Saturday, 20 December 2014

AlanD - Viking Ship for the Mini Duchess (8 Points)

The mini duchess turned 8 last week, and requested a Viking ship birthday cake. She has embraced Norse mythology in a big way recently, to the point that I heard her berating the children of a Catholic friend about how silly their god was compared to Odin. I couldn't be prouder.

I'm not sure that there is anything in the Painting Challenge rules forbidding edible miniatures, so I present this entry in a spirit of fun. The figures are largely made from pre-coloured fondant, which I am treating as equivalent to coloured primer, but the faces are painted, along with anything that is supposed to be metal (thanks to edible silver paint). I also coloured the sea, which is probably equivalent to an ink wash.

What do you reckon, Curt? Gotta be worth a point?? :)

From Curt:Ah, Brilliant work Dux, your daughter must have been so excited when she saw this cresting the horizon! It's all so wonderful but I have to say I especially like the beards, the prow and the water effect. Just fabulous. (Was it truly edible though?)
Well, I think we need to give a point for each year of the Mini Duchess.   An excellent gift to be sure. Well done!

From TobiP - 28mm ACW Union Infantry (77 Points)

My first "regular" entry (after the "cold" special theme) is a small unit of Union infantrymen from Perry Miniatures. They are mostly plastic figures except for the three single based figures.

I'm going to use them as part of my already large army that I've painted and collected for the brilliant "Longstreet" ruleset. The function of the single based figures is to act as markers for sharpshooters (the two kneeling figures) and heroes (the standing figure, waving his less heroic comrades to come with him).

As you can see they're not painted to my highest standard, but I like them well enough - especially as part of the whole army. If it hadn't been for this contest, I fear I would not have painted them for another few months, as I'm really quite fed up with painting shades of blue... so it's probably a good thing this army project is nearly finished :-) 

From Curt:
Beautiful work Tobi. The colour hues and shading are brilliant and your photography flatters them very nicely. How many units have you done up for this project? I haven't checked out 'Longstreet' yet, though I usually like Sam Mustafa's rules. I do like the idea of using single figures as markers - anything to get away from unsightly cards, chits, etc. cluttering up the table.
These 15 fellows and their brave banners will fetch Tobi 77 points. Great stuff! 

A BIG THANKS to Three More Prize Sponsors!

I’m delighted to announce that we have three new prize sponsors for The Challenge!

Martin and Diane Murray of 'Warbases' return this year to provide a gift certificate to some lucky individual from their talented shop.

Another new sponsor this year is Thomas over at 'Skull and Crown' who creates wonderful wooden flat figures in several periods. 

And a local game store here in Saskatchewan, ‘Dragon’s Den Games ’ is putting up a gift certificate from their fine establishment.

From the bottom of my coal black heart I thank each these businesses for their wonderful generosity – as I’ve said before, prizes aren’t everything but they do add a nice sparkle to the event.

Also while I have your attention, please remember to vote for your favourite 'Cold' theme entires as the poll will close Sunday night at midnight.



From SteH - "Send out your Warg Riders" (62 Points)

And in keeping with the Lord of the Rings theme that's permeating the Challenge this year I present my second standard entry, six of Games Workshops plastic Warg Riders.

Now if anyone has seen my blog you may recall that I started a Lord of the Rings on a budget project some time ago and these guys were one of my acquisitions (costing me a trade of a few Necrons that I would never ever actually paint or use). Anyway I ended up with about 13 warg riders in various states of completion and thus had to repair strip and repaint accordingly.

The captain is a conversion as the model had no arm and seeing as I'd acquired these second hand I had no appropriate spares. Therefore for the arm I cannibalised an old LoTR goblin, hacked off the head and used a metal head that I found in my bits box from a previous lotr acquisition. A bit of green stuff sculpting to fill the gaps and voila, a truly ugly orc captain to lead his own Warg warband.

Now I just need to repair, strip and paint the other seven!

From Curt:
Beautiful work Ste! I think your conversion of the warg rider captain came off wonderfully. I also really like the shading of the wargs themselves, especially their faces - excellent stuff.
I'm going to add a couple points for the conversion, so 62 points total. I look forward to seeing the other seven in the next few weeks!

From SimonM - "Pulp Figures" - The Boys In Blue (40 Points)

These ten 28mm miniatures come from “Pulp Figures” Gangland Justice range and consist of all the models from packs PGJ06 Boys In Blue 1 and PGJ07 Boys In Blue 2. The neighbourhood beat cops come in a variety of poses and with an assortment of weaponry as well as a vintage call box and fire hydrant.

All of them were initially undercoated with two layers of “Vallejo” Heavy Blue before their boots, belts, buttons and badges were painted with “Citadel” Abaddon Black. I then applied a generous wash of “Citadel” Nuln Oil over all the overcoats, collars and caps before applying a similarly heavy wash of “Vallejo” Blue Shade. As I simply didn’t want all eight officers to appear too alike to one another l decided to paint a couple wearing white gloves and one to be based upon Sergeant Samuel J. Battle; an inspirational cop who was the first black police officer in New York City.

As a result I painted the hands of five of the models with a coat of “Vallejo” Heavy Skintone and then washed them with “Citadel” Ogryn Flesh before ‘picking out’ their fingers and any flat surfaces with more “Vallejo” Heavy Skintone. For the gloves I initially undercoated them with White, before washing them with watered-down Heavy Bluegrey. As with the bare hands the fingers and flat hand surfaces were then ‘highlighted’ with more of the base colour; this bearing White for the gloves. For Samuel Battle I used a combination of “Citadel” Dark Flesh”, Agrax Earthshade and then Dark Flesh highlights. All of the officers’ faces were painted in the same manner.

Any rifle butts, truncheons or brown leather pouches were painted using “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna and “Citadel” Agrax Earthshade. For the badges, belt buckles, pistols and rifle barrels I used Boltgun Metal and Nuln Oil. The last paint to be applied was a dollop of “Vallejo” Gold on all of the cops’ buttons. I was planning on then washing them with “Citadel” Agrax Earthshade but forgot to do and ended up varnishing a few of the models before I realised what I’d done. However, I think perhaps this was a moment of serendipity, as the ‘brass’ buttons really stand out as they are, and as a result I have purposely left them all alone.

The fire hydrant was painted using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Red” and the “Citadel” Shade Carroburg Crimson and will join the vintage call box as objective markers; why else would you have an emergency source of water or telephone in the middle of some grassland…

All but one of these miniatures was very simple to paint, and I especially liked the ‘running’ pose with the open face as this not only allowed you to customize the model with a different hand weapon; such as a truncheon, pistol, rifle or shotgun. But also provided some great facial detail to highlight. The beat cop with his hands clasped behind his back was another favourite, especially as it provided me with an opportunity to ‘try out’ my “Vallejo” White and watered-down Heavy Bluegrey combination for his gloves.

Unfortunately I did struggle awfully with the miniature I chose to be based upon Samuel Battle. The model’s cap appears to be at a slight angle with the figure’s head tilted in the opposite direction, as a result the eyeballs, which Bob prominently sculpts, just did not align themselves in my mind and I repeatedly kept having to paint them then scrap off the paint and start again. At one point I even tried to just get away with painting a single eye with the second being ‘over-shadowed’ by the cap peak.

Eventually I believe I have found a middle ground and painted both eyes in. But I must confess I am not happy with the way they have turned out. This is a shame as the model itself, sporting a wonderful sub-machinegun looks great. “Pulp Miniatures” do two more Police officer packets; Police Special Weapons and The Sixteenth Precinct. Once I have painted a few more of Bob’s miniatures up I certainly plan to get both in the New Year.

From Curt:Great work Simon! I've always been a great admirer of Bob's sculpts as they are both minimalist yet have such great character. I particularly like the black officer with the white gloves but I have to say my favourite is the fellow with his hands clasped behind his back. The bright brass buttons are perfect. Great work!

From TamsinP - Seven years War Russian Generals, Artillery and Cavalry (195 Points)

Well, here it is, my second entry in this year's Challenge, and it's a bit of a points bomb. Not on the scale of my Swiss pike block from the 3rd Challenge, or my pirates from last year. But still a decent sized haul of points.

So, on with the details. This entry of 15mm Seven Years War Russians consists of 3 mounted commanders, 2 artillery pieces with 6 crew and 2 limbers, 18 cuirassiers, 9 dragoons and 9 horse grenadiers. This completes the non-infantry portion of my starter army. There will be 2 regiments of grenadiers and 6 of musketeers to follow in January. All figures are from Essex.

One annoying thing about the Essex Russians is that the flags are cast in such a way that they can't really be removed which meant I had to paint them. So, if you look closely at the cavalry pics, you should see my impressionistic freehand attempts to reproduce the actual flags of the regiments. I went for the squadron rather than regimental standards to allow (eventually) for some bright colours in the army.

The Generals

General Count Vasilliy Oldvol

General Baron Ivan Tovokov

General Vladimir Yvorluncz

It doesn't show up particularly well, but I used a similar trick to JamesR to create small puddles on the bases (paint a dark colour into the pit then top it with several coats of gloss varnish. I will probably use gloss gel medium instead next time I try this).

The Artillery

The guns aren't fixed to the bases. This allows for them to be shown limbered and for different types to be swapped in and out. The drew have been painted in 1760 uniforms. The painted wood should be more of a brick-red colour, but this will do for now.

The Cuirassiers

3rd (or "Fedorovitch") Cuirassier Regiment

The 3rd Cuirassiers fought at Gross-Jagersdorf, Zorndorf, Paltzig and Kunersdorf.

Kievsky Cuirassier Regiment

The Kievskiy Cuirassiers were originally a dragoon regiment, who were converted in 1756. They fought at Gross-Jagersdorf, Paltzig and Kunersdorf.

The Dragoons and Horse Grenadiers

Tverskiy Dragoon regiment

The Tverskiy dragoons fought at Gross-Jagersdorf and took part in the 1758 invasion of East Prussia.

Sankt Petersburgskiy Horse Grenadier Regiment

Originally a dragoon regiment, the Sankt-Petersburgskiy Horse Grenadiers fought at Gross-Jagersdorf (probably as part of the cavalry reserve), Paltzig and Kunersdorf.

I've done these in 1760 uniform as well as Essex didn't have cavalry figures in mitres.

So, 39 mounted figures, 6 foot figures, 4 horses, 2 guns and 2 limbers. That should give me 192 points I think; maybe a couple more if Curt considers my impressionist freehand flags are worthy.

And a shot of everything so far to end the post.

From Curt:
Wow! This is amazing Tamsin. I could be wrong but think this is some of the best work I've seen from you. The paintwork is vibrant, clean and neat and I think you've done a wonderful job on free-handing the flags. As you say, they just give enough of an impression to convey their primary elements. I also really like the red gun carriages and limbers. 
I'm going to give a few more points for the flags which will place this submission at 195 points. Well done Tamsin!

From Teemu - Frodo with the Ring (5 Points)

Third model to get paint from me during this challenge is another LotR figure. There has already been Ringwraith and Gollum, so what better addition to the trio than Frodo himself? All three are ringbound more or less. The sun is already gone and getting proper light to take photos is again quite difficult. I think I managed it somehow.

So here's Frodo with the Ring, familiar GW product. Frodo is usually seen in earthly colors, so green cloak and different kind of browns on jacket and trousers with not exactly white shirt and a golden Ring. There has been lots of talk about eyes during the challenge. I usually paint eyes with white and a black dot on them, which make them look quite strange. This time I tried a different approach, I painted the eye black. Even at that point the eyes looked quite good, small hobbit eyes looked good. As a final touch I put a little white dot on the outer sides of the eyes, it was so small that I'm not even sure it is there. Might be hard to notice it from the pictures. Anyway, that made the eyes look very good. I just don't know if I'm able to redo that again...

Here he is in different light, I'm not sure which one is better.

And here's a bonus shot of all three of them, at least the black Ringwraith looks better here than in the original entry. The photo is a little bit tilted, but it shows how horrified Frodo is.

I have couple of more figures almost ready, but I don't think I can manage to finish and photograph them today, so they need to wait a week to get here.

Another 28mm miniature should get me another 5 points.

From Curt:
Ah, a great figure and you've done a wonderful job on him Teemu. Your approach to painting his eyes seems to have worked quite well, especially for this figure when we imagine Frodo's eyes being wide in both terror and wonder. Great work.