Thursday, 9 January 2020

From StephenS: Ironskull's Boyz (20 points)


You know when you see a 'z' instead of a 's', it can only mean some Games Workshop Orcs, Orks, Orruks  are inbound!

I have for you the Ironskull's Boyz, a band sold for Games Workshop's miniature/board-game/deck-building game - Warhammer Underworlds.

These guys have a pretty straight forward play-style, no prizes for guessing what they like to do. This should keep it pretty easy for me as it's not a game that hits the table too often, so I shouldn't need to remember too many tricky combinations.

All up it is four 28-32 mm plastic miniatures. They have been sitting in my pile for a while. A recent down sizing (Monday) of my hobby room into a hobby cupboard to make way for a beautiful baby, due very soon, revealed them to me again.




Nice, clean brushwork on these Boyz, Steve! The yellow armour is very striking next to their green skin and black accents. 

Well done and congratulations on the upcoming arrival.


StuartL's Challenge on Snow Lord's Peak (Redux)

As Stuart scales the last few feet to the summit of Snow Lord's Peak he can't shake the feeling that he's done this before. Deja vu? A bad dream? It's of no consequence, he is ready to face its dread challenge.

Stuart looks upon the glowering visage of the Snow Lord. 

'Have we met before?' Stuart asks the blue skinned monstrosity.

'I doubt it,' the creature growls, 'I make a point to remember all who rove this land.' He then stops, ponders and furrows his brow... 


The Snow Lord knows that Stuart lives in the Nagoya area of central Japan and so tasks the brave adventurer to provide an entry that illustrates this region. A bonus 10 points are available if it is winter themed.

Once this challenge is complete Stuart can claim his prize:

'Che, the Red' from Sander's Sand Dunes.


The Snow Lord turns his back, growling over his shoulder, 'Okay kid, I wanna see something about this Nagoya place. Show me what you've got.'

Good luck Stuart!

From Pete F, Docherty's Dock- The Mutatawwi'a - Has Anyone Seen My Camel? (75 points)

SAGA is one of my favourite wargames. You don't need a giant warband but it gets enough troops on the table that they stand out on a 4'x3' table. It's truly a skirmish as opposed to a scuffle with 40-50 figures per side. Most of my games have been from the "Age of Vikings", but I bought the "Age of Crusades" some time ago and have been admiring the Gripping Beast Mutatawwi'a faction for a while. Because of the camels.

They had a 30% off Black Friday sale (Gripping Beast also don't charge us foreigners VAT and shipping is reasonable) so I was unable to resist. I thought it would take a while to get to the Mutatawwi'a because I have Normans and Anglo Danes in the pipeline and most of my opponents field Dark Ages armies. But Doherty's Dock provided a compelling reason to paint my first ever camels and get this warband started.

Camels were fun to paint - the distribution of light/dark on their fur is very different to horses. Like donkeys, camels have a lighter underside which lessens the absorption of reflected heat and allows them to be a little cooler in desert conditions.

I'm not sure about my basing, which ended up on the busy side. I went all in on different techniques using the GW technical Agrellan Earth to get the cracked surface effect as well as various bits of rock and sand, applying a wash, dry brushing and pigments. Too much going on.

I took inspiration from Little Bigmen Studios Islamic shield transfers for the shield designs.  I went for more elaborate shield designs for these four as they are hearthguard - the elite of Saga. The warriors got plain fabrics and a green/yellow/white colour palette.

The Mutatawwi'a faction doesn't really reflect my usual play style. They are good at running in fast and furious - and have lots of ways they can deal out additional damage by accepting more damage themselves. I get the impression that there will be few survivors on either side after a clash with the camel riders and their warband,

I generally love Gripping Beast sculpts - these ones had more flash and mold lines on them than usual - and I didn't spot all of the problems in the preparation phase. Bah! I also screwed up drilling one of the hands (the casts have to be drilled to fit spears) which will need a complete replacement at some stage. I'm not sure about the size of the dudes compared with the size of the camels... the animals seem on the small side in relation to the figures compared with camels I've seen in real life.

We have a SAGA tournament in Portland OR this weekend - the Mutatawwi'a won't be ready so I'll be fielding a Jomsviking warband. Gripping Beast were kind enough to send us a few blisters as prize support - very generous of them since it's a small tournament and the organizer would gladly have paid for them.

4 mounted 28mm and the Docherty's Dock (The fourth area I have explored) bonus come to 70 points. I'm not going to claim the bonus 5 points even though that's supposed to be Millsy in the turban.

From DaveD - You have broken you camel cherry YAY! (thats sounds so wrong!) . They are fine beasts - i have some of the same to do somewhere. That is some nice detail in the shields and covers  too - and there is an uncanny likeness to Millsy in there somewhere - 2nd  camel on left maybe.... - lets make that 75 points! Fine start to your warband.

From TomM: Zarbag's Gitz (45 points)

Well, funny little story here for these guys...

Because they weren`t really planned to be entered this Challenge, more on the pile of "if I have time left after the planned entries".

But then last saturday, I read about an Underworlds tournament here in Antwerp taking place beginning of february, and decided to sign up.  Realising I only played with the starter decks and bands of season 1 so far, and that more then a year ago, I asked someone on the club to give me a crash course tomorrow evening.

Only to realise then I don`t have any painted warbands, and I`m not playing anything unpainted ever...  And it got better in that I only had sunday morning, wednesday end thursday evening to paint, varnish and picture them.

So these pictures are literally made half an hour after the final colour and varnish dried...

But I pulled it off, and they are now ready to take to the strange lands of Underworlds.

And knock 45 points to my tally ;-)

From DaveD. Now thats what we like to see - the power of a deadline is always great .. of course they run away -- but you know that! 

From JamieM - A Delicate Balancing Act at Cooke's Crevasse (38 points)

Wizards.  What on earth are they about?  Usually stupid sparkly stuff, trying to impress the local wenches/muscle down the local inn most likely.

Take this one for example.  What benefit could it possibly have if you balance a load of rocks on each other and then stand on them?

Bloomin' wizards...... always standing at the back chucking fireballs around or taking no interest in magic armour and only worrying about dusty old books......can't trust an adventurer who thinks like I don't reckon.

What?  Me?  Ever been adventuring?  Not a chance.  Much safer to stay here at the farm.  Probably more fun too.  Right?...... right?......

I thought that was rather a good fun wizard, it's by GW and was originally an Elf, but with a quick headswap with a Greatsword figure, he's now Magnus Purple-Eye (and yes, that was the name of a D&D character I ran back in the day :)  Sadly the original Magnus died in his first dungeon with the exit in sight and so lasted less time in the dungeon than he took to roll up, but that's RPGs for you sometimes!)

But I digress.  He's standing on several pieces of Geology and so I thought he'd be perfect for Cooke's Crevasse and so here he is!

Having enjoyed the rocks, I think I'll be off to Hawkin's Hill next as I have a frankly embarrassingly large choice of figures to paint for there......

5 points for the 28mm figure and 30 points for the location I believe.

From DaveD. aah , our resident telecommicationally challenged geologist has missed a treat here... that just brilliantly executed. The yellow is particularly well done - so lets call it 38 points .  Enjoy your rummage at Hawkins Hill!

From MikeW - At Benito's Brook - 12 x 18mm Crimean War British Hussars (126 Points)

This entry is my step into the realms of Benito's Brook, and it was quite some challenge to figure out what from my lead mountain would qualify for this post!

Post Marked 2006!
Eventually I opted for a box of 18mm Eureka Miniatures I'd rather rashly ordered back in 2006, whilst away from home on a business trip, during which time, I was finishing reading the rather good 'Hell Riders' by Terry Brighton.

A few lessons learned by this experience, don't order figures on a whim after reading an inspiring book - by the time these little chaps had landed on my doormat from Australia, my fickle fancy had moved on to other areas of interest!

I did try to paint up some lancers - maybe 5 or 6 years ago but this came to nothing and I'm not even sure where these half painted chaps are now.

Finished 11th Hussar Squadron of 12 x 18mm Eureka Figures
So now for Challenge X - I took 12 troopers from the package and determined to paint these up as a squadron of 11th Hussars - or for those that remember the film - these were Lord Cardigan's 'Cherrybums', on account of their red trousers. It was also the regiment from which the unfortunate Captain Nolan, was detached to HQ duties and led to the late unfortunate mix-up.

For those who are not sure of the story of the Light Brigade - On 25 October 1854, during the Crimean War, the Light Brigade of the British Cavalry Division made the most magnificent and most brutal and pointless charge in military history.

Fantastically detailed book
on the Charge of the Light Brigade
Almost 700 men armed with sabre and lance, charged straight at the muzzles of Russian cannons and massed Russian Cavalry and Cossacks behind. But it was a blunder, they charged down the wrong valley, into the Russian guns instead of scaring off Russian infantry men that were stealing away allied guns in the adjoining valley!

All because Captain Nolan and Lord Cardigan hated each other and could not communicate properly.

As soon as I started painting these guys, I remembered why I'd given up on the lancers, at 18mm scale they have fantastic detail but are so small my ageing eyes really struggle. Difference now is that I've accepted wearing glasses when doing figure painting and results are better.
View from the flank

These Eureka figures are significantly bigger than 15mm counter parts - you do have to get the detail done to make the most of them but they are still smaller than 25/28mm figures that I have been mostly painting recently. I persevered but they were hard work!

A bit more detail
Since my last post - where I detailed how I paint horses - I got some great additional tips on horse colours from Tasmin - so I have tried to incorporate those tips in this batch of horses (See below) - allowing for 'Chestnut' colouring. Thanks for the advice Tasmin! See Chestnut horse below...

Anyway here they are - hope they are presentable as part of the famously futile 'Charge of the Light Brigade' and as such qualify for Benito's Book brief of a Forlorn Hope!

Hopefully a 'Chestnut' horse - without Black fetlocks!
I changed my usual basing technique for these figures, I felt that static grass and flowers would be out of scale and not look right. Instead I found a pot of old 'course scatter' in a light green finish and used static grass very sparingly in clumps. I like the effect at this scale.

Despite my complaining I do like the final result, I did plan to do two squadrons per regiment, plus officers and character figures. Maybe I might take another look and see if I can find those Lancers again!

POINTS (Controversy?)

So The Challenge has points rates for painted 20mm and 15mm figures but not 18mm figures. The gap between the two scales is quite significant for mounted troops - either 4 points for a 15mm figure or 8 points for a 20mm figure.

I have opted for the following scoring system - score them as 20mm figures (nearest scale) but subtract 10% score as 18mm is only 90% of 20mm - Minon of the Day please feel free to adjust according to you r guidelines or Whim - ed - "ah lets confound Miles spreadsheet  I will round these to 20mm "

12 x mounted figures at 8 points each = 96 Points
Bonus Points for Benito's Brook = 30 Points

TOTAL = 96 +30 = 126 Points

From DaveD . Its not often you see Crimean war stuff, its certainly something that keeps piquing my own interest - but i haven't found figures to match the desire yet. I will have to look at these. Nice job . Also you may need to check the pictures as due to sausage fingers I think i deleted one as i posted feel free to add it back in! 

From MikeW. No worries Dave - happens to us all. Have added the photo back in as suggested!

From JohnM: WWII Terrain

This will be my last terrain pieces for this challenge, I do have a lot of figures in the painting queue, but these pieces take a lot of room so best to get them out of the way.

These models were printed by myself on a CR10S. The STL files are from 3D Print Terrain. They are good quality and the author responds almost immediately to any enquiries on facebook.

Destroyed Houses
Bunker Compound
I find the calculations always tricky but I would say that the pieces roughly fill a 6x6x12" cube, so give what you may!
From DaveD - That is indeed a nice bit work John - did the rubble come as part of it? - I reckon its a good 40 points there.

From NoelW: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? (65 points)

Zombies are pressing round us. Lightning strafes the island. And to make things even less pleasant, that scream which pursued us from Reidy’s Reef is getting louder, that scream as chill as the pelting rain, that scream as shrill as a wife who has just discovered spilt paint on the carpet, is climbing the atoll towards us.

In the face of that piercing horror, at once the ghouls shrink aside, melting back into the darkness. They know when they’ve met their match.

For it’s the Lady Sarah. Her dress is less than shevelled, her hair is anything but kempt, her makeup far from maculate, for she has swum from reef to atoll screaming at us to stop and help her. She is crying out one word: “vampire, vampire!" And, in the shadows, we see a bloodless figure clambering from the broken waves close behind her.

I don’t believe she’s happy. She wants us to defend her, but after our desperate swim the only weapons we have left are pointed remarks.

Shaking her head in disbelief, she turns to face the hissing creature, raises her foot, and stamps. I'm not sure if the atoll is trembling with the waves or with her annoyance. Either way, I don’t think she’s actually afraid. I think she’s cross.

And, of course, vampires fear the cross. He backs away. She stamps again, scowling, as a glimmer of dawn breaks through at the edge of night and he lifts his hand over his face. From somewhere there’s a faint smell of burning.

She grabs one of my men by the scruff of his petard. 

“Aren't you big, strong warriors supposed to protect innocent maidens from the depredations of the ungodly?” she hisses through tight lips.

Fortunately the poor man has not the intelligence to see the seventeen possible ripostes he could make to this question.

"Who are you, anyway?" she snaps.

The man, who has an unfortunate speech impediment (though he refers to it as his moustache), tries our usual boast, intending to say we are “Reavers of the Waves” (which was our band name on the good ship Marie Celeste).

“Weavers of the Raves,” he says.

“How lucky is that,” she says, “Great - all of you, gather up seaweed and weave. Weave like you’ve never weaved before.”

“And you look like a windbag who's fond of hot air,” she says to me. “Quickly, breathe into this.”

I’m about to sulk, when she raises that foot again. Clearly she’s not noticed I’ve a very nervous disposition but I suspect it’s not the right time to produce my doctor’s note.

I summon every atom of my manly being, and blow deeply into the flap of linen she gave me. It makes a rather distressing noise.

As dawn breaks over the atoll, with all the golden fury of a sodden firework, and the waves wash away a pile of smoking ash on the shore, we attach the balloon to the newly woven basket and clamber in. Once we have all our legs in one basket, Lady Sarah makes an appropriate gesture, we cast off, trusting now to the fragrant airs of the isle to waft us somewhere a little calmer.


This is, of course, an utter work of fiction. Any similarities between the characters in this story and any real person, living, dead or undead are entirely coincidental. As you can see the figure below (by Wargames Foundry, I think) bears no relation to any real Lady Sarah, and I’m sure that there is not now, nor has there ever been, a real Lady Sarah who was bad tempered, petulant or inclined to order “heroes” around.  (ed - careful now!)


The vampire figure is from Alternative Armies, a free promotional figure acquired over Christmas. 

I used to have quite a large collection of vampires (please don’t psychoanalyse that) but fangs aren’t what they used to be, so this one is my Curtgeld.

The score, I think, is:  10 for 2 x 28mm figs, 25 for Curtgeld and 30 for the balloon trip = 65 points.

From DaveD.  I really like your colour choice here - good job! - 65 points to good

From Barks: Sergeant (Retired), US 3rd Armored Division, Cold War (35 Points)

This figure will be for my friend Mud's birthday later this year. She's a tragic Elvis fan, and has been to the Parkes Elvis Festival at least once (incidentally, it is on this week). We've been to an Elvis pizza restaurant for her birthday, and she took us to an Elvis Tribute Artist show. I learned that 'impersonator' is a no-no, because that implies identity theft. They are Elvis Tribute Artists.

Aussie company Slave 2 Gaming does a whole squad of Elvises (Elvii?) and I picked one up.

1x 28mm +5
O'Grady's Gulch +30

From DaveD - Minion Martin is having comms issues this afternoon , so I am going to step in for a few .
Love it  Barks - I can hear the line "a little less conversation , a little more action please" - just what you need I think! get those brushes twirling!

From LeeH - The Temple Rock - 65 Points

Today's entry is another resin building, this time a Temple, but its origin isn't from a wargaming company. This ruined temple is actually a decorative item for an aquarium that I saw on eBay. It came prepainted but that didn't fit the colour scheme of my other Frostgrave terrain so I reprimed it with black acrylic before starting from scratch. 

I want some terrain on my table with a bit of elevation so I decided to mount the temple on a tall rocky outcrop made from offcuts of high-density foam insulation. In fact, the foam I used is the remains from my Isandlwana Project (way back in Challenge 8) that have lurked in a cupboard since then. I almost threw it away but I'm glad I didn't because it was just the right size for this model. I made a proper mess carving it into the right shape, and even more mess cutting the stairs into it so that they joined up with those on the temple itself. By the time I was finished pretty much my whole room was covered in foams flakes and dust... Luckily I had the foresight to wear a mask, but I need to buy myself a little handheld dustbuster/vacuum for my hobby room! 

The finished model will make a nice big centrepiece to a game and will give the players something to fight over, especially if I place some treasure here. Indeed the model comes with a collapsed wall in the back of the plinth and I have incorporated this with the hill to represent an exposed crypt that may contain treasure or the lair of a monster.

To work out the size of this I have divided it into two sections, the Temple itself and the 'Rock' base it sits on. The temple dimensions are about 1 terrain box (its 8.5" x 5" x 6" or 255in³). The base is by necessity wider but is also an odd shape (12" x 9" x 4.5" with sloped edges) which I estimate equates to about 2 terrain boxes, so this piece should net me a handsome 60 points. 

Rest assured I am working on more 6mm stuff but I have to admit I'm enjoying the Frostgrave terrain building more than I anticipated and keep getting sidetracked!

This is utterly brilliant. I absolutely love it. Love buying aquarium ruins for my battlefields and this is great. Is that suitably effusive Lee. Deserves a bonus so 65 lovely points to you

Thursday's Minion Ready

Morning all. Hope we have a nice selection of posts today and fewer than last thursday's 20, which wore me out.
As you will know by now I'm a geologist and therefore I plan to use this opportunity to improve everyones knowledge.
1st up, the geological ages, I use this simple cartoon

Now get painting or there will be a test.