Thursday, 29 January 2015

From PeterD - 28mm Berber Light Horsemen (81 points)

OK, it has been several weeks since my last posting.  Part of this was due to illness, part due to a hectic time at work (relatively speaking, my work life is still way simpler than it used to be) and part due to problems with this @#$%&* unit!!

Anyway we have an 8 man unit of 28mm Berber Light Cavalry mercenaries to fight alongside my Andalusians.  The figures are by Hat and produced in a hard plastic, and as such as a little "lighter" than metal 28s.    But the effect isn't bad if one keeps the figures in separate units.  And as I noted on a prior posting, the horses have a very nice fine boned Arab look to them.  The plastics don't paint up as well as metals since the detail is not as clearly defined.  While the plastic is harder than Airfix or Ecsi it lacks the crisp details of the Perry or Victrix plastics.

Anyway I ran into two issue with these guys, both of them originating between the seat cushion and the paint brush.  Issue one was I decided to go with a black primer since there was to be a lot of white on the figures, and I thought it might bring some crispness.  This worked really well with the horses, as the leaving a thin line of black primer gave a very good shading effect and highlighted details.  But it work less well on the riders since it required a lot of second coats with lighter colours (like whites, creams and yellows).  And before anyone asks, I am a "fix the riders on the horses and paint them both as one casting" kinda guy.  Therefore the idea of priming the horses in black and the riders in white isn't gonna fly.

Issue two came when I decided to go for a "Berber Indigo" colour on some of the cloaks and head wear.  Great idea, but an Epic Fail on initial execution.  I used a "primary blue" acrylic with Black washes, and the end result was aptly described by my better half as "too shiny".  So I got grumpy and sick for a while and contemplated binning the lot, but fortunately thought better of it after a while.

One of the advantages of working on campus is that there are neat resources available, like an on site fine art supply store that gives me a staff discount.  So I pottered off to chat up the store manager for ideas.  Her solution for Berber Indigo was a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Carbon Black, plus an optional dab of Dioxazine Purple.  Those are the names given to the Artists Acrylics shades that I work with, but I am sure that GW and other modelling lines have similar shades available with gaddawful names at three times the price (end of rant).  It turned out that my Purple had been binned a while back so I went with the Black and Blue mix but it greatly improved the figures and I rather like the effect.  It also got the approval of my at home colour conscious quilter.  I don't what the visual equivalent of "perfect pitch" is, but she's got it.

The flag is free handed based on Moorish tile designs plus artistic (sic) license.

I am not super enthused by the photos, they came out very dark and I had to play with the exposure and thus messed up the colours a bit.  But these guys are off my to finish list and on the blog roll!

From MilesR: 6mm United Arab Republic Tank Regiment and some All Quiet on the Martian Front (263 Points)

I'm back - my apologies for letting work get in the way of painting.  First up is a United Arab Republic Tank Regiment for use in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.  I really like the "Fate of a Nation" Six Day War rules supplement for Flames of War but wanted to build out my force using 6mm minis to save cost.  Plus I think FOW plays just a bit better with 6mm mini's.

All of the miniatures are from GHQ and the vehicles are superb - some have more detail than 15mm models I have.  The infantry?, well more on that later.

 First up a Recon platoon with 10 PT-76's and small attached mechanized infantry platoon.

 An fully kitted out mechanized infantry company.  I found the GHQ infantry figures very difficult to paint and they are very delicate.  I am glad I tackled the Arab infantry first as it's the largest formation.   At least it's over with
 The main striking force - 20 T-55's

 10 T-62's - another venerable Soviet tank.  They really were't used in the Six Day war but this force will also be used for some '73 scenarios.

 15 t34/85's - think rolling cannon fodder!

Next up in 6mm will be the Israeli's!
 I also managed to finish up some All Quiet on the Martian Front figures - sorry for the awful pictures

 A unit of 12 Zombie troopers, equipped with "slicers"

 A platoon of US Naval troops - these will disembark from the Land Ironclad.

We've got a bit of snow here in Maryland and I had some visitors - a pair of foxes foraging for food.  They have a den about 100 yards into the woods and having them around really keeps the mice population down.

From PhilH: SCW Carabineros ('Cambelleros') Part 2 (25 Points)

Curt, you threw down the gauntlet - could I match your total for our 'Duel so Civil'? A gracious offer, though to do so would have been against the odds: two full painting batches in one week, when the previous one had taken me two. I couldn't do it, could I?!

Could I heck. Instead, late this Thursday, I offer half: five more Carabineros for my tally. I make that 25 more points, totalling a mere 70 points worth of my Spanish Civil War against your 125 Russian.

Empress Miniatures, these all wearing brown workers overalls and fairly ragtag equipment once again. 

And here they all are so far, two thirds of the section. Coming along, but alas, nowhere as quickly as urged. 

You win Mr Campbell! And with that, I'm off to bed. 


From Curt:

Ah, but Phil it was a heroic effort to be sure. I want to thank you for being such a good sport and giving me the impetus to chivy my RCW project along. 

While the first group of your Carabineros were fantastic, I believe I many actually like these more. I think it's the juxtaposition of their light grey-green peaked caps set against the browns and khakis of their monos. It gives a very cool effect.

So, as the winner of our duel I ask that this detachment be called the 'Cambelleros'.  Really, it's a small price to pay.  ;)

From Millsy - 28mm 40K Catachan Imperial Guardspeople (255 points)

This is the start of [ahem!] yet another 40K army I have had on the boil for [ahem! ahem!] several years now. This time it is the hard men (and woman!) of the jungle planet Catachan in all their 90s Perry-esqe metal glory.

Get in line men. There's undercoating to be done!
You can see from the first photo there's quite a few of them to go. In fact, I've added to them since this was taken (Quiet there at the back. Yes, I am talking to you Campbell. If you have something too say, share it with the whole class. No? Really? I thought not...). That photo was taken in 2007 so at long last the undercoat is properly cured and I can start painting... :-)

The first unit is Alpha Platoon, consisting of a 5 man command squad, 2 x 10 man infantry squads and a 6 man support squad. I've kept the uniforms a bit on the plain side (i.e. no camo) as I'm building them as a more vanilla force rather than the elite "Deathworld Veterans". I will include camo but it will only be on the HQ and Veteran troops to distinguish them on the table top. Being the first platoon they get the honour of the traditional red bandanna as well.

The command squad is loaded out with special weapons of the assault variety meaning they can fire on the move. It includes the only female in the army and I've painted her as a ranga (that's a ginger for the non-Aussies amongst us). For some reason GW generally has an aversion to female figures which is a shame as it makes no sense at all and might encourage more female players if there were more female miniatures to choose from.

Fluff-wise, the Catachan military probably don't allow females in their ranks, or at least those who are recognisably female anyway. Think of the "Have you ever been mistaken for a man?" banter from Aliens and you'll know what I mean. Regardless, when a wild-eyed, buzz-cut red-head turns up at the recruiting office with her own grenade launcher and an 18" carving knife nobody is going to tell her to go away now are they?!?

The two infantry squads also include more special weapons in the form of a meltagun for AT work and a missile launcher for both AT/AP. Everyone else gets the traditional lasguns a.k.a. "flashlights of the Emperor" to be making do with.

The support squad is armed with the iconic Catachan artillery piece in the form of the heavy mortar. I love the chaps with the trigger device which I think looks more like a TV or garage door remote control than anything you could use to rain death on the enemy...

Lastly we have an Elite unit of Ogryns, a futuristic ogre analogue. These are absolutely marvellous miniatures and a perfect example of what Games Workshop was capable of producing at the peak of their powers so to speak. They're packed with character and the detail is astounding.

I spent 10 hours on these 5 guys and it went by in the blink of an eye. I've made some some additions to mine in the form of 1/72 scale plastic headgear and water bottles. The fact they are perfectly in scale gives you an idea of the size of these chaps which stand roughly 40mm tall. I'm pretty pleased with how these turned out and it reminds me that when I take the time I can actually paint OK.

In total that's 31 x 28mm miniatures, 5 x 28mm crew served weapons and 5 x 40mm miniatures (at 10 points a pop according to Curt when I queried him on them). 255 points all up. Ka-ching!

So that's it for stage one of the new project. Next up is a Veteran squad, the HQ and special characters so loads more interesting metal and plenty of camo too. I might even try and get the whole army painted during this Challenge. Stay tuned...

From KevinS - 28mm US 3" Anti-Tank Gun (30 Points)

Here's another submission this week: a US 3" anti-tank gun and crew of four by West Wind. 

While not as detailed as those of some other manufacturers, I still like West Wind's "Berlin or Bust" range. The gun is nicely cast, and the crew show some uncommon poses. I particularly liked their obvious desire to make as much as they can out of the meager cover offered by their gun. 

Once I get a little more painting done, we'll see how these guys stand up against advancing Panzers. Pretty much everything was painted with Vallejo Colors, with the exception of the skin tones which are Foundry. I used Games Workshop flesh tone wash to give depth to the American uniforms, before highlighting with original colors.