Saturday, 2 February 2019

Duels Tabulation in Progress

The gears of the steam powered tabulating machine are whirring as the mid point Duel update is generated.

A reminder to all duel participants that any updates they wish to have reflected, need to be emailed to me at:

I will endeavour to post the update in the next 24 hrs and then will be increasing the refresh rate as we race towards the finish line!

Wallah 9 Actual out

From ByronM - 28mm WWII Canadians, 15mm Thirty Years War, and Epic 30k ( 133 Points)

A few things to post up this week, that are all over the map, I really wish I had seen and entered that "squirrel" challenge.

First up I have a squad of WWII Canadians from Warlord.  These are the metal figures and are great, with a ton of character in the faces.  In addition to the squad itself, I have included a command figure.

While the pink flowers may look a bit odd at first glance, they are there to be my unit designators.  This is a pink squad, later will be followed by purple, blue, red, etc.  That way as units get mixed up on the battle field it is always easy to see which one belongs to which squad.

The figures were done pretty quickly, but turned out pretty well.

Next up is my first submission of a new project, I plan on painting several armies for the Thirty Years War, and this is the first few bases for a Swedish cavalry skirmish group.  The figures are from Wargamer LLC who publishes the rules By Fire and Sword.  While not specifically targeting the 30YW period, they are aimed at the late 1600's just following the 30YW and not much tactically had changed during that time, so I plan on using their rules for the period.  If they don't work out I can always fall back to the tried and true Pike and Shotte rule set.  Regardless of the rule set I end up using, the figures are amazingly good and I strongly suggest them. 

I tried painting these figures initially, but was just not coming up with something that I liked.  I paint way more 28mm than anything else, and was using a 28mm paint method which was taking way to long and not showing well on the figures.  So, having Greg in the area, and knowing that he can bang off amazing looking 15mm figures with ease, I invited him over to give me a painting lesson!  Sure enough, he had a completely different way to paint 15mm figures than what I was doing.  It involved way more contrast than I was using, a different order of painting, and looked way better with way less effort.

While I still don't have it down solid, and my version of his painting does not look as good, I am getting there. So thanks to Greg again, but don't judge these figures and reflect badly on him, it's just my first attempts at his style. If you look closely, you can see 3 figures that look much better than the rest, those are the 3 he did that night to teach me how.  I am still not super happy with my results, but hopefully I get better as I paint more of them.

The bases for By Fire and Sword and Pike and Shotte for 15mm should be 40mm wide for 3 figures and either 20mm or 30mm deep depending on infantry or cavalry, however I found that a bit cramped and since the basing doesn't really matter (as long as both forces are done the same way, and I plan on doing both sides for games) I expanded the bases by 10mm in both directions.  This allows a bit more room for groundwork and to protect the models.  It also allows infantry a bit more room for Muskateers to spread out, or to add a few more pikemen onto a base to look more like a block of men.

Also shown here are 3 test figures for Musketeers of any nation.  These I believe are Bluemoon sculpts, but could be Khurasan as well.  I bought a pile from the three different suppliers and then cleaned and primed them all together, so no real idea which are which any more.  They all look good though, the only issue I have with the Bluemoon figures is that they come in bags of 50, but only have 3 different sculpts.  The price is right and they are the cheapest and look good alongside the other two companies, they just have very little variation, so can not really be used by themselves.

Lastly, I have a small squad of Epic 30k vehicles that I forgot to photograph last week.  The squad is made up of 5 scimitar jetbikes and a speeder.  They are great little sculpts and while they will provide almost no use on the battle field, being way to fragile, they look awesome and I could not resist.

That should give me a little bit of a points boost, but I have been struggling to paint this year, so I am not all that hopeful about meeting my goal, I really need to get working!  Oh, and 3 of the Cavalry should count to Greg's points as he painted 3 of them, so 12 points to GregB as well.

11x 28mm = 55 points
15x 15mm cav = 60
3x 15mm inf = 6
6x 6mm vehicles = 12
Byron's total = 133

3x 15mm cav = 12
Greg's total = 12


Ah, yes, the switch from painting 28mm to 15mm can be quite difficult. The same applies the other way, as I can well attest.

Excellent work on all of these sets Byron. And Greg for his three 15mm cavalry.

From DaveD Woods & Bridge (60 points)

A few other terrain bits this week. First up "Martins Bridge' - Well only if his paras actually manage to capture it - last time somehow my relief force reached the bridge before his paras did...!

I do like bridges for wargames scenarios - they are great for capturing , destroying , defending , retreating across etc. I wanted a decent sized one for my WW2 15mm forces - so here it is .

 The central span arch girder was sourced as a OO gauge railway MDF set - cost £8.50 free delivery !
I built the piers and ramps from foam board and MDF sheet with the brickwork from a brick pattern embossed sheeting - the railing on the ramps is made from pins and wire. A quick bit of kit bashing later and voila!

3 guesses what i was watching while doing this... 

From end to end its 30 inches long 3 1/2 inches wide 5 inches high its 12 inches wide between the piers -  damn it i need some wider river sections.. ! it never ends!

actually really - this is what inspired me since i was about 6 ...

you know it ... go on - you really do know whats going to happen

I have also finished off the stock of trees I had in my terrain "to do" drawer. These are trees usually for model railways - they are made by Busch and are a mix of sizes 40- -60 mm high. They are good for small 15mm of reasonable 6mm. This tops my trees collection up to about 300 - enough to nicely fill a good sized table

AT Gun for scale only

They are based on a range of shapes 2mm MDF that i get from Warbases.

Volume wise they take up 1 and 1/2 terrain cubes

over to , the best , top , superb , mega honourable minion Tamsin for points ! with luck this takes me over 1000 points and a third of the way to my target -.. Millsy eat my shorts....

right where did i put my camels


Enough of the sucking up, Dave! OK, suck up some more!

That bridge looks just the thing for Martin to try to capture and "hold until relieved". I'm guestimating a little here, but assuming the ramps max out at 2" high, I'm going to score that as 1.5 terrain cubes. That'll give you thirty points. And another thirty for the woods.

However, I think you need to check your maths - 1000 points is two-thirds of the way to your target, unless I am greatly mistaken. As for Millsy eating your shorts, I don't believe that was a part of your side-duel, but perhaps it should be!

From MilesR: Gunfighters Ball II (211 Points)

Another Week's worth of painting Gunfighters Ball figures and terrain.

First up, two more "factions". In the front row are the James Gang in their distinctive long coats.  Behind them are the "Cowboys" factions who were the sworn enemies of the Earps as depicted in the wonderful Western movie "Tombstone".  Hmmmm, I wonder if there is an Earp faction to paint up?

Some special characters and townsfolk to populate the streets.  I really liked the "old doc figure" (front center with the green vest).  The game has rules where this character can show up randomly and start patching up wounded players.  I think the guy in the bathtub is also very nicely sculpted.

Now we have some characters from a certain Western themed movie about the perils of real estate development in the Old West.
For IP purposes, the characters have different names - here's Magnus
and Sheriff Blazer and the Chaco-Kid.  You may remember with slightly different monikers....

No matter if you're Magnus or something else, you're still just a pawn in the game of life.
Every Western town needs a Saloon and my comes from Knuckleduster.  Its a laser cut wood kit with both metal  (windows / doors) and..
resin detail parts.  The Bar came out nicely.  The slots on the stage are for some dancing girl figures from the line.  You may seem them later on in the Challenge.  Don't get too excited, my games are definitely just rated G, unlike some other participants in this year's competition.

Lets see this week's submission is:

29 figures on foot for 145 points
2 mounted for 20 points
1 building that's 495 cubic inches or 2.3 terrain cubes.  That math says 46 points buts lets round it down to 40.

My math skills point to a 205 point total for these here cowboys.  Your mileage may vary....


Howdy there, Miles! Lovely to see more cowpokes and citizens of the Old West. That saloon looks a very dubious joint to have a drink in - there are no tables and chairs for one thing. I assume that they all got damaged in the last barroom brawl.

After all that work, it would be unfair to have you miss out on those 6 points, so I'm going to add them back to your total.

Now, go sit on your horse and drink your milk, pardner!

From Barks: Blackstone baddies (55 points)

GW is using Blackstone Fortress to test the waters and show some reimaginings of classic creatures. I painted these abhumans to complement my Slaanesh-themed Chaos units. I gave them a slightly-too-subtle purple/ grey skin. They are bigger than non-mutated humans.


With an hour to go, I have squeezed in another 7 figures, being the second Traitor Guard squad. I gave them a black helmet stripe to differentiate them, and gave the leader a white mask, which I liked so much I added it to my first squad's leader. These were not as frustrating to paint as the first batch, since I knew what colours to paint things and where I could take shortcuts.

Skull-o-meter: 19
11 x 28mm figures


More delicious pinky-boys! So, beast men, not Beastie Boys. Oh, well, easy mistake to make first thing on a Saturday morning. Nevertheless, I'm sure that those chaps are fighting for the right to party.

From LeeH - One of the few (7 points)

Just a small entry from me this week. I have several projects on the go at the same time, including the last two bonus round entries. This means I'm very busy but have nothing to show for it at the moment! I'm not too worried though as I have made significant inroads in my Challenge target. In fact, the stuff on my desk right now should bring me right up to my aim point, leaving me a few weeks spare...I'd better get my thinking cap on because at the moment I don't have anything else in the pipeline. 

Anyway, this weeks entry is a bit of a departure for me because it is 1/48th scale (a little over 40mm). I bought it to accompany a 1/48th Spitfire from Revell that I received at Christmas. I may yet paint that for the Challenge, but it has been years since I attempted a kit model as complicated as this and so far I have chickened out of starting it! So you get the Pilot first, with the possibility of the aircraft at a later date. 

Ironically this iconic British Airman is made by a Czech manufacturer and I bought it through a German supplier! A bit expensive but very nice and I may take a longer look at their catalogue in future. The quality was excellent with just a little bit of resin flash that was easily removed with the edge of a blade. Other than that and a wash to clean the surface before priming no other prep was needed. 

Hopefully, I'll have more to present next week. I'm halfway through some 6mm Natal Native Horse and a heavy parcel filled with tanks has just arrived from Peter Pig! My second wind has arrived!!


Well, view halloo and tally ho! Excellent work on the flyboy Lee. But he really does need a kite, so buckle down and bite the bullet - we want to see that 1/48 Spit!
Hopefully some of the other projects you are currently working on will be finished very soon (Focus! Focus!).

From PaulO'G: DAK Tank Killers (92 points)

This week sees more DAK Panzers joining my Panzer IV Specials from last week.  First up - a platoon of Pz IV F1s:

Panzer Marsch!
Their short barrels limited their effective range but the 75mm guns were capable of ripping the heart out of any Allied tank in the early desert war.  Mercifully for the 8th Army, they were always in short supply throughout and thus saw heavy and constant action.

As befits their operational usage, I have painted them up as well worn desert veterans. These models are PSC plastic kits.

As Battlegroup Torch takes the Desert War to Tunisia I can now field the Tiger tank, which was in operational use there from Dec 42.  The thick armour and brutal 88mm gun were a lethal combination which, while far from unbeatable, established the concept of "Tiger Fear" amongst Western Allied tank crews.

I'm really thrilled with how crisp I managed to get the Tiger's finish
As a newcomer to the theatre, I have done this Tiger as new looking and unbattered example.  This model is from the recent Battlefront release in plastic.

My final offering this week is a Pak 38 5cm Anti Tank gun battery.  I have also modelled additional crewing options (allowing it to stay operational after taking some personnel casualties), and with both SdKfz 10 tow tractors for mobile operations, and dug-in 'nest' positions for flexibility.

The guns, crews and tows are by Forged in Battle. The PaK nests are resin by Battlefront.

Overall, this submission contains 4 tanks, 2 halftracks, 2 guns and 14 crew figures for 84 points.
Given their size I suggest 5 points each for the two gun emplacements, for a total of 94 points.


Lovely work on the tanks and Paks Paul. That clean "new in theatre" Tiger is definitely a cat set among the pigeons!
The Pak nests should really be treated as terrain, but that would only give you a couple of points as they are quite small, so I'll treat them as crew-served weapons instead.

From DaveD - hit the beach..and kaboom (370 points)

 Along with JamesM and MartinC I have been doing a number of Normandy themed games.  With this year being the 75th anniversary of the D Day landings I had a hankering to do something related. James and Martin already have Brits and Canadians so my natural choice is to look at the American army -it was also a revisit of one of my very early wargame collections. I settled on the Utah beach landing , the beach opposite causeway no2 , leading onto the Cotentin and it’s associated para drops.This is Uncle Red beach

So here we have the initial assault sections of the 2nd Battalion , 8th infantry regiment , 4th Division,  and the DD tanks of the 70th Tank Battalion. all 15mm

Uncle Red Beach - Assault section
I made up some specific decals for the LCVPs which were all launched from USS Barnett APA5 and added these - for interesting bit of history its worth reading about that ship - it participated in 7 major assault landings - and spookily it was built about 10 miles from me in the North East UK at Haverton Hill ..
2nd Battalion 8th Infantry Regt, 4th Division

ready to drop ramps!

Sherman Duplex Drive (DD) tanks swim to shore
Tanks of the 70th Tank Battalion appear from the sea.

Surprise! float skirts down ! 

6 Classic Higgins Boat LCVP  (18 crew) each with 2 x 12 assault section passengers (144 figures - they are actually about 3/4 size as they are knee to head and fixed on a base)
4 floating Duplex Drive Sherman’s
4 DD tanks float dropped (1 with crew)

Next up is some extra items for US forces  for later on
Sherman TRV32 Engineering vehicle ( 1 crew)
2 M4 Sherman 76mm Wet (1 crew)
1 M10 Tank Destroyer (1 crew)
2 M4 Sherman Crocodiles tanks + trailer (1 crew)

nasty nasty flamethrower tanks! x 2!

All 15mm 


I have also made some additional blast markers - we used that last lot I made in a big game last weekend and they look really good . I have added another 7 of them. 5 I have turned into a Mk2 version by adding in some extra bit of explosion effect by using optical fibre strands which are hot glued to the LED itself..this transmits the flickering light to the end of strand. I applied a bit of heat to the end of the strand with a soldering iron that has increased the size of the end of the strand giving greater light distribution ...

7 new LED powered blast markers 
5 are the mk2 version with extra fibre optics stands added!

6 boats - 72 points
14 tank vehicles, 2 trailers  - 112 + 8 points
Infantry 144 - 144 points
Crew 22 - 22 points
Terrain - 10 points

I have really enjoyed doing this little lot last week - its made a serious dent on the 15mm lead pile - I even now have an empty drawer! time to go shopping.

I have more terrain works in progress ..


My word, what a lot of little men in boats. Luckily for you there are more than three of them (plus dog) or Jerome K Jerome might have something to say!

Excellent work Dave. Luckily I didn't trust your calculation for points (366) in the post heading, you were diddling yourself out of two! I've added another two points for the extra work with the optical fibres in those blast markers - great effect.