Tuesday, 25 December 2018

From: Sander and Arthur: The Road Goes Ever On (20 Points)

Hoi There,

The Challenge has come again, the eagerly awaited painting extravaganza that binds us all together, we very few and lucky underlings of the Snowlord's Domain.

Both Arthur and myself will be joining, but this time without a set plan that is bound to fail. I have some loose ideas of what I want to paint, mainly these are my GW boxed games, amongst which are Necromunda, Blackstone Fortress and Blood Bowl. Heroquest figures will surely enter into the fray but that's only to be expected with the school-club still going strong.

Usually I would have put up a Challenge Prep post up on my blog far earlier but you know sh*t happens. So it should be up right now and you can see it HERE if you would like to.

Arthur has a small amount of figures he wanted to paint for this year's Challenge which are mainly historical miniatures. That said, my recent GW obsession has led to him painting some Space Marines in a self designed paint scheme, which is suitably '80's themed ;-)

So without further ado here's Arthur's first space marine:

And for myself, since time has been lacking somewhat I only have a few figures I can enter for this first post but I do have to post something to be allowed to stay in the Challenge right?

So what did I paint up? Well diehard Heroquest fans will know about Sir Ragnar, an Empire knight who needs saving in the Questbook included in the core box. Zealot Miniatures make this brilliant bound and free figure of him.

The sword and shield on the free figure is an addition by me of course.

Also finished in time for this post is the Necromunda equivalent of the Lurker in the Dark (sorry no puns intended Fran). 

While not the most demanding figure in the boxed set I am rather happy with how it ended up.

Well pointswise Arthur has 5 points to his name now and I will have at least 10. What the Lurker is worth I'll leave up to Curt.

Rest assured that my next post will be more seizable indeed. Thanks for dropping in!


Ah, this post hits many highlights. We have both Arthur and Sander (the 'van Straeten Boyz'), tentacles and the first Challenge Tune. Bravo!

Arthur, I like your blue Space Marine, especially the two-tone armour and his red eye lenses. Good one. Tell your dad that we need another pic of you guys painting - I really liked the last one but suspect you've grown quite a bit since then.

Sander, it's good to see you continuing on your Heroquest additions, especially with these fancy versions of Sir Ragnar - the modification of adding of the sword and shield are well chosen and wonderfully executed. AND what's a dank dungeon without an icky tentacle coming out of a sewer grate (really, much the same could be said for London as well). ;)

Well done lads! 


From Franjo: US Federal Infantry, Cuba 1898 (30 points)

Hi all,

I'm Franjo, from Spain, and I'm new to the Challenge. First of all, I would like to thank Curt for this initiative. To me, it's a great opportunity to get painted a (little) part of my metal and plastic grey mountain, and to share it with other people. My goal is quite modest: 500 points, but to me is quite a personal challenge because I'm a slow painter. Well, let's see what happens.

I'm going to paint mainly in 28mm scale, different kind of troops and eras. Dark Age, Spanish Napoleonics, 1898 Spanish-US War, Spanish Civil War, Spanish at WWII and, maybe, a bit of Fantasy and Sci-Fi and some scenery.

My first entry is about 1898 Spanish-US War in Cuba. 1898 was a critical year in the History of my country. The loss of Cuba, Puerto Rico and Phillipines marked the end of a 400 years long empire. Spain was a mess in nineteenth century. After the long, bloody and economic disaster that was the War of Independence vs the Napoleonic French, Spain suffered the loss of the American mainland territories, the worst monarch ever (Ferdinand VII), years of civil wars (Carlist Wars), political turmoil (liberals vs conservatives) and struggled to keep the pace of the industrial development of the Western and Northern Europe. All this has its consequences, and at the end of the century Spain was a second rate, decadent power and the 1898 war gave way to what became the world's leading power: the U.S.

I bought recently from 1898miniaturas.com excellent range two army packs: Spanish and US in the Cuba front. At the webpage there are also very good historical notes and uniform/weapons research and some wonderful painting tutorials from Javier Gómez Valero, "el Mercenario", one of the owners of the 1898 Miniaturas company and a gifted painter. I followed his tutorial to paint my first batch of figures from their range, and I started with the enemy: a bag of 6 US Federal Infantrymen advancing (different poses in every bag reference):

So 6 x 28mm figures = 30 points

See you soon.


First, welcome to the Painting Challenge, Franjo! We're delighted to have you join us for the next few months of frenetic hobby madness.

These figures are superb and your brushwork is to match, Franjo. I love it when we get a taste of these often overlooked periods of history. I really like the vibrant palette you've used in painting these figures - they really 'pop' in the photos and show them to their best advantage. I also admire your basework as it conveys the verdant tropical terrain that comes to mind when you think of Cuba. 

I had a look at the 1898 Miniaturas catalogue and I'm very much looking forward to seeing what else you treat us to over the coming months of the Challenge.

30 Points for your opening round in the Painting Challenge. Excellent work, Franjo.

From Ian: A Little SYW 15mm French starter for (16 Points)

My first entry after taking year off and just like two years ago it's SYW but this time it's my son's French. These are four mounted High Command from Blue Moons The Age of Reason range. I bought these figures as a stocking filler last year so it's good that I finally get them finished the night before he has had them a year!!

I have actually painted up all six figures but only have the bases for two. I am hoping Lee has one so I can add the other two in a week or so's time. Most of our figures are Lancashire Games and are quite serviceable but command wise they are rather weak. Joseph's army has grown large enough that he needs a couple more command stands for Black Powder.

However he will need more as I plan to paint up a further six battalions of infantry during the Challenge which will almost use up his unpainted infantry. More cavalry and artillery await in the wings, but that is unlikely to be done during the challenge.

I do like Blue Moon casting's and have a pack of Prussian Command that may sneak into the Challenge but being unprepped look a outside bet. I have pledged 500 points but have enough prepped figures to get over 750 and I will be very surprised if that comes off because...……

Yes my 1:1 scale project is a Springer Spaniel pup, so less time at the painting table even though I am getting up as early as 4am!! Still we get to start walking him in about two weeks so hopefully he will start to burn some of his energy.


First, welcome back to the Challenge, Ian! It's great to have you with us again.

I was admiring your figures but was completely sidelined when I saw the pic of your new pup. Aww, what's his name? He looks to be a real sweetheart. As you say, some nice long walks in the park will help burn off his excess energy (not really, but you can always live in hope and the walks will do you good).

Back to your SWW figures, which look terrific btw. Blue Moon makes some very nice castings and you've done them proud with your brush and basework here. I look forward to seeing those half dozen French battalions roll off your table over the coming months.

Now, I'll let you get back to your new addition as I'm sure he's left a mess since you started reading this. :)

From AlanD: 15mm Soviet Infantry (86 points)

Hello everyone and Merry Christmas from Australia. It is great to be back in your company again.

For my opening salvo in the Challenge this year I have painted some 15mm Soviet troops for games of Battle Group: Fall of the Reich. Apologies for the slightly washed-out photos.

The first bunch are two squads of tank riders. I'm pretty sure the figures are from Skytrex?

Then we have a platoon of assault pioneers in body armour and amoeba-pattern camo overalls. I had a lot of fun thinking about how to base these so that the teams looked like they were interacting, and I do love making rubbly bases. These figures are all from Flames of War.

43 figures should net me 86 points, and I'm on the board. Expect to see more of that terrain base shortly!


It's great to see you back to the Challenge, Alan! 

These Soviets look terrific Mr. Dearn. I always like what you do with your basing and terrain as it always has a realistic, lived-in look about it. I especially like the brickwork with these bases, with the colour of the shattered masonry being very well realized (the torn remnants of the propaganda poster is a great touch).

As you estimate, these chaps will give you 86 points but I'll pip you up to an even 90 for the time spent on the bases. Well done, Alan!

From MartinN: On ne passe pas! (5 points)

"Das Wort Operation verbitte ich mir. Wir hauen ein Loch rein. Das Weitere findet sich. So haben wir es auch in Russland gemacht"
-Generalquartiermeister Ludendorff-

Another year, another challenge and yet another project. A little more than 100 years ago World War I, or the Great War as it is also known, ended after claiming the lives of millions of soldiers and civilians alike. The tragedy of the whole conflict, especially on the western front, is in my opinion perfectly epitomised by the quote with which I started this post. Translated into English it reads like:

"I refuse to tolerate the word Operation. We simply punch a hole into it [i.e. the front]. Then we'll see about the rest. That's just how we did it in Russia too."
-Quartermaster General Ludendorff-

Ludendorff made the comment in the spring of 1918 when asked for the strategic conceptions and aims for Operation Michael, the German spring offensive meant to encircle and break the British Expeditionary Force and thus ending the war. Germany by than was on its last leg and the offensive was seen as the last chance to come to a victorious conclusion after four years of all out war.

The quote shows the complete disregard of (not only) the German High Command with which it spent the lives of its soldiers without really having a clue as to how to break the deadlock in the first place. And if, by some miracle, the breakthrough actually happened, how to exploit it. 

The famous phrase "On ne passe pas!" (They shall not pass!), which probably is better known in its Spanish Civil War iteration "¡No pasarán!", was coined when the Germans actually threatened to break through on the Marne for a second time after 1914. And while coming close to actually break the backbone of the BEF the Germans were actually stopped.

Some might remember my first tentative steps into WW1 from a few years back. The project never really got off the ground, thus I hope to breath new life into it during this challenge. Other than in my earlier efforts I'll mainly focus on the Western Front but may stray into other theatres as well. For a start I've ordered a whole bunch of Woodbine Designs French and am currently thinking of maybe adding some Brigade Games French to the mix.

I'm not completely decided on the basing yet, thus I shamelessly borrowed a method used by our very own Sidney Roundwood which he used on his Great War project.

So, with my first entry for the challenge out of the way it's about high time to prepare for Christmas eve. 

A Merry Christmas to you all!


One can always count on your work being stunning and you don't disappoint here, Nick. I love your take on French 'Horizon Blue' and your skintones are always a marvel to study. You can't go wrong with a Roundwood-inspired base as Sid has pretty much nailed the groundwork for that conflict. I think there'll be several us eagerly awaiting how you get on with the re-start of your Great War project. One thing for sure, it will be a feast for the eyes!

Happy Christmas, Nick!