Saturday, 9 March 2019

From GrantH: Commandos with Firefly support! (130 Points)

For my second post of the challenge, I have a small update of 22 Inter-allied Commandos with a Canadian Sherman Firefly in support! During World War II, the "butcher and bolt" tactics of commando units was the initial allied response to the need for striking out at fascist supply lines, installations and units across the European and North African front. 

Commando raids in Norway were so effective that German High Command moved a quarter of a million men in order to try and deter raids against the various factories and refineries that their war machine depended on. The Commandos I have painted are all outfitted in their iconic green berets, but some have their helmets strapped to their webbing and baggage for a little bit of character. Additionally they have been all based with sand, as I figure these lads would likely be doing some kind of amphibious landing somewhere. It was also the first time I decided to use the waterslide decal transfers and I am pretty pleased with how it came out.

The Sherman Firefly VC that accompanies them is arguably one of the most iconic Commonwealth tanks of the war. Armed with a formidable 17 pounder anti-tank gun, the firefly was capable of punching through the thick armor of most German tanks, quickly making it a favourite target for German defenders. The firefly I have painted is a Canadian one for the earlier days of the Normandy campaign, and as such lacks the iconic wavy camouflage that was used to try obscure the length of the gun. In total I believe this troop is worth 130 points.

The full troop of commandos.

The Firefly

All of these minis come from the warlord games range and were lots of fun to finish. I will likely need to wait till the next thaw in the weather before I can prime and paint my early war Polish, but hopefully that will be soon. Hopefully I can get at least one more post before then!


Fabulous work Grant! These commando figures look terrific and that Firefly is truly a formidable beast with its huge honkin' 17 pounder making itself very well known. As you say, getting the appropriate decals is key with these vehicles and I love seeing the stylised Canadian maple leaf on the side of the turret. Good one.

This group will give you 130 points for your tally. I hope we see another entry from you before the Challenge concludes on the 20th.

From MilesR: 28mm Perry ACW (335 Points)

I suspect you all are getting somewhat tired of hearing from me.  With that understanding I shall start this post with good news - this is my last post for today.

This post features a return to a favorite topic of mine for Challenge submissions - the American Civil War in 28mm scale.  These figures are a bit of a rush job as I need them next weekend for my "Sink the Tennessee" games I'm running at Cold Wars.  The figures are all from the Perry Brothers, hallowed by thine names.
First up 18 dismounted Union Calvary troopers.  These are metals that come in those lovely black boxes.
Next up are 24 Union infantry figures - painted up to be Union Marines with the white pants and webbing.  These are from the Perry Plastics range of which I have assembled and painted a rather large number of figures over the past few years.  It's not in level of Dave D's colonials but pretty darn close.
A finally 25 civilian "mob" figures that are Perry metal casts and themed along the lines of the movie Gangs of New York.  If you look closely you might even see a "Bill the Butcher" figure.  I really enjoyed painting these figures and hope the Perry's add more to the sub-line

Well that's it - 67 figures nets a nice sum of 335 points to add to my tiny tally for the day.


Great work Miles! You must have a tremendous collection of ACW figures accrued over the past few years of the Challenge. I really like the Gang of New York civilian types - I think I may have to pay the Perry's a visit after seeing these.

This entry places you just behind Noel in the points standings. Wow, talk about leaping up the roster! Sandbags duly dropped. ;P Well done Miles and have a great time at Cold Wars next weekend.


From DaveD: Sudan, NSW infantry and Water Carriers (200 points)

Its time to get a bit dusty and revisit the Sudan after all these other distractions. I have another mega game booked in for early May and I have a few new things to complete for it over the next few weeks.

The New South Wales Infantry Battalion deployed to the Sudan along with a battery of 9lb guns - the first foreign deployment for a force made up of Australian units - from the colony of New South Wales. There was a deployment of a levy of 400 men to NZ in 1850 for the Land Wars in British units . Australia didn’t become fully federated until 1901, so it was still 6 separate colonies... hence these are from NSW!- there you learnt something didn’t ya!. Anyway this  helped make the Sudan a real imperial effort with troops from around the empire taking part. This unit will accompany the artillery battery completed a few challenges ago.

Infantry are Perry Plastics 

Next up are some water carrier carts to accompany the columns (makes good scenario targets too) - the ration of water for the troops was 2 gallons a day - i may need some more!

These are repurposed Empress AZW items .with some Perry and Connoissuer Sudan bits added..

all 28mm
24 inf = 120 points
4 animals =20 points
4 crew = 20
2 vehicles = 30 points
Total 190 points

My finish line is in sight... just another 119 points to go to get me over the wire - and its on my desk at the moment ...


Ahhh! We finally get another update on Dave's Sudan collection. It wouldn't feel like a proper Challenge without some fine examples Imperial masculinity stomping around in the far, far reaches of the world. Water carts and New South Wales infantry?!  Very cool. Now, to placate the Canadians, you need to get some Red River boatmen who helped navigate the Nile for the Gordon Relief Expedition (or, have you already done these?!).

200 points for you Mr. Docherty (28mm vehicles are 20 each, so a bit higher than you estimated). I look forward to seeing your target-achieved entry in the coming days.


From IainW: Great Italian Wars 28mm mounted crossbowmen (88 Points)

The big aim of this challenge ( apart from a big push on terrain) was to paint up some light cavalry units for the Great Italian Wars, so I have painted command bases, pike blocks, artillery and wagons, none of which I really need (I now have 3'0" of artillery pieces for the Italian wars lined up side by side!). So finally I have a unit of mounted crossbowmen finished! Most of these are Hinchcliffe figures with Perry head swaps, which I think works pretty well, the change of heads help because they are all in the same pose, still I quite like them, which is good as I have two more units primed up! There is also an unknown ebay purchased mounted crossbow man, the flag bearer is an old glory spare and the slightly anachronistic Henry VIII type chap (who I am using as the unit proprietor as it were) is a Hinchcliffe one piece moulding.

The colour scheme is inspired by Simon Miller's recent Italian army over on his Big Bat Cave blog. We seem to be going through a phase of warlord Pike and Shotte games (ECW campaign at the moment) and I'd like to have a go with the Italian wars, but we will no doubt go back to To the Strongest as we really enjoyed that ruleset too.

I hope to add some more troops in the last phase of the challenge, this should take me past 500, halfway to my rather optimistic total and so half of what I achieved last time out (who knew painting renaissance figures takes longer than WWII Soviets?!), still I'm happy with what I have painted with eleven days to go, so eight X 28mm mounted figures is 80 points?

All the best Iain


Lovely work Iain. The Hinchcliffe figures and head swaps provide a wonderful, distinct unit. I also like the deeper Warmaster-like basing you've done for them (are all your cavalry mounted like this, or just the lighter detachments?).

3' of artillery pieces, eh? Really? Shouldn't this be 91.44 cm, Mr. Oh-We-Use-Metric-in-the-UK? ;P

Another 88 points for your Challenge tally (including a few extra for the conversion work). I look forward to seeing your final entries for this year's outing. 


From LeeH: Two Pzkfw IV Ausf J painted twice! (16 Points)

Panzerkamphwaggon IV Ausf J

I nearly finished these tanks last week, but in the end, I cleaned and re-primed them and started again...let me explain the madness. I decided to give these vehicles a different colour scheme, opting for something called Ambush Camouflage. This is a hard-edged camo that started to appear on German tanks in August 1944. It consisted of the usual Green and Red/Brown stripes over Dunkelgelb with dots of opposing colours over the top. A bit complex, but considering I don't have an airbrush I thought it would be a good alternative to my previous attempts at soft-edge camo. Initially, I was reasonably happy with it, although the dots were a bit bigger than I liked. Then I made a massive tactical error.

The final model of the Pzkf IV

I usually apply an ink wash to my models to darken shadows and, in the case of vehicles, deepen the recesses around hatches and engine grills etc. This time, for reasons even I don't understand I didn't use my normal ink but opted for Army Painter Strong Tone instead. And frankly, that ruined the models. They were way too dark and unlike regular ink, I couldn't clean away the dried excess with a wet brush. The models looked absolutely terrible and I couldn't bring myself to submit them for judging. In the end, I decided to start over so I stripped and re-base coated them. Heartbreaking, but utterly necessary!

My horrible first attempt at these tanks. Ugh!!

The second time around the result is much better. I have applied a much simpler hard edge camo design and my usual ink wash (Peat Brown Winsor and Newton Calligraphy Ink watered down 40%) and I am much much happier with the end results. As much as it killed me to restart these I just couldn't bear to present them in their former state. And the lesson folks is that even an experienced model painter can f-up occasionally!

The inking is much better on these.

The Panzer IV was an important tank, not because it was the best, but because it had such a long service life. It was continually able to be up-gunned and modified meaning it saw service through the whole of WWII in various iterations. These are the Ausf.J, the final production versions of the Panzer IV. In many ways, it was simpler than the earlier Ausf F version, in large part to speed production in the face of heavy battlefield losses against the Russians. The Ausf J was armed with the 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/48 gun and had 80mm rolled homogeneous armour on the front and 30mm on the sides. One innovation fitted to some, but not all, J's (and not on these models) was the move from solid Shutzen side plates to Drahtgeflecht Schürzen (Steel Mesh) which obviously saved weight but was found to be just as effective against shaped charge projectiles like Bazookas.

Well, I'm glad I managed to finish these, albeit just in time for today. Having to strip and repaint a finished model is drastic, but sometimes necessary. 


Beautiful work Lee. These are definitely a cleaner, brighter rendition from your first rendition.  I have to say that I really didn't mind the darker toned versions. With a heavy dust drybrush they would have looked like seasoned veterans to my eyes.

These two MkIVs will give Lee another 16 points as he bravely grinds by his points target for this year. Well done!


From MilesR: 15 Austrian Army, Part Un (720 points)

The first part of my Austrian army for the Napoleonic wars is ready for submission.  The figures are in 15mm scale and are a mixture of Old Glory and AB.  I fact all the infantry was a very generous gift from one of my blog readers.

There are 9, 24 figure infantry units, 2 extra four figured stands in the back plus 6, 2 figure skirmisher stands.  That a a total of 236 15mm Infantry figures.
6 batteries of artillery (all 6 pounders), 3 large Cuirassiers Formations (all Old Glory Figures and 4 command stands.  That brings the on this picture to 24 crew figures, six guns and 44 mounted figures.

The view of the Austrian host from a French regiment - note these were not painted by me as they look to good!

From a points perspective, that brings this submission to:

Infantry/crew 260 figures @ 2/eachfor = 520 points
6 guns @ 4/each = 24 points
44 Mounted @ 4/each = 176 points

Grand total = 720points

There are some more artillery and lighter calvary units still to come.


Yoiks! That is a generous gift indeed, and you've made the most of it Miles, well done.  I'm always impressed to see serried ranks of Napoleonics and these don't disappoint. I also like the ochre yellow of the artillery - often a challenging colour to get right. Miles, what rules will you be using for these? 

Another 720 points to add to Miles' points stonk...

From PaulO'G: DAK Infantry and vehicles (182 points)

Presenting the final submission for my DAK Army - Panzergrenadiers!

Infantry (with each 3 squads each separated into their rifle and LMG groups) a Platoon HQ squad, both light and medium mortars in support, and a flammenwerfer trooper in case I want to field the platoon as Sappers.  Forged in Battle (FiB) figures.

For early desert war encounters I will mount them in trucks as Shutzen but in later engagement during the Tunisia/Torch era they will be Gepanzerte Grenadiers riding fancy new SdKfz 251 halftracks (PSC Hanomags, FiB Command variant)

Here is the Kampfgruppe Kommander and his Command halftrack (FiB figures)

To keep the boys in fighting shape, the medical support team: a medic, stretcher bearers and a SdKfz 251 ambulance variant. Taking these in Battlegroup increases the resilience of your force, so they have a real, on table effect.  I haven't really in this capability before and am looking forward to trying them out. Combination of Peter Pig and FiB figures, Ambulance by FiB.

And to keep those Allied Jabos off their backs, an SdKfz 10/5 with a 2cm FlaK mount (Battlefront model)

I also finished off some minor terrain pieces - 5 haystacks for the 15mm Russian village I did back in AHPC 8 (and then misplaced before I could paint them), and a small area of rough desert terrain.  I suggest a point each for the haystacks and 3 points for the rough ground based on its dimensions relative to the "standardised but inexplicably not yet metric terrain cube" system.

Thats a total of 56 Infantry and weapons crews (2 points each), a mortar (4 points), 7 vehicles (8 points each) and 8 points of terrain for a submission total of 180 points.

That is the last of my DAK submissions, which have been spread across both AHPCs 8 and 9.  While I am sure that there will be future additions that is the last currently planned. I'm pleased with their veteran but cohesive look, and all the early war vehicle diversity it incorporates.  I am looking forward to taking some Army pics of them all together soon.

And as if that wasn't enough, this submission not only a new AHPC Personal Best it takes me over 4,000 points totalled during my five AHPC seasons (yes, I know some people do that in a single season...).  Thanks to everyone for all the kind comments and words of encouragement along the way.

This is exactly how I feel having finished this army! :-)


Haha! I love that final shot - you should feel great after completing such a beautifully executed project.  Those Hanomags look brilliant - I really like your DAK recipe with the weathering as it gives a bright, yet still weathered veteran look.

This group will give you a very tidy 182 points (with a couple extra added for sake of completion). 

BTW, the reason I have the terrain cubes at 6 inches square is to placate Brit and Yank sensibilities. I figure they have enough on their plates right now without having to figure out new fangled modern measurements. Maybe in 2020? We can always hope.  :)