Friday, 12 December 2014

From ScottB - Beorn, in bear form (10 points)

The first week is over and I get my first submission up. Technically its my 2nd submission, but as my first was to Curt direct for the cold theme it hasn't appeared here yet. No matter! So I break my duck offering you Beorn in bear form, from the Hobbit.

Beorn is a skin changer , a man of great stature, capable of transforming himself at will into a bear form (rather than being forced to by full moons like a werewolf). He is a somewhat aloof character, looking after himself, and not necessarily being on anyone's 'side', much as the Ents started off in LOTR... but he hates orcs so that at least has him leaning towards the good side!

In the movie he is played by Mikael Persbrandt, a Scandanavian actor, who is a big man which matches the height requirements for the part, and his accent is an excellent touch I think, giving him that 'other worldly feel' in the Middle Earth setting. The additional scenes in the Ext Ed of Hobbit DOS I greatly enjoyed, and found the "Making of" info on the additional disks, very interesting.

Back to the Bear, and this was clearly CGI, but various sources were used as inspiration, including looking at prehistoric bears for the shape and bulk... The model itself was an easy job. It was in several pieces that required gluing together and joint filling with greenstuff. Then a simple black paint job, drybrushed with dark grey then washed black again. Its produced very subtle contrast which sadly doesn't photograph too well... The claws and facial features were then added, and after varnish, base decoration effected. Oh, that base is a 60mm round, so its quite a big model, towering over a regular man-sized 28mm figure.

I am unsure of his points value so Curt may have to rule on this one. He's 28mm scale but about 60mm tall. For all that, the painting was easy.

In the game, he is brute strength nastiness, but at a substantial points costs. I look forward to trying him out and tearing orcs limb from limb...

 Finally, I don't think it was my turn to post today? But I believe we were all allowed to in the first week so I may have just sneaked this in there in time... right, back to the paints!
From Curt:
Lovely work Scott! That is a very impressive model to be sure. This is one of those models where it pays to do the eyes. Brilliant bit of detail there.  Scott, if you get a chance, come back and upload a shot of Beorn next to a standard LotR model.  
I'm going to score Beorn like a 28mm piece of ordinance, which seems appropriate. So 10 points. Well done and welcome back Scott!

And, at Curt's request:

It's not a good day to be an orc! ;-)

From PeterT - First Timer, First Post: 15mm WWII Soviet T-34s (39 Points)

What's that they say about plans not surviving first contact? All was set fair for making some progress when real life intervened with a bang. Sunday, No 1 son gets injured playing rugby, so the day gets spent in A&E (thankfully nothing serious, just heavy bruising). Mon-Wed work goes ballistic, Thurs No 3 son fractures arm falling over playing football! All in all, I am moderately pleased to have managed to complete these PSC 15mm T34s.

They are the first two platoons in what is going to be a tank company for IABSM. Actually, one of these with an unbuttoned TC will be swapped out and used for the Company Commander.

The nice thing about the PSC kits is that you also get the parts to make the turret with the 85mm gun - they are next on the painting line - so all of the tanks can be upgraded to T34/85s with a simple turret swap. The Russians tended to keep the two versions in separate units, so two units for the price of one - nice (reference for fans of The Fast Show).

Looking at the fantastic entries already up, I feel a little fraudulent with this very simple paint job, with more to follow. Still, as Comrade Joe said, quantity has a quality all of its own. Not sure that 6 tanks counts as 'quantity', but at least I am off the mark. So that's 36 points in the bag. Now, if I can just ensure no one else in the family gets injured...who said sports were good for you?

From Curt:

Great job Peter and welcome aboard! This past week sounds like it was a bit of tough sledding - let's hope the rest of the season is smooth sailing. These T-34s look the business, though your photos are a bit dark. (I'll see if I can lighten them up a touch in Photoshop when I get home.) I've added a few more points for your commanders to pip you up to 39.  Again, well done.

From JamieM - Twelve Men and a Dog (65 Points)

This is my very first Painting Challenge.... And I have to say that I was utterly unprepared for the speed at which people are painting great figures and posting them!

My aim for the Challenge is twofold. Firstly to get some of the things that have been sitting around for an age painted (to bulk up my points) and secondly to get some of the cracking new stuff I just couldn't resist done and on the tabletop.

These first 12 chaps are most definitely the former as they've been sitting around staring at me whenever I opened their carry case for about 2 years now, stuck together but unpainted.

Twelve peasants for saga from Gripping Beast and a dog from somewhere unknown. I have 6 points of Saga figures painted already, but no peasants, so wanted to get these done so I can get towards two painted starter forces on the table.

These were something of a chore to do, but the points available kept me going!  I tend to stick to very simple painting for these types of figures and I further kept the palette relatively simple for the peasants as I figured their "betters" would steal any nice clothes they may have found.  The dog was a little addition as at one point I was a figure short for the 12 strong unit until I found the missing chap, but decided to paint the dog anyway.

Just another 8 warriors to go and the Painting Challenge will have nudged me to do something I've been meaning to do for ages, so exactly what I was looking for!

From Curt:
Great work Jaimie and welcome to the Challenge! I'm delighted that the Challenge has provided impetus for you to get some projects off the table - always something I love to hear. Your peasants are suitably revolting and I quite like that mastiff (I wonder if it is one offered by Warlord?).  Which SAGA warband is this for?
A tidy 65 points for you Jamie - I look forward to seeing those warriors come up next.

From GregB - 20mm WWII German Infantry Platoon (84 points)

20mm WW2 German Infantry Platoon

My second entry for the Painting Challenge is a set of opponents for my first entry - here is a platoon of WW2 German Infantry.  With one exception, these figures are all from the Plastic Soldier Company's 1/72 Late War German Infantry box sets.  Some of these figures were painted prior to the challenge starting, but I finished most of them after I powered through the Russians.

The fellow in the front is a 20mm casting from Warmodelling - everyone else is plastic from PSC
There are enough figures for a full regular infantry platoon, three squads of 10 men each, each with a two-man LMG team. This PSC set has the same challenge as the Russians, in that the LMG figures are either prone (sigh) or marching merrily (useless).  But it is lacking in a figure that looks like a proper platoon commander/officer, so I ordered a metal one from Warmodelling.

One LMG per squad in this platoon of foot sloggers

The figures are based as the Russians, with NCOs on square bases and senior leaders on hex bases and everyone else on round bases.

Prone LMG gunners - a disappointing sculpt, but better than marching!

I find painting German uniforms to be the hardest part of collecting figures for WW2. Even getting the basic green/grey correct is tricky (at least for me), and once you advance past a certain period of the war a wide assortment of camouflage smocks and helmet covers start to appear.  Painting camouflage is tricky at the best of times, and with the Germans their 700 different versions of camouflage, I go bonkers trying to figure it out.

Different base types visible in this shot
In the case of these figures, they are wearing later war boots/pants/gaiters, and many of them also have some sort of camouflage cover on their helmets.  On most of them I attempted a weak copy of the most "standard" German camouflage that I could find, and on others I imagined that perhaps these covers may have been improvised at times, and I painted them a dark yellow.

Decent modelling of the German kit on these PSC figures
For their overall uniforms I used a few different types of green, grey and green grey to try and vary the appearance a little bit, and washed liberally with GW's Agrax Earthshade, with a few highlights picked up again following the wash.

There are a total of 27 foot figures and three two-man LMG teams.  Of this, eight foot figures and one LMG team were painted prior to the Challenge, leaving a net of 19 foot figures and two LMG teams, which I think works out to 84 points.

Up next is...I don't know, maybe more WW2, maybe sci-fi? I'm all over the place. 

From Curt:

Greg, I feel your pain with painting WWII German infantry as their uniforms were bewilderingly nuanced and complex. This being said I think you've done a fantastic job on this platoon. Like your previous Soviet platoon the shading is very nicely done. 

Figure-wise, I know Greg hates prone models but I must say it's nice to see such crisp modeling on the MG-34, especially the bipod - with many other manufacturers it's often a vague triangle, or you discover that one 'arm' is missing or misshapen. It looks like another good offering from PSC.
This mid-war German platoon will give Greg 84 points.  I looks like you're building up some good steam Mr. B!

From AlanD - 28mm Breton Warriors for SAGA (88 Points)

I've been wanting to add a couple of points to my Breton warband for SAGA, so my second entry for the challenge is a unit of 8 Breton warriors. The javelins were harvested from my trusty broom which is absolutely NOT for sweeping things up with, and as always the shields are hand painted. Figures are from Gripping Beast, but weren't really their finest hour.

I think these chaps will earn me 80 points towards my terrifyingly aspirational target.

From Curt:
Beautiful word Alan! God bless your denuded broom as your spears look great (it must be a shop broom with very rigid tines). I know what you mean about the early Gripping Beast sculpts: some they hit out of the park while others... not so much, but they all seem to recover well once paint has been applied. The piece de resistance are your shields which are absolutely brilliant. I honestly thought they were transfers at first glance. Bravo!
These harse lads will give Alan a base of 80 points but I'm adding a point each for the wonderful hand-painted shields. Great work Dux!

From VincentC - "Lonely men are we, Rangers of the wild" (45 Points)

Well I decided I didn't like languishing down in 21st so I thought it best to get a wiggle on with the rangers! I must confess I got half way through painting these when I decided that I really don't like these models at all! but I pushed through and, though they aren't some of my better works they are done to a good table top standard and so I'm happy to put them with the rest of the collection, I think they look especially good as a group and for the most part I really like the green of the cloaks.

I have a not insubstantial collection of Gondor and these will make a nice little warband for Faramir to lead in normal games however these were painted for the Fellowship of the Ring sourcebook. Along with the 2 Nazgul in my previous post that means I just need to paint the Witchking to have the first phase of my project completed!

This is definitely going to happen (this time...)

What do you all think of these guys?

From Curt:
I think they look marvellous! The shading on the cloaks is excellent, but what really draws my eye is the yellow buff leather of their jerkin and aprons - those really make the figures leap out. It's interesting how this first week of the Challenge has seen so many figures from LotR - a very nice change of pace, I think.