Tuesday, 22 December 2015

From Millsy - 28mm Norman Crossbowmen (40 points)

Right, time to get the show on the road for this year...

My first submission is eight x 28mm Crusader Miniatures Norman Crossbowmen for my SAGA force. Black undercoat and a mix of blending and dry brushing painted these up nice and quick. The colours are a little bright but that's deliberate on my part as these are more gaming pieces than an attempt at historical colours.

Nice enough sculpts although one of the four poses is a little pin-headed. Some might say that's an accurate reflection of his nature as a Norman.

Before people ask the church in the background is a scratch build from my collection on Dark Age terrain. More about it here and here and finally here if you're interested...

Not quite the epic points bomb I'd normally like to kick off with but in light of my "low key modus operandi" this year this is most appropriate. It might also be something to do with the fact that I've also been painting 21 Norman cavalry too but had already made a start on them pre-Challenge so can't submit them. Planning? Me? <ahem>

Thanks for looking and have a safe and enjoyable holiday people!


Ahhh, the Mills-Monster strides onto the stage, most eaaaxcellent. Hmm, this means the Dave-Daemon must not be far behind...

Normans! Now, that's something I wasn't expecting from you, Millsy. These look very nice indeed. Super bright and colourful, but very nice indeed. Indeed, these chaps look almost too posh, very CMYK actually - they must get hints from Pantone to what will be chic du jour for this year's jerkin colours. ;)
Seriously, great stuff Millsy. How many of these crop-haired loons do you have to do to complete your SAGA warband? Even though they can't be scored, you should show us your Norman cavalry, and while you're at it,  give us a better shot of your church next time around.
40 points for your opening gambit, Mr. Mills. Well done.

From AaronH - Six 28mm Uruk-Hai (30 Points)

In keeping with tradition, my first entry is six models. It's a nice easy number that breaks the rust off without being overwhelming.

These are 28mm Isengard Uruk-Hai warriors from Games Workshop. I've been puttering away at this army for over a decade. In the last year I've added some much needed models, but more on those later in the Challenge.

This entry is just six rank and file troopers. Five sword and shield and one pike.

Two of the guys at the local store built Helm's Deep. It's one of the best models I've seen of the fortress. Naturally we need to have a lot of Uruks to fight out the siege.

Pike from the rear.
I paint my troops to match the description from the books, not the movies. That means a black circle with the white hand on the shield and an elvish S rune on the helmet.

"There were four goblin-soldiers of greater stature, swart, slant-eyed, with thick legs and large hands.  They were armed with short broad-bladed swords, not with the curved scimitars usual with Orcs; and they had bows of yew, in length and shape like the bows of Men.  Upon their shields they bore a strange device: a small white hand in the centre of a black field; on the front of their iron helms was set an S-rune, wrought of some white metal."

There will be more Uruks coming across the table during the Challenge, but for now, on to other forces.

Welcome aboard Aaron!
It's great to see your traditional half-dozen enter the fray, and Uruks no less. :) I've always liked that you paint your troops in light of the books rather than the films. Not that I have anything against the movies, I think they're excellent, but I enjoy your Old Skool vision of the project. Perhaps the perfect marriage would be this approach done with the venerable Mithril Miniature range (though I could see that becoming an expensive endeavor).
These Lads of Saruman will give you 30 points. Nice job Aaron!

From AdamC - The Necromancer and his Crew (75 Points)

My first entry of the Challenge and my first elemental bolt (or perhaps bone dart) of the Frostgrave Duel. (If your not familiar with Frostgrave take a look at my review  and battle reports)

First up is the Necromancer himself one of the official Frostgrave Wizards from Northstar that I got as part of the "Thaw of the Lich Lord Nickstarter." 

He might be painted a bit brighter than one normally thinks of with a Necromancer but I have found out that the white and gray of a typical Frostgrave board I have found bright colours look really good on the board.  He looks like he might hold some link to nobility, that hat suggests a crown.

The Apprentice is painted in a similar fashion to suggest a uniform or livery (or maybe school colours).

Of the two I think the Necromancer is the better figure but this one has a lot of character as well.  Consulting a book in the midst of a battle seems very nerdy.

Finally we have two sets skeletons.  The first is in Red and Purple suggesting a livery maybe our Necromancer has bit of Martinet streak or maybe they were part of the same adventuring band or military unit back when they lived.  These guys are all form the Frostgrave "Undead Encounters" pack from Northstar and will probably see a lot of action on the gaming table.

The second group of skeletons is from the same set but I wanted some more variety as I am not painting traditional gaming units but individual skeletons that most of the time are encountered in ones or twos wandering Frosgrave.

 I call the two on the left the former Green Knights. 

The one on the right I call the former Raven knight both for the heraldry I did and the companion he has on his head.

I really like the one bursting out of the ground and the rat skeleton is cools as non-human undead are always a nice addition.  The one that is a back bone growing out of a still juicy torso is sort of nasty.

The forth figure in light blue is actually form the Cultist sets but with skeletal arms and a head. Maybe this Cultist has received his promised "immortality" from the the Lich lord.

In all we have 75 points worth of figures here (15 28mm figures two living and 13 undead) assuming full points for the rat and half points for the skeleton bursting out to the ground and the guy who is just a pair of legs with a backbone and skull.

Lovely work Adam and welcome to the carnival! 

I've not yet taken a look at 'Frostgrave', but it seems to have captured the imagination of many in our hobby, which is no small feat.
All of these models are great, but I have to say I really like the last set of bony fellows - there are some pretty creepy undead constructs there. Yikes!
 A well-earned 75 points to start your ascent up the roster. Well done!

From KyleC - 28mm USMC Forces Arriving... (310 Points)

Boom... off goes some shells from the distant island, as the USMCs begin their landing for assaults...

My first units to get painted in this new force, after several weeks of assembly to get them ready for this competition. Spent a good amount of time on them over the last few days to get to this point, and still have a few more to go before the infantry section is finished. So expect to see more of these guys in the coming week or so.. The vehicle detachment might be a bit later before they get some work on them as I want to tackle as much of the other infantry sections as possible first :)

Currently this gives me 4 full infantry squads of Marines. Each with 3 SMGs, 3 Bars, 3 Shotguns, and 4 rifles. The NCOs are all carrying SMGs in this case.

I have a few special weapons in among them as well.. including a guy holding a MMG, a Forward Air Observer, and a guy pointing to where the bazookas should fire.. now just to paint up the bazookas...

The 2 commanders are also there... looking grim at the situation in front of them.

I also have some converted Italian command modes to go with the Americans, as well as a nice flamethrower for bunkers and house clearing.

The models are a mix of Warlord plastics/Metals, and Artisan Metals that I got off of eBay recently. They are apparently airborne, but once painted up like the marines you can barely tell really.

Already looking forward to when they will be baptised by blood in a game..

I did attempt some photographs on the gaming mat, but they didn't turn out as good ( bad lighting )... but they also blend in well to it, so that is a plus to me (for gaming at least! ).

All in all, we have 4x13 man infantry units, 5 HQ models, 5 Special weapon models giving me 62 models in 28mm scale in total finished already... let's get some more done over the holiday break coming up shall we? :)

Wow, that is a lot of olive green. Another point bomb to shake up the roster, eh? Excellent work Kyle. Are there Japanese in the works as well? Nevertheless, I look forward to seeing the rest of this project come to fruition. Put on 'The Pacific' and keep it coming!

From AnneO'L - Landing Party (30 Points)

This year I would like to do something a little bit different. Rather than painting single figures, I am focusing more on units and teams.  I am not a display painter and am not interested in working hard enough to become one. Therefor it is time I turned my attention to unified groups of figures that can be used on the gaming table.

My first entry is a Landing Party with figures from both Counterblast and Reaper.

32mm figure from Counterblast sculpted by Patrick Keith

32mm figure from Reaper sculpted by Bob Ridolfi

25mm figure from Counterblast sculpted by Patrick Keith

25mm figure from Reaper sculpted by Patrick Keith

20mm figure from Counterblast sculpted by Patrick Keith
(I have painted this figure before, but in a completely different palette)

Using the greens, browns and yellows as unifying colours enabled me to assembly line paint and get these done a bit quicker.

I will be quite busy during the Holiday season so I won't have another post up until January.  And as it is a US Airborne bazooka and 60mm light mortar team, it may be the 2nd week of January at that. Those para's have a lot of webbing and that's sure to slow me down quite a bit.

I'd like to thank Curt for continuing this Challenge for another year.  Winter would be quite dull and the extra excitement helps keep spirits high. And for those in the Southern Hemisphere it provides an escape from the wretched heat.

Also I would like to thank those kind folks who are taking on the extra responsibility as adjudicators this year. Without them I doubt that so such a large number of us would be able to participate.

Wishing you all a Happy Holiday Season.

Welcome aboard Anne, and Happy Holidays to You and Yours as well! 
It's wonderful to have you with us again this year as it's always a treat to see your talented brushwork.
Yellow is one of my favourite colours and I really like your use of it in this entry. Also, that turquoise skin tone on the long-necked alien is brilliant as well.
For ease of accounting we'll score all of these as 28mm models, so 30 points total for your debut, Anne. Well done m'dear and see you in the New Year!

From ClintB - P'Lugah Tan'Kim Company (22 Points)

Today we have more 1/300th scale (6mm) figures. I needed something for the Mig 17 to shot at! So the next stage was to create a "Maglach-2" Company. In this company there are 11 M48 "Patton " tanks in Israeli 
Service circa 1967.

The eagle eyed among you will note that the command Platoon (of two tanks) are slightly later model tanks with the M68 (L7) 105mm Tank gun while the others have the 90mm M41 gun. What, you cannot see a difference! Trust me it is there which technically makes the command tanks Maglach-3's. But for game reasons I will treat them all as Maglach 2's. It is a game and only a serious tread head will worry about it! OK then, I will buy a few more just to make you happy.

The very, very eagle eyed and those that really know the subject will notice the Battalion markings are also missing! To be fair They would be small on 15mm models and as I will not be adding more than one Battalion to any games without changing the tank type, Is it really necessary. I think it is more a case of me knowing the markings and wanting to get them right than wargaming practicality at this scale. But the turret markings are just about correct! Or at least as Correct as my brush will allow!

Other than the command Platoon each platoon has 3 tanks again if you want to criticise the TO&E you can argue that each platoon should have 4 tanks. But the reality of life/war/wargaming and all that stuff... full platoons hardly ever take the field of battle. So 3 tanks a platoon is more acceptable than a full and complete TO&E that you would expect on the Parade ground or the barracks.

I have included a few pics of them in action crossing my desert terrain. It is usually children with an excess of personality that point out the different desert colours but as I will be re-painting the desert early next year I am sure you will forgive me. And if you don't I still don't care!

The planned rules will be Flames of War, but the air combat  will be "Check your 6-Jet age". There will be a few more coming as the Painting challenge progresses but this should give me a few extra pre-Christmas points. But it is the shortest day today (or yesterday by the time this is published) and light is already going and the camera flash is only so good.

Anyway thanks for looking and Thanks for any comments. Cheers Clint

More mico-scale goodness today, excellent. As a self-admitted 'child of excess personality' I will say: wonderful work Clint! These Pattons really look the business, except, of course, when a few of those pesky Saggers get in the way to wreck their fun. ;) I also like your judicious use of vehicle markings. Not too much to clutter the model, but just enough to get the message across. Nice. 
For the most part, I'm not a huge fan of hex terrain, but I do like the care and detail you've put into yours, especially the wadi and the town in the last image. Lovely stuff.
This murder of Maglach's will give you 22 points!

1/72 Scale Roman Gladiators (36 Points)

The boy said he wanted to play gladiator combat games, so I thought what better way to start this years challenge.

These are a mix of Orion, Italeri and Pegasus 1/72 plastic figures. The Orion in particular were very hard to clean up and have a sort of fringe effect where I tried to clean up flash and mold lines.

In addition to my regular Tanned skin triad from Reaper, I used the Drak and Golden skin triads that I purchased just before the challenge.

I probably went overboard with color choice, I can't seem to not use multiple metallics. The leather cuirass on the third figure from the left bothers me a little. I am worried it is too similar to the Dark skin tone.

I've set myself some daily goals, and is my want, failed to reach them. But on the bright side I'm doing well towards my weekly goal to hit 1000 points. So I can't be too sad.

Macte virtute sic itur ad astra.

Great job Sean! I had no idea that these companies did gladiators in this scale - very cool. This is a colourful lot and that backdrop is just ace. What rules are you going to use for these? Once the boy gets old enough I strongly suggest 'Spartacus' - it's VERY adult in theme but gives a great game.
These nine gladiators will give you 36 points.

From GregB - Epic 30k Imperial Fist Space Marines

Epic 30k Marines from the Imperial Fists, the VII Legion
Well, my first entry for the latest edition of the Painting Challenge is Epic, in literal content, not in points, namely a detachment of Epic 30k Space Marines.  "Epic" is Games Workshop's 6mm-size game system.

These troops wear the yellow colours of the VIIth Legion, known as the "Imperial Fists".  In GW's "Horus Heresy" setting, (known among GW gaming nerds like me as "30k", as opposed to "40k", the "later" period, if you will), the backdrop is a giant, galaxy-wide civil war sparked by the rebellion of Horus Lupercal, the Warmaster, top commander of the Emperor's forces.  The Emperor promoted Horus as his second-in-command, but Horus longed for one last promotion that only war could offer...

Land Raiders, the go-to, all-purpose tanks of the Space Marines
And so half the Imperial forces, including half of the Space Marine Legions, turned against their old boss and followed Horus. What a smack-down! In the middle of all of this, the Imperial Fists remained loyal to the Emperor, and as such these are some of the "good guys".  I like these fellows a lot - you get the toughness, steadfast loyalty and grim, martial determination on the loyalist side, without the MBA-style, stuck-up nerdiness of a group such as, say, the Ultramarines.

Tactical marines near their trusty Rhino APCs - each APC can carry 10 marines, or two stands of infantry

While today geeks like me explore this setting by playing with the 28mm figures from Forge World, it was, in fact, the 6mm-sized games "Adeptus Titanicus" and "Space Marine" which truly ignited interest, and gaming, in this "period". 

Another view of the tactical troops
The Epic game and its many variations are some of the top games GW ever produced, and I still love them.  I still dust off the old figures for a game from time to time with the Fawcett Avenue Conscripts - we usually get about one, sometimes two, games in per year.  Most of my collection, however, is Imperial Guard, Orks and Eldar - and I have done, comparatively, very little Horus Heresy gaming in Epic.

Steadfast loyalty to the Emperor...
Last year David Larkins' excellent Epic-themed entries really inspired me to get back into Epic.  While I didn't manage it during the last Challenge, I kept a wary eye on Ebay over the past year and lined up a few scores to be ready for this year.  Two in particular have me really fired up for some Epic-30k painting during this Challenge.

Sicaran tanks - the one in front seems a bit, shall we say, "insecure"...it's meant to be a major anti-tank weapon...right...
So with all that blather out of the way, I wanted to get a first entry which would touch on a couple of my side duels (Sci Fi and 30k), and ride the Epic nostalgia wave.  This submission includes two 20-man tactical squads, four rhino APCs, three Land Raiders, two Sicaran tanks, and one Sicaran Venator (the, ahem, "insecure" vehicle, if you follow my meaning).  The figures and models are a mix of Ebay scores as well as some non-commercially available models.

Another view of the Land Raiders - in addition to being really tough tanks, they also carry troops!
These days Epic sits, as Curt eloquently described at one point, 'moldering in GW's IP graveyard'.  Word has it the corp-tards running GW these days intend to bring the game back, but I'll believe it when I see it...

In all there are 40 infantry and 10 vehicles in this submission - a pretty small force for a game of Epic, but enough to get started, and decent starter entry to the Challenge.  Throughout the Challenge I will be adding more Epic stuff, (good and bad guys), and I hope to have a nice little throw-down for the Fawcett lads some time in the New Year. 

This batch should net me 40 points - a decent start, but 1960 points still to go...

Smokin' entry Greg! I always enjoy reading your love-hate relationship with GW as it closely mirrors my own feelings on the matter. 
You did a spectacular job on these little models. I really like the tone of yellow you went with as they really pop on the bases. Speaking of which, what size bases did you go with for these lads? I always disliked the old dorky 'strip bases' that GW used. The rounded corners really appeal to my lizard brain somehow.
And I agree, the Ultramarines are a bunch of over-rated, blue-arsed showboaters. The only thing 'Ultra' about them is their marketing servitors... ;)
40 points it is! Well done...and remember: 'Horus for Hope'. :)