Tuesday, 28 January 2020

From NoelW: I see no Butte : Bromley’s Butte (45 points)

“I like big Buttes and I cannot lie,” as the old folk song has it – and that Butte ahead is certainly a big one. Big and butte-iful.

Our slight contretemps at the crossroads has sent us the wrong way again. Wouldn’t you know it? So, we embrace our fate like men who realise the only certainties are death, taxes and choosing the longest queue in the supermarket. 

Some might call it an inselberg, or perhaps a mini-mesa. Some might mistake it for a volcanic plug, or even an acclivity. You might even think it’s a bluff – but we’re sure it’s real.

Now, you may remember that, in our exploration of this island, we’ve more than once stumbled upon unanticipated armies. Not this time. We’re going in prepared. I chose three of our nosiest, quietest, eavedroppingest companions to secrete themselves among the scrubland, see what they can spy out, report back and, probably, be the first to run.

But there’s nothing there. Our intrepid observers report that the butte is as bare as a grisly, as uninhabited as a flock of ex-nuns, as unsettled as jelly in an earthquake, as covered in tenuous similes as a pensioner attempting to use emojis.

It’s only after we’ve turned away, heading once again towards the sea (The sea! Oh, how we’ve missed it!) that our highly trained patrol realises there are such things as lens caps, and that all our binoculars are as fully equipped with them as our observers are with stupidity.

(I only decided to write this little story this way after, in first trying to photo these figures, I had a serious panic that my camera had packed up. You may be able to guess why.)


Here are three more WW2 Italians, slightly more on the ball than my reconnaissance team. Or, indeed, me. Like my previous post on the Italians, they’re Perry figures (what else?) and there’s not much else to say. I rather like the prone figure, hidden amongst the scrub, and I’ve a certain fondness for the tropical helmet – which is surely amongst the weirdest of military headgear – so there may be more of these later in the Challenge.

Scoring: 3 x 28mm figures= 15, Bromley’s Butte: 30 = 45 points total

By Paul: 

The Italians in WW2 are certainly underrepresented by Wargamers in relative terms. After all, Mussolini did boast of his "8 million bayonets".  So its great to see some of the plunky little fellows in 28mm.  Personally, I think the tropical helmet is rather dashing - not far at all from the iconic pith helmet of the British!

That is quite an impressive Challenge Island map you've constructed there Noel - well done indeed
45 points chalked up for this submission.

From PeteF: Snowlord's Peak Challenge - Minifig Polish Lancers (162 Points)

Polish Lancers of the Imperial Guard

The final stretch of the Path of History running up to the summit 
And now for some mountain exploration - crampons and ice axe ready! If you've read many of my Challenge posts you'll know about my Napoleonic Minifigs obsession. With the occasional detour into Prussians I am slowly but surely building up enough French Minifigs to fight Quatres Bras with Wellington's Anglo Allied army (which I inherited from my dad and brother).

The Lancers of the Imperial Guard were present at the battle - although not much involved. There were quite a lot of them (880) - mainly Dutch (the ones that wore red uniforms). The first squadron of five consisted of 109 Poles, all that was left of the Polish lancers after Napoleon's years of campaigning.

Minifigs - small but perfectly formed

These gentlemen represent that squadron - dark blue and crimson uniforms and the distinctive czapka. Best hat ever. I added paper pennons - I think lancers look better with these so I'll be going back over the collection to add them.

Best. Hats. Ever.

An ill advised E-Bay purchase last year caused me to own more guard lancers than can be justified in one collection. The per soldier cost seemed too good to turn down - but left me with many more guard lancers than I will need. I managed to shift a few at a bring and buy - but a surplus will remain - even after I've painted some more Dutch lancers. Does anyone want to trade for French line or light infantry?

Eight areas explored

View of the path of The New Shiny

This brings me to the summit of the Snow Lord's peak and I am enjoying the view of the rest of the island - I think I'll explore some more... the paths of the New Shiny and Imagination look like they'll be fun.

Not what an infantryman wants to see

On the summit of Snow Lord's Peak

12 25mm cavalry plus the area bonus comes to 150 points.


Ahh, these are fabulous Pete (and great adventure pic of you)! I always enjoy seeing you add to your Napoleonic Minifig project, especially as it has such a personal connection to your dad and brother. 

I totally agree with you on the Polish czapka, it is the best hat ever. I've been lucky enough to have seen originals of the Polish lancer (and Red Lancer) uniforms at Les Invalides and Musee d l'Emperi in Provence and marveled at the craftsmanship of these garments - so beautiful. 

I have a similar project on the go, so your work here is great inspiration.

As to points, I'm adding a few more for the lance pennants (a nice finishing touch) which will give you a total of 162 for your tally. 

In recognition of your successful completion of the Snow Lord's challenge I am happy to award you MarkB's excellent Soviet Standard Bearer.

Well done Pete and congratulations on completing the Snow Lord's Peak!


From MikeW: 23* x 28mm Norman Foot Soldiers (113 Points)

Well the last few days has seen a stutter in my painted output, with work commitments getting in the way and time taken over the weekend with family commitments. The former are frustrating but it pays my wages, the later are much more welcome and fun to be involved with!

Conquest plastic Normans, built and
undercoated with white matt primer.
So knowing that I was going to get fragmented time to concentrate on anything, I dug out half a box of Conquest Games Norman Infantry, totalling 23 figures, including a casualty figure. Like so many wargamers I have a number of armies that I like to keep adding to – The Normans being one that I want to get to a size that I can run a linked series of 1066 Campaign Games at some stage.
Five mail clad Normans

Once I had built these little guys, I started basing them on 2 pence pieces as normal but soon found that I’d run out of loose change in my pocket and in the ‘piggy bank’ in the kitchen! Luckily is sorting through the drawers that contain my lead mountain a few weeks ago,  I had stumbled upon a pack of MDF round bases, sized the same as a 2 pence piece, so I pressed these into service. Usually I prefer the weight of a metal 2 pence piece as a base to a plastic figure, seems to add gravitas etc. But in this case I through caution to the wind and put plastic on MDF!

Four Normans in Leather Armour
I also took a short cut with the undercoating by venturing outside, between rain showers, to spray paint the figures with white undercoat, I use a cheap matte white spray sold by a leading Car Repair & Spares shop here in the UK! This dried very quickly and I was able to start painting a variety of muted and some not-so-muted colours for clothing on these figures. Some had leather coats, which I did in a rich tan colour and some had full mail coats for which I used my favourite colour Vallijho’s ‘Oily Steel’. This was also used on all steel parts on these figures – such as helmets, swords and spear tips.
Five unarmoured Normans, including as standard bearer
Once main colours were blocked in , I painted the spear shafts, all leather work – including shoes, belts and shield backings, before add in in flesh to complete the figures. I say complete but really mean – before going over each figure and carefully fixing my painting mistakes to complete them!

Five more unarmoured Normans
I used Army Painter Dark Tone on the figures to give definition and shading and then added decal shield patterns to each before I applied a matte varnish to each figure to protect and seal the wash and shield patterns.

Final four unarmoured Normans, including the casualty figure

Bases were done in my usual manner with sand and electrostatic grass, then adding a few tufts to taste. Finally I painted the edge of each base black – which is my preference.

Hopefully I now have a week where I can plough into a couple of large 28-figure ‘Floppy Hatted’ regiments, one Spanish – using the new North Star 1672 Spanish Range and the other an Imperial (Holy Roman Empire / Austrian) German Regiment…

So I seem to remember that casualty figures count as ½ Points, as you only need to paint half the figure – assuming that they are lying down. So I have counted the Norman casualty as 2 Points, instead of 2.5 – I’m sure no one can be bothered with 0.5 of a point complicating everything. As a result my points calculation is, as below.

22 x 28mm Foot Figures @ 5 Points ea = 110 Points
1 x 28mm Casualty Figure @ 2.5points = 2 Points
TOTAL  110+2 = 112 points

Great work on this stack of plastic Norman foot soldiers Mike. "Conquest Games" is another "new to me" sort of discovery, one of the things I enjoy so much about the AHPC.  I will now make sure to check out yet another manufacturer online later today :)

And you've done fine work here - the description of your process implies a relatively efficient, even speedy approach, but there is still a lot of thought and work to ensure variety in some elements and uniformity in others. And don't you love running out of bases? My hobby OCD compels me to have any figures in a given collection based on the same kinds of bases...knowing that some are metal and some MDF? How do you handle it??? :)

For points, I shall decree an extra point for the success of priming plastic figures between rain storms - 123 points it is! Does that seem silly? Well, that's what you get with Minions. We look forward to some 1672 Spanish!


From NoelW: At the Gates of Dawn : Piper’s Peak (90 points)

Leaving all hat-related disasters behind us, we stride westwards through the night until we reach yet another mountain. There seem to be quite a few mountains on this island. As we climb by the light of the moon, two clear reasons convince us this is not the SnowLord’s Peak. Firstly, it’s where we want to be, and that’s hardly worked for us so far. Secondly, the slopes glinting in the moonlight are strewn with pieces of broken aircraft which perhaps suggests we’re approaching someone who’s a little bit flighty. And surely no Lord of the Snow could be flighty?

We struggle to the tippest tip of the mountain, just as the first morning light strikes it, to show us a place where four roads meet. At the crossroads stands a young lady – well, I say “lady” – who, on seeing us points to each road in turn:
“Exits are here, here, here and here,” she says, “And, for anyone tempted to use the adjective ‘flighty’” – she rests her hand on her sword-hilt - “here.”

At that movement, shadows stir in the scrub, warriors garbed in green emerge, silver glinting on the peaks of their caps and in their hands.

We take the hint.

In the half-light, it’s not clear which of the four paths will lead us towards the SnowLord. Trusting to luck, we head downhill, hoping for the best. The sun is golden. The road seems clear and easy, even though we’re heading west. Things are looking up, at last. I’m beginning to feel that everything is going to turn out well.

Nevertheless, something tells me there’s a big “But…” coming.


These figures are Perry Miniatures Cape Mounted Rifles. Except they're dismounted, of course. This is one of the units that fought the Xhosa in the Cape Frontier Wars of the mid-nineteenth century. I chose this for Piper’s Peak because the peaks of this unit’s caps were edged with silver and were detachable, so an unusual feature of the uniform.

The Rifles were also uniquely armed with double-barrelled carbines, useful for the short range combat of the bush which made up much of the terrain the Xhosa fought in. Troopers in the unit were both European and mixed race. All of which adds up to an unusual force. 

These are nice figures, and the Cape Wars provide some challenging scenarios, especially for skirmish games. As usual, the Perrys have created some excellent sculpts which I found irresistible but, also as usual, they've been reluctant to find their way to the paintbrush. 

Scoring: 12 x 28mm figures: 60pts; Piper’s Peak, 30 pts = 90pts

Fine work here Noel - excellent brushwork, but also a pretty unique and original setting and submission, a fine way to visit Piper's Peak (and avoid any pique, but I digress). That is an interesting uniform to be sure - did I understand that properly, the peaks of their caps were detachable? If so, an easy thing to lose while on campaign, I expect! 

Great work on this unit Noel, 90 points for you. 


From EvanH: A Giant Figure For One Man (50 Points)

Greetings Challengers and Challenge Fans, my third fourth entry (third completed, fourth submitted) for Challenge X comes lumbering over the battlefields of the Old World in the form of this Citadel Giant.

This is my belated Curtgeld submission for Challenge X (don't worry, I cleared it with His Big Blueness earlier in the week), and is intended as a gift for my good mate Millsy.

Millsy has been run ragged fighting the fires which have been encircling Sydney since September last year, and has consequently missed out on his normal form of holiday relaxation, i.e., painting like a maniac.

Well, I couldn't have him miss out completely, and as it was his birthday a few weeks back, I dug out this old Giant from the Garage of Shame to add to his Orcs & Goblins army, or even use as a Mercenary Giant for his Dogs of War. Portability is the key!

I've left the base free of flock or tufts, so that Millsy can customise it to match the rest of the army. I'm quite pleased with how he's turned out, and I hope Millsy likes him too!

So 25 points as a Curtgeld submission, and as he's 110mm tall, I suppose that qualifies as the equivalent of two 54mm figures, which is 20 points, near enough. So if the Minions allow, he's worth 45 points!

More on the way, but for the moment, I've got a balloon to catch!

Stay tuned...!



Evan - this is really cool to see! It brings back so many memories of Warhammer Fantasy Battle - at least, it does for me, and hopefully for the other classic Warhammer Fantasy fans who are participating in The Challenge. In my case, the memories are not "oh, I painted that figure too", but instead are more "oh, wow, that is the kind of figure I hope I can paint one day when I figure this stuff out."  It is so neat to see a finished one!

And really, who wouldn't want to carry a big barrel of grog around, right?

I'm sure Millsy will love it. Great work. I'm adding five bonus points for the "holy smokes, one of those wish-I-could-paint-that-thing-one-day-things" having actually been painted and for the fact that it is quite large.


From: SanderS - Protocol gone Critical (120 pts)


If I am being honest I was actually saving these figures up for O'Grady's Gulch as I have painted these figures for a friend who's the owner of our FLGS. You have to paint something for someone else at the Gulch if I am not mistaken, but since I am painting stuff for 3 other people I can just as well enter this lot for regular points right now.

So a while back Martijn said: "Would you like to paint a set of Crisis Protocol for me?" I let the idea play around in my head. "If the figures are nice, sure why not?" I said, boy was I in for a surprise: there's really a LOT in the box!

Not only are the rules and usual gaming aids included in the box, there's plenty of scenery in there too! So a bucketload of plastic was awaiting me and of great quality at that. There's really good instructions to go with the 10 figures (including plastic scenic bases), two cars, a kiosk selling the Daily Bugle, some street-furniture and plastic rulers.

It took me far too long to get everything painted, the procedings were interrupted by the spell of correcting tests I spoke of earlier, but now it's all done.

The goodies!

From left to right: Black Widow, Captain Marvel (no idea really who she is), Captain America, Iron Man and Spiderman.

The cars are next. Basically there are two vehicles of the same type included in the box, but there's a small Cab-sign so you can paint one, like I did, as a taxi. 

 Next up are two streetlights and stop-signs. I know one should read STOP not HALT but I couldn't paint that right so I ended up with this.

The garbage disposals, stop those presses Threepio! 

My favourite scenery piece must be the kiosk! I embellished it with cut out comics of which I tried to find as many as possible, that featured the actual "heroes" supplied in the game.

I am no big fan of Marvel or DC, I have seen some of the Batman and Spiderman movies and some of the recent Netflix series, but that's about it. I am however a SW OT purist so some Star Wars references were in order.

The Baddies

From left to right: Baron Zemo (who?!), The Red Skull,Ultron, Doc Octopussy and Cross-bones

My favorite mini of the entire bunch (so including the Goodies) is Red Skull, I am extremely happy with the energy cube he is holding (energon? Oh no wrong franchise yet again!)

I almost forgot to show the rulers, they are cast in sturdy grey plastic as well and were a pain to paint well, since they either represent arcs of laser/e fire .
or movement. The latter (shown on the bottom of the picture) are the range rulers and the smallest one shows a heavy set figure running fast, the middle sized one shows the hulk jumping over some buildings and the last one shows a hero flying through the universe (Flash?) and even cutting a planet right in two.

Counting out the points is a real pain here... at the Minions pleasure to redact I'd go with the following:
- 10 figures of 28mm scale = 50 points
- 2 vehicles in 28mm = 40 points
- the scenery and rulers together is hard to measure well but doesn't really exceed the 6"cube much so I'd say 20 points?
Totalling in 110 points.

Spidey says: May the Force be with you!

By Paul:

WoW! That is quite the labour of love - must be a very good friend!

And you've pulled it off beautifully with crisp, clean colours that look spot on!  The terrain is fantastic too. Miniature comic books?  Seriously?  Awdry level awesomeness.

In addition to the figures I'm awarding 10 bonus points for the fantastic details across this whole project, for a total of 120 points.

Very impressive work Sander, your friend will be thrilled