Sunday, 3 January 2016

From BillA - Frostgrave Bestiary (20 points)

This armored skeleton (Reaper Bones "Arrius, Skeletal Champion") represents a couple of firsts for me - he's the first figure I've painted exclusively with Reaper paints (I'm in the process of replacing all my craft store paints with Reaper brand because I've finally come to my senses and realized how much higher the quality is for what I'm trying to do) and the first "Bones" figure I've had come out really good and with a look that I'm happy with.

Plus, I'd argue he's the single best-looking figure I've ever painted.  I've never gotten results this good before.

It makes me much more inclined to buy more "Bones" figures in the future, especially when it comes to big guys like a Frost Giant and Ice Trolls for Frostgrave.  I've also got my eye on buying a couple of Reaper's "Barrow Wardens" to back this handsome fellow up on the frozen battlefields to come.  Heck, I may buy enough to build a warband I can use in Dragon Rampant in addition to serving as wandering monsters in Frostgrave!

I'm always particularly pleased when I do the verdigris-crusted copper effect, and I use it extensively on undead - I feel like it makes them seem particularly old.

Following up on this, I scavenged three "Giant Frogs" from my collection of prepainted D&D miniatures to repurpose as Frostgrave "Ice Toads."  I'm not sure what the issue was, but the smell of the Krylon primer really clung to these guys for *days*.  Didn't get great coverage either, whether from the nature of the plastic or some sort of sealant on them from their factory of origin.  So I painted a few more layers of white over them, washed with Reaper "Tropical Blue," drybrushed again with white to emphasize the warty detail, and then picked out the eyes and mouth in Tropical Blue.

I don't know if I'd try to repaint some of these prepainted D&D miniatures again, but I think these guys are effective enough for my purposes.

You're right Bill, that armoured skeleton is the bomb. Wonderful job. I really like how you did his verdigris plate mail.
I also agree with you about the good quality of the Reaper brand - very opaque and smooth. That being said, I still keep a lot of craft paint on my desk. I use it primarily for my terrain and basework as the cost per square cm is pretty low. (That's my prairie peasant frugality coming out.) :)
Again, great work!

MartinC - Zombie Horde ( 210 points)

Having finished the Zulus I was sick of brown. I needed a different palette to use and grey was appealing so I present a zombie horde painted in grey (mainly).

These are the Studio Miniatures plastic Zombie horde and were painted very quickly using thinned down greys, black and whites. The figures were then dipped in watered down indian ink and left to dry. Ties, hats and big hair were then painted in different colours and blood added to hands, mouths and clothes. The bases are painted plain black , I think it works well for the horde.

Overall there are 42 figures in the horde and I'm now off to paint something slowly.

Yup, that is a big bomb of zombies to be sure! Wicked. With this mob Martin, you will handily move into the lead in the points race. Well done.

From ScottB - first Entry - breaking my duck... SdKfz 250/9 - 15mm FoW (12 Points)

Just a quick post to say I am alive and well and contributing as best as I am able...

I 'break my duck' with a couple of 15mm Flames of War German half tracked recce vehicles, the SdKfz 250/9...

A recce vehicle mounting a 2cm main gun, backed up by Co-ax MG, on a small half-tracked chassis...

I 'picked these up' about middle of last year when my son bought these 2nd hand from the bring and buy stall as a prezzy for me, at the Panzerschrek tournie in Palmy North here in NZ... he's a good lad :)

Quick and easy to paint I figured I would lash some paint on them to get some points rolling in the challenge... a meager start but at least I am still breathing...

Funnily enough it wasn't until I had undercoated and base coated the vehicles that I noticed one had lost part of its front mud guard. This was quickly painted up as battle damage as I couldn't be bothered to try and correct it then!

More ambitious things in the pipeline, so watch this space... I've got a Mumak on the go, and am half way through assembling Smaug... fingers crossed I get them done in time...

Nicely done Scott and welcome back for this year's journey. As usual your muted camo looks fabulous. I've always had a soft spot for WWII German recce vehicles - they always looked so much more modern and nasty than most of the clunkers the Allies used. 

12 points for you as we await your Mumak (the Tiger of LotR).

From MilesR - Mathemagical Statistical-Like Analysis

For some reason that none of us will likely ever understand, Mr. Campbell has requested that I perform some periodic statistical analysis of the Challenge. Perhaps he wants to educate the rest of you on the beauty and glory of the statical method.  Maybe he wants to delve into the deeper meanings of the form of art we've all chosen to pursue. Maybe he's just bored and wants the rest of us to be the same way.  Who knows?  All I know is that I'm here to inflict, oops ummm, rather "inform" you masses of the current status of the Challenge,

As you all know this is the largest challenge to date with 88 registered participants who have initially set a target of 68,950 points.  That's just a bit higher the the 64,905 points the group achieved over last year's 72 participants.  We should note that this years challenge only has 12 weeks of competition time vs last years 15 so we should expect a tiny drop off in points totals.

So now that we are two weeks into this event where do we stand?

Of the 88 participants, 41 have made 98 submissions with a cumulative points total of 6,392 points.  That works out to an average of 65 points per submission.  The results of the Nostalgia bonus round are excluded for these totals.

A simple extrapolation of the first two weeks over the the remaining ten (adjusted also for the forthcoming bonus rounds) indicates that this intrepid group of 41 individuals should clock in around 45,000 - 50,000  points.  We should see roughly half that productivity form the 47 participants who have yet to submit a entry but who are surely stockpiling painted figures in ambush.

My best guess for a total point total for this year Challenge is 75,000.  Since I control the spreadsheet that calculates all the point totals this year, I have an extremely high level of confidence....  Oh hell, well just have to wait and see if the 75K projection is correct.

One other key item that will be tracked is who is vying for this year's "Greatest Improvement in Miniature Productivity" award.  Yes the GIMP award to bestowed upon the painter who has improved his of her game the most over the previous years challenge.  This award is world renowned and held in the same esteem as a Nobel prize or an NFL MVP trophy.  For those of you who are Brits or in the Commonwealth, winning the award is almost a guarantee of a future knighthood.  At least I think it is - since we kicked you out of the colonies keeping up with the formalities of this royalty stuff isn't high on my priority list.

To recognize the importance of the awards, I think we should all take a movement to recognize the current holder, Mr Millsy (soon to be Sir Millsy, I'm sure) with the traditional chant.  Now repeat after me:

Millsy's a GIMP!, Millsy's a GIMP!, Millsy's a GIMP!

I'll be checking back in with another update in a few weeks.

From Curt: Millsy, buddy, I'm so, so sorry...

The 'Nostalgia' Theme Round is Live & Curt's 'Zarg the Terrible'

Zarg the Terrible
Well, that took a bit longer than I expected, my apologies. Nonetheless, better late than never and with that our first Theme Round 'Nostalgia' is now up on the Bonus Theme page. I invite you all to get yourself a drink, something to nibble on and head over to enjoy the gallery. As with all our Theme Rounds the entries are very fun to read and more than of a few will make you pause for a bit. Yes, they are that good.

After you've looked at all the entries please take the time to vote for your favourites. You can vote for as many as you like so don't feel like you have to be stingy.

I know this year's themes have thrown a few of you for a loop, but I wanted to challenge you to step back, think and imagine different approaches to the themes. This week's theme of Nostalgia' was put forward as I knew it would provide a series of personal vignettes and reminiscences that we often don't get to see in each others' various blogs. As such, you will find several stories that are quite touching in this round.

As to myself, I ran into an old girlfriend this past summer. Her name is Lois-Anna. Actually Lois-Anna is not just an 'old girlfriend', she was my first girlfriend, my first girlfriend at the very tender age of 16. 

We made arrangements to meet for coffee, and a few weeks later had a nice time together, reminiscing about old friends and good times gone by. Just as we were about to part she gave me an envelope that contained a few Polaroids from when we were together.  In amongst the photos was one of me wearing a cheesy pair of Foster Grants, posing behind a mushroom-topped stump with a trio of little lead miniatures atop it. They were in fact the first miniatures I had ever painted. I was speechless. I had completely forgotten that this photo had ever been taken and it made me laugh aloud.

'Zarg' in the red circle. I'll pass on the sunglasses but gosh, I wish I still had that hair... ;)

I'll give you a little context to this photo. I was raised in  a very, very small town in northern Saskatchewan, where the nearest hobby store was around 120 miles away. My best friend Gary and I mail ordered our 1st edition Players Handbooks, DM's Guide, Monster Manual and several lead miniatures direct from TSR in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.  When they arrived it was like Christmas in summer. I was so excited to paint the figures that I used enamel car paint from my dad's shop and my mom's toothpicks and push-pins to apply it to the figures. Yup. Pretty primitive I know, but sometimes you just can't beat raw enthusiasm.  

After I got the photo from Louise I spent an afternoon searching through my lead shed and managed to find my character figure - the very same as in the photo. Yes, 'Zarg the Terrible' emerged in all his glory. (It's funny, even back then I was a complete cynic as I came up with his name as a tongue-in-cheek reference to my ability as a player.)  Anyway, poor Zarg had not weathered the intervening 33 years very well, so I didn't even bother to photograph him as I found him.  Rather I just brushed away the paint (yes, the 'benefits' of high lead content and absolutely no primer) and began afresh. So, here he is, 'Zarg the Terrible' in all his splendor, painted by a middle-aged version of that boy from 1982. 

Sarah wanted a picture as a 'before and after'