Tuesday, 20 February 2018

A Top of the Tuesday Morning to ya!

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to this new and shiny Tuesday!

Don't you think there's one hell of a good Theme Round going on? 31 contestants vying for undying honour in the ranks of, well Michael, Sidney and Deb really, but okay we mere mortals might now share the prime place on the top of Lead Mountain as well. Silly how we keep saying "unpainted lead pile" and "Lead Mountain" and all that, while most figures do not contain any real lead any more... oh well back to business.



Today has a few nice post for you and more will surely follow. Noel, Martin, Kent and Russel all have post in at the time of me writing this.
Funny enough this seems to be a week of Bitsa entries as both Noel and Martin (oh and yours truly on Friday) have excellent if eclectic posts of very diverse and superb nature.
Russel is back and with a vengeance just you wait and see. Oh and Kent ladies and gents is making sure he will remain at the top of the leaderboard for some time yet.

 Do you know I am really looking forward to Kent's "Look what I painted during the Challenge" picture at the end of March. You know the picture Curt always makes us do and then we have to try and remember what we actually did paint so we check back the Challenge blog and it takes a while before we remember we can use the label with our name and so we revel in the glory of everyone's entries all over again.

Let's put a bet out: will Kent need more than one table?

So there you have it folks, can't beat the feeling!


  Come on Millsy and Ray, listen to the song! You know you will hate it and then the song will get stuck in your mind mwuhahahahaha!

Monday, 19 February 2018

Paul OG: DAK Pz IIIs and Transports (82 points)




Building upon my Recon vehicles and light tanks of last week, this week I focused on heavier armour and transports. While there was a number of Pz IVs and long barrelled Pz IV specials, the Pz III was always the most numerous armoured fighting vehicle of the Africa Korps. Here I present two platoons (Battlegroup uses them in 3s): 3 are metal Battlefront and 3 are plastic PSC, which gives some good variation between the hulls.


In 1941 Panzergrenadier units had not yet been developed and the majority of Infantry were truck mounted Shutzen units. And trucks are just handy in general for the desert, so here are 5 of them in an assortment of colours. Resin models by Forged in Battle.





Rounding out today's submission are a pair of Horsch heavy cars, very useful as staff vehicles and for towing light field and AT guns (though I have yet to assemble those). Again these are Forged in Battle resin models.


Apart from my Monstrous round submission (which is already done), this will likely be my last submission for AHPC due to emergent and extended work travel. However, these 13 vehicles and 2 drivers should net me 78 + 4 = 82 points to pass my original 500 point goal and almost touch my stretched 600 point line - the next bonus round will take me over nicely.

Thanks for all the fun and I shall continue to watch everyone's submissions with great interest!

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Terrific work, Paul !  These are wonderful, and perfectly compliment your work last week, and Alan's Crusaders from Week Seven.  They will grace any desert battlefield, I'm sure.  I love the desert colouring, the weathering and the faded leather seating in the back of the Horsch heavy cars - no doubt scratched and worn by desert sands.

And very fine work on the Panzer IIIs as well - such a versatile tank, and something which you can use through the DAK's tough campaigns in Egypt.

Great work, and there's just two things to add to another 82 well deserved points.  First, thank you for being an amazing Challenger as you prepare to head off on your travels, and for being a great Monday Challenger to boot. You've brought us some wonderful images, from Freikorps in Berlin, to Russian dachas, and from bridges over rivers, to light tanks speeding through the desert dust.  And it's all been wonderful.

And, of course, WELL DONE indeed for achieving your target of 500 points - a great achievement, and one to be well proud of.  Great work, Sir !!



From MartinN: Spanish Civil War Milicianas & Milicianos (95 points)

It's almost been a month since my last entry, which is a shame as I had the miniatures for this submission sitting almost finished on my desk, for the best part of two weeks.

Real life got in the way and thus I only came round to take pictures this week.

But to make up for my inexcusable lack of activity today's submission, at least partially, consists of my contribution to the most important and illustrious part of the challenge aka "Sarah's Choice".


These eight pugnacious ladies are, of course, from the excellent Spanish Civi War range by Empress Miniatures. You'll find quite a few iterations of these figures on this very blog, thus I thought it high time to have a crack at them myself.

In 1936 many young (and some more elderly) women decided to take up arms in order to defend the Republic against the fascist rebellion led by General Franco. These courageous women joined the ranks of the various militia units and fought and died alongside their male comrades.

After the shock of the initial months of the war wore off, many of these women found themselves transferred to rear echelon units. Some, no doubt male, members of the republican leadership obviously deeming it unsuitable for women to fight. Of course most of the milicianas strongly detested this recall from front-line service, which they saw as a step back from the gains in, to use a more modern term here, gender equality.

Nonetheless women still played a vital part in the republican propaganda.




First I wanted to go down the route of reason and paint up my milicianas as part of a communist militia unit like the UHP in order to field them alongside my International Brigades.

But it only took a little mulling over the matter to decide it would be much more 'flashy' to let them sport the red/ black colours of the Anarchists. And looking at the standard bearer below I'm sure you'll agree it was the right decision. After all, who's to stop me from painting up a whole anarchist militia force to support these fine ladies? The standard, of course, was provided by the excellent Flags of War.



While speaking of strong women in the Spanish Civil War we may not forget German born photographer Gerda Taro. She was probably the first female 'embedded' war photographer and certainly the first to die in that capacity. Sadly today she's mostly forgotten and if remembered at all than mostly for her being the partner of Robert Capa. 



The figure below clearly is inspired by one of her more famous photographs, even if some detail was changed unfortunately. I would have preferred for the sculpt to be as close to the original as possible.  I imagine her to be the daughter of some wealthy aristocrat who ran away to fight for her youthful ideals.





Regrettably the female miniatures in this post are all that are available through Empress. To flash out the ranks a little further I'm currently thinking about getting me some of the "Women of the Home Front" by Bad Squiddo Games. When painted accordingly they should fit in rather well I hope.




Now back to the more mundane things in wargaming, i.e. male miniatures.

First off are three minor conversions I did using miniatures from other ranges. I'm not sure from whom the first one is but he's been a journalist or the like until kitted out with rifle and helmet. The second one was a WW1 British officer from Great War Miniatures. Last in the row is a former banker by Footsore Miniatures. He seems to had a major rethink about his former trade so decided to join the ranks of the Republic... or is he maybe the father of the young lady above?

Both miniatures were simple head swaps to make them fit the setting.

The banker will travel to Canada in the forseeable future as my nod towards Curt for taking up the SCW challenge this year again, albeit failing miserably it seems ;-)



Seven more milicianos than form the rest of my submission for this week. First time I tried to paint cord fabric and frankly I quite like the look of it. Gives the miniatures a distinctive 1930's look I think.





This submission sees me finishing a playable force for the SCW supplement for Chain of Command, which has recently become our rule set of choice for anything 20th century.




A final group shot of all the miniatures together 

So, that's 18 miniatures in 28mm, which should equate to 90 points.

I conclude this rather lengthy post with a band I only recently stumbled upon. For some reason they've managed to evade my attention but now, on my never ending search for "more noise" (tm), they've secured themselves a secure place in my personal hit list. Maybe something for you again Millsy?
Interpret: Brennstoff
Song: Mein Freund











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A truly fantastic submission, Nick. Everything about this submission is exemplary, from the wonderful, lustrous colour of the paint, to the careful and subtle conversions, to the utility of the figures and the deep, rich knowledge and love of the history behind these remarkable people.

I love the way you’ve not just painted the figures, but painted them in the clothing they may have worn in 1936 – from the polka-dot dress, to the pin striped trousers, from the blue boiler suits to the re-purposed helmet on the war-weary journalist. Terrific work, and remarkable to have a former banker now turned anarchist – especially one still wearing his Windsor-knotted tie!!

These figures would be worthy of a place on any table, from Zaragoza to Granada, and from Valencia to Oviedo. Lovely, just lovely.

90 points, with an extra 5 for the conversions and the history, brings you to 95 points, each one woven with great skill around this fine entry. 

From KyleC - Busts.. but not those kind ;) (100 points)



Well this past week has been a bit of a roller coaster for myself in that I have had a lot going on with Mr Lee's Minis, and new releases ( which are happening right now... just saying! ).

This orc bust is just but one of them actually. As it will be released from Mr Lee's Minis soon, and will be put into pre-order status within the week! However before we put it live I wanted to take my hand at it and give it a good old paint job!


I have to say that although I am not a fan of the sculptor at a personal level, he did do an amazing job at sculpting this piece and the components that related to it. Now I say this as I am not the one who commissioned the piece, but in traditional MLM fashion, we are helping another company have it released.


Now Drokos here is a big beasty of a bust as well. Standing almost 100mm tall and coming in 7 pieces altogether. Highly recommended to paint in pieces to get the most out of it :D


But overall he was a blast to paint up, and I am sure there will be more copies and versions of him to come in the near future. Heck, I might even paint him again and see if I can find room for improvement on it over this one!


Another new release for us, and another piece I painted up over the weekend is this guy. The Devil from Ukrainian folk lore. Sculpted by one of my very good friends, and part of a trio of models based on the story of Vakula.


He is not as large as Drokos, but still stands a respectable 60+mm tall. I wanted to paint him up prior to the release announcement later today and also had a friend over for a painting jam where we both gave the model our own interpretation of the colors for him.


It's actually safe to say that mine came out a bit safe in comparison to my buddy's as his turned out magnificently. Mine could use a bit more contrast to show up better in the photos.


But I do like how the moon came out at least!

Have a look at www.mrleesminis.com to see the alternative paint job of the Devil painted by Tony. And let me know which you think did better :D My money is on Tony's but I'm a bit biased!

So there you have it.. more busts.. as for points.. no idea.. But I am sure that Sidney is just waiting to give them a fair points scoring! He has done smashingly well so far and a great job at tending to us Monday painters!

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For me, the greatest pleasure in Challenge VIII has been able to act as Minion (Monday only, folks!) and seeing the work of the Monday Challengers arriving on the Blogging painting slate.  We've had no end of wonderful, craftsman-like Monday entries in this Challenge, and some of my favourites have been those which just make me say 'WOW'.  And these two very fine busts have been in that category, Kyle!

Terrific and subtle craftsmanship again, Sir.  Not only to paint these models, but also the BUILD them when painted.  That takes a steady hand, and real skill.  I get glue everywhere even gluing a flag together onto a pole.  By contrast, your construction skills are deeply enviable.

So what do I love about these two busts?  Drokos' skin tone, for a start, and then the discoloured lips of his slathering maw, and the weathered, dull, un-showy worn battleplate.  And for Vakula, his inhuman colouring, and the pale, faint luminescence of the moon he is clutching.

Wonderful, wonderful work, Kyle.  As for points, like your other bust in Week Three, I'm going to adjudicate each bus with 50 points.  Its very subjective of course, but I think more than mere points, each of these busts demonstrates something additional - and that's the mark of a masterful craftsman and artist.  Well done indeed!

From IainW: More 28mm WW 2 soviets (55 points)

This week has been half-term, valentines, a trip away, a 20th anniversary and a trip to Camden to see the Damned.  So no bonus round. There hasn't been that much painting going on to be honest!

I have managed to finish up a few soviets which should take me past my 750 target, which is great!  Here we have the final spotter three two man support teams and some rank and file, once more 28mm warlord and PSC.








So I think this makes 55, next week more soviets but I will be starting something from an earlier period that I hope to finish in the next four weeks. 

All the best Iain

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Wow, what a week that's been, Iain!  With those scheduling challenges, I would have struggled to do anything, let alone produce these fine additions to your Soviet force.  Well done indeed, Sir!

I'm really loving the way your 28mm Soviets are coming together, with consistent coloring and basing.  I particularly like the facial expression on the SMG-toting junior leader, snarling at his men to rush forward, and threatening them with many hours of chopping beetroot if they are tardy about it.  They are going to look fantastic on the table, and hopefully have many successful days head of them repelling the evil invaders of the Motherland !

And, as there are another 55 points here to add to your total, you have now, by my tally, officially achieved your target!!  Tremendous work, and many, many congratulations, Iain!!


From BenitoM: Austrian Vienna Volunteers and French Eagle Standard (25 points)

A new company concluded for my second battalion of the Vienna Volunteers...




... and on the trail of my first French painted last week, I managed to do an eagle standard too


The Austrians are 28mm plastic Victrix with Perry spare heads and the French is Perry metal from one of the command boxes. 

5 models 28mm x 5 points = 25 points to add to my Challenge scoring and breaking today the 600 points barrier.

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Wonderful work, Benito.... you're producing such lovely work, with great rhythm and style this Challenge.  This is the eighth successive Monday you've posted, which makes you that most special of Challenger - a serial poster!  Well done indeed, Sir - a terrific achievement which all of us would love to emulate.

And, again, the figures are not only marching with great regularity, but also really wonderful colours and basing.  The blue on the French standard bearer is really eye-catching, and the bases of all the figures assist with bringing the whole submission together in great fashion. 

Well done also on the Vienna Volunteers - I can't wait to see this fine regiment completed. Terrific work again, Benito, and another 25 points to add to your very impressive total.

From ValeryN - Fifty Shades of Gray (84 Pts)

Hello everybody!

I thought that for a long time I had not posted here.

In my German army for the Flame of War there are more than 50 different trucks and cars, but all of them are painted yellow and camouflage. That is for the period 1942 - 1945. But in the early period, I have almost nothing. And I decided to change this situation.












2 Sdkfz7, 7 Kfz15 and 5 Kubelwagen - 84 Pts

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And what a stonking entry to get us away this Monday morning, Narval!  We have missed you greatly since you posted the tank destroyers a couple of weeks back.  But this fine collection more than makes up for it.  Every army needs a collection of transport, not least to ensure that there is more than enough vehicles to block that all-important bridge on your table!  

Well done with the two Sdfkz7s, which look terrific -  really nicely done - not only practical, but very attractive as well.

And another 84 points to add to your outstanding total, Sir!!  Keep it up!

Good Minion Monday Morning, Challengers !!!


Good Minion Monday Morning Challengers!!!!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend, feasting upon the wonderful entries for the "Childhood" themed round, and enjoying (as the Roundwood family did) the entertainment from the Winter Olympics.

There's a great art to trying to get the painting table set up perfectly so that you can paint AND watch snowboarding aerials, curling or the skeleton.  Some of the action is even distracting enough to make me look up from painting yet more geese and horse reins !

And to distract you all further this morning, we have some wonderful work from the Monday Challengers, who again have delved deeply into their palettes to brighten the NINTH Monday of Challenge VIII.

Keep painting folks, as we're nearing the final stretch!