Sunday, 31 December 2017

Switching to our Scheduled Programming

That's it for the holiday free-fire zone. Tomorrow we'll start our daily programming. Minions, let the grind begin.

Oh, remember next Saturday at midnight (CST) is the deadline for the 'Flight' bonus theme, so get your entries in by then for us to enjoy on Sunday.

Best wishes for 2018!!

Now, I need a drink...

Curt out.

From ByronM: 30k Death Guard Breachers (50 points)

One of the things in my painting queue for the challenge is a pile of 30k Death Guard to expand my force so that I can contribute more to our gaming groups large 30k battles that rage at least monthly over at Fawcett Avenue Conscripts (Curt's original gaming group and blog from when he lived in Winnipeg).

I have a pile of figures to get done for the 30k version of the Death Guard this year, including several transports as my force so far has been almost exclusively foot based with little mobility.  However, before getting onto that, I needed to get some more infantry done (mainly due to the fact that I want to do all the vehicles at once and ran out of chipping solution so am waiting for it to arrive).

So here are 10 Breachers, which are heavy boarding troops.

When I first started the 30k Death Guard, I decided to go with a very battle worn look, as I had just re-read the Horus Heresy series of books and really wanted to capture the feel of the stoic Garro and his men that tried to hold out and Istavan IV and stop Horus when he first betrayed the Emperor.

They were trapped on the planet as it was bombed from space and barely survived. Then they had to fight against the might of several legions of Space Marines that had sided with Horus and they fought to escape and warn the Emperor.

While I was initially very happy with the look I came up with, which involves chipping, several washes, grimes, powders, and more, over time I am getting less sure of it.  At first I thought it was cool, but now it just feels like a lot of work to get something that looks like a beginner slapped paint on it, especially compared to some of the stuff that Greg has been turning out for 30k.  I am kind of stuck with it now, but am really not sure if there is something I could do that is close to it and would still mesh with everything else but look a bit more like an actual paint job.  I do still like the look on vehicles, and think they look pretty good, but it's the infantry that I am losing confidence on.  I may have just overdone the effect as I lose the highlights and everything to the damage and rough effects.

Thinking I may need to go back and clean some of my infantry up a bit, but looking for opinions on them.  I got the look I was going for, just not sure it does my force any justice looks wise... 


I think you're being too hard on yourself, Byron. These guys look great.  I really like the worn white armour, with its chipped edges and dirty panels. 

While you might think they are not worth the time, I think instead you need to determine what you want them to be first and then take your approach from there. If they are to be battleworn, then don't kill yourself on the detailing, but instead think of how the battle damage will tell the story. Perhaps the shields need to be more scared and pocked by impact strikes, the shoulder guards sliced and gashed with close-combat damage - stuff like that. 

All that being said, I still think they look terrific - try not to overthink it too much. They're still going to get slaughtered by the Loyalists. :)

50 Points for you, Byron!

From EricM: Off to a Slow Start - French Navarre Regiment ()

Happy New Year!   I'm really excited to be back as a part of the painting challenge.  Like usual I have bitten off way more than I can chew, but what gamer hasn't.  In past years I have tried to focus on a specific period and army this year is more of a potpourri.   I am going to try to keep the majority of may painting to a War of Spanish Succession project but I can already feel the pull from other projects.

So far I have completed one 24 figure unit of French Infantry (the Narvrre Regiment).  In total I will have 3 battalions of the Navarre

The figures are all Front Rank.  Lovely figures but so much detail it slows the process down.  I really struggled trying to come up with a uniform look I liked.  I was aiming for a grayish white but after highlighting they are a little closer to white than I would like.

Here is a close up of the command stand.  I am not a big fan of the all white Colonels color the french used. 

Sorry for the work table photography but the holidays have been crazy as usual.  I will do better next go around!


Welcome back to the Challenge, Eric! 

Beautiful work on these French. You did a brilliant job on the white uniforms and the flags are ace. I know how hard it is keeping on task with these large-battalion armies, but remember: it's a hobby, do what makes you happy. If we see more of these then that's great, but if it's something else, I know we'll be just as keen to oggle them as well. 

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with over the next few months!

From JohnM: Finally some Epic (10 Points)

It has been a year since I added any figures to my Epic Armageddon Blood Angels force. I thought to celebrate the dawn of 2018 that it would be nice to paint some. In AHPCVII, I had painted my way to just over 2000 points of a planned 3000 point force. Time to add some, methinks.

I had these 5 vehicles left over from the prize I won in last year's challenge, so they were pulled out yesterday from the lead pile and I rushed to get them done before the New Year. They are certainly much more complicated to do than WWII 6 mm armour. I still do not have it right, but they look a little better than last year's efforts.

Falchion Superheavy Tank Destroyer
A Company of Predator Destructors

Well that is it for 2017, time to get ready to go out for the celebrations. Happy New to All!


Ah, it's great to see you painting up some of the loot you received last year. I think they look great (that 'Falchion' is so badass) and will be a much welcome addition to your Blood Angels force.

I think we counted the Super Heavy tanks as three standard vehicle models by the end of the Challenge last year, so we'll go with that. 14 points. Woo!  

Nice one, John. Now, go out and have a great New Years celebration.

From EvanH: 28mm Terrain Entry - Pictish Standing Stones & Oratory Chapel (25 points)

Who'da thunkit? Two entries before year's end! 

Well, at least it's still 2017 in Regina, and that's what counts. I'm sending this from the world of seven hours in the future, a very different world to that of 2017. We have dispensed with the need for your primitive laborious typing of blog posts and now post telepathically from inside our cryotubes. 

I've had these two pieces sitting in a drawer for at least two-and-a-half years now, so it was time to get to work, especially as terrain is now a category in its own right.

They are Pictish-inspired Standing Stones from Scotia Grendel, and very nice they are too. They are incised with traditional Pictish designs, and would make an ideal objective in a Dark Age skirmish game, or just a nice piece of atmospheric battlefield scenery for any battle involving Picts or Scots.

This is the larger of the two stones, and comes in at just over 5 inches tall. The base is a Warbases 60mm MDF round. The groundwork was a PVA and sand mix, painted over with Citadel Stirland Mud, one of their range of textured basing paints.

I basecoated the stones in Citadel Dark Flesh, a now-discontinued colour, and drybrushed successive layers of Foundry Native American Flesh 120 A and B, to duplicate red sandstone of the sort found in the Northern Isles.

The smaller stone was prepared and painted in exactly the same fashion as the larger, and both were given blotches of yellow lichen to give a weathered and timeworn look. There are patches of what I can only assume is intended to be moss on the surface of the sculpts, so I have painted them with Citadel Castellan Green. I followed with an overbrush of Straken Green and a light drybrush of Nurgling Green to finish. Tajima1 Tufts, Wild Grass and Moorland Diorama Elements, completed the basing of both stones.

The smaller stone comes in at just over 3 inches tall, and is likewise based on a 60mm round.

After some discussion with Curt, who gently broke the news that 'fits comfortably within a six-inch cube' isn't quite the same as 'fills a six-inch cube', it was apparent that I'd have to pull something else out of the hat. And so I made a quick decision to rustle up some more Celtic fringe terrain, viz., an Oratory Chapel of the sort common up and down the coasts of Scotland, Ireland and Wales in the Early Medieval Period. 

Not quite Westminster Abbey.
This little structure was assembled in 34C heat with high humidity, and this posed more than a few problems. A block of medium density styrofoam was hacked into a rough shape, then coated with a layer of polyfilla. When they say that you can sand filler after 60 minutes, don't believe them. Summer humidity in Sydney means all bets are off - it took until the next morning to fully set. 

I incised the stonework pattern into the polyfilla, and sealed it with PVA and water mix. While this was drying, I scratch-built a door from bamboo cocktail sticks with a loop of fuse wire for the handle, then got to work on basing and painting. The base is a Warbases 6-inch MDF terrain base, and the chapel was given the same paint job as the standing stones. Phew! Just in time!

I'm on the property ladder! Iona Chapel!

I'm worried that this is something of a gateway drug for me terrain-wise; I have two standing stones and a chapel, and this more or less dictates other village buildings down the track...

But there's a bonus round just over the horizon, and I am determined not to get caught out like I did the previous two years, so that will have to occupy the majority of my painting time for the next day or so.

What will it be? Who knows...

Stay tuned!



Yep, I made Ev go back and do more stuff to fill his cube - I'm a real slave driver.  I'm sure the Romans didn't whine about their cubes. You see them sending in just a couple milestones and calling it done? Jeez, look at that freakin' colosseum for cripes sake! There must be a least few dozen cubes worth there.  ;)

Seriously, beautiful work, Ev. I really like this red sandstone colour you came up with - it gives a very eye-catching effect. I had no idea that the sandstone up in northern Scotland was like this, how very cool!

That scratch built chapel is brilliant. The texture, the door, the groundwork - I think it's awesome. I can't believe you cracked this off in such short order. BIG kudos to you, mate.

25 points with another 5 points for the scratchbuilt chapel. Great stuff, Evan! 

From ByronM - More Ancient Greeks (95 Points)

Continuing with my Greek project, I have another unit of Warlord (Immortal) Greeks for your viewing pleasure, as well as a command stand of Spartans.

The command stand is made up of a pack of metal Spartans from Warlord and the quality is much better than the plastics.  Even though they still managed to get the arms wrong.  The arms are once again in a throwing motion, rather than an arm over spear for thrusting motion.  Oh well...  since I am painting a lot of the figures that have leather armour as if they had bronze armour, I probably shouldn't complain that much about things that most people wouldn't notice anyway.

I spent a lot more time on these, doing more blending and more highlights, which don't really show up in the pictures, but show up in person.  My thought being that the command stands will be looked at closer than the mass infantry units and should therefore get a bit more attention.

The second unit of Greeks that I have painted up is made up of the few cloth wearing models that come on each sprue in the various Warlord boxes.  Each sprue contains 2 of these, and one of the command sprues has another variant.  I decided to take them all and collect them into an unarmoured unit rather that could represent either militia or mercenaries.

Once again since they are meant for mass effect on the tabletop, they got a fairly basic treatment.  I blocked in colours, washed, then highlighted.  I then went over the shields and painted various colours and then applied decals.  After that is was a simple matter of basing them and they were done.  Not fancy but effective I think. 

So another 19 Greeks done, only about 200 left to go...

Oh, and following the rule of replacement, I ordered some Victrix Greeks to add (the order I thought was on the way was cancelled for some reason by the seller) to the force, including some peltasts, javelin and sling figures, which I will have to decide how to base as well.  I also ordered 2 sets of command figures from Gorgon miniatures for other command stands.  I am looking for more Greek command figures though, so if anyone has some suggestions I am open to them.


Really lovely work, Byron.  Again, you've nailed the warm bronze and red colours and your basing is wonderfully massed and, well, ... Peloponnesian. :)

The Gorgon stuff is wonderful and if you want some more of Saleh's work (one of my favourite sculptors) take a look at his Greek range that he did for Foundry:

It has some really spectacular models within it (and several suitable for commanders). 

More please. :)

From AaronH: 28mm Games Workshop Dark Elf Reaper Bolt Thrower (20 Points)

This post is much later than my usual first entry. These models were supposed to be done day two of the Challenge. I hadn't used the Jade Green in awhile and squeezed a bit too hard to get it out, and got way too much. Since I hate to waste paint I then had to grab a couple more units of dark elves and use it on them. That means I have two more units nearing completion, but also that these took longer than planned.

A Reaper bolt thrower from GW.
My photo-fu is obviously off since this is over exposed. I haven't really taken any pictures of minis since the last challenge.

These colors grew somewhat organically. I didn't really plan the color scheme ahead of time. I was sure I did not want any purple in them, but other than that I didn't give it much thought. They strike me as sea based colors, so this army is obviously a raiding force.

My sons and I are going to be playing a Dragon Rampant campaign with whatever models strike our fancy. Rhys, who is 13, is in love with the Dark Elves, hence the first few units to be painted for this challenge.

This particular model is one of my favorite in the line. He seems like a great hero or messenger, as well as an artillery commander. He's really characterful.

This lady is scowling evilly at us all. She's also got some great detail on her and was fun to paint. The castings are very clean and crisp.

The bolt thrower is also a great model. It oozes menace and threat. It's one of my favorite parts of this army.

The basework is fairly arid. I didn't want this dread army to be based in lush green fields.

There are two more units of Dark Elves part painted, then I'll switch over to my younger son's army. He is going to be playing Lord of the Rings High Elves with some Galadrim models as well. I also have a couple of entries to add to "Fantasy up" my Romans, who will be my faction.

I believe this is 20 points for the two crew and the bolt thrower.


It's great to have you back to the Challenge, Aaron!

Wow, that is a nasty looking artillery piece, and I mean that in a good way.

The red bolts with the turquoise fletching is a great focal point and I also like the black woodwork against the silver metalwork. Very sharp indeed.

I can't tell you how many times I put out a too-large blob of paint and then decide to unpack stuff to use it up on. Too funny.

20 Points for your opening gambit on the roster. Well done, Aaron!

From GregB - Bismarcks Boys - 28mm Prussian Infantry (71 points)

Prussians charge to battle for their King!
 I'm continuing along with my established theme for this fourth submission to the Challenge - more 28mm infantry for the Franco-Prussian War. Hopefully you are not bored yet!  In these photos you see the bulk of my Prussian infantry that I will be using for skirmish gaming in the setting - they are all 28mm castings from "Eagles of Empire".  There are 29 figures in total here, but some have already been submitted (see if you can spot "Mr. Glowing" among the mass) and others were painted before the Challenge started - so only 14 of these will count for scoring purposes today.

Nice, aggressive posture on many of the castings

These castings show that distinctive casting style of the Eagles of Empire figures - the castings are tall (essentially 30mm) and thin, with more sort-of "true scale" Dreyse rifles and spikes on the helmets.  This already caused one casting to lose his pickelhaube during shipping, but as I am keen to have as many Prussians jump in on the table as possible, I painted him up anyway, figuring some manner of franc-tireur shot the spike off his helmet in a skirmish behind the lines...

The Prussians sporting their distinctive pickelhaubes and rolled coats

This is meant to represent four full squads of seven troops each, as well as a couple of senior officers - the equivalent of two boxes of figures from Eagles of Empire - but I'm two figures short to represent the full group of four squads. This is because the Prussian boxes come with two different types of musician, and I had no use for the I'll need to scare up two extra figures to balance this all out.  When combined with the Jagers, it is still a substantial force for a skirmish, ready to enforce the will of the King and bring the pesky French to heel on the battlefield!

I quite like the once NCO, on the right, beautiful animation in the pose

Rear view, showing the kit the Prussian infantry hauled with them
The NCOs are on square bases, the senior officers are on hex-shaped bases, and there is one very-senior officer (would be something like a status level three or four leader for Lardy-style-games) based together with a standard bearer on a hex base.  I have tried to use different colours of flowers to help with unit identification, but as I have worked through this I have seen I need to be careful a bit as the overall effect can be a bit too bright.  France is a beautiful, beautiful place (and the "Imperial phase" of the War of 1870 did take place in the summer) but it is not Lothlorien and too many bright flowering bushes has a bit of a detrimental effect to the overall game.  I may go back later and scale it back a bit more still.

An assortment of close-ups - the arm of the officer was a challenge, as the part was mis-cast - his shoulder must have been wounded at Sadowa or something...

The Prussian flag is from GMB.  Finding flags for this period is a challenge - GMB is the only source I have found for Prussians, and nobody is making any for the French as far as I can tell, with a small exception that you will see in my next posting!

Senior command base - flag from GMB

Ready to conquer in the name of the King!

So that will be 14 different 28mm castings, good for another 70 points if my math works (always a big "if").  Up next - vive la France!!


Of course, I can't forget to toss in some "Challenge Tunes", can I?

Artist: God is an Astronaut

Album: All is Violent, All is Bright

I lack the cultural depth to say much about this group beyond the ambient tones help keep my mind calm and paint like crazy.  I also first heard this group while visiting Curt in Regina, so I also associate painting with music from the group and my good friends down the Trans-Canada Highway!


You are lighting this stuff on fire, Greg. Awesome work! 

Such wonderful, clean painting. I've always admired your use of colours and I really like your take on Prussian Blue. Again, the pickelhaubes are terrific, they look both wonderfully ridiculous and menacing all at the same time (a piece of headgear seemingly designed to be shot at, it would seem). The larger officer stand with the Big Moustache and the flag bearer is brilliant (love the white gloves). 

If you want to tone-down the 'We're fighting in a flower nursery' look, try cutting the flower tufts in half or, better yet, in quarters. Then tuck these smaller sprigs in between your taller grass tufts to give your base a more natural, meadow aspect. 

These lovers of all things Wagner will give you 71 points, with one extra for the banner.

Great work, Dude!

From:VictorC: Two more WSS French Battalions make roll call (120 points)

Having this Christmas week off has provided me with ample time to paint.  I have completed another 2 French units for my WSS project.  The nice thing about these 2 units are they are the last French infantry units I need for the Battle of Almanza.  Now I'll start working on the Spanish.

Here are the photos:


Nice work, Tom! More WSS goodness for us to enjoy. 

It's great that the Challenge sees you finish these last two French units for your planned battle. Nothing says fresh units like seeing white glue still setting on the bases. ;) The hand painted flags are great and I like your wee unit labels at the rear of the command base. It's all about good organization!

A very tidy 120 points for your efforts. Well done!