Monday, 12 January 2015

From ClintB - Zulus! Thousands of them.... well, okay, 84 (84 Points)

If you are ever going to start a Zulu army there are a few things you should know;
  • You need LOTS of Zulus.
  • So Many Zulus that you will quickly get bored painting them.
  • When you think you have painted enough you really haven't. Not by a long way. You may have done 1/10 of what you need.
  • As well as lots of Zulu's you need lots of brown paint.
  • You need lots of patience
  • But you really do need LOTS of Zulus, thousands of them in fact.
  • Don't let anyone tell you differently . You need LOTS.
Here are my first 84 figures all painted and based and ready to lots of nasty things to the Colonial British!  They are all 10mm in size from "Newline Design" AND "Pendraken Miniature" I have used both companies as you just crave variety after the first 50 or so! ( I have a few hundred yet to do... gulp!!).

I have kept it fairly simple 3 figures to a base and 6 figures on double bases. This should represent a single unit with 28 bases in all. Looking at it I KNOW I NEED more. Lots more They all have the white and brown shields of the Undi corps led by prince Dabulamanzi kaMande and were the reserve Zulu force for the battle of Isandlwana and the troops that took part at Rorkes Drift.

The colouring of shields were used as both tribal identification and also rank. So I hope I have that right and by checking the above chart I suspect I have. Little details can make a lot of difference for those eager to check.

I really have had very little joy in painting these knowing I have several hundred still to go. Not that they were bad figures to paint just the knowing there were more and yet more to do. But every journey starts with a single step.

Still 84 is not too bad a start. All Painted and based and keen to get on the table-top.

From AaronH - 28mm Celt Light Cavalry (60 Points)

This next entry is, surprisingly, more Celts.  These are six 28mm Celt light cavalry from Wargames Factory.  There are twelve cav in the box so I made six mediums and these lads lights with javelins.

Six riders with javelins.
The models were not much fun to paint, but are probably actually good practice.  The detail was so soft on a couple of them that I ended up painting on the hair and face like it was a blank canvas.

Same pallet, different day.
I painted two of the horses a different color at the urging of several commenters.  I used to have a link to a fantastic horse color chart that laid out all of the various colour combinations.  It is now, sadly, defunct so I started to google horses and got distracted looking at 15mm tanks and ended up just doing whatever I wanted.

Big men on little horses.
I'm not sure how well these guys will stand up to Numidians but we'll find out someday.

Not so bad en masse and charging.
I probably would not have been as unhappy with these horses if I didn't have a splendid example of what a horse should look like sitting next to them on the work bench.

Good and not so good.
They sort of reminded me of the scene in Shrek 2 when Donkey drinks the potion and becomes a stallion Baby!

Ignore the WIP-iness of the horse on the left.
I don't normally show WIP shots but in this case it's a teaching moment.  Sculptors, the horse on the left looks equine.  The one on the right looks cartoon-ine.  I'm not saying I won't ever buy more Wargames Factory Celt cav, but they will have to be the back half of better sculpted units.

From AlanD - 15mm German Infantry Zug for Battle Group Barbarossa (66 Points)

Phew! Just got these finished, along with an undercoat on the lounge room ceiling. Some of the PVA on the bases isn't entirely dry, which explains any white patches you can see.

Here is a platoon (Zug) of German motorized infantry from 1941 for use in Battle Group Barbarossa. Figures are From Plastic Soldier Company.

Someone was asking about the basing of figures for Battle Group. The rules have individual figure removal, but it would be a bit of a nightmare to base figures individually in 15mm. So it's a compromise, but I usually keep rack of casualties with miniature dice when I'm playing the game.

Ideally I wanted to paint the figures with a mix of M1935 and M1940 tunics, but I didn't have the right colour for the 1935 uniform. Next time! This platoon of 33 figures should earn me 66 points, and mean that I am over half way to my Challenge target.

From AdamC - 15mm US M10 Tank Destroyers (18 Points)

I'm an avid player of friendly (ie non-tournament) games of Flames of War.  When the new tank destroyer rules came out with version 3 many felt that these lightly armoured but heavily gunned armoured vehicles were "Broken."  I was never as convinced of this as others, but I did have the feeling that many people didn't find them fun to face so as a friendly gamer I avoided them.

Battle Front has changed the rules to address these issues and you don't see nearly so many complaints these days.  Since they are cool looking vehicles and quite handy when facing the super heavy German armor has been featured in several of recent books I decided it was time to get some.

I really like the detains on the turrets and the fact that you can see the crew and the ammunition.

I added several pieces of stowage from my dead lead box.  My one complaint with these models is they did not include any stowage to make the vehicles unique.

There are two 15mm vehicles with three crew each which should give me a total of 18 points.

Didn't get as much painting done this week other than these and the Civil War regiment posted to the Victorian Theme Sunday.  Weather has limited my ability to get pieces primed and ready to go its been too cold to be outside or snowing/drizzling around here. Such is Winter in New England (I know some of you Canadians are sneering at me) (Yes. Yes, we definitely are. In fact, the sneer is frozen on my face... - ed).

From BrendonW - Crossbowmen and a Drummer (50 points)

9 Crossbow armed fellas and 1 drummer. 28mm Perry Plastics from the War of the Roses line. In Lion Rampant for extra points you can add Pavises to the unit. 12 of these came in the set so I thought why not. My advice though is to consider gluing them on after painting and not try and paint around them like I did as I assembled them as you see them prior to painting. These are the most complex of the figures to build and paint in this series. One thing I realised is that the end cross piece on the bow may supposed to be metal. Let me know if that is true. Easy enough to fix. I went for mostly brimmed helmets to give them one more thing in common.

Next we have by request a group photo of the force painted so far during the challenge.

Another request was our work areas so here is a shot of that. I acquired a half decent chair during the last challenge and it was an excellent purchase. It's not as dark as this picture makes out.

Cheers for now.

From AnneO - Secret Agent Man

One of the goals I set for myself this year was to post more consistently to the non-themed portion of the Challenge than I did last year.  So even if this is just a single figure, it means that I am keeping the promise I made to myself.

This is a 25mm figure from Aetherium.  My oven broke, so I was unable to sculpt him a proper base and had to use ballast to base him. 

I am having even more fun in this years Challenge than I did last year. We all paint as individuals, in solitude and separate from one another. However, when we come together in this Painting Challenge, we unite as a group. That feeling is stronger for me this year due to being assigned days for posting.  

This format has created a bond for me with the rest of the "Monday Crew". Rather than feel like one of many, I feel like an integral part of a subgroup.  My drive to post each week is stronger because of that.  This format has also helped me to feel more united with the entire group, as I learn to anticipate who is posting on what day.  Each day I look forward to seeing work from painters whose work I am becoming more familiar with and that is a good feeling.

All that said, this figure is worth a whopping 5 points! Go me!

From Curt:

Beautiful work Anne (the blue tie is a perfect counterpoint of colour)! I'm delighted that the new format agrees with you - I'm eager to hear what other's think of the new format as I'm constantly considering ways to make the Challenge more efficient to administer while at the same time keeping it both fun and engaging for the participants. 

From Clint (Paint Monkey) - Sudanese Armoured Cavalry (24 Points)

These are the last couple of figures I need to paint for Matt and go with my previous Sudan cavalry. Guess what these took longer. I found them a right pain but I do like the effect and now they are done would be content (if not happy) to do some more. 

 They are Perry Miniatures (28mm) and I wish I had gotten the triangles a little more even. But as they are all freehand I am not going to beat myself up anymore about it. Instead I will try to learn from it and do better next time (shudder).

 Clearly an officer(tribal leader) and standard bearer and the comparisons on the horses are quilted cloth armour. Pretty good at stopping slicing sword strikes, not so good against piercing spears and even less good against bullets of the British or Egyptian armies.

You can see on the picture of the real thing that I did get close but did not quite get a cigar. But at least you can see what it looks like now. I did not look at this picture while painting if I had more Red would have been used.

So they have come out a little more blue than I would have done in retrospect. Like I said live and learn! (Sleep and forget it all).

From DaveD - Sudan - 19th Hussars (270 Points)

Right then Millsy - I see your orcs... and match them with my Hussars! These are Connoisseur Miniatures once more - although there are mix of Elite horses in there as well. The first squadron has had conversion work with arms cut off from the pose you can see in the other squadron and remade with solder along with having a curved flattened pin sabre making and soldered into place.

I had intended to have  two squadrons charging into the fray, but unfortunately my trusty old soldering iron "died" just as I was about to do the work on them. I am sourcing another one , but it will take a few practice attempts to get used to it's heat range before I set it to work on the next regiment.

24 Mounted plus conversion works

Here is a shot of both the regiments complete so far. 10th Hussars, and a few Mounted Infantry to complete for the main cavalry contingent.

and consulting my "spreadsheet" post it note tally - 173 Foot - (17 of which are Pulp). and 51 Mounted all of which are 28mm. - Phew...the lead pile is reducing nicely.. good job there is local show at the beginning of February I am going to need to top it up!

Mr Mills - your Camels have landed....

Stoke the Engines and Full Speed Ahead!

Okay!! My apologies for the pause there folks. Five hours on the road for a three hour meeting will blow a hole in any day, but I'm now back and ready to catch up on our backlog of submissions. Keep in mind that these gaps will happen from time to time as work and family dictate, but don't fret - I'll always get us back on track.

In order to build up a good head of steam I'm going to be moving fast and loose with the next dozen or so entries so please don't be offended if I don't bless you with my erudite (senseless) observations (drivel) - I promise to weigh-in the comments later.

Now, back to the show!

From IanW - 'Zulu Spawn' 6mm Zulu's (120 Points)

I have had these Zulu's in the paint queue for well over a year. In total I will now have painted 480 of the little bleeders and whilst the figures themselves are concerned they are fairly easy. The shields well that's a different matter all together. Indeed I wish I had the skill to do a better job but I simply do not.

Here we have seven Regiments of 36 figures and an extra 12 figures spare making a grand total of 264 figures in this batch. I still have the rifle armed figures to do but these are much easier and will be painted up in the next week or two.

The seven regiments are, Frost, Mongrels, Starters From The Umgoni River, The Howling, Forceful, Black Mamba and Savage (not shown in order, sorry).

I have used Farnsworth for shield details so they are reasonably accurate. However it's the laces that have proved the greatest difficulty. I have added eight to each shield. Any more and it seems to cluttered and any less and it's plain wrong.

As you can see from the shield shots I have had mixed results on getting the laces to line up. But at last they are finished and can be passed back to Matt for him to base up.

Each stick has 12 figures on them. Each base of four has four different poses so when based up you get a very nice dynamic look. Baccus have indeed done a great job at making these figures look the part.

I painted up four different coloured loin cloths and mixed them between the figures for more variation. Last off a wash in chestnut brown ink that really adds to the skin tone. I am REALLY happy to be putting these behind me and giving them back as I have felt really bad abut not getting them done but now I really can paint what I want when I want well almost.

So 264 x 0.5 points is 132 less 20% for not basing comes to 115.6 points, maybe I get half a pint for those ****ing shields?

Oh for those who think painting 6mm is an easy pints ride I have spent far more time on these and the Nap's per point than I get from an average 28 but I love painting the wee chappies. Oh also is it too late to get into this side challenge action for 10mm and smaller ;-) LOL

From Curt:

This post was precisely the reason you weren't invited to that side challenge Ian! ;p

Great work Mr. Willey - I'm sure your friend Matt will be delighted to have these ferocious little blighters in his collection.  I can't give you 'a half pint' for the shields (I'm fairly sure it wouldn't make it through the Post)  but I will give you a few extra points for your efforts.  :)

Your new points spread against Tamsin will give her a bit more of a challenge to overcome this weekend (though I'm sure she has something suitably impressive planned).

From Curt - 20mm Canadian WWII Infantry in Italy (62 points)

A few months ago I started up a project to collect and paint the forces which were involved in the 1943 Battle for Ortona. To most, this battle, if known at all, is regarded as nothing but a tiny sideshow within the larger Italian campaign, but for Canada it is our ‘little Stalingrad’, the battle that brought us out from the shadow of Dieppe and re-established our reputation as a battle-winning partner of the Allied 'family'.

The struggle for Ortona was known for its vicious, grinding and intense urban combat. Fighting which the Canadians earned a hard-earned reputation for effective house-clearing during those last weeks of 1943. Their opponents were tough veteran Fallshirmjaegers from the 1st Parachute Division and as such the fighting was ferocious, often with no quarter given or received. In the end the Canadians drove the German paratroopers from the town but at a fearsome cost. Almost 1,400 men from the Canadian 1st Division (the Loyal Edmonton Regiment, Seaforth Highlanders and the Three Rivers Regiment specifically in Ortona) lost their lives during this campaign.

The models you see here are 20mm castings from AB Miniatures. These figures are, in my opinion, the best models available for this period, in this scale (and arguably most 28mm ranges as well). They are quite lanky and have a wonderful sense of animation. Many of the figures do a great job in telling a story by how they're posed. For example, I love the figure of the soldier about to throw a grenade. He is leaning back, probably meant to have his back against a wall, finger-to-pin, waiting for the signal from his section to throw his Mills bomb into an enemy-held room. There is also a figure of a rifleman on his knees firing up to an upper story. You get a sense that he has just come up from a prone position to get a quick shot before dropping back to cover again. Amazing sculpting in any scale.

This is the last section of my Canadian platoon, which also has the command team and some special weapons teams. (The other two sections, and a bit more background, can be seen here and here.)

Okay, in more detail, we have:

The Command Team, made up of the CO accompanied by his radioman, his senior sergeant waving the boys forward and a corporal charging forward with Sten SMG at the ready (the presence of the Stens are a bit anachronistic as the Canadians typically hated them and exchanged them for Thompsons at every  opportunity). The base shapes is what I use for all my skirmish gaming. Hexes for officers, squares for NCOs, rounds for troopers, octagons for special weapons, oblongs for weapon teams.

Next is an artillery Forward Observer with his radioman. At Ortona the Fallshirmjaegers specifically targeted radio operators and the brigade went through a murderous amount of them.

Here are the dogface infantry. Nothing too sexy, just the trusty SMLE rifle, loads of ammunition and a bunch of grenades. As I mentioned previously there is some brilliant animation here, specifically with the man with the grenade and the kneeling rifleman. 

Finally, here is an assortment of heavy weapon teams. 

First up a set of PIAT teams. One pair legging it and the other deployed prone for firing. The Candadians reportedly loved the PIAT and even used the weapon for 'mouseholing' during their house-to-house fighting (something that seems suicidally dangerous to me, but I suppose when the situation demands...). 

The next duo is a 2" mortar team. They used these to try to mask movement as men dashed across streets. 

Concluding the special weapons is this Bren gun team. I like the third man hollering back telling others from the section to bring up some more ammunition.

Another debut in this post are three MDF buildings, the designs of which I had commissioned from Byron at SG2 Creations (who, I must add, is also one of our generous prize sponsors). The need for region-specific buildings came about when I noticed that there were not many retailers who were providing buildings for the Italian campaign in 20mm. Byron and I poured over period photographs of the buildings at Ortona and have come up with a base ‘recipe’ to represent the narrow multi-story structures that were typical to the town. 

MDF buildings are great but one thing that they have a hard time at conveying is the wonderful bodged randomness of older architecture. We all know that any pre-20th century building is a conceit to straight walls and level floors. As such I decided to roughen up the flat, perfect face of these buildings by giving them a rough skim coat of Liquitex gel medium. Once dry, I drybrushed them in khaki and tan to give them that quasi-Mediterranean look.

While the stucco is a bit dour, Ortona was (and still is) a vibrant seaside resort town and so I thought I’d paint the shutters and doors in somewhat brighter, more festive colours. I used thinned-down ink to give them bit of a sun-bleached, care-worn look. (I have to apologize for the roofs as I haven't figured out how I want to replicate the tile. In the meantime I've just painted them a reddish terracotta so they don't look so 'MDF-ish'.)

These three buildings seen here are separate structures so they can be swapped around, but I’m also having Byron make up some 3 and 4-unit row house sections that will have common walls but irregular roofs and facades. We’re also doing a bunch of wrecked structures (as, sadly, most of Ortona was destroyed) that will use these structures as a basic template. It should provide for a tabletop that is thematically closer to the actual location. I have a couple ideas for special one-off buildings that were notable during the campaign but I’ll post on that when things get more clear on how they're coming along.

Of course, if you're looking for an excellent and economical set of Italian Campaign buildings you now know Byron is the man to talk to. :)

Okaaay, the scoring. Hmm, I make that eleven standing/kneeling figures and nine prone so, that comes to... (sticks tongue out and counts on his fingers and toes...) 

62 points!

Thanks for visiting folks!