Thursday, 25 December 2014

From Millsy - 15mm Sci-Fi 'Herbie Network' Army (194 Points)

This is one of those entries that makes Curt shake his head when I submit them. Firstly, there is the size of it (not so much points but what it entails). Then there is the fact it represents yet another significant change of direction from previous entries. Curt commented recently I just about gave him whiplash so with any luck this one will net me a full 360 Poltergeist-style head rotation. Here's hoping!

So what do we have here then? 54 x regular infantry, 2 x mortars, 9 x battle suit infantry, a mech, a command truck, 2 x missle carrying APCs and 4 x recon jeeps. Yeah, that's all of it. I present to you the Titan Marines Rigel 7 Desert Campaign Force of 3012NC... aka "Herbie Goes to Rigel 7". The army is designed for the Gruntz 15mm rule set but could be used for pretty much any future skirmish rules I guess.

First up is a Rebel Minis mech with missile pods and twin laser lances, perfect for chewing up enemy armour. He's supported by 9 x Khurasan battle suit infantry armed with a variety of hand weapons. Both absolutely wonderful models in their own way and a joy to paint.

Next up is a lot of 36 infantry in 4 units of 9. They are Rebel Minis "Titan Marines" and I love the models and theme so much I stuck with them, including their palette (something I very rarely do!). Heck, I even carried the name through to the whole project.

From here you'll want a little explanation before I start showing things off. All of the vehicles are actually Matchbox models. Yes, really. I've drilled out the rivets holding them together, pulled them apart, repainted, re-assembled and "tarted up" each and every one of them as something of a change of pace. I also made the "official" Titan Marines logos and vehicle ID artwork myself.

It all took FAR too long but was pretty darn good fun and the result is not bad I think. A smart man would have done it before the Challenge, but hey, this is me we're talking about. Here's what they looked like beforehand...

Argh! My eyes! The yellow! All the yellows! So many yellows!
OK, now we can move on. Next we have the force commander and his transport, complete with some sort of electronic surveillance gear (provided by Old Crow Miniatures).

Supporting the ground pounders are 2 x missile-pod armed APCs (some of you may recognise the pods as Battlefront Miniatures German rocket launcher bodies). These also carry troops armed with a mixture of shoulder-launched missiles and medium mortars for a little extra fire power.

And lastly there is 4 x 4x4 dune buggies armed with a mix of light projectile and light missile pods (again Old Crow). These dudes cruise the dunes and alert the units behind of incoming trouble, before firing a few shots off and then bugging out.

So all up that's 46 x 15mm infantry (92 points), 2 x 15mm mortars and crew (16 points) and 9 x 20mm infantry (36 points) which totals 144 points. I have no idea what the mech or the 7 vehicles are worth so I'll put that in Curt's hands and hope he's not too annoyed with me :-)

OK, one last group shot to finish off...

Hey Tamsin, maybe one day I could bring these lads round and go bug huntin. Nah, they'd probably prefer a stand-up fight I guess...

PS. Merry Christmas to each and every one of my fellow challengers and most importantly to Curt!
From Curt: Okaaay! Yes, this is a bit mental to be sure... Millsy, buddy, I think you need some meds to help you focus. You've been ALL over the place these past few weeks. The only saving grace is that you actually finish these crazy little side projects whereas most of us would get a few figures done and the rest would collect dust in the 'to-do' box. 
The Herbie the Love Bug scout car troop is completely cracked, but I still think they're awesome. So is your custom force insignia, though it does make me think that they're somehow fighting for an intergalactic TV network... 
I'll give you 50 points for the modified vehicles and the walker, so that makes it 194 points total. Wicked. Awesome job Millsy!

From MilesR: 28mm DAK Starter Army (320 Points)

First of all, Merry Christmas from St Michaels, MD to all of the Challenge participants and your families.  I hope each and everyone of you is enjoying a wonderful holiday.

My next submission is a 28mm "Starter" Afrika Corps army for either Bolt Action or Chain of Command.  I still need to add a few support unit options but the bulk of the force is done.  I tried a new speed painting method and managed to get the entire force painted in 3 days.

First up are 38 Perry plastic infantry from their box set.  As proven by past posts, I'm a big fan of the Perry plastics and these are really nice minis.  There is a good selection of poses and assembly time was very fast.   The uniforms are a bit of a mix of styles but the predominant colors are Vallejo Green-Brown and Iraqi Sand.  After doing a giant Napoleonic unit, returning to WW2 uniforms was a pleasant break.

Next up is a recon platoon made up of 3 8-Rads.  The models are resin casts with metal detail parts and come from Warlord.  To be honest, the resin casting quality was very poor and there was a good bit of repair / filing required to get parts to fit well.  The crewman is a converted figure from the initial Warlord plastic german set.

 I usually play Bolt Action for WW2 skirmish games and really like the 8-Rad - more from its iconic shape rather than how it performs in a game.

I use the tank commander figure to designate which vehicle is the command tank.  That reduces the chance my opponent gets confused as to which unit is which during a game.

The real punch for this forces comes from a platoon of 3 Panzer III J's.  These are the new plastic kits from Rubicon Models. Overall, I really prefer these models over their resin counter parts and would rate them a 9.5 out of ten.

The only criticism is that some of the deck details (tools, tow cables are a bit on the faint side and are difficult to paint).  Ohh those tow cables were really hard to paint (hence all the stowage on the back).

Like the 8-Rad platoon, the crewman is a converted Warlord Plastic figure who is urging his charges onward.  He kind of reminds me of a German character from the 1960's series "Rat Patrol".  Let's hope his table top shooting is better than his TV counterparts!

I've been very impressed with the Rubicon models and look forward to building a few other tanks from their line.  There are rumors that this force may even receive a Tiger tank in the near future.

The tarps either metal castings or some roll up tissue paper soaked in diluted white glue.  I'll be adding a lot more stowage to both the Panzer III's and 8-Rads once I source some 28mm Jerry cans and ammo boxes.

A bit more recon in the form of two motorcycles with side cars.  The models are from Warlord and while a tad fiddly to assemble are very nice.

In Bolt Action - motor cycles with side cars are a great little unit - they're cheap, fast, and effectively, a mobile machine gun nest.
In terms of additional units to be added to this force it will be mostly support choices - some medium mortars, artillery, a few machine guns and a few trucks for the infantry to trundle around in.
One great aspect of the Rubicon Panzer III kit is the decal sheet - it's very large and has lots of options.  I was able to do the decals for all 8 vehicles in this submission from one sheet plus a handful of crosses from a second.  As you can see from the photo there are a lot of decals left over and I've got a full third sheet!

Another nice thing about the decals is you can make a platoon of up to four vehicles with the sequential insignia numbers.

A frustration I have with most 28mm vehicle kits is a lack of decals - with the Rubicon kits that isn't a problem and the left overs take up the slack for Warlord, Company B and/or Blitzkrieg.  I highly recommend the Rubicon Models plastic kits.

Oops, in the decal picture you can see my makeshift paint pallet - it's the flat back portion of a clamshell package.  I use the deeper front half to mix washes or hold glue.

I use a "new" paint pallet for every project as I do keep a notebook on what paints/shades I've used to help me remember when I add on at a later date and having the pallet helps to remind me of the colors.

One addition that might be interesting is for each of the Challenge participants to post pictures of their paint stations and/or discuss their favorite technique or tool - perhaps at the conclusion of the challenge.  I'm always fascinated to see how others approach the hobby and given the quality of the submissions, I have a lot I can learn from all of you.

OK, this little submission should net a total of 320 points, based on the following:

38 infantry figures                   190 Points
3 x 8-Rads                                 45 Points
3 x Panzer III's                          45 Points
2 Half crewmen                          5 Points
2 Motor Cycles +2 crew, each  35 points (10 for each cycle, 5 for the drivers and half for the sidecar crewmen)

From Curt:
Wow, an incredibly impressive entry Miles! You certainly are firing on all cylinders this year as your pace is blistering.  I must say that even though those 8-Rads were an apparent bugger to prep and assemble, the final product looks excellent. I'm also quite impressed with these Rubicon kits.  As Kevin and I were mentioning earlier, it's annoying to have to source decals from a third party after paying good money for a 28mm resin kit. These Rubicon sheets look very impressive (I really appreciate the consecutive turret numbers for those working on complete troops/platoons of tanks). 
Just as a suggestion Miles, you might want to experiment with a light drybrush of a light khaki or stone grey to reinforce the impression of the dust and grit that, from photos from the period, seems so pervasive.
Great idea on the hobby areas. I'll have to make up a post showing my hobby nook as I too am always curious how/where people do their magic. 
Well done Miles! 

From Millsy - 28mm Savage Orcs (135 points)

I'm back again with more Savage Orcs for my rapidly growing army. This time it's 24 straight up Orc Boyz with hand weapons, painted up as Da Grey Skulz tribe. There are also three extra figures below...

Once again these are the second edition models sculpted my Alan Perry. I simply can't get enough of them and in fact another 10 arrived by post this week... :-)

You'll notice a lack of shields on these. I'm struggling to get enough of the old style round shields and am stuck halfway between newer style shields, something left field like a Zulu shield, or just waiting till I have enough. Decisions, decisions!

All my units of regular Boyz are in lots of 24, based 6 files by 4 ranks, all marching out in the rather neat movement trays supplied by Warbases.

The last three figures in the entry are a spare chap to fill out a previous unit, plus a second edition Shaman and a third edition War Boss.

So in total that's 27 miniatures for another 135 points to add to my total. Waaagh!

From Curt:
Another great addition to this army - well done Millsy! Like your previous boyz, I like their facepaint as it nicely breaks up the strong green tone of their flesh. Other than what you've shown us this year, what other units do you have for this force Millsy? Are they pretty much all 2nd Ed models? I really like how relatively bright these guys are; they'll stand out very nicely on the game table. Well done Mr. Mills!

From MikeP - Santa Viking and Wishing You A Merry Christmas (10 points)

This fellow was going to be my Cold entry but time got away from me.  At least he's ready for Christmas.  He's one of those bonus figures that Wargames Foundry like to ship with orders, a grumpy looking Viking chieftain looking suspiciously like Santa.  I wouldn't want to be on his naughty list.

Please forgive the crap pictures.  At least he made it on time to join me in wishing all my Challenge friends a very merry Christmas.

From Curt:
Ah, a wonderful vignette Mike and thank you so much for the Christmas well wishes - I wish the very best to  you and yours this holiday season.   
I really like the winter forest setting with the fallen tree, frost and ice. Actually, I think I saw this guy at the edge of our park this morning - which probably explains the pile of coal in the living room...
I say extra points for Grumpy Santa on Christmas!

From JamieM - Dreadball Veer-Myn team (44 Points)

The Orx team published a week or so ago inspired me to get out my Veer-Myn team, who had been sitting in their green undercoat, gathering dust for a while.

I find that I sometimes have excuses why I can't paint something - "I don't have the right shade of purple for the epaulettes", "I can't start them until I have all 400 figures that I need for the full army" or in this case "I don't have the little clear bases that DB players come with". I gave myself a stern talking to after seeing the Orx team and found, in about 14 seconds of rummaging in the garage, some wooden hex bases of the right size that I'd bought for some other reason, stuck them on and I was away.

I'm normally a man who washes any figures that move, but I decided I liked the weathered look of the armour and so didn't want to chance changing it too much with a wash.

I was even inspired to make some small change to the poses so that each model is slightly different, but it reminded me why I dislike working with Mantic's "restic" plastic as it's horrible to cut and re-position.

I like to think of it as a game of "spot the difference....

Numbers from the FoW soviet tanks, as that seemed oddly appropriate. The bases were black to match the standard futuristic pitch with an orange line to show the front and backs of the bases, as facing is very important in Dreadball.

I do like a good game of Dreadball, simple to play and fun.

From Curt
A very cool entry Jamie. I liked how upon reading  Brian's Orx entry you were inspired to get your own team based, painted and ready for the arena - well done! The Soviet number decals are a brilliant touch and your repositioning of the poses really adds dynamism to the team as a whole (I'm adding a few extra points for the effort). Great work!