Monday, 28 March 2016

Brett's Challenge - The Reveal Party

For my first time doing this painting challenge I managed to meet my goal and not make the wife mad! I also enjoyed seeing all the different things others had painted and pushing myself to paint more than I likely would have. Next year I will have a 6 month old so the likely hood of doing another 1000 points might be a stretch. Or so I am told by others with kids. Either way I will get some painting done next challenge!

Everything I painted together

I started out with the idea of painting the whole ACW Battle in a box by Perry Miniatures. However I quickly switched gears and ended up painting Kings of War first and would continue switching around through the competition. 

After painting up the Kings of war figures I switched to Flames of war and then back to Kings of war. I did this several times till I finally decided to move on.

Doing the USA vehicles it was my first foray into dealing with decals. While someone time consuming not as hard as I made myself think it would be.

The German group I painted up. Thanks to the comments on my first post of these guys I dont feel so bad about the camo/attempt camo scheme on them now. Still missing that dang base for those 4 Germans though!!

Finally made it to the ACW battle in a box set. I started out with Union soldiers. While just being rank and file these still seemed to take a good amount of time. 

Finally the last ones I painted up. The Confederates. I used different colors on their hats and pants etc to try and show they weren't as well supplied and they would use what they could. Even painted some of their pants union color as if they got them by raiding a union convoy. (or so I have read and been told, don't want to upset any history buffs)

So at last with the painting challenge over I am now on to a new painting challenge. I am to paint the new baby's room. It won't be quite as much fun as this challenge was. However it must be done and it will be a whole lot easier than painting a ton of minis!

The wife and I at our "reveal" party. I was told we had to have one of these parties and I was also told I had to wear the shirt. I believe I was promised certain "things" if I wore it. However I dare not ask for them now. FYI we will be having a girl.

Miles' Challenge - 6 Final Thoughts

 Per Curt's request, what follows is a retrospective post about this year's Challenge.  As you can see from the first picture, I painted a good deal of stuff.  I really like putting on convention games and the Challenge has proven to be an invaluable motivating tool in moving items from the un-painted to painted category.  Combine that with the wonderful camaraderie and the true friends I've made while participating and you have, for me, my favorite hobby event bar none.  One of the reasons I go a little overboard in painting is that it's just too much fun.  I think I do 80% of my annual mini painting during the challenge itself.

On the right side we've got a the following - A Napoleon command stand, a British artillery battery, some mortars 3 big infantry battalions (1 Canadian, 2 Portuguese), some native Americans and a parcel of WW2 Russians.  All of the Nappy stuff will be needed for my game this summer at Historicon.  If you're coming to the con let me know as I'm reserving choice commands for Challenge participants!

Down the left side you've got the fort from the defensive terrain challenge.  All bunch of 15mm FOW stuff and some WW2 German Pioneers and the 2 Ellies.  Of all the things I made during this year's Challenge, I think the fort will see the most use as it works for multiple time periods and I think came out rather nicely.

As we move to the "other side of the river" there's more Nappy / War of 1812 stuff with two gunboats, a British Naval Landing party and some crewman.
 On the hill, there is all the stuff I painted for "Frostgrave".  Why did I succumb to the Frostgrave virus? Really two reasons, one the games structure which is essentially a cross between Saga and D&D appeals to me and second (to my great surprise) my son has started playing D&D at college and I'd like to support his return to gaming any way I can.

The Templars on the left were down midway through the challenge, as was the Saurian rider but the rest of the stuff was purchased on the last Friday, prep'd & primed on Saturday and painted on the last day of the challenge.

Of course behind the mountain is the USS Wasp, which be the centerpiece of my game and was a lot of fun to both build and paint.  Of course, I haven't figured out where to store her.

Curt Has asked for us to post some pictures of ourselves.  In terms of how all of you see me, perhaps this image best conveys your thinking.  I think it a good likeness of the Reverend Reidy since the "incident"

 First a picture of my family, my giant, tech crazy son and my lovely but fierce wife who I fear one day will realize she can do a lot better than me.  This picture was taken last summer at Colonial Williamsburg, which has been a favorite vacation spot for us (what can I say, we're all geeks).

We're in brickyard by the clay pit which is used to make bricks.  One time when Sean was four he got away from us and ran right into the clay to help with the demonstration.  My wife ran in after him and got stuck and then I tried to help her and fell over - it was a grand mess with our son cackling maniacally as if he planned the whole thing....

Right after this picture was taken, my son picked me up and dangled me over the clay.  I had to remind him that I'm paying for college tuition.

I bought my first historical miniatures in Williamsburg also!

Lastly, an actual picture of me with the family all cleaned up and out for dinner.  We clean up pretty good.

In closing, I do have a few thank you's

Curt - thanks for creating this idea and seeing it through to the present form.  It's a fantastic concept and really something to be treasured.  I appreciate you allowing me to tag along.

Sarah - thanks for donating your husband for 3 months.  Then again we may be providing you with three months respite from his antics...

My fellow "Challengeristas" - thanks for making this such a wonderful social event in what can be a pretty solitary hobby.  I especially want to thank Mr. Millsy for being such a good sport - we tease because we like and respect you - yeah I'm sure it's something like that.

In closing, I will reveal the most importance source of my painting speed - a special chant that always works.  Please remember to use this awesome power for good and not evil:

"It is by spreadsheets alone I set my brush in motion.
It is by the juice of vallejo that brushes acquire speed,
the fingers acquire stains.
The stains become a warning.
It is by spreadsheets alone I set my brush in motion."

Sander's Challenge - Looking back...


At Challenge's end it's always great to look back and see what we have actually finished during those days of frenzied painting.
Let's see what I had decided to paint before the start of the Challenge.

On the picture above are shown, in no particular order:
- 4 Napoleonic 1:72 infantry regiments (some others were painted during the Challenge but are not in this picture). Done!
- 1 Napoleonic 1:72 HQ stand. Done!
- some 1:72 WW2 infantry figures. Done!
- A fair amount of 1:72 WW1 stuff amongst which were ANZACS, a Male Mark IV and some Artillery stands. Done!
- a unit of 1:72 7YW Austrian Cuirassiers. Done!
- 1 of the 5 squadrons of Star Wars fighters (the other squadrons had not been based or primed when the picture was taken). Done!
- My 28mm Dark Ages project, mostly in the plastic box. Pretty much none of these got painted during the Challenge excepting the characters from the Vikings TV series.
- In the foreground are the khaki clad CW 15mm Russians. Done!
- a unit of 28mm Napoleonic Prussians. Done!
I was not able to get it all in one photo so I made several and here they are. Not all painted mini's are in there because some are on their way to Canada and others were gifts and so no longer in my posession as well. 

 The painted Napoleonics:

 The larger part of the other painted figures:

 The Star Wars fighters:

If you ask me what I am most proud of it would have to be my Defensive Terrain Theme Round Entry since it got me a 3rd place in the polls and got me out of my comfort zone as far as modelling goes. I am by no means a terrain guru and doing this (over and over) till I found it right was an experience to be sure. 

Equally proud I am of my son's first steps onto the wobbly path that is our hobby and since Curt asked us to provide a picture including us I would like to re-post this picture of us two going at it! 

So what's up next? Well I am now going in strong with my Dark Ages project. I will try to create 3 Dux Britanniarum forces, Norsemen, Anglo-Saxons and Carolingians. Figures are ordered and mostly in and work has started on creating the forces out of the huge pile of plastic and metal frames and - parts. The first unit one could see, if interested over on my blog.

Let's end here with saying a BIG thnak you to all you fellow Challengers for making this an incredibly fun event to be part of, the Minions for all their great work and of course to our High Snowlord and the Kind Lady for sacrificing their private lives for such a long period every year to make sure we get our unpainted mini's pile reduced...

See you all next year!



Millsy's Challenge - The 4th!

G'day All,

Curt asked each of us to document our own Challenge achievements and since I almost never say no to the great man I happily concurred.

This year was a bit of an odd one for me. Not only did I not exceed my total for the first time, I also went backwards significantly in points terms on last year. I do have something in the way of excuses for that though. Firstly, after 17+ years with the same company I moved on and took up a new role. They're a wonderful mob and made the whole process an absolute breeze but it did take up a lot of my time over the last 5 weeks preparing for my exit at the old place and getting in a load of prep for the new.

Secondly, just after Christmas I was commissioned by the Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare to do all the design and layout work for their new Blood Eagle set of dark age skirmish rules which are now available via Nick at Northstar Miniatures. It was a ton of work but a very rewarding experience and I can't say enough wonderful things about Craig and Charles from MoGM.

OK, enough with other things I did. What about actual Challenge work? Firstly, the non bonus-theme stuff...

SAGA Norman crossbowmen

Various VBCW items

Warhammer 40K Catachan sentry guns

Warhammer Fantasy Chaos beastmaster and hounds

Warhammer Fantasy Forest Goblin spider riders

Warhammer Fantasy Savage Orc shaman riding wyvern

Frostgrave beasties

And now all six bonus themes... I decided to give the bonus rounds real good shake this year and see what I could achieve. It turns out I managed a first place, three x second places and two x third places. To say I'm a rather shocked by that would be an understatement!

Nostalgia - Fire engine and crew

Epic Fail - The summoning

Defensive Terrain - Motte and bailey fort

L'amour - The luncheon in the swamp

Nautical - Jennifer Dee, steamy tramp

Risk Taker - The attic workshop of Sir Michael Awdry

Lastly, Curt requested we include a mug shot as part of this post. You've already seen enough of me in various miniature guises, some of which involved masks (lets not go there again), plus also in fire brigade uniform. Seeing as Curt has developed something of a passing interest in things puffed and slashed I thought I'd treat him to a picture of a somewhat younger Millsy in reenactment kit from years ago, preparing for a hard days work and harder night's drinking as a standard bearer in a Swiss pike regiment.

That's a bearded Millsy on the left in glorious burgundy and crimson. Phwoar!

And that's about it. Hope you enjoyed my little recap. Thanks for all your wonderful comments and banter over my 4th Challenge. See you next year folks!

Millsy the Antipodean Minion

Stephen's Challenge

What I managed to finish, minus the Curtgelds...
 At the start of the Challenge with three months of non-stop painting stretched out in front of me, I had run all sorts of calculations to determine how many models I could paint if I just really applied myself... While I didn't reach any of those lofty targets I had set myself, I did complete a marvelous 53 miniatures and punched through my target of 500 points. Most importantly, not only was I inspired to paint a lot more figures than I would of otherwise, I had great fun doing so!

What I didn't finish, or rather, what has been thoughtfully prepared for the next Challenge...

A life-sized version of me.

Thanks Curt, and all my fellow challengers, for a fantastic three months! 

'Till next time...



Christopher's Challenge - Breaking the 500 Point Barrier

As per Curt's order request of a summery of our challenge and a picture of ourselves.

This challenge was my most successful challenge to date where I actually finally broke the 500pts barrier which has been dogging me for six challenges. I typically do not do the themed bonus rounds as the challenge for me is trying to get figures in my cabinet which leaves me little time to go off my focused periods which makes accumulating points all that much harder. I'm also a relatively slow painter. Hmm what other excuse can I find for my low points levels...... Even though I seldom participate in the bonus theme rounds I'm glad Curt does them as I enjoy looking at what folks creativity gets them up to.

Another high point was edging out my friend Nick (MartinN) in the Bavarian challenge and getting a very close win. Thank heavens he had work commitments and home improvements or I'm pretty certain he would have won quite handily. The winner gets to choose a figure for the other to paint and after pointing out the very, very small print which says the figure can be of any size I announced his figure to be painted was a 1/56 scale tank.:-) Yes, I'm taking advantage of Nick's excellent WWII talents to add to my collection. I'm sure after privately cursing my name and vowing brutal revenge in the next challenge he good naturedly accepted the task.

I'm really looking forward to the next challenge and who knows maybe I'll break 600pts! (no laughing please) Anyhow enough of my ramblings and on to what I did in the challenge.

Almoravid Black Guard
Almoravid Berber Spear/Bow
Almorvid Light Cavalry
SYW Russians
SCW International Brigade
Egyptian Professor of Archaeology
Archaeologist Adventurer

This is my very lovely daughter enjoying the height supremacy while visiting Scotland last summer. It was very windy and I was trying unsuccessfully at a decent smile unlike my daughter who showed how it's properly done.

Curt's Challenge - I Survived Another One!

Okay, I'll kick off. Here is me and my Challenge

103 x 28mm foot figures
16 x 28mm mounted figures
2 x 28mm artillery pieces
72 x 3mm mounted figures
16 x 10mm mounted figures 
150 x 3mm foot figures
22 x 10mm foot figures
1 x 28mm armoured car
1 x 28mm patrol boat
1 x 28mm French fort
4 x 28mm Dogs
1 x 28mm Bear

 60 Days
74 Friends
1 Great Time
 (and, hey, check out how I made this list
look like the silhouette of a beer glass. Now, how cool is that!?)