Sunday, 15 March 2020

From JamieM - Is that a Playmobil Coliseum I see before me? (150 Points)

The fiendish challenge that I accepted was to get off my procrastinating backside and actually paint one of the Playmobil coliseums that I had bought many moons ago.  Curt mentioned that he had one during on of his posts and I, carelessly, tried to trump him by showing that I'd bought two that I'd done nothing with.  I'm now rightly paying for my hubris with my Snow Lord's peak challenge......

This is how it started life - look at all the smiles...... who knew that fighting to the death in a gladiator pit and bleeding out on the sand whilst careless onlookers cheered could be so much fun!  Byron's post done recently will also give you great idea of what the coliseum looked like originally.

These are all of the pieces.  The characters were cast aside for probably ebaying at some point... and this is what I made from it (space marine standing near the columns for scale and the mat is a standard one from deepcut studios).

Basic Grey colour scheme with sandstone accents

The most fun bits are these pieces, which link to made the area fans can stand and have a bunch of gates.

There were a TONNE of stickers on this thing.  You can see the pink stickers on the piece in the box art and they all needed peeling off and "sticky stuff remover" used to get rid of the residual crud.

I went with creepy blue flames for the small sconces and kept the large orange flames that came with the kit (for now) as I thought they were pretty effective.

You may be able to see the weeds and moss I added around the stadium to go with the rusty doors.  Stadium upkeep ain't cheap and skimping on it increases profit margins after all... I tried to keep this subtle so it didn't look too overgrown and disused.

Another aerial shot.

Close up of the rusty gates and the sconces.  The details are great fun on a kit like this.  I intend to make some statues for the games I use it for to stand on the pedestals.

There were a fair few places where I had to cut and carve plasticard to cover the holes in the structure which were originally covered by stickers.  The gateways on both sides slide up and down to let both teams in!

All of the doors open.

A view from the balcony, the area on the right of the balcony was originally a trapdoor to drop playmobil dudes through, so I used plasticard again to cover it up and carved some flagstones into it as I won't be dropping painted figures through!

I really enjoy playing Blitzbowl, which is a little 6-a-side version of Bloodbowl that is great fun and I was delighted to see that the board fits into the stadium perfectly!

Game about to start from yesterday.

View from one team's side (this was before I had added the greenery to the coliseum)

View from the other side showing the two gates that the teams would enter from and where the fans would sit.

I must admit that I had grand plans for adding fans, drinks and food outlets, merch stalls, etc. but sadly events conspired against me recently and so I'm presenting it on its own before the end of the challenge.  I'm definitely going to crack on and do those after the challenge though, as playing Blitzbowl in the stadium was really good fun and took the game to another level.

Having seen Byron's post yesterday I'm also now inspired to make a custom board for it to sit on with a blitzbowl pitch modelled on to complete the effect.  I can also see myself using it for any gladiator games or when evil space overlords force captured heroes to fight monsters, etc,  I just need to work out how to store it...

Now then, scoring..... It's a large terrain piece and when split up and squished together it's about 45cm x 45cm x 10cm on average, so over to you!


Wow, this is fabulous Jamie. We're all so spoiled, having been treated to two versions of this monstrous kit within one week!

I appreciate your overall colour choice as the grey will work particularly nicely for future sci-fi shenanigans. I also really like the rusted gates, weeds and the methane fuelled flame sconces (ewww!). 

For ease on my brain cells, I'm going to score this similar to what Tamsin came up with for Byron's efforts (his was more for the bespoke base, while your's is fully painted). So that makes it 120 points for the coliseum plus another 30 for the Peak Challenge. A very tidy points haul, I must say.

As to a prize? Well, I think it only appropriate that you have a spiffing contestant for your new arena, so I'm awarding you with Nick's beautiful Murmillo gladiator. Congratulations!

Thanks for treating us all with the product of your labours, Jamie - it looks absolutely magnificent!


From SimonM: "Wizkids" Dire Wraiths & "Otherworld Miniatures" Black Pudding (45 Points)

This 28mm scale pewter model of a Black Pudding is produced by "Otherworld Miniatures", and can be bought as Code DM7b from their range of Dungeon Monsters. Hand-sculpted by Paul Muller, the creature made its first appearance in the 1974 "Dungeons & Dragons" set and "resembles a bubbling, heaped pile of thick, black, pudding-like goo, roughly fifteen feet across and two feet thick."

As with the Hertfordshire-based manufacturer's Green Slime, I found the "nasty, oozing creature that haunts caverns and dungeons, seeking unwary denizens to prey upon" to actually overlap the edges of its accompanying "50mm round plastic slotta-base", so ended up super-gluing it to a 60mm circular base instead. I then applied a double basecoat of "Citadel" Abaddon Black over the "mindless, underground-dwelling scavenger" and heavily dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal.

Finally, I drowned the Black Pudding in "Citadel" Nuln Oil. I actually found this particular 'figure' rather underwhelming, as although it has some nice detail, it is incredibly flat for an underground creature which "secretes a digestive acid that dissolves organic material and metal quickly." "Wizkids" produced a far more dynamic-looking, almost swirling version as part of their Monster Menagerie Set 2, but I have been unable to source a reasonably priced one yet...

Speaking of "Wizkids" and their pre-painted plastics, I have also pigmented eight of their 31mm tall plastic Dire Wraiths. Still potentially available as number 010a from the "Marvel" Guardians Of The Galaxy "Heroclix" range, these shape-shifting aliens "are an evolutionary offshoot of the Skrulls from the Andromeda Galaxy" and were created by Bill Mantlo and Al Milgrom for the December 1979 issue of "Rom".

Once the models were removed from their clicky-bases and super-glued onto 40mm circular bases, they were all primed with two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and heavily washed with "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade. The extra-terrestrial opponents of Rom the Spaceknight were then dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Red.

Each Wraith's pair of eyes were 'picked out' first with some "Citadel" Abaddon Black, and then a tiny spot of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre. As I wanted the "Skrullian Deviants" pupils to particularly stand out, I didn't bother shading them, and instead simply tidied their edges up with some additional "Citadel" Abaddon Black and "Vallejo" Heavy Red.

MilesR: wow lots of red today too.  Very nicely done

From StuartL - Challenge Island Safari Journal - 15th March (70 Points)

Greetings once again doughty C.I.S.T.e....

"Excuse me! I want to make a complaint."

One moment please, I am trying to update everyone.

"No! I want to register a complaint now. I've had enough."

Very well Mr. Biggleswiff. What exactly is the nature of your complaint?

"Well, where to begin? This tour has been awfully slow as of late, we've been chased by Ogres, infected by Plague Marines, nearly eaten by the Snow Lord, and to be quite honest, I'm not even sure you know where you are going."

I see Mr. Biggleswiff. Well, let me assure you that the Snow Lord was only joking about eating you, probably. As for the Ogres, they were a bit of a surprise for me too. And I have a map.

"That's beside the point. I want my money back and I want off this island pronto."

Is that right? As luck would have it we're at Sander's Sand Dunes, we have a regional office here. I'll just pop in a call to head office and they'll deal with you ASAP. One moment.

Good news Mr. Biggleswiff. They are sending the Director of Customer Services himself to deal with your complaint.


Mr. Biggleswiff would like to register a complaint sir. Apparently he isn't happy with parts of the tour.


" well, it's just that... um... the Island is pretty dangerous, and um...."


"Well sir, that's very reasonable of you. Thank you."




Has he gone? Phew, He's a very hands on manager I must say. He takes the role as head of Customer Services very seriously. Trust me, he's a riot at office parties though.

Anyway, who would like a trip on a balloon?


When I saw the entry requirement for the Sand Dunes, I knew that this model would be ideal for it. The figure is from a Reaper Bones Kickstarter and is massive. In fact, here is Battle Brother Proportionis Comparicus of the Ultramarines to show the scale.

The model stands over 4" high and has a 7" wingspan. Painting him was quite challenging as the wings make the figure quite heavy to hold as you're working on it, plus they get in the way a lot.

I have no idea how many points he's worth, so hopefully today's minion can figure something out, (plus 30 points for the Sand Dunes please). As the last line of the journal indicates, I hope to be availing myself of the services of Sarah's Balloon in the very near future.

MilesR: Wow a lot of people are leaving the scoring discretion up to me.  We;; some people just have to learn the hard way....  Using my completely malicious scoring decision making methodology, I deem this spooky entry worth 8 28mm figures or 40 points.  That nets you a tidy 70 for the whole shebang!

PaulSS arrives at Snowlord's Peak (57 Points)

As Lady Sarah's balloon touches down on the Snow Lord's Peak the rebels disembark and start to form a defensive perimeter.

The barricades are erected, fire lanes are cleared and then the cases of supplies start to be unloaded.

Trooper Dok-Antora picks up an heavy crate and unwisely tries to move it himself, the trooper stumbles and drops the crate, it splits and with a sound of trumpets and a thunder of tiny hooves out pour a load of teeny weenie cavalrymen dressed in grey coats speaking some gibberish in their squeaky little voices.

"Get over here Sergeant, and bring the Electrobinoculars"

As the tiny horsemen spilling from the crate form up in their squadrons, Sergeant Navarando scans them with the Electrobinoculars, monitoring the stream of Aurebesh that flows across the screen.

"Well, for a start, that's not gibberish, it's Danish" the Sergeant announces to his troops, "These fellows appear to be from the Danish 5 Jydske Regiment, but I'm really not sure how they got in this here case."

The squadrons of tiny horsemen form up and head off down the mountain slope, slowly as Denmark knows not such steep and vertiginous landscapes. After all the activity Trooper Dok-Antora is ready for lunch and looking forwards to his Ronto Rations.

He cracks open the case marked supplies and there is a acrid smell that immediately put him off his food.

"Oh bullocks!" says Sergeant Navarando, "No, that's bull-shit!" says Trooper Dok-Antora.

After all the recent painting of the 40mm Star Wars: Legion stuff these tiny fellows were a big change in scale, they hardly come up to the ankles of the FFG stuff on their huge thick bases.

Eighteen 6mm cavalry and eighteen 6mm cattle with the location bonus should be 57 points towards my total.

Now back to painting the big chaps!


Haha! Very good Paul. Your Danish cavalry and herd of bullocks look absolutely terrific. The cavalry are especially smashing with the detail of their white-piped tricorns and buff-edged saddle blankets painstakingly picked out. Very impressive brushwork that.

Speaking of tricorns, for your prize I'm happy to award you Peter's lovely 18th century courting couple - an appropriate vignette for the onset of spring.

Thank you for taking up the Peak Challenge, Paul!


From BenF: Alexander's Funeral Games - 15mm Ancient Successors (164 pts)

Well, it seems like the world is going rather crazy at the moment. From toilet paper hoarding to panic buying of pasta, to the usual conspiracy theory tropes, the insanity of the online world seems to have outdone itself on this one. Glad to see that the challenge is pottering along as calmly as ever, an island of sanity. I hope that everyone and their loved ones are staying safe.

For this entry, it's about as close as I get to a painting bomb - a bunch of 15mm ancients for Sword and Spear and Impetus. I love the opportunity to base them us as little dioramas offered by the large bases. I've got a Macedonian force which I had previously completed, with a few commanders appearing in the last challenge. To face off against Alexandros III Megalos I've been chipping away at a late Achaemenid Persian force. The bright colours and intricate details and patterns of their costume look great, but are not the easiest to paint up. I've also been reading about the successors, particularly the spectacular career of Antigonus One-Eyed - which would make a great movie. By tweaking my Macedonian army, and adding some odds and sods, I should be able to field an Antigonid army for S&S and Impetus.

First off, Persian cavalry. This lot are Iranians, and can serve equally with the Achaemenid army of the King of Kings, Darius III, or with the successor forces of Antigonus, or even with the Imperial army of Alexander himself. They're lovely Forged in Battle figures, and I did some minor alterations, changing poses and moving the spears around. These three bases did take a long time to finish, and the patterns nearly did for me. However, as high status troops I did spend extra time on them. I've got a base of armoured Persian cavalry, and the rest of the force will be Scythians and Bactrians.

Next, it's the superweapon of the successor age - a pair of war elephants. I also went a little crazy on these two, spending a fair bit of time painting up their blankets with designs of Zeus and the Star of Macedon, along with patterning. Very happy with the result, and as most games require few elephants, I think the time invested paid off. I've also included a few peltasts to provide support for the nellies.

Next, a base of Prodromoi, Alexander's Paeonian light lancers. The crazy colours of armies from this period seem sometimes very unusual to men, someone who usually paints 20th century, Romans and Dark Ages figures. The fetching pink/blue/yellow combo is historical, and based on a range of evidence including tombstones. It does pop though, doesn't it. Between the pink cloaks and the leopard skin saddles, this is one bunch of ancient dandies.

Finally, its a force ubiquitous to the Hellenistic period, the Peltasts. Armed with javelins, but equipped to hold their own in hand to hand, the Peltasts were often deployed in support of or on opposition to phalanxes. Xenophon recounts a case where peltasts annihilated a phalanx of Spartans. Despite their apparent commonness in Hellenistic armies, Sword and Spear doesn't include any stats for them, so we've home ruled some. Also, I couldn't find any shield decals to fit this lot, so ended up painting my own designs on. They're not perfect, but i'm happy with them.

I do have some more successor troops and loads of Achaemenids, but that is for another Challenge.

For this lot, the total should be :

24 horse = 96 points
26 foot = 52
2 elephant? (maybe 20mm mounted) = 16

For a grand total of......164 points!!!

MilesR: wow - these are really nicely done - love the Ellies.  I'm scoring this as all 15mm but with 15 bonus points to account for the size of the ellies and the stunning shield and banner paints - 179 paints for this superb Persian Host.  Now keep them in quarantine for 14 days, if you please.

From PeterD: Orks Discuss Lunch Options With the Snowlord (80 Points)

A squad of Orks approaches the summit.  They are tired, cold and hungry but they are determined to complete their task.  The Boss in charge addresses the Snowlord.

"Oi Furball!  Are you the oversized Care Bear that's been givin' our mate Pete a 'ard time?  'e sent us up 'ere to sort things out and collect 'is loot from you.

Pete said we should introduce ourselves and tell you a bit about us.  We's from Crud Camphell's Crudsaders from the Evil Suns klan, as you probly figgured from all da red we's wearin'.  We's vetruns  we is.  We fought the Sandbagger, the Evil Badger of Kent, and the ar*ehole who keeps trying to tell us what our names really mean.  We fought in the Spider Vehicle War, the Plaid Primer Incident and the Duel of the Skullz.  I'd tell you more but my finker don't work so good afta too many KABOOMs!  Dok Hurty is s'posed to be the unit historian, but he and Millzy spend all their time pokin' each otha in the eye and it never gets writ down proppa.  

Pete likes dem Ancient Geeks so we'z modelled out kit a bit on dem, wit all the red and bronze bitz.  We also like dem Eytalians 'e does so some of us went for the bi-coloured pants - of course we 'ad to let out a bit in the seat.  Ray like liked the Eytalian look so much he even slashed and fluted his codpiece if you want to have a peek.

Anyway's there's sposed to be some reward fer us to collect up 'ere. I suggest that you cough if up snappy like cuz the boyz are getting 'ungry after that climb.  Mylez over dere figgers 'imself a chef.  'e found sum fungi comin' up the hill and some 'erbs over in da garden and he reckons 'e can make a pretty good Eyetalian stew outta you.  

Burchy with da Rokkit launcha has an ichy trigga finga but 'e figgers if 'e's real careful wid his aim he'll leave enough blue fur unsinged for a pair a mittens for Pete's missus.

So it's up to you big guy!  You can hand over da loot and point uz in the direction of the nearest pub wit an all day breakfast and we'll be outta yer fur pronto.  Or we can let Mylez and Burchy 'ave a go and we'll dine al fresco up 'ere.

So this is a unit of Oak Boyz straight outta the GW box, 9 regular boyz plus a  nob boss and a rokkit launcha squad weapon.  I went for the Shootas over the Choppa and Slugga option to get a bit better firepower (such as it is).  I had more fun than I expect with these guys.   I made a bunch of rookie mistakes and maybe learned a couple of things along the way.

I didn't use the GW canon paints but my research indicates that some freedom of expression is OK with Orks who use what's lying around anyway.  The green is pretty vibrant but no more so than what I found on picture searches so I left it so.  I avoided the evil transfers in the box and free handed the checkers on the rokkit - they look much better on table than in my close up pictures.  When my wife saw these guys she thought that they were ugly and needed softening up and that I should add flowers to the bases - which I have done.

I did look at Space Marines but got bogged down in all the arcane Marketing BS - it left me whimpering like a small girl and longing for the warm embracing comfort of Napoleonic regiment facing colours, piping, company pompoms and musician liveries.  So rather than drink the purple Koolaid  um become assimilated into the Borg Collective, um pursue Space Marines I went with Space Orks who are less regimented.  Plus I figured that if I'm going stupid I'll go all in stoopid.

So my brief was
  • paint up a 40K unit;þ
  • any race, any faction;þ
  • they have to be in the colours and livery set out by their Games Workshop codex þ
  • you have to explain the background of the unit.þ
I believe that I have completed the required elements of this technical program and await the judges scores in the kiss'n'cry area.

Not to apply any undue pressure but it's my birthday today, so happy Ides of March.


First, happy birthday, Peter! I hope you have a great day of treats and prezzies. 

Crud Campbell's Crudsaders are perfect and I really enjoyed your write-up, just what the Snow Lord ordered. I think your greenskin green is quite literally brilliant and a great dodge from GW's extortionist paints. I also really like the nod to your historical interests with the Greek bronze and the Italian Wars stripes (the split seat is particulalry brilliant). In fact I think this bunch warrants another 5 bonus points for their sartorial splendour. 

As to your prize, I think it only apropos that you receive this fine Ork from DavidB. I think he'll be a great close-combat veteran, or perhaps he's one of Crud's poor cousins who's not yet been proven himself safe around firearms (and that is saying something with Orks).

It was fun seeing you stretch out of your comfort zone for this challenge, Peter. I look forward to seeing the Crudsaders wreak mayhem on the tabletop soon!