Saturday, 5 March 2016

From Curt - 28mm Clockwork Monkeys (15 Points)

With the end of the Challenge coming onto the horizon, I thought it best to get some of the half-painted figures on my desk completed and in the cabinet before the checkered flag is waved.  

For this entry I'm returning to the Pulp genre for a bit of steampunk whimsy.

Here is a trio of 28mm clockwork monkeys from Westfalia Miniatures. 

I did a bunch of these last year for the Lead Painters League and had this group as remnants of the pack. Figures like these provide a perfect example of those things that you know you have no real use for but you absolutely HAVE to have them because they capture your imagination, make you nostalgic, are stoopidly funny, etc.

Really not much to say here, just a lot of brass, bronze and steel, with a fez on top! The wind-up key in their backs makes me smile.

These three little fellas will give me 15 points to add to my tally and the same for the Pulp side challenge. With a bit of luck I hope to have at least one more entry for tomorrow along with the announcement of the Nautical voting results. See you then! 

From DaveD - Manic Miners... (10 points)

Ev turned to his companion Millsy and said, "Millsy look, just the place. A mining supplies shop and we need new tools, we can get all we need from there. "

The pair had traveled to the new world looking to make their fortunes by finding the precious golden nugget . They had landed up in Serenity Flatts , the latest gold-rush town. They had heard rumours of the town which once had a Mountie capture the Wests biggest coward Budgie Ray in a dramatic shoot out (truth be told it was more that Ray ran away)

(Ran away. Ran away?! I have very fond memories of Ray being flung from the balcony of the town's saloon, missing the watertrough by a few yards (ahem), and then being dragged unconscious to the train while a gun battle raged all around him. - ed)

Millsy scratching his head and looking somewhat bemused took his trusty shovel in hand, turned to Ev and said - "My shovel is just the same as the day I was presented it by Major Docherty at my de-mob. I am not buying a new one." 

He continued " This one has only had 17 new blades and 14 new handles in its time"

Ev shaking his head said ...."Millsy ... how the hell can it be the same blooming shovel!!"

Will Millsy find the golden nugget? Will he be able to claim he has "Gold In My Pocket"

I think the miniatures are by Tiger Miniatures if I remember correctly. They will be part of my upcoming creation of the Serenity gold mine...

Right I am off to find a tin hat!
Dave you're a complete loon, but I love it. At least this one doesn't have any 'up the Khyber' allusions to it, but what is this 'Golden Nugget' you're going on about? Ah well, I'm sure all will be revealed in its good time. :)
Well done Mr. Docherty, this was another great Saturday run for you, and you've kept the steam up for the group as we head into the penultimate week of the Challenge.

From PhilH - Spanish Patriots through the Ages (25 points)

I've been a busy bee this past few weeks, but not everything is quite ready to post. But having missed three (?) weekly entries I thought I'd finish these off and post them up before my final run-in. 

It's well past time to break up the relentless green of my entries, and what better way than with some jaunty red beret'd infantrymen. Yes, three more Carlist Requete militiamen for the Rebels. I just can't get enough of these berets and stripy blanket rolls!

I've nearly painted my whole my SCW lead pile over the past year. But as reward for the home improvements, I picked up a weighty care package from Empress at the Hammerhead show today. Enough to to keep me going for another year, with some colourful and interesting troops, I hope.

And to mix things up a little, here are a couple of Spaniards filled with patriotic fervour from the previous century. These two from Perry miniatures join my guerilla band in their struggle to hurl the dastardly Napoleon out of Spain.

In fact, they are the last two of this project to be finished, after I submitted Commandante Theresa last time out (see were supposed to be alongside her, but alas weren't quite finished). What's really bonkers, is that these two have languished primed but unloved in the lead pile for more than five years and through five AHPCs. In fact, the first ever photo I posted on my blog was of the rest of the band, which I'd presumably finished quite recent to March 2011. So it's awesome to let them join their compatriots, well in time for the release of Sharpe Practice 2 later this year! 

These are lovely Phil - your smooth paint style is always a treat to see. As you know, I have a soft spot for the Requites as they had one of the best uniforms of the period. I like how you've maintain visual interest by changing the colour/pattern of their blanket rolls. Very nice.

I have to say I'm particularly partial to the pair of Spanish guerrillas. I clearly remember commenting on one of your first blogposts years ago that featured the lead elements of this group. The leader here has a great sense of nobility about him, and the drummer seems quite the stoic, with a pistol in his belt and drumsticks bravely tapping out the attack.

Great work Phil!

From TamsinP - 28mm Aztec Priests (24 points)

Just a small entry this week - four 28mm Aztec priests. The three in green feather suits are 3-captive priests, the one in red is a 5-captive priest. That's right - Aztec priests did go into battle and fight alongside the common and noble warriors. In fact, when you look at the various feather suits sent as tribute, the priests must have been very actively engaged in warfare, with a very high proportion of them having taken 3 or more captives.

The figures are all 28mm from The Assault Group. They will be representing wizards and apprentices in my Mexicagrave project, although I'm not sure that the back-banners are entirely practical for exploring lost/ruined cities. I've just received some more priests which I'll leave the back banners off of (although that does mean I'll need to do a bit of trimming, hole filling and feather texturing).

"What do you mean, only two weeks left?"

Ooh, I like these a lot Tamsin. I didn't realize the Aztecs used back banners like these. They very reminiscent to the mon/flags of the Ashigaru. How very cool. You should create some Inca/Aztec specific spells for them, something nasty based on sacrificial blood-magic and the ullamaliztli ball game.
These four priests will give you a base of 20 points but I'm adding a few more for the banners. Well done!

From JasperO - Daimler armoured car (18 points)

Having finished all of one team of British troops, it was obviously time for some variety. Isn't that how disciplined painting is supposed to work? 

I had this Daimler Armoured Car lying about for some time - I really enjoy the variety of British armoured cars, much as I enjoy the variety of German halftracks. I'd base coated it in black some time ago, but when I recently saw an example of pre-shading of black over white, I decided to see if the opposite would work as well. So I airbrushed white on the centers of all inclined panels, top panels, the mudguards etcetera, before lightly airbrushing British Bronze Green all over. Pretty pleased with the result! 

I applied a pin-wash of Nuln Oil and a thinned-down brown wash all over before a dry-brush with grey-green on all panel edges, before painting the tires and applying a royal amount of mud. 

I then completed basing, painted the added stowage, painted the Household Cavalry markings and some chipping with German Camouflage Brown, adding some metal stipples onto the chips later. 

The crew is almost done, but the Saturday deadline was here already...

That is a beautiful little beast Jasper. I always like it when people take the time to add stowage to their vehicles as when you look at the period photos they were veritable gypsy caravans. I particularly like the cordage holding everything in place - nice touch. Your weathering is also excellent and balanced, a little worn and muddy, but not too over the top (my stuff often looks a bit too post-apocalyptic).

The Daimler gives a base of 15 points but I'm going to add a couple more for the stowage. Great work Jasper!

From DaveD - Sudan Vignettes (75 points)

More vignette pieces completed this week. The war correspondents from Perry, and a set of  locals making their way to town in possession of various snippets of "intelligence" , will it be accurate or lies, who knows! well the umpire will ... i.e.  me!

War Reporters, Bennet Burleigh, Melton Prior sketching and Frederic Villiers mounted

The dog is a limited addition piece from Jon at Ainsty who breeds Otterhounds, so I have added it as the faithful companion to Bennett Burlieigh the Daily Telegraph correspondent.

The reporters are another nuisance for the imperial commanders as they go off risking themselves, and needing to be protected, or more likely rescued. Nicely diverting the imperial players from their core mission. After all bad news always appears in the papers.

Also a set of locals heading to town with their wares. These are an old Connoisseur Miniatures set, the detail was very soft, but actually from table distance they do the job, and could just about be added to a nativity set!

I think the whole concept of game vignettes are the cat's pajamas. At the very least they add personality to the tabletop, and with a further touch of imagination, as Dave shows here, they can be of central importance to the game itself. Wonderful.
Even though the castings may be showing their age, the Connoisseur civilians are lovely and, as you say, probably could be used to depict people going to market for the past 2000 years. 
And of course, I can't help but give the tumbs up to Burlieigh and his Otterhound as the breed looks very similar to one of our lovable mutts, Oscar. 
Great work Mr.D!

From MartinN: 28mm US Winter Infantry (60 Points)

This weeks entry sees something of a premiere on my part. It's the first actual commission I took on, therefore the bases unfortunately had to stay bare for the recipient to match them to his collection. Well, frankly comission probably is a bit of a stretch.
 Actually I asked Pat (of fame) if he'd like to trade some of his awesome terrain for some miniatures, I'd paint for him. He was kind enough to agree so it's been more me commissioning myself. It was an interesting experience to actually paint some more miniatures than the occasional figure for a friend, for someone else. But I definitely wouldn't do this for money.

Figures in question are Warlord Games (oh wonder, I know) new US Army infantry in winter clothing. And sorry to be so rude, but they were frickin' awful. Never since I first dipped my toes into the hobby waters I've seen figures that painted up so terrible. At times I did terrible paint jobs, granted, and there even might have been the one or other figure that wasn't pure joy to paint, but these figures were among the least fun I've ever, ever, ever painted.

Don't want to rant to much about these, but if you like miniatures that actually have folds in their clothing than you should keep your hands off these. Of course I hope that Pat is happy with these, though.

Next is a M3A1 Halftrack from Rubicon. The kit was a straight forward build and painted up nicely. My only gripe with this kit is it seems like the plastic used doesn't react to plastic glue like most other plastics I've encountered. Somehow it doesn't seem to melt properly so the joints remain quite brittle. I've tried two different brands of glue but neither worked. So in the end it's fingers crossed the Halftrack survives the trip to g'old Great Britain intact.

But otherwise it's a very nice kit with quite some potential for conversion I'd say. For a wargames kit it's quite detailed too, without swamping you with myriads of parts to assemble. For the first time I did the weathering and pin wash using exclusively oil paints. It worked a charm and was definitely cheaper and easier than using the various enamel based products out there. Still have to do some experimenting as to what works best, though.

Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the two crew members, so all you can see of them is their helmeted heads on the above pictures. They were no nice sculpts anyway, so not overly tragic.

I didn't glue the backrests in the rear compartment as the kit comes with the options to be built either as command vehicle with communications equipment or as troop carrier. So I painted both options for Pat to decide what he likes the most. Also the weapons weren't glued on for both ease of transport and flexibility.

So this entry should give me another 57.5 points (37,5 for the Infantry, 15 for the Halftrack and 5 for the seated crew) towards my total. So as an aside this also let me take the lead in Chris' and my side challenge with 369.5 straight points vs. 344 points. As that's a marginal lead at best, I should better stop to blather and get back on the brushes.

Even though these figures were boring to paint, you've done your 'typical' magic on them Nick - they look brilliant. The halftrack is lovely as well and your oil-based weathering worked tremendously well. I think Pat will be absolutely delighted with these miniatures and more than happy with the trade. 
 I'm going to round off the points for this entry to 60 due to the various stowage options and weapons.
I look forward to seeing what terrain Pat does up for you as trade for this nice lot.

From DaveD - Sudan - Egyptian Lancers (100 points)

The one arm that was missing from my Egyptian forces was cavalry. I picked up a bag of lead in a swap a while ago and it had these figures from Castaway Arts from Oz. They do an interesting and unusual range of colonial items, and I like to use a range of manufacturers across the collection.

I decided to leave these with lances upright , and just went for simple solder the 0.8mm  piano wire "lance" into hands and foot socket. 

Lancers are always my favourite cavalry - you can't  beat fluttering pennants making their way across the table.

10 mounted - 100 points

A wonderful unit of cavalry Dave. Like you, I like adding different manufacturers to my collections (even if they don't mix especially well) as it keeps thing visually interesting. These figures from Castaways certainly don't disappoint. I like the upright positioning of the lances as it seems fitting with the pose of their torsos. I also like your horses and fluttering lance pennants.
Another great addition to your impressive collection, Dave. Well done!

From CrisH - Running out of time and puff Chris' poor attempt at a few more points (20 Poitns)

Well the heading states the situation. As a teacher I love school holidays. The brushes are out and challenges are possible but once work starts it is a good day to apply paint in the evening and not be working on lesson plans. I use painting as my therapy to keep me sane as it were, odd really as I so enjoy painting history, fantasy and Sci-Fi I wonder what Freud would have said. Gaming has always been a pleasure but if I don't get a game I don't really mind so much but if I can get the brushes out then it starts to nag a bit on the old neurons. So this is my excuse for a mere 2 minis from the Reaper Bones range, a purple metallic toned Gorgon/Bull thing and a, well, green river troll. As they are bigger 28mm minis I am going to plead for 10 points know.....cos well I am trying to get to 900points and running out of time. HeHeHe

Gorgon Bull thingy?

T'other side

The highlights look better up close ho hum

Bones minis have an issue with skinny legs and falling over bodies but still for the price I now have monsters I only dreamed of owning when I was young.
I have to admit that I am still enjoying the challenge and glad to have had a shot at it. So many nice miniatures on display and so many nice people too.

Great work Chris! I'm glad you've been enjoying the Challenge - I  think many of us would agree that painting miniatures is a form of relaxation, if not required therapy. 
I've heard a lot of mixed reviews on the Bones range, but I still like many of their designs and these two beasties are very cool. Is it me, or does the troll's spiny ridge similar to that of that of Godzilla's? He must have great aspirations!  I especially like how you've done the armour plate hide of the Gorgon and the green skin of the river troll. Two tough opponents for any group of adventurers, I'd expect.
You're just a little over 100 points from your goal now Chris. Keep up the great work!

From DaveD - Sudan Camel Corps - Part 2 (240 Points)

So part two of the Camel Corps consists of  a unit of close order infantry , and a set of skirmish order troops. It's taken an age to complete the whole Corps, so I am pleased to see the end of this lot.

36 troopers in double rank , front rank kneeling - with Martini-Henry's levelled ready to fire!

The breech-loading, single-shot .458in (ouch that is going to hurt) Martini-Henry rifle became a symbol of both the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 and the numerous battles in Egypt and the Sudan in 1884-85. Its invention and introduction into British service were in direct response to the success of the Prussian Dreyse needle gun, which demonstrated that the breech-loading rifle offered faster loading, improved accuracy and superior range. Significantly, the weapon could be loaded and fired from a prone position, thus offering the rifleman greater security on the battlefield.  

These are old Connoisseur figures , and i found them a pain to paint (which is unusual) as they were really showing their age , and some soft detail . 

My rules also allow units to break up a company or two into skirmish formations , to help with recon and flushing out the bad guys.  I have 12 figures from Redoubt, these are individually based , and set into various free form sabot bases. This mean I can choose to field a number of "skirmish units" on the sabot base with between 2- and 5 figures so it make them go further. I just then fill in with tall grass / rocks etc for visual effect. 


 These were a lot nicer to paint than the close order ones. 

So that is 48 foot... 240pts
Cracking! Your first volley of the day is right on the mark, Dave.  Fabulous work. It's too bad that the Connoisseur figures gave you a bit of stick, but these venerable castings still look terrific all ranked-up. Again, I really like your skirmish sabots, especially the rock and grass inserts - very well executed.
And so with this entry Dave's begins his march back into the top ten... Thank you sir, may we have another?