Tuesday, 20 March 2018

From ByronM - Afro Samurai and Curtgeld (45 Points )

First up is a figure that I fell in love with and ordered the second I saw it when Lee (of Mr. Lee's Miniatures) posted it in last years challenge.  The figure is an African American samurai character, which obviously is Samuel L Jackson's Afro Samurai.

It is the first large scale figure that I have done (sure I have done things like the Dragon and the space ship which were huge, but they were still small scale) and is something above 54mm scale, I never actually checked or worried about it when I ordered it.  On his base he is 80mm tall.

Being a large scale figure I wanted to do more to him than just the normal shading.  I tried working textures into his jeans and shirt, and while they maybe didn't come out quiet right, I do like the general effect.

I also wanted to improve on the simple headband on him, as anyone that has seen the comics or the anime will know that he always has these long flowing ends of the headbands trailing behind him.  I decided to at least try to emulate them with foil.  While not perfect, as they kept bending even from light brush pressure while trying to painting them, I think they give a better overall look and more closely match what I picture him looking like. In the actual anime they often had really strong angles back and forth, so I did mine like that, but may smooth them out a bit later, I just can't decide and didn't want to break them off for about the 20th time while taking pictures.

He is actually not completely finished yet, as I have plans for a full scenic base for him and want to do more shading and details but ran out of time, despite having started him on day one.  Again being large scale I kept wanting to do more, figure out more, try more, on him so kept procrastinating, doing an hour work then leaving him for a week, then coming back and doing an hour work, and so on.

He is however complete enough to at least quickly base up and post to show him off so far before the end of the challenge.

Next up, and my final entry for this challenge is my Curtgeld piece.

I have to apologize as it in no way fits the theme requested of monstrous.  I could word play and try to come up with something and try to justify it, like "war is monstrous" or some other drivel, but I honestly hate all that word play stuff (being a computer geek and believing everything is black or white, 1 or 0) so, I will just say sorry it doesn't meet the theme at all, but I saw the figure and fell in love with it and thought it would be a great piece for this year's entrance fee figure, long before the challenge started.


The piece is the Salute 2017 limited edition miniature from Spectre Miniatures.   It is a pair of figures, with one helping his comrade escape from danger.  I thought this would be a great fig to paint up a pair of, one for me and one for my dear friend Curt.  For a while it looked like I would have to post it right at the end with a comment about me helping him across the finishing line, as I wasn't sure he was going to get to his points goal, but he has done that now.

While I didn't get my copy finished, due to 2 big issues.  Firstly, I put one on my painting desk so I would't forget it, and foolishly put the other aside someplace and have lost it in the mountains of unpainted figures I still have flooding out of my walk in storage closet!  Secondly, even if I had found it, I had completely forgotten it until this weekend, and then had to madly clean this one, prime it, and get it painted.  I did take lots of in progress pictures and wrote down all the colours used and the order and mixes so that I can replicate it.

They are painted to match a fairly basic desert camo pattern.  While not exact, as I find the tiny details tend to make it look super busy and less real than skipping them, I think it came out pretty close. Here is an image I based this figure and the rest of my desert operators on. 

I have left them without unit markings on the patches or helmets so that Curt can tailor it to match his units, and I left them un-based so that Curt can base it as he chooses to match his figures.

While not matching the theme, I hope you like the figure Curt.  I thought it was a great vignette and very fitting as we often help each other with ideas, painting, themes, games, etc.

With that, I will call myself done for the year!  It has been a wild ride having completely finished a Greek force (and in fact it could be considered 2 forces), a 30k Mechanicum army, a bunch of little pieces, several theme week entries that placed in the top 3, and a metric shit-tonne (I swear that's a real measurement) of zombies!  I have painting far more in the last 3 months than at any time in the past.  So, I need a break!

Thank you to my Saturday minion Michael for putting up with me, thanks to everyone that commented so nicely on my miniatures (very much appreciated), and an especially big thank you to Curt for once again hosting this marvelous event!  Oh, and please pass on a thank you to Sarah for letting you run this insane event yet again Curt, and for putting up with all of us!


What a brilliant way to cap of your epic Challenge run Byron. 

I had the pleasure to see Byron's Afro Samurai close-up when I was visiting a few weeks ago and it is superb. And this was before he put on the foil bandana runners. To me this completely makes the figure as the anime and video game heavily featured his crazy long headband whipping out behind him. A wonderful bit of whimsy, that.

Finally, thanks so much for the modern vignette. I remember seeing these as a limited set from Spectre and thinking, damn, I wish I had a set of those. So, this is a wonderful surprise and so beautifully painted. Thank you Byron.

I remember the Afro Samurai to be around 80mm tall so lets score him at 15 points and the modern comrades-in-arms at 30. A final 45 points to cap-off your spectacular three-month run. Bravo, well done, and thank you my friend! 


  1. I recognise him, very nice, love the bandana

  2. Very nice painting Byron :)

    1. Thanks Tamsin, still sad you missed out on this years challenge, hope to see you join us again next year.

  3. Terrific final entry Byron, top work!

  4. Nice work! There haven’t been many moderns this Challenge; yours are great!