Friday, 13 March 2020

From Curt: Shirley Shutter 'The Photographer' (6 Points)

Needing to get to Hawkin's Hill, I just realized last night that I had stranded myself on Sander's Sand Dunes without fare for Sarah's Balloon! So, in a rush special appearance, and breaking from my usual 'Mansions of Madness' trope, here's Shirley Shutter, paparazzi photographer and part-time private investigator.

I'm not actually sure where I got Shirley from, she looks like a Paul Hicks sculpt to me. 

I quite like how she's posed. She looks to have just taken a photo of someone, or perhaps something, that she shouldn't have and is about to leg it. I gave her a natty patterned jacket and blue flats to match her hat band. 

I'm not sure how many balloon flights this is for me, but I should be up there on Frequent Flyer Points!

Next Up: Hawkin's Hill!

Another fab femme from the bossman. I do like the pattern on her jacket - I think that deserves a bonus point.

I'm pretty sure you do have the frequent flyer lead, although Noel can't be too far behind.


Edit to add - bleedin' ;eck! That's 20 posts I've processed today and twenty total posts today. Hopefully that's a sign that things are hotting up for the final week.

From ByronM: Last post of the year - Gladiator Coliseum (120 points)

Welcome to my last post of the year.  This is a project that I have been working on for a while, and while not completely finished, the hardest part is, and I wanted to show it off this year.

The project started last year when I was out visiting Curt, and was teaching him how to play Arena Rex.  After the game, he disappeared into his storage room of shame, and emerged with a play mobile coliseum and asked if that would work for enhancing games.  Certainly, I said and then started imagining pits and traps like a real coliseum would have.

So, while I still have plans to paint the coliseum, and therefore this project is not yet done, I have mainly finished the terrain for this.  My idea came to life while talking about doing pits and and therefore a box for it all to fit in, when my son suggested he make the box from drawer sides and that I laser engrave a pattern on it.  What an idea!!!  So, Riley went off to work (he works at a cabinetry shop here in Winnipeg) and came home with some beautifully done sides with dovetails to fit them together.

I then took them to my shop (Northern Lights Terrain) and engraved a Greek / Roman pattern in them.  Riley then took them back to work, clear coated them and assembled the box with a bottom for me.  I think it came out PERFECT!  Riley did a great job at it for me, THANKS!

Next up was a lot of 3d design work trying to figure out the best way to layout some pits and traps for the board and how to put the tops on and make them easy to remove.  Also planing out how to keep the coliseum attached while playing but easy to remove for storage.

Here is the 3d model of the plan, with all the sub components and parts showing up.  Note: I only modeled one of each size of box, as I saw no reason to do more work than required as I would just cut multiples of each.
After some test cuts for size, it was onto assembly.

To attach the coliseum I embedded 8 magnets (2 in each corner) that will hold the corner pieces in place (I know that technically it is a circle and therefor has no corners, but 4 of the pieces got magnets epoxied into them to lineup where they fall above the board and it all holds in place).  Overall it works really well.

I also put magnets under each trap door, so that they are easy to pickup and remove for game play at any point by just passing another magnet over it.

Once it was all assembled, I covered the top in sand and started painting it up in a deliberately patchy manner so that it doesn't look too even.

Still to go are creating inserts for the pits that will have either spike traps, water features, bodies, snakes,  animal cages, and more.  Also since the tops of each pit can come off, I have plans to make even more of them with terrain directly on them, and I can sub them into the board at any point in time.

I wanted to get the coliseum painted for the challenge and be able to show it off completely done, but time has conspired against me.  Hopefully you all like what is done so far, and I will show it off in all it's finished glory next year.  But I can at least show off the finished base now and collect some points for it, as technically the board is now done.  It's just the coliseum and extra terrain that needs to be finished up.

As for points, I am not sure what is fair.  Size wise it is 3' x 3' x 4" deep, so equal to 24 cubes!  But that is way to much for what was fairly easy to do... I mean all I (and Riley) did was to make a box, engrave that box, then design and cut some small boxes as pits, then sand and paint the whole thing.

I will be happy with whatever I am awarded for points, so no worries. 

That baseboard (with pits) for the Coliseum looks brilliant - great work by you and Riley with the woodwork.  

As for scoring, I do recall pointing out to Curt that for essentially 2D items like baseboards some unscrupulous challenger - No! No! No pointing fingers at Ray - he just drops sandbags on us - might "game" the terrain cube system by making them on 4" thick foam. Curt told us to play it by ear, so that's what I'll do.

I'm not sure what the volume of the pits comes out as, but I think it would be fair overall to score it by the area and a putative 1" depth, which comes out as 6 terrain cubes for 120 points.

From MartinC: 10mm Austrian Artillery (64pts)

I'm coming to the end of my Austrians, not going to make the final curtain in time though - slightly too many to paint and C-19 is making work hectic.

7YW armies are artillery heavy and i needed to finish off the Autrians




6 units of foot and 2 more cavalry to do plus officers. Gonna be tight but couldn't go to Hammerhead so have a free weekend


38 10mm foot = 38
8 limbered horses = 8
6 guns = 12
2 limbers = 8

total = 66

Nice artillery and limbers Martin. However, 10mm vehicles only score 3 points each, so I'm afraid your total is 64 points.


From MartinN: Terrain bomb (240 points)

First I have to apologize for my lack of comments both on the Challenge blog but also on your individual blogs. Live has suddenly gone crazy around here and there wasn't much time for anything hobby related. That said since the start of the challenge I've been doing something rather unusual for me. I've been slowly but steadily adding to my terrain collection to a point where I feel I have enough buildings to comfortably fill a table. What I need now is some scatter terrain like fences, billboards, road signs and the like.

Most of the buildings are 3D printed using files from Najewitz Modellbau with some Sarissa PrecisionZiterdes and Warbases mixed in for good measure. I have to apologize for the abysmal photo quality but I have the sinking feeling that my camera is slowly dying on me. I can't for the live of me get any decent pictures as pictures on the camera screen look good but later on they're either too dark, too bright or the colour balance is totally off.

I was aiming for a rather generic middle European look for these buildings. In the long run I of course hope to add enough buildings and ruins to better represent specific theatres like Holland, Germany or maybe even France.


Sarissa with Warbases lean to and Renedra fence

In my view both MDF and 3D printed buildings are a little too flat, or better have too straight corners to look natural. The walls of the MDF buildings were given a liberal coating of tile grout while the roofs were done using embossed plastic card.

The 3D printed buildings have more detail than the MDF ones but still the walls are too clean for my taste so I slapped some Vallejo Rough Pumice on and actually I'm pretty pleased with the look.

3D print

3D print

3D print

3D print


Warbases scatter, road blocks from Baueda

schratch built culverts after an idea by
And some scenic shots taken with my phone camera so even worse but I'm pretty pleased with the overall impression. Maybe adding a few posters and adds here and there...

All in all I'd say this is enough terrain to fill 12 terrain cubes adding a rather nice 240 points to my total. I still have a few half finished figures in the queue which I hope to finish before the challenge closes. I know this would mean cutting it fine so we'll see...

Those buildings look great Nick. Do the 3D printed ones have playable interiors? Anyway, it does look like a bout 12 cubes worth, so 240 points for you!


From ByronM: Second last - bits, and a balloon ride ( 66 points )

With the challenge coming to an end soon, and with vacation for me starting this saturday I have madly been trying to finish up the last bits to post up.  As a result, this post will be my second last post of the challenge.  Also, as I am trying to pack up today and get ready, you are all going to be spared from my normal long write ups as I just don't have time to write up that much for these!  Hurray!

First up is an Ork jet car that I have been working on to go along side last years Ork Ferrari F1 car.  This will be used for a chariot racing game that Curt has shown me, that I think fits the Ork racing style quite well.

Next up is a command stand for my 30 years war Holy Roman Empire force.  It is a simple command stand with a few banners and only looks different than the rest of the stands in the army by nature of the rounded corners on the base.

Since I plan on using these figures for Pike & Shot and for By Fire and Sword, I wanted to keep the basing of command stands different than normal units for that they work with P&S, but similar enough so they still work in BF&S, I think this accomplishes that.

Lastly, is a female character figure from the Cthulhu game, Death my Die.  I had planned on using her at some point for a balloon ride when I needed to get out of a corner on the map, but that never happened, so I will just use her now to go on a jolly adventure in the sky with Lady Sarah to wherever her heart desires.

One more post coming in a little bit showing off a big project I have been working on, but not quite finished....

The points for this one should be 20 for the 28mm vehicle, 8 points for the 4 15mm figures, 5 points for the 28mm woman, and then 30 points for the balloon ride. That should make for a total of 63 points.

That's some very nice bits to (almost - I know there is a final post in the queue!) finish off your Challenge for this year. That blue dress is particularly nicely done.

As for points, you forgot about the Ork Ferrari's driver. I'll add 3 points for him.


From SimonM: "Precinct Omega" Ballmonsters! (25 Points)

These five 28mm scale resin models of some Microclopia are produced by "Precinct Omega", and can be bought as Code BM051 from their Ballmonsters! range. Designed to be used for a "mad-cap gaming experience that mixes board-game, wargame and bar billiards for an experience unlike anything you've ever played before", the miniatures also each came supplied with a clear plastic flying stand.

Having decided that my team of Ballmonsters would simply bounce towards their opponents along the ground rather than fly through the air (on easily breakable stands), I super-glued each helium-filled beachball onto a 25mm circular base, and primed them all "Vallejo" Heavy Red. I then drenched the cyclopean bonces in "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade, before dry-brushing the lot with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Red.

Next I 'picked out' all the carnivorous balls' teeth using a combination of "Vallejo" White and "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade, and the majority of their eyes with "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and a smidgen of "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade. Finally, I applied a dot of "Citadel" Abaddon Black over a layer of pure "Vallejo" White to one of the Ballmonster's pupils so as to make it appear more like a normal eye.

More weird things from the Nuln Oil Kid, although he hasn't actually used it this time. "Nurse! Nurse! Bring the smelling salts - several people have fainted on reading that Simon hasn't used Nuln Oil!".

I checked back to your previous post with some of these and they were scored as 5 points each, so that will be 25 points for you today!


From JamesM: 3mm Imperial Army on Snowlords Peak (72 Points)

Hi folks,

I have managed to make the slow, slow journey back to the top of the Snowlords Peak (because 3mm tanks take ages to drive anywhere, especially uphill).

The task set by the large blue one was to paint some more 3mm models for my Horus Heresy Calth collection.

This time, I've avoided painting tiny shoulder pad edges and gone for something else in the painting pile I had wanted to do for a while. So first up, some of my head canon for this entry.

“Ultramar, the realm of the Ultramarines Legion and part of the greater Imperium, consists of a sub sector of approximately five hundred habitable planets. Ruled over by Roboute Guilliman, the Primarch of the Ultramarines Legion, this realm is regarded as one of the most prosperous, efficient and advanced regions of space in the whole Imperium.

While the realm of Ultramar is exempt from the normal tithe of military units expected from worlds of the Imperium, the realm itself maintains many regiments ready for deployment outside of Ultramar. 

The CCIXth Ultramar Auxilia Regiment is one such formation.

The Regiment is a combined arms force consisting of detachments from many Ultramar planets, each adding mastery of their own speciality to the whole. Comprising many tens of thousands of highly trained Auxilia the CCIXth included sub units of infantry, armour, artillery and various support arms. It should be noted that the term 'regiment' is not associated with a particular size of formation, and is more the generic name for a particular body of troops.  

As part of Ultramar’s muster of force ordered by Warmaster Horus (supposedly for operation against an anticipated incursion of Orks in the Veridian system), the CCIXth was deployed to Calth alongside numerous other Imperial Army, Titan Legion, Skitarii and Knight units - as well as the Ultramarine Legion and the Word Bearers Legion. With barrack space being at a premium, the Regiment found itself billeted amongst several small settlements on the Northern Continent. In honour of the hospitality they had received, and prior to donning campaign appropriate camouflage schemes, the CCIXth’s vehicles were painted in colours representing the heraldry of the local principality.

Command base

On the day of the Betrayal, when the traitors of the Word Bearer Legion and their allies struck, this particular armoured detachment of the CCIXth found themselves without communications with either Regimental or Planetary Command. Initially assuming a planetary attack by an unknown foe, the armoured element took up positions to defend their billets. In time they linked up with units from the Ultramarines Legion, Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii, Legio Praesagius Titans, other Auxilia Regiment and Knight detachments in order to take part in the fighting on the Plains of Dera against the betrayers – by then the previous well-maintained farmland had been turned to wasteland due to the host of powerful weapons unleashed.

The CCIXth tanks with supporting Ultramarines and Legio Praesagius Reaver Titan

The CCIXth tanks with supporting Ultramarines and Legio Praesagius Reaver Titan

Surviving elements of the CCIXth eventually made their way into the underground shelters following the Word Bearers poisoning of the Calth Systems sun and evacuation of the planets surface. There they continued to battle against surviving Word Bearer forces, protecting the remaining sheltering civilians. After years of fighting in the Underground War, the few survivors went on to form a new CCIXth Regiment.” 

Represented here are a company ‘Gantz’ pattern Leman Russ Main Battle Tanks, supported by a demi-company of ‘Gantz’ pattern Heavy Tanks (of a design which would later become known of Macharius Heavy Tanks). Gantz being one of the major Forge Worlds within the realm of Ultramar, and a massive producer of weapons and equipment.

Heavy Tank Demi-company

The combined armoured force

These are 3mm models from Vanguards ‘Defeat in Detail’ range. These models are truly gorgeous – easily GHQ level of detail.

The smaller tanks are DiD Centurion MBT’s, which I am proxying as early Leman Russ MBTs. They include a command element with a long barrelled gun (proxy Vanquisher) and a large Plasma gun.  

The Heavy tanks are DiD Tribune Hectors. As mentioned above, I’m using these as proxies for Macharius Heavy Tanks which themselves (from 40k lore) are based on Heavy Tanks used during the 30k period and who’s designs were lost to time.

Also of note is the fact that the CCIXth Regiment was my regiment from back when I played 40k and Epic 40k (more than 20 years ago!), so I have used that same regiment but in the 30k setting.

The paint scheme came about through some hard thinking and in the end is actually based on some Vanguard Centurion artwork for their ‘Dominion: The Wars of Tusculum Nova’ setting. I went for a different colour combo (really to make the models stand out on the bases). Groundwork on the bases is using milliput and Citadel Agrellan Earth Texture paint, which has a lovely baked earth effect when dry. 


Wow! These armoured units look great James. I really like the yellow turret juxtaposed against the green hulls. Probably not especially great camo, unless you're in a field of sunflowers, but great looking nonetheless. I also greatly admire your basework for these little fellas, particularly the shell holes. This 3mm Epic stuff is sorely tempting... 

As to your prize, I present to you Dave's merrily burning Sherman! Take heart. It's the perfect thing to remind you that, yes, the Germans may have few Big Cats, but Detroit has you covered with thousands of these lumps waiting in the wings (perhaps don't use that rationalisation with the poor crews...). 

Thank you for taking up the Peak Challenge, James!