Thursday, 11 December 2014

From Millsy - 28mm Warhammer Skinks (100 points)

Looks like I've got time for one final batch of stuff before the early Challenge open season ends - this one's a bunch of scaly reptilian warriors. These chaps were originally intended to be my entry for the 'Cold' theme round (being cold-blooded and painted ice blue), but it seemed a bit borderline cheese to me so I bailed out. More to the point I didn't want to risk a repeat of last year's "Spider Incident" :-)

So what do we have here? The answer is 20 Skink skirmishers from the Warhammer Lizardmen army, in this instance armed with javelins and shields. Really its two units of 10 (red vs green shields) but I won't tell if you don't. I can vouch for the fact that they are a right pain in the rear end to face having been on the wrong end of their poisoned missiles several times now. Which begs the question why paint more? Best not to ask sensible questions like that really...

All that aside, unlike teeny-weeny black-clad naval infantry these are a something of a mobile rainbow and jolly good fun for it. They paint up easily have lots of character which is all you can ask really. Nuff said!

From Curt:Ah, Skinks... These little guys take me back to my salad days with Warhammer. Good memories. These looks great Millsy. I really like the vibrant blue and bronze metalwork you went with. The red/green shields as unit designation is a smart move as well.  
100 points and securing first place... for now.  Great job!

From JohnM - One Hundred Years of Big Guns (188 Points)

As usual, the start of the Annual Painting Challenge coincides with my busiest time of year. This year to be prepared I prepped everything I thought I would do during the contest prior to the start date. It is a big help, but unfortunately having everything prepped resulted in me having difficulty deciding what to start with it. So I started 5 projects at the same time! Here I present 4 of them, the 5th will be my COLD bonus entry. 

So here we have some 4 projects associated with big guns. Otherwise this submission is somewhat incoherent as it covers different countries and eras. I know photograph storage is at a premium so I have limited myself to one photo per entry, with one extra because I just could not resist.

I have not had time to comment on the individual entries so far, but there is some really superb stuff, this year's contest looks like it is off to a great start.

PSC 20 mm Pak40 AT Gun. This is a very nice kit, I will need it soon in my 29, Let's Go Chain of Command campaign.
Two Achilles mobile AT Gun's from Armourfast. Not a whole lot of detail, with with some stowage they look OK.

PSC Firefly, very nice model, I think I will have to tone down the rust a little.

French Napoleonic Caisson from Front Rank, this is a big model and was quite a lot of work as there is a lot of detail.

Could not resist a second photo, the whole thing was a bugger to assemble especially with the tracings.

A British Heavy Artillery Foot Battery, bit of a mixture here the cannon and one figure are from Front Rank, while the Howitzer and most of the figures are from Perry. That's it for British Napoleonic Artillery, that specific lead pile is done!

From Curt:Great work John and welcome to your 5th Challenge! Wow, that is a nice collection of guns and vehicles. First, congratulations on finishing your Napoleonic British artillery collection - I know how long you've been working on that project so it's an achievement in of itself. Also, congrats on preservering with the French caisson as I know how fiddly they can be to complete. I really like your Firefly. This is inspirational as I'm in the midst of assembling a few of the PSC Shermans myself and have been really impressed with their overall quality and ease of assembly. 
(Slipping on anorak) One thing about the British variants of the Sherman (including the Firefly): they usually didn't keep the .50 cal machine gun as many crews found them more of a hinderance than a help - it had to be fired from outside the turret, got caught up in low-hanging foliage and if the crew had to bail out it risked getting in the way (a glowing vote of confidence for the Sherman itself).  This being said I think it's fine to have a few within a unit, as there is photographic evidence that a few were used, but, by and large, they were absent on British Shermans. Sorry, couldn't help myself (anorak shrugged off). :)
Anyway, enough blather. Again, welcome aboard John - I look forward to seeing what you'll come up with over the coming months.

From IanW - Black Tree and Gripping Beast Vikings (30 Points)

Just a small group of 28mm figures to prove I can do something a little larger than 6mm. These are for my Saga army that I play with my eight year old son, he is painting his own Anglo-Danes.

First up the leader of my warband, we have them on larger bases than the rest so they stand out. My son has two men and a Great Dane dog (his idea) but I just had space for this big chap so added a rock to the base.

I wanted him to be extra bright so went a little OTT with the colours but I am OK with that. He is Gripping Beast Viking Hero and as such sold as a single figure.

My original plan was to add this figure to the base, another GBM but one of the plastics and as he would not fit on the base I just slapped him on his own 2p base. So he will have to join one of the units I am building up.

The shield has a Little Big Man transfer on it so is much better than the freehand I have done on the following figures. The detail on the figure is great and I don't see any reason to not use plastics in your forces.

Onto the Black Tree guys and these four slingers will finish off the levy unit I was fielding with only eight figures. These are brighter than the bow troops and look better for it. I do like the Black Tree figures and think they are easily overlooked.

I still have plenty of Black Tree figures prepped and ready to go including about twenty more Vikings so these are not the last of these Danes you will see. These get me 30 points making me over 100 in the first week and ahead of schedule for my target, lets see if I can keep it up.

From Curt: Wonderful work Ian. I think it's great that you and your boy are getting into SAGA together - get them hooked while they're young!  I also like how bright these fellows are, in fact I think your warlord could easily moonlight as a superhero with that cloak. :)  
These six men of Scandinavia will give Ian 30 points. Well done!

From GillesW - SEMPER FI (5 Points)

Welcome to the Jungle!
This is the first model I use to find the color chart I would try on my USMC  Company for Bolt Action. In fact it's a GI body from the GI sprues, the other parts are from the USMC sprues I bought recently (during the  Warlord black friday). If you like it and you find the colors OK, I'll put the color chart on my blog.

My project is do as many conversions I can.

Here is the 2nd lieutenant Jethro Gibbs, he is unshaven while he spent some time in the jungle with his patrol:

The camera will turn around him

The basing is simple to be re usable in Korea or in the western front

Next batch, next tuesday.

AnneO's DOOM Bunny (5 points)

This quirky little figure is from Bombshell Miniatures and as I've nothing really to go with him, I'm posting him as a single.

He stands at 20mm and was sculpted by Patrick Keith.

I didn't particularly need this figure, but a Bunny with wonky eyes holding an axe was too much for me to resist.

This little guy will add 4 more points to my already staggering 10 points. At this pace I've no idea how the rest of you will keep up with me.

From Curt:

Haha! I love this guy, especially his pruned right ear and rather bemused eyes. You've also done a brilliant job on his fur (particularly his paws). 

As he stands in at 20mm I'm going to class him as a 28mm figure, so another point for your dash to glory Ms. O'Leary!

From TamsinP - 15mm Seven Years War Russian Hussars (72 Points)

OK, so I'm not as quick off the blocks as some of my fellow Challengers and this isn't a points bomb, but here is my first entry. I had thought about waiting until I'd finished painting all of the cavalry (there are another 4 regiments part-painted - 2 of cuirassiers, 1 each of dragoons and horse grenadiers) but decided it would be nice to get some points on the table early on. I will probably submit the remaining regiments as one batch in a few days' time.

These figures are 15mm from Essex. You might spot that two of the figures on the command bases have rather odd-looking sabres. That's because the swords were originally standards, which is rather odd as Russian hussar regiments weren't issued colours during the Seven Years War.

So, my first entry - two regiments of hussars.

Slobodskiy Hussars

Zeltiy Hussars

That's 18 figures, so should give me 72 points.

From Curt:
Lovely work Tamsin. What system are you using these figures for? I know you've been trying out a few different rules lately. Anyway, these are wonderful. Your usual nice, clean painting. I particularly like the Zeltiy Hussars, but then again I'm always partial to yellow. I look forward to seeing the cuirassiers, dragoons and horse grenadiers in the coming days! 

From AaronH - Eight 28mm Uruk-Hai swordsmen (40 Points)

"There were four goblin-soldiers of greater stature, swart, slant-eyed, with thick legs and large hands.  They were armed with short broad-bladed swords, not with the curved scimitars usual with Orcs; and they had bows of yew, in length and shape like the bows of Men.  Upon their shields they bore a strange device: a small white hand in the centre of a black field; on the front of their iron helms was set an S-rune, wrought of some white metal."

Eight swart, slant eyed gobin-soldiers.
The above quote is from the first chapter of The Two Towers.  It is the first time that the fellowship comes in contact with Uruk-Hai.  The imagery from the movie is different of course.  Bare shields and the white hand on the helmet.  That is how most people paint their Uruks.

A closer view of four of the orcs.
I do want mine to look like the movie but I prefer the imagery from the books where there is conflict.  This will also make my Uruk-Hai stand out from everyone else's.  The S rune is the elvish rune as, obviously, that is the language that a wizard would use over Dwarfish.

The other half of the line.
These are 28mm plastics from Games Workshop.  They are, in common with most of the LOtR plastics, mixed quality.  They have great detail in some spots and then meld into featureless blobs in others.

This close up shows a couple of spots I missed.  My camera is better than my eyes.
These models were surprisingly frustrating to paint.  My initial colors were too light.  I ended up re-painting the leather three times.  Finally opting for a brown I've never used before.  It finally gave me the dark look I was looking for.  The issues with the detail also made it hard to tell which part of the model was which until it was painted.  I had to go back over several spots that I thought were one thing, but turned out to be another.

These eight are the start of my Isengard army.  I've had these models for ten years and am only now getting paint on them.

Rear and shield view.
The next two batches will be more Uruks.  Pikes and crossbows.  The third lot is not part of my plan, but I'm ahead of schedule right now so I'm going to add them in.

It feels great to get these guys painted.  They are the army I always start new players with. They are very forgiving.  They will have more pull if they are painted.

From Curt:Excellent work Aaron! I've always liked these models, even though the detail on them can often be a bit soft at times - if you persevere (which you certainly have) then you'll be rewarded with a very nice force. The choice of marking them with Saruman's S rune is brilliant, I may have to nick that. Also, I quite like the skin tone you've chosen for them as it will make them stand out nicely on the tabletop (it's very easy to paint-up these guys too drab, which I have done). Great job!
These eight Uruks will give Aaron 40 points.