Tuesday, 17 March 2015

From BurkhardS: The last big rush (100 Points)

So this is it... this is going to be my last post for this Challenge. Before I get started, please let me thank you all for the nice comments you have left over the course of the Challenge. The past few weeks and months have been extremely hectic and downbeat (which also meant I hardly had any time to contribute to the other participants in the way I should have and for which I sincerely apologize) and those comments really lifted me up! Thank you all a million.

Also thanks a lot for all the votes on the theme rounds... I was quite surprised to make second spot twice and be a runner up a number of times!!!

Anyway... the last two weeks have only been the second time during this Challenge that I have been happy with my output. Probably had something to do with the weather getting better here in Germany. So in this spirit I decided to take some pictures outside (where actually about half the painting took place). So in the order that they were finished:

Modern Russian T-55

Now this was quite simple one. The model is a 1:48 die-cast (although it has a lot of plastic for that) from the James Bond collection (the one Pierce Brosnan drives through St. Petersburg). I have had that for ages, but never got around to work on it. Since I like my 2nd and 3rd Tier Russian tanks for Ultra Modern to look quite unspectacular, I decided to keep it in its original single colour green looks.  But I cleaned away the mould lines, painting imperfections and so on. The green was faded, skirts and mantlet painted in a different colour and minor details (like oil stains on the barrels) added. Last but not least it got a liberal coat of dirt and dust with an airbrush (which unfortunately blended too well with the fading :-( ).

Warzone: Resurrection, Kunshu Dragon Riders

Now I have painted a lot of Imperial for Warzone during this Challenge and before I tackled the last units, I needed a break from Imperial. Keeping with Warzone (partly because a mate of mine jumped in on our league but has no units painted yet) I chose a unit for Mishima, the Kunshu Dragon Riders. Looks wise they are one of the coolest units in the Mishima selection, but a bit too overpriced to play for my taste. (Or rather not as underpriced as the rest of Mishima.) 

Now what they are some Dragon like creatures found in the caves of Mercury. Domesticated (to a certain degree) they are ride into combat, usually by the heirs to noble houses of Mishima. Are a a very fast monster choice in the game, which can do lots of damage either at close range (combination of the riders SMG and the Dragons spewing flames) or close combat (combination of the riders Katana and the Dragons teeth and claws). 

To things that slightly bleeped me off about these models. For one, I had always had a vision of how I would paint them. Mostly like those flying creatures in Avatar. But once I took out my airbrush, I had to find, that the body and wing anatomy is too different for this to work, so I had to go for something less intricate. 

The other thing is in the background. The riders wear so called "Retainer" type armour, which is always a crimson red, whence the colour of the riders. Now this type of armour is also worn by the Crimson Devils, the most dishonored unit Mishima has in its inventory. I doubt that a noble in a culture based on medical Japan, would want to wear the same armour as a dishonored regular soldier. So I would have preferred, if they had gotten a different type of armour, where one could have gone wild with the colours. As a small personalization I gave the troopers white face masks and the squad leader a gold one. But anyway... here are the minis:

Warzone: Resurrection: Imperial Greyhound Tankettes

So after that small excursion to Mishima I returned to Imperial, namely two Greyhound tankettes. These are ridiculously small one man tanks, used either to fire poisonous gas in a flame thrower type attack (the version depicted here) or as a short range vehicular mortar. Personally I am not sure if I would have bought them, since a) I find the models a bit ugly and b) for slightly more points I can get a Hurricane Walker, which can do far more!

Otherwise, I went for the same camo I used on my Hurricanes, although it looks far less effective on these small models, and the same beat up and muddy look as the rest of the army. I also added WWI or WWII desert style red-white-red tank markings to the sides, but these are mostly covered up by the dirty and wear by now. 

Since the unit I play is loosely based on the Black Watch, they both got Scottish town names on the turrets. One is Peairt (Perth) to other Port Rìgh (Portree).

  WWII: Krupp Protze improvised AAA vehicle

And last, at least models wise, is a Krupp Protze. The model itself is a Tamiya 1:48th scale kit with a 2cm Flak by some after market company in the same scale (can not remember which one). Now I wanted this as a mid-war interim AAA solution. The Krupp Protze was mostly used early war. Some as a troop transport, some for supplies, but most to draw light 3,7cm PaK. Some units, especially on the Russian front, found that they needed something more flexible  and mounted their PaK on the rear flatbed. With time a lot of the Protzes were phased out and replaced by more effective trucks, but a few remained in service until destroyed. Now in the mid war period when the allies were more and more able to bring more planes to the sky mobile units needed more AAA units and looked at mounting light Flak on the backs of trucks. And this is what this model represents. So I placed boards (coffee stirrers) across the benches to create a flatbed and mounted the Flak on top. The truck retained is early war grey base coat and I applied a camo over this. Many units were delivered camouflage paste, which they stirred up by adding water to gasoline and applied this to the vehicles with everything at hand... at times just dappling rags on the vehicle. And this is the look I wanted to go for. With the Flak I wanted it to look like it had been delivered in Sandgelb from the factory with a green camo applied with an airbrush in the rear echelons workshop. All this to underline the rag-tag nature of this vehicles. Afterwards some weathering (including windscreen wiper marks) and it was done. I also wanted to add the crew, but the rest of the week will by so stuffed with work, I will not be able to paint, so the crew will have to be added post-Challenge.

Now if I am not mistaken and my math does not fail me, all these should be 100 points. With the 55 points still due from the last theme round, this should put me a mere 2 points over my 1000 points target. Not really proud of this, since I had hoped to actually raise my target during the Challenge, but it can not be helped!

My workspace

I am not sure who it was, but someone asked early on that we all show our workspaces, since this is going to be my last post I thought I should oblige.

As you can see this is all very basic. I have no dedicated working area, but rather work on the kitchen table. Since it is large enough, I can keep it on the table even when we are eating. It is all centred on a cutting mat with some foam on it (to allow me to handle the minis without scraping the paint off), two brushholders with my brushes, two pots of water, a bottle of acetone, a rag, some cutters and a pair of pliers. Oh and a simple Ikea desk lamp with a daylight bulb.

The idea behind this is simply. I love to paint outside, so I wanted something I can easily take out onto the balcony when the weather is fine and I can do this in less than a minute.

Now those with a keen eye will have spotted a paint cart to the left on the first photo. I DIY´ed that a couple of years ago to fit my needs. In the top is a removable tray which holds 35 film containers filled with sand. I use these to mount my minis on while painting to have a handle to hold them by. Underneath is my "kill-book" (a pun in reference to the books kept by snipers) which holds all my painting notes. Seven drawers underneath hold all my paints and other tools, except for my airbrush and airbrush paints. All in all it holds almost 300 bottles of paints, washes, filters and pigments, sculpting tools, cutters, pliers, wires and so on. And again... this can go outside in less than a minute.

So again... thank you all for your nice comments during the Challenge and most of all thanks to Curt for having me and for organizing this madness once more!

From Curt:

A great final entry Burkhard! Like you, I'm not too crazy on the design of those tankettes but you've done a great job on them. The flyers and the T80 are excellent (especially the hide on the flyers) but I have to say my favourite is the Protze AA portee. The camouflage and weathering are brilliant and I also appreciate the little additions like the unit designation and spades. Lovely work.

I really like your hobby setup, especially that amazing DIY hobby chest. Wonderful!

I think that with your theme entry you will hit your target so definitely no shame there. You've had a great year Burkhard and I'm delighted that you joined us for the wild gallop that is the Challenge. Until next time!


  1. Awesome stuff. Nice way to end up. Beat your own target as well. Those track on the mini tanks look like they are for water crossing.

    1. Thanks!

      Well looking at the mini itself... given its small footprint and that the centre of mass is very much to the rear, I would guess that it would capsize even in a puddle! ;-)

  2. Nice mix and excellent painting Burkhard :)

  3. Great bunch but like Curt it's the Protze AA truck that does it for me. Painted up the Matchbox version with the 37mm ATG a long long time ago


    1. I always loved this model. It has a certain not WWII look about that makes it so interesting. Shame I lacked the time to paint the crew... I would have loved it to be complete!

  4. A nice bunch for your last entry! Quite a bit of variation in subjects indeed.

    1. Thank you Samuli. I guess I needed this variation to make the last minute sprint!

  5. Nice job, they all look great! I do not like the tankettes much but those treads look like they can rip thru any terrain. The German truck is very lovely and looks it has been well used.
    My fav is the Russian tank, she looks heavy as it should. ;)

    1. Thanks on all accounts!

      I have to say, that I really like the early post WWII Soviet tank design a lot... one can see the evolution after the war and they simply look so heavy and mean!

  6. A great last entry, fantastic painting work and great painting space. Cheers!!!

  7. Fantastic final post! Everything looks great, but I have to say the Krupp-Protze FLAK is my favorite. The dusty windscreen really completes the look. Thanks for sharing all your work--your entries were consistently among my favorites.

    (Oh, and that painting area is so very German... ;D)

  8. Thank you David, really glad I could entertain you!
    Regarding the Protze... some years ago I found that taping off clear plastic windscreens before airbrushing them adds so much to the overall looks of the model. It is just one simply step, but makes them look so much more realistic!

  9. And at Curt:

    Thanks again for the nice comments. Really glad you liked this last entry! And my workspace (which does not always look this German, David)!

    But most of all thanks again for hosting this madness... with over 70 entrants this year this is must have been an almost full time job. Really have to wonder who you could find the time to paint a single mini!