Saturday, 23 December 2017

BenF: Two Sailors and the Virgin Mary... (20 Points)

No, it's not the start to a bad joke but my first entry of challenge 'ate'.
Being a teacher in Australia means five weeks of holidays from Christmas to the end of January, and while I've always planned to get a lot of painting done, a combination of furnace-like temperatures, an overfilled social calendar, and a good old fashioned lack of organisation has meant that usually I don't get a lot completed over the break. Entering Curt's painting challenge last year changed that, and I actually managed to complete some projects, and made a good start on some others.

This year, I upped my goal by 100 points, as i've got a couple of projects i'm planning on getting completed. The past year has seen 6mm Cold War Commander really pick up at the club. I'm really enjoying the rules, and so I'm planning on adding a couple of forces to my 1985 Soviet GSFG troops. First off will be a VDV force (currently almost done), then i've got some West Germans with paratrooper and panzer recce options. My 6mm 'stretch goal' is to crack on with some USMC troops, the figures for which Andy at Heroics and Ros is planning on releasing in the new year. The great thing about 6mm is that they paint up insanely quickly, and the odd bit of detail here and there really helps them pop.

Alongside the tiny Cold Warriors i'll be returning to my 28mm Sharp Practice 2 forces. For my Napoleonic Peninsular War Brits I've got a few odds and sods, along with a sloop-of-war (lots of tiny rigging) and assorted landing boats for the Jack Tars. I'll also be returning to my AWI Saratoga SP2 project, and some Virginia riflemen and British light bobs are next in the painting queue after the VDV. Expect lots of terrain as well for this lot.

Finally, i'll be trying to smash my way through a 15mm Achaemenid Persian army which I need for some 'wargaming in the classroom' activities with my senior ancient history students next year.

First off though is a small update, some RN types and a roadside shrine from my Peninsular project. The shrine is a Grand Manner item, and is an amazing little work of art as you would expect. I painted a bunch of Grand Manner stuff for a participation game in October, but somehow missed this little fella. I figure it is suitably Christmas-y for a Christmas eve entry.

The two figures are Paul Hicks sculpts from Brigade games, and are superb as usual. The officer will be taking the role of the famous Lt. Horatio Hornblower, the commander of my RN landing force. The boatswain is Mr. Matthews, Hornblower's trusty off-sider. These were quick paint jobs, as I employed the method that I've been using for the last year or so. It's a bit of a trompe l'oeil i'm afraid, based on the assumption that people's eyes are drawn to faces and little details when viewing a figure rather than large, comparatively boring areas (e.g. trousers or coats). I paint the flesh using traditional layering, which is time consuming but I really think gives a great depth to the faces. For the rest of the figure, I use base/wash/highlight, which is much faster than the layering and allows me to get figures on the table quickly. The odd touch of detail here and there and I think that the method really helps the figures 'pop'.

Anyway, happy Christmas to all of you and your loved ones, and I hope you enjoy a day full of gifts, family, and too much eating and drinking.

Next up i'll be posting some 6mm Soviet VDV for Cold War gone Hot. If all goes to plan that is...


When I first read the title of this post I thought we were about to go into a bad Irish bar joke, but then I saw who had submitted it and had a sigh of relief.

Lovely work, Ben! These two naval officers and the rustic shrine exhibit the deft handiwork we've come to expect from you. I've had the pleasure to paint this shrine and both of these figures and agree with you regarding their superb quality - you've really done them proud here.

I'm delighted that the Challenge has stoked the fires of industry and I look forward to seeing these various projects spool off your hobby desk over the coming months. 

I know this shrine is roughly 4x4x2 so lets call it 10 points, that added to the same for the two naval officers bags you 20 for the group. Well done!

It's great to have you back, Ben. Merry Christmas!

From StephenS - Alberto Malich (5 Points)

For last years challenge my first opening salvo was Death dressed in a Santa costume (it makes sense if you’re a fan of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels). Almost a year later, my first entry will be Death’s servant, Alberto Malich the Wise dressed as an Elf from the novel ‘Hogfather’. Mixed with the satisfaction of getting my first runs on the board, is a touch of shame it took nearly a year to get paint on him. Though to be fair, like a lot of us, I have an uncounted collection of much older unpainted minis...

Alberto is a powerful wizard, who through an aborted attempt to stave off death (he had a few people he wanted to put off meeting in the after-life) ended up as Death’s servant in exchange for hitting the pause button on his life-timer. The model is a 28 mm figure from Micro Art Studio’s Discworld range. I’ve been a huge fan of the Discworld series since I read my first book over 20 years ago, and in my mind at least, I think the miniatures really capture the spirit of the characters.

Together again at last...
So here is a fitting model for the festive season, even if he isn’t feeling the Christmas spirit himself.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!




Brilliant work Stephen. I really like the mottled green of his trousers and tunic and the work you did on his face is superb. I also like how his red shoes tie in with Death's festive robe - well done. I've never read the Discworld series (it was so much of the 'it' series at the time that I naturally (for me anyway) rebelled against picking it up), but maybe I should give it a try. Who knows, you may have a convert. ;)

Merry Christmas Stephen!

From PeteF - Commanded ECW Shot (30 Points)

Last year I got it into my head that I wanted to do some Game of Thrones conversions (or perhaps some Stormlight Saga - books describe lots of flouncy clothes) and that I would need a wide variety of sprues. Thanks to EBay the plastic mountain included a Warlord For King And Country set. 

The set lay dormant until I played The Pikeman's Lament a quick play ruleset that I really enjoyed. "I've got to paint me some commanded shot" I thought. And here they are:

First up - commanded shot needs a commander and the guy on the cover of the ECW Osprey was the inspiration. 

Here he is in 28mm - I'm struggling with my camera a bit to take macro shots - what I hadn't realized is that he's holding his pistol sideways - gansta style. Like in a Tarantino movie. Yeah you there vagabond! Believe you in our Lord - for verily you are about to meet him.

The commander needs some shot to command. The Warlord firelock figures are a bit limited in pose but with some inexpert cutting and gluing they look like they're on their way somewhere.

To take care of all possible future basing changes I'm keeping them on small 20mm circles. When I want them formed up they'll live in a movement tray - blutacked so they don't keep falling out.

These are the first ECW figures I've painted - it seems there weren't uniforms as such. Officers provided their own (sometimes fancy) civilian clothes. The troops sometimes wore colours according to their general - although generals from both sides used the same colors. At some battles the specific identifiers for that battle (e.g. white ribbon) were coincidentally used by both sides. All very confusing. These royalists got mostly grey coats and red bands for their hats - the same colour as their officer's sash. 


Great work, Pete! 

These guys have a great sense of varied dynamism in their poses, and I really like your posh officer with his bold red sash and blue-and-white doublet. Very sharp. I've always had a keen interest in the Pike & Shotte period and the first figures I painted were ECW as well - such a rich period. I hope we'll see some more from this project over the coming months.

Merry Christmas!

From KentG - 28mm Napoleonic French line infantry (121 Points)

In this submission we have 24 French line infantry the first of 22 infantry blocks i have to do eeek.

hopefully as each one is completed it will encourage me to do the next the figures are a mix of Perry metals, plastics and warlord games plastics,  i think i might tackle 4 blocks at a time after this see how that goes.


 A brigade submission at a time? Goodness gracious...

Beautiful work, Kent. I can readily see that we will be treated with a veritable feast (not to mention a Corps or two) of these fellows over the coming months. The Perry and Warlord models work very well together and you're painting really seals the deal. I like that you varied the colours of their greatcoats as they would have come from a multitude of supply depots. But I see no green/yellow pompoms of the voltigeurs. Maybe they're out skirmishing ahead of the column. 

Lovely stuff, Kent. Keep it coming, mon ami!

From PaulS: TV Flashbacks... (15 Points)

Entry 2 is a lot smaller than the last one, but necessary as two of these are Christmas presents for friends. Two of these are Crooked Dice and may or may not have any resemblance to George Peppard and Colin Firth... the third is suspiciously like Lady Jaye from the GI Joe comics. I'm slowly getting the hang of this new phone camera...

I'm not claiming any points for Mork as I started him before the competition, but as he got finished today, he's popping in for the photo shoot anyway.

Those three should be 15 points towards the total. If I don't get around to another entry before Monday, have a great Christmas!


I always love seeing your Pulp stuff Paul! While Mork, Hannibal and Lady Jaye are all great, I absolutely have to have that not-Colin Firth. So awesome... 

Merry Christmas, Paul!

From TomM - More 6mm Emperor's Children (12 Points)

First of all, let me start by wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

This first days of the challenge have shown me already some gorgeous eye-candy, and some mighty "point bombs" that make me wish I could paint that fast.  I`m loving this stuff all around, and really revel in being part of this amazing undertaking.

But while some go for the big points, I'm sneaking around in the outer regions, hopefully churning out a steady stream of figures and like a predator eyeing his prey, jump towards my Target points at just right moment.

Just like this entry of more 6mm models for my Emperor's Children.  As the bikes race towards the enemy together with the land speeder, the dreadnoughts provide fire support to cover the advance.

Now, I admit, these are the age old plastic sculpts (somewhere end of the 80s, early 90s I believe they came out) and while the bikes look mighty fine... the Land Speeder and the dreadnoughts do not.  The Epic 40.000 metal versions looked a lot better, but on the other hand this reflects in a way better the 10k old material the Traitor legions still have lying around x-D

Until the next entry, and may all your turkeys taste sweet!


More Epic goodness from Tom. I really like how you have've blocked these out with two shades of purple - it adds depth and a nice bit of visual interest to these tiny models. 

As you say Tom, the older 40K Epic stuff can be a little hit and miss at times. The 'later period' models from Forge World were excellent, but they're now extinct. Nonetheless, there are other options out there that, with a little hunting, you can find some real gems. 

I look forward to the next instalment in this project. Merry Christmas Tom!

Keep up the Tempo! A Quarter through the Roster - 60 More to Go!

Brendon's entry today puts us at 20 Challengers who have made a submission to-date. So, (taking mitts and socks off to help count...) we've gone through 25% of the roster in three days. 

Not bad, not bad at all. 

Nonetheless, keep 'em coming people - I want all of us having something completed in the next three weeks. 

I won't spare the lash! ;)

From KyleC - Possessed Reinforcements (30 Points)

Been very lucky today that the family is all split on other tasks and had freetime to just sit, watch movies, and paint!

Got these 5 bad boys done now, and really had fun both converting them and painting them.

I will use them as possessed in my Death Guard forces. Slightly larger than the normal folks.

Based off of the Blightking Chaos models, and then converted to hold Plaguebearer heads and such on them. Small but effective conversions.

Painted like the rest of my forces, and my slender attempts at NMM silver on the metal sections. Not the best, but good enough for a table top force. And easy to do... usually.

Now to begin assembly or sorting out the titans until I have time tomorrow to prime up the Deamon Princes.. yes.. plural...


What a wonderfully nasty pack of bad lads, Kyle. Again, I'm not a huge fan of Nurgle models, but there's no denying the skill of your conversions and painting here. I particularly like the over-saturated colours you used for their rusty and corroded weapons. A very cool effect.

Considering conversions and basework, let's say 30 points. Great work, Kyle.

From KentG - fire Storm Armada (20 Points)

these are part of an auction that i won, bought them on a whim, here we have 4 ships belonging to the Dindrenzi federation one cruiser and three others actually have no idea what they are, once i've finished painting i might need to do a bit of research.

The ship on the right is the cruiser and below


You left us on a cliffhanger there, Kent. ;)

Wow, such wonderful, clean work on these cruisers, Mr.G! The grey that you've used for their hulls has a nice warmth to it, and the lighting highlights are distinct but not too overdone. Really nice.

I'm not really sure of the size of these from the photos, but from my playing of the game in the past, I'm thinking that each model is similar to a 28mm figure, so 20 points for the flotilla. Well done Kent!

From BrendonW - Opening Salvo (195 Points)

Greetings everyone. I will be away from the hobby table for 3 weeks so I probably will not be posting until late January 2018 but for now here is some painted miniatures.

6 x 28mm Arab Infantry (Plastic) Gripping Beast. Three shield decals are from LBM and the others are hand painted. I have done just about zero painting since the last Challenge so it was satisfying to get these done.

Next is a re-purpose project. Games Workshop plastic Chaos Warriors which will be 'Sons of Korgan' units for a 'Haranguer', 'Kings of War' army.

15 x 28mm, Heroic scale, Plastic, Games Workshop (no longer in production).
Some are from my old collection and some I purchased recently through Facebook. I used quick methods on these. Removing them from old single bases was a chore but making a new multi base was very satisfying.

Next is another 14x 28mm Chaos warriors.
I must have liked the colour Purple back in the long ago as I had to paint over it on these Double Handed weapon carrying dudes and the ones above. I recall what a pain 'ranking up' was with these bulky miniatures so multi basing them is a big plus in my opinion. I opted for standards at the rear of the units instead of the traditional front row.

and finally, for this post..
2 x 28mm Plastic mounted Knights by Perry Miniatures.
These two Knights are intended as perhaps a unit leader and an Army General. Nothing says 'I am awesome' on my tabletop battlefields like a painted target with the shiniest of helmets. Already nicknamed Lord Golden Helmet I am sure he will be targeted by many arrows.

Cheers from Brendon in Hot Steamy Darwin, Australia and soon to be on the Volcanic Island of Bali.

Have a great Christmas at your location and a Happy New Year.


Thanks Brendon, for gifting us with this points bomb before you jet off to Bali! 

I've always enjoyed Brendon's bold and distinct style and he shows it off in spades with his debut entry for this year's Challenge. The Arab spearmen are excellent, looking like veterans in their care-worn clothes (the duo bases are a nice touch as well). 

Speaking of multiple bases, these two units of Chaos warriors really benefit from that approach. It makes them look more like cohesive units, while also allowing players to easily move them on the tabletop, without trying to remember how they fit together with all those spikey/bladey bits.   

My favourties here though are the two late medieval cavalrymen. I especially like the warmth of the brass on 'Lord Golden Helmet' - beautiful work!

195 points to you Brendon! Merry Christmas and enjoy your time in Bali. We look forward to seeing you back in the ranks in around a month!

From Millsy - Boxer Rebellion Imperial Forces (120 points)

G'day All!

For my first entry into the Challenge this year I elected to go with two sets of Imperial troops for my 55 Days at Peking project, which I've been working on consistently over the the year. It's taken a lot of effort building terrain and painting up the Boxers so I'm pleased to be getting my first big game in soon.

Today's submission consists of a dozen of both German Seebatallion and Russian Marines, all from EMP Games, who I'm happy to say provided both speedy and efficient service and excellent comms. In total they're worth 120 Challenge points.

I'd put the sculpting of the miniatures into the same bracket as Redoubt Miniatures. They have a slightly unconventional feel to them, being somewhat disproportionate and at times even chunky. Having said that they have a load of character and being one of the most complete (and growing) ranges for the period will be figuring heavily in my purchasing selections.

Anyway, enough background, here's the German Seebatallion...

And the Russian Marines...

Now since I started something yesterday with Challenge Tunes, I figure I'd better include my playlist for these chaps! They took a while so I got through a range of music...

German miniatures deserved some German accompaniment, so this lot were knocked out to a combination of Rammstein's "Mutter" and "Reise, Reise" plus the soundtrack from Run Lola Run amongst other things (all from my own collection). Russian music of any flavour doesn't feature in my catalogue at so I fired up Spotify for a combination of Zeromancer's ""Zzyzx", Birthday Massacre's "Pins and Needles" and a couple of Cafe del Mar albums when it was getting late. As you can see I have something of an eclectic taste :-)



Excellent! It's great to see more from your 55 Days at Peking project, Millsy! These are really lovely. While the Germans are very nice, I must say I'm really taken with how you did up the Russians in their white soft caps and tunics - very smart indeed.  

I also really like the look for these castings. They have a real Bob Murch 'Pulp Adventure' feel to them, especially the Russian Marines. I'm definitely going to be checking those out for myself. 

Going to have to give that 'Run Lola Run' soundtrack a spin - it's been a long time since I heard that.