Wednesday, 16 March 2016

From EvanH - Mad Jack Churchill (5 points)

Well, I was too late for the 'Risk Taker' Bonus Round with this one, but here he is as the first of my final week's submissions for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge;

John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill, DSO & Bar, MC & Bar, aka "Mad Jack" Churchill. A man's man. In fact, a man's man's man. The figure is a Warlord Miniatures release, and I am surprised that nobody else painted him up for the last Bonus Round, since his life is one which Hollywood might consider making into a movie but would reject as being too implausible.

Archery champion, gifted piper, fashion model(!), surfer, paratrooper, and commando, he was one of those splendid eccentrics the British seem to let loose during wartime to thrive amid the chaos and danger. He famously said that "Any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed."

In Northern France in 1940, his unit ambushed a German patrol, Churchill giving the signal for attack by taking down the German Feldwebel with a clothyard arrow fired from his longbow.

After Dunkirk, he joined the Commandos, where he continued to do his bit to keep the enemy off-balance by playing the bagpipes on raids while leaping from the landing craft, before hurling a grenade into the nearest machine gun nest and drawing his basket-hilted broadsword to give Jerry some stick.

He and a fellow Commando captured 50 German soldiers at Salerno in 1943, marching them back to the Allied lines. His luck ran out when he was captured by German forces in Yugoslavia in 1944. He was sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where he made a brief recovery before escaping through a disused drain. He was recaptured and sent to the Tyrol, where he was imprisoned until the war's end. He resumed active service as soon as he was able, arriving in Burma just in time for the Japanese surrender in August 1945. He is reported to have said "If it wasn't for those damn Yanks, we could have kept the war going another 10 years!"

I've based him up as though he is charging up a shingle beach on a raid, sword and pistol at the ready, and bagpipes and longbow slung over his back. I've even added some washed-up kelp attached to its holdfast to give it that storm-wracked shore look.

OK, so my tardiness has cost me a few points, but once I'd started, I was committed to getting Mad Jack into this year's Challenge. He's too magnificent a character not to include in a Challenge themed around risk takers and gamblers!

What's next? Who knows?!

Stay tuned...!

A brilliant figure of an iconic risk taker, Ev. As you say, even Hollywood might struggle with how to portray this character, he's just so over-the-top. I really like how you've created the impression that he's storming a shale beach and the tartan on his bagpipes is very eye-catching with that vibrant blue check (is it a historical pattern?). I'm glad you stuck with it so we could see him here in all his longbow'ed/bagpip'ed/claymored glory.


  1. Lovely work Evan and what a character that man was :)

  2. Great choice for a Risk Taker! Very nicely done especilay those bagpipes.

  3. Fab entry, obviously a lunatic, all the best British soldiers were.

  4. Marvellous stuff Ev. Well done mate!

  5. Thanks for the kind words, guys!

    Curt, the tartan was a rather dodgy attempt at a Cameron plaid (since Churchill used to enjoy playing 'March of the Cameron Men' on his pipes), but I kept making a terrible mess of it. I'll have to go back over the design and get it right!

  6. Great choice of subject Evan! And great paintjob on him as well!

    He sure was an interesting character! The British army seemed to have quite a selection of eccentric officers in service. Makes for great stories!

  7. Such a shame he missed the bonus round. he would have gotten my vote!

    Brilliant character, brilliant paint job as well.

  8. Great job and great history lesson!

  9. Great character, great painting.

  10. He looks perfectly awesome, Evan! I should imagine that if Tommy Prince and him were paired up, the European side of the conflict would have finished sooner! ;)