Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Taking a Short Station Break...

Hi Folks!

The Missus and I are heading out of town for a few days of R&R.  From Thursday through to Monday updates will be few and far between as I will be largely incommunicado (though I might try to squeak a few in here and there). As such, I will not be posting the Antihero theme round until Monday night (CST) at the earliest and will catch up with the backlog of entries after that. So you all have a few extra days to get your Antihero ready to rumble.

Sorry for the gap everyone, but I need a bit of a breather before the dash to the Challenge finale.

Back soon!


PS: As a reminder, from Friday the 13th through to the conclusion of the Challenge on the 20th the weekly schedule restrictions will be lifted regarding the timing of entries - i.e. you can enter as many entries as you can manage over the last week of the event. 

Gird your loins people - The End is Nigh!

Voting Results for the Penultimate Theme Round: 'Comedic'

As one can imagine, the 'comedic' theme round was very entertaining. We had a wide range of entries reflecting a broad (and sometimes bizarre) range of humour (yes, I'm talking about you James). Similar to many of the theme rounds we had a tie, this time for Second Place. (I love ties as they portion out the recognition and  the fun.)

The runners up are:

JamesR's 'A Rob Lowe Nightmare'

IannickM's 'Frog Jester'

MilesR's 'Rommel Rolls a 6'

SamuliS' 'Cut the Crap'

BurkhardS' 'Ankh-Morpork City Watch'

StefanK's 'A Joke Gone Cold'

RichardC's 'A Salute to Boney'

In Third Place we have Ray's hilarious, pell-mell 'Pub Donnybrook'. (Girls, why can't you two just get along?)  Ray, you'll get a 25 point top-up for presenting us with this wonderfully raucous establishment.

Second Place (and 50 points each) is a tie, with ScottB's Formula 1 inspired 'Radagast the Brown' and MichaelA's fantastic Captain Hook vignette 'Somebody Give That Man A Hand'. 

And finally, in First Place (by a healthy margin), we have Anne's amazing (and very, very funny) 'You Do Da Hokey Pokey'. Fantastic work Anne. I clearly remember you mentioning these models months ago Anne, and here you've delivered them up in fine style. Just beautiful. 

Anne will get a 75 point bonus and a generous gift certificate from Thomas at Skull & Crown. Congratulations Anne!

The last theme 'Antihero' is near upon us, so stay tuned for that as I'm sure it will be a great conclusion to this year's bonus rounds!

From MartinN - 28mm 2nd BEF Section & Captain Campbell (55 Points)

With this years Challenge slowly coming to a close I'm rather proud to have reached my personal target. With this submission I've surpassed the goal of 80 painted miniatures I set for myself by 6. This means I've already painted 25 miniatures more than last year (61 + 1 AFV) and still there are two weeks to go.
But don't expect me to do much more for the last few days. I'm trying to avoid the 'painters burn out' I suffered from last year and therefore will be reducing my output drastically.

So today I've finished the second infantry section for my BEF. Again these are all Warlord Games figures. There are still some more additions to come but it's a small but playable force now at last.

This lot was quite a pain in the back to clean up. Mould lines and flash all over the miniatures. Compared to my last batch of the same figures I was rather disappointed.

For the sake of consistency within the force the uniforms are still too bright but will look alright on the table I think.

Elsewhere I was asked If I had any reference for the Mickey Mouse camo I used for the BEF helmets. As some of you might be interested as well here's my source:

Really like the monkeys...

And last but not least here's Captain Campbell at your service. He somehow lost his ride after a brief but fierce encounter with a German Messerschmitt over Dunkirk.

While the darn Kraut went up in flames Mr. Campbell still had to abandon his bullet riddled Spitfire by parachute. Must have come directly out of the sun, that bastard...

Well, at the very least he hasn't lost his beloved pipe over the pretty uncomfortable landing. Is there anything better than a pipe and a cup of tea to settle the nerves? Speaking of tea... Blimey! Has he actually forgotten to take his thermal jug with him before the plane crashed?

So this submission should give me another 55 points to add to my tally.

From Curt:

Ah, yet another beautiful entry from you Nick. These BEF lads look fantastic. I really like that you included the anachronistic 'mickey mouse' camo pattern on their helmets and the early darker green webbing - they are very much from a point in time in the war.

You've done a terrific job on Capt. Campbell as well. I really like the addition of the parachute silk and his facial hair looks as outrageous as someone else I know (ahem).  The only thing that might be added is an empty bottle of single malt at his feet (next to my wife, certainly one of my favourite flying companions). It would go a long way to explain why he's walking and not flying! 

Great work Nick and cograts on exceeding your personal goal. Well done!

From JuanM - Assorted Figures (30 Points)

Hello, my friends!
I´m here again, after the full-of-frantic-activities "IV Hispania Wargames". My club presented there a new Thirty Years War ruleset, "Tercios", and Lord Campbell himself was there, commanding a Swedish Brigade:

More in my blog :)
About The Challenge, I have been painting some more figures for my main 2015 projects:

1.- Four Seasons (or Fourth Season), a veteran sailor enjoying his retirement in that pleasant Pacific island. He is going to be a source of information. A 28mm miniature from Pulp Figures.

2.- Mr. Kurt, a veteran ex-German sailor. Perhaps the old German u-boote sunken off shore was his last command... Another Pulp Figures miniature.

3.- The Innocent Native. From Pulp Figures. Is she innocent?

4.- Searching in my Lead Big Box, I have found a shipment of Haslefree Miniatures figures. One of them, this not too healthy zombie I have painted for my "Akula´s Zombies" games. A great miniature, full of bites.

5.- And then, a problem. There were some Fantasy miniatures in that shipment, one of them, this great dwarf warrior. Probably, I´m going to change the range of figures I´m going to use in my Fantasy project, because these figures from Haslefree Miniatures are very nice and more dynamic than those from Scibor. He can be Nori, I think.

6.- Yes, a big problem but one very easy to solve. This is a goblin warrior from Haslefree Miniatures, one I like a lot and with a flesh tone I´m happy with. I think I´m going to have some painted Scibor Miniatures for sale soon...

We are approaching the last week of this fantastic Challenge, and I expect to reach my mark of 500 points. In the meantime, I´m learning a lot from all of you, my friends.


From Curt:

Lovely work Juan! Your 'Pulp in the Pacific' project is coming along beautifully with many interesting characters beginning to populate your storyline. The old veteran is suitably weather beaten and I really like the pattern on the Innocent Native's dress. Really smashing stuff. I look forward to watching this project develop after the Challenge concludes.

I'm also really enjoying your work on these recent goblin figures - the flesh tone is wonderful and I also really like the metalwork.

Finally, congratulations on your club's fine work at the Hispania show. Can you tell me if 'Tercio' is available in English? Did Campbell do his name proud or make a complete hash of it? Actually, don't tell me, I think I have an idea... ;)

Well done Juan!

From MartinC - Iraqi Air Power and Roman Infantry (234 Points)

As my lead mountain has been extensively mined during the challenge, I have been a bit in limbo for a couple of weeks, trying to find something to paint that got my creative juices flowing. There is a reason why I have 3 half painted armies and you all know what that is.

Last week's flying carpet post really got me thinking about aerial battles in the Sinbad world, so I have scratch built the Caliph of Baghdad's Flying Corps, the Black Arrows (better names appreciated but I don't like the Rocs). Each carpet carries an archer and a spearman. This gives them missile and melee capability with the spearman acting as a spotter, using his shield to protect the archer and fending off the enemy. I also have a though that the carpets could charge into combat like jousting knights.

The figures are Perry Mahdists but some of the heads are ACW Zouaves, the spears are mainly from ACW flag bearers with the sleeves trimmed back, the shields saxon, bows wire and quivers from, well no clue there. I removed the bases and drilled holes though the feet to pin them to the carpet. As we have seen in the Challenge already black and red do work well together for the paint job.

The carpets are made from Super Sculpty and look a bit too much like they were bought from Trotters Independent Traders rather than the souk. Overall this gives a very light figure so they are mounted on a wire spear offcut in a cube of wood. These bases are on simple card at the moment whilst I work out how to change elevation. I have now run out of packing material and so cotton wool has been used to bulk out the clouds.

Paint job is a little rushed, I got excited to see them completed, but overall I think it's a cool unit. Plan to buy some proper Sinbad type heroes to give them an opposition and a Caliph to lead them on a storm cloud with lightning bolts, however time is tight to buy and receive suitable figures before end of Challenge.

I have however spent most of the week on this unit of 16 Republican Roman Triarii.

I'm pretty sure that this is the best unit I have ever painted. The figs are Aventine and a few North Star of unknown manufacturer. The Aventine guys are very muscular and have very determined faces. However both types have massive feet, more gibbon than human, hence their commander will be known as Hylobatidae Moloch.

There were only enough metal spears for half the unit so the other half are bristles from a yard brush. The ends were squashed with pliers and a cotton grip was added. They look good and hard to tell apart.

The shields designs are hand painted and not an onerous I as thought, with practice I could get quite good at this. Overall I'm proud of this unit.

Finally I have completed this unit of 10 velites. They are on round bases and have an officer and a musician. Not sure whether to re-base these last 2 figs and reincorporate into the heavy infantry. There were a lot of musicians in the army I purchased and the infantry are supposed to have 2 joint commanders, which is just stupid and can't be how it really worked.

The javelins are bristles and I drilled the shield hand to hold a 2nd javelin.

The shields have a hand painted stag motif, couldn't find an equivalent shield design on the web but animals such as a boar design were common.

So that's about 210 points plus any generosity Curt feels towards hand painted shields.  I remember when that was almost a points bomb, now it feels like I've brought a knife to a gunfight.

From Curt:

Martin my man, those carpet riders are off-the-hook brilliant!  So wonderfully conceived and executed.  You should be very proud of this unit - it's a corker.

'Hylobatidae Moloch' is a fantastic name and made me laugh aloud in the office (we have a fairly taciturn bunch here). Even though the feet may be virtually prehensile I still like the castings and you've done a cracking job on them. I really like the white shields with gold motif - very sharp - and speaking of which your broom-brush spears look fabulous. I also like that you added the second javelin with your velites. I've done this with some of my Dark Age figures as well and wish that more figure designers would sculpt light troops with the 'extra ammo' they would have had.

A wonderful entry - thanks for sharing it with us!