Wednesday, 18 February 2015

From Evan&GrantH - 28mm Canadian 1st Parachute Battalion (100 Points)

Okay folks we have something rather special for our final post today. Evan and Grant are nephews of a very good friend of mine out on the Left Coast. Evan is 12 and Grant is 17. Both of them have been great supporters of my blog over the past few years (thanks guys!) and so I thought I'd broaden our horizons and invite them to participate in this year's Challenge.  While I understand that they've tried a few figures in the past, this is their first full project submission. As you can imagine I'm pretty excited to be able to introduce these two young men to both our hobby and to you, our merry group of paint jockeys. So, please give a warm welcome to Evan and Grant. Take it away boys...

Hey everybody,

A while ago, a couple of friends and I started to mess around with games like Bolt Action and Firefight: Normandy, and we determined that we wanted to create units that were unique to our playing styles and interests. While they chose the massive manpower of the Red Army and the heavy armour of the Panzergrenadiers as their key units, I decided that a small professional group of soldiers from the British Commonwealth would be best suited to my play style. So, I settled on the elite soldiers of the Canadian Airborne.

The First Canadian Parachute Battalion became a part of the British Sixth Airborne for the duration of the Second World War. They fought throughout the Western European theatre in battles for Normandy, The Ardennes, Belgium and The Rhine. They shared many similarities with their British counterparts, as far as equipment and colour palate goes. Things like the Lee-Enfield, and Vickers machine guns as well as the red berets of the Airborne were shared between the British and Canadian Battalions.

So here are the first twenty of the Canadian Airborne for our initial submission!

The Vickers HMG behind a mound.

The Lieutenant ordering the charge.

The Sten gunners.

The Officers and Riflemen. 

My brother and I should have more posted soon, as well as the anti-hero for Curt!


Grant and Evan 

From Curt:

Fantastic work guys! Considering that these are amongst your first painted miniatures I'm incredibly impressed (I can tell you my first efforts were a bit of an embarrassment). I like that you've kept their berets a touch more maroon than pure red (a common slip) and you've a great handle on their Denison camouflage smocks, which can be quite tricky to pull off. 

If you're interested, and  haven't seen it already, I highly recommend the docu-drama 'Storming Juno' which has a section dedicated to the 1st Canadian Paras at D-Day.  It's quite well done and a wonderful testimony to the men who served that day.

Finally, with your grandfather being a proud officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force I'm sure he'd be delighted to see you submitting these men representing his home country.

Well done boys!

From MartinN - More 28mm Greyscale Viet Minh (31 points)

I'm still recovering from a nasty flu which knocked me out for over a week. While being quite pleased with my progress over the Challenge so far I find it always rather hard to get the juices flowing again once I hit the proverbial wall.

By now I'm feeling pretty comfortable with greyscale so I painted up the last of my Viet Minh to get back on track again.

As Curt already has pointed out my interpretation of greyscale probably has more of a heavily desaturated look than true black/ white approach. But as I'm still looking for a way to make the opposing forces look slightly different to each other I might still try a 'proper' greyscale on the French paratroopers.

By now most of you will probably be aware of me being a big fan of Mr. Hicks' work. The only thing I'm almost always struggling with is the faces. He has a certain way in how he sculpts faces which makes his work instantly recognizable but that doesn't really fit my painting style. I still get the faces done up to a standard I'm happy with but it's almost always a chore.

As I already said at the top these six guys are the last of my Viet Minh force so far. Unfortunately Redstar Miniatures don't supply the Viet Minh with separate heads whereas the French come with an abundance of different head options. So as long as they don't add more poses to this range I'll probably have to make head swaps if I want to expand the force.

So all in all todays submission should give me another 30 points. In combination with my 'Hot' themed entry this should see me exceed my 750 points target.

From Curt:

I'm just loving this project Nick. Greyscale is one thing but I have to say that I still prefer your desaturated approach to these figures - I think they  look terrific (especially with the corresponding groundwork - brilliant).  

In regards to the absence of head options with the Viet Minh I have to agree with you, I wish they had the extra sprues that the French figures have. Nonetheless, from what I understand from chatting with the RedStar fellows is that they have big plans for this range, so we should be seeing dedicated sapper teams, anti-aircraft crews, gunners, etc. This is pretty exciting stuff for those of us who are into this period. Now it's just a matter of getting enough of Paul Hicks' time to get the work done!

I'm giving you an extra point for the mortar as I very well know how much of a swine it is to put together with the crewman also holding it.

Great job Nick!

From MartinC - The Iron Hand of Mars (65 points)

Earlier in the Challenge I found some long forgotten Dwarf Legionaries which I loved. I found some more at Black Tree Design and purchased these 12. However BTD have had some logistic issues due to sales and flu, so they took 6 weeks to come. They arrived last weekend, with an apology, and are great, will definitely go back to buy more from them.

These are the Iron Hand of Mars (maybe it should Odin, named after the Lindsey Davis book about the hen-pecked Roman detective Marcu Didius Falco.

I've really got my new painting style moving forward now. Grey primer, much thinner paints and several coats. Still need to improve the technique as paints are often too thin, too thick or the washes just looked blocked but at least they look smoother and more detailed. Practice practice practice.

Bases are painted with thinned down PVA and poster paint, dipped in beach sand and then sealed with thinned down PVA, standard stuff for you lot but pretty new for me.

The next figure is from Hasslefree, also came on Saturday as part of my bonus submission purchase - I got 4 pacels on Saturday and it's not my birthday until Thursday. Recently there has been a conversation between Curt and Tamsin regarding 1/2 nekid women as opposed the muscle bound space marines on display. So her she is, an unusually buff, half nekid dwarf berserker(ess?, ix?, ice?). What is the feminine of besrerker, is there one, should there be one?

Side boob!

Is love and kisses the obligatory sign off to Curt now?

From Curt:

Only if you mean it. :)

Great work Martin - it's been wonderful to watch your progress with the brush over the past few months. I'm both delighted and humbled to have the Challenge serve as a catalyst for a hobbyist's work. 

I'm always a bit surprised when I see these Dwarven Roman Legionaries. I really shouldn't be as the stout little buggers are in sci-fi as well (or, well, they were - poor old Stunties). 

The Berserktrix is fabulous. I quite like her side-stubble (and, yes, the side boobs as well). Nonetheless, I think you need to give her some wicked woad tattoos and a few stripes down her trousers to make her completely badass.

Finally, I see that you've bashed through your second points target of 2K - congratulations!! Now, keep up the steam to 2500, I know you can do it.

Well done Martin!

Voting Results for the 5th Theme Round: 'Hot'

The 'Hot' round was a great success, with many excellent entries, a stream of visitors and a healthy number of votes cast. We were well entertained with many interpretations of the theme, from hot babes to hot water, from the heat-shimmered halls of Moria to the sweltering sands of North Africa. 

Yes, there was much hotness. 

Alrighty! Moving right along, here is a rundown of the stats:

The Top Ten

The Stat List Entire

The top five runners-up are:

BrendonW's 'Slay-o-matic'

ScottB's 'Tauriel'

MartinC's 'The Thing (1982)'

MartinN's 'Berlin 2427 km'

AnneO's 'Snake!'

Tied for Third Place is RichardC's 'Napoleon and Ozymandias' and MichaelA's 'Old Nick'. Both of you fine fellows will receive a 25 point bonus for your excellent work.

Second Place sees another tie! This time it is shared between my 'Bring up the Guns. The English are Landing.' and BurkhardS' ferocious 'Balrog'. We'll both get 50 points to add to our respective tallies.


Finally, in First Place we have ByronM with his stunning 'Satan the Hottie'!

Congratulations Byron! This was a spectacular piece of work and well-deserving of First Place. For your efforts I'm delighted to present to you a gift certificate from the good folks from Dragon's Den Games. I'll get in touch and we can sort out the details.

Okay folks, this upcoming Sunday's Theme is 'Comedic' so I look forward to seeing all your hilarious entries by Saturday night or the joke's on you. Geddit? The. Joke's. On. You. 


I'll just go and get my coat.

From IanW - Something Nasty in the Woodshed (7 points)

I have had this figure finished for a few a month now but wanted to keep it under wraps until after introducing it to my roleplaying group. That's been put off due to my wife's injury but finally she was game fit  ;-)

This fellow is from Darksword Miniatures and whilst I did not have any use for him when I saw him I knew I really wanted to find one. The model came in about four parts and went together fairly well with minimum fuss or flash. It's on a display base as it's up for grabs between the players after it's been used as it's a one off monster and won't get used again. If none of them want it then it would be sold on e-bay to pay for more monsters etc.

It's got great detail and the confrontation happens in the woods so I wanted to set the scene by adding the trunk and some undergrowth. As far as painting went it was easy to work on though it's a bit heavier than I am used to as it's a fairly big figure.

They are classed as 28mm figures though I find them somewhat larger so I guess Heroic scale, still the quality of the figures makes Darksword my preferred supplier even though they are quite expensive outside GW

The figure is called Nightmare Beast SKU DSM1228 though I have a slightly different approach in my campaign. The adventurers have now met the beast but have yet to have that final deadly confrontation. This beast will give me 5 more points and the gang kittens.

I leave you with a Foundry Cowboy for scale comparison.

From Curt:

Oh, what a wonderfully horrific beastie Ian!  He's kind of lupine, like a werewolf, eh? Very cool. I find werewolves particularly creepy, probably because I saw close-up several timber wolves when growing up on the farm and have always been impressed by their power and intelligence. I quite like the custom base you've made for him. I think it does a great job in setting the tone for his upcoming meeting with the players. Poor buggers...

Great job!