Sunday, 18 February 2018

The 'Childhood' Theme is Now Up! (and Curt's 1870 Prussians in Demi Ronde)

Hello Everyone!

The fourth Theme Round of Challenge VIII is now up for your viewing pleasure!

This fortnight's theme is 'Childhood' and we have 31 participants who have submitted entries for your viewing enjoyment. I quite enjoyed this theme as, similar to our previous 'Nostalgia' theme from a few years ago, it has sparked several participants to reflect upon their own childhood memories.  

Please click here, or on the 'Bonus Theme' link in the navigation bar above to take you to see the efforts of the participants. Again, once you're there, please use the links on the right sidebar to navigate through the entries. As I've mentioned before, there is a bug in Blogger in how it displays multiple entries over several pages on a single day, so use the links in the sidebar so you are sure to see all the entries.

Finally, remember to take time to vote for your favourite submissions. You can vote for as many as you like. The top three in votes will get additional points added on to their total for the round.

For myself, I decided to tap into the inner child and try my hand with some classic toy soldiers.

These 40mm beauties were sculpted, cast and cleaned (!) by my good friend John Bertolini. I always tease John, telling him that he's a bit of a Renaissance Man. He is a master timber-frame carpenter by profession, enjoys the simplicity of manual labour, but also shares a  passion for food (his wife is a culinary writer), travel and history. He also has a great love of classic toy soldiers, especially those from late 19th and early 20th century Germany and Austria.  John participated in a past Challenge and you can see some of his wonderful work here

As Greg has been entranced with all things Franco-Prussian this season, I decided to ask John if he could provide me with some suitable figures so I could riff on Greg's excellent work.

In toy soldier speak these figures are sculpted in the demi ronde style, meaning that they share elements of both classic two-dimensional figures and modern 'fully round', or three dimensional designs. I really find the style charming and always find myself smiling when I was working on them. When I was building-up the units I discovered that I needed some standard bearers and drummers. John, being his usual accommodating self, simply got out the greenstuff and balsa and made me a few on the fly - wonderful!  

A French drummer.

French standard bearer.
As to painting, I tried to go with the classic toy soldier style. So while there were areas where I couldn't resist to applying a modest highlight, I endeavoured to honour the figures and kept things fairly clean and minimalist. 

Same with the bases. No groundwork here, just a mottled effect with green paint to keep it nice, simple and toy soldier-like. The banner is from Warflag, with a bit of paint touchup.

The wonderful thing about working on these figures is how nicely they come together once they're all ranked up. I also love the sheer physical heft of them - with all this lead the bases have a substantial weight that just feels so wonderful in your hand. I don't know what it is, but the 'solidness' of the based elements really taps into my lizard brain - something that you can't find an equivalent with plastic figures.

As previously mentioned, John also provided me with a French battalion which I might take a whack at later. To be honest, what I'd really like to do is 1759 Plains of Abraham in this style as I think that it could be quite spectacular. John? Can you whip something up for me? C'mon, pretty please!

Now, I invite you again to visit the theme gallery and enjoy the wonderful entries for 'Childhood' and remember to vote for your favourite submissions (voting closes next Saturday at 11:45pm).

Side Duels Roster and Points Updated

Hi All,

It's Sunday evening and that can only mean one thing... the eighth points update for the Side Duels and Challenges has now been posted.

Not much action of late apart from KentG continuing to smash The Black Powder duel with his French Napoleonic army...

Somewhere there's a crossroads demon whistling cheerfully and thinking he's only nine-and-a-bit years away from pay day.

As always, please check the points and make sure they're correct.

Millsy The Duels Wallah