Thursday, 30 January 2020

From SimonM: "Lucid Eye Publications" Lord Rascal's Ghostly Wraiths (20 Points)

These four 28mm scale "white metal figures" of Lord Rascal's Ghostly Wraiths are produced by “Lucid Eye Publications” and can be bought from the company's "Toon Realms" range. Sculpted by Steve Saleh, I have painted them to represent the "dreaded ring-servants of the Dark Lord Sauron in Middle-earth" so as to field them as a 'Lord Of The Toons' Bellicose Foot unit (Reduced Model Unit) for “Dragon Rampant” by "Osprey Games".

Originally I had planned to simply paint these figures in exactly the same way as I've pigmented all my ghosts, using a white undercoat with plenty of green shading and simple white dry-brush. But having seen the 'official' paint-job on the now OOP Twilight Ringwraiths manufactured by "Games Workshop", I thought I'd try a distinctly bluer palette, so therefore primed the quartet with two layers of "Vallejo" Steel Grey.

The Fallen Kings were then 'muddied down' with a wash of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, before being dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Steel Grey, and an even lighter touch of Heavy Bluegrey. With the bulk of the spectres finished, I subsequently 'picked out' their grotty gloves with a combination of "Vallejo" White and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and their eyes with a dab of  "Citadel" Abaddon Black.

I also layered their teeth with a dash of "Vallejo" White, and decided to imply a haunting look in their somewhat softly-detailed faces by adding a splash of "Citadel" Druchii Violet just beneath their eyes. This colour sort of replicated the facial make-up I spotted the actors wearing when they appeared in Peter Jackson's 2001 epic fantasy adventure film "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring".

Glad I've had chance to minion a post from the prolific Simon., his distinctive style can be spotted from miles away and I do love it. These are great and will make a very unexpected bellicose foot unit, not played Dragon Rampant for ages, must play again


From PeteF: Horde of Fiends - Klendathu's Finest (40points)

"This Place Crawls, Sir!"

These gribbley horrors are the second unit in my Nightstalkers Army. Each stand will reference a movie that has some horror or phobic element.  The idea is that people can try and guess all the movies in the army.

The miniatures are from the discontinued Starship Troopers Miniatures game by Mongoose publishing. It's a shame this game is out of print as the minis are rather good - although quite big. I was lucky enough to pick up the whole starter game (which contains another 20 of the warrior bugs) on EBay this week - still in shrink wrap so I'm not sure if I'll open it or do the right thing and resell it because I don't need more minis.

I got the basic idea for colours from clips of the movie - the carapaces were originally black, which I had drybrushed with some light grey highlights. I didn't like how this looked so I washed it over with contrast shyish purple - which gave the dark bits a nice purpley sheen and mauve tinted the grey highlights. I was happy that it came out a little glossy - like an ant's body.

"Their evolution stretches over millions of years."

The smaller bugs are "firefries" and featured in a Starship Troopers spinoff, not the original movie. The models were very basic metal casts - they are somewhat rare. Their colour scheme is from an online wiki. Kings of War "large cavalry hordes" are supposed to be 6 to a 150mmx100mm base - by using a couple of the smaller bugs I managed to squeeze five in. If I had the dismembered body of a mobile infantryman I'd add it to the base.

"Oh, come on, it's just a bug!"

Starship Troopers is a great movie - based on a great book. Although noteworthy for attractive actors meeting their ends with spectacular violence it also does a good job of portraying a brutal militaristic society in a way that may leave a small part of you hoping the bugs win.

Kings of War welcomes proxied units so these bugs stand in nicely for fiends, a type of heavy cavalry. The 3 arachnid warriors are about 60mm tall - the bodies are 65mm long including the mandibles. The 2 firefries are around the size of a 28mm horse. Say 10 points for each big bug and 5 for each small one for a total of 40?

“Citizenship is an attitude, a state of mind, an emotional conviction that the whole is greater than the part...and that the part should be humbly proud to sacrifice itself that the whole may live.”

Pete, these are fantatic. You have really nailed the colours and they look suitably nasty. The scoring is about right


Jamie Climbs Atop Snow Lord's Peak

Feeling the effects of the altitude (and perhaps the case of champagne on the way up), Jamie begins to unsteadily clamber out of the balloon's basket, only to lose his footing. With a yelp, he inelegantly falls into a snow drift upon the mountain's summit, a cascade of empty bottles following behind.

This Snow Lord's Challenge brought to you by Mount Assiniboine on the BC/Alberta border

The Snow Lord, shoveling the driveway, looks over to Jamie and says, 'Well, I've seen better landings. You look kinda smashed.'

'If you think (hic) I'm snockered you should (hic) see the pilot. It's no wonder that balloon meanders all over this crazy island...'

'Yeah, she likes her libations to be sure. Don't get me started on the 'herb' garden she has on the south slope.' He smiles, 'Some days I don't think she needs a balloon to get to good altitude, if you know what I mean.'

Jamie, the ever conscientious explorer, gathers up the empty bottles for recycling and calls over his shoulder, 'As you probably know, I'm here for the treasure. I understand that you're its guardian, so I was wondering if you could help me out.'

The Snow Lord appraises him quietly and says, 'You'll need to complete a challenge before I'll hand over your treasure.' Looking into Jamie's past the Snow Lord discovers that the doughty adventurer is in possession of not only one, but TWO unassembled Playmobil Coliseums. 'Well that just seems egregious,' he rumbles. 'I think it only proper for you to build at least one of these to play with. What say you, let's have a gladiatorial fight in one of your coliseums...'


We look forward to seeing the fruits of your construction, Jamie. Have fun with it!


KenR: 28mm Landsknechts 81 points

After the Desert Yellow drabness of the Tank project this year it was essential to keep something colourful on the side lines just to keep the excitement up and as it turns out a side track from the horrors of #flakegate.

There are just 16 figures here, all 28mm and all Wargames Foundry, a bit small for a Pike Block I hear you say and quite right you are. These have been sat around for a few months waiting for paint to finish up a much larger unit and as a little side project when not doing the tanks it's worked nicely.

Points wise 16 x 5 for the figures and a Brucie Bonus of 1 for the flag should give me 81 points.

So here is my two new bases with the other two which make up Team Blue in my Landsknecht block. Whilst below is the entire unit 96 figures strong.

Next up on the side table are a unit of Papal Gendarme whilst this week's Tanks are two colours done on the Caunter, hope to have a Challenge Entry Figure done soon too. Regards Ken

The prospect of painting Landsknechts fills me with terror. You have done a great job on these, that nice balance of rock hard and camp.


AdamC: Roundwood Tower the Turtle Service (31 Points)

So this location is based on alternative views of history I was trying to come up with something and since I've been doing a lot of reading about the Early American Navy the Story of the Turtle came my mind. 
The Turtle invented by David Bushnell was the the great grandparent of all submarines.  You probably won't be surprised to hear that it was a failure:

At 11:00pm on September 6, 1776, Sgt. Lee piloted the submersible toward Admiral Richard Howe's flagship, Eagle, then moored off Governors Island.

On that night, Lee maneuvered the small craft out to the anchorage. It took two hours to reach his destination, as it was hard work manipulating the hand-operated controls and foot pedals to propel the submersible into position. Adding to his difficulties was a fairly strong current and the darkness creeping overhead, which made visibility difficult.

The plan failed. Lee began his mission with only twenty minutes of air, not to mention the complications of operating the craft. The darkness, the speed of the currents, and the added complexities all combined to thwart Lee's plan. Once surfaced, Lee lit the fuse on the explosive and tried multiple times to stab the device into the underside of the ship. Unfortunately, after several attempts Lee was not able to pierce Eagle's hull and abandoned the operation as the timer on the explosive was due to go off and he feared getting caught at dawn.

Replica of the Turtle
At least one historian claims the above was an invention of American propaganda to frighten the British fleet. I choose to believe the attack was attempted though it certainly failed... Now imagine if Lee had managed to attach his bomb. The Royal navy would have lost the Eagle (damaged or sunk) a great propaganda victory. Probably not enough to change the course of the war but enough to create a legacy of American grit and ingenuity and give any enemy captain within hail of the American shore ulcers.
Years latter when Thomas Jefferson was looking for a defencive naval force (he considered a deep water navy to be expensive and dangerous) he established the US Navy Turtle Service to supplement the gunboat service as a coastal defence force.
The Men of the Turtle Service using an updated version each with a two men crew a pilot and a coxswain (the original Turtle had a one man crew) of the original ship are ready to carry out attacks on any dare to violate the shores of the United states.  They are armed with a torpedo activated by a timer fuse  that they endeavour to attach to enemy ships before making good their escape.  Death in training accidents are common and the members of the corps are viewed as somewhat unstable by their fellow in the conventional navy.
My Turtle is made form a 25mm scale buckler shield as the part of the ship that floated above the water and its barrel torpedo made from a piece of sprue.
Points I'll claim 1 point for the Turtle and then 30 for the map point I hope you like this silly little project.

That is a very smart use of a buckler shield and a great bit of history.


From AlexK: Calling Miles!! Calling Miles!! (O'Grady's Gulch - 35 Points)

So before I start this entry, I think a little personal information about myself is required. Punctuality, time keeping and memory are not three skills I am associated with, never have been and unless you believe in miracles, they won't be in the future. 

With this in mind, during challenge IX I was involved in a "Keep your powder dry" side duel with several other competitors, it simply involved painting as many points worth of Black powder miniatures as possible...simple. Now I was always aware that having the most points was a very slim possibility, but I wasn't quite ready for the caliber of the competition that participated and I found myself some 2000 points (That's right, 2000, not 200!) behind our eventual winner Miles and his reward for such a victory was that I'd paint a Black Powder for him. I had a lot of gusto to get straight on with Miles' prize after the comp, so I'd picked my figure, prepped and undercoated it and then let it sit there for 12 I said, time keeping, memory and punctuality.

So here is your prize Miles, an Confederate skirmisher. If I remember correctly its a warlord figure that came with the ACW supplement for Black Powder. I think it has a lot of character and broke up the painting plan a bit, which was nice. All I need now Miles is an address to send him, maybe Curt could help us with that? I hope its been worth the wait and clears my debt. 

I'm hoping this clears O'Grady's Gulch as well. Points wise I think it's 5 for the figure and 30 for the location.

As i stand here on the stairs wondering if I was going up or down and what the hammer in my hand is for I fully understand your condition. I have my own personal experiences with the mighty Miles and feel you pain here as well. The figure is marvellous and I'm sure Miles will love him


From GregB: Mme Clergue, Franc-Tireur, In Lady Sarah's Balloon (45 Points)

Mme. Clergue and her first recruit prepare to resist the Prussian invaders...
Time to make some more progress on my Challenge Island journey.  Having relaxed at Mudry's Mesa for a few days, I contemplated the next stop on the Path of the New Shiny.  That next stop was either Rousell's Sandhill or Douglas' Shallows. After a careful consideration, I realized I would rather pull out my fingernails than attempt either destination.  And so, I summon the Balloon of Lady Sarah.  As a figure, I submit Mme. Clergue - budding commander of a Franc-Tireur formation for my Franco-Prussian War collection. These are 28mm figures from the Wargames Foundry 28mm FPW collection.

Things go pear-shaped for the French in 1870...
The Franco-Prussian war went very badly, very quickly for the Imperial Government of Napoleon III.  Moltke and the gang had them in the bag at Sedan, and surely assumed some smooth negotiating and tough concessions would make for a lovely fall.  But that was not to be...the French Republic rose from the ashes of Napoleon III's abdication.  It had almost no army to speak of, but the French spirit was not to be easily quenched, and the Republican forces fought on.

Some sort of volley-gun-style pistol...should be epic.
The Prussians found themselves needing to occupy and secure considerable chunks of French territory as they pursued a siege of Paris and fought to crush the Republican French armies.  This task was made harder by the Franc-Tireurs, guerilla fighters who harassed Prussian troops along their lines of supply and joined in at the margins in some of the engagements in the later phases of the war. Foreshadowing the time of the Maquis, the Franc-Tireurs battled to make sure the Prussians paid as high a price as possible, and made the final defeat of France in 1871 a lot tougher.

As is so often the case in these situations, many a Franc-Tireur met a grim and summary fate, either in action, or caught in security sweeps. The reprisals visited on these resistance fighters were often expanded to local communities by weary, angry and scared occupying troops.

My Franco-Prussian War collection is, for now, very focused on the initial "Imperial Phase" of the war, but for skirmishing purposes I want to get from Franc-Tireurs organized.  While of course many of these bands were led by men, the women of France played a critical role in these efforts too, and I wanted my band to be led by one.  Thus I present Mme Clergue...she is on a hex-shaped base used in our skirmish games to denote senior officers. Standing with an innocent basket (loaded with baguettes and spare ammunition), she will be coordinating the efforts of the resistance in her local district, ready to show the Prussians that France is not vanquished yet...

We also have one early recruit, who looks to be sporting some kind of volley pistol(?) - should be entertaining. Watch for this band to grow as this edition of the Challenge goes forward.

Sparkling wine is a favourite! This is Paul Mas Cremant de Limoux, from St. Hilaire. So, so, so good...
For refreshments on this lovely balloon trip I thought French wine would be appropriate (actually, French wine is always appropriate, but I digress).  Tonight we are enjoying a bottle of blanquette, a sparkling wine from Limoux.  I love the sparkling wine, of course, and enjoy pointing out the local claim that the monks in Limoux (actually, in St. Hilaire) claim to have discovered sparkling wine before the folks in Champagne came up with it...hmm...all I know for certain is that both are amazing!

Updated map showing travel to Piper's Peak and the Path of Imagination.
And so, I ask Lady Sarah for transport to Piper's Peak! Following our safe arrival, stay tuned for more, and thanks for looking!

For points, I have two 28mm figures, a ride on Lady Sarah's Balloon, and a bonus for some delicious sparkling wine - I hope that gets me 45 points, but of course will defer to the minions :)

Love the figures and the history lesson is excellent. I know very little about the FPW apart from the French lost and were a bit hopeless.


Thursdays Minion Ready

Morning all, hope you are all well. I have a cold, it's not coronavirus. The woman opposite me at work has been coughing all over me for 2 weeks, she's not Chinese, she's a Geordie.

Image result for geology jokes cartoons

Time for more painting joy, so get painting