Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Side Duels Roster and Points Updated

Anyone got a pic of duelling camels???
Hi All,

The first points update for the Side Duels and Challenges has been posted.

We've had the first shots fired in the Black Powder duel, as well as some clarity around camel-related duelling.

Millsy The Duels Wallah

ByronM: Start of a New Era - Ancient Greece (80 Points)

Last year I decided that I wanted to do something for this challenge that would allow me to get a bunch of figures done fairly quickly and bring a new era to our wargame group.  The era I chose was one that has interested me for a long while, Ancient Greece.

As a kid I loved the Greek myths and Gods and thought they were amazing. By choosing Greeks as a force, I could just do Greeks as they constantly fought among themselves between the various city-states, or expand at another time to paint Persians and bring in another element.

To start the force I chose to pick up a few boxes of the Warlord Spartans and Greeks, as they are readily available and fairly inexpensive.  I have always liked Warlord plastics so had high expectations...

Well, those expectations meant nothing as Warlord has 3 different boxes of ancient Greeks, yet all of them have the same contents other than a few small character sprues and decals.  Worse, the poses are not varied at all, and have no thrusting arms only throwing arms or at rest arms. The sprues used by Warlord are old Immortal figures sprues and are not even really 28mm they are more like 25mm figures.  I have since ordered a few boxes of Victrix Greeks as they have proper thrusting arms and more varied poses, and will mix them into other units and try to keep the same height by leaving the Warlord figures on their bases and removing the Victrix from theirs.  I would strong recommend against anyone getting any of the Warlord Greeks.

I plan on using the Hail Caesar rule set, and while it recommends 40mm x 40mm bases for 4 figures, I decided on using 40mm x 60mm to allow for some extra ground work in front of the figures for both looks and protection of the spears.

Since I plan of painting at least 10 units of these over time, I wanted to keep the paint jobs very simple and quick so that I can get them done in a reasonable time.  Therefore these were painted by simply blocking in the colours, washing and then highlighting.  Super simple and basic table top level, as I don't know that you actually see much more than the shield from the front or some bronze and cloth from the back.  I will however spend more time on the command stands for the game as you will be able to see the figures there.

This first unit is 16 Spartans, of which probably 1/4 - 1/2 of my final force will be made up of.  I also plan on making heavy use of units from Athens and Thebes.


I know you're not wild on the figures, but you've done a very nice job with these, Byron. The warm bronzes and vibrant reds are excellent. The slight variation in the weapon arm helps to add a bit of visual interest to the unit. I also like the proper dory spears with the reverse spike 'lizard killers' - all my old hoplites are just plain old brass wire. 

If you want to try something different, and want to break up the monotony of similar figures, you may want to try adding a few wounded figures in the ranks, or perhaps a water carrier skirting along the rear, or maybe a helot armed with extra spears or a spare hoplon shield to support the fighters. I might help save your sanity if you're planning on doing a load of these.

I look forward to seeing how you integrate the upcoming Victrix models with these ones from Warlord.

From MilesR: German DAK Reinforcements (400 Points)

 First, please let me begin this little submission with a heartfelt Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and/or whatever you prefer to celebrate to everyone participating in the challenge.  This year is really special for my wife and I as it's likely the last time we'll be hosting our son for an extended period - he's a college senior and will be soon entering the workforce so this Christmas is a very special one for us.

Anyway, back to the mini's.  I've decided to bulk up my WW2 North Africa collection - Why?  During last summer's Historicon game "DAK and Dragons", I had miscounted the number of German DAK figures I needed and had to create some last minute substitutes.  Since I'll be re-running that game this year, more troops have been added to the mix and so I present to you 68 German DAK infantry and Fallschirmjagers troops with some armored support, all in glorious 28mm scale.

 First up a stalwart Panzer IV from Rubicon models.  I really like the Rubicon kits and the Panzer IV kit comes with lots of options.  They are really easy to build and I find them to be the best kits out there for 28mm scale vehicles.

Next up are 38 plastic Perry DAK figures.  Why 38? - cause that's how many come in the box!  This is my second box of Perry DAK and while they are more realistically proportioned compared to most 28mm figures they do look good on the table and are a joy to paint up.

How about some light armor support in the form of a Panzer II?  This is a resin kit from Warlord Games and I really just can't recommend it - the parts fit horribly and the details are somewhat worn away.  I suspect the mold used to cast this resin model has seen better days.  never-the-less after a little bit of work a serviceable model will emerge.

 More infantry support in the form of 30 plastic Fallschirmjaegers.  These figures are from Warlord and its a superb set.  Warlord has come a long way in the quality of their plastic figure sets and these are highly recommended.  These are WAYYYY better than their metal FJ's which I painted up a few challenges ago.

 Just to keep the Italian allies happy, they get some recon support in the form of a resin Autoblinda AB41 from Warlord.  Unlike the Panzer II, this model was really well done and very easy to paint up.  Sadly, I lost the decals in umm a red wine "incident".  You'll likely see a handful of Italian Paratroopers join the fold over the next few weeks.

Pro-tip: spilling red wine on decals often renders them useless.  Knowing is half the battle.

And lastly, some more recon support for the Germans in the form of the iconic Sd.KFZ 222, again from Warlord.  This kit was also really well cast. The body and tires are resin and the turret is metal.

With these troops, I'll have enough to have a historically accurate DAK & Dragons game - last year I had to substitute in some German engineers for one player that were in, gasp, early war European uniforms.  I'm sure you all can imagine my shame....

Oh the indignity of using troops in the wrong uniform AND wrong theater of operations while running a very serious historical simulation of WW2 infantry combat tactics against the dark gods of Egypt.  This gaffe really hurt my credibility with the button counting crowd.

Please excuse the poor picture quality - I'm learning to use my new iPhone.  Hmm, I feel the need to end this post with a catch phrase.  I wonder what would be most appropriate.  Oh yes, here it is:



The first points stonk from Miles with 400 pips to add to his tally. Wow.

I love your whole 'DAK & Dragons' game idea, Miles. It sounds like a heap of fun and know it has been very well received when you put it on at Historicon. 

You've done great work on the Fallshirmjagers and German troops, but the armour takes the show here. I'm a big fan of armoured cars and have always loved the design of the Sd.kfz 222 in particular. Its silhouette still looks so futuristic even after nearly 80 years. 

I'm not sure what could have caused you to put decals into red wine, but I completely approve of drinking festive beverages while at the (relative) safety of your hobby table. That being said, please decal responsibly, people - it's all fun and games until someone accidentally puts armour markings on the end of your nose, or merlot stains on your Panthers

Welcome back to the top of the points-list, Mr. Reidy. We await the response from the other heavy hitters...

From ByronM: 30k Mechanicum Automata - The First Salvo (30 Points)

One of the projects that I have most been looking forward too this year is the creation of a Mechanicum army for Warhammer 30k.   I have looked at the Mechanicum force for years and loved the overall look of the robot portion of the army, but just hated other portions of it.  Enter the Legio Cybernetica list this past year, which is a Taghmata variant that focuses on robots!  Hurray!  I can make a list with just robots, sign me up!

The project is a little strange though, as I really dislike both V7 and V8 of Warhammer 30k/40k and think the rules and balance are insanely bad.  They are bad to the point that I believe someone had to actively try to make them as bad as they are on a bet....  I can see the hive mind that is GW corporate sitting in an office going "Let's prove to the public that we can do whatever the F!@$ we want, make the rules complete sh*t, and people will still buy our models."  Well, case proven GW.

Anyway, enough on the rules, the models rock!  I love the bonkers look of these walking death machines, and love the fluff even more.  You basically have the masters of technology sitting on Mars thinking that people are idiots and machines are great, so lets turn people into machines.  Sounds great to me, since as a techie I trust machines far more than I trust people!

This is the first batch of two Castellax Class Battle-Automata that I finished and they are wielding the evil looking Dark Fire Cannon.  I honestly have no idea WTF they do in the game, I just got them because I liked the look of them!  Once the force is done and they have to go on the table, I will have to look them up.

Overall I am just aiming for effect on these and not going to spent a ton of time on them.  I am aiming for game pieces not show pieces so a lot of the details are not getting painted, I am using a lot of shortcuts and quick steps on them, nothing special close up, but hopefully good looking on the game table.

I wanted the entire force to look the same, especially with the reds which I find very hard to get looking right, so I have airbrushed all of them at once, and will be working on the details over the course of the challenge.  I wanted a dark brick red base, but wanted highlights to show on all the larger pieces, so started with a dark hull red base, then worked up to a gory red, then a light glaze of red, and finally an even lighter coat of sunny skintone to lighten the very center of the panels.

I see these robots as basic machines with lots of metal and therefore did all the mechanical bits as black, then oily steel, highlighted with silver, then washed down with engine grime from the AK line.  I painted the central canopy / head area / whatever it is bronze, then highlighted with copper, and then washed it down with a brown wash.

At this point I was almost done, but something just didn't look right.  There was too much silver and red and no contrast colours.  While I had not planned on any other colours, I felt it needed something so went back and added some quick energy blooms on the weapons in a blue to white fade to try and show high energy expenditure. Not sure if blue / white was the right colour choice or not, but it certainly stands out, which is what I was looking for.

Last up was the bases.  I had initially planned a red martian soil base, but thought it would just blend the model to the base rather than making it stand out.  I changed it last minute to a simple black / grey rubble base using cork, bits of sprue, guitar string, plasticard, and liquitex.

Expect more of these robots as the challenge goes on.

Also, I haven't figured out for sure if I want to do chipping or scratches on the armour plates, so I may do that later.  The same with weathering powders on the legs, but I want to get all of them done before doing that so that they all have the same mixes of powders on them.  If I decide to do that, I will post some more images once everything is done.  Until then, let me know your thoughts on those two things, should I chip them up and dirty them up, or should I leave them clean?

Anyway, belated Merry Christmas everyone, hope everyone had a good holiday with family and friends yesterday.  I am now back to the brushes trying to get another entry done today before going out to my Mom's cabin for a few days. 


Welcome back to the Challenge, Byron!

These Automata look excellent. The red armoured carapace turned out very nice, but you're right, the heat-bloom of the energy weapons really helps them pop - a very cool effect. I have a 6mm Mechanicus force for Epic and agree with you on the overall aesthetic: the robots, titans and vehicles look brilliant, but the cybernetic stuff needs to be closer to John Blanche's original vision of them being a horrific, quasi-skeletal/insectoid blend of machine and human. I look forward to seeing more of your emerging Taghmata in the coming months.

We've been scoring things like Warjacks and Dreadnoughts as vehicles recently, so we'll stick with that. That makes it 30 points for the pair. Well done, Byron!

Social - from DaveD - Challengers Planned paint and chat - Wednesday 27th 9.00am uk time

Hi All,

I have a fairly full painting day planned tomorrow so i will open the chat link in the morning uk time - around 9.00 am   (or 8pm in Sydney in Oz - OR 3.00am ish in North America) ,  and will be on for most of the day - 8 hours or so..- so if anyone is around to pop on an say hi then feel free. The link is in the various groups

Click through to take you the group .

Click through to take you to the Facebook group.

If anyone wants to contact me direct to ge tthe URL - do so through my blog if you dont already have my e mail

Google hangouts is a plug in you can download - it usually just fires up when you click through on the link published in the g+ or Facebook page. just follow the instructions to install.

So feel free join in the fun while twirling those brushes.

my project for tomorrow is this :-

i will need all the company i can get

From Barks: A Pair of Sith (10 Points)

Hello all! Great to be participating again! I'm keen to get some points on the board, so I started with my staple Star Wars figures.

The Emperor was a quickie (I painted the Guard years ago). His cloak is dark grey, drybrushed lighter, then a black wash followed by a blue wash. The final blue wash is my current favourite tool for a nice black effect. It doesn't quite translate in the photo.  I wasn't sure how to paint his face- I've seen it all hues of sickly, but went with a browny-yellow that works for me. It would have ben very cool for him to have some lightning coming from his hands, but it would have upped the painting time considerably!

Something something something complete.

The next figure is Maul. Just Maul- Not Darth Maul. Having been the only good thing from the execrable Episode I, he was revived using advanced plot technology for the Clone Wars and Rebels cartoons. He became a rogue acting for his own interests rather than for the Empire. He got a robotic bottom half, and has a guise as an enfeebled old man with a cane- which contains his iconic dual-bladed lightsaber. He's holding the cane in his left hand. I undercoated him with red first, and then painted the tattoos and clothes black. The first picture is untouched- it came out a little overexposed and gives this awesome appearance to his weapon! You can see a bit better on the other pictures than the blades are more pink in reality, but I'm still very happy with his overall appearance.

So, two figures to start with- 10 points please.


Welcome back to the Challenge, Barks!

Great entry, considering the new film just been released. Your Emperor is suitably iconic with his sallow skin, but your Maul is especially fine, particularly the glow from his dual lightsaber on his cybernetic legs, and his tribalistic Sith tattoos. Wonderful brushwork.

I was hoping that you'd continue your Star Wars theme this year, Barks, as this year I'm taking a stab at painting some of these figures as well, and wanted to see yours as further inspiration.  

These two Sith serve as an excellent opening gambit for your climb to your points target.

Well done!

From EvanH: 28mm Orc Chieftain (10 Points)

Greetings, Fellow Challengers!

Ev here, coming to you from the summery climes of Sydney (no, not the one in Nova Scotia, the humid and sticky one).

Here, at long last, is entry number one for my third Challenge. We got lucky with the weather (i.e., it's actually under 25C) so I finally sat down at the workbench this morning and started on my latest figure, a Scibor 28mm Orc Chieftain, a companion piece of sorts to last Challenge's Big Fella.

Time flies when you're having fun, and I put a fair bit of time in to finish my latest green thug.

Having done last year's Orc in cooler blue-green tones, I decided to shift the colour palette to the olive and khaki end of the spectrum, working the skin up from a base of Mig Olive Drab through Vallejo Russian Uniform and blending in khakis to lighten the mix. Yellow and green glazes finished the skin tones.

The armour was layered up from a base of Vallejo Game Colour Tinny Tin through VMC Bronze and VGC Bright Bronze. Green washes were added to simulate corrosion of the armour and give it a lived-in look.

The stone sword was basecoated with VGC Sombre Grey and drybrushed with successively lighter layers of grey to give it a flinty look. The fallen statue on the base was a lot of fun to drybrush and apply washes to - so much character!

I really like the dynamic pose on this figure, and I like to think that the mix of skin, fur and metal repaid the time taken.  Like his cousin from last challenge, he's ostensibly a 28mm figure, but he actually tops out at the 54mm mark.

If I remember rightly, the last one of these came in at 10 points on account him being so big and all, so we'll assume that applies to this one as well. Fits in with the 'Monstrous' leitmotif for this Challenge, anyhow!

What's next in line? Well, I don't want to miss out on any Bonus Rounds this year, so I'd best get to work, but there are so many other figs demanding my attention. Which will it be?

Stay tuned...



Wow, that is a very impressive Greenskin, Ev! 

I think the extra work you put in on both his skin tone, armour and sword really paid off (love that flint blue sword) - what an incredibly nasty brute. I also like the huge blue-grey stone head that he's vaulting from. As you say, a very dynamic model. Well done!

10 points for you Evan - Welcome back to the Challenge!