Monday, 18 March 2019

From AlanD: Big Cats (34 points)

Two days to try to get to my total of 1500 points! It's going to be close.

Let's start with a platoon of Tiger IIs and a Jagdtiger from games of Battle Group Fall of the Reich and Spring Awakening. These are little 15mm Zvezda kits, with I like a lot except for the closed hatches. I always like to add crew to give a sense of scale and humanity. OK - next...

The biggest of big cats! Lovely work on these and their camo patters. I particularly like the pics of the Jagdtiger lurking in your rubble.

Almost there! Have a few bonus points for the sheer size of these panzers.


From PhilH: A Fleeting Return to the SCW Project (22 Points)

I’ve had a Spanish Civil War project on the go since  2015, and it featured heavily on my Challenge V and VI entries. I got a couple of supported sections finished but haven’t really done much to nudge to project on recently.

I’ve mentally committed to running a SCW Chain of Command game at 2020’s Operation Market Larden event, so am keen to jump-start the project again. No, that’s not a typo it is more than a year away, but I need to knock out at least another section and a half of infantry, some Republican supports and preferably a couple of vehicles. And probably some terrain. And I know I’ll veer off on a dozen or so tangents in the meantime.

To get back into my stride, I hit up a group of four Nationalist riflemen.

Straightforward job, green on green. They’re functional and a bit dull to paint, they just don’t bring so much joy as the natty Requetés with their jaunty red berets.

I clearly can’t get enough berets. Having settled on this unit being Mountain Infantry, I’d read they wore khaki berets, and a couple of head swaps later and voila. I’ve a few more beret’d infantrymen to  bulk out the unit more.

20 points and another squirrel.  


The Spanish Civil War, like the Russian Civil War, the Abyssinian Crisis, and the Rif War, are one of those weird periods where anything goes. And it's clear the war isn't over, at least in Catalunya. They still hate Franco, and have an almost masochistic bent on being proud of losing. A lot like South Carolina, really.

And I fully understand the appeal. I have a whole box of Warlord Italians ready to serve in Spain, once the paratroopers and Soviets are done. Chain of Command is also a great system.

These fellows are quite splendid. A nice mix of greenish khaki. Tossing in a point per beretswap, that puts you down for 22!


From PeteF: Last Post - Old School French Line Infantry 25mm Minifigs (120 points)

More French line infantry -  Le 1ere Battalion 100eme Ligne - this time the centre companies have shako covers. These could be whitish,  grey, brown or black - I decided these guys got issued white summer shako covers - left over from the campaign in Spain?

Painting Minifigs is always enjoyable - which is lucky as I keep finding ways to add to the Minifigs lead pile. Including the Swiss I'm up to 14 game ready line battalions - so about 110 to go for the whole French 100 days army! Since they all kind of look alike and were not all at the same battle I'll stop somewhere short of that. Probably.

Force of habit results in 24 man battalions - 6 companies of 4 figures each. The Voltigeurs get separate bases in case a rules set (like Over The Hills) calls for skirmishers out front. All the bases are magnetized so they can be attached to metal movement trays or bases. I'm thinking about doing Blucher and/or ESR with 60x40 bases - although I'm not sure if 8 figures representing a brigade will work visually.

I was lucky enough to come across a job lot of minifigs French last year and I'm gradually working through them. The sculpts on these were not at all crisp which made we wonder if they might be counterfeits... not sure if that was a thing in the 1980s. In any event with some filing and cutting they cleaned up OK.

This is my 16th and likely final entry into the 9th Painting Challenge (2nd one for me). Thank you Curt for organizing, to all the minions for helping and all the participants for encouragement as well as for sharing their most excellent work. It's been emotional.

24 x 25mm foot for 120 points.


Wait, it's not Friday. The French have invaded the Free Fire round! Clearly, Friday was not enough for them; they insist on dominating the weekend.

Yup, classic Minifigs. Love them or hate them (and I do love Minifig artillery), they have an unmistakable look. Having had some horrible flash problems with Minifigs in the past, it's entirely possible they're real, just end of mold runs.

Anyway, well done. 120 points marching into Belgium.

~HerrRobert (the t is silent on all Frenchy postings)

From MartinN: Panzerjäger I (35 points)

I'm once again back with more Panzergrau in tow, today in the form of the puny Panzerjäger I by Warlord Games. What struck me as rather odd with this vehicle was the lack of any crew besides the moulded in driver. Thus I had to press gang some Perry Miniatures from their DAK range. They're maybe a little scantily dressed for service in France, but they were the only figures I could find out there which seemed to fit.

The Panzerjäger I was the first German built tank destroyer. It was built by marrying the chassis of the obsolete Panzer I with the Czech made Skoda 4,7cm PaK. A gun shield made from 14,5mm tempered steel. The first batch of 132 vehicles was built by Alkett, recognizable by the five sided gun shield. The rest of the 202 in total built vehicles were assembled by a sub-contractor Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz. This final batch has a seven sided gun shield.

Only a hand full of Panzerjäger I and their crews were ready for combat in time for the invasion of France, but as soon as new units were ready they were sent to the front. With its 4,7cm gun and an effective range of about 500 metres against 50mm thick armour it was an important asset for the German army for countering heavier vehicles like the Char B1bis.

The drivers helmet can just be seen between the two other crew members.
 Apart from France the tank destroyer saw service in North Africa and the Russian front. In both theatres its drawbacks, namely a relatively high superstructure and poor visibility, soon became obvious. By 1942 most Panzerjäger 1 were lost. Tanks-Encoclypedia states that some Panzerjäger I saw service at Omaha Beach in 1944 as part of "Schnelle Abteilung 30" but the picture shown clearly is from 1940 as indicated by the berets which fell out of favour in 1941. Furthermore all the pictorial evidence I was able to find shows 4,7cm PaK(t) auf Panzerkampfwagen 35R(f) ohne Turm. So, while I might be wrong here as I'm definitely no expert on Normandy, I'm inclined to believe it was the latter vehicle the Americans had to face at Omaha.

The commander figure originally comes from the 5cm PaK 38 kit and was a perfect fit once the base was cut off. I got the PaK as a gift from our very own DaveD, which sat idly in the drawer till now. The loader is from their Marder II crew and only needed a little trimming of the 7,5cm shell to make him look the part.

The kit went together rather smoothly but has some serious casting issues with soft or missing details due to a worn out mould. Painting the crew was no fun either as they were of the usual abysmal casting quality which I came to expect from Perry metal miniatures. It's a real shame the twins seem unwilling to sort out the issues with their caster as they offer some wonderful miniatures and poses hard to find with other manufacturers. As it stands I'll stick with other ranges mainly and Perry as a kind of last resort.

I'll claim no points for the driver as virtually all that is visible of him is the back of his helmet, but a 28mm tank and two crew figures should give me another 30 points.


And yet another spectacular entry from MartinN! More pesky German invaders.

I firmly agree on the Perry metal figures. Beautiful sculpts, but a right royal pain to clean up. I'm not sure which is worse, really, filing off mold lines and flash, or cleaning up poor fits and sprue damage on plastics.

But it's absolutely worth it. And I'm not sure tankers would really want to wear much more than they had to, even in May. Between the armor and the engine, those things have to be bloody sweltering inside. The weathering is superb. So much so, I'm throwing in another five points. It's a worthy entry to the What a Tanker! duel.

35 points incoming!


From SimonM: "Black Tree Design" Slyther (5 Points)

This 28mm metal miniature of a "creatures native to Skaro" is produced by “Black Tree Design", and can be bought as Code DW128 Slyther from the manufacturer's "Doctor Who" miniatures range. Regarded "as a sort of pet" by the Black Dalek commanding the Dalek operation at the Bedfordshire mining operation, the monster was operated by Nick Evans and appeared in Terry Nation's November 1964 BBC Television story "The Dalek Invasion of Earth".
Despite being described as "large, black creatures", whose "skins were so thick that they were immune to the stings of the Varga plant on the planet Skaro", I've always myself envisaged the slow moving, tentacled horrors as being green in colour, so inevitably primed my model with two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Green before drenching the figure in "Citadel" Nuln Oil. I then dry-brushed it with (more) Heavy Green and 'picked out' its eyes using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter".


What what, Daleks in Bedfordshire? Must be a French plot. They're diabolical like that. Quick, send in UNIT to sort it out!  

The choice of green under black is ace. In the photos, you get the same sort of shimmer seen in another all black sci-fi villain, Armus on Vagra II.

You're clearly enjoying the Doctor Who menagerie! Five points for an excellent monster, sah! 


From LeeH: Iberian Scutarii in Hannibal's Army (36 Points)

These weren't on my original plan for the Challenge but as I have hit my target and found myself with a 'spare week' I decided to dig them out and get them painted. Actually to be honest I'd forgotten I had bought them and I only rediscovered then as I rummaged through one of my lead mountains (yes, that's plural!). I'm using these Spanish Scutarii as allies in Hannibal's 2nd Punic war army. In the To The Strongest army list, I can only take two of these units but I can upgrade them to Veterans if necessary.

The Scutarii were named for their shields, the scutum, which was very similar in design to that used by the Romans in the Polybian period. The shield was a large oblong, big enough to cover the body, but light enough to be carried in one hand. The Romans used the scutum to form what was in effect a shield wall and there is similar evidence to say the Spanish employed the same tactic. The Scutarii were well-equipped medium spearmen and therefore quite mobile. Their main weapon was the all-metal heavy throwing spear - the Soliferun - which would be thrown at short range before closing in for hand-to-hand combat. This is where their secondary weapon, the short straight edged sword known as the gladius hispanniensis, would come into its own. The later Roman Gladius was influenced by these weapons, which is just one of many examples of how the Romans learned from and absorbed military ideas from the cultures they fought and defeated. 

Given their description and the tactics they used I have chosen to arrange these figures with the front rank presenting the shield in a 'wall' about to throw their Soliferun prior to charging into melee. Various sources describe the shield designs of these troops as colourful, similar in appearance to Gaulish shields. However other sources (and some examples I found online) are more uniform in appearance with a deep red colour being a common colour. I decided to go with the latter design to give the units a distinctive look, but also to reflect their determined and disciplined quality.

Incidentally, I have found a lot of information online (some of it useful, some of it less so!) but my main reference has been the excellent Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars by Duncan Head. It was an expensive book to buy but it has time and again proved its value with information that I couldn't find elsewhere.

Points wise this is relatively simple, 72x 6mm infantry should net me a final 36 points that I hadn't planned on getting, so I'm very happy with that. Sadly I think this will be my last entry of Challenge Nine. I haven't got time to start and finish anything new and to be honest I have a big terrain project calling to me that I am eager to get started on.


Hardly down to the wire, sir. Why you've got two whole days to spare! Plenty of time to open another mine in the Plumbum Montis Hadleius.

You've done a handy job of making them look uniform and unified, which is, of course, the real benefit of 10mm and 6mm - they look spectacular en masse, but still have enough flavor as individuals. 

36 points in the book, sah! 


From DaveD: Millsy’s Lament (20 points)

“Private Millsy, why are we here?" said drummer boy Hughes 672 - aka Ev - "Did you lose a wager?" - thinking maybe that was again... “Sorry lad, yes... I thought I could better Sergeant Docherty - I should have known better”.  “Anyway we joined the army to see interesting places and Sergeant Docherty says  hammering  bits  of stick into the ground will be good for us and we just keep doing it every 100 yards until we get over that thats why we are here all right”  ... as Drummer boy Ev crested the hill..he stopped ... “Millsy! Run!!!!”

Millsy's weapon of choice - is of course a lump hammer

Ev's is a pointy stick...

the serried ranks of camels - and they seem to have the right hump with these two ..see told i would get more camels in 

For those of you not up with the in joke - Millsy & I  have bantered and wagered on and off through various challenges .. this time the honours turned out to be mine...

Sorry Millsy... couldn’t resist - but seriously - thanks for donating the forfeit prize to Wounded Heroes - it’s a great cause.  Maybe next year you could commit to doing something easy like 40mm Napoleonics eh? or perhaps the Lace Wars.. ..!  In recognition of your fine painting skills on your heraldry though I have a made a similar donation to Models for Heroes over here.

3 wounded prone figures - i suggest 10 points the 3 

Anyway, the figures were a pack of Foundry figures I picked up in the Foundry 50% off sale at the Hammerhead show recently.

They are modelled for the AZW range, a bit of work with a file removed the cuff detailing , and the rest is a paint job. So they will do duty as bits of set dressing.

And that’s me done folks - I completed what I had set for this Challenge - so very happy. I think the final group shoot will look good


Haha, terrific stuff Dave. I think Drummer Boy Ev and Private Millsy need to quickly re-evaluate their current tasking or risk being turned into camel toe jam. That Sergeant Docherty has a real cruel streak. Who knows, perhaps next year his day will finally come. 

Dave, these poor unfortunates will give you a nice 20 point pip for your troubles. Great job on reaching your target with time to spare. I know that for a few of us (myself included) it will come right down to the wire.


From TamsinP: 15mm Mongols...On Foot! (90 points)

No, you're eyes aren't playing tricks on you. These are Mongols but with not a horse in sight. Most rules do allow Mongol cavalry to dismount when the opponent has certain troop types, such as big grey beasties. And that is what these are for.

These figures are all 15mm from Donnington Miniatures.

For scoring, there are 42 x 15mm foot @ 2 = 84 points which will see me nicely past my increased target. Before you get worried that this will mean I put the brushes down, have no fear - you can expect at least one more entry from me before the end of play on Wednesday.

From Grognard DaveD ... Ah Tamsin... its been great to see you kicking stuff out across this  challenge leading to  really great points total too. Mongols without horses.. love it. I love the colour you have got into these - cracking - so with added minion goodness its a total of 90 points.. and over the line you go - that means all of our current top 10 challengers (Well obviously we need to do a recount of Ray's incase he broke the spreadsheet ... again )and then some  have knocked it out of the park.. well done. 

From GregB: Warhound Titan for "Adeptus Titanicus" (12 Points)

A Warhound "scout" titan from Legio Mortis, ready to hunt for hope and change...
The diversion from historical painting subjects and into the grim darkness of the far future and GW's re-booted "Adeptus Titanicus" continues.  Having added some God-engines to the delusional "loyalist" faction, I naturally needed to balance things out for the side of hope and change, the Warmaster! So here is one more Warhound class titan.

Vulcan mega-bolter on the left "arm" mount.
This Titan is painted in the colours and markings of Legio Mortis, the charming "Death Heads".  Many Titan Legions supported the Warmaster's noble rebellion against the tyranny of the Imperium, but Legio Mortis was front-and-centre, foremost among Horus' ranks, even leading the assault on the Imperial Palace on Terra itself. 

Turbo-lasers on the right "arm" mount.
The weapon load-out includes a set of "turbo lasers" on one arm, and a "vulcan-mega bolter" on the other.  On its own, this engine is a limited threat, but paired with the other Warhound in the maniple, they use their mega-bolters to knock down the void shields on enemy engines and either move in for a kill with their energy weapons, or let the more heavily-equipped Reavers and Warlord strike final blows.

View of the detailing on the rear and top of the Titan.
With this little guy completed, my Legio Mortis forces now have a complete "Axiom Battle Line" maniple ready to face the toe-chewing loyalists who cling to their pathetic so-called "Emperor".  The "Axiom Battle Line" is one of the basic core force of the Titan Legions, comprised of one Warlord titan, two Reaver titans and two Warhound titans.  By using different Maniple formations, players can access some different bonuses for command, firing etc.  The "Axiom Battle Line" is a middle-of-the-road type formation, able to deal with anything that comes up, and gets every different class of titan on to the table, which I enjoy.

A view of the new Titan with his colleagues.

Two complete Titan maniples now sitting on the shelf!
All of these toys got to see some action this past weekend at a local gaming even here in Winnipeg. Challenge participant Byron came out to play the game, and also brought some excellent buildings from the game "Dropzone Commander" along, which is wonderful, as those larger buildings look great while also being big enough to block the lines of fire of the bigger Warlord titans. So a big "thank you" to Byron!

An Imperial city waits for "agressive urban development"...
Loyalist battle group moves out...oh, the poor fools...

The god engines of the noble Warmaster deploy...
This edition of the Challenge is winding down...I think I might have one or two submissions left, we'll see...good luck to everyone as we all dash to the finish line!


Great looking Warhound Greg! I've always liked the purple, brass and red livery of your Mortis guys - so very iconic and identifiable on the tabletop. The loadout of a mega-bolter and turbolaser is a nice, balanced weapons combo. We've run a Warhound with twin mega-bolters in a few of our games - it's great fun for taking down shields and hunting those pesky knights, but it has to avoid getting targeted in the open by fresh titans. 

As to points lets increase these larger Adeptus Titanicus models (as opposed to the smaller Epic scaled titans) to a 12 point base and see how that pans out going forward.

I hope we can combine our two collections for PrairieCon this spring for a HUGE titan smackdown.

- Curt

From SidneyR: French Hussars from 1688 (120 points)

It's a little embarrassing (...and depressing...) to think that this is only my second contribution to the wonderful Challenge IX.  Alas, my day job has conspired in an unpleasant way against me this time, and my output has been way down on last year's.  Ah well, such is life, dear Challengers... such is life.

Rather than being downhearted, I've tried to press on with the squadron of French "hussars" that I had high hopes of finishing by the end of December 2018!  Ah yes, it's taken a long time to get these Croatian and Hungarian rascals finished!   The figures are 28mm from The Assault Group and Wargames Foundry, with some additional conversions and green-stuff nonsense for added fun.  Bases are from Warbases, and the (possibly excessive tuft-age) is from WSS Models in the UK.

At this point, I'll make a note or two to myself for the next Challenge.  Don't start the Challenge with a difficult unit and every figure wearing a wacky Eastern European-style 'uniform'.  It kind of slows things down.  Something nice and standard like Union infantry, circa 1863, might do the trick next time!  Oh, and never pick up the phone on the 28th December when it's a work call; it's never going to be good news - I think I'll remember that lesson...

So who on earth are these chaps, and did the French really have hussars in 1688?  The truth is, perhaps, stranger than fiction.  The Sun King's army in Flanders in the Nine Years War does appear to have featured a regiment of "Hussars", but these seem (according to David Chandler) to have been little more than Croatian and Hungarian deserters from the army of the Hapsberg Empire.  Led by a dubious faux-nobleman, describing himself as the Baron de Kroneberg, the "Hussars" caused no end of disciplinary problems in the French camp, and amounted to little use in the field.

But the idea of copying the screens of Croatian cavalry which were seen by French forces when fighting Imperial armies was a good one, and from such small beginnings, a legend was born...

These two hussar scouts were meant to have been finished by me, with some other figures, for the first Challenge IX Themed Round of "Reconnaissance".  Clearly these Croatians are not as adept at scouting as their Versailles paymasters might have hoped, turning up very late and in the wrong blog post!  Perhaps, in truth, par for the historical course!

Of course, un-constrained by historical reality, there's every chance to beef-up the French hussar's role on the tabletop.  Here's some nonsense I put together while sitting in the office and not painting over the past three months...

So, in all, 12 figures in 28mm, giving me 120 points for a rather low total for Challenge IX.  Oh well, on the bright side, two more days to finish the rest of my target of 730 points.  Where's that airbrush? ...


Ah, it's a good day for the Painting Challenge when Mssr. Sidney Roundwood submits an entry for us to enjoy.

Lovely work on these Croat, er, Hungarian, um, 'French' Hussars, Sid. I love the eastern modifications you did to their uniforms to make them distinct from their more urbane compatriots, especially their plumed hats, capes and draped coats. Beautiful!

These stylish ruffians will give you 130 points, with a few more added for your very effective conversions. We look forward to your final gambit before midnight Wednesday's close.