Monday, 17 February 2020

From SimonM: "Wizkids" The Abomination (5 Points)

This 43mm tall pre-painted plastic model of Emil Blonsky's alter-ego, the Abomination, is produced by “Wizkids” and is miniature number 049 from their Marvel “Heroclix” Xplosion range. "Introduced as a KGB agent and spy" who would go on to deliberately expose "himself to a greater quantity of the same gamma radiation that transformed Bruce Banner" into the Hulk, this human mutate first appeared in the April 1967 issue of "Tales To Astonish" and was created by Stan Lee and Gil Kane.

Having previously completed Chinese scientist Chang Lam's incarnation of the Abomination from “The Ultimates” comic book series by "Marvel Worldwide", I thought I'd initially undercoat the original Ravager of Worlds with two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Green and doused him with plenty of "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green. I then gave the "large scaly humanoid" a dry-brush of (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Green" so as to help bring out all his sculpt's marvellous details.

With the bulk of former Agent R-7 completed, I set about pigmenting his trunks with a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade, as well his irregularly-shaped teeth with "Vallejo" White and "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade. Lastly I dotted the Abomination's eyes with a couple of spots of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre, tidies them up with a line or two of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, and finally shaded them with a little Agrax Earthshade.

Nicely done Simon! Always nice to see another "Abomination" moving forward in the The Painting Challenge :)


From Paul O'G: Wiggles tour the Eye of Terror (30 Points)

Anyone who ha parented in the last 20-30 years is probably aware of the Wiggles. Starting life as a conventional band called The Cockroaches they converted to children's entertainment, with an early learning theme and reinforced by a bunch of loveable characters including Henry the Octopus, Wags the Dog and my favourite, Captain Feathersword.

Anyway, I was painting some 40k Possessed Chaos Space Maries when an evil idea took root, and thus this:

 became this:
The Wiggles were touring Cadia when the 13th Black Crusade was launched. Captured by a fascinated squad of Slaaneshi Noise Marines, they were taken captive and sent to the Eye of Terror (which has had some impact upon them - and they now try to consume the youthful audiences).

And here the gang is joined by the Possessed Dorothy the Dinosaur:

I'm sure I just triggered a bunch of you with long forgotten songs that will now float around your head all day - you're welcome!  5 x 28mm figs = 25 points.

Skull-o-meter: a paltry 3 noggins to the pile, now sitting at 87.


I must confess I am fortunate to be free of any recollection of The Wiggles.  But that said, I cannot say enough about how much I enjoy the dark humour on offer here.  Consume youthful audiences indeed! This is hilarious, well done Paul. An extra five points for hilarity!


From PeterD Bengal Lancers for Millsy's Millpond (60 points)

This challenge location (paint a mini dating to the 20th century) was both easy and difficult for me.  Easy because I had lots of figures dating back to the 80s and hard because I had to choose only 1!  In the end I opted for two figures that I acquired at the very end of the 1990s foregoing extra points for figures that I actually wanted to paint.

I have two 25mm cavalrymen from Minifigs Colonial range representing members of the 10th Bengal Lancers (Hodgson's Horse) on the North-West Frontier.  Like most current regiments in the Indian Army, the regiment was raised during the Indian Mutiny (or First War of Independence) and is still in existence as one of the armoured regiments in the modern Indian Army. I base my painting on the figure on the cover of the classic Osprey (I obtained my copy used in 1991 in Ottawa).

The figures have all the classic minifig's attributes - stiff toy solder pose, limited detail but a lot of simple elegance.  And like all minifigs they take a coat of paint nicely if treated with proper respect.  I used figures with swords as the lance armed figures in the lead pile suffered from droopy-lance and I wasn't in a converting mood.  I kept the paint job fairly toy soldier simple but tried to make basing that looked suitable for the Khyber and similar locales.

Like many a tail from the the North West Frontier the details are a little hazy on the back story on the figures, but here goes.  I think that I acquired these circa 1999 and most certainly was gifted them by my old gaming pal Ross MacFarland owner of the Battle Game of the Month blog.  I relocated from my native Halifax, Nova Scotia to Regina, Saskatchewan in February 1998 (long story suffice to say that I've always believed that if your going to C*ck up your life, do a thorough job of it).  I know that I started my Wascanastan project immediately on arrival, inspired by Ross' With MacDuff to the Frontier Rules and project.  If you were poking around the inter web circa 1999 you may remember my AARs posted under the guise of the Peshawar Gazette on Ross' older blog.  By that time Ross was making the transition upwards to 54mm scales and gifted me a variety of wonders from his lead pile, I think this took place about 1999 during a trip home.  I don't know when Ross got these figures but certainly no later than the mid 90s and possibly much earlier.  You never can tell with Minifigs, indeed the same figures are still available today from Caliver Books.

There are also two family connections to the NW Frontier and the Bengal Lancers.  The first is that my Great Grandfather was an officer in the Northamptonshire Regiment and served in the Tirah Campaign of 1897.  My dad has great grand dad's medal from the campaign and my grandmother was born in India while great granddad was posted there.  The second is that my mother was a member of the Halifax Junior Bengal Lancers, a Nova Scotian youth horse group.  In 1949 she was part of the group that performed a Musical Ride at the Canadian National Exhibition in getting very good reviews in the Toronto press.  I have seen photos of 16 year old mum mounted and lance armed in Tunic and Topi but could not find a copy.   She did cut quite a figure.
Points wise that 2 25mm cavalry men at 10 points each plus the 30 points for the Challenge Location.  I will leave it to the minion du jour to judge the points worthiness of the "this is how I got the figures" and "mum was a Bengal Lancer" stories.

That makes my fifth Challenge Location and my fifth merit badge, so I'll be booking a balloon ride to the Snowlord's Summitt shortly.


Fine work here Peter.  But now I have to figure out bonus points? Oh man. I hate thinking. In fact, I'm pretty sure making me think is some sort of points penalty...checking over Millsy's guidelines, I'm pretty sure you have 10 bonus points here, so all in you have 60 points.  

You are right, there is something classic about a Minifig, isn't there? Great to see some classic metals getting some paint. 

No doubt the Snow Lord is anticipating your visit...but let's see if you manage the balloon ride first :)


From AlexS: More Jungle, More Huts! (65 Points)

Hello everybody! My name is Alex and I continue to work on my Pirates project. It is very important for any project that it should have everything - good miniatures, good terrain, good rules, and good players.

I did the main thing - I found good players. Now I am doing terrain and painting miniatures. Maybe I can even find some good rules. But this is the last thing ...

Terrain, as always, is made of materials that can be found in the bin or bought very cheaply. Artificial plants for the aquarium, sticks for seedlings from my wife’s stocks and faux fur for my children’s fancy dress - this allowed me to create another corner of the island in the Caribbean or Madagascar, which was the same pirate capital as Tortuga, though in another ocean.

I hope this gives the feeling of exuberant colors and abundance that I had while watching classic pirate films - I recently revised them for inspiration.

I also made a miniature Indian pirate from parts from the sets of brothers Perry and Warlord. It seems to me that he will perfectly reflect the national motley that was in the pirate teams.

When measuring, I counted 3 incomplete cubes with a side of 6 inches, which gives me, as I think, 50 points. In addition, the 28mm walking model gives me five points. Total 55 points.


Hello again, Alex! Well, between yourself and Miles, there is a very warm and humid terrain theme emerging.  That's a nice break for me, since it is -20 degree celsius outside my house today. As always, your tremendous ability to conjure top-shelf wargaming terrain out of bits and pieces of different things continues to impress. 

My calculations provide you with 60 points for the terrain, and an additional five points for the figure. So 65 points it is!


From PaulSS: Confederate 3-inch Rifle (30 Points)

This weekend I finished off another artillery piece from the Perry Miniatures artillery set that I've been working on.

This time the gun is modelled as a 3-inch rifle.

The barrels are solid cast, but I drill out a few millimetres  with a pin vice to make them look a little less flat.

On this one I even remembered to paint and add the bucket that comes on the frame, very handy if you are a gunner!

This crew is all posed as if they are re-positioning the piece to face a new target, #1 and #2 maneuver the wheels while #3 hauls on the hand-spike and the #4 coordinates the efforts.

All are painted in a common uniform, a base-coat of VMC Basalt Grey for the kepi and coats and a base-coat of VMC Neutral Grey for the trousers.

A 28mm gun and four more gunners should add me another 30 points to my total.


Great work Paul. I always find painting artillery to be such a chore. I appreciate that you put a lot of thought into what the different crew are doing, so each base looks like a sensible story when complete.  Fine work here - and top-shelf brush work too! 


From MartinC - The Archaeans Reach the top of Snowlords Peak (180 Points)

Ajax was tired, the climb to the top of Snowlords peak had been long and arduous. He wasn't build for long distance travel, he was the man to stand by in the clash of bronze, and his shield was so heavy, He couldn't leave it behind, it had saved him so many times.

He looked around him at the perfectly flat top of the mountain, strange he thought, a wise and industrious man must have done this. As he looked behind him the rest of his crew started to arrive at the top with the symbol of Poseidon on their shields

Finally they were all here and joy filled their hearts

They gathered together to perform the Pyrrhiche on the lovingly tended flat topped peak. As they moved though the familiar steps their hearts filled with joy and their voices sang out the paean



The Snowlord looked on, it was hard to tell if he was pleased or displeased, Ajax urged the men to sing louder, if the Snowlord was unhappy maybe Poseideon would look kindly upon them, although it was a long way to the sea. Failing that Ajax was strong and he had 29 men with him who would fight and fight well.

It had been almost a week since they arrived at the top of the peak and still the Archaeans danced and sang waiting for the Snowlord to decide their fate. I wonder what could be keeping him. maybe he had to sit down when Ray interrupted wearing, well I daren't describe it.


This is excellent Martin. I really enjoyed the write up - it has an almost Homeric cadence to it that helps set the scene. It's also great seeing these old figures from Foundry. While perhaps a bit small compared to today's offerings, they still have wonderful character (those bronze and plank shields are particularly excellent).

As to points, we have 150 for Ajax and his companions and 30 bonus for Snow Lord's Peak for a total of 180. A nice bump for the roster AND it places you in first place in the points standings - awesome stuff. 

Finally, as your prize for Snow Lord's Peak, I present to you (and let's try this again) an impressive brace of Sherman Fireflys from your friend James to add to your WWII collection a shiny red motorcycle and rider from our esteemed camel herder, Dave. 

Well done Martin!

From MilesR: Welcome to the Jungle 2.0 (375 Points)

Well it has been just about a month since I've been able to post something to this years Challenge.  To be honest, February has been a very difficult month as my son is struggling with a serious health issue.  While I may not have been present, I wasn't away either and the friendships I've made in this silly hobby both at my club and online with this community have been very welcome distractions and sources of strength.  I can never thank you all sufficiently.  Enough with the sentimental stuff.

You tube has become a fairly important source of hobby inspiration for me over the past year both as a viewer and content provider via my clubs channel - Little Wars TV.  Yes, that was a shameless plug - want another one? watch the D-Day game video, especially at point 20:37 - I seem to have that playing on a constant loop....

One of my favorite how-to terrain making channels is called T-T Lenny's Terrain and Gaming Tables.  He has a superb series on Jungle terrain which I've pretty much pirated.  They say mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery.  After seeing Lenny's videos I realized that I both need to make some new Jungle terrain but also redo some of the terrain I made back for another challenge.

Towards the front of this pictures are the new sections - there are 15 in total.  I think they came out grand and really captured the meso-american theme I was going for.  Why that theme?  Well I'm working on a new convention game concept that is similar to the DAK & Dragons WW2/Fantasy games I've run in the past.  The working title is "ANZACS and AZTECS" and I'll leave you to ponder the deeper meanings of that title.  I was planning to run this game at Cold Wars in March but real life events have changed those plans.  Maybe Fall in later this year.

Each of the new Jungle sections has at least 12 different types of ground textures used to make undergrowth.  All of the palm tree have been painted and washed several shades of tans and green and the vines are custom made by yours truly.  I think it gives off a very nice effect but there's still room on the bases for figures.

The Palm Trees and Bambo were purchased off AMAZON (all hail Jeff Bezos) and I think I spent less than $30 bucks on them.  There are still a few spots where the glue is still drying (whitish areas)

The rocks are cork bark - this is the first time I've worked with cork bark for scenery and I really like it.

The undergrowth is still drying - it will take several days for it to set but it will still have a "damp and icky" look to it - just like a real jungle.

Here's a shot a test piece a I made a bit earlier - it shows how the ground cover cures to a slightly lighter but still damp looking green.  I wonder what creepy-crawlies are lurking under that ground cover waiting to pounce upon an intrepid gaming figure?

I also stripped down and re-did a bunch of my old jungle sections to match the new style.  These are going to make their way north to a certain snow lord who has requested some Jungle terrain.

This was a very fun project and a welcome relief from real-life for a bit.

Pointage - well thats a tricky one.  Let's break it down into 2 different groups.

Brand New Jungle Terrain:
When squished together the new stuff covers a 18 by 48 inch foot print and is, on average, 9 inches high - so that's a base volume of 7,776 cubic inches.  Now wait - theres a whole lot of air in there so let's cut that in half, so now we've got 3,888 cubic inches.  Divide that figure by the magic 216 cublic inches per terrain scoring unit and you get 18.0 terrain cubes or 360 points.  That feels fair but, as always, I defer to the minion of the day.

Recondition Jungle Terrain:
While it's been completely re-done, it wasn't 100% done for this challenge - I didn't recut the terrain bases and the palm tress where painted (and counted) for Challenge 8, so let's go with ZERO points for the reconditioned stuff.  To be honest, I just included it as proof so a certain snow lord calls off his collection goon.   That Prof Douglas guy moonlights as a debt collector for the Snow Lord and he's damn scary.

Well there you have - my Jungle Terrain 2.0


Hello Miles, great to hear from you again! I know I speak for all Challengers when I wish you the best as you go through a difficult time.  We all send you our best wishes, and hope the community, camaraderie, and distractions of the hobby bring fun and support.

And it is certainly fitting that you would share with us a submission that is worth at least 300 points, right? This is a major bombardment of terrain much work on terrain almost makes me fall off my chair, I can't even contemplate that! I feel like a hobby hero when I manage to paint one 10mm building.

As for points, your calculations on the new stuff are above reproach as always. But zero points for the re-done portion seems a touch rough.  I mean, it's not like you were "playing Donnybrook" or something else as vaporous. But I'm scared to attempt math calculations, so let's just add 15 points on my completely, 100% subjective "seems about right" scoring grade. 

Great stuff Miles!


From BenF - 20mm British Para Support (40 Points)

This entry is a few more figures for my Chain of Command British. Nick and Rich have been working on a supplement covering the Arnhem campaign, and so I thought it about time to add some missing bits and pieces to my Paras, as well as another PIAT team for my British. After 2019 being a year of many projects started, and none completed, a few mates and I have decided that 2020 will be 'consolidation year'. This means that we are currently having a focus on Chain of Command, and besides having three pint sized campaigns on the go, each matching up different players, it has given me a bit of focus to get some long term projects completed.

First off, here is a British Para .303in Vickers medium machine gun team. These are Britannia figures, and I did a small conversion by head swapping one of the figures. I do like the characterful Britannia sculpts, and feel that they do actually fit in fine with the rest of my force, which is primarily Battlefield/Blitz.

Next up, it's a forward observer team, again from Britannia. I've had a crack at painting a map with gridlines in the observers hand. This lot will be calling in some 3" mortar support in a chain of Command game soon.

Next, some snipers, two of which are required for a chain of command Para platoon. The chap with the hood is Battlefield/Blitz, and the other one is another Britannia sculpt. Another map for the hooded chap, just visible behind the tuft. I've gone for a dioramic approach for basing these, using some of the excellent taijima tufts and small shrubs.

Finally, the extra PIAT team. This is one of the superb new sculpts from Simons Soldiers. As with the other British infantry I posted, these are painted up as the 49th (West Riding) Division, with the polar bear shoulder insignia. Simon has been pumping out some brilliant new sculpts, particularly some late war Fallischirmjager and 1940 French. Some of his Volkssturm are on the painting bench, and I've just finished off a German grenadier gruppe for my Late War Germans. Short of an anti tank gun team, that should finish off my 1944-45 Brits, though I have been toying with the idea of getting a few sections worth of the new Adler British infantry in windproof smocks, for those 1945 scenarios.

So far as points, this should net me another 36 points (9 x 4 points).

Next up, it'll be a few 20mm German Landsers and a Volksturm commander for my late war Germans.


Great work Ben, I've got a ton of respect for anyone who can manage the camouflage of the British paras in any scale, particularly this nicely. Well done. 

For scoring, I (ab)use my minion powers to add extra points for crew-served weapons and tempting sanity by painting British para camo. Let's make it 40 points.