Saturday, 18 February 2017

From ByronM - Epic 30k Drop Pods and Troops

I know last week after meeting my goal for the challenge I said I was going to work more on individual figures at character and high level painting rather than more rank and file stuff.  Well, as is typical in this hobby, the squirrel syndrome raised its bushy tail and I got distracted with new stuff.  When visiting our overlord Curt two weeks ago, he kindly printed off some drop pods for me on his shiny new 3d printer.  I have printed some in the past, but at this small scale the resolution of mine is not really good enough, so Curt kindly made some replacements for me.

So, I figured I should get them done and add them to my Epic 30k army, here is a close up of them.
 Also at about the same time I got in some Mark IV jump pack assault marines and a strip of command figures to do up a command stand.

They were done fairly quickly just to get them done as they are likely to be pulled off the table pretty quickly!  And I do need to go back and paint in the numbers at some point on the shoulderpads, but I had a headache most of this week and just could not focus on tiny numbers without making it worse, so just left them for now.

I now have a pretty substantial Epic 30k force so now it is time to start getting some games in!

Great work on these Byron.  Curt is like a school kid with a new puppy with that 3-D printer so I'm glad that you given him an excuse to extrude something with it.

You're well out of my comfort zone on both 6mm and 30K, but the overall effect looks great.  Like the basing on the foot figures.  I agree with your tally 80x 6mm inf = 40 points plus 8x 6mm vehicles = 16 points equals a total of 56 points.

From MilesR: Moderns and Chindits (270 points)

 A little bit of Saturday morning 28mm figures painting...
 First up 16 Modern Soviet troops from Empress Miniatures.  Fantastic figures!
 Next is 10 WW2 Chindits from Warlord Games.  These guys are a blast to play in Bolt Action and will go to fill out my British Burma theatre army.  The quality of the castings was very poor and required a lot of time to fix up.

 Now some more Empress stuff in the form of 20 modern British infantry and...
8 SAS troopers.

I must say the quality of the Empress figures I have painted during this year's Challenge have been superb.  In fact I may be ordering some more for the final "push" to March 20....

54 figures in total should net me 270 points.  The paint quality is a bit rushed but not bad for a mornings worth of work.

Ok Miles, your "little bit of Saturday morning 28mm figures painting"  is equal to 2/3 of my production in the entire challenge.  

Anyway, I really like the moderns.  Nice work on the bases.  Warlord figures are a bit of a crap shoot from everything I've seen and heard.  My only experience was with some plastic AWI Hessians - nice sculpts but the heads were in three pieces!  I'll chalk up a ho hum 270 points on the Spreadsheet of Doom for you.

From SylvainR - Hochseeflotte (99 points)

Seven years ago, I bough a bunch of ships on Kijiji and despite having painted so far hundreds of battleships, cruisers, destroyers, aircraft carriers and submarines, I am still not done yet with the content (and I also bought more ships to "complete" the various fleets). I find that I can paint no more than 100 ships per year, mostly because I get tired of painting the bases. I need a few months to forget about the boredom and recover the mind set to paint another batch. It will take me a few more challenges to finish the remaining fleets.

Anyway, this time I present to you the "Hochseeflotte" [High Seas Fleet], favourite plaything of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Wilhelm was very jealous of the shiny toys possessed by his British cousins, namely the units of the Royal Navy and was even more envious of their grandiose Fleet Review and for this reason the Kaiser embarked on an ambitious an foolish plan for naval expansion. I believe that this arms race, along with the Sarajevo Incident, was one of the triggering factors of WW1.

The project I am posting today is only about battleships, battlecruisers and armoured cruisers, as these were the only kind of ships I got from the "bunch". I will need to complete the fleet at a later date with some light cruisers and destroyers, so the Regina wargamers can fight the battle of Jutland in my backyard.

The picture above shows the evolution of German battleships. At the top, the Deutchland class represents an example of a pre-dreadnought, followed by the first German "all big guns", the Nassau class, with six turrets. This was followed by the Helgoland class, just a bigger version of the precedent. The Kaiser class had only five turrets, but they were offset to allow firing on both sides. The König class had all the five turrets in a centreline position. The last ship at the bottom represents the Bayern class, with only four turrets but with 15" guns instead of 12". As you can see, with time, Battleships became barely longer because it was important to have an area as small as possible to be protected by armour. The shorter the ship the better. The Bayern is about 32,000 tons.

You will note that the size of the base is smaller for the first two ships. My original plan was for the bases to represent ship types as follow: battleship, cruiser, destroyer. But this soon proved to be problematic considering an old battleship is much smaller than an armoured cruiser. So I decided that the size of the bases would represent tonnage, and that only ships of 25,000 tons or more would fit on a larger base.

Just like his British cousins, Wilhelm wanted battlecruisers in his fleet, ships that are lightly armoured but fast and well armed. From top to bottom, we have: Von der Tann class, Moltke class, Seydlitz class and Derfflinger class.  You will notice that battlecruisers became much longer with every new class. The Derfflinger is about 31,000 tons, more or less the same as the Bayern, but the difference is made up of armour.

Finally, two classes of armoured cruisers: Scharnhosrt class and Blücher class. Scharnhorst and sister-ship Gneisenau fought in South America, at the other end of the world.

In previous Challenges, I got three points per battleship or cruiser and two points per smaller ships. With 33 ships, this lot is worth 99 points. This will also count towards my naval paint duel with MilesR. Miles, we have not decided yet on a prize. If I loose the duel, how about I paint for you the Baden and the Bayern, the two most powerful WW1 battleships?

The purpose of this last picture showing the Bismarck along the Baden and the Derfflinger is to establish some comparisons.

The difference between a battleship (top) and a battlecruiser (middle) is clearly shown. Both ships are about the same tonnage, but their purposes are obviously different.

The Bismarck clearly shows the traits inherited from her parents. We can distinguish the length and speed of a battlecruiser with the width, armour and armament of a true battleship. Everything seems in perfect balance in the Bismarck, for a final tonnage of about 50,000 tons.

The High Seas Fleet models are all from CinC and I really prefer GHQ, like the Bismarck, because of the additional details and the bigger guns, which will not bend like pipe cleaners. CinC's look is somewhat abstract. I could have added details like masts and lifeboats (which were sold separately!) but with 76 ships to paint (with the upcoming Royal Navy), it is not something on which I want to spend my time.

I also came to paint a more realistic sea base than I did a few years ago. When I painted the base for the Bismarck, I tried to simulate waves by mixing different tones of blue. But after some testing, I found that sculpting a thick coat of gel on a uniform midnight blue surface gives a more satisfying result. You will note that the gel is not entirely cured on some bases, as some "milky" pockets are still noticeable.

Thank you for watching!

Guest Editor PD:  Well that's a posting to put fear into the Admiralty.  Well done on this haul of ships.  There's quite a lot of care and patience required to build and paint these 1:2400 models and you've done a fine job. Like you I prefer the GHQ range, but you can't look a gift Kijiji box int the eye.  I also really enjoy the size comparisons, which nicely illustrate the pace of the naval race and the amount of one-up-manship it involved

Cpl Millsy - wake up man and record this young lad's score on your spreadsheet whatnot!

I'm looking forward to seeing the 100 or so light ships that you'll to round out your forces.  However, having met your dog I suggest that we book a gym at the university and play indoors to avoid any minefields that she may have left!  If you want to have a go at a slightly smaller scale I have enough to do a big chunk of Jutland (and about every other WW! naval action) in 1:3000 scale.

From TomF - AWI 2nd New Hampshire (31 points)

Next unit off of the painting table for the AWI Battle of Hubbardton project is the 2nd New Hampshire.

The 2nd NH is rather colourful unit uniform-wise (sky blue coats with red facings) which made it a lot of fun to paint.  As with the other American units, the rest of the uniform and equipment varied among the men of the regiment .

 The unit is composed of 30 10mm Pendraken figures.  I had intended on having enough figures for six stands (36 figures), but realized after having finished painting them that I had only base-coated and painted 32.  Hopefully I'll find the motivation to paint up another 4 figures in the future to join the two orphaned painted figures on a sixth stand.

Progress towards my goal of 500 pts. has been slower than expected.  I'm really going to have speed up my production over the next month!

Next up ... some British Grenadiers.

I have to say Tom that I am really taken with the project of yours.  The Pendraken 10mm figures are really nice and work well in these large units.  I could be seriously tempted to do SYW on a large scale with them..(slap!)

Lovely work on these little wonders, the facings and drum are nicely done and I love the flag. I also like the basing for these figures.  You chosen the right scale of turf to suit the figures, anything larger and they'd be hiding in elephant grass.  Checking my minion cheat sheet I get 30 figures @ 2 points per 10mm fig plus 1 for the flag =61 points.

From PaulO'G: Even more Indians and British Assault Walker (85 points)

In addition to my Bonus round submission, this week saw me complete another dozen Woodland Indians for our FIW campaign.  Alan routinely fields two dozen of these bloodthirsty braves in our Sharp Practice games and seeing them bear down on my loyal Colonials gives them the heebie jeebies - hopefully my having a reciprocal amount will give his French equal pause!

These are really lovely sculpts by Bob Murch from the Flint and Feather range, aimed at early contact/pre-contact period, thus the myriad of traditional weapons.  Again I spent a bit of time on authentic warpaint as I think it really makes them look savage!

To command my 2 units of Native Allies I have added a Sachem leader and I really like his commanding pose.  This is another figure from the Flint and Feather range. 

Next up, this beast is the M8 Grizzly Assault Walker from Warlord's Konflikt 47 range.  As this Allied walker is fielded by both US and British forces, I have pained it in the colours and insignia of a British Armoured Division and added a British tank crewman; so now it can support my British paratroopers when I want to weird them up a bit!  I really like this sculpt and had a lot of fun painting it, but putting it together was rather a pain and it required a lot of cleaning up and some parts needed work to bend them back into shape.  Regardless, I'm happy with the overall outcome.

The Grizzly is quite a sizeable beast and dominates the tabletop. Accordingly, I wanted something imposing for the base and agonised over that for awhile.  I've tried to convey it smashing through a small forest and crushing everything in its path, both natural and man-made obstacles with the barbed wire.
A panzergrenadier's view - rather imposing!

Added to my Russian Spider Mechs from the Armour Bonus Round, this makes three Weird War walkers I’ve completed during this challenge – time to order some more!

And so I present a 28mm vehicle, its crewman, and 13 Indians with some lovely warpaint (! :-) to the judge for adjudication.  I also hereby officially increase my AHPC VII target to 1000 points, which will be a new personal best for me.

Jeez Paul, I sub for one day and I have to figure out how to rejig Miles spreadsheet to fit your new points goal!  

Anyway enough wining - I'm sure that I can lay some delayed action fuses to mess with the Mathemagician.  Great work on the Indian tribesmen, the warpaint looks great to me.  I'm not into the whole Weird WW2 thingy, but that Grizzly is a thing of wonder.  Is it just me but is that gun in front in a rather umm suggestive position?  Well done with the weathering and basing.  I wouldn't want to be in that panzer grenadier's boots.  I'll concur on your points tally, I figure the walker counts  as a vehicle but what do I know?

From MichaelA: Everything stops for tea! (25 Points)

Just the briefest of posts today as I see to have run out of time with regards to all things hobby related.  That said I am happy to present this collection of loosely themed miniatures in a bid to snaffle some more much needed points.  In the back of my mind, I have an inkling that the new 'Congo' rules are something that I need to have and in order to justify that purchase, I have dusted down a few bits and pieces that might be suitable. 
Various manufacturers on show, Copplestone, Dixon and Northstar, I believe, but do correct me if not the case.  I was actually quite surpassed at how many potentially suitable miniatures I already have for this departure and so who knows where this may lead?
Guest Editor PD:  Nothing like a good cuppa tea to start the day Michael.  Excellent collection of figures and I am looking forward to seeing more on this project.  I can't judge the source of these figures but the thrree that you suggest are all likely culprits, Copplestone being the odds on favourite in my eyes.  Other manufacturers that you might check out include Foundry (Darkest Africa range) and Irregular (because they do everything weird and wacky).  I do like the missionary lady, at least that's what I think of her as and the group of locals.  You're venturing into old National Geographic areas on the seated young lady but I don't think that there is need of an NSFW label yet.  The only thing that this group needs is the back story - please let us know what it is.

I concur on your original points tally and have thrown in an extra five for the books and cultural objects, that mask alone is nearly a figure's worth.

Saturday Minion PeterD

Well I guess I didn't eff Monday's posts badly enough last year, so Curt's asked me to step in and pitch hit for him today while he compiles all of the "West" entries.

If you were following last year's challenge, you'll remember two things that you'll get from minion PeterD.

1.  A Mock Pulp Magazine Cover

2.  A Music Video from Peter's Eclectic Playlist.

Normally I go with  Canuck indie-rock or alt-country, but today I'm going back to my 20s with a classic bit of REM.  This song is from Green, their last album as critic's darlings before they became Grammy winning superband.  Note that Michael Stipe still has hair. It's classic early REM - driving beat, super creepy lyrics and the jangly sound of a Rickenbacker 12-string.  This version was released last year as part of a musical protest against a certain presidential candidate.

Let's Enjoy A Winter Saturday

Today we continue our nostalgic look back to... (cue music) 

'The Minions of Yesteryear'

Yes, I've hornswoggled, er, I mean humbly requested PeterD, our esteemed Monday Minion of Challenge VI, to take on my Saturday duties as I gleefully skip away to enjoy a weekend of debauched frivolity and mirth.

(Oh, don't you fear, I'll also be getting the 'West' theme round sorted for Sunday.) 

Take it away Peter!