Sunday, 8 March 2020

From LeeH - Churchill MK VII (8 points)

As with my last entry, I wasn't planning on painting this model, indeed I didn't even realise I had it in my lead mountain! I'm running a demo game at a small local show this weekend using the What a Tanker rules and set in Normandy 1944. I already have everything I need but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get a Churchill in the field.

The Churchill Mark VII was the final production model of the Churchill infantry tank and was substantially up-armoured, from a maximum armour thickness of 102 mm to 152mm. This meant the Churchill VII was one of the few Allied tanks that could go 'toe to toe' with the Tiger and have a reasonable chance of survival.

The MK VII  had an improved composite cast/welded turret which had an angled lip running around the bottom to reduce shot trap. The layout of the turret was improved for easier access and it was fitted with a raised Coppola to give the commander better vision during combat.

Many Churchill sevens became crocodile flamethrower tanks and some the basic gun versions were issued to normal infantry tank units as replacement vehicles, so they could be found almost anywhere, not just with Churchill equipped units. 

A single tank will earn me a modest 8 Points but I am now just a whisker away from my I'd better crack on and get my Snowlords Challenge started!

MilesR - A very nice Churchill to rumble across the tabletop - nicely done.  I believe the vast majority of us has something in our respective leadpiles where the phrase "indeed I didn't even realise I had it it" would be appropriate.  Not me, of course, but the rest of you lot for sure.  That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

From AlanD - Sarmatians in Formations (87 Points)

I've just finished a project to have matching armies of Late Romans, Sarmatians and Huns painted up, and I'm looking forward to painting something bigger!

These are 87 Sarmatian heavy cavalry all from Baccus. Enjoy!

MilesR - Simply superb - love the wedge formation and the colorful uniforms.  I have found my gaiming interests have really switched for 28's to 15's and 6mm as one can really do larger battles in full.  All you need now are some Dacians to go with these fine Samartians and that will scare the crap out of any Roman!

Sebastian Makes Snow Lord's Peak

Sebastian roars onto the Snow Lord's peak in his belaboured Bren Carrier, does a short victory lap and shuts down the little rattletrap AFV. 

This week's Snow Lord's Peak brought to you by Mount Goodsir, British Columbia.

The Snow Lord walks up, admiring the Carrier, 'Nice ride, Sebastian. That little guy could come in quite handy working in the vegetable garden this spring. How much?'

'It'll have to be for Lady Sarah as I don't believe you'd fit, but you can have it all the same. I think I'm going to paraglide on my return leg.' 

'Gee, thanks! If you're going to paraglide back down do mind all the lorica segmentata on the valley floor.  I find it fascinating how unaerodynamic fascists are.' The Snow Lord grins benignly.

'Okaaay, good to know... So, how do I get this famous treasure I've heard you have up here?'

'I'll need a boon from you first before you get it. I see that you have a good friend who's been 3D printing some pretty cool figures for you. How about you do one or two for the Peak as well?'

Sebastian smiles, 'No problem, you're on Snow Lord.'


Looking forward to seeing what you come up with Sebastian!


From StuartL - Challenge Island Safari Journal - 3rd March (47 Points)

Long time, no see intrepid C.I.S.T.ers. Today the Challenge Island Safari Tour is on the move again, this time to the area known as Millsy's Millpond. Unlike some of the more rambunctious areas of the island, the millpond is a sedate place and very popular with our more venerable visitors.

As a case in point, a fellow tourist is already at the millpond. This ancient veteran of the Imperium dates back to the halcyon days of 1989, when men were men and xenos died to a quick jet of burning promethium.

"Nowadays, kids are twice as big and have no respect for first company veterans," grumbles the terminator, "All these Primary Marines and their bigly scales, they wouldn't have lasted 10 seconds in Space Hulk or Rogue Trader."

For the more detail oriented among you, this terminator's iconography and heraldry mark him out as a member of the Angels of Redemption, a 2nd Founding chapter of the Dark Angels. Also note the hazard stripes on his power fist, a requisite of the island's health and safety policy.

This doughty warrior was originally recruited through the ancient rites of eBay, back when individuals used it and it wasn't just a market tool for companies selling everything through the 'Buy It Now' option. Along with several others of his generation, our lone terminator here has remained in storage for a long time until called forth by the drumbeat of war (or the painting challenge in this case).

"Everything is digitally sculpted these days, no rough edges or wobbly lines," he sniffs disparagingly. "Where's the character, hmm? Disgraceful what they call grimdark, ruddy kids."

And it appears that this old geezer has settled down for a bit of a nap, so let's be on our way quietly and try not to wake him up.


As I mentioned above, this model was bought a long time ago through eBay. I had plans to build up an all terminator army for 40K, but got distracted with one thing or another for 15 or so years. Sadly to say, that's probably not the longest that I have had something sitting around unpainted for. I chose this colour scheme as it was one that I had used around the time the model was purchased and figured I'd like to try it out again. I also tried to hand paint the chapter logo on the shoulder pad. It has reminded me of the two golden rules of painting split colour schemes like this.
Rule 1 for painting a split colour scheme is: Paint the lighter half first, you can tidy up any overlap with the darker colour.
Rule 2 for painting a split colour scheme is: Don't. (It's a right chew on if the model has no easily definable lines on it).

Anyway, that should net me 5 points for the mini, 30 for the location and a 10 point bonus as it is pre-1990. I don't think "I got it on eBay" is enough to count for a back story, so I'll settle for 45 points, which is generous enough for a single mini.

MilesR: Love the paint scheme - reminds me the late actor Frank Gorshin from an original Star Trek episode.  I score 40 fgures as 40mm so 7 points there rather than 5

From HerrRobert (Robert H): Sister Hazel and party (59 Points)

Sister Hazel pushed Brother Lazarus around the corner first. She followed behind, terracotta jar holding alchemical fire in one hand, her drab skirts swirling to reveal warm blue leggings. A canvas mask kept her face safe from the harsh, frigid winds that still swept the urban canyons of Felstad. More fire hung at her belt, ready for any eventuality.

 What buildings remained intact, and which ruined, in the city was mostly chance. The house to their right was completely intact and well-preserved; it might make a convenient base for future explorations. The tall tower looked out on the ruins of a long-forgotten building, but they had spied treasure. More importantly, they saw none of the fell denizens, hazards or other roving bands that so often plagued their excursions into the Frozen City.

 Rounding the corner, they pressed their luck, dashing to find something of value to take back. Coin, forbidden knowledge, magical weaponry? Only a careful examination back in the decrepit rooms of the village inn quickly thrown together as lodgings for the brave and damned who ventured into the ruins known as Frostgrave.

Alas, their luck failed. An imp and a minor demon lurk in the ruins. Sister Hazel readies her flask, leans back, and throws . . . 

As many of you have seen from the news, 2020 has been a terrible day, week, month and year, and has only gotten worse. This is the second time emergency operations have struck during the Challenge, and while I have been painting, my progress on Challenge Island has been very limited.
 Well, needs must. Since I lack the time for a leisurely crawl through Challenge Island, it is time to summon Lady Sarah's Balloon Service and Parachute School: 

Lady Sarah, adventuress and aeronaut is exploring Challenge Island from the heights of her hot air balloon. 
With her keen powers of observation, Lady Sarah will land her air ship on any point of the map and assist the Challengers to any other geographic location on the map. 
Lady Sarah can be summoned by challengers through the painting of a female figure and then flown to their destination of choice. You can book as many trips as you like, at a female figure per trip. 
Figure must be painted, posted to the blog and the next destination declared to the minion before the challenger is “moved “ on the map board.  
Fun fact: It is traditional to have a glass of champagne after a balloon ride * .... break out the bubbly, include the evidence in the photo with your submission and gain an extra 5 points! ** 
Of course figures painted to summon Lady Sarah’s Balloon will also be considered for “Sarah’s Choice”, the most coveted of Challenge Prizes.
With that, it's time for a no-holds barred aerial assault on Roundwood's Tower!

My fare is a little vignette showing the adventures of Sister Hazel and her apprentice, Brother Lazarus, searching for treasure in the ruins of Felstad. Both Sister Hazel and Brother Lazarus are Reaper figures:
A painted example of Sister Hazel from the catalogue (God, I'm even spelling like a non-American)
Brother Lazarus, also from the catalogue
Sister hazel I bought in my LGS, Brother Lazarus off Amazon after the Challenge started. I was clearly inspired by the paint scheme for Brother Lazarus more than Sister Hazel, though I didn't feel confident enough to attempt the glass phials. So I went terracotta instead. I also tried some of the new GW contrast paints (I think Skeleton Bone) to get the drab lower robes, while using traditional paints and triads for the rest of the figure.

The cloaks are deep taupe, actually. It smells a bit weird, but worked well
I put them on round bases, and built the stone up using greenstuff. It worked all right, though I probably should have trimmed them down and put them on a Renedra cobblestone base. Still, it worked.

The imp and minor demon are both from Northstar's Frostgrave line, painted almost according to the box art. My new iPhone didn't really do too much justice to the reds, but I am very happy with how they turned out:

The treasure tokens are Wizkids preprimed ones, just given a quick black, then drybrush metallic.

Also not too happy with the photography here.

Finally, no balloon ride or demonfight is complete without a celebratory split of champagne:

So, there we have another entry. twenty points for the figures, three for the treasure, thirty for Sarah's Balloon ride, and five for the perfectly painted 1:1 scale glass of champagne. A total of fifty eight, and so taking me to a grand total of 113 for the entire challenge thus far.

My next posting should see the successful aerial assault and capture of Roundwood's Tower by that slick mercenary in disguise, Esteban "Portugal the Man" Portugal, currently in the employ of a shadowy, possibly sinister, and maybe even disreputable military contractor!

MilesR: Love the figures and what the hell lets go with 6 points for the champagne as I'm sure it is of a superior vintage

From Curt: 'The Scorned' - Sisters Repentia for Sander's Sand Dunes (65 Points)

I thought I'd wait a little bit before venturing to Sander's Sand Dunes as the initial onset of Challengers gave it a Saving Private Landing beach landing aspect to it. 

Sander asks us to paint up something red. Being that our local group has been quite keen on the fan-based 40K rules from Grim Dark Future (a breath of fresh air in comparison to GW's core set), I decided to do up a small unit of scarlet clad 'Sisters Repentia' for my slowly expanding Sisters of Battle collection. 

The story behind the Repentia is that they are essentially defrocked Sisters paying their penance by charging virtually naked into enemy lines with HUGE chainsaws. Yep, bonkers, but completely in-line with the 40K universe. 

One does wonder what horrible things they could have possibly done to have been assigned such a dire role? Cowardice? Blasphemy? Maybe they left their hair straighteners on overnight, or got caught borrowing their Sister Superior's special black nail polish? Who knows, but it definitely must have been baaaad. 

I've named my Repentia 'The Scorned' as a nod to the famous quote from Concreve's play The Mourning Bride, 'Hell hath no fury...'

In game-terms, these gals are very susceptible to getting shot to bits, but if they do manage to get into melee they are absolute BEASTS. Their 'Eviscerators' (yes, the name says it all) can really wreck someone's day, even giving serious pause to AFVs and Knights. They are one of those units that your opponent simply can't ignore, having to dedicate some valuable firepower to deal with them before they get too close with their uber hedge trimmers. Great fun. Ultimately I'll need at least another 5 to give the unit some staying power, but these ladies will give me a good start.

These are resin models from Wargames Exclusive. I've become a big fan of their offerings, with a good portion of my collection being made up of their models. Really beautiful castings with bags of character and loads of fine detail. So much so that one feels tempted to dive in and try to pick it all out with the brush. While compelling, I find doing all that extra brushwork often 'muddies' the figure by having too much going on. So I kept it simple and stuck to a fairly constrained colour palette. 

With the figures being resin they are a bit too light to my tastes (I'm still addicted to the heft of metal), so I added a washer to their bases and blended in the surrounding groundwork, with assorted debris and exposed ironwork. (Fun fact: repurposed supports from resin 3D printing make great steel reinforcing bits.) 

These are fairly big models around 35-40mm from head to toe, but of course, I bow to our beneficent minion for final scoring. 

Thanks for dropping in to take a look!


MilesR: Wow your painting always amazes me and it leaves me awestruck (and also jealous with rage but I'm learning to deal with those feelings better).  One of the whackiest things in the 40K universe is the weaponized chainsaw and these young ladies take it to the extreme.  Of course, who amongst us hasn't pretended a fallen tree is an Ork or plague marine when getting out the the ole trusty chainsaw.?  I'm scoring these figures as 40mm so that nets you 7 each plus the 30 for Sanders if 65 points

From JamesM: 'For Joshua' 10mm Fantasy Undead and Artillery (1108 points)

Hi Folks,

I'm still here, honest!

The last few weeks I have been plugging away at a few models for the challenge, but the vast majority of my time has been spent sorting out models I've received for the project.

This weekend I finished basing 54 bases of models, most of them on 50mm by 100mm, with a few 50mm and 25mm rounds thrown in. I'd like to say I'm caught up, but I have two more armies worth of mini's still to base, and received some from Ray and some from a fellow blogger (Lee) today. Not that I am complaining, the response has been fantastic, heartwarming, generous and unbelievably kind - and I don't think I could adequately put into words how grateful I am for all those who have spent some time painting something for my wee boys memory.

Today, my aim was to finish off some of by own bits and maybe get a few more points onto my tally.

Given that we aim to put on a participation game at Hammerhead in a weeks time, I wanted to have a slightly more substantial contribution of my own. So I focused on getting most of my undead done.

Nothing to do with the simple paint job, honest.

Now, things get a little squiffy, as I had also to paint a few models to finish off a friends donation - in the form of three infantry standard bearers, and one mounted.

These have been included into someone else's units, which are now based up:

And a few weeks ago, I also completed some artillery for my knights:

All figures are from Pendrakens ranges, and are 10mm. The undead banner bearers are conversions using paperclips with simple hand painted flags. Mainly because I like how the units look when they have them. The cannon is just from their medieval range - no one seems to do trebuchet, which is what I had been after.

So, totals (without any flag related bonuses applied):

26 Crossbowmen  (26 pts)
24 Archers (24 pts)
12 Cavalry (with own banner) (24 pts)
3 Bannermen (infantry) (3 pts)
1 Cavalry Bannerman (for friends unit) (2 pts)
2 Catapults (4 pts)
8 Catapult crew (8 pts)
3 Cannon (6 pts)
8 Cannon crew (8 pts)

Total: 105 points

MilesR - A fantastically creepy little army, Yet my machinations yield 108 Points as you've earned 3 for the teeny tiny banners with edging on them.  Well Done

From SamuliS: Trainee Judge to guard my final balloon ride (15 points)

Time for one final balloon ride to take me to the base camp before starting my ascent to Snowlord's Peak.

This time no pulp investigators, but a rather different type of heroine straight from the pages of 2000AD in the form of a female Judge patrolling the unruly streest of Mega City One. The mini comes from the new Warlord Games Judge Dredd game. To be honest the miniatures are actually bit of a let down as they are made from soft plastic like board games and were definitely a pain to clean up. Warlord is saying that this is their new "Warlord resin" but to be honest seems closer to the soft plastic of 70s. Still the detail is fairly good and maybe the soft plastic will mean they are more durable.

This adds another 5 points to my tally and gets me to the foot of Snowlord's Peak ready to start the final ascent.

MilesR: A very nicely executed figure - well done!  Prepare for your Ascent!

Edit from TamsinP: as Teemu has kindly pointed out, this is Samuli's 3rd balloon ride, so I have added his 10 frequent flyer bonus points.