Saturday, 5 January 2019

From MilesR: M4 76mm Sherman "What-a-Tanker" (20 Points)

My "What-a-Tanker" inspired submission is a 76mm M4 Sherman tank in 28mm scale - it's a simple model but I think looks very good.

 The model is produced by Rubicon who have become my number 1 choice for 28mm scale vehicles.  I enjoy both putting the kits together and painting them up.  For some reason, I always prefer plastic over metal or resin.  Perhaps it's my misspent youth as a 1/35th scale model builder.
 One of the great things about a Rubicon kit is they usually come with a lot of options - this kit came with two different turrets and 3 gun options.
Basic olive drab coloring and my secrete "mud" mixture.  This one should net me 20 points.


A lovely Sherman workhorse, Miles.  I quite like the look of these Rubicon kits that you've submitted over the past few years. Though I'm quite partial to 1/48 scale for 28mm, I think I might give one of these a whirl. 

20 points for you, Miles and another submission to the 'What a Tanker!' contest. Well done!

- Curt

From ByronM - Yet again, more Greeks (120 points)

My second post for the day, and my second Greek post of the challenge.  I am likely only doing one more Greek unit this challenge so don't worry you won't have to suffer through as many as last year!

This unit was added to give some extra flavour and units to the force.  Initially I wanted to add some archers to either force (Allied Greeks and Spartans) however the Spartans tended to look down on archery, in fact they called it womanly fighting and view it as cowardly to not face you opponent while killing them.  They did however use slings, so they were not great with logic.

Anyway, since they would not even hire mercenary archers, but had to face them often, they had to find other ways to deal with ancient archery.  No idea if this following part is fact or not, but in my mind, knowing they did use cavalry, I would imagine that one of the ways to cancel the enemy archers out would be by flanking them with cavalry and killing them directly.  So, I added Spartan Cavalry to my force as a counter to the allied Greek archers.  We will have to see how that works in game.

Besides being a balancing point, it gave me the chance to work on some more of Steve Saleh's great sculpts.  While I wish there were more bodies available (there are only 3 poses) I love Steve's work as it has a ton of character to it.  These were from his line done for Foundry.

I decided to do all of the horses in one colour, since I HATE (and suck at) painting horses in an effort to keep it easier, and because I thought all black stallions under crimson red Spartans would have a good visual effect.

After everything was all painted up, I based them on 50x50mm bases to be used with Hail Caesar or various other game systems.

Overall I am pretty happy with how they turned out, and can not wait to get them on the field with Curt and his crew later this month.  I would say take them out to be blooded, however those damn metal spears have already drawn blood in the painting process!

I believe the points are 12 x 10 = 120 points, but man does painting horses not feel worth it....

What I just don't get is that somehow you have gotten it in your head that we are tired of your Greeks by now. Personally speaking: don't worry I love them! These great riders are no exception on the high quality Ancients you have treated us with and they are a truly good choice for your second post today. 

Oh boy, yes painting horses can be a drag but you seem to have managed quite well and they do bring you another 120 points. I am really curious how your last unit of Greeks will turn out so get to those brushes and paint like Archimedes. (bath towel reccommended).

Cheers from your Stand-up-filosopher Sander  

From JamieM - More Blackstone Fortress Adversaries (115 points)

In a fit of good sense and concentration rarely witnessed anywhere near my painting table, I managed to keep on going with the Blackstone Fortress figures and have now completed all of the adversaries.  I figured I'd get these done first and then treat myself to the Adventurers.

They're all converted/re-purposed and the first lot are the Traitor Guardsmen.  These are converted from the plastic chaos cultists set of figures.  A fair few head swaps and arm/weapon swaps with plastic Cadian guardsmen to make them more traitor guardsmen than generic cultists and lots of Imperial guard kit (radio pack, canteens, etc) help them along, as does the standard "army" green and brown paint scheme.

I've always rather liked beastmen, so I was pleased when I saw GW were including them in the Black Fortress game.  When I started 40k, back in the "Rogue Trader" first edition days, the Beastmen were part of the Imperial Guard.  They operated in abhuman packs and served in order to pay penance to the Emperor for having been born mutants!  I decided to bring this idea back and so my beastmen conversions are built using plenty of Imperial Guard kit, including a couple of breastplates.

The awesome flagellants kit helped too, with  bell, weapons and arms

Next up are the big baddies - Chaos Space Marines!  These are smashed together from all sorts of chaos space marine and space marine kits and leftovers from other conversions.  I've always found the Black Legion a little boring (as well as not really wanting to paint black armour.....) so I went for my favourite traitor marine chapter instead - Word Bearers.

The Wordbearers are the real baddies of the 40k world, having been the ones who started the Horus Heresy in the 30k setting by making pacts with daemons and dragging other discontented legions in with them.  I'm particularly pleased with the Chaos Lord as he uses a cloak I really like.  For his helm I found the largest and most OTT helmet I could (not too hard in GW kits!) to help him stand out and hopefully catch his horns on the ceiling of the fortress, allowiing us adventureres time to escape.....  The other two are deliberately kept quite standard to help the lord stand out even more.

One of the fun things about converting is how ideas come to you whilst converting, like the idea of making my beastmen part of abhuman imperial guard squad.  The idea for the Rogue Psykers came when I decided to do Wordbearers as my chaos space marines.  It occurred to me that instead of doing psykers like the ones in the box, I'd instead make them the leaders of the Guardsmen, who have been given to the Wordbearers to make into daemonhosts.  Its this that gives them their horrifying psychic powers......

Some masked heads, a bell and an unholy tome with stocks completed the look and the gold breastplate marks one out as the captain.

All rather good fun to make and 23 28mm figures in all which comes to 115 points I believe.  Next stop - the valiant adventurers!  Assuming I don't get distracted first of course......

Oh wow Jamie these are truly wonderful and atmospheric at that! I love that you converted your own figures for use with the game (the Beastmen being my favourites) and that you managed to stick really close to the archetypes from the game yet still have pretty recognisable pieces so other players get what figures they are supposed to represent.

I myself am aiming at painting some of the Blackstone Fortress figures for the Challenge and have come up with background for them all too (my traitor guardsmen will be Blood Pact for instance) but your stories are really cool. Having a well thought out background like this also helps with keeping the motivation going. 

Please do tell us how you think the rules work if you get a chance to play it oh and keep the pictures coming!

 Another 115 points for your total it is!

Cheers Stand-in-Minion Sander 

From ByronM - Northern Lights Terrain 28mm European Buildings ( 120 Points )

The first of two posts today and it is something I designed, cut, and started selling almost a year ago through my side business "Northern Lights Terrain".  You have all likely heard the story of the shoemakers kids and how they never have shoes, well that is normally the story around my house with terrain.  I design and cut a lot of different pieces and inevitably end up with most of the test / sample cuts piled in my garage waiting to be painted and used.  This was one of those projects.

Playing a lot of Chain of Command, Bolt Action, and dreaming of one day getting enough napoleonics together to play a game in 28mm scale, I thought I should design my own line of 28mm buildings for a very European look, so I did.

I then got stuck for a name for the line so our snow lord graciously stepped up and gave me a hand throwing out several great ideas.  I chose "Rue de Guerre" as the lines name as I thought it was both a real sounding street name and a clever play on words for a line of wargame terrain.

As you can see from the pictures, the terrain is fairly basic, there is not a huge amount of detail on the buildings.  This was done on purpose for two reasons, firstly the more detail you add the longer the laser cutting time is and therefore the higher cost to produce. A major goal here was to be able to sell a set of buildings cheaply.  The second reason was to provide a base set for people to work from and add their own details.  There are many fine producers of terrain out there, from places that make super basic kits to ultra detailed kits, with prices all over as well.  I normally aim to put enough detail that players can build, paint, use them as is, or detail them how they like, while keeping the cost as low as I can, while still justifying my time to produce.

The painting on them is rough on purpose, as I used a large brush on the beige areas and used a few different colours and just stippled it on to give a rough real world look, rather than airbrushing it on and having it super smooth.  The roof and bricks were done with a base coat and then randomly picking out components and painting them in slightly off colours to form a random look.  I think it worked better on the bricks than the roof, but looks ok for either.

While the buildings are designed to come apart to allow access to each floor, we rarely play with guys inside buildings as we tend to loose track of where everything is, so I just left the interiors bare.

So, I finely have my own Rue de Guerre set fully painted.  Each house is roughly 5" x  5" x 6.5" to the peak of the roof (ignoring the garden on the one with an outside garden), the shop is 6" x 5" x 7", the corner building is 7" x 7" x 8", and the outbuilding (garage) is 5" x 7" x 5".  Each one is almost a 6x6x6 cube, however some needs to be taken off due to the roof not taking up the full space and for the outbuilding that is a little smaller, so this is likely worth about anywhere from 80 - 100 points?  Up to you Curt, I am just happy to finally have them all painted up and done for my own use!

I am tired of getting pictures from people who have bought them from me where they are all painted up and in use, and mine were still bare MDF!


These buildings really look terrific Byron. Your relatively minimalist approach to the design and painting are very effective and the series of structures together do a great job in giving the impression of a street in a provincial French town. I particularly like the brickwork, chimneys and the sign above the Boulangerie / Patisserie. The way they break down into their separate floors is a great touch - I can see why these are popular with customers. Will you be expanding the range to a few taller buildings, a town square, or perhaps the local Hotel de Ville? 

As to points, let's go with a base of 90 for the base buildings and another 30 for your efforts in the design of them. Lovely work Byron! 

- Curt

From MilesR: Martello Tower (46 Points)

My last submission from the holiday period is this Martello tower.  Like the ships in some earlier submissions, this model is from Thoroughbred Miniatures.  It's a single resin cast piece with metal detail parts and figures.  I love the model and it was fun to paint up.  I'll present a series of pictures rotating the piece in a clockwise direction.  First we can see the entry way side which is easily defensible from and raiding Frenchies
Side two
Side three - why is there a rock face there?  Just wait.

Side 4
and, finally the top where a rather big gun of a 360 degree tavern is waiting to reign fire down upon the French.  This casting was a simple model to build up but I really like how it came out.

The main cast is superb - no air bubbles at all.  However it was damaged during shipping.  The owner of Thoroughbred (Toby) offered to replace the tower for no charge but since it was 95% intact, I declined and used the minor break as an opportunity to customize the model.

A little bit of Extrude Polystyrene Foam (Pink insulation foam) combined with a few minutes of carving and a suitable rock face covers the gap.  I think it makes the model look great.

I do want to be very clear about one thing - Thoroughbred Miniatures has terrific quality products and service and I recommend Toby's services highly.  Sometimes "stuff" happens in shipping and Toby did offer to replace the piece free of charge and free shipping.  Please don't consider this minor breakage as anything negative about Thoroughbred Miniatures.

Points wise, this stout little tower should net me the following:

6, 15mm figures = 12 points
1, 15 mm gun = 2 points (it's not really a "full" gun)
Tower = 30 points
bonus = 2 points

Total 44 points

Why 30 points for the Tower.?  Volume-wise it comes in at 384 cubic inches and the 6x6x6 inch cube equals 216 so that's roughly 1.78x the standard terrain unit.  Let's round that down to 30 and there you have it.

What a thing of beauty....... the calculation for the points of the terrain piece I mean..... We have cubic calculations, volume, roundings.... the only thing that would have made it perfect would have been the inclusion of Pi, but it's the weekend so I shan't be churlish and dock you any points for it's omission but it's good to see that you've remembered what we have all been taught in school and Shown Your Workings!

Anyway, enough of maths and onto the pretty models.  What a splendid idea on the little rockface and I doff my cap to you sir for not asking for a new model (and then using both anyway) as it can't be easy for manufacturers shipping delicate pieces in the post.  The rockface makes it unique which is a bonus so I'm chucking a couple of bonus points your way for the conversion.  The tower itself looks properly ominous to face, so I pity the ships who will have to sail towards it......

From MilesR: French 22 Gun Frigate plus crew (105 points)

 This holiday break has proven to be most productive in the shipyards as the the sixth of seven planned ships has been completed.  In the case a 22 gun French Frigate - with crew!.

As with the previous ships, this model is from Thoroughbred Miniatures Sea Eagle line which I really recommend.  The crew figures are also part of the Sea Eagle product set.
There are 20 crewmen mounted on 10 stands - I'm using a basing standard that I use for Skirmish figures in my Napoleonics as players will have the option to form shore parties.

Still working on the naval rules but am happy where I stand in terms of being prepared for the July convention.  Choice commands will be made available to any Challengers who attend Historicon this year!
The crew figures are "true" 15mm scale so look a little small when compares to my other Napoleonic figures.  They'll still look fine on the tabletop together.  To be honest, the size difference may be a good "jerk detector" - any individual who feels the need to point out the discrepancy probably doesn't need to play in my games.

 Two close up shots of the crew.  I left the basing without ground cover as that looks better on the decks.  I did try to carve some decking on the bases and then remove the figures from their cast on metal bases.  The first task worked fine but the second resulted in a lot of "Long John Silver" figures in need of tiny peg legs.  I went with a basic ground setting instead.

 These base edges will be color coded - blue for French and red for the Brit's - they get pretty mixed up during boarding actions.
Here's a comparison for the figs to some French infantry - the French infantry were purchased painted from GAJO Miniatures and I was very happy with the quality - much better than I can manage on my own.

I've really enjoyed building these models and have reserved the seventh and final one (a lovely Xebec) for the "Mercenary" bonus round.  That ship will get a little but more attention than the rest.
The fleets so far with the French on the left and the Brits (less their hired Xebec) on the right.  The Brits seem a little outgunned, don't they?  Don't worry, there may be some shore batteries and even some fortifications to help out our cousins from across the pond.

In terms of points, based on what Curt allowed for the early ships, I'd say the Frigate weighs in at 65 points and with 20 crew figures at 2 points each, that bring the total to 105 points for this submission.

I need to paint a good deal more crew figures!

What a smashing boat! (Once again, nobody gets twitchy about the whole boat/ship thing, right?!?!?)

That red is absolutely lovely and I found myself looking for the peg legged individuals you mention having created ;)  Not a parrot in sight though, so sadly no pieces of eight bonus points to be awarded..... Good choice on the basing too, from a distance it looks grand and carving 15mm planks sounds like it would have been a job and a half.

I'll bow to your estimate of points as they seem eminently reasonable, so 105 in total it is!

From Barks: French 75 in two forms! (25 points)

The French Canon de 75 modèle 1897 was a spectacular success, with a hydro-pneumatic recoil system allowing over 15 aimed shots per minute compared to the usual contemporary 2 shots per minute. It is considered the first modern artillery piece, and these are the Battlefront 15mm models on 40mm round bases.

It inspired a cocktail, the French 75, the effects of which were like being shelled. In the interests of historical science I made a batch of these for the Skirt Swisher and myself.

  • 30mL gin
  • 15mL lemon juice
  • 3 splashes simple syrup (sugar water)
Shake these three ingredients with ice, strain out from the ice and serve in a chilled champagne glass. Top up with champagne. Enjoy and Repeat! It is rather nice, a refreshing bubbly gin. Apparently being shelled is quite pleasant.

You can see the other project that has occupied my last week, a spectacular Lego Big Ben.


2x 15mm artillery 8 points
8x 15mm crew 16 points

Bonus Minion JamieM here once again....... now then....... frantically checks diary....... I'm pretty sure yesterday was French day from all the postings, n'est pas?  Anyway, enough of that and what a lovely couple of guns.  They look like they'd have smashed up anybody coming near them with that rapid fire!  One bonus point for tying your submission into a related drink and whilst I'd love to award you yet more bonus points for the lego, I'm not sure what scale it is and I can see you haven't painted it anyway ;)  Looks great though, lego is rather relaxing after gluing miniatures together.

From DaveD , Cruel Seas , WW2 Normandy - 133.5 points

This weekends first top up gives me the completion of the starter set with with another 3 MTBs , 4  S Boats, and 15 torpedoes in the water

crew , rigging , flags and number decals added to these MTBS

7 1/300th boats = 56 points
13 crew = 6.5 Pts
Extras with 9 flags and aerial rigging on the MTBs 10pts
15 torpedoes 15 Pts

Next up , a top up for my US forces in Normandy

3 x M8 armoured car , 6 x 1/2 point crews
2 x Trucks

Guest Minion JamieM here to post a few entries (including DaveD's who is industriously posting as I type!)

Absolutely brilliant dinky boats (nobody minds whether we call them boats or ships, right?!?!?) - the torpedoes really add a lot to the look and.... wait a minute..... it looks like you actually added rigging and teeny tiny little flags..... you did! Are you insane sir?  Doing that would tie me in knots and probably result in little boats flying across the room in frustration.  I've used the (temporary) powers vested in me to up the bonus points for all that as it looks properly awesome.

Nice armoured cars and trucks too, those GIs will be glad to be able to hitch a ride, I'm sure.