Wednesday, 30 January 2019

From Millsy: Knights of the Kingdom of Jerusalem (45 points)

Hi All,

The Crusade (against unpainted lead and plastic apparently) rolls onward with the start of the mounted component of my army. I very nearly finished a unit of Hospitaller sergeants too but the mounted elements are taking a long time to get right with all the hand-painted heraldry.

Anyway, here we have a unit of Knights of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, resplendent in blue, white and gold. A lovely colour scheme and one that I enjoyed thoroughly. The miniatures are all from Fireforge Games and comprise a combination of parts from the Mounted Sergeants and Templar Knights box sets.

One thing I find odd in the box set is the mix of caparisoned vs. bare horses (3 vs. 9 per box). The result is unless you buy a load of boxes it is impossible to make units of entirely caparisoned horses when using multiples of 4. Oh well...

So another 40 points plus whatever the Gods of Handpainted Heraldry deem my unworthy efforts to deserve in recompense for hours spent slavishly doing what a sensible, well balanced individual would do with decals...



Millsy, another splendid unit towards the completion of your Crusader army (as if such a thing can ever be said to be 'complete' - "One more unit of Turcopoles, just one...")

The handpainted heraldry (and I'm apparently a 'God' of this pantheon, so watch it, mortals!) plus the matching caparisons and pennons definitely merit bonus points; five points seems a fair reward for the amount of work you put in. I'd be putting in a call to LBMS for a batch of decals myself, but then I'm extremely lazy!

Well played, Sir!


From TeemuL: High Elf (5 points)

Being busy with this and that and preparing for the next bonus round has kept me busy. Thus only one painted miniature this week... Better than nothing.

A single Warhammer Fantasy Battle Elf from ages past. I tried to mimic my 20 year old paintings and I managed it quite well (see bottom picture). I remember these elfs were pain to paint, but it wasn't that hard now. I still have the same level, but I get there faster. :) I added some washes and sand on the base, because with minimal amount of work it just looks so much better.

Idea behind painting this single warrior was to be able to field a minimum size unit of Warhammer 5th ed, if I ever happen to play that again. This bit better painted individual can even serve as champion of the unit with his shiny blue armor. I don't have enough elfs to build army of them, but they could join Empire or Dwarfs as (untrustworthy) allies.

That's all, one 28mm miniature painted for 5 points and one new Squirrel door opened.

Ah, the dreaded Bonus Rounds, the all-consuming monsters of the Challenge... I sympathise with your predicament, Teemu, I've had to put a few things on the back burner myself!

I do like the Goblin Green colour scheme on the base, very old school - it's a nice callback to the good old days! 

Looking forward to seeing your work on the Bonus Theme. Five points for this champion!


From MikeF - Imperial Armada Troops for 30k (50 points)

My Reconnaissance submission mentioned I've started a new 30k army based on the Imperial Militia & cults list. Most of my force will be composed of the elite grenadiers unit. They have pretty good stats for humans and a good selection of war gear. The list also include units with less than impressive stats. I decided to address this disparity by making the lesser troops an auxiliary to the main force of grenadiers. In Praetorian of Dorn, the Inferallti Hussars are defending space stations and likely operate in close coordination with the imperial fleet (armada in 30k I think). They would likely draw support from the naval infantry stationed on these ships. They would probably be inferior troops as they haven't seen much action. I decided to have fun with the uniforms and give them full dress uniforms to represent troops that have been spending the Horus Heresy in relative comfort. The uniforms also suggest that their deployment is a position of privilege reserved for those who have "friends" in the Imperial Court.

The models are from Anvil Industry and will be used as crew for some rapier batteries I'll have ready for next week. There's also a platoon commander who clearly has the ear of some administrator on Terra.
Platoon Commander in gold hoping this "Heresy" thing just blows over.

Note the bagpiper on the left. What could be better in the sealed environment of a star ship than bagpipes!

No wait! It's this way!

Mike, I've never seen this unit before, but I do like their old world look. Almost like the cast of 'HIMS Pinafore'! Or is the commanding officer the Very Model of a Modern Major-General, perhaps?

Bagpipes are necessary for unit morale. They are a reminder that whatever the enemy may do to you, it can't be anywhere near as bad as what your own side can inflict upon you if you don't toe the line!

50 well-earned points, Mike - well done!


From Brendon W - Archers, Arabs and More (80 points)

This week I have a variety of plastic 28mm miniatures. 2 x Mongol Cavalry, 4 x Arab Archers, 6 x Dark Age Archers and 1 Norman Cavalry Casualty.

Gripping Beast Dark Age Archers except one. The plastic kit comes with only three body types. The Miniature with the quiver on his back is from Conquest Games. These double ups on 25mm round bases are suitably dull and drab and my less than average photo makes them darker perhaps.

A fraction brighter these Gripping Beast plastic Arab Archers but have more archers to paint and I think I might aim for a little brighter with them. I glue a lot less flock on the Arabs and I also do a quick highlight of Khaki on the Flock as I do for the Gripping Beast Mongols below.

These Fireforge plastic Mongols are based on 50mm squares to help extend my collection across unit trays. The black horse had a small slope constructed to give a change in angle.
I have only one more mounted Mongol in my unpainted hordes so hopefully this challenge will motivate me to completion. 

I did purchase some FireForge Mongol heavy cavalry but they are resin and not a high quality plastic kit. I have had them a few years but they are such lower quality of the ones above that I am on the verge of selling them rather than painting them. The sculpts suck! It's a mystery to me that parts such as the quiver and bow in its holster are totally different! Why not just use the bits from the set above? Anyway I will stop ranting about the disappointment they are.

The Conquest Games Norman Cavalry box comes with this great little unit base filler. I hand painted the shield on this miniature in pain (or in death). The belly of the horse looks a little odd in regards to the sculpture finish. They sit on a 50mm square and I think Casualties get half points.

Cheers from Brendon

Very nice work, Brendon - those Fireforge Mongols are especially cool! Pity their resin brethren haven't come up to scratch...

I couldn't find anything in the rules about scoring casualties (then again, I'm not known for my attention to detail in these matters), but I figure that the unfortunate Norman has to be worth at least as much as a regular mounted model given the effort that's gone into painting and basing him! So I'm scoring him as a regular cavalry figure.

Could your Dark Age project become the next Knights of Beer and Bacon, I wonder...?


From SimonM: "Fantasy Flight Games" Imperial Royal Guards (20 Points)

These four 40mm tall hard plastic protectors of Darth Sidious are produced by “Fantasy Flight Games” and can be found inside the company's Imperial Royal Guards Unit Expansion for "Star Wars: Legion". "An elite unit whose members served as personal bodyguards to the Galactic Emperor", the Red Guard made their first 'Silver Screen' appearance in Richard Marquand's 1983 American epic space opera film "Return Of The Jedi".
Despite initially priming this quartet with a double coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Red, and subsequently shading them using a healthy dose of “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade, I actually found myself having to repeatedly return to this multi-part miniatures to 'plug up' some frustrating gaps which I kept discovering during the painting process. Admittedly, I had somewhat quickly assembled and super-glued "the most skilled warriors in the forces of the Galactic Empire" in my eagerness to get them on the tabletop, but even so I was rather surprised by just how ill-fitting some of their limbs were, especially when they were presumably supposed to blend in with the swirl of their famous flowing robes.

Fortunately, once the odd application of 'Grey Stuff' had both cured and been pigmented, an enthusiastic dry-brushing with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Red seemed to work wonders on the figures' overall appearance, and momentarily I was actually tempted to leave the soldiers' uniforms as was. Certainly I wasn't planning on following the "Fantasy Flight Games" official paint-job palette, which portrayed the Imperial Royal Guards with purple-hued undergarments and blackish gloves.
In the end I therefore decided to simply 'pick out' each bodyguard's armoured helmet with a combination of "Vallejo" Dark Vermillion and a generous splash of "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. This seemed to break up the monotonous nature of the miniatures' colour scheme reasonably well, especially when mixed with the "Vallejo" Black, "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil used upon their hand-weapons.

I always thought the name 'Imperial Royal Guards' was a tad oxymoronic - are they Imperial or Royal? Are they guarding an Emperor or a King? Or are they an elite unit of monarchs appointed to guard the Emperor? Who can say?

Simon, that's 20 points for these suitably imperious and Imperial Guards! 


From StuartL - WWW.WeirdWorldWar2.Com (45 points)

As you can probably guess from the title, this entry is for the Weird sub genre of World War 2 games.
These models all come from the Dust Tactics 1:48 scale line of miniatures, which was later rebranded Dust Warfare and is now just Dust. I first got these minis when Fantasy Flight Games were producing the game. Once it seemed like they had milked it for all it was worth, they dropped the license and it went over to Battlefront. One disastrous kickstarter later (I'm glad I missed it to be honest) and the game is now being produced by the creator of the game universe and seems to cost twice the price it once did, so I probably won't be getting anything else for it.

Up first is a squad of very heavily armed and armoured British Airborne. I don't know how they jump out of a plane with that much kit on, but they are all set to avenge the disaster at Arnhem. Armed with some kind of phaser cannons and rocket powered fists, they are an unstoppable force on the battlefield. Unless you shoot them in their completely unarmoured heads, which seems a terrible design flaw.

This guy is some sort of special character (you can tell because he is wearing shades and chomping on a cigar, only special characters do that). Because he is so bad a$$ he has TWO phaser cannons. I made an attempt at painting the correct unit insignia on the models' shoulders, though really it came out as burgundy and blue splotches. But if you squint your eyes and look at it from a distance, it just might look like a poor attempt at the British Airborne's divisional badge.

And a close up of the other three guys for completion's sake. Interestingly, all three guys have a knife on their belt, just in case that rocket powered fist isn't enough.

To give them some long range support on the battlefield I also painted up a walking tank. One of the points I liked about Dust was that the allied tanks looked kind of Sherman-esque. This one bears a resemblance to a Firefly, though the turret is kind of small. I may dig out my Tamiya Firefly and play about with swapping the turret to see how it looks.

Continuing my theme of being a nerd for insignia, this model borrowed some spare decals from a 1:48 Cromwell kit. These mark it out as being from the 5th Royal Tank Regiment, 22nd Armoured Brigade, 7th Armoured Division 'The Desert Rats'.

The model actually comes apart, which made painting it a bit easier. The turret is removable and there are some other weapon options available for it including a flame thrower and some tulip rockets which I may paint at some point in the future.

By my reckoning, I have 1x 28mm scale vehicle and 4x 28mm scale infantry for a total of 40 points and another notch on the Squirrel tally.

Weird War 2 is becoming quite the topic du jour - excellent work on these chaps, but if the infantry are 1/48 scale, surely that means they're substantially bigger than 28mm? I'd better sling a few bonus points your way just to be sure. Five should do it!


From StuartL - Rats! (70 points)

For this week's challenge entry, I present a unit of 14 Skaven for the Age of Sigmar The Great Horned Rat! For those of you who aren't familiar with Warhammer Fantasy or it's reboot, Age of Sigmar, Skaven are a race of vile, craven, rat-like humanoids (or human like verminoids). They make use of magically powered technology and the fantasy equivalent of nuclear waste. 

First off, we have a unit of 12 warriors armed with a variety of rusty blades, spiky things and stabby bits. Included in the unit is a standard bearer and a musician. There is probably a unit champion as well, but as champions inevitably get called upon to fight opposing champions, he is probably hiding somewhere at the back of the unit, trying to blend in.

In support of the warriors is a Poison Wind Mortar. This ingenious device lobs glass vials filled with poisonous gases mixed with warpstone, the aforementioned nuclear waste-like material into the enemy ranks, swiftly wiping out whole units in one fell cloud of gas. Of course, it sometimes misfires and the units wiped out are fellow Skaven, but they breed like rats (obviously) anyway, so they can always be replaced.

I have had these models for about 8 years now and have only just gotten around to painting them. They were surprisingly fun to do once I had chosen a colour scheme for them. I still have plenty more unpainted models in the pile, so I may well add some more before the end of the challenge.

Anyway, by my count there are 14x 28mm models at 5 points a pop, giving me a total of 70 I believe, plus an extra squirrel rodent point for my tally.

I do like the Skaven!

Their courage in battle (as long as they outnumber the enemy at least 3 to 1), their fiendish ingenuity (in engineering weapons which are at least as likely to kill them as they are the foe) and their commitment to a long-term plan for world domination, all entirely laudable traits. And these guys are perfect examples of the breed!

70 points in the bag, Stu - and I think you have something else for us as well, unless I'm very much mistaken...?


In Tearing Haste - The Wednesday Roundup

Greetings, Challengers and Challenge Fans!

Today's roundup must, of necessity, be brief.

My Good Lady Wife and I are off to Tasmania in a matter of mere hours, and while I am sorry to leave you all, I am absolutely certain there's a beer waiting at the IXL Hotel with my name on it.

We've packed the steamer trunk for cooler climes, since Sydney in summer has become a nightmarish hellscape of clammy humidity for anyone over 40 years old who might be carrying a teensy bit extra weight.

And what have we got today? We've got good guys and bad guys, knights and nomads, archers, elves, guards, all manner of submissions from the gnarled and knotty hands of our painters and figlimners.

So fasten your seat belts, make sure you have your tray table up (and your seat back in the full upright position), and enjoy a flight of fancy into the fervid imaginations of the ragtag band of misfits we call the Wednesday Warriors.