Friday, 19 February 2016

From DavidB - Welcome to the Great Lakes! And Curtgeld! (265 points)

I actually think dragging out my Napoleonic or even ACW will be a break after this These are the first FIW models I have painted. Ive been drawing and painting the tribes of the Great lakes for sometime now. I have always enjoyed looking at uniform books and the ones on the FIW just get so much wrong or left out. Mainly this is the tribes. I constantly find references to the Iroquois owning what is now Michigan. This totally discounts the Huron and Ottawa and does a disservice to the Algonquin Nation. Algonquin means fire people( most tribal names are__people or People). We were the three keepers of the fire being Pottawatomie(also Sauk/Fox),  Abenaki(Anishinabe), and Ojibwa. Lots of other bands in there too, but all spoke Algonquin or some variation of the big three. Huron (or Ottawa/ Wyandott) were the buffer between the Algonquins and the Iroquois. The Illini, Miami, Delaware, Shawnee and others were scattered to the south and also caught in the Huron and Iroquois fight. The Mohawks ruled the Iroquois and included the Seneca and others. Tribes have a particular view on families and will incorporate other tribes most especially if they add to the tribe or help out in some fashion.

The French had the largest number of natives on their side as they understood the tribes better than England. They took their time in negotiations, accepted the bizarre, and generally helped out. The English just wanted things quiet and they wanted land.

Outside of  Fort Michilimackinac, Ojibwa warriors were playing a game of Lacrosse or what is really the forebear of. It was known as Wars little brother. (my family still plays in the snow with hockey sticks, baseball bats, and a basketball...bloody noses and bumps and bruises happen real regular too!)
The Ojibwa played on chasing the ball in the fort while the British troops watched. In seconds 15 were dead and the rest of the garrison was captured.

Curtgeld...Pontiac Ottawa war chief.

After British victory in the FIW, things changed really fast for all the Natives. Most of the tribes were concerned about European encroachment on tribal lands, and food for the tribe. The British totally disregarded the promise to leave the French forts on the war's end and instead began to clear land around the forts and began growing towns and farmland.

They also stopped trading with the natives, loss of land, no ammo or muskets, wildlife disappearing. The tribes were well aware of the Powhatan and other East coast tribes that suffered and vanished dealing with the English.

Pontiac led the besiegers of fort Detroit and beat off a few attempts to relieve the garrison. Forts throughout the frontier were all under siege, But Detroit  and Pontiac got the attention due to the size and importance. Forts like Fort St Joseph were entirely overrun and burned, but even though they were closer to "civilization" Pontiac and Detroit were the big news.

Pontiac was contacted by the British after the siege was lifted. Pontiac lost a lot of bored tribesman, and hunting and farming needed to get done. The British had yet to really try to understand their neighbours, so all the negotiations went through Pontiac. An Ottawa war chief who only spoke for his band not the entire Ottawa tribe, He did not speak for the Ojibwa, Abenaki, Pottawatomie, Sauk, Miami, Shawnee, Peoria...The Rebellion ended but not much changed with most forts getting rebuilt and even more British troops came to "keep order". Pontiac died shortly after reportedly slain by a Peoria "assassin. Pontiac and the tribes gambled big and were very successful coordination of a wide ranging attack. The British kind of ignored the big picture and Tribal pride wrecked the rest. A huge Gamble that didn't go well at all.

Pontiac is a Conquest Miniatures model which is now carried by Warlord Games.

I made a war party of Huron/Ottawa/ Wyandott  of Wargames Factory plastics. I painted the breech cloths blue to signify French. a longstanding partner of France some of the tribes names have come from French discriptors, Like tall haired tribe, trader tribe, an Algonquin  band from the UP of Michigan is forever more known as the Pillagers due to the treatment they gave to a Dutch trader who wronged them! ;)

Above is Black Hawk who stands in front of a party of Iroquois warriors. Blackhawk is also a Conquest mini. He led the Sauk in an attempt to regain land taken from them in Michigan. His attempt went about as well as Pontiac, but he lived. The model is actually done on a surviving art print of BlackHawk after his capture.

A War band of Pottawatomie! The War chief has a headdress made of Buffalo. The Pottawatomie drove the Illini out of what is now Northern Illinois and drove the Sioux to the other side of the Mississippi.

The Pottawatomie allied with the Huron and French and only served the British in the War of 1812. The Shawnee, Miami, and Pottawatomie fought against Gen "Mad" Anthony Wayne after and lost hugely in the battle of Fallen Timbers. For months the 1st Nation skirmished and melted away before Gen Wayne. Wayne won by ignoring the warriors and going after the native settlements. Fallen Timbers was women and children fleeing to a British Fort. The British wouldn't let them in and they died. With no family left, the tribes surrendered to Wayne. 

The Pottawatomie come from the Sauk and Fox miniatures of Conquest Miniatures

I was going to order from Bob Murch, but I didn't get a good communication with him and it seems his Huron and Iroquois are not in the main store yet. I do have Howard Whitehouse's rule set( beta version) for the pre-european conflict between the tribes. Above are the Conquest and plastic miniatures I will be using...Till i get some more tribesman from Mr Murch! ;)

Here a couple closeups of Wargames factory plastics. They have good detail and contrary to Internet trolls the bodies are pretty good for someone who eats pure protein, wild rice and veggies, and hunts bears!

They are fiddly to put together as some arms will only go with certain bodies. Mu only complaint is the rifles are accurate but teeny, the knifes are honking huge in the sheaths, and there are no arrow quivers. There is a lot of molded on leather straps and a plethora of bags, powder horns and neat kit.
Some is too structured and not "natural looking" but for the price they are a great little kit to bulk out the troops.

See they match up fine to Conquest! Did anyone notice that some Highlander lost his broadsword?
My real complaint is the gorgets that are all over the place here in the wargames factory kit. Apparently a gorget was grown from trees near the lodge! ;)

I had to have these guys, just because of the Retreat from Moscow figures...There is a game there somewhere...:)

I really like them all, but the kneeling figure lost an opportunity to show how to shoot with snowshoes kneeling.

The sculptor instead had him take them off, perhaps it is too great a stess for the lacings?

The other three from the pack, I like the fur coat on the right. Mittens and all sorts of gear on these fellows, I may just buy some trappers or put them in a Northern pulp game too.

So 49 true warriors including one Curtgeld, and this old boot is going to take a nap!
Hopefully the minion will notice this entry of  1st Nation troops as the poor dear let the last 5 sneak past him! ;)

A PS for Dux
 Until I went through my notes, I forgot all about the "Copper Tribes" and the extensive trade network of Native America.Small bits of copper including some armbands and earrings did get passed on as well as turquoise and other precious stones. A lot was bead work and leather work and scrim saw/carving.
For everybody else, there is a fair amount of smack talking from my ancestral side, but I wouldn't change the history for anything. The history made me who I am and the rest would be trodding on butterflies, besides I am an American Soldier and I know the Oaths I have sworn. ;)
This is quite a remarkable entry David.  It's great to share your passion for the period and the history of these warriors and area.  Your energy and pride really shine through in the posting and in the paint work.  And what a lot of work - holy cow! I'm sure Curt will chime in below, but I expect he will be thrilled with this wonderful Curtgeld! As someone with some roots in northern Ontario and the Sault Ste Marie area (just north of Michigan's lovely Upper Peninsula) for me this made for a fascinating read, and I'm sure all the Challengers will enjoy it.

Oh - and that's another whopping 265 points for you.  You keep implying you will take a break from painting...but I wonder if that will ever happen? :)

From DavidB - Mercs: The Kemvar (25 points)

A small shrapnel blast of sci-fi courtesy of Megacon Games. MERCS or multi-environment-reconnaissance-counter-security or some such innocuous administration speak, is set in a dystopian future that involves no skulls or impending doom on all. 

The earth's governments are gone and replaced by global megacorporations that control almost 2/3 of the earth. They are predominantly situated within peak population centres and regularly engage in hostile takeovers and other such nefariousness to increase the bottom line and angle to depreciate the competitors profits. nothing gets too extreme as when the EU corp and CCR fought in and levelled Amsterdam, it hurt everyone's bottom line and the Global Market sent in judges to make sure the nonsense stopped and everyone ratchet things down a touch.

Except for the other 1/3 of the world everyone works for and is provided for by a megacon. The other bits of the earth are known as the lost margin and it is better you don't go there as megacon employees are not popular with the nationalists and isolationists that dwell there...more on them later!

Kemvar is based within former Brazil and they are the oldest megacon and have had Merc teams the longest. Kemvar is primarily in energy, but dabbles in other spheres like other megacons. Kemvar controls most of South America and is currently in hostile negotiations with Texaco for the Panama Canal.

Each megacon Merc team brings something special o the table. Kemvar uses a stealth technology which helps it's troops hide even out in the open. They also use a special grenade that has a genetically altered worm with big teeth and a voracious appetite. A pulse keeps it docile till armed then the grenade must be thrown to a target which it magnetically adheres to. The now awakened an hungry worm quickly chews through the metal and into the person within...and we thought Australia was bad! :)

You are only allowed a team of five which you have some choice if you have a starter set as six models are included. The only requirement is you can only have five troopers with no repeats of specialities. I suppose taking six troops a squad with 5 heavies would be a wanton waste of corporate resources!

From the left we have a heavy trooper with assault guns, a demo-trooper with the dreaded worm grenade(and other explosives), and a sniper. I should note that snipers are very powerful in the game which plays very fast. although they can only shoot once every other turns, the Kemvar sniper can shoot every turn with a magnetic tag. The mag marker repels from another marker which can throw troops off of heights due to the strength of the magnetic push.

The assault team leader, a monkey-wrench, and an assassin. The assault team leader is the boss and boosts the rest of the squad that are close to him. The monkey wrench repairs armour, since your troops take wounds and suffer damaged armour, it kinda helps having someone who can fix it. If your armour is broken, you cannot move and some Mercs cannot fire. The assassin is a powerful but fragile trooper. He is fast and can setup to take out most damaged opponents, but he doesn't last long without support from the squad.

A fun and very fast paced game with excellent support from Megacon Games. They had a kick starter for boxed games featuring two opposing merc factions and security forces for a space hulk style romp in someones office building. I missed it and it was delayed, but maps, missions and other fun stuff is available for download at the site. I have another force of Mercs which will be painted shortly as I have been invited to Adepticon and I plan on playing some Mercs there!
Nice work Dave.  I have seen these figures online only, and while I must admit they didn't really grab my attention, you've done great work with them, and your passion for them, and the distant, corporate-infused setting, really comes through in your post.  I hope these fellows find much success for you on behalf of the good shareholders at Kemvar - mostly little old ladies with pension funds, no doubt :)  That will be another 25 points on your terrifying pile...

From SamuliS: Sturmpioniere vorwärts! (120 points)

Back in business with something totally different this time. I'll let a gem of Australian TV introduce my subject this time!

So with the formalities done it's time to present my Sturmpioniere! I was cleaning the cabinets last weekend and came upon a box full of readily based and built Germans. When people at my club got into Bolt Action a couple of years back I quickly built a large Red Devils force and figured I'd build a German army as well to have the opposition ready as well. I built a  large force, but only really got a few squads painted before something else came up and they got packed away. With a Bolt Action game day coming up and I promised to run a scenario, I figured it would be a good time to paint them now that I uncovered them again!

So 23 foot miniatures and the Goliath demolition vehicle, which probably counts as another infantry figure as well as it's rather tiny. That should net me another 120 points putting me closer to my goal. After these there's still most of the support weapons of the Germans, but as I don't really need them for the scenario they will unfortunately go back into the cabinet.

Two officers, one with the classic evil monocle and Iron Cross.

All are from Warlord, with most minis from their Pionier box. I spiced them up with some head swaps and some later equipment from the Grenadier box. The officers are metal offerings. The plastics are pretty nice, but I still prefer the metals that Warlord has. Much more character! Paint job wise I went for quick and dirty again with a wash and highlights for the uniform and major equipment. I had an autumn theme running on the previous germans bases so continued with the same on these.

Pioneers with regular infantry weapons

With the end of the challenge looming I really need to start finalizing some projects. I have a lot of Epic Armageddon started that I've been slowly painting every now and then. My Curtgeld entry is still in it's infancy with the models cleaned, but nothing else done. Add to that the random single minis that I have on the desk.

Finally some specialized pioneer equipment with a Goliath, flame thrower, AT rifle, Sturmpistole, Breaching equipment etc.

As an afterthought this is pretty much what I had in mind when going through my cabinets... Too many projects, too little time!

Another great entry Samuli! Always nice to see engineers on the table, particularly the wonky little Goliath tanks (the Jets could use something like that to try and improve their power play, but anyway).  I have always struggled trying to paint the 28mm stuff from Warlord, but you've done fine work here.  Nothing like the pressure from an impending game to keep you motivated.  That is another 120 points for you! 

And I've never seen our hobby explained so clearly...

From GillesW- Clutching at straws! (176 points)

Hi everyone! Of course, I'll not try this with palm trees, even in California, it 's just how I feel today ;-)

I managed to get a lot of figures prepped, painted, based and flocked this week, up to the standard that I like. I was afraid to be unable to finish them for today...the worst thing is that I have not  based and flocked all the figures I painted two weeks ago (don't ask me why, I have no sane answer).

I have painted more Minoan spearmen  and Lybians with javelins to have enough of them to try the army at the club this evening (impatience when you keep us!).

To add some variety in the color theme of the Minoans, I chose some Lybian mercenaries who came with their blankets and grass tufts.

With some luck the camp for these fellows will be finished this weekend.

Moving along, here is one more group of heavy Mongol cavalry. Thiis time most of them are from Old Glory Miniatures, it's just to differentiate each group of cavalry during the games.

Yes ! the army is nearly finished. After that, I'll bore you with something different!

One month to go and around 500 points to paint, I'm late! I'm late!...... the Queen will kill me!

More great painting Gilles, well done.  An army "nearly finished"? Surely by now you have learned there is no such thing as a "finished" collection! And as for your pace falling off, well, there are many of us who wish we could match your speed, I am sure.  I hope the Minoans and Libyans do well with your club game, and of course I'm sure the Mongols will ride over anyone getting in their way! Great work. 

From John M: Japanese Tanks (28 points)

I was really hoping to have a much bigger submission for this Friday, but I have so many projects on the go that it is hard to accomplish anything. Two squads of Japanese soldiers are just about finished but not today so I will have to save them for next week.

I finally received the flags for my new 18mm Napoleonic forces so I can not resist getting some of them done today. I went with GMB which are beautiful flags but take some work to get done...curse Flagdude for his ever increasing disappearing acts.

Anyway back to the submission, these are 2 vehicles from SHQ, trying to find Japanese tanks in 20mm or 1/72 is quite a challenge. I must say I enjoyed paining them. I usually use an airbrush to do camo but these were done free hand and I think they look OK.

Type 97 Chi-Ha Medium Tank
One of the distracting projects can be seen in the background, a bamboo jungle. 
Type 94 TK Tankette
This is the second smallest tank I have in my collection, the only smaller is the MKIV British Tetrarch

Great submission John. Your freehand work ix excellent, and you've done these lovely SHQ sculpts justice, all without having to bother with that diva of the hobby desk, an air brush.  It is interesting to see Japanese tanks - of course, they've always been around, but it is neat to see the Pacific Theatre of WW2 getting more and more gaming attention (at least from my perspective).

"I have so many projects on the go, I can't accomplish anything" - I know what you mean! I like to think of it more as "incremental progress", but I think many of us can relate. I can also relate re: the Flag Dude and his touch-and-go communications...I do so love his products, however - it's like "take my money!". 

So, two 20mm tanks is 24 points [NOTE - THIS IS A CORRECTION FROM EARLIER-SORRY JOHN!]- and I'll throw in extra for the freehand camoflage - anything to put airbrushes in their place. 28 points for you John, and we look forward to more next week - be they Japanese infantry, Napoleonics, or whatever else strikes your painting fancy!

Week 8 Statistical Update - The Tropical Doldrums

The Challenge is passing the 2/3'rds mark and entering what future scholars will refer to as it's "tropical doldrums" where the participants, perhaps addled by paint fumes and warm tropical breezes slow in productivity and spend their time gazing at navels whilst contemplating future projects and  imbibing on fruity drinks with deceptively high alcohol contents.

I thought I'd set the mood for this post with an image from my recent offsite at the Turks where Orchids grow from trees and hard working investment partners must endure 6 hours of meetings spread out over 4 days.  Why is this relevant? because due to combined machinations of the FAA and British Airways, I was - yet again - forbidden to bring paints, minis and x-acto knifes aboard their aircraft.  Rather than dutifully painting away to further the greatness of Curt "The  Minion Master", I was forced to endure hours of lounging by the pool or fishing on the beach for snapper with a  mandatory local brew forced into my hand.  Even more troubling is that fact I was compelled to do these activities in the warm sun and delightful temperatures of 76F rather than the more natural damp and artificially lighted environs of my basement.  Difficult days indeed.

But do not fear dear reader, for my statistical duties were not neglected during this interlude of tropical internment.  I was able to prepare for you another exciting, scintillating and (dare I say) provocative Week 8 Statistical update, or as it will be known in future historical texts "The Ocho".  You're Welcome!

Productivity declined a bit during weeks 7 and 8 with a Challenge low of only 119 submissions and no change in the number of individual participating (67 out 88 registrants).  We may have to send out rescue teams to check on the those forlorn 21 individuals who have yet to submit.

The average submission size have held essentially steady at 83 points per submission.  For those stalwart souls who have submitted at least one entry the average score to date has "SURGED!" to 594 points and these paragons of painting virtue have completed 66% of the goals for the challenge so things are right on track.  (Of course the author realizes that the term "paragon of painting virtue" can not be applied to participant #54 as he is a complete cad)

In terms of projected points - we've dropped the total projected points to 65,419 from last updates 70,624 - one of the biggest drivers in significantly dropping the level of points estimated to come in from the "Forlorn 21".  Still the points projections have been hovering between 60-70K in all projections and I feel pretty confident that's where we'll end up.

So without further ado, here it is glistening in the sun like a bloated beached whale in all it's olfactory offensiveness - the week 8 Statistical table.  Gaze upon it and become a better person due to the awesome power of statistics.  Please, no tipping the statistical provider as the crass introduction of commercial tribute soils the purity of the mathematical process.  No I do this solely for your adulation.

Weeks Completed2468
Weeks Remaining11975
Participants w/ a Submission41616767
Total Submissions98231359478
Total Points6,39218,32830,25239,812
Participation Rate47%69%76%76%
Average per Submitter156300452594
Avg per Submission65798483
Submitter % of Target Completed16%34%51%66%
Projected Points
Remaining Bouns Rounds12,30010,2507,7503,750
Non Submitters @ 25% / wk8@10%10,0754,0562,370780
Projected Total Points60,72769,29070,62465,419
Figures Painted
Cav / Art34140326386
Cav / Art325106193
Cav / Art106180234315
Score Distribution
Bonus Round "Bonus Points"0%11%11%11%
Other Scales9%13%16%19%

From SanderS - Some German Napoleonics (176 points)

Hoi! So after last week's point-bomb I am back to a more sedate painting schedule and have two units of Napoleon's German Allies for you all. All figures are HäT figures apart from two of the guns which are done by Revell.

The first entry are some Württemberg light infantry, in the light blue facings, and foot chasseurs in black facings, of the Mid-Napoleonic period.   

Next up is my battery of Bavarian field artillery. I combined the figures of 4 sprues to get enough crewmen. The guns in the box were a bit on the small and simple side, so I replaced them with the current ones. I like these best of the two by the way!

Now looking back I can state that I like painting Bavarians but am less happy with the Württembergers. I bought them thinking this was a nice way to fill out my French army, without the need to paint more boring blue-coats. Yet I do not feel any attachment to them at all. So this brings me up to 38 foot figures and 3 guns, bringing in some 176 points if I am not mistaken.

Cheers Sander

Great work Sander.  I despise painting artillery of any sort in any scale, so I am always impressed when someone cranks out some artillery, particularly for Napoleonics. It is always nice to see some 1/72 Napoleonic troops, particularly from nations such as  Württemberger and Bavaria - important states, but ones often playing second fiddle in our collections (and mine is no exception).  

That is indeed another 176 points - well done!