Saturday, 26 January 2019

From GrantH: Red Devils! (145 points)

Hey there everyone!
For my first post of the painting challenge, I present a selection of various British Airborne teams outfitted (mostly) in their iconic maroon berets. Several years ago, I painted up a mess of these lads for a previous painting challenge as I was just getting started with table-top wargaming and they have since been my army of choice for many games of Bolt Action and Chain of Command. However. Since I have been getting better at painting, I decided that it was high time the army needed a fresh coat of paint, and thus my entire collection of airborne and assorted minis was stripped of paint and prepped for the painting challenge.

This set mainly contains the special weapons teams and command units because, I was inspired by the Market Garden Campaign book for Bolt Action to build a force that could operate as the 21st Independent Company. This force essentially acted as a pathfinder unit, identifying landing zones and operating in a unique formation which was significantly different than most ordinary units. Their standard infantry sections were also accompanied by two-man light mortar teams and they made a heavy use of captured German MG-42s to account for their lack of medium and heavy machine guns. In terms of Bolt Action, this unit caught my attention because of the high content of small weapons teams, allowing for multiple PIAT, sniper and mortar teams in the reinforced platoon. In my ongoing mission to become the biggest pest on the battlefield, this infantry heavy unit looked like a blast!

(Various angles of the full crew.)
The result of several working between winter weather, school and a viewing of A Bridge Too Far, are 29 various fully painted and based 28mm chaps ready to parachute into enemy territory, which I believe comes to 145 points!

(The CO.)

(Sniper Teams.)

(Mortar and PIAT)

(The radio operator, flamethrower and supporting infantry.)
As much as I love the aesthetic of the beret wearing paras, I will hopefully have some new early war Polish troops ready for my next army once my next supply drop of tiny plastic and metal dudesmen arrives. Until then I will be working my way through the backlog, (finish what I have before starting a new project? Absurd!) I have been telling myself I will eventually get around to.


First, welcome back to the Challenge Grant!

These chaps look great (love seeing all those maroon berets) and I'm sure they will give you sterling service in the games to come. If you want a great recipe for Denison camo check out Benito's work this year and his associated blog - you guys are birds of a feather on this project.

These paras will give you 145 points for your climb up the roster. Well done Grant! I look forward to seeing the hard-as-nails Poles soon.

...and the cull list shrinks smaller. Eaaaxcellent.

From DaveD: Terrain for Normandy [50 points)

I am enjoying cracking on with bits for my 15mm Normandy collection - in fact JamesM , MartinC, myself and few other friends have a large game to play tomorrow using James’s Brits and Germans.

Today’s terrain contribution is a set of resin buildings made by Tiger Terrain. They are wonderfully designed and executed. Great clean, crisp casting work which makes them an absolute joy to paint.

So first up "L'elgise St Martin" - a classic Norman church. The roof and the tower all comes apart for ease of access to the inside and swapping out the tower for a damaged version - it’s had small magnets added to hold it together... I have added a scratch made weather vane to the full tower piece made from piano wire and piece of tape cut to shape and hardened with PVA.

its a good sized piece as the M3 shows.

Next up it's the farmhouse and barn set , with both of them in a damaged state too - again all the roofs are removable with magnets to hold them in place.

really nice cast detailing on this one . 
 and all the buildings together

In terms of value it equated to a volume of 2 1/2 terrain cubes so 50 points


Ooh, that's a lovely street of terrain, Dave. That church is a real beauty, especially with the option of swapping in the wrecked bits and the addition of your bespoke weather vane - very, very nice. Tiger Terrain, eh? I get a distinct sense that I'm going to be spending a good bit of time Sunday checking out new vendors. Well done, sir and I hope you guys have a great game tomorrow.

From: PaulS - Visiting the Underhive

It is a bit late, but still Saturday, so hopefully it'll make it this week.

We tend to find that we're playing a lot of the new Necromunda on the 2d boards at the moment as no-one has enough 3d terrain to fill a board. Yet. I'm working on it and hopefully some will appear in later weeks. For now though, I picked up a set of modular walls from Blotz at Warfare late last year.  These are designed to fit in the black voids where walls theoretically exist on the board tiles, to bring a bit more scenics to the game. They sell individual bits separately, but for a nice discount they had a box of enough pieces to make any combination of setup from the core tiles. I've not yet had a chance to try all the layouts included on the additional board pack yet, but if there are options missing I'll pick up a few more bits.

The system comes with a selection of long and short walls, junction point pillars and some broken walls as well. Below are a couple of examples.

The pillars have multiple combinations of slots to allow for dead ends, right angles, t -connections and straight through connections.
between 1 and 4 connection points, allowing for some very varied layouts, like this one

For these I had a play with some new techniques and tools that I'd not tried before. I've had an airbrush for years, but never really had much luck with it as I had nowhere to set it up. Now my gaming room is coming together a bit, there is a dedicated paint area with space for me to use it without needing to pack stuff away all the time.

First it was all undercoated in black car undercoat, so that the mdf got a nice soaking and wouldn't absorb other paint. Then everything was given a rough, random spray with a rusty coloured car undercoat so that it looks kinda patchy. Before going any further, everything got a random spray with some AK Interactive chipping fluid through the airbrush (so much easier than brush or sponge... why have I never done this before?!) which I'd not tried before... so it was an interesting experiment.

After the chipping fluid had dried, the bottom part of the wall was airbrushed a greeny brown and then a creamy off white across the top to give it that worn, slimy look. As you can see... the red is now well and truly hidden.

The magic of the chipping fluid comes into effect when you then attack it with a wet toothbrush. This slowly wears away the paint, giving a really nice worn effect.

A smattering of the trusty rust effect later and we have some finished walls being nicely modelled by our Strawbear. I wish I'd managed to make it to Whittlesea in Cambrigeshire earlier this month as they had an actual Strawbear parading around.

There are 26 pillars (2x2x2.5 inches), 21 short walls (2.5x1.3x1.75 inches), 10 long walls (2.5x3.75x1.3 inches), 1 short damaged wall (1.3x2.5x1.75 inches), 1 long damaged wall (2.5x2.5x1.3 inches) and two small broken wall termination points (2.5x1.3x0.5 inches). With the pegs (not included in the measurements above) it just about all fits into a 9 LitreXL Really Useful storage box, meaning it is easy to store and take to games.


This post is very topical for me as our group is just starting to get into Necromunda. Upon seeing the 2D terrain in the base set, I immediately started shopping for 3D versions. I've only seen the stuff offered from 4Ground and have not heard of Blotz. I will be going there right after this is posted...

This is awesome, Paul. I really like the weathering effects you achieved with the carpaint, airbrush and chipping fluid. Very effective. I picked up my first airbrush a couple years ago and absolutely love it, so I would like to give this technique a go. 

The fact that your Strawbear looks so good in these new environs gives testament to the success of your overall project. :) 

Your estimates of dimensions made my head ache, so we'll go with 3 cubes worth: 60 Points. Well done!

From MilesR: 1/600 Union 90 Day Gunboat (16 points)

 A very small submission but in keeping with my diatribe over separating out side duel related submissions.  I present to you a 1/600 scale Union "90-Day Boat" From Thoroughbred Miniatures.  This is a model of the USS Itasca and is approx 4 inches long.  I needed to build it fast as she saw her first action the next day at the club:

 I re-staged the Battle of Mobile Bay from the American Civil War.  Sadly, her tabletop debut was not the most glorious as she was run aground by mistake and surrendered to the garrison of Fort Morgan.  

I think this little model is the equivalent of 2 15mm vehicles but will leave it to Curt, who is as fair as he is wise.  These statements are not mere groveling flattery attempting to influence his most munificent judgment since they are true in nature.

There may be a few more posts coming for this Saturday.


Very nice, Miles. No, not your flattery (thought that is nice) but the gunboat. I like that you used the clear acrylic for the bases - smart move. What rules do you use for these?

I have a load of mangled, but painted Thoroughbred miniatures sitting in a box that was dropped during a cross-country move. Each time I open it I quietly sniff, and close it up again, not willing to undertake the huge job of fixing all the damage. BUT seeing entries like this really makes me want to take up the task. 

I love the aerial shot of Fort Morgan. I spent a wonderful year in Southern Alabama/Mississippi/Louisiana and enjoyed several sun-kissed days re-enacting at that fort. 

16 points towards your Nautical Duel - Well done, Mr. Reidy.

From HerrRobert: Frostgrave - The Skeleton Sentry (5 points)

My first figure entered, though not the first figure painted, is

Having craftily challenged Iannick to a duel based on something I could win, skill not output, I obviously needed to get hustling on some undead. So here we are:

Papers please!
He's a single Games Workshop Skeleton, from their five member Skeleton Warriors box:

These are three part plastic, and all slotta based. I've always been fond of Games Workshop's skeletons, but never got around to building an Undead army. I borrowed one, once, and my opponent thought it monstrously unfair that I advanced my skellies in columns behind a single rank of zombies. Great fun. But, given how slowly I paint, I really should stick to high points cost armies like Chaos or Dwarves. So there was no real need for GW skellies, especially as Fantasy ended and I had no taste for Age of Sigmar. Until 

If you've played Frostgrave, then you know you need quite a range of creatures as your bestiary of random encounters and scenario villains, even before Thaw of the Lich Lord came out. For extra fluff, if you've got a Necromancer, then it makes sense to make his warband out of undead. Which I may well do.

Obligatory butt shot
Having been less than thrilled by either my ability to paint freestyle cobblestones, I decided to experiment. So the first thing I did was cut the slot off, file the feet down, and then glue him to a plastic cobblestone Renedra base.

After that, he got primed black. I followed with my usual cream triad (Delta Ceramicoat Bamboo, then Apple Barrel Toasted Marshmallow, then Delta Ceramicoat Antique White). His shield was done in Vallejo Burnt Cadmium Red, then Game Color Blood Red. Armor was done in Reaper's Blackened Steel, then hit with Game Colors Flesh Wash. Leather was a cheap craft paint Brick Red, then Vallejo's Red Leather.
It frustratingly flowed from the helmet onto the skull
Once I had all the colors done, I hit him with Army Painter Strong Tone brushed on. I had trialed it on an Empire Gray Wizard last challenge, and liked how it made bones look dusty.

For the base, I painted it in Delta Ceramicoat Charcoak Gray, then dry brushed it with Hippo Gray, Taupe, and then Country Gray. To show that Frostgrave is both decaying and coming back to life, I glued some winter tufts on to show where grass has punched through the cobblestones. I finished it up with some snow.

Much better than rubble
And so there we go. He doesn't look too evil a chap. More like a sentry than a malevolent remains of a former adventurer, now animated by fell magics.

Remember, folks, Frostgrave is a dangerous place. Enter entirely at your own risk
So that puts me on the board, with 5 points! No culling for me. But don't worry, I've got more figures done and photographed, just needing to be blogged. Plus more on the painting table. You might even see more of these fellows:


WooHoo! HerrRobert is on the board! Weee!

Brilliant skellie, Rob. With the strong tone wash he looks the aged veteran. I especially like the winter cobblestone groundwork - very effective.  I'm sure Iannick will take-up the gauntlet (bone?) and return with his riposte soon.

Great to have you on the scoreboard, Rob. Bring on the rest of your hoarded work soon - we want to see it all!

From Barks: Slaves to Dorkness (35 points)

I really like the Traitor Guard from Blackstone Fortress. They're lovely dynamic sculpts with characterful detailing. My favourite is the grenadier, who has a great realistic pose and is festooned with a bandolier of grenades and pyrotechnics. One of the riflemen has multiple blades and throwing knives and shanks secreted on his webbing and in his boots, and has kill notches on his lasgun.

I have no-one else to blame but myself for painting them as Slaanesh devotees, the Chaos deity of excess and hedonism. Pink requires multiple thin coats to look good- then there's the edge highlighting... Worst of all, I've got another squad to go...

I've unshackled the Skull-o-meter™: 11

7x28mm infantry


These are pinktastic, Barks. Lovely, clean brushwork is a treat, as usual. As you say these Blackstone fortress models are just terrific and I'm loving that we're being treated to a variety of interpretations of the boxed set over this edition of the Challenge. I have a copy sitting in the LeadShed and am really looking forward to delving its depths once the squirrel guides me back to it.

Let the Skull-o-meter rattle and hum. 


From MichaelA: No Place Like Home (25 points)

Just the briefest of posts to showcase a couple of dwellings, planned for a Tatooine inspired Star Wars: Legion Board. These were from 'TTCombat' and were a simple cost effective solution to setting the scene. Having put them together in no time at all, I was curious to see if they could be enhanced to disguise the angular, rather boxy look? Wet strength tissue paper and PVA was used to seal the dome with the addition of some ‘eroded’ blue Styrofoam supports around the base. This was all given a coat of All Purpose Filler. On reflection I probably used too much on the first building and reigned that back a bit on the second attempt, striving for a crude, Adobe wall like effect.

Original kit assembled
Once dried additional sand texture was added along with some A/C Greebles from ‘Combatzone Scenery’ with the coiled wire and bulkhead lights coming from ‘Zinge Industries’. The whole piece was then given a diluted PVA glue protective coat. Painting just saw them primed in a suitable sand like colour, washed with Agrax Eathshasde and then dry brushed.
Added details
From start to finish, this was a refreshingly quick build, which went much as I had hoped. I had everything crossed when I gave them a spray coat of matt varnish as this has eaten into the blue foam before, but the protective PVA layer seemed to hold and all was well. With a couple of hovels under my belt and some new techniques secured, I am hoping to progress to a slightly more challenging build next.

As for points, stacked one on top of the other they come to 6" x 6" x 8" so comfortably through one terrain cube, shall we shall 25 points? 


Simply superb Michael!!

I love how you made the hard angular shape of the original MDF models into the much more organic designs from the Star Wars films. The inclusion of the wiring and tech bits is truly inspired and really is evocative of those scenes in Tunisia Tatooine. Love the first shot of Luke's landspeeder and the droids. Now, we just need to see Aunt Beru out with a glass of blue milk and a plate of cookies and the scene would be fully set. :)

From DaveD: Blenheims & Swallows Wings of Glory extras (32 Points)

Turns out that this has been aircraft week - maybe I should have joined the squirrel nutkins duel.

I am starting a 1940 Wings of Glory campaign game with one of the guys from the Old Guard group next week. I have most of the WWII aircraft produced for the game, however they don’t make a Blenheim and there is an early scenario in the campaign that calls for 2 Bristol Blenheim bombers - fortunately Zvesda do one in the same 1/200th scale So I have cracked on to complete the two required this week. It is a nice little kit to put together and looks good, - again I will get some propeller spinners sorted once I get all the aircraft completed over this challenge.

right lads there is bridge around here somewhere  that needs bombing 

I also picked up a couple of resin ME262s from Armaments in Miniature in the US to add to the late war collection in an attempt to give my allied bomber fleet some more opposition. The game system doesn't have these released officially but a few guys in the Wings of Glory forum have produced stats and movement cards etc. I have made up some magnetic gimble mounts for attaching these to the flight stands - as it nice see these banking as they turn and swoop like the "Schwalbe" (Swallow) they are named for!

these nasties have 4x  30mm cannon , equal to 4 D chits in the game

These should give my bombers of the Mighty 8th something to think about.

So altogether 4 x 1/200th aircraft - points? Over to the best minion ever!

This weeks completions as we approach a third of the way through the challenge takes me to a third of my target total as well, so on track nicely.  I have used up almost all my fully prepped stuff now so I have a day of sorting out the next projects tomorrow i think.


Wow, you've done absolutely gorgeous work on these aircraft, Dave. The camo and aerial markings on all of them looks so crisp and clean. Also, this is a genre where (listen here Peter) proper decals are a virtual necessity - they just finish off the models so beautifully.

They look terrific all arrayed on your 10,000 foot mat with the light cloud beyond - you can almost hear both the roar and drone of their engines and the staccato of their guns. (I picked up one of those aerial mats a few months ago and am very much looking forward to trying it out with Blood Red Skies sometime soon.)

As to points I'm going to place these as the equivalent of a 15mm vehicle (due to having to portray the underside). So 32 for the four of them. Lovely work Mr.D!