Tuesday, 28 February 2017

From BrendonW - Dark Age Dudes on Horse and on Foot (53 points)

This instalment contains 4 x Conquest Games Norman Knights and 2 x Gripping Beast Anglo-Saxons. 28mm and all Plastic. I am very pleased to have these added to my collection.

All shields and the banner are hand painted. One of the Anglo Saxons has parts from FireForge (arms) and the helmet-less head is from Gripping Beast Dark Age Warriors set. Dang fool came to the party without his party hat. Maybe he lost his party hat at a previous party. With the spears in the grounded up right position I see these two as 2nd or 3rd row guys...either that or they are having a rest before the scrum of shield wall fighting begins.

Cheers from the Top End of Australia.

Alan and Paul: Great stuff Brendon. I have painted a load of these figures, and looking at these makes me want to paint more. I salute your hand painted shields and banner, and reward them with a bonus couple of points.

From GregB: Some 30k Characters (18 points)

A trio of characters for 30k gaming...converted from GW's Age of Sigmar line...

I've been having some fun diving into a new period and setting with my SAGA project, but I haven't lost my 30k obsession - I have a side duel to fight, after all! Not many figures in this submission, but I hope they will be fun for folks who enjoy the Horus Heresy setting - it is fun to have many fellow fans in this Challenge!

I'll subdivide this submission into two sub-sections, one for each character, but before I dive into the details you will see both of these models are slight conversions of figures from GW's "Age of Sigmar" fantasy mass-skirmish game.  I remembered that conscript Mike A had referred to the new "Stormcast Eternals" as "Sigmarines", and this entered my mind as I tried to think of how to get some unique-ish figures into my 30k lineup...hence this little submission. OK, enough of that, on to some background...

Herald Of The Warmaster

"I have a message of hope and change to share!"
The Warmaster is a wonderful, inspiring presence in the universe.  Such is the demand on his time, he cannot possibly be expected to make every public appearance requested of him.  And so Horus Lupercal relies on this helpful Herald to spread his message of hope and change throughout the galaxy.  From TV interviews to speeches at charity luncheons and banquets, the Herald is the go-to for the straight facts on Horus' plans to Make Terra Great Again.

The sword is for emergencies only - the Herald loves peace, after all...
Fake news remains a big problem in the 30th millenium. Pro-Emperor fools in the mainstream media flood the airwaves with all sorts of #alternatefacts.  The events on Isstvan III are portrayed as a "betrayal", while military developments on Isstvan V are reported as a "dropsite massacre".

The Herald of the Warmaster works tirelessly to correct this record. He has the data to prove how the Isstvan III incident was a terrorist act carried out by pro-Emperor false flag operatives - the real atrocity! Meanwhile, any diligent review of travel and communication logs will show the unfortunate losses among some of the Legions on Isstvan V were the result of illegal interstellar immigration which caused a training accident during military maneuvers, and not some supposed "attack" carried out by certain Legions.

Can you feel the hope? It's intense, man...it's intense!

Supporting the Warmaster is an all-consuming, passionate activity.  You can see that from the facial expression of the Herald...his love for Horus' cause is intense. He is channeling his love of the Warmaster to his audience, applying the skills learned during a public speaking course he took as part of a corporate lodge retreat on the world of Davin...

I hope this figure will make for a useful and entertaining objective model for 30k games, or maybe one day participate in a narrative-style RPG game that Curt could run.   

Alpha Legion Praetor Librarian

A senior officer of the XXth Legion - and his trusty pet gryph-hound...

Space Marines are essentially lab creations.  Sure, they start with "recruits" from somewhere, but with the genetic engineering, implants etc. the resulting warrior is largely an artificial construct.  As with the warriors, so with the Space Marine officers. Sergeants etc. are promoted from the ranks, but the top leaders,  they are made for command - literally.  The senior figures in a Space Marine legion are legendary, near-demigod figures.

I wanted a very senior Alpha Legion command figure for the table, someone who reported to Alpharius himself (or who knows, maybe even is Alpharius...why should mere civilians like us know the truth?). The model would have to tower over the other models, a challenge as Space Marine models are already pretty hefty figures. To represent such a senior command figure for my Alpha Legion forces, I wanted some kind of over-the-top figure, something totally pimped out, absurd and outrageous.  Thankfully, the Stormcast Eternals had me covered...

"Follow me! It is written! Just not translated..."
Super size? Check. Ridiculous "close combat" weapon(s)? Check. Silly cloak? Check. Massive, powerful looking sculpted armour? Check.  Weird symbols implying great power? Check.  A couple of small adjustments, and I felt this figure would make an ideal Praetor Librarian for the Alpha Legion.  He emits, for me, the correct amount of over-the-top obnoxiousness to fit as a senior and respected figure within the XX Legion, a confidant of Alpharius the Primarch and Supreme Commander of the Alpha Legion.  The military mind of Caesar with blended with the demeanour of a Bond super-villain...that's how I imagine senior officers in the Alpha Legion.  With this in mind, I'm really pleased with how this whacky model turned out.

Pimped out cape and super halberd? Seems right to me...

The power fist seems more like a winter glove on this monster...

He is not named, of course, because the Alpha Legion doesn't release that kind of information to the public.  It's need-to-know, and chances are very, very high that you don't need to know. Even asking about it can be bad for your health...

Socrates has his eyes on some loyalist fools...

Adding to the "I can't believe it's me either" vibe of this figure is the familiar/pet! A gryph-hound! Seems like exactly the kind of thing this guy would travel around with - an exotic, genetically engineered attack pet.  And while the officer is not named, the pet would have some kind of @sshole-ish-sounding name speaking to the presumed superiority of its owner - like "Socrates".  The Praetor will bring Socrates to meetings, interrogations, orbital drop assaults and swanky dinner parties.  All of the Legion marines will roll their eyes, but be careful to stay out of Socrates' way...you don't need a bad rep with the boss' pet, after all...


So these three 28mm figures should be worth 15 points.  Not a lot of points, but hopefully a lot of fun on the table!  The conversion work here was very, very slight. I'm tempted to use some more Stormcast Eternals to perhaps try and cobble together some manner of insane honour guard to accompany the Alpha Legion officer, but might just leave him be...we'll see...anyway, see you next week!

Alan and Paul: Lovely painting Greg, and I really enjoyed reading your fake news. Unfair! 30K is so totally not my thing, but reading this had me chuckling and appreciating the humour of the absurd weapons and baroque ridiculousness of the whole aesthetic. Your painting is top notch, as always, and I've given you a couple of extra points for the conversions. And remember, a gryph-hound is forever, not just Christmas.

From ReillyO: Looting Landsknecht Curtgeld (25 Points)

Here is my Curtgeld entry, ready and waiting for final basing along with PaulO's entry to make this awesome looting combo. I found it difficult to make a Landsknecht worthy colour scheme that didn't look too ridiculous to me but I'm happy with the way it came out.

Thanks for letting me join the challenge and I hope these go well with your spectacular pikeblock from last year Curt. Enjoy.

Alan: Great little vignette, and I love what you both have done with it. For those who missed Paul's earlier entry, Reilly's is the figure at the back, and I think you have chosen a very eye catching scheme with the yellow, blue and white. I call this vignette 'Like father, like son', and it may be the first entry ever to feature in the challenge that is a collaboration between family members. Great work to both of you.

From JohnSh - Nine Archers - Not a Bomb but a restart (45 points)

This week I managed to finish nine Norman(ish) archers for my Saga warband. Life has been rearing its ugly head this last month or so and I have not had a chance to put paint on a brush until last weekend.

I have painted these figures to an "acceptable wargames standard" which is the current limit of my time and ability. To be perfectly honest I'm not really a fan of these miniatures, I don't even know what brand they are, they came as part of a large trade I did about a year ago but my Normans need archers so they entered the queue. Having said that, I am quite happy that they will add another option to my Saga force, and occasionally do a bit of duty in Swordpoint, Lion rampant and Dragon rampant armies.

This is a restart to the Challenge for me (I know, I know, only three weeks to go!) as I almost thought that I would have to withdraw but I am very happy to be able to submit some more figures. I just need to have the next three weeks off work, put on a few pots of coffee and paint, paint, paint!

They are a little bit shiny as I had to use brush on varnish. the Sydney humidity has precluded the use of spray varnish - except for those fans of frosty figures.

Alan and Paul: Great to see you getting some paint on some figures! I know you've been facing some obstacles, so I was delighted to see these in the queue. They look fine to me, and I predict they will massacre many of my figures in due course. Paul will probably use them as proxy FIW redcoats against me at some point as well. :)

From AnthonyO - More Airborne Droppin in (85 Points)

This week I continue my push towards a game ready US Airborne force for Bolt Action using the Artizan range. 12 Infantry and 3 crew for a light howitzer makes for a total of 85 points.

I am using a method for these which I have been told is an old school way of painting without washes. I have only been painting for around 5 years now so so I don't know what old school really means but when I want to paint well instead of fast I use a layering method. So for these uniforms I start with green brown then mix green brown and desert yellow followed by just desert yellow. I then go straight Iraqi sand and finally bone white. Last step is a sepia ink for black lining.

The light howitzer is from Warlord Games and I have substituted the Warlord Crew with Artizan ones for consistency. 

So that's it for me, a small week but these guys take a bit longer than others due to the method I am using however I should have some more diversity next week!

Alan and Paul: I was looking forward to seeing more of these paras this week. I would be proud of producing figures after 20 years of painting, let alone five! You have really nailed the use of progressively lighter shades for highlighting, and these wouldn't look out of place gracing the front cover of a magazine like Wargames Soldiers and Strategy. Well done sir!

From GregB: More 28mm Crusaders (110 points)

More 28mm Crusade-era figures from Perry Miniatures

Last week my submission kicked off a small, four-point warband of Crusaders for the game "SAGA".  This represents a new period and set of rules for me, something I'm looking forward to playing with the group here in Winnipeg.  I'm excited to report that the painting momentum with this project has continued over the past week, and I have the balance of the warband to share with you today. I have completed the mounted knights and another group of infantry and so have nearly all of the elements required for a basic SAGA warband - my first one!

Humble crossbowmen

I tried to use a drab palette of colours on these basic but important soldiers - it was a long walk to the Holy Land, after all...
While I had some fun painting the shields on the bunch submitted last week, my shipment of transfers from LBMS finally arrived.  After experimenting with a couple of them, I see why people love them and I'm unlikely to ever go back...I'm not saying I won't paint a shield again, but wow, these transfers are super useful and very helpful, particularly the designs which my freehand skills cannot match.  I know I have disappointed some of the purists (including the Tuesday minions) but there you have it...

The stars of the show - the Knights!

While the crossbowmen are not wearing armour, and might perhaps make for better levies than warriors, I wanted some figures without chainmail in my initial warband, so for now will count them as particularly fierce or devout folks.  I have barely tried SAGA, but I expect once I get some experience with the game I will further expand this bunch to be levies, while adding some other warrior-types later.

These Perry sculpts are just magnificent.
LBMS shield transfers...once you try them, there is no going back (for me)

The miniatures are all Perry twins, and are a real treat to paint - just tremendous sculpts and I really enjoy them.  As before, the square basing continues - not ideal for a skirmish game, perhaps, but I already have visions (delusions?) of a larger "Hail Caesar" force taking shape, and in that world I would want to pull every available figure in, so these fellows might end up taking part in movement trays.  One day!

As an added bonus, the flags from Maverick Models arrived yesterday, so I put those on and snapped a few more photos.  With ancient and medieval forces, I always feel like you can never have enough flags, pennons etc.  They just seem to "make" the setting for me. Flags are just another way to show the opposing force that you are awesome and they suck, right?

A larger standard can count as a sort of main flag bearer for the SAGA warband...this one is a little small at this point to have something like that, but as I expand the warband I'll count the fellow with the large flag as a banner-bearer

I used the cloth flags from Maverick, and I let them get a bit frayed when I cut them.  I need to manage my clipping of these things a little better, but on the whole I don't mind a slightly frayed look to these particular flags and pennants.  After all, these things traveled from Europe to the Levant as part of the First Crusade - this is how I like to imagine this warband.  The flags etc. are going to look a little worn - but they still show the faith of the devout. God wills it!

Forward for God and glory!
The finished SAGA warband, guarding the Holy Land in my kitchen, awaiting a Warlord to lead it...

Of course it is always fun to include the total progress photo. In total there are two groups of "hearthguard" - four mounted knights each - and two groups of "warriors" - the eight armoured spearmen and the eight crossbowmen. In total, a four point warband - the bare basics for SAGA.  All this bunch needs now is a warlord to lead them.  Stay tuned for more on that.

With eight foot figures and seven mounted figures, all in 28mm, this should get me 110 points.  My 1000 point goal is in sight! Exciting times...

Alan and Paul: Great looking warband, Greg. We are huge fans of SAGA, and I think you will really enjoy the game the more you get into it. Don't forget that these are perfect as a Norman warband as well. The flags look great with the slightly frayed appearance. I will not mention the use of shield decals. Not. At. All. 

From Barks - Dewback patrol (23 points)

I took a breather last week, the side challenges have been a bit of a struggle to fit in- but very satisfying!

So, I'm back with a small entry for Star Wars Tuesday- 2.5 Dewback riders. One Captain (with the orange pauldron) and his offsider, with a bendy shock lance. These are detachable torsos, so I did an extra trooper if I don't want the officer.

"Jones found a quicksand patch, Cap."

I didn't weather them up as per Tatooine sandtroopers, because they won't fit in with my other stormies. I may do it in the future, but I think they look fine for now.\

Alan and Paul: Great figures Barks. They look very clean for patrolling on Tatooine, but the lovely sharp painting make these really pop. Love 'em!

From BenF: Sharpe, Harper, and the 'Sweeps' (115 points)

Well it's been three weeks, but I've finally finished my next lot of figures for Sharpe Practice, and I have to say that they are some of the most characterful and enjoyable figures that I have painted in a very long time. While the British 95th Rifles are one of the most iconic units of the Napoleonic era, I've been waiting for the 'right' figures to come along to inspire me to finish a force of the 'sweeps'. Now, thanks to Brigade Games,  they have.

Anyone interested in the Napoleonic period will have come across the exploits of the scarred Rifle officer with the heavy cavalry sword and his tall Irish sergeant who wields the deadly seven barrelled volley gun. If you haven't yet had the pleasure, do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of Bernard Cornwell's 'Sharpe's Tiger' and follow Richard Sharpe on his journey from India, through the battles of Trafalgar and Copenhagen to the Peninsular, Waterloo, and even the Chilean war of Independence. I've got all twenty-four novels in audio-book form, and will cycle through them as accompaniment for my painting, as well as podcasts and a bunch of other novels and non-fiction books.  

Paul Hicks has really captured the likenesses of Sharpe and Harper, as played by Sean Bean and Daragh O'Malley in the TV series. Sharpe is in a suitably heroic pose, with his 1796 pattern Heavy Cavalry sword and French chasseur a cheval overalls easily identifiable. Harper towers over the other riflemen, with his Baker rifle slung and the deadly Nock volley gun ready to cut down yet another swathe of dastardly Frenchmen. As well as these two, who will act as 'Big Men' or leaders for my Sharpe Practice Peninsular War Brits, I've also painted up one of the superb Perry Rifle sergeants to act as another leader. I went for a darker green for Sharpe, which I then dirtied up with pigments and some dry brushing. For the sergeants and the rest of the Rifles, I went for a  lighter, more faded green, also dirtied up. 

As well as the Sharpe and Harper character figures, Mr. Hicks has sculpted a group of 'chosen men', the more notable of Sharpe's riflemen. Included is the crack marksman and ex-Cheshire poacher Daniel Hagman, the gentleman ranker Rifleman Harris, the youngest of the bunch Ben Perkins, the educated inebriate Isaiah Tongue, and former London urchin Francis Cooper. As with Sharpe and Harper, all five are easily identifiable, but my favourites are Hagman, kneeling to take a shot, and Tongue with his head wrapped in a suitably piratical bandanna. To make this lot up to a group of six for Sharpe practice, I've added one of the plastic Perry riflemen, who fits in perfectly. He can fill the part of Rifleman Parry Jenkins, the affable Welshman who appears frequently in the novels.


To go along with the six figure 'Chosen Men' group, I've also painted up six of the Perry rifles. These figures are also superb and characterful, and while they are a little larger than the chosen men, I think they fit in well with the Brigade offerings. As always with Perry figures, the sculpting is top notch and they are a joy to paint. 

I've also painted up a French cantiniere, again from Brigade games. These intrepid women followed the French armies, providing a variety of goods for the French soldiers for a price and often fighting alongside their customers. This is another really great little sculpt. 

Finally for this batch, I've painted up a cart horse and a bunch of wagons for use in Sharp Practice campaign games. The carts are from war bases, and include an ammunition wagon, a water cart, and an engineers wagon. I wanted these to be usable for my future AWI project, so painted them as plain wood. The horse is from Front Rank, and I've based it in such a way that it can be used for any of the carts. It's unlikely that more than one of the carts would be used in any one game anyway.I'm not sure how these would be scored, i'll leave it up the judges expert opinions. 

This lot should get me a bunch more points for the comp and for the Sharp Practice side challenge.

Next, and possibly the final, batch coming up will be a unit of the spectacular new Perry French dragoons. I'm hoping to have these done in two weeks or so.

Alan and Paul: Aaarrrrrrr I love these so much! What wonderful figures, and what I great job you have done with them. I can't get 'Over the Hills and Far Away' out of my head now. Must resist another project for Sharp Practice! Must resist! Lovely to see your Cantiniere as well. I painted up one of these a few weeks back for the Retreat from Moscow, and I'm pleased to see that yours is looking much warmer. Your shading, especially on her face, puts mine to shame as well. In fact, I'm going to give you a few extra points for the faces of all these figures. So all up, you have 15 figures. I have scored your carts as one 28mm vehicle (for the horse) and the other two as guns. With another 5 bonus points, that makes 115 points. Can't wait to see the Dragoons!