Monday, 12 March 2018

From Curt: Zweihänder Flammenschwert Casualty Stand (12 points)

It's been a rather hectic time lately, but I have managed to nudge a few figures to completion - so, another casualty stand to add to my Italian Wars collection - the last one was cavalry based, so this time I've gone with an infantry theme. 

Here we have a heavily armoured landsknecht with his zweihänder flammenschwert (quite literally 'two-handed flaming sword') demanding blood or surrender from a fallen enemy.

The poor bloke on the ground is a model from Redoubt Enterprise's oft forgotten Renaissance range, while the fellow wrecking his day with the compensator sword was sourced from Oliver over at Steel Fist Miniatures. 

Thanks for popping in folks!


Lovely work, Curt! The thing which makes a wargames table burst to life is wonderful vignettes like this. You could have just stuck a dice by the unit. That would have worked. But I love the way you've made casualty markers into a work of art, recreating the horror and vitality of "The Black War".

The Redoubt range of landesknechts is a wonderful treasure trove of all kinds of goodies, and I love how you have a venerable miniature from that range alongside one of the brilliant Steel Fist miniatures. The way you've arranged the figures is terrific, and we can imagine that scene being played out all around the battlefield.

A very worthy 12 points, Curt - ten for the two combatants, and a couple for turning something mechanical into a work of art!

From SamuliS: Grenadier Battalion von Sperl (72 points)

Another battalion of Saxon grenadiers, this time from the second division in the form of the von Sperl battalion. As with the other one it really should have mixed coat facing colours, but for sake of clarity and simpler painting I just painted all of them blue instead of mixing some red facings in as well.

I had a pretty decent start for my rush to the finish line, but got fairly badly sidetracked during the weekend with some wedding related organizational duties and then helping a friend out with his renovations. So only the single battalion to show for my efforts and a pretty intimidating gap to close in the last week of the challenge. Still 18 minis which should amount to 72 points of AB Naps.

I finally dug out all the semi finished minis that I've started over the challenge from their respective project piles. There's definitely more than I can even realistically finish in the last week. All the remaining Blood Bowl minis will just be left as they are as I've only really drybrushed their bases and applied some paint on the fur areas. The rest are at least closer to finishing so I'll prioritize them. 

Should be quite a potpourri of subjects for the last few days with 40k, fantasy, different Napoleonics, some 6mm terrain and even a Dropfleet commander ship that I've got started. Some should be finishable with just a few hours of work and some needing quite a bit more. It'll definitely be a busy week!

Another fine battalion, Samuli - and from what I can see, there's going to be no holding you back in the steady march to the finishing line. 

The Saxon grenadiers look splendid - the AB Figures are lovely and i completely agree that, if time is a little short, it helps to keep uniform facings simple and, well, .... uniform! I love the overall look of the unit, and the basing. They'll look terrific in the field - and Napoleonic Saxons normally are OK in battle.. with a bit of a following wind, and secure flanks.. and rear support....

Well done anyway. A great looking unit which will net you another 72 points towards your total. And the very best of luck for the remaining items on your bustling workbench!

From SeanS - an Old-School Barn (25 points)

Hi All,

It occurred to me this week that I have precious little terrain. I got in a discussion on a chat group about buying versus making and then remembered I had several old buildings that I had started around 1990, but never finished.

I set about to remedy that.

The barn itself was made from the plans printed in White Dwarf, 140 I think. I found a copy online but the templates don't seem to match the dimensions of my final product. Maybe I enlarged them back in the day. The peak of the roof is 4.25" and the base is 5.5" by 5.25" I'm also not sure why I jammed the structure up against one edge.

As usual there are a few dodgy areas and some choices that could have been different. But I have a finished building now. So hooray for me.

If you want to see how it looked the middle of last week you can read about it on my blog here.

At some point in the next few days I'll be posting my build log.

Thanks for looking.


Wonderful work, Sean!!  I remember lots of these buildings being offered in White Dwarf, and some of the original Warhammer supplements ('Bloodbath at Orks Drift', and maybe the 'Tragedy of McDeath').  I made them up, back in the day, in a far more ham-fisted way that this lovely model. It's really a very splendid piece of work, and very characterful.  I particularly like the tiled roof, and the winch for the hay-bales and bags of corn to be lifted to a safe dry place (or dropped from a height on a goblin, squig or random passer-by).

A terrific, nostalgic piece of terrain, Sean.  Fine work, Sir, and fully deserving twenty points for the terrain, and a five more for putting this together.

From ValeryN: German Grenadiers - Second part (166 points)

A two month ago I was already laying out the first half of the miniatures of the German infantry from the starter of the third edition of gaming system "Flames of War"("Open Fire"). Now it's time for the second part.

There are 83 miniatures*2 points = 166 points.


That's really an impressive paint-bomb, Narval!  And when one thinks that's just the second half of the force, it's even more remarkable!  They fit together wonderfully well as a force, with your skillful basing bringing each of the component units together.  There's a lot going on, and I love how we can pick out the special weapons and anti-tank teams in the mass of grenadiers!

Super work, and another 166 points towards your very impressive total!  A great way to bring you into the final week of Challenge VIII, Sir!

From EvanH: Wildlife of the Fenlands, or A Troll Through The Countryside (12 points)

Monday already? Ouch. If I'm to surpass my target, let alone reach it, I'd better use my time wisely. Still got a few more entries in the pipeline, but here's one to let everyone know I'm still busy at the paint table.

A Reaper Bones Marsh Troll, he comes in at just over 50mm tall. He's clearly got a bit of crocodile in his DNA, and the colour scheme reflects this, based around various shades from olive up to pale grey-green, finished with green and purple washes.

I've gone for a much lighter shade on the front of the body, almost a fish-belly white.

The stegosaur-like plates along his back were inked in black over a purple basecoat, and then drybrushed in a lighter shade of mauve, which was, coincidentally, the original title of Procol Harum's 1967 hit single.

Here we see the back of the miniature, with the matted fur loincloth very much in evidence. Let's be thankful for that. The front loincloth is the skin of some large fish, which must add to his already mephitic stench. 

He is glued to a 60mm Warbases MDF round base, the groundwork built up with Vallejo White Pumice paste. After painting and varnishing, there was a judicious application of some Skullz (this example rates a 3 on the Barks Scale). I mixed a batch of Noch Artificial Water with a couple of drops of Vallejo German Camouflage Dark Green, and poured it into the recesses to suggest stagnant pools in a swamp. Tajima1 Wild Tufts give us the finishing touches (as usual - these things are so damned easy to use!). 

Got to get back to the rest of the pile - more later!

Stay tuned!



He's fantastic, Ev!  Certainly one of the inhabitants of a swamp or marsh which one would never want to meet on an evening stroll.  And as for adventurers being lost in the Fenland..... ugh, encountering this brute would give any party of dungeon-delvers a sticky fight, for sure.

Great work on his colouring.  I have to say, the stegosaur-like plates fit perfectly with the purple basecoat - which fits wonderfully well with the overall green/off-white/marsh-water colour scheme.  I also like the way his colouring has an echo in the marshy puddle at his feet - a very nice touch.

Great basing as well - and it's great to see I'm not the only person this year using tufts of all colours and sizes.  They're really versatile, and look wonderful.

So, yes - and marvelous submission, and 10 points, to which I've added a couple for his size and the lovely basing.  Another brilliant model to add to your Challenge VIII Collection, Sir!

From IainW: 28mm soviets for the last time! (100 points)

Here is the last of my soviets, I have more to make up but for now I think I have enough for a force so I'm going to move on to my Italian wars forces and maybe some Napoleonics.

And all together , they're a mix of warlord, Black tree design and PSC. 

This should work out at 95 points and take me past 1000 points, I'm not sure if I'll be able to get anything else finished but I'll have a go! 

All the best Iain 


Terrific work, Iain, and huge congratulations on cracking the 1,000 point level.  A great achievement in such a short time demonstrating fine painting skills and dedication.  Well done indeed!

And these Soviets are very much a perfect way to bring up your 1,000 points.  As we have seen before, you're a great master of the Red Army, and these fine figures are no exception. 

You've really captured the perfect shade for their uniforms, and the little touches like the snow flecks on the bases and the flashes of brighter colours such as the Commissar's brass buttons and Officer's red cap are fast becoming your trademark!

They will so just perfect on the table top, no doubt striking fear into anyone foolish enough to invade the Soviet Union in winter!

I counted 19 standing, and one prone figure, for 98 points, with a couple added for the wonderful consistency with which you've maintained quantity, quality, tone and colour throughout this Challenge.  Well done, Sir!

From MartinN: Bring on the Armour! (75 points)

Having had a few days off this last week I decided I'd would probably make best use of it by painting up some of the armour, that was sitting unfinished on my shelf for months now.

While I generally like painting armour I need to be in the right mood for it, as firstly I actually quite hate airbrushing and secondly I'm always worrying about overdoing the weathering.

First off is a 'liberated' M8 Greyhound to be used (as all the other vehicles in this post in fact) with my Fallschirmjäger force. Sadly it doesn't count towards my points total as I already started to paint it during last years challenge.

I simply love to use Beutepanzer and Beutefahrzeuge (loot tanks/ vehicles) with my Germans as it gives you a chance to model something 'unique' and tailor it to your own force.

This model is from Warlord Games and is quite a nice kit. Only the suspension is a little fickly, which is the reasons why this model got a base. I cut off the skirts and swapped some of the original kits wheels for some from a Warlord Sd.Kfz. 222. 

I was quite sure to have seen pictures of captured M8's with exactly this modification, but alas I must have dreamed it. 

Be that as it may, I also added some stowage and a crew figure to further 'germanize' the vehicle. The original, rather thick antennas were substituted with thin broom bristles.

The M8 saw first action in 1943 in Italy. Only few of these vehicles were ever captured by the Germans and thus it never got an official German designation but was simply referred to as the Panzerspähwagen M8(a) - the (a) stands for american. Unlike other captured vehicles these seem never to have been officially issued to the specialized Beutepanzereinheiten (special units in which, for ease of maintenance, captured tanks and vehicles were concentrated) but instead directly used by those units which had captured them.

This gave me the perfect excuse to integrate one into my Fallschirmjäger force.

Next is an early production StuG III from Rubicon Models. Not much to say about this one, except that it went together nicely. The tank commander is from Perry Miniatures.

The Sturmgeschütz (assault gun) was originally developed as a close support vehicle for the infantry. Its task was to engage fortified positions and only to a lesser extent armoured vehicles. Despite this, due to Germanys desperate need for tanks, the StuG's found themselves ever more often employed in an anti-tank role. As the muzzle velocity of the original short barreled 7,5-cm-StuK 37 L/24 wasn't adequate for the task the StuG was up-gunned with the longer 7,5-cm-StuK 40 L/43 and later with the even longer L/48.

Next in the queue is a StuH 42 (short for Sturmhaubitze or Assault howitzer). This actually is a bastard made from a Warlord Games StuG III and the Rubicon StuG. It started life as a straight out of the box StuG III. I think it was during the one before the last challenge that I messed up the paint job that badly that I almost threw it in the bin. Some time last year, when I built the Rubicon StuG, I decided to strip it and give it another try.

During the stripping process I damaged some of the parts badly. As the Rubicon kit comes with quite some options I hadn't used I carefully disassembled the Warlord kit.

First the 7,5-cm-StuK 40/L48 gun of the stock kit was replaced with the 10,5-cm-StuH 42 with Saukopfblende from Rubicon. Later the roof of the fighting compartment was carefully cut away and replaced with the corresponding Rubicon part. I actually preferred that one anyway as it has the typical very late war remote controlled MG-34 and a Stahlabweiser (literally steel deflector) in front of the command cupola.

Next I cut up the Schürzen of the kit and re-applied them in a field mod common later in the war.

Last but not least I added the rear stowage rack from Rubicon.

As the StuG's with their new main armament weren't really suited for infantry support anymore the StuH 42 was introduced. It sported a 10,5-cm-StuH 42 cannon, which was a development of the 10,5-cm leichte Feldhaubitze 18, one of the standard light artillery pieces of the Wehrmacht. As the name suggests it was introduced in 1942 and 1,317 were built until the wars end.

Last of the vehicles is the Opel Blitz, which is a Rubicon kit again. Already owning a pair of Warlords Resin version of this vehicle I've got to say what a beauty the Rubicon kit is, both in ease of assembly and accuracy. I didn't really invest much time into painting the cargo bed as I'll add some passengers at a later point. Probably not during this challenge anymore. Maybe the next ;-)

The Opel Blitz was one of the (many) standard lorries of the Wehrmacht. It saw service on all fronts and was produced until the end of the war. As Fallschirmjäger units never (and I mean really NEVER!) were equipped with the far from ubiquitous Sd.Kfz. 251 or 250's the Blitz was issued as primary means of transport for these elite troops. I do have two more of these waiting to be painted finally.

Last but by no means least are some markers I built for Chain of Command. These are so called 'Jump off points' and in effect are the entry points for my troops to enter the table. They were built using various bits and pieces from the bits-box, but mainly Rubicon models American and German stowage kits.

These pieces are probably to small to score any points, but I wanted to submit them anyway.

So, that's been a somewhat lengthy post. My sincere apologize to all of you, who actually read the whole blather. It got a little out of hand I fear.


This submission definitely sees me safely reach my 400 points target with 45 points for the three eligible vehicles and 5 points for the two crew.


An amazing submission, Nick, and a terrific way to power through the last week of Challenge VIII.  I love the way that these units fit together so well as a result of your painting and converting style.  The Stugs and the Opel Blitz are magnificent, and really versatile in any game - but the pride of place really goes (in my humble view) to the M-8(a) Greyhound.  You've really made this into a perfect little model:  individual, unusual and really memorable.  I love the way that you've added the stowage, and the German balkankreuz to the Beutefahrzeuge.  Really some lovely touches, there.

Both of the Stugs are terrific, especially the conversions and reconstruction work - it's often the case that when something goes badly wrong on a model, I decide the only place for it is in the rubbish bin.  Your great patience and fine skills show that, even when the worst happens in modelling, there is always the chance for a model to be recovered or resurrected!

The jump-off markers are little works of art.  Don't write them off!  I'm so pleased you added them.  It's bits and pieces like this on a wargames table which really bring a game to life!

As for points, I make that four vehicles (60 points), two crew (5 points in total, with half points for half figures), and I'm adding a further 10 points overall for the jump off points and the lovely detailing throughout.  That makes a hugely well deserved total of 75 points for this submission - driving you, with the ease of any M-8 Greyhound, over your points target for Challenge VIII.  Tremendous work, Nick, and a magnificent achievement accomplished in fine style.

From BenitoM: The last of the Austrians (60 points)

I return today to The Challenge with my final batch of painted Austrian troops after a couple of weeks absent for different reasons.

Firstly, the last company of the Second Battalion of the Vienna Volunteers Regiment...

...and the full battalion now displayed

I continue with a regular Line Infantry Regiment (17th Reg Reuss-Plauen Bohemina) with its distinctive dark orange colors.

Two companies this time which add to the command group painted back in January

I need to paint an additional company to finish the battalion but I'm not sure if I'll make it before The Challenge ends. My plan is to fully concentrate the rest remaining days in painting the Curtgeld as well as a mounted figure for KentG, the absolute and uncontested winner of the Black Powder Paint Duel with over 3,400 points (myself second with 620 points).  

Today's submission comprises 12 models in 28mm scale @5 points each = 60 points to add to my Challenge Score. As usual, the models are a mix of plastic Victrix (Vienna Volunteers) with Perry heads and Perry models (Line Infantry)
Wishing all participants a very good week.


Welcome back to the Challenge, Benito - even though you've only been away for a couple of weeks, you were greatly missed by all of us.  You are, of course, most welcome to rejoin us, all the more so when you present yet more of your wonderful, splendid Austrians.  Has there been a better way to start any Challenge VIII Monday than looking at the ranks of Austrian volunteers and recruits marching towards us in their fine uniforms?  I doubt it.

Again, I'm loving the careful brush control, the masterful painting of grey and white, and the wonderful ground work colours (which I've been trying to copy, far less successfully, in my own figures).  They have been, and continue to be, a great addition to the Challenge.  

Well done again, Benito.  Another 60 points to your total, and best of luck in the final stretch!

For the FINAL time this Challenge - Good Monday Morning Challengers!

Good Monday Morning Challengers!!

So…here we are… most definitely in the final stretch, with the finishing post in sight. 

Whether we’re battling for a new points total for ourselves, or finishing a masterpiece, frantically gluing bits of terrain together or just wanting to get to the end of a figure or unit before our brushes fray into a chimney sweep style cleaning tool … this is our last full week, dear Challengers!

And this is the final Monday I shall be Minion-ing in this Challenge!  I know, I know…. it’s a relief for all of you, isn’t it!   

No more over-exuberant and loud posts on a Monday morning. You can enjoy your Monday morning coffee or hot chocolate in peace and quiet.  Undisturbed.  Able to relax.  And I know you’ll all be delighted about that – a nice, quiet, restful time.

...ahhhh....that's better, isn't it.


And the Monday Challengers have risen to occasion yet again. Today's submissions transport us to the immaculate marching squares of Vienna, the smoke shrouded battlefields of Normandy, the snow-flecked steppe of Mother Russia (twice!) and the fetid and terrifying Dead Marshes. 

And, I am hopeful, to many other places to come as well as the Monday Challengers wield their brushes across the four corners of our planet.

So, add an extra zing in that coffee, and something stronger in that hot chocolate because over the next few hours, for the FINAL TIME this Challenge, it’s the Monday Schedule entries. Enjoy everyone!