Monday, 26 February 2018

From SamuliS: 50 Shades of Panzergrau (32 points)

After a slower week I'm back with another change of subject. This time some Blitzkrieg era tanks in the form of a platoon of Panzer 38's. After a long time of just playing games with late war armies I'm really getting a bit fed up with all the big kitties, tricked out Shermans etc. Luckily there has been a rising interest in playing other eras as well so I've dug up my Early War German army and figured it would need some more armor as previously I've played it predominantly as an infantry and mechanized force with just some PzII support. 

I was thinking about painting up some PzIII's, but as I drive a czech car there really wasn't any other choice than to go with some czech tanks as well! Sadly the Pz38 wasn't made by Skoda, but at least it's close enough :)

It was pretty refreshing to do a reasonably fast paintjob on these fellas instead of the heavy colour modulation that I've done for all my other Flames of War vehicles in the last few years. I was thinking about doing the same with these as well, but as I've already got a fairly large army painted with a simpler drybrush + wash combo I decided to do the same here too so that they won't stand out from the others too much. I've got another 5 to do still so that I can field them as a company, but they'll have to wait a bit longer as I only just got them in mail and I really need to start finishing up a lot of the WIP projects that I've started during the challenge.

5 tanks and 2 crew should give me 32 points and get me past the half way mark on my target of 1000 points. With the end of the challenge nearing I really need to start focusing on finishing some of the projects that I've started during this challenge. I've got 40k units, more Napoleonics, Skaven in both Blood Bowl and Fantasy form and some terrain in various stages of readiness. If I actually finish them all it should get me pretty close to my target so fingers crossed. 

Artist: Dropkick Murphy's
Album: The Meanest of Times


Sometimes, and maybe even oft-times, a change is as good as a complete break.  And, Samuli, I share your love of changing it up sometimes from big prowling cats, long barrelled Shermans and titanic JSIIIs, to the fun, frantic, and slightly chaotic tank engagements of the Blitzkrieg era of WW2.  And these Pz38s are just perfect for that period, and will grace any battlefield.  

Although you mention that they've been a quick paint, they certainly do not show any signs of that - I love the careful weathering, the recognition insignia scratched and slightly faded through the weeks of a tough campaign, and the great little command figures standing proud from the turrets.  Really terrific work, indeed, Sir!

And it's really satisfying to start and finish a platoon quickly, knowing that "they're done" at the end, with nothing further to finish.  These tanks look great, and more than justify a well-deserved 32 points towards your total for Challenge VIII.

Fine work, my friend, and best wishes for the final push to the end on the 20th March!!

From ChristopherS: Pennsylvania Provincials in light equipment and SCW Officer (50 points)

Just completed my second unit of Pennsylvania Provincials for Sharp Practice, but this time in light equipment. I'm really not set up to be a very good competitor for AHPC as I tend to paint at a glacial pace, but I do enjoy participating even if my contributions are very small.

At this rate I'll have FIW forces ready for Sharp Practice in a year or so I figure so I'm crossing my fingers the pace will pick up at sometime.....but if not I'll have fun along the way as the figures from Galloping Major are a real pleasure to paint. 

I picked up an excellent copy of "The British defeat of the French in Pennsylvania, 1758" by Douglas R. Gubbison that looks like with some effort I could make a campaign of sorts from the information which is quite detailed.

The figures are from Galloping Major and the paints I used were Foundry with some Vallejo here and there. I highly recommend the figures if your looking for some painter friendly figures which I quite like.

I could be taking a break from FIW for a bit to paint up some AWI for Sharp Practice which would only require me painting a few skirmish figures and officers as I already have the core formed units completed. I also would like to add a few more Airborne to my WWII collection as we are really playing a lot of the fantastic 'Chain of Command' rules and I need more options added.

Also last year Nick beat me in the SCW side challenge and to my shame took me a whole year almost to get him his figure, but he of course took it all in good natured patience. The figure is an Republican officer from Empress that I had double of and that he didn't have yet so worked out great.

The nine 28mm Pennsylvanians and one SCW Republican officer should give me 50pts.

Thanks for viewing!


Oh my, Christopher, these are just brilliant!  Your Pennsylvania Provincials are just perfect for the French-Indian Wars and the age of flintlocks and feathers!  I love their subtle green uniforms and the wonderful basing, allowing them to really blend into the forest environment.  The Galloping Major range does look to be very fine figures indeed, and you've really brought these to life with the brush.  They all looks splendid, with the officer or sergeant bellowing out the order to reload being perhaps my favourite.

And huge congratulations for the very nice SCW Republican Officer - always a great touch for duelling Challengers to present a small trophy from an enjoyable Challenge.  Again, I love the careful colouring you've used, the subtle paintwork for the uniform and the evocative basing.  A lovely prize.  

Well done, Christopher.  These are all terrific, and will give you 50 well earned points to your total!

From AlanD - Desert Rats, trucks, guns, Carriers, lots of stuff in 15mm (179 points)

My little British force for Battle Group Tobruk continues to grow, boosted along by the recent fantastic games we have enjoyed in our club. I am a massive fanboy of the Battle Group rules, but I think Tobruk might be my favourite iteration yet. They really capture something of the sweeping, almost naval warfare sort of flavour of the desert war in 1941.

So, to support the Crusaders I posted up a couple of weeks back, I have added a platoon of motor infantry, with a couple of Vickers and 2 pdr A/T guns in support. The infantry are a mix of Peter Pig and Skytrex, with the 2pdrs from Forged in Battle.

Next up, my first attempt at the dreaded Caunter camouflage scheme. This is a little Carrier section, fielded as a unit in Battle Group. These are PSC kits, with added crew from Skytrex and Peter Pig. The PSC Universal Carriers box set in 15mm is a terrific buy, giving you 9 carriers with a massive number of variants including OP vehicles, flamethrowers and mortar carriers. 

My only minor gripe is that the crew figures are really meant for NW Europe from 1944, but they would have been struggling to get anything else on the sprues! My Carrier section has seen battle in one game so far, losing a Carrier to a German armoured car, but then having the officer in the section command vehicle call down a mortar strike on some Italians in response, which pretty much encapsulates the Italian experience of the desert war, I suppose.

Now some trucks from Battlefront.

And finally - and I love these guys - a brace of Humber armoured cars, also from Battlefront. Nothing says desert war more. 

Let's see... that's quite a lot for me. I count 12 vehicles, two guns, 39 whole infantry figures, plus another 13 in the carriers, a/cs and driving the trucks. If we count the partial figures at one point each, I make 72 points for the vehicles, 8 for the guns and 91 points in total for the infantry, for a grand total of 177 points. 


Fantastic work, Alan!!  These Desert Rats really knock the ball out beyond the boundary rope in fine fashion - absolutely tremendous.  They're perfect for the Tobruk actions you're looking at, and you've done really well capturing the colours, dust, sand and camouflage patterns.  The 'attempt' at the Caunter scheme looks pretty much spot on to me - really effective and that'll look perfect on the tabletop.

The infantry are really excellent, and the Bren carrier section looks terrific - it would be something I'd love to take forward on any table. I love how you've added the "extras" on the Bren carriers - they really bring the unit to life.

Some super trucks as well, and then, the icing on the cake, those wonderful Humbers with their unit recognition pendants.  Those are just, simply, lovely.  

Cracking work, Sir!  A really evocative, perfectly formed and marvelously painted entry.  I'm adding a couple of points for the pendants, camouflage, weathering and super basing for 179 points - which gets you to within touching distance of your target.  

Good luck with the final push!!

From IainW: More 28mm soviets (95 points)

Here are the latest batch of soviets, I keep thinking I'll finish more this week and then life gets in the way but at least I've finished some!

So 14 28mm infantry men a lend lease bren gun carrier with two crew and two passengers. I made a right mess of assembling the bren gun carrier.  It was my first plastic vehicle in about 35 years I had to stick an additional piece of plastic to cover up a gap that shouldn't have been there.  Still I think it's good enough although looking at it now I could do with maybe adding a tiny bit of snow on the carrier, not now though!

Mostly PSC, some with warlord heads and a couple of warlord plastics. 

I think that adds up to 100 points, with a bit of luck and a fair wind I should make 1000 points by challenge end. 

All the best Iain 


Great work, Iain, and wonderful to see your Soviet juggernaut steamrollering onwards towards the finishing line.  These are wonderful additions to your force, and I particularly like the small, but perfectly modeled, Lend-Lease Bren carrier.  Like all hire vehicles, it's been well used, is fully-occupied and no doubt will be going into all kinds of terrain as none of the drivers will be concerned about paint scratches.  It's a great model, and I know from experience that it's the kind of vehicle on the wargames table that players will love on their side.  It might not have the 'punch' of a JS-III, but it has charm by the samovar-full.  Great work, Comrade!

As for points, 14 infantry (70 points), that lovely Bren carrier (15 points) and the 4 chaps in the Bren carrier (half points, so 10 points) all add to a total of 95 points.  Great work, and another fine points total in the bag towards the big-1000.  Well done indeed!

From ValeryN - Fifty Shades Darker (24 points)

Hello everybody!

Unfortunately, last week was not too productive for me in terms of painting miniatures.

Today I bring to your attention the continuation of the theme of the Germans for the early war. These are the four tanks Pz-IV from the company "Zvezda", painted for 1941. They bear tactical signs of the Third Panzer Division of the Germans.

4 tanks with 6 points = 24 points.


These are splendid, Narval!  They will look perfect alongside the other German and Soviet vehicles and artillery you've been painting.  I can well understand other things diverting from painting-time, but four Panzer IVs in a week is still a fine and enviable output, Sir!  And not just painted, but with perfect decals as well - top work, Narval!

One of the great things about Panzer IVs is how versatile they can be on the wargaming table.  I have a sneaking suspicion that these fine models will see good service in your armies from Italy to Lake Ladoga, and from Brest to the Volga, no doubt.  

Great work, and a thoroughly well deserved 24 points!!

From MartinN: Fallschirmjäger Support & Volksgrenadier with ride (15 points)

Just a token submission today as life has once again got rather busy around here. I won't bore you with the details as I know you all will be familiar with such moments in your hobby lives.

After having just recently made the switch from Bolt Action to Chain of Command -and not having regretted it for a second - I felt the need for adding a few items to my Fallschirmjäger force.

Thus I got me a pack of support weapons, namely a Panzerbüchse AT-rifle and more importantly a 5cm light mortar from Crusader Miniatures. I figured these would go quite well with my Paul Hicks Fallschirmjäger and indeed they do. Unfortunately though they're a little underwhelming in regards to their sculpting. The moulds seem to be quite worn as well making me hesitate to get more of these.

Development of the 5cm leichter Granatwerfer 36 as this light mortar was called officially, begun in 1934. It was introduced into the Wehrmacht in 1936. In 1941 its range and fire power was deemed no longer adequate and by 1942 it was officially withdrawn from frontline service. Nonetheless it remained in service until the end of the war as it was quite popular with the common foot sloggers.

Especially rear echelon units as well as the elite Fallschirmjäger formations - being naturally light on heavier support weapons - still relied heavily on this light mortar for close support.

The Panzerbüchse 38 was a manually loaded, single-shot weapon with a recoiling barrel. It was rather complicated to produce and proofed obsolete as early as 1940 already. It later got some minor improvements and was re-designated Panzerbüchse 39. Starting in 1942 the remaining PzB 38/39 were rebuilt by shortening the barrel and adding the so called Schiessbecher - literally firing cup - which was also used with the Kar98 to shoot rifle grenades.

Additionally a Sdkfz 251/9 from Warlord Games and a Volksgrenadier from Empress Miniatures were finished finally. I can't claim any points for the Halftrack though as it was already started during the last challenge. But still I'm rather proud to have it finished finally. Now I only need to get me some suitable crew to man this little cutie.

For the Volksgrenadier I wanted to try my hand on some SS plane-tree camouflage. I can't really bring myself to play SS but quite like their camouflage uniforms. Thus this Volksgrenadier whom I imagine to be a seasoned veteran of the eastern front, gave me the perfect excuse. He might have traded or 'borrowed' it at some point I imagine. Still I'm not a 100% satisfied as I still think the camo needs a few more dark and orange-ish splodges.

So that's it for today. A 'meagre' 15 points (10 for the four prone Fallschirmjäger and 5 for the Grenadier) but it's the small steps that make a journey, eh?


These are wonderful, Nick - really lovely.  And don't worry at all about the smaller submissions - part of the real joy of Challenge VII has been both the larger submissions and the smaller ones, so no need to apologize for this submission....

....not least becuase, it's a terrific submission in every way.  Loveingly painted fogures and a fine vehicle, excellent basing, some well-researched history, and good photography.  What's not to love?

I particularly like the Fallschirmjäger blau, popping out of the prone figures' uniforms, and the camouflage patterns on the Volksgrenadier and the Sdkfz 251/9.  You painting is great, and there's always more details to find, Nick, once we start looking.

So, a well deserved 15 points, Nick - and getting very near your target now!  And yes, the small steps make the journey - and even the smallest step can be wonderful !

Good Monday Morning, Challengers!! 23 days still to go....!


I hope you all had a fantastic weekend, and hopefully you had some time with your brushes and paints. I certainly did myself, finishing off a few things and getting ready for the last themed round for Challenge VIII, which should be MONSTROUS!!

And, as my calendar clocks around, I can see that there are still (or, glass-half-empty, ONLY) 23 days to go in Challenge VIII !

So for, many of us Challengers, that's 23 days to finish off the unfinished projects we have planned for Challenge VIII - and for Kent to complete about another five-hundred Napoleonic French line infantry....

But before we run off screaming at the thought of what we have left to paint, allow me, as your Monday Minion, to guide you through some fantastic and brilliant entries from the MONDAY CHALLENGERS.  These fantastic brush-pilots have brightened up our Mondays for the past few weeks, and today will be no exception, I promise.

So, draw nearer to your screens, Dear Challengers and Guests, and enjoy the Tenth Monday, of Challenge VIII...