Wednesday, 26 December 2018

From NickJ - Darkoath Warqueen (5 points)

Once upon a Third Time.

They say that the third time is a charm. I have no clue what that means so instead I'll just say I can't believe this is my third time in the Challenge already!

In Year 1 I mainly painted Chaos Age of Sigmar figures...
In Year 2 I mainly painted Chaos Age of Sigmar figures...
You'll never guess what Year 3 will be bringing...?
Yeah. Chaos. Age of Sigmar. Again. It seems no matter how much I clear off the shelves more fills the gaps - pretty much instantly. The slog continues :-)

To get me off the mark I've opted to start with a single Leader figure just like last year.

Say hello to the new Darkoath Warqueen

She leads the Slaves to Darkness faction which was not on the cards for me until GW released the Warqueen... yes I do have a habit of starting armies based on 1 figure I like...


Love how dynamic GW made her as she climbs the small rock to lay down some axe therapy

I've decided to align this faction with the Chaos God of Tzeentch, hence the blues and purples. They can then ally with my Disciples of Tzeentch army that you may remember from last year. Acolytes and birds anyone?

I do like the detail that GW has added with scars as well. She's been doing this for a while I think.

She's a standard GW 28mm figure so I'm thinking 5 points to get me kick-started :-)

More to come if all goes vaguely towards a plan...


Well, I applaud you for sticking to a theme, Nick. She's a great looking figure and I especially like the themed, non-metalic metal approach you took towards her shield, cuirass and axehead. Well done that. Will there be more of her minions to follow? Looking forward to finding out.

5 points to mark you on the roster and will start your gambit in the Evil Empire Challenge. Great job!

From VictorC - 1/16 scale Miniart Athenian Hoplite (30 Points)

I've just completed Miniart's 1/16 scale Athenian Hoplite. This is a fully plastic kit with all of the parts on one sprue. Assembly was pretty easy but like most of their figurine kits it took a lot of plastic filler to cover holes, misshaped limbs and general seam lines. On top of that there was a lot of flash.  The figure was painted using acrylics, which is not normal for me. I usually use oil paints on a larger scale figure like this.  I think the figure came out pretty well.

I went with a darker skin tone because I believe the people back then spent more time in the sun and considering the geographical area it made sense.

I was rather disappointed with the decal as it took a lot of work and Microsol to get it to conform to the shield.

You'll notice the scabbard is held on with a piece of string. The kit didn't provide anything to attach the scabbard. I was lucky to find some string in my wife's sewing kit that seemed usable. 


Wow, what a lovely big figure, Victor. I always have found these as rather daunting as while there is a lot of surface to work with there is also very little margin for error as the detail is so much more visible than smaller scale figures. The build for this sounds like it was a bit of bear, but you can't tell in the finished product - your labours have paid its dividend. The bronze looks excellent and the string for the scabbard was an inspired bit of modeling on your part (sewing kit for the save!). 

Lets see, 1/16 works out to be approximately 120mm in figure scale, so we'll go with 30 points for this big Greek chap. Great work Victor.

From JohnSh - More of them Gobbo fellas (30 Points)

I have been painting up a storm (relatively speaking!) over the last couple of days and have a couple of things on the go. These six Gobbo fellas join my first six in the Dragon Rampant Goblin Horde army.

These can be used as another Scout unit or combined with my first six to make a Light Missile unit. I guess it depends on what else I get done during the challenge!

Anyway, here's another 30 points which will be the highest point tally I have ever achieved in the first week of a challenge. Slowpainter's the name, glacial painting speed's the game.

Cheers, I hope you're all having as much fun as I am.


John, you're on fire buddy. If you keep up this pace you're going to have to change your handle. :)

What a characterful unit of archers - I'm loving these models. I like their plumb coloured jerkins and that banner bearer just cracks me up. By his expression I think he's telling you that he needs at least something to put on that crosspole - a banner, a ragged flag, a couple of pair of dirty underwear, something dammit. ;P 

30 points for you! Now, take a bit of a break before you completely demolish your rep. :)

From MilesR: French Marines & British Limbers in 15mm (232 points)

 Yet more 15mm Napoleonics in the form of 2 units of French Marines and 6 British artillery limbers with 6 pounder guns in 15mm scale.  All of the figures are from Old Glory's Blue Moon line.

As I may have mentioned in an earlier post, The actual marine figures are US War of 1812 Marines but they have been pressed into service as Franchise.  They look close enough.

The planned Historicon game will have a large naval battle and both sides will have the option of either keeping their Marines on board their ships for boarding actions Or landing them as formed units along the coast to flank their opponents.  I always like giving players a few key choices at the start of a game and I never fail to be surprised by some players creativity.

 I also painted up some Limbers, as any respectful army should have Limbers.  There are a lot of aspects I really enjoy about this hobby but painting up limbers isn't one of them.  The mini's were fine and I like doing cavalry but I just have this mental block about Limbers (in any scale).   There will be some French and Spanish ones over the course of this Challenge.

Technically each limber should have 6 horses rather than 4, but I went with a more cost effective path plus I didn't have bases long enough for 6 horse teams.  I do hope all of you forgive my parsimony on the topic.

Lastly, to go along with the limbers are six, 6 pounder field guns for my British forces.  They'll likely find their way into a fortification that is currently under construction.  Make sure I don't try to double count them for points.

The Tally appears to be:

56 Infantry Figures @ 2 points each = 112
6 guns at @ points each = 24
6 limbers @ 16 points each = 96
(the limbers have 4 horses and 2 riders for 12 points and the caisson for 4, which gets us 16 points per

Total = 232 points

Perhaps some terrain next?


Wow, amazing work Miles, I'm very impressed. Your marines look the business and I totally agree with you regarding limbers/support wagons: they look absolutely terrific on the tabletop, but are as dull as dirt to assemble and paint. So I applaud you on getting so many done in such a short period of time. 

Unrelated to your painted force, I have to say that your terrain looks fabulous. Is this one of your recent creations? It really is superb. 

232 points. Wowza. Another bomb crater for Challenge IX. Hats off to you, Miles!

From ByronM - Return of the Greeks (80 points)

Last year I started a new project, Ancient Greeks, and while the forces turned out big enough to play a game or two they did lack a little diversity.  So this year I am adding a three more units to the armies to add a bit more choice to them.

Since I am visiting the Snow Lord in January I figured it would be a good idea to get the extra units done up and ready to take with me for a game with Curt and his crew.  Hence, the first real units I am painting this year are for the Greeks (well some of the first units, I do suffer from Gamer ADHD so I am sure I will still pull a squirrel or two out of my hat before they are done).

Regardless, first up for the Greeks are some very simple archer units.  These two units lack any real distinguishing colour features so that they can be teamed up onto whichever side needs them (or pays them) to fight for them.

The sculpts are from Foundry and while very basic do have a lot of character.  They are based on 40x40 bases in loose formation to work with my Hail Caesar basing.

I hope to get at least one more large unit of Greeks done before mid-January and then it will be onto other projects.


Nice work Byron (I love the big sun hats)! As you say these will come in very handy in fleshing-out your existing collection of Hoplites. I very much look forward to seeing them first hand on the tabletop in a few short weeks!

From SimonM: "Lucid Eye Publications" Grove's Shrubs (20 Points)

These four "cartoon scale white metal figures" are produced by “Lucid Eye Publications” and are available from the company's "Toon Realms" range. Sculpted by Trish Carden and led by Yewan Grove The Treeman, I thought these miniatures would make excellent Ents for a 'Lord Of The Toons' project I currently have in mind for my tabletop.

Originally primed with two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, the quartet were generously drenched in "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade and later dry-brushed using (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, as well as (the somewhat lighter) "Vallejo" Heavy Brown. I then 'picked out' their straggly beards with a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Green and "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green.

All of the  humanoid-shaped shrubs' eyes were 'dotted' using a tiny dollop of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre". Whilst the creatures' backs, which are riddled with tiny toadstools, had all this emerging fungi pigmented in "Vallejo" Heavy Red and later shaded in "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.


Those are some great looking entlings, Simon. Their pose makes me thing, 'Get off my lawn!' which kinda works in this setting. The bark effect is great and I like what you did with both their toadstools and their beards - groovy minis and thanks for sharing!

From TeemuL - Army of the Dead (100 points)

Something spectacular from me this time, 20 miniatures painted in 24 hours (they were assembled and primed white before the Challenge started). Christmas Day provided a lot of small moments, when it was possible to for example wash all the models and then let them dry. Combined with a longer sessions on Christmas Eve and then Christmas Day, I finished them. I agree, they look like grey plastic on bases, but they are painted. They are the men of Dunharrow, the Oathbreakers, from Lord of the Rings, from the latest Battle of Pelennor Fields starter set to be precise (they are old designs, so they have been released earlier, but mine are from that box).

 Army of the Dead

 Some close-ups, trying to prove they are painted...

If you are interested (and why wouldn´t you?), after giving them the white primer, I painted them with Coat d´Arms Light Grey, then covered them in old Miniature Paints Dark Blue Ink (should have used more of that on these to get more contrast) and finally drybrushing with Citadel Ushbati Bone. Very simple and doesn´t look that good even live, but doable. I wanted to do something else than the greenish ghosts, which was in the movies and GW studio paints.

I really like some of the sculpts, this helmetless is one of my favourites, also the sword and shield guys with open pose are something, which I´d like to paint in colors at some time. And I really need to get myself a king to rule them - the dead one, or the living one...

20 of ghosts is 100 points. It also starts my squirreling, now I just need to check the rules, how to inform the Higher Powers properly...


Teemu, that's a heap of pallid-grey dead guys. If they had rucksacks instead of armour and plastic grab-bags in place of swords and shields it would be a spitting image of the head of the queue at Salute... ;)

I'm totally sympathetic with you avoiding the now oh-so-common luminescent grey-green that we always seem to see these being trotted out with. I have this same batch waiting to be done and I may take a page from your playbook with a few variations.

100 points for 24 hours is a very tidy turnover. Well done Teemu!

From BrettM: Move over for Guinea Pigs! (30 Points)

First entry this year was actually a Christmas present for the wife. I had bought her these Guinea pig miniatures a while back as she stated she wanted to "paint with me" 

While I jumped at the chance to share my hobby with my wife. I had doubts of anything actually happening. So while they sat for so long I finally grabbed them and painted them myself.

When she opened this up. She didn't even mention how she was to paint these herself. Just that she loves Guinea pigs and she loves it. Guess maybe I will try some Orcs next time to get her to paint.

As for point cost on this. I am really not sure what scale they are to be. It shows 28mm on the site I got them from. However being not very big I didn't know how that actually worked on the scale. There is 8 Guinea pigs in total the pumpkins and vines found at hobby lobby. Just repainted the pumpkins for more of a realistic look. 


Welcome back Brett! 

Over the nine years of the Challenge I'm not sure if we've had guinea Pigs submitted, so that box is now duly checked.  These chaps look very cute and I particularly like the scenic base with the pumpkin and greens buffet. 

I can't tell you how many friends of mine have figures from/for their partners acquired with the best intention that they'll somehow 'paint together'. Personally, I loath the idea. I firmly believe in the separation of Church and State, meaning that my hobby is just that, 'mine'. Mine for me to enjoy in glorious, silent, misanthropic isolation. But, then again, I'm also known as a bit of a grump, so take this with a cow lick of salt. :)

Well, eight 28mm guinea pigs, with lovely base and greenery... Let's put that at 30 points for the lot. Well done Brett! 

From KenR: 28mm Italian Wars Papal Shot (80 Points)

Hello everyone, Merry Xmas, here we are again, back in the madness of the #AHPC. In the last couple of years I have tried to get an entry in before Xmas Day, but working on the first two days of the challenge cut that off at the pass.

So here are my first group of figures for this year, 16 x 28mm Perrys Miniatures which make up a unit of shot for my Papal Italian Wars Army, which will be the focus of this year's challenge for me.

They are based in skirmish order and will be the support for my upcoming Papal Pike Block, I am still not sure on which rule set I will be using but as usual I have based things to what I think looks right and I'll modify the rules set (If I don't write me own) later.

I have gone for a red and white theme with the uniform which will be reflected in the pike block and added in the odd cross keys on the clothing to distinguish the Papal Army they will belong to.

At 5 pts a piece I make that a reasonable first entry of 80 pts, which will start off both my main total and my Renaissance Side Duel pot. Two birds and all that.

Next up will be some Muslim Cavalry for the other half of this year's theme, my Crusades Project, but I also have the first 8 figures of the Pike Block nearly done and this afternoon I will be slapping and wiping the oil on the neck end of 100 28mm Horse for both periods.

It's good to be back.


Ahh, the Italian Wars - a salve to my soul. These are excellent, Ken. I really like your clean lines on these guys and the addition of the heraldic Papal keys are a wonderful touch. I also quite like how you've arrayed the formation on your big bases - it somehow makes the unit look more convincing on the tabletop. I need to make up a few of these myself as my pike blocks always seem to get ventilated by Peter's shotte when we have our games (or perhaps that may have something more to do with his scenario design. I eagerly await his response... ;) ) .

As to rules, we use 'Pike & Shotte' with a few additional rules added for flavour, with many of these coming from James Roach's excellent and well-considered modifications which you can find here:

A tidy 80 points for you - Well done, sir!

From SamuliS: Imperium's Finest (110 points)

Hi everyone!

Great to be back here painting with all off you! The Painting Challenge is definitely a massive motivation booster for me as it's always great to see the amazing stuff everyone is painting as well as having the friendly competition and also encouragement from everyone. By my counts this is my seventh challenge already, which seems to almost make me an old Grognard. I think I'd better start growing a proper beard then! That would also help with looking like a proper Viking to show my Scandinavian roots :)

Usually I've kicked off the challenge with a quick submission of a few 28mm minis in a bid to claim the coveted first spot at least for a fleeting moment. However this year round the company Christmas dinner kept me away from the brushes for the first few days so I decided to start with something a bit bigger.

I've been meaning to start playing Star Wars Legion for a while and when my local store had the starter box and some Wave 1 sets on sale on Black Friday I jumped on the opportunity. I'm planning to do a decent sized force for both sides to help in luring non-gaming friends in by having minis they can use as well, but decided to start with the Imperials. I've always kind of preferred the law and order instead of the dirty rebels with their secessionist terrorist tendencies.

As the minis are more or less monopose I set about doing some conversions so as not to have 3 identical units. Most were fairly simple hand swaps requiring just a bit of green stuff work. The Squad Leader and MG-42 (sorry DLT-19) gunners proved a bit more troublesome as they had special equipment. But some small alterations in their pose hopefully makes them at least a bit different from each other now.

In addition to being monopose I wasn't too happy about the quality of the minis. Detail is very soft and in some cases nonexistent. Hard to say if it's due to wear on the molds, but it's been the case with pretty much all the Wave 1 minis I've seen so probably just due to design. Seems a bit like a rip off with GW prices and quality worse than Reaper Bones. Hopefully the newer minis improve at least a bit.

Painting wise I went for a quick and dirty approach. Mostly because after seeing the quality I didn't feel like spending too much time on them. A light grey basecoat followed by pure white from the top with my airbrush. Then picking out the dark areas with a dark grey and lining the panel lines etc. with a light grey to make them a bit less monotone. And some chipping to break the surface. On Vader I put in a bit more effort with highlights and also trying my hand at OSL (Object Source Lighting). Turned out pretty nicely even if I say so myself. I'm still not 100% decided on if it's stark enough or not, but I'm leaving it like that for now.

Finally I based them for Endor as that's just the best setting from the original film series. And our club has a pretty amazing Endor table to fight over. Mostly just a collection of all kinds of random scatter as well as some ferns that I did from coffee filters dyed green and cut with some Green Stuff World cutters.

That's 22 28mm figures so should get me started with 110 points and my first entry for the Squirrel Side Duel!


Welcome back Samuli! Seven Challenges, eh? Yes, I think you may need to grow some moustaches for your next time out to show your veteran status. :)

I love seeing Star Wars stuff getting some love. I almost sucummbed to Legion but I wasn't crazy about the scale and already have loads of stuff to do for 'Imperial Assault' (that reminds me... Squirrel!).

While the detail may be a bit soft on the stormtroopers (and what's up with that? The game is only a year old) you have done a terrific job on them. I like how you've weathered them up a bit and the Endor grounwork is excellent (only to be improved wit a couple of zapped Ewoks). This all being said, your Vader is the bees knees. That OSL effect is fantastic and you nailed the black-on-black shading. Very well done.

So, 110 points base and I'll give you a few more for the conversions. A great first entry for your Challenge.

From Millsy - 28mm Holy Order Crusaders (126 points)

Hi Everyone!

It's GOOD to be back. This is my seventh Challenge and every year the anticipation seems worse than the year before. This time I've done far more prep than I would normally have done and that possibly made things even worse as I've not touched a brush since late November.

All that changed a few days ago and I've now knocked off my first entry of the year - 24 crusaders for a combination of SAGA and To the Strongest!. These are from the Fireforge Games plastic Foot Sergeants boxed set. I've not played with their kit before but I have to say I've enjoyed every minute of the process of assembly and painting. They are well crafted, well proportioned and have loads of variety especially when mixed with mounted sets from the same range.

Hospitaller Sergeants armed with bows
These were FFG for the most part but kit-bashed with bow arms and quivers from the Perry Miniatures Wars of the Roses infantry box set. A perfect match for size and pose. The banner pole is pinched from a Warhammer Empire knights box for variety. Shields and surcoat details are hand painted.

Technically speaking I can't use these in SAGA as the Milites Christi faction only allows for crossbows but I'll just proxy them as if they were armed correctly.

Kingdom of Jerusalem sergeants with crossbows
Straight from FFG kits with no kit-bashing apart from the kite shield with boss
which is pinched from a 1st Corps set. Shields, surcoat details and banner are hand painted.

Templar sergeants with crossbows
Straight from FFG kits with no kit-bashing apart from a sword or two pinched from GW Mordhiem sprues. Shields, surcoat details and banner are hand painted.

And here's the whole lot together. I do intend to add some static grass, tufts and small bushes but I want to see more of the army complete to gauge the right amount. I want a pretty austere look and I tend to overdo this sometimes so I'm deliberately holding back.

Next up will be some command stands plus a couple of units of sergeants and knights with hand weapons to round out the foot for the army.

There'll be a lull now while I spend the next 8 days on a beach in North Queensland. See ya later suckers in the Frozen North! :-)

PS. Apologies for not commenting on anyone's entries so far. I've been jamming the painting in between work and family stuff. I will be going back and looking at all your amazing work over the next few days.



Welcome back Millsy! I hear Santa brought you a new zippermask and something nice in vinyl (and we're not talking records). You must have been very, very bad boy this year - time to make up for it! ;P

These crusaders are just terrific. I've not tried anything from Fireforge myself, but everything I've seen on the Challenge looks great any your's here are no exception. I really like the slight modifications you've done by swapping in some Perry details and the brushwork is up to your usual high standard. Personally I like the groundwork as it is as it gives the impression of them fighting in The Levant. Perhaps just add a few brown and gold tufts to give it that arid look? I'm sure whatever you chose it'll be great.

An impressive 126 points for you as your opening Challenge sally (with a few added for the mods and hand painted livery). Well done Millsy!