Friday, 19 January 2018

From JamieM: Dark Elf Black Guard (151 Points)

I've always liked Dark Elves in Warhammer (and other fantasy games).  Who could fail to like emo, goth, whiny elves who mope about in the dark being mean because they feel like it?

They also get all the coolest sounding stuff, like Cold One riders, massive Hydras and Executioners, so I thought I'd move towards finishing the army with the last large unit I have for them - The Black Guard.

With a name like that, I thought I should probably paint the solid armour black..... so I entered that special circle of painting hell that involves drybrushing grey on black, then deciding that's too heavy and trying to knock it back, then deciding it's knocked back too far and highlighting with grey again, and so on.

Anyway, having made a vow never to paint a black armoured army in the future (and as we wargamers seem incapable of sticking to sensible resolutions, expect to see my Raven Guard army in the challenge next year!) I managed to get them finished to a standard I'm happy enough with.  I think the key was getting some other colours on them to give perspective, as I found it really tough to judge the black on it's own.

These chaps are the elite who watch over the Sorceresses of the Dark Elves and hopefully pack a chaos bashing punch with their mighty halberds so they can take out all NickJ's horrible chaotic chaps with aplomb.

Black armour aside, there were a couple of design choices that annoyed me with these figures.  The main one was they carry whacking great big halberds, but GW decided to have the top knots all hang to the right... behind the halberds.  This means they're far trickier to paint and also then harder to see.  Silly design choice as they aren't following history or anything.

Anyway, the best thing about them was the fact that this was a bonus unit in some ways.  GW have started putting two options on a lot of their kits, with two sets of arms, weapons and heads to go on one set of bodies so you have a choice of which unit to make.  These arms and heads came from the executioner kit I did last year and as I fortunately had at least 30 spare unpainted spear-elves lying around (like we all do, right?) it was a simple matter to clip, stick and convert a load of cheap ebay figures into these Black Guard.

30 28mm figures so 150 points if my maths does me right.


What a terrific looking unit Jamie! I agree, painting black figures can be some hard sledding, especially when you're wanting to achieve a certain effect such as with highlighting gloss black armour contrasted with black cloth (I almost threw my recent Darth Vader in the trash because of this). Anyway, I think you've nailed it with these sado-boyz and I like your use of red as a counterpoint to the swathes of black. 

These 30 Dark Elves will give you 151 points including a pip for their blood-red banner. Well done Jamie!

From DebD: Reaper: Harsk, Dwarf Ranger (5 Points)

Happy Friday!

Scale: 28mm
Mfg: Reaper Miniatures
Product: 60004: Harsk, Dwarf Ranger
Material: Metal

He has a very intense stare. I think he might be chasing down the elf in the forest (previously painted).. he must not like her ballet like poses ;)

I had so much fun painting all the items he is carrying (especially the teapot).

This is my first time adding the foam moss, but I like how it added some depth to the base.

1 x 28mm from Reaper



Haha! Yes, Deb, I contracted this fellow to have a little 'chat' with that poncy 'Elf from the Bolshoi'. :)

Again you impress us with your brushwork for this stolid chap. His teapot and plaid rolled blanket are excellent touches, and I agree, the moss adds a nice bit of vibrancy to the flagstone base. I also like how you've done the blued steel of his rune axe - a nasty bit of ironmongery there.

5 well-earned points for you Deb! Lovely work.

From SanderS: Cheating... (15 Points)

Hoi there,

Okay so terrain in the Challenge... I really do not think I have this fixed in my system yet, it feels like cheating, me entering scenery for points. That said, the last two weeks have seen me correcting test of 269 pupils and that kinda sucked the time and energy out of painting. I also have been too busy to react to all the excellent posts here on the Challenge blog, sorry for that.

Shortly before the correcting wave broke, I have been able to paint up some scatter terrain or how you want to call it. Most of it is Dungeon terrain, doors, cupboards and a tomb from Mantic, a table with landscape inset from Zealot games (they do excellent scenery and figures) and two palm trees from well erm China really, the wife ordered them through Ali-express or something like that?

So here are pictures of all the separate items.

Here's a close up to show that the base of the scenery is 6 x 6". In height the palm trees are a little over 6" but the rest is well under. So I leave the scoring up to Curt.

Cheers Sander


I think we can all certainly sympathize how the desires of our hobbies can often get 'realigned' by the realities of life. Nonetheless, it's great to see that you've been nudging the ball forward with these little terrain gems, Sander. I love the bookcases and that table with the terrain inset - who cool is that?! I'm also impressed by those very fine palm trees. I'll have to pester you to find out where in Ali Express you found them.

Let's err on the side of generosity and say 15 points for the lot? Sounds about right to me.

From SidneyR: More Flemish Horse: the Count of Bucquoy's, 1688 (85 points)

My fifth submission for the challenge is the first half of the Flemish regiment of Horse of the Count of Bucquoy. They will be joining my Flemish, Spanish and German army from 1688, focused around the fictional town of Laarden in the Spanish Netherlands, but leaning on history for the uniform and flags of the units concerned.

The Lords, and later Counts, of Bucquoy were important holders of high office in the Hapsberg dominions of the Spanish Netherlands, including the hereditary title of the Master of the "Hunt of Artois". The third Count, Charles II Albert de Longueval (1607 – 1663), was also a holder of the Order of the Golden Fleece and the Order of Calatrava (both senior orders of Spanish nobility), and was a general of the Spanish Cavalry in the Low Countries in the later stages of the Thirty Years War. The regiment of Horse recruited by the third Count, then passed to his son, the 4th Count (being one of thirteen children of the third Count). So, there's noble pedigree a-plenty in the regiment, and the location of the Bucquoy lordship (now a commune in the Pas-de-Calais, but formerly part of the Hapsberg territories in Flanders), makes the unit a good fit for my fictional free-Flemish city of Laarden in 1688.

The figures in this submission are all 25mm Wargames Foundry from their Marlburian range, including the horses. They’re painted with Vallejo paints and the bases are by Warbases (in 3mm laser cut MDF). The regimental officer, probably not the Count himself, has suffered an arm swap to make him look more inspiring, but that’s the only significant conversion from the original figures, although the feathers are all made from green-stuff.

The figures were fun to paint - with the red cuffs contrasting well with the buff/ off-white of their uniforms. I’ve chosen to equip them with pistols (as I did with the Flemish Horse regiment of de Vichet). From the performance of Flemish horse in the Nine Years War, I don’t anticipate that their tactical doctrine would have been the same as the hard charging French cavalry using a sword as their primary weapon. The Armies of the Spanish Netherlands struggled in recruiting high quality cavalry formations, relying mainly for battlefield cavalry on Lorraine and Burgundian horse regiments recruited from Hapsburg affiliated territories along the French border south of Luxembourg. Equipping the regiment of the Count of Bucquoy with pistols as their primary weapons, and allowing them to perform a caracole maneouvre, makes sense to me, restricting cold steel melee weapons to the French and more aggressive Lorrainer Horse.

I’ve also added another ‘routed base’ into the submission. This is the third base (of 6) I had prepared in advance for the ‘Flight’ round but did not get finished in time for the first themed round. I’m hoping to finish up all 6 by the end of the Challenge. The figure are a mixture of Wargames Foundry, Perry Miniatures and 1st Corps. There's some conversion work on the mounted officer trying desperately to rally his shattered regiment of Horse. I added deep buttoned cuffs to his coat with green-stuff, and feathers and a large cravat.  

There are still three more of these "Flight" bases to come, so hopefully I can get these painted later in the Challenge.

Points wise, there's six 25mm cavalry figures = 60 points for the Flemish Horse.  The Flight base adds 10 points for the mounted officer, and half points for the three prone figures and the prone horse (so, I'm guessing 2.5 points for each for another 10 points).  So all-in-all, 80 points.


Absolutely superb work, Sid. You are hitting it out of the park with your Laarden project this year and these equestrian chaps are terrific additions to your ever-growing collection. While the cavalry are lovely, I really have to say that my favourites lately have been your 'Flight' bases. I'm a sucker for vignettes, so I appreciate the 'stories in miniature' these little dioramas allow. On top of the excellent painting, I very much enjoy reading the historical background of this lesser-known period (doctrine, recruiting, etc.) as it places the figures within a broader context. 

For this series of figures let's peg it at 85 points to allow a bit for the conversion work. Lovely stuff, Sidney!

From DaveX: Frostgrave Cultists (10 Points)

This week is only a small submission from me as I have been busy for the Fortnightly Challenge BFG which will be posted shortly!

I have procrastinated for so long to get my Frostgrave Cultists painted, they have been assembled for over a year or maybe two!

I quickly painted up these two smiling chaps.

Basically I blocked the colours in, used Army Painter Strong Tone Quickshade, waited 3 days, then highlighted and picked out details!  Done!

This should grab me 10 points!


Congratulations Dave, you're the first out of the blocks today with this excellent entry. 

I really like the punchy colours you've gone with for these grouchy chaps. Who says cultists have to wear drab cloaks all the time, right?  Also, I think you've done a great job on the patchy snow bases. I speak with authority on this, as here in Saskatchewan we've just experienced a weird warm trend which moved us from a hellish arctic wasteland to merely a purgatory of nordic tundra.

I think the secret to your recipe must be the 'waiting 3 days' part. Love it.

These two lads will give you 10 points. Well done!

It's Friday and the Big Freakin' Gun Theme Opens Up in a Few Days

Hi Folks!

Friday the 19th is here and that means that the BFG theme round is only a few days away.

Right now Friday's looking a little thin on the ground, with only a couple of entries sitting in the hopper, so I'm hoping we'll see a few more of the Friday Follies making an appearance later on today. We'll see...  (flicks whip, twirls moustache)

Oh, and one more administrative matter: The month-in cut-off deadline is this Sunday at noon (CST). So, for those who have yet to submit an entry, please get me something by then so we can put you up on the scoresheet, otherwise the spooky IT guys wearing the clamshell helmets will be forced to engage the Delete Key of Doom.

See you all Sunday!