Thursday, 19 March 2015

From JohnM: Sailing across the Finish Line (18 Points)

100, 36 and 74 gun French ships
It has been 6 weeks since my last submission to the Painting Challenge. Just have been enormously busy with work, travel, gaming and terrain projects, so figure painting has been quite low on the list. I had planned things out though as with this submission I will hit my personal target of 1000 points.

This is something completely different for me. About 10 years ago when I first started painting figures, the Warhammer Trafalger ruleset came out. It sounded interesting, so I ordered the book and with it came a starter package of 12 ships in 1:2400 scale from Figurehead. At the same time I bought a sea terrain mat from Terrain Mat. The stuff all looked quite nice but languished in my gaming area until about 6 weeks ago when I decided to open up the box and have a look. The little ships looked cool and were in only 3 pieces so I said why not, lets get them painted.

120, 80 and 20 gun British ships
But what a nightmare to assemble, my fingers and superglue and small figures just have difficulty. I ended up throwing out 2 of them as they got so screwed up with great lumps of superglue that I could not get off and I gave up on the last 4 ships but that left us 6 to paint.

I then scoured the web to see how to paint the little blighters, did not find much. But then I happened on the thought that Warhammer books usually have painting guides and lo and behold there was quite an excellent guide in the Trafalger book. It is aimed at 1:1200 scale but it gave me a basic outline on how to proceed.

So there you have it my final submission to this my fifth Painting Challenge. I did not get everything done I had planned. I binned the plastic Arab Spearmen from Gripping Beast. I hope have learned my not buy plastic figures! I also had two figures from the the Empire of the Dead line that I had hoped to paint but all in all I accomplished what I set out to do.

Anyway congratulations to all the contestants. Some really fantastic work has been submitted. It is amazing that of the 72 contestants, the number who failed to make any submission was limited to single digits. Fame was also obtained as the contest was mentioned on Meeples and Miniatures.

Finally many thanks to Curt and the long suffering Sarah. Really quite a splendid show and a job well done.

From Curt:

Well John, for your first outing with Napoleonic naval models you did a pretty fine job. I think they look great, though I can completely sympathize with the challenging combination of superglue and mastworks - usually a good recipe for hobby-rage.

That sea mat is beautiful! Are the islands a part of the layout? 

AND congratulations on slipping across the line for your points target. Well done!

You are my old grognard John! The only Challenger who has been through every one of these silly events to date. You should get a medal. Thanks for your support and enthusiasm. I look forward to seeing you in the ranks for the next one my friend!


  1. Nice ships John! As always, it's been great having you with us :)

    @ Curt - you might need to slip him a quick bonus point - the table shows him at 999 :)

    1. Cancel that - it updated while I was writing my comment!

  2. Really nice work John! I really like the terrain as well! Looking forward to our next game!

  3. Great work John. I love those ships, and sympathize with tails of frustration over assembling them - I can barely put together 1/50 scale tanks, so can't imagine the fiddling of ships...

  4. These are really nice, loved playing Nap sails in the past, makes me want another go


  5. Great work on the ships! They really look wonderful. Shame you had to bin the two ships and the Arabs though, I've come close to that a few times myself!
    I have a lot of metal/plastic in my reclamation box just because of that! ;)