Tuesday, 7 January 2020

From MartinC Some Picts What I Did (300 Points)

Back at work, spent today teaching 8 year olds geology which was fun but very, very noisy. They went out for play time and all came back with loads of stones from the grounds.

So my painting will slow down now to normal pace and will focus on 10mm and 15mm so this could be my last paint bomb for a while, unless Miles and Noel go mental.

I have a very large Pict army for KoW, one of my favourite sets of rules and these will pretty much finish off, obviously like my 28mm ACW i will continue to grow it with 2nd hand stuff but approx 300 figs is about enough.

These were picked (picted!) up from the Battlefront show and are a mix of Newland (not great figs but very cheap and good for bulking out) and 2nd hand Black Tree and Gripping Beast.

Spearmen, the mainstay of any Pict army - Pict shield designs are impossible and so when I painted these they came out like dazzle camouflage. Which is interesting

Naked berserkers. These are supposed to have spears but I ran out of spears so they have axes. Picts don't really have berserkers but KoW is very flexible. As they are Picts tey must be tatooed but I find this difficult at 28mm scale - I find difficult at human scale - so it's mainly simple shapes and swirls

Slingers - again supposed to have spears but ran out so slings from bits box

Javelin men - Picts advance under a hail of javelins and i have lots of these

Finally nobles, standard and cow horn blowers

Overall it is 56 28mm figures = 280 pts plus any super generous bonus for standard and hand painted shields. That will bust my target so lets have a new one of 3000pts

Right off to find very tiny things to paint


Wowzers, great entry Martin! These picts, like their shields, look absolutely dazzling (ahem)! 300 28mm figures is an impressive sized collection no matter what the period or rules. I especially like that great mob of spearmen, thought I imagine keeping them all ranked up might be a bit of a challenge. I've still not yet tried Kings of War, but really want to. How big is a standard sized unit in the game? Do you use sabots for movement? Is there model removal or can you use roster sheets? Questions, questions.
Hmm, I can just imagine those well-dressed nobles berating the naked berserkers, 'Hey you loons get some clothes on, or hit the woad.'

Mic drop.

Great work Professor Cooke!


From Curt: 'For Joshua' - Red Dragon and Knights at O'Grady's Gulch (69 Points)

O'Grady's Gulch asks us to paint a figure for a friend and so I thought this was a suitable spot for me to offer my submission to James' very worthy 'For Joshua' project.

I excavated through my Lead Shed to see if I had something suitable, and was delighted to come across this old chestnut. Here we have a very OOP Imperial Dragon from GW's venerable, but excellent 10mm Warmaster range.

A nice lump of metal and suitably imposing on the battlefield. 

Also included is a unit of Bretonnian knights, ready to charge and get gloriously char broiled in their plate armour. 'Off you go, good lads. I hope you put on your SPF 1 Billion...'

As GW also made a 10mm  'Battle of the Five Armie's boxed set years ago, I think, in a pinch, he'd also make a spiffing (smoking? smoldering?) Smaug.

I hope you like them James.


from RayR: LotR Warg Rider (35 Points)

My first entry proper, (not counting the entry into Challenge Island) and its not Donnybrook!
I was wondering what and or who, to paint  for my Curtgeld entry. So I went very off pist for me and did some fantasy!!!

This luvvly looking chap was found all alone at the bottom of a drawer. Gawd knows when I bought him and Gawd knows why I bought him? But I thought there must be at least one of my fellow Challengers who needs a Warg Rider added to their Lord of the Rings collection???

I've once again used my very own grass tufts, which I'm very pleased with!

Points mean prizes and I should be awarded 10 points for the figure with a further 25 points for the Curtgeld entry.


Well, it may be a bit out of your comfort zone, Ray, but these look very nice indeed. I particularly like the grey muzzle and paws on the warg. Nice tufts too!! He'll be a much cherished memento for a fellow Challenger who braves Snow Lord's Peak. Well done!


This is not the Spanish Peninsular!? (70 points)

....And we're off! If the painting challenge was to be likened to a marathon I'm the guy at the back in a rhino costume, no running shoes, ill prepared and trying desperately not to throw up the fizzy energy drink I have just drunk two minutes prior to starting. I've seen the pro-athletes race off (in this analogy that's Miles, Noel and Martin) and hit the 1000 point mark, which is just mind blowing, but now it's time to relax and run my own race and focus on bagging some points.

  With that all said I coming ashore at Sander's Sand Dunes and boy is it busy!? Less secluded beach and more Ayia Napa, less row boat and more jet ski.....who knew red would be so popular? 

  My plan for this challenge is creating a British peninsular force for "Sharp Practice" and these 8 mark the first step. I'm painting them up as the 31st regiment of Foot, the "Young Buffs". They are Perry's 28mm plastics and they are very easy to paint, especially after the years of lessons learnt painting them (white primer, knapsacks glued on and painting in groups of 8).

Points wise I think it should come out at 70, 8 x 5 for the figures and 30 for Sander's Sand Dunes.


Haha! Welcome back to the Challenge Alex! I had to laugh about your marathon analogy, especially feeling a little overwhelmed what with the brush giants in full flow. As you say, we each have to run our own race. 

These redcoats look terrific!  Like you, I've painted a fair few of these chaps and always grind my teeth when I have to work around the cross belts and tunic lace. That being said, your work is beautifully crisp and clean. A veteran indeed. They also look very smart in their sabot base, all ready to volley away at some French. Wonderful stuff.

70 points will get you nicely on the roster. Now, wipe your chin, get out of your rhino costume and enjoy the next few months.


From GregB: 28mm WW2 German Infantry in Winter Gear (50 Points)

Squad of WW2 German infantry in winter kit - 28mm figures from Warlord Games.
So far during AHPC X I have posted WW2 themed submissions in two different figure sizes - 15mm and 20mm.  Time to add some 28mm to the mix, right? Here is a squad of German WW2 infantry in winter kit.  The figures are 28mm metal castings from Warlord Games.

For periods that I really enjoy, such as WW2, I often paint subjects in multiple scales.  I like to think there is a pseudo-rational reason for this, in that miniatures of different sizes and scales often lend themselves to different levels of abstraction on the gaming table and therefore different gaming experiences with different rulesets.  That's true.  But...I think the much bigger reason I do this is that I love painting miniatures and when I see neat figures, I just want to give them a go...hence the huge pile of lead, plastic and resin in my basement. Squirrel!!

It's hard to see in the lighting, but the figure at the front has a pair of garbage mitts hanging from his belt!
Anyway, for all of my multi-scale nuttiness, this submission represents my first-ever unit of 28mm WW2 figures! Why has it taken so, so many years?

Well, I am fortunate that many of my good friends here in Winnipeg already have amazing 28mm WW2 figure collections.  I have always been able to enjoy 28mm WW2 games with them and their wonderful collections. It seemed like nothing I could paint would really add anything constructive to the group dynamic for 28mm WW2 games. Because of this, some strange sensation - recognized by normal people as "rational thought" - would overcome my otherwise hard-wired squirrel tendencies to just "make an order" and start painting.

Excellent animation and posing on these figures - just awesome.
Over the years the range and scope of options for 28mm WW2 figures have really exploded in terms of available figures. Periods and settings that maybe were hard to find figures for back in 1999 are much more accessible now, and new options are emerging all the time. One such setting is the North African theatre - at one time very niche and limited, but now you have many options.  Five years ago (or thereabouts) I purchased the plastic boxes of 28mm 8th Army and DAK infantry from the Perrys, keen to open up the North African front in 28mm for our group.  But those figures were...well, I generally love Perry products, but those specific plastics were just terrible (for me - YMMV).  So those disappeared after a couple of test models were completed.  

I always meant to try again using only metal figures from the Perrys, but I just haven't yet found the motivation - and besides North Africa is more fun using tank battles in smaller scales anyway...

View from the back, showing assorted bits of kit.
Another new and expanding niche was winter-specific figures.  My good friend Dallas, who has a very extensive and beautiful collection of 28mm WW2 figures, had said to me - years ago - "well, you could do some winter guys, that would be great." And he was right...the aspects of WW2 that fascinate me the most - the period of 1943 to 1945 on the Eastern Front - included much heavy fighting amid winter scenes.  Of course there is also the fighting in "The Bulge" on the Western Front, which took place amid much snow and cold conditions.  And the collections of my friends contained relatively few winter-specific figures. A chance to indulge my inner squirrel and make a useful contribution to the gaming group!

Love this MG42 team.

Running the LMG looks like tough work, would be even worse in the winter I expect...I should have sourced a belt of ammo to run down the side...might try to do that later.
Over the years, I have painted snow and winter-specific figures in 6mm and 15mm, but never got around to larger scales.  For some time I hoped to do so in 20mm, a scale/size that I have really fallen in love with.  But I have not yet found a nice, comprehensive range of winter figures for that scale.  The most comprehensive range I have yet come across looks to be the 28mm one from Warlord Games, so I thought I would give it a try...here is the first product of that experiment...

Nothing says "late war" like STG44s...some classic late war Germans here.
I loved painting these figures. The sculpting is just great.  They have lots of character, and to me they reflect well what I imagine the misery of fighting in winter must bring.  These are later war figures (my personal period of interest in WW2), and this is reflected in the mix of rifles, assault rifles, panzerfausts and the MG42. They are dressed in layers, wraps of cloth and scarves around their necks and faces, a blend of the formal (reversible smocks) and the improvised (white cloth tied on helmets, or just white-wash on the plain metal helmet).  One figure even has a pair of garbage mitts stuck to his belt!

I didn't do a great job painting the face of this figure preparing to use his panzerfaust...but maybe his face just froze :)
The Warlord sculptors really nailed the winter look with these fitures. If you took away the weapons, this group might as well be waiting at a bus stop in downtown Winnipeg in January when it's minus 30 degrees outside.  Of course, under Winnipeg's current mayor, weapons wouldn't be the worst idea, but I digress...

Painting WW2 Germans is always intimidating - even the relatively straightforward winter gear leaves many variations, and in 28mm you are always more likely to see the mistakes you make. But this feels like a good start!

Balance of the squad is equipped with standard rifles...ready for some doomed assignment during the later period of WW2.
For scoring purposes, there are 10 x 28mm figures in this submission, which should work out to 50 points.  While I hope my distraction-prone squirrel brain will focus for a time on this project so I can get a workable force of winter figures together, who knows...perhaps some 3mm and 10mm WW2 subjects await :)  


Greg, these figures are brilliant. Like you, I love the winter campaigns of WWII - there's just something so compellingly grim (if that phrase even makes sense) about seeing those combatants fighting in that extreme environment. I dunno, perhaps its because we're hard-wired to this 'look' from being born and raised in the Canadian prairies - we know what cold looks and feels like! 

I really like the attention to detail you put into these models, especially the reversible summer camo peeking out from the hoods' interiors and the frozen groundwork. I'm sticking to 20mm, but seeing these figures makes me waver. Great stuff!

Now, you need to get busy and submit stuff for 10, 6, and 3mm, you know, just to be a completionist. :)


from EvanH: Never Mind The Orruks... Sander's Sand Dunes (40 points)

Well, Challengers and Challenge Fans, it's been a long time between drinks!

Yes, I'm back at the paint bench again, ready to paint up a storm... no, I can't back that up. I'm painting at my usual measured pace, and if I get anywhere near my target it'll be the gods' own miracle. But hey, we gotta start somewhere!

So here to make landfall at Sander's Sand Dunes is another in my series of big Orc bosses (none of this 'Orruk' nonsense, I still paint ORCS!). The locals at this part of the shoreline of Challenge Island are quite partial to the colour red, so to show his friendly intentions, this chap has suited up.

Of course there are Skullz™. Lots of Skullz™.
This is GW's Orruk Megaboss. He was a gift from my young friend Patrick, and I promised him I'd paint him up for this year's Challenge. The base was sculpted from Milliput shaped over an expanded polystyrene core, and a good scattering of GW skulls was strewn about the resulting rocky outcrop (I'm going for the wind-blasted sandstone look).

The figure is a bit more complicated than the older-style GW plastics, but it's worth taking the time to get it right. He's a superbly menacing-looking chap.

Being a GW figure, he comes with a massive skull strapped to his person, and a bloody great chopper gripped in his mighty hand (oo-er!).

"Found it on Etsy."
The skin was worked up from MIG Olive Drab with the old Citadel Foundation colour Gretchin Green and some highlight tones added with a little Vallejo Khaki. The assorted bones were worked up from Vallejo Leather Brown through Khaki and GW Bleached Bone, with a final drybrushed highlight of white. 

Armour was basecoated with GW Mephiston Red, highlighted with the old GW Blood Red, and finishing with a light drybrush of Flaming Orange. All armour and leatherwork were given a generous wash with GW Agrax Earthshade to bring out the contrasts.

"I claim dis land for Gork!"
He's a big lad, coming in just short of 54mm, so I'm going to respectfully suggest 10 points, plus the appropriate bonus for landing at the right location wearing the right colour!

Where to next? I might book a trip by balloon to reach my next stop, or maybe I'll just trudge overland. Who knows? 

Stay tuned...



Aah good to have you back Ev! - i thought the red mind be the fires over Oz! - hes a great big lump of red loveliness - cracking - so thats 40 points to the good!

From MikeW - 8 x 17th Century Armoured Cossacks plus 3 x Polish Commanders (110 Points)

Unpainted but mostly constructed figures!
So at the risk of a close repeat of an earlier submission in this year's challenge - I have (maybe) completed my Pancerni units of Polish Armoured Cossacks, plus their commanding officers!

Finished unit of 8 Armoured Cossacks
So this batch of 8 x Pancerni are a mixture of models that I got from eBay in the last couple months, some are Wargames Foundry and others are (I believe) either Redoubt Miniatures or Assault Group minis. Anyway the Wargames Foundry figures are noticeably smaller than the others in the units...

Front on view of Pancerni unit
Mixing the figures together helps disguise some of that size difference - as does swapping horses and bases around to put slightly smaller figures on larger horses. But some do just look smaller - I'll live with that and explain it by saying that these may be young sons and siblings of older warriors in the unit! After all in the 17th Century you could end up in the army at 14 or 15 years old or even younger.

Close-up of the Pancerni Armoured Cossacks
Can't remember if I've talked about how I paint my horses, the method has developed over the past few years and whilst I make no claims for them to be masterpieces - I'm happy with the overall results.

Typically I paint mounted units in batches of 6 figures at a time, I undercoat the horse with white acrylic paint, allow to dry. Then about 4 or 5 of the horses are painted in various shades of brown with the option to do the remainder as either a black horse or a grey.

Black horses are initially painted in a slate grey colour, whilst 'greys' I paint in a mid or light grey.

I then paint on black manes, tails and fetlocks (hoof up to mid shin or 'knees') on each horse - except for greys.

Close up of Officer, Musician and Banner bearer
Potentially for 1 or 2 horses in each batch I will paint the tail & mane of a lighter brown horse in a sandy yellow colour for variety but still do the fetlocks in black.

For greys, I will dry brush the whole horse in light grey and then white - depending on exact tone I'm looking for and then will do the main and tail in a darker grey or white, according to choice.

For black horses, water down some black paint into a 'strong wash' and then paint over the slate grey - this will give a good tonal variance and shading over the horses' body.

When all dry I add white socks to the horses, most have some form of white hair around each hoof, even if a thin line, be sparing on this. I also add various sized 'blazes' to horses' heads, again most horses have some sort of 'blaze'.

If you do a large 'blaze' that extends to the horses' muzzle then you should dry brush the muzzle with flesh colour.

Another Pancerni Commander
Pancerni Commander, on horse
with arguably outdated armour!
Once all done use Army Painter washes or Dips to add shading and tone and shading to the horses.

Horses completed - then add the riders and they're done.

For the commanders I have two on smaller round bases and one on a large round base - you can guess where this is going - I have a total of 5 Pancerni 'Banners' (30 figures) that will be split 2 and 3 between the lesser commanders with the overall Pancerni commander on the large 'winged' horse.

Actually I now have 2 spare Pancerni figures, after doing this batch of eight, I can see my-self doing another 4 figures to give each commander 3 'banners' each!

Overall Pancerni Commander
Another view, note attempt at
leopard skin saddle cloth
On the tabletop opponents (and allies) can get confused as to which units are Pancerni and which are Winged Hussars (I now have 4 banners of these) - I like to add to that confusion by using the wings as a badge of rank for Polish commanders.

Given that no-one really knows how or why  the Winged Hussars used their wings, or how they were attached etc - I'm claiming that they represent a noble rank or office...

From DaveD - Ooh they are nice -so nice i feel a minion top up - 120 points it is!

From ScottM: Protolene's at Fran's Fjord (126 Points)

Landing at Fran's Fjord is this force of 15mm Protolene's.

I've had these figs sitting in a box for a couple years now and I've decided that 2020 is going to be the year I fish them out and paint them and try to get all my 15mm Sci-fi figs finally to the table. These were from Critical Mass Games before they closed shop. They are still available from Ral Partha Europe, which is nice as I'd hate to see them go the way of the dodo.

The first two squads are Hunters with laser rifles.

The next squad are Hunters with particle cannons.

Next are a Hunter command squad.

 This squad are Scout snipers.

And finally this squad are Protolene Mercenearies.

So now we start our trek down the Path of Imagination.

Next stop: Bromley's Butte!

So that should be 48 x 15mm foot figs = 96 + 30 (for the location)
For a total of 126 points.

From Daved - Always good to clear out the lead! - so  126 it is. 

From Barks: Last Stand at Mount Doom (40 points)

For Benito's Brook, I painted two figures that have been lying around for ages: Elendil and Isildur. I'd previously painted Sauron, and this may not be his last appearance...

2x 28mm +10
Benito's Brook +30

From DaveD . I am liking em Barks - 40 points it is!