Tuesday, 10 January 2017

From JamesonP: And, he's off... finally (5 points)

Our 2016 addition to the family added to both the enjoyment and exhaustion of the holidays. After an equally exhausting week back at work, I've finally returned to my nightly painting habit.

I thought I was going to start with something from my historical backlog - French Regulars for the French and Indian War or American Airborne for WWII. However, a recent game of Cubicle 7's Adventures in Middle-earth has got me painting Dwarves. This figure is from the Games Workshop Dwarf Rangers box.

I call him Borri the whittler after an NPC from The Eaves of Mirkwood scenario for Adventures in Middle-earth. I have his friends Snorri the smith and Hár the stone mason on the bench. I'll post them in the next day or so.

Minion update: this one snuck out onto the blog before Friday, but glad you've joined us Jameson with this fine dwarf. I'm a bit worried he chose the wrong career path though, a-rangering with that fierce beard. 

From EvanH - "Delenda est..." (23 points)

To quote the late great Douglas Adams, "I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they go by."

Yep, this is what I was working on for the 'Armour' bonus round, but failed to lodge my submission in a timely fashion.

This is Warlord Games' 1:56 scale M3 Stuart, aka 'the Honey', a US tank provided to the armed forces of Great Britain under the Lease-Lend program in World War II. It's one of the iconic fighting vehicles of the conflict, especially in the Western Desert campaign in North Africa.

Of course, I could have just left it at that; just do the tank! But no, I overthought it and found myself trying to be cute. North Africa has been the scene of so many conflicts, from as far back as the Punic Wars to the present day. How could I capture that tragic historical constant in miniature? How could I articulate the cyclical nature of human violence? And how could I do so without looking too much like a pretentious prat?

So that's where this spectral chappie comes in;

He's a ghostly Punic soldier, 'The Last Defender of Carthage' if you will. He's a Victrix plastic from their excellent range of Ancients. His spirit has been woken by all the carrying on as the Allies and Axis duke it out in Tunisia, and now he stands atop the remains of his burial cairn demanding answers.

I basecoated him in the old Citadel Bleached bone, highlighted with a drybrush of white, and hit him with some green ink to make him look 'woo-ooo spooky'. It's simple and effective and well within the capabilities of a myopic procrastinator such as myself. Although I'll probably dial back the green with a final drybrush of white for any future ghosts, spirits, or spirims.

Of course, the old fellow might well approve of the fact that the Eighth Army is driving the forces of that wannabe Caesar, Benito 'Ooh What A Big Fasces I've Got' Mussolini out of North Africa, and send them on their way with his blessing. So here is the scene where the modern world comes face to face with the Classical one;

So one 28mm figure nets me 5 points, while a vehicle in the same scale is 15 points. And it's only the third day of my holidays! (Think positive, Ev...)

Of course, there is the little matter of a Frostgrave duel with Mr Mills, but I don't want to overdo it - it's 3.30am as I write this, so no more painting for now, it's bedtime!

What's next? Who can say?

Stay tuned!


Alan and Paul: What a great, imaginative entry! What a shame you didn't get this in in time for the Armour round. I love the idea of  the ghosts of the classical past as witnesses to the continuing cycle of human violence. Lovely paint job on the Honey. That's 23 points in total, including a couple extra for the tank commander.  

From ChristianH - Well I am a bit late on take off but hey it begins. (212 points)

For my first round in Challenge number 7 I would like to present a mix of OOLLDD 20mm plastic WWII British infantry and some more up to date AB miniatures. I have regressed lately back to 1/72 scale WWII games (as with many I started with Airfix oh a long time ago in a galaxy far........wrong world sorry) and thought it would be nice to drag some old stuff from a box and make a platoon or two so this builds on my WWII that I put together over the last year. Images a little weak but I'll try better next time. Oh, thanks to all (especially Curt) for running the challenge again.
Command and Extras (some matchbox? told you it was old)

Mortar, MMG, observer, Medic and flamethrower

AB section

Plastic section

AB tankers not based due to the fact that the bases are, well, tanks

The whole group for my British platoon, two sections

PSC Sherman V Millicast Staghound 1/72

Sherman V closer with no decals, sorry but I have none at present and probably wont get any until I figure out what units fought with the Highland Division around Caen in June and July of 1944


Staghound, gotta love Tamyia rattlecans, and an our to spare.

Really nice little model of the Staghound and I love all the stowage

This makes up I believe 44 infantry with 3 half minis, 2 AFVs amounting to 200 points not including points for half minis??? And hopefully an extra 50 points for the armoured challenge.

Alan and Paul: 1/72 scale doesn't get nearly the love it deserves, and it's great to see these painted up. What rules are you going to use them for? The Staghound is my favourite with all the stowage. Unfortunately we missed that part of this entry was for the armour challenge, but Curt will be awarding you the extra 50 points, as you certainly got it in in time. With the tank commanders, this little lot earns you 212 points, plus the 50 that Curt will bestow.  That's a great start to your Challenge!

From BenF: A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far Far Away... (242 points)

Now that Christmas and New Years is sorted, I've finally managed to crack on with a bit more painting. The weather here has been rather extreme, with temperatures regularly above 35C - and consequently I've been spending rather less time than I'd like painting and more time at the beach cooling.

With the release of the exceptional Rogue One (I saw it for the third time on Sunday afternoon!), I've gotten back into playing Star Wars Armada. While the capital ships come pre-painted, the smaller squadrons come in a rather unappealing grey or tan plastic. So, my submission for the past fortnight is a whole shedload of Rebel Alliance and Imperial ships, along with a brace of Imperial Assault 28mm Stormtroopers for which I have nascent plans to get some games in with 7TV.

We'll start with the Imperial Stormtroopers. These are 28mm from Fantasy Flight Games, and despite the plastic being dreadful to clean up, they have come out rather well. I've got a bunch more Imperial Assault figures which I plan on using during the challenge to break up the monotony of painting units. Darth Vader and Boba Fett are next on my 'in case of painting fatigue, paint these' list.

Now, on to the Armada ships. These are I *think around the 1/600 mark, however really have no  idea. Below is a pic of a TIE Fighter and an X-Wing next to a 28mm Perry AWI figure for scale. Suffice it to say they are flipping tiny!

Ok, so the Imperials first. For your consideration, a swarm of twenty-one TIE Fighters. I painted some in the grey as per A New Hope, and some with the blueish tinge as seen in Empire Strikes Back. The fighters with the red stripes are 'aces' in the game.

Next, here are six each of TIE Bombers, TIE Inteceptors, TIE/D 'Defenders' and TIE Phantoms. All in the blueish grey as seen in Return of the Jedi. The Defenders and Phantoms are from the expanded universe and the Defender looks set to debut in this season's Star Wars Rebels TV Series. For the Defenders I tried to paint an engine glow.

Here are a few of the larger ships which act alone rather than in squadrons - two VT-49 'Decimator' attack ships, and two Lambda Class Shuttles. Again I tried out some engine glow techniques on these.

Here are four more large ships, this time the ships of the bounty hunters seen in Empire Strikes Back. From left to right is robotic hoodlum IG-88's 'IG-2000', everyones favourite Boba Fett's 'Slave I', Reptilian hireling Bossk's 'Houndstooth', and brining up the last Dengar's 'Punishing One'.

Finishing off the Imperials is Darth Vader himself with his escort of Black Squadron TIE Fighters, all ready to clear the Death Star trench of pesky Gold and Red Squadron rebels.

By my count, the Imperials have a total of 60 small painted ships, and god knows how many tiny black panels.. Phew! Now, on to the rebels

Starting off, we have the iconic ship of the Rebel Alliance, the X-Wing. Now I took a lot of extra time on these, replacing the bendy telegraph pole looking wing weapons with clipped drawing pins. They are painted up as Red Squadron, with individual markings for Red Leader thru to Red 12. While it seems crazy, I actually enjoyed the lack of uniformity with these guys, particularly after the TIE fighters. I copied the method (or madness?) was copied from Ica over at Rule 37 blog.

Next up, the support ships for the Rebels. Six each of A-Wings, Y-Wings, and my personal favourite, the ungainly looking B-Wing. I kinda went to town with the markings on the ace B-Wing squadron, but am happy with how they turned out.

Finally for the Rebels, it's a their larger ships, in this case representing a bunch of rogues. From left to right we have the 'Outrider', piloted by smuggler Dash Rendar, the Moldy Crow piloted by Jan Ors (this one should be familiar to anyone who has played the Star Wars: Dark Forces II video game), Han Solo's iconic 'Millenium Falcon', and a Scurrg H-6 Bomber 'Havoc' piloted by Nym. Apart from the Falcon, all are from the expanded universe.

A group shot, and the total for this pitiful little band is 34 ships, which brings the overall total of tiny ships to 94.

Tomorrow evening they will be travelling to my friendly LGS to do battle for the galaxy in the refreshing cool of an air-conditioned shop! (tomorrow is supposed to be the 42C peak of another heat wave!)

I have absolutely NO idea what kind of points this lot translates into for the challenge, but hopefully I'm on the way to reaching if not surpassing my initial goal of 400 points.

Coming up next on the painting desk, I'm currently well underway with the first of my American Revolutionary War forces for Sharp Practice 2, so my next post will be back to historicals.

Till then, may the force be with you!

Alan and Paul: Like you, I've been inspired by the wonderful Rogue One to get my Armada ships out on the table. Your Stormtroopers look great, but as for your teeny tine ships: wow. They really are exceptional, and the effort you have gone to with the colour schemes of the Rebel ships, and even converting them (!!) is incredible. In recogniton of the intricate paint job you have managed, I've scored your Imperial ships as 6mm vehicles and the Rebels as 10mm.

From Aled C: More Arabs and some slow armour (120 points)

For my Third submission post (including the Armour bonus round) I have for presentation the second batch of Arab Spearmen for my Deus Vult army and some Minas Tirith Swordmen that I had planned to get done for the Armour Challenge but just didn't get to them in time.

As I said in the Armour Challenge post I forgot to go through my painting method for the Arab spearmen and promised to correct that in this post. As I think I said before I am a big fan of using washes to speed my slow painting of models. To that end, I have been using the Army Painter 'Quick-shade' dip on these Arabs to give that 'dirty' look and bring out the details of the Gripping Beast figures.

I have started these by priming them with the Army Painter 'Skeleton Bone' colour, which gives that nice cloth colour. I then go through them with various browns(leather, fur and monster from the army painter range) as well as a black and red (AP again, matt and dragon respectively) picking out the odd pant cuff and shoes etc. as well as doing their belts with the leather brown. I also did some of their shields with these colours. Next, I make a 50/50 mix of leather brown (AP) and Yellow Ochre (Vallejo) which give a nice pale wood colour to use on the spear shafts and the backs of the shields. I then paint the metal of shield boss and their spear tips, as well as any helmets that poke out from their headgear (Plate Mail, AP). The flesh is one of the last steps I do, not for any particular reason but probably so I can be a bit messier in my painting up until this point. For this, I use Tanned Flesh (AP again). The next step in my process is painting the daggers at their belts, done in gold and silver (Old Gold by Vallejo and Shining Silver from GW) in as much variety as the models allow. I finish them by painting on the patterns for the shields. Whilst I admit to not going to deep in my research of Early Crusade period shield design for the Muslim armies, I did look through some ospreys to get a general gist of what I should and what I could do know my freehand isn't great. Stripes are always good and easy to do but there are only so many ways they can be done, that goes for the dots too! (I know Stephen Sheridan has been saying much the same thing about crosses on his shields). I have been doing this unit with a 'Blue Theme' to their shields and plan to have the other units in other colours to differentiate them, probably yellow and green depending on how they look.
I then give the cloth a going over with the Skeleton Bone again (this time with a brush :P) to fix any mess ups and make it a bit brighter. Finally, I give them a 'dip' (also using a brush) with the 'Quickshade - Strong' to bring out the details and give them a general unwashed look.
A coating with a matt varnish and they are good for basing. I stick them down with a good deal of liquid nails to give a bit of texture to the base and help mask the foot tabs. Sand stuck down with PVA, gets painted Fur Brown for a nice reddy brown, inked with GW's Agrax Earthshade, and dry brushed a 50/50 of Fur Brown and the Yellow Ochre which makes it a good bright colour. Then a few patches of flock to make it pretty.

That seems really long winded as I look back over it. :/


Alongside batch one

That done I also painted up a unit of Minas Tirith Swordsmen to go alongside my Archer for Dragon Rampant. I had hoped to get them done for armour but time got away from me. They are painted up in much the same manner ar the archers. The biggest difference being the shields which were done by drybrushing Plate Mail over the Black on the face of the shield, then drybrushed black again (avoiding the tree) to dull it down, and after the Nuln Oil a final drybrush again of the Plate Mail.

So, 24 more figures done, plenty more to go!


Alan and Paul: Having seen these figures today up close (while Aled was crushing me in two different wargames), I can confirm that they look even better 'in the flesh'. The shields of the Minas Tirith swordsmen look especially good, the subtle contrast between the black and the silver looking very realistic. Thanks for sharing how you went about painting your Arabs - this is going to be a great looking army.

From JohnSh - Freddy's Revenge Chronopia Dwarves (65 points)

One of my favourite figure ranges of all time was Chronopia from Heartbreaker Hobbies/Target games. This fantasy game is long defunct but I managed to accumulate a large stockpile of miniatures and have been hoarding them in my lead mountain for years.
Dragon Rampant has given me the opportunity to field a lot of these chaps again so I need to build up a couple of units for our upcoming DR campaign. My Dwarven force could do with a bit more crazy close combat so these Vulture Claws are just the ticket.

My reasoning on the paint scheme is that as mastersmiths, Dwarves would make everything they could from metal. To show off their skills the metals wouldn't just be "shiny silver" but would be alloyed and coloured.

Umm, Freddy, are you sure that swinging around these bladefingers is a good idea?

Hence the variety of metallic paints chosen here. I have used paints from just about anywhere that I could find, GW, Army Painter, Vallejo and especially craft paints. These are particularly tricky to get right when using on miniatures requiring careful mixing with a flow medium, and several coats, to get the desired effect. They are finished with army Painter Dark Tone ink to make the metallics pop a bit more but maintain that slightly grubby look that I imagine anyone living among forges would have . Basing has been kept simple with a sandy ground with "veins of minerals" (granite dust) for contrast.

I will find you in your dreams!

Thirteen 28mm miniatures here so 65 points I believe.

Alan and Paul: Two entries of Chronopia Dwarves on the same day! These look great - the blue tone to the steel Wolverine claws is very effective, and I like the thought that has gone in to giving reasons for the colours you have chosen. Top stuff!