Friday, 19 February 2016

From BurkhardS: X-Wings re-paints, SAGA Anglo-Saxons and Warzone Life Dragoons (160 Points)

First of all sorry for this being my first non-theme-round post of the Challenge and for it being such a long one. When Curt asked if I wanted to take part this year, I already knew that I would be hard pressed between the day job, learning for university and this. Never did I know how hard. 
While I was able to get some minis painted, (spray) varnishing them was another matter, with the weather here in Germany being either very cold or very humid. But I finally managed to get some varnish on these minis last week and thus do the bases so here are a couple of entries:

Star Wars X-Wing re-paints:

So up first are a couple of Star Wars X-Wing repaints. To be honest, I have not played a single game of X-Wing in recent year and while I did play a couple of space combat games lately, we have rather taken a fancy to Armada. But since I had already repainted (to rather added to the paint job) of my other X-wing minis, I felt the remaining few should get that treatment as well. That left me with a couple of A-Wings and the Millennium Falcon. With the former I decided to change their colour from red to green. I never liked the fact the all Rebel fighters in the game had the same colour coding, so the only ones that still sport their red are the X-Wings. I the case I simply painted the red markings over and added some engine glow to them.

The other one is the Millennium Falcon. Now in this case I guess I got a pretty sloppy pre-painted model. Many of the panels that were painted in a darker grey or ochre were painted over the panels themselves and the black wash had been applied rather heavy. So I found a grey that matched the base tone and corrected those overpainted panels. I also dry brushed the whole model in this grey to lessen the looks of the black wash. Afterwards I set more panels apart in ochre and grey to give the Falcon a more motley look and added an engine glow. And that was it.

SAGA: Anglo-Saxons

Having rekindled my interest for SAGA last year with my participation in the Grand Melee I feel it is time to add some more factions to my collections. One of those are the Anglo-Saxons. I always liked the way the looked on the paper and their large units in SAGa make them look appealing on the tabletop as well. At least I hope so, since this is only the first (SAGA) point and the Warlord I have painted.

Up first are the Fyrd (Anglo-Saxon Levies). 12 men in all for one point. I usually do not like Levies in SAGA, but I find the Fyrd quite interesting. For one if they are armed with close combat weapons they have the same armour as the Warriors. Second, while most factions have problems activating their Levies, the Anglo-Saxons have some abilities that allow them to activate units based on size, making a large unit of Levies all the ore interesting.

The minis are all plastic minis from Gripping Beasts Levy box, but I gave them all helmets from the Gripping Beast plastic Saxon set. This means they are not wearing any chainmail of other body armour, denoting their Levy status, but with their shields and helmets, they are better armoured than the average Levy in the game, underlining their better armour values. The shields are transfers from LBMS.

Up next is the Warlord. The Warlord model himself is an Anglo-Danish Warlord from Stronghold Terrain, but I felt he would make a great Anglo-Saxon Warlord none the less. After all his clothing and armour are generic enough to let him pass as either.

Since SAGA allows / asks for a larger base for the Warlord, one can usually add some scenic elements. In this case I chose two more warriors. Both are from the Gripping Beast plastic Saxons set. Their shields received transfers from LBMS. Same goes for the large banner. The Dragon Banner came with the plastic set. I wanted it to look very colourful. Probably not right for the Anglo-Saxons, but I always liked them colourful.

The shield on the Warlords back was hand painted, since I felt that none of the transfers would fit it. The design is a bit simpler than what one would expect from a Warlord, but painting him up, he rather looked like a nitty gritty kind of person, so not much decoration on his clothing and shield for me.

To underline his nitty gritty looks I made another addition. I can not be seen too well on these photos but his left foot is resting on the severed head of one of his enemies. And I wanted him to look like he had just chopped that one off. So there is some blood and gore dripping from his axe. (I felt this did not show too well on the other photos so I put a piece of paper between the minis for this photo).

Warzone Resurrection, Imperial Young Guards / Life Dragoons:

And last are some minis for Warzone, to complement my already large Imperial force. In this case some Life Dragoons from the Young Guards Regiment. Since these are the Imperial Serenty (= the head of state) and Imperial is based on modern day Britain, I felt I should rather go with a classic paint job (both in a historic British sense as well as in the sense that they are depicted this way in all the classic artwork). So it was scarlet jackets and dark blue trousers with red piping.  

I have to say... this is were the problems began. They are always depicted with black armour and berets, so I kept those. The big problem was, that this made a large area of the minis rather dark and the colors did not really contrast each other. About the only part of the minis to provide some contrast was the gas masks, but they looked rather strange with their large napkin like collars. 

And it continued with the rest of their equipment. Begin a guard unit that is always depicted in their colorful uniforms even if in the field, I felt that their belts, pouches, webbing and so on should not be green. Them wearing backpacks in white did not seem right either, so I went with a light grey. Which while keeping with the theme, did not really improve the contrast either.

But the minis were plagued with other problems from the beginning. They are made from resin and when I bought those three packs the resin with the weapon sprue on all three packs was extremely soft. I contacted the manufacturer and got replacement sprue without any argument. But unfortunately those replacement sprue were suffering from lots of flash. So there was lots of work to put into these in the first place. Another problem is the weapons in the set. Two in five men may be armed with either an automatic shotgun, a  mortar and / or a sniper rifle. The set only comes with an optional mortar and sniper rifle and both for the kneeling mini. So some conversion work was required anyway. To men were converted to shotguns (from another set) and one of the standing guys became a loader for a mortar as well. Since I did not like the pose of the trooper spreading his arms out, I converted one of those to a firing pose. And while I was on it, most minis also received bi-pods, optics and laser designators to make them look better geared out.

All in all not the most fun unit to paint and with those many details hidden on the figures it took a good while. :-( Anyway... here are some close-ups of the minis I like best:

The bill please...!

The good thing is, that these entries should finally give me a good boost here. 

I have judged the three Star wars X-Wing repaints at 3 points each (Size wise they seemed liked 15mm vehicles and I gave them half points for not being complete paint jobs, but just repaints). 15 Anglo-Saxons at 5 points each = 75 and 15 Young Guards / Life Dragoons at 5 points as well for another 75 points. So 159 in total. Which should also push me past my target of 250 points. 
With about a month to go, I think I will have to set my targets a little higher now and raise said target to 500. Lets see how that goes!
Hello Burkhard! Quite a diverse set of figures you have for us here to enjoy.  Great work all around.  While I have avoided, for some odd reason, the "X-wing" bug, you have done great work with your repaints.  The SAGA Saxons look excellent - wonderful job on the shield, by the way.  And these Warzone figures look wonderful too - I am unfamiliar with them, and judging by all the challenges you encountered, it sounds like they are not easy to love.  But your efforts have paid off - great work.  I'll nudge you up to 160 points for the shield work.  Great job, and glad to have you with us!
We will work out your upgraded points with the help of my more-spreadsheet qualified friends...congratulations on breaking through your initial target!


  1. The front on picture of the falcon is superb. Almost like being at the movies.

    The Anglo-Saxons are also very good indeed. I bet I am not the only one who likes the horse shield.

  2. Really superb painting there, on all entries. Of course the blood dripping off the axe is awesome!

  3. Excellent work all around. The Saga guys are my favorite but all are well done. How did you pull off the blood driping from the axe?

  4. Great stuff... And blimey blood and gore..

  5. Thank you all guys!

    @Adam: Blöd and gore is easy to do actually. First you need a "base" to apply the drops to. Our dog has some very fine, light colored hair that I glued to the (painted) axe with superglue where I want the blood to be dripping down.
    The blood / gore it self is a mix of regular paper glue (UHU works quite fine here), some "Clear Red" (either Tamiya or Vallejo) and black ink. Use more glue in the mix than paint and try to get a mix of red and black that looks suitably bloody and gory to you.
    Apply this to the axe head and for it down onto the hair(s). This first coat will only give you a semi-transparent coat. Once the mix starts to dry apply more to the axe head and hairs. You will see some smears and drops will form. let these dry for another minute or so and dab a little more onto these until you like the looks. And that is it.

    Two words of advise: Use and old brush for this or a toothpick or wire. This will ruin any good brush. Second... this is best done after varnishing the mini. Since the glue is water soluteable, getting your mini wet will remove this or at least ruin your effect. BTW... if you are unhappy with the results, tis is also an easy way to start anew. Hope this helps!

  6. Wonderful job on the repaints. Your Falcon looks fantastic!

  7. After looking closer I now noticed the Life Dragoons look a bit like Cobra Vipers...

  8. The repaints look mighty fine! I like the Saga band too and the warlord looks like he is the "head" man fer a reason! ;)
    The imperial troops turned out nicely too for all the bother they gave ya! ;)

  9. That's a cracking submission Burkhard. The Falcon repaint is absolutely superb but the best of all is the horse motif on the shield and the dripping blood effect!

  10. Love the Anglo Saxon's that warlord is really good


  11. Hmm another wargaming butterfly, great painting by the way.

  12. That dragon banner is great, and so is the gore!

  13. Nice work. I like the Dark Age dudes best of all. They look excellent and that dripping axe...Awesome!

  14. Thank you all guys and gals... your comments really mean a lot to me!
    And I am really surprised how well the X-Wing re-paints are going down!

    @Sander... I have to say, I never realized how much these looked like the Vipers from GI Joe (which is a surprise given that they were my favorite toy from the line when I was a wee lad). but you are definitely right there. Maybe that was subconscious!