

I'm still two chaos hounds short of the full set so if anyone has these two and is willing to sell or trade let me know!

Thanks for looking.


Beautiful work Millsy on some very nice Christmas gifts! I'm impressed with your blending work here, especially on the hounds and on the Beastmaster's horns. I'm often too lazy to do proper blending, preferring a more 'impressionistic' approach, but when I see this kind of work I wish I took the extra time.
I hope you find those last two hounds - it would be fantastic to have a complete set for your collection.