Friday, 30 January 2015

From SamuliS - 28mm French Middle Guard at Waterloo (243 points)

Another larger entry. This time the Middle Guard Grenadiers at Waterloo consisting of 3 Battalions and represented by 16 men each. I actually finished them last week, but being the clever boy that I am I forgot to take pictures in time...Well better late than never so here they are :)

They are all Victrix plastics. Not the best quality miniatures with a lot of soft detail and bayonets that snap very easily. Still they were extremely cheap coming at about 30cnt per miniature from a sale so that does compensate quite a bit for all the shortcomings. The flags come from GMB designs.

On most my Napoleonics I like to keep the paint job simple as there are hundreds of these little buggers to paint if you really want a proper large battle. These were basecoated blue with an airbrush and then block painted with the main colours. To add some variety I tried painting the backpacks in different colours and then added some extra detail by highlighting the skin parts as that's what people tend to look at first and it does seem to help give a better overall impression. All this was followed with a wash to add some shading. Finally some mud on the clothing to look like they've been trudging through the rain soaked field at Waterloo and to make the paint job look better than it really is :) Distraction is always the great asset when trying to make a quick paint job look better and mud is a great quick way to add something extra that most people don't seem to bother with.

I'm quite badly behind schedule and haven't been able to paint as much as I want, but I do have a "good" excuse as I've lately fullfilled a male dream as a wild red head has made it's way into my life. Probably not the beast that Gentlemens' magazines seem to promote though as this redhead goes on four legs, is very hairy and is actually a guy. Curt should be pleased to hear that we've settled on a Canadian breed with the Novascotian Duck Tolling Retriever and both the parents are imported dogs from Canada, so our family is now one third Canadian :) In the future he'll be accompanying me when hunting ducks and grouse and will hopefully bring some much needed skill to the hunt when I can only provide luck (albeit very bad luck at that) and wildly exaggerated success stories. In the meanwhile he'll continue what every Toller does best, and that is coming up with new ways to trick their unfortunate owner. Damages have so far been limited to a single shirt, but that is definately bound to change in the future as he is continuously figuring out new ways to delight us with his tricks. He already did manage to open one low cabinet containing prepped minis, but luckily I spotted the looming disaster in time and saved my minis from a horrible fate and the little dog from massive stomach ache and a trip to the Vet.

25cm 'Realistic' scale dog

From Curt:

This post is wonderful on all accounts! Your Middle Guardsmen are very nice. I've put together my fair share of Victrix plastics and can attest to both their ease of conversion but also how fragile some of their parts can be (especially the bayonets). As you say a bit of strategically placed dirt and mud seems to strangely elevate many figures.

Your new puppy is awesome! I love his face and white paws. Sarah and I spent conducted the necessary 'awwws' and had fun checking out the breed online. What is the little fella's name? I have no doubt he will propagate Canada's good reputation in your fine household (shirts, shoes and nummy figures notwithstanding). :)

From ScottB - Empire of the Dead - Gent, with 'Big Gun' (5 Points)

Another 28mm Empire of the Dead figure, from the WestWind Requiem kickstarter again, this time a Gent with "Big Gun"...

I believe this is another of those multiple barrelled VolleyGuns, capable of firing multiple shots at once. You don't want to be anywhere near when this thing goes off!

It could take down multiple wound heroes and monsters in a single blast!

And the models pose and styling is such that he may well still have a knife or light pistol concealed about his person too! Never hurts to be prepared!

He's definitely going to be a Membership part of my Gents faction... and I think I'll call him simply 'Sykes'.

From Millsy - Grima and the Gobbos (105 points)

The title of this submission might sound like an 80s punk quartet but in fact it is 21 fantasy miniatures to bring my points total to just over 2500. Can anyone else smell bleach?

The forest gobbo Spider Clan are "dismounted" from the Spider Rider set and are intended as a speed bump unit for my Savage Orc army, which you've seen a fair bit of over the last few weeks. They fit the savage theme nicely I think, with their arachnid motifs, feather adornments and flint spears.

I would have much preferred the earlier metal incarnations but a combination of price and availability has precluded that happening (at least for the time being).

When I do get some metal ones these will likely be sold off to maintain the "90s metal purity" of the army. Regardless, that's 100 points added to the tally for 20 miniatures.

I tried the red-eye reduction, honest I did...

And because I didn't want be the only painter in the whole Challenge who hadn't painted a LotR miniature here's Grima Wormtongue, pasty faced and clad in black like his movie counterpart. He's another Raggy Doll who has been lurking undercoated for far too long.

Most importantly Grima's worth a glorious 5 handbag filling points. I believe, Mr Docherty, that wins me Round II of our little Handbag Side Challenge Stoush.

Given you aren't a fan of the Reverend MC Hammer's musical stylings I was forced to search out something else from the retro music collection for you to listen to this time. Nik Kershaw's classic Wouldn't It Be Good seems appropriate in this instance. So sit back, enjoy the video and remember if The Offpsring taught us anything at all it's that music soothes even the savage beast (or disgruntled gamer at any rate).

Dave I know you are a true gent and will be paying up on our little duel in due course. However, just because you ARE such a great mate and true gent I will ALSO being paying up as if you'd taken me down instead. All's fair in handbags and war as they say... (said nobody ever until now).

From Curt:

Nicely played Mr. Mills, nicely played indeed. (polite golf claps from the rough)

Well, you had to go for it this week Millsy, as I think you, along with many of us, suspect that Dave would have done you in next Monday.  It was now or never so a hearty congratulations for pushing over the top.

This has been a hugely fun contest to watch. I felt like Sinbad watching two titans battle blow-for-blow, cringing at the points being slung back and forth. Both of you exhibited amazing discipline as you've been battering away at each other since we started in early December. Magnificent stuff! Bravo to you both!

From MikeP - 1/48 Scale Tamiya Hawks of the Luftwaffe (25 Points)

In three not-so-great photos, here are five 1/48 scale figures that came in a Tamiya model kit, a Citroen car in Luftwaffe service.  I wanted the car for my Weird War Two pulp project.
Here they are with the car (assembled pre-Challenge).   I figure the Luftwaffe figures will give me some useful targets for airfield raid scenarios with the Commandos I showed here in an earlier entry.

The figures aren't bad in terms of detail, a little less definition than metal ones but the price is certainly right.   The lettering for the mechanic's toolbox was suggested by a very useful Luftwaffe reenactor's website.  For the uniforms I used Vallejo Luftwaffe Uniform from their excellent Armour Aces series of paints.

1/48 scale is a little bigger than 28mm but not too bad.  I've included one of my favourite Bob Murch figures, a Luftwaffe aviatrix from his Dangerous Dames pack, for scale.  I have a beautiful aircraft for her, a Tamiya 1/48 scale Fiesler Storch, but it won't get assembled for this Challenge, as I have to move in a few months and I'll spare it the risk of damage.

These five figures should net 25 points.

Thanks for looking.  MP

From PeterD - CurtGeld - Socrates (20 points)

So for this year's painting challenge, Curt has required that we paint up a 28mm entry figure of for this year's theme - Antihero.  Here's my entry figures - Socrates (the philosopher not the brilliant Brazilian footballer).   He's a metal figure by Reaper from their Chronoscope range.  I found them in December while off marking Actuarial exams in Santa Monica CA, at Aero Hobbies and Games.  It's a great little shop and I enjoyed my poke around.

So let's look at what an Antihero is, and no it is not the opposite of a hero so the semi-obvious choices of villain and heroine are out.  An Antihero is a character who is cast in the main role and sometimes acts as the villain, but who lacks heroic attributes.  Clint Eastwood's "Man With No Name" and Harry Flashman are prototypical antiheroes.

So why Socrates - in some ways I dunno really it just came to me.  But let's follow this through, is Socrates the obvious choice of hero.  Well, actually he's mostly portrayed as a old codger who asks a lot of probing questions.  Depending on who you read he could also be considered vain, curmudgeonly and having atrocious personal hygiene (think Oscar from the Odd Couple).  He doesn't fit the traditional heroic model, but I figure that he can be placed in a hero's role for two reasons.

  • He fought in the Athenian Phalanx in at least three actions Potidaea, Amphipolis and Delium.  If you're up on your Thucydides, the first was an Athenian victory but the others were big defeats.  He also apparently saved Alcibiades' life at Potidaea (OK maybe that's not a plus as an Athenian). My first ancients army was ancient Greeks and the idea of the citizen Hoplite was part of the appeal.  And yes this is the one army where citizen soldiers actually meant people you study in history class!
  • For being put on trial and executed for ...well basically for being a crotchety old fart who questioned Athenian politics and morality.  But the official charges were impiety and corrupting the youth!  According to his pupils Plato and Xenophon (yes the Anabasis guy), he did have the option to escape but refused and drank the hemlock instead.
Oh yeah, and he played a darn critical role in the history of Philosophy but I am not qualified to comment there.  Instead I refer the reader to the following education video by some prominent philosophy scholars.

Enough historical babble, let's deal with the figure.  The reaper figure was cleanly cast, is on the large 28mm side and was nice to paint.  I opted for basic colours without much ornamentation on the clothing, as I figured that Socrates was a pretty basic guy clothes wise, but tried to bring out details with shading, washes and highlights.  There is a lot of layered folds in the clothing, arising from a clock over top of a tunic which took some figuring out.  I was amused that I actually got to use my "Linen" colour to paint his linen tunic and the "Parchment" tube to paint the parchment scroll.

I liked the base to the figure - it's a slotta type base with a circular well that extends almost out to the edge of the base.  I filled the well with white craft glue and a mix of kitty litter, sand and model railway ballast to give some ground textures.

From Curt:

Nice one Peter, thank you! 

I can totally get behind the idea of anti-heroic, old crotchety guys (actually it's a role model I'm ardently working towards as I age). 

It's a great figure. I particularly like the skin tone you chose for him as it possesses that chalky complexion that many men develop as they age. Also, I like to think that what he has in his chalice is the fated hemlock he has resigned himself to drink...

Thanks again Peter!

From MikeP - Two Sinister Old Generals From The Great War (10 Points)

One of my favourite World War One poems to set the mood - "The General" by British poet Siegfried Sassoon:

“Good-morning, good-morning!” the General said
When we met him last week on our way to the line.
Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of 'em dead,
And we're cursing his staff for incompetent swine.
“He's a cheery old card,” grunted Harry to Jack
As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack.

But he did them both by his plan of attack.

These two figures are both from Artizan's French Foreign Legion range of figures.  They are both going in the mail shortly as prizes for two players in a recent PBEM game of Diplomacy hosted on my blog last fall.   

The fellow on the left is the prize for best role play, which easily went to fellow Challenge participant Edwin King, who played Italy in the game and invented a character called Count Di Graspi.  Di Graspi was a successful general (known in the Italian press as "The Lion of Trieste" and was a lady's man, who vainly pursued the beautiful young Amelia Roosevelt (America's Favourite Girl Reporter).  Later he became a crazed mystic visionary and dictator.  If you want to read some of Edwin's very funny and clever writing, look for the story by "Ernest Harrington" (another brilliant creation of Edwin's) here.  I've painted him in a rather imaginative uniform, Italian green with some French influences and some self-awarded medals.

The other prize goes to Australia's Mark Haughey, who was leading as England when the game ended.   Mark has a cracking good wargames blog here.  The fellow on the right is painted as per Mark's specifications - sort of French, sort of English - he looks like a cranky and grandiose old fellow.

Either fellow could be the general in Sassoon's poem, a grumpy, hard-bitten old soldier who's sent more men to their deaths in battle than he's had hot breakfasts.

It was fun to include these fellows in the Challenge.  Ten points for the two, I believe.