Monday, 7 January 2019

From SamuliS: Maximum Firepower! (25 points)

My third and last Imperial entry to the challenge (at least until I buy more!). The final two miniatures to bring my Imperial force to roughly 1000 points which should be plenty enough as the standard game size is 800. Following on from the fast moving Scout Speeders it's time for the slow and lumbering AT-ST and General Maximillian Veers of the Assault Armor Division though without his AT-AT walker.

Again far better castings than the basic Stormtroopers with Veers having fairly crips detail (at least for a bucket plastic miniature) and the AT-ST being a really nice looking sculpt. The only gripe I really have with them is that a lot of the AT-ST comes preassembled leaving ejector pin marks and seam lines in areas where it's difficult or impossible to fix them.

Fantasy Flight Games has pretty bad assembly instructions so I went about looking at pictures from the internet and put the AT-ST together from that. All went well until in the final weathering stages I noticed there were some "L" and "R" markings on some of the parts and naturally I had them wrong way round (as did quite a few others judging from pictures online). I was contemplating on sticking the mini in a freezer so that the superglue would break and allow me to take them apart, but in the end thought that it would require so much extra work that I just didn't want to bother. Let's see if some Star Wars fan manages to spot the mistake on the model!

I'm continuing with the simple paintjobs here as well. The AT-ST was sprayed overall with light grey and then I added a bit of white to the mix and sprayed some of the larger panels with the lighter version using my airbrush. Finally even more white was added to the mix and a few small panels or raised details were painted with that by brush. Then chipping with an offwhite and dark grey followed by a few different enamel washes that were mostly wiped off. Fairly fast, but pretty effective! General Veers got paint slapped onto him everytime the bigger beast was waiting for something to dry and I mostly got both of them painted during a single day so a pretty efficient job!

The Imperials were a fun little project to do! All of the force was done in roughly 30-35 hours including all assembly and conversions so it was really nice to do something from start to finish so fast! Normally I have a tendency to go overboard with projects that are just a bit too large and take ages to get done, so finishing a whole army in under two weeks was a refreshing change and definitely a major motivation booster for painting!

All in all one 28mm foot figure and one fairly large 28mm vehicle giving me 25 points more to add to my tally.

It isn't Monday unless there's Star Wars! That walker has a lovely paint job. Congratulations on finishing your whole force, white is a challenging colour. Try winning the Ewoks' hearts and minds, things might go smoother...


From DaveX - 1/300 Ships - Freighter and Kamikaze Boats (32 points)

Well Cruel Seas appears to be quite popular.  I haven't pulled the trigger on the ruleset yet due to that 10 page Errata so I am waiting for a reprint until I do so.

In the meantime why not paint up some ships?

First off I 3D Printed a 1/300 Scale Freighter off Thingiverse.  I wasn't entirely happy with some of the fittings so I trimmed them off and used a paperclip to replace some parts.  I also added 2 paperclip masts that were drilled into the hull to make them nice and secure.  For a FDM (the printer that prints lines) I am pretty pleased with this!

I have never painted a model ship before so I decided to go with a fairly generic paint scheme and I havent flagged the ship so I can keep my options open for game play.

I decided my first fleet being one of the more unpopular fleets would be the Japanese.  Firstly I like unpopular and secondly they have Kamikaze boats! Who wouldn't want to play these?

Also being January, Japanuary is a most suitable and motivating theme.

The Cruel Seas Japanese Navy Fleet gives you 3 x Maru-ni and 3 x Shin'yo Kamikaze Boats.  From what I understand the Maru-ni's had a depth charge attached and would try and flee after deploying it and were operated by the Army.  The Shin'yo boats were operated by the Navy and basically were designed to slam into their target... Banzai!  

The Maru-Ni boats are grey and the Shin'yo boats are green.

Now my apologies for not knowing how many points these should be! The Kamikaze Boats are teeny tiny.  I will be painting up more Japanese Ships for the Challenge and for Japanuary!  This should also give me 7 models total for the SD3 Engage the Enemy More Closely Side Challenge.

I'm really appreciating seeing all this new Cruel Seas stuff. They are very evocative miniatures, and these kamikaze boats especially so. I believe there are sail-powered boats in the Japanese fleet- that takes guts! I think that 3D printing is taking off, and your lovely clean print is proof of this.

I've scored these as 6mm and 28mm vehicles, so that's a solid 32 points.

From ScottM: Early War French & Gnolls (105 points)

For this weeks submission I went with two sets of 28mm figures. First up is a group of early World War II French infantry. Figures are metal and from Black Tree Design.

Not sure what it is but I just enjoy painting French infantry. And on a related note, I recently finished the audiobook of Robert Forczyk's Case Red, the Collapse of France.

I recommend it if this period and theatre is of interest to you.

The next set of figures are from North Star's Frostgrave range. These figures are all metal except for the two figures in the back row with shields, they're from the plastic Gnolls set.

That should be 21 infantry x 5 points a piece for 105 points.


Very nice! The WWII French are quite reminiscent of their WWI forebears. Frostgrave is really cementing itself as a serious fantasy contender.

Bonne chance!


From Ben F: Вставай, страна огромная! 6mm Soviet Tank Regiment, 1984 (71 Points)

Happy New Year everyone, and I hope 2019 is a good one. For me, the 14th of January is D-Day, when my first baby will be born, so we're very much of the countdown now.

The title for this entry means 'Arise vast country,' and is the opening lines of The Sacred War, a staple of the Soviet wartime repertoire by the same composer as the Soviet national anthem. For my 6mm 1984 'Cold War Gone Hot' campaign, I needed Soviet armour and lots of it.

First off in this entry is a Soviet horde of T-64s and BMPs. The T-64s were the best-of-the-best when they were released, but tended to be plagued by technical problems due to their overly complex suspension. In 1984, the T-64A was being superseded by the T-64B (with better quality armour) and the first of the T-80s were beginning to filter down to frontline units.
As the campaign will be based around an attack by 3rd Shock Army across the North German plain, opposed by the BAOR, Belgians, Dutch, and West Germans. In 1984, all four Tank Divisions of the 3rd Shock Army appear to have fielded T-64As, with a handful of battalions beginning to field the T-64Bs - thats the way the campaign will run them anyway.

These are T-64As from CinC. They are great little models, even if the 'true-to-scale' gun barrels are very difficult to keep from bending. The UAZ-469 staff car is Heroics and Ros.
This is enough to field two tank battalions (plus a few extras) at the 1 base = 1 platoon level we play at the club. I find it challenging to make soviet armour interesting, and so for these I painted an approximation of the guards bade on their spotlight covers, as well as painting numbers on the turret side.

Next up is a Motor Rifle Battalion's BMP transport. While I have a few battalion's worth of BMP-2s painted up, the 1984 setting primarily needs BMP-1s. These are from GHQ, and are excellent little sculpts. The BMP KSh command vehicle is from Heroics and Ros. As with the T-64s, it's tricky to make these guys look interesting, so I added vehicle numbers to the turret side and the coloured markings to the 9M14 Malyutka (AT-3 Sagger) anti-tank missiles. I do need to paint up another 9 of these, so that I can field two Motor rifle battalions at once.

Next, some odds and sods. Here are two 9K31 Strela-1 self-propelled SAM vehicles, perhaps better known by their NATO designation SA-9 Gaskins. These are from Heroics and Ros.

Finally, something which is completely useless for normal tabletop battles, a 9K72 Elbrus tactical ballistic missile launcher, better known as a SS-1C SCUD. The Scud Launcher and the chemical troops are from Heroics and Ros. While it's not going to be used in most games, but might be fun for a small scale game with NATO special forces attempting to avoid security troops and destroy it.

The T-64s and BMPs have already seen action against my mate Steve's BAOR in a trial game between Christmas and New Years. As with all freshly painted troops, they took a lickin', but not before they destroyed the better part of a territorial battalion and knocked out a Chieftain platoon. Here are some pics from happier times early in the game, before a USAF airstrike arrived to ruin their lovely drive through the German countryside.

So by my accounts for this entry it should be 71 points.
70 points - 35 x 6mm Vehicle
1 point - 2 x 6mm figures
Total = 71 points

Here's a picture of the entry, though please ignore the BRDM recce vehicle, that's going to be going into my recce bonus round entry.

That's it for this entry. The next entry will be a bunch more Soviets, this time for a Naval Infantry Brigade. I'm also working on a 6mm scale autobahn and an airfield. I've been having fun trying to paint an approximation of the Soviet Naval Flag on the side of a variety of soviet vehicles. How we suffer for our hobby.

Ben, you certainly are cranking out some great microarmour before your baby arrives! I really like 1:300 as it looks 'right' on the tabletop, particularly with this amount of materiel. Although it can get hard to distinguish between tank subtypes...

The Scud is great tabledressing and I want one.

Best wishes for next week, and I shall appeal to the Snowlord for clemency if your posts are less frequent...


From MikeW - 28mm 17th Century Ottoman Horsemen - 90 Points

This week I have bee able to complete the batch of Ottoman Light cavalry and commanders that I obtained in an eBay lot in December. I have also been able to make some good progress on a second eBay lot of 15 Mountain Men on foot plus 2 on horseback - however - they will not be ready for this week's deadline 😒

So here's the lot as it arrived, pre-primed in a mixture of black and white,with many of the figures separated form the horses, I took time to file off any flash and re-seat the figures on their horses and to re-apply an undercoat where needed.

Raw Ottoman Figures

I decided to go with the black undercoat on the horses where this was good, others I applied my normal white undercoat. Undercoat colour definitely impacts the final colours you get - as you'd expect black undercoat mutes most colours applied to it....

The batch represented 3 Ottoman Commanders plus a unit of 6 Mameluke Light Cavalry, on closer inspection the Mamelukes were mostly Riever Castings figures (with one exception, that I can't place) and the Ottoman Commanders were likely from another unknown company - simply due to the different casting qualities.

The painting techniques were very similar to those I discussed on my first post, building up from a white undercoat with layers of colour, adding detail and metalics at the end before fixing all the errors and mistakes I made!
Completed Mameluke Light Cavalry

These light cavalry were a riot of colour, so I have deliberately mixed many colours into the unit to give it that irregular look, I have also mixed the colour of the horse furniture to add to the irregular look.
The 'Red' Mameluke

I tried to get some idea of rich silk clothing by adding some patterns to a couple of the figures, I kept it simple using 'triangles' of dots in contrasting colour - a tip I read many years ago, the effect can be best seen on the 'Red' Mameluke. Unfortunately my photography skills are lacking, not sure how well these show up and the photo makes it appear that the figure is gloss varnished when in fact it has had several layers of Matt spray varnish this morning! Tips on camera settings welcome!

The horses were a variety of colours, I have a chart of all the common horse colourings and so use this as a basis for all horseflesh I paint. I apply the base colour and then usually paint the mane, tail ad lower legs black, If the mane or tail is a lighter colour  - I the add that colour before adding white blazes to the horse's head and a variety of socks to their feet.

Hooves are painted a dark tan colour before adding the reins and other saddle / tackle to the figure. Inevitably I have to fix a lot of the base colour after that process and then I add in metalics at the end as usual.

Using the Army Painter Dark Tone dip for figures gives a great shading effect for the horses and blends in all the colours to one unified result.

'Odd one Out' Mameluke
Ottoman Commander No1
You'll notice a couple of greys in the mix for the officers and the 'Odd one Out' Mameluke and a couple of the ottoman commanders. I got this effect by using a light grey base coat and then dry brushing with white - the more dry brushing you do the lighter the horse will get!

White socks and blaze are then added and on all greys I dry brush their snouts (don't know the technical term for a horse's mouth area!) flesh coloured. In fact I do this for any horse that has a white blaze that reached their mouth area - seems that's what happens for real horses as well! Again the dip adds shading as required...
Ottoman Commander No2
Ottoman Commander No3

Points Calculation: 9 x 28mm Mounted figures @10 points each = 90 points

You've certainly succeeded in achieving a unit that is a "riot of colour"! Who is the manufacturer? Your tips on painting expensive silks are handy. I know a lot of people baulk at painting horses, but you've given some encouraging advice that it can be simply done. Good photography starts with good lighting, and I'm sure fellow Challengers will have plenty to say.


Monday again!

It's the first Monday of 2019, and we have a few treats for you today. There's some colourful cav, fantasy Frostgrave, WW2 Frenchmen, Cruel Seas, Star Wars, and a tide of Soviet microarmour.

This time last week I went to New Years' Eve in Sydney, and had a spectacular view of a spectacular harbour. Rain threatened, but at the required time the fireworks did their thing.

The finest harbour in the world
I've been playing a few boardgames when my brushes were down over the last week, including Caverna, Pandemic, Flamme Rouge, Formula DExit: The Mysterious Museum, and Sushi Go Party. Good times!


PS: I have word from the Snowlord- the Recon Theme scores have been added to your totals.