Tuesday, 16 December 2014

From Greg B - 15mm WW2 Germans (60 Points)

15mm late war Germans from Battlefront
As noted in Byron's first entry (and seen here and here), we have been doing some WW2 skirmish gaming in 15mm.  Generally not thought of as a skirmish gaming scale, 15mm actually works wonderfully as an economical way to approach skirmish gaming, and also provides a very nice look on the table as the visual appeal of the engagement ranges is increased. Finally, they paint up really, really fast.

This entry has two PAK40 guns with crews, an MG42 team, and an infantry section.  All of these are late war 15mm size figures from Battlefront.

Gotta form that "PAK front"!
These figures are late war Germans, and I hoped to make their bases look "winter-ish" as opposed to full on winter in January, with a hope they could be used on tables/games stretching from the late fall to early spring, while not being too badly out of place on a winter table itself.  In particular I am working on setting up for some "Battlegroup: Fall of The Reich" games, and these figures were painted with that in mind.

Gun number two
For this period of the war, I tend to be completely exasperated with the Germans' bonkers variety of camouflage, as well as their wide spectrum of uniform types (great coats, smocks, helmet covers, reversible smocks, reversible pants etc).  That is another bonus of 15mm figures - I can do a terrible job on the camouflage, and it still looks OK. On some of these models I experimented with a much brighter shade of green to hopefully make the cammo jump out a bit, but I'm not sure it really worked out.

MG42 team ready for a last stand in the Seelow Heights
Even though there is some snow on the bases, and a touch of frost here and there on the grasses, I imagined these troops determining that, overall, there is a lot more brown and yellow around in the terrain than white, and therefore they are keeping their grey/camouflage aspects of their uniform exposed for now. 

Hapless ground-pounders...at least the MG42 teams will come in handy...
For the PAK 40s I split the crew up a bit on to different bases to accommodate different rules systems - for each one the gun commander is on a separate square base, to represent the junior leader in charge of the weapon (needed to use these guns in Chain of Command), and one of the loaders is on a separate base (to represent the option of extra ammo loaders for Battlegroup).  But of course these will still work fine for a game of Flames of War, which I enjoy from time to time.

These late-war guys are some of Battlefront's best castings

Ready to be overrun by like 100 T-34s...
I have to say I continue to be disappointed with the quality of the plastic that Battlefront is using. For the latest example I have included a photo of the gun shield that broke while clipping it off of the sprue - this either happened or nearly happened for ALL of the components, and is a key reason why there are only two guns painted from a box set of four. 

The guns themselves almost broke in two coming off of the sprue, and were quite bent as they were clipped off and had to be carefully bent back.  And this IS with "careful" clipping.  The plastic is brittle sh*t. I have experienced this with Battlefront's other plastic accessories as well - the new plastic German tank schurzen is particularly terrible (and mindlessly complicated for a 15mm size model), as are the half track accessories and other plastic bits. This is pure crap quality, and I really wish Battlefront would do something about it.

A plastic PAK 40 gun shield. Battlefront plastic SUCKS - this happened despite careful clipping - I wish they would do something about their crap plastic
Also, something seems a bit off with the PAK40 model design...there is some kind of bracket or brace or something on the barrel that doesn't match photos I have seen of the actual gun...but there were so many weapon variants out there, I'm not sure...could have been some alternate variant from a different factory perhaps...

Ready for Flames of War, Chain of Command or even Battlegroup

So there are 26 15mm size figures and two guns - I think this works out to 60 points. We are soon to be off on our Christmas vacation, so Merry Christmas to everyone out there.  I'll be packing my paints too, so I hope I can get some more painting done in between bouts of gift-wrapping and eggnog consumption!

From Curt:
Well Greg, even though these Battlefront models you worked with sound like complete crap you've done a wonderful job with the surviving models. Your figures continue to impress with their excellent colours and great shading. I also quite like your 'spring thaw' groundwork - very evocative. As an idea, you might want to try some drops of liquid superglue to create some small ice patches on the bases. We both know how winter has a near-maniacal grip on the ground, even during a thaw.
Have a great Christmas vacation Greg! I look forward to seeing what you fit in between family, food and festivities.  ;)

From DaveD - Bengal Lancers - part 2 - (132 Points)

The rest of the regiment has now been finished - a further 12 figures. 4 have had the arms removed , remade and soldered on as per the previous ones. 8 are straight casting to provide a unit ready to support their charging squadrons. Again 28mm Connoisseur figures - oldies but goodies with a bit of TLC. Lancers are certainly among my favourite troops to customise and paint so i really enjoyed this unit. The comments from the collective for the first entry were very kind thanks.

In my drunken "chained to paint desk" stupor I forgot that these lads are 8 to squadron with the last post..not 6. doh..so it 3 squadron to the regiment.

So here is the full regiment, 2 squadrons up, supports in the rear.

Guns next perhaps I think --

From Curt:
Wow, like the previous batch these are gorgeous Dave. I like that you've kept the upright lance pose as it gives that great 'in reserve' look about them. Also, I love the last few shots that show the entire regiment in all its splendour - magnificent.
I've given a few extra points for the 4 conversions so 132 points for these tightly turbaned fellows. Again, great work Dave.

Form IanW - Adler 6mm Prussian Cavalry and Limber (32 Points)

With so much of my Project Waterloo being done during the last two years' Challenge events I could not think of a better place to finish the project. I will still be painting up more Napoleonic's but those will be extra to the required troops.

The first up is the 6th Ulan's with their distinctive black uniform, these are I guess some of the Elite of the Prussian cavalry and will be a nice foil to the other two regiments I have painted up to go with them.

Each regiment is of nine figures and in all three cases I started with a black base coat but even the black uniform was treated to touching up with Vallejo black grey so that they would have some depth. Unlike all the other figures I added the ink wash only to the skin and the horses themselves.

Next up the 1st Silesia Landwehr cavalry with there far more common blue jackets and grey trousers. The figures are similar to the Ulan's but subtly different. So close that you can get away with mixing the two if you wanted to add even more different poses to the base.

I really like the way Lion sculpts his figures giving them a real feel of movement. This could not be better illustrated than how he has done the pennants on the lances.

The last of the cavalry is the 1st Pomeranian Landwehr Regiment all dressed in grey, three different shades of grey though!. So with these boys done this ends my commitment to the Prussian's at Waterloo though I still have plenty of other Prussian cavalry waiting for me to paint up including yet more Landwehr.

White and black pennants and white collars and cuffs mark these as rather interesting figures and really contrast to the colour of the bases.

Last but not least is an Adler limber, again I have a few more in the unpainted box and will get round to them at some point but this is the last piece in the Prussian jigsaw that will make up the forces I will face when we play the Waterloo game.

Yes you read that right all that work and I don't even get to play with them! Where does that leave me? Free that's where. After nearly three years with the need to paint up at least six battalions of infantry a week I can now paint what I like and ignore any project that I don't fancy doing that month. This should lead to a rather mixed offering from here on in during the challenge.

This little lot nets me 32 points based on 1 point per mounted man and half a point for the three unmounted horses and limber.

From Curt:
Wow! What an amazing achievement Ian! Three years at approximately six units a week? That is seriously impressive. As usual, your work in this scale continues to amaze. I find the Adler cavalry a real treat to work with and you've really played to their strengths. I particularly like the pennons on the Landwehr lances - they provide an interesting contrast to the typical cavalry of the period.
Well, with this project coming to a close I'm really looking forward to seeing what you do with your newfound freedom! Again, congratulations Ian!

From DavidL - Malifaux Madness! (60 Points)

Well, it took me a little bit to get up to speed, but I've got a good rhythm going now and am ready to present my first-ever submission.

Earlier this year, I finally got a chance to get into Malifaux and got bit by the bug pretty hard. I had put together a crew using the Hired Swords boxed set, and was quite happy with what I had mechanically, but wasn't totally happy with a few of the figures. So my first priority was sourcing some alternative sculpts for my Hired Swords.

Having been bitten, however, I realized that just one crew wasn't going to cut it. So I picked up the Latigo Posse boxed set, and once again found several of the figures to be lacking in my regard. Don't get me wrong, all of these figures are high-quality sculpts, the usual intricate plastic kits that are part of the 2E Malifaux range. It was more that the poses didn't really work for me on an aesthetic level. So I sourced some alternatives there as well.

Here are the results...

First up, there are the "Alternate Viktorias" from Malifaux's old 1E range. They're much more cartoony than the current versions, but then I like my 28mm figures a bit on the cartoony side.

I painted Viktoria of Blood's outfit to look like it was repurposed army surplus from some sort of cavalry regiment.

With the current plastic Viktoria of Ashes, it's not really clear that she's armed with double katanas. This older sculpt leaves nothing in doubt!

The other figure I wanted to replace was Taelor. She's a true power-hitter, armed with a massive "rune hammer" and she knows how to use it. So I wanted to find a figure that exuded that sort of power and confidence, and I found it in "Alice Tinkerly" from MicroArt Studios.

That may not be a rune hammer on her shoulder, but I'm sure it'll be just as effective! Plus she has the same industrial coveralls as the original Taelor figure - it was meant to be!

I also added a new figure in the form of Vanessa, Viktoria's "real" sister. This was another new plastic figure, and was pretty nice save for the head, which seemed oddly puny. So I swapped in the head of "Steampunk Zara Craft, Relic Hunter" from Guild of Harmony. Much better!

I also made my first foray into Object Source Lighting with Vanessa's "treasure detector" thingy. Needless to say, I've got a lot to learn about OSL, but we've all got to start somewhere. I need to pick up some glazes, I think...

And, for completeness' sake, here's the whole Hired Guns crew together, including the figures I painted before the Challenge - you can get a good idea of how the plastics and metals go together.

Now on to the Latigo Posse. I only ended up using three plastics from the original boxed set. Everyone else is either the 1E metal versions or sourced from third-parties.

I tried and tried to find the original 1E Perdita metal figure, but she's obviously quite popular and could not be found for love or money. However, I found a great alternative in the form of Valeria Alvaro, an Iron Kingdoms figure.

I swapped out her more fantasy-styled pistol for a proper six-shooter, but other than that I didn't need to make any changes. She's a great Perdita!

I made an attempt at giving her snakeskin boots - I think the effect worked out okay.

The plastics consist of los hermanos Niño and Francisco, and Ortega clan patriarch "Papa Loco".

The Malifaux plastics remind me of the sort of "true scale" sculpting one generally sees with 1/72 scale plastics - guns are more realistically scaled, heads and hands more proportional, etc.

Sometimes it works for me, sometimes it doesn't. In these cases, however, I was quite happy.

Oops - need to do a bit of touch-up on that foot!
We're still waiting on a plastic version of Abuela Ortega, but in the meantime we've got this fantastic little 1E metal piece.

As much as I love the piece, I have to chuckle over the figure's extreme two-dimensionalality compared to how dynamic and "3D" the new plastics are - her pipe is molded to the side of her head!

I supplemented the Ortegas with some Guild members, namely two Austringers and a Hound.

The Austringers also proved difficult to source, as they're old 1E figures. The kneeling "cowboy" figure, in particular, was quite hard to find. Hopefully we'll see some plastics soon, but I was very pleased with these figures once I finally got them.

"You keep a horse in the basement!?"
Lastly, the Hound. I had to go with Hasslefree's "not-Scooby" Great Dane. A great figure, although I have to dock the Ortegas a couple points for not neutering their pet!

Speaking of points, that's 12 28mm figures. As I've mounted them on clear bases, I'm assuming that that will dock me the 25% for having unfinished bases? If so, then we're looking at 45 points total.

From Curt:
First, let me welcome you to the Challenge David! It's great to have new people to mix in with the Old Salts. You're showing us some very beautiful work here. I particularly like that Valeria Alvaro figure and The Hound (with full tackle) is completely ace. (Having had the pleasure of having one of these glorious beasts as a companion (his name was Clive) I've always harboured a soft spot when I see figures of Great Danes.)
'Clive' aka 'The Bert' - RIP
As for the points: The bases are 'finished', just in a very minimal style (PaulS uses the same method), so no points deduction.  :) 
60 points for you! Well done David.

From DavidB - 15mm Humvee Armoured Cars (24 points)

Apologies all, and to myself for the late entry. Work, Holidays, kids, hunting and woods have kept me really busy! I still managed to paint all day Sunday last and a few hours this morning.

Get used to the ruins! The Games Workshop LotR ruins were among all the items I was prepping for the Challenge.

Since I haven't painted anything since last January, I used them to work out the kinks and get geared up!

The Vicks are from Rebel Minis and are resin and metal hybrids with the chassis, tires and weapons being white metal and the bodies resin.

They are up armored HumVees and MATV although they have other names on the web site. I used MATV overseas and have more time in Hummers to not recognize them! It is also why I used a different paint than Sand!

All four are stock assembly, but I added assault packs from Khurasan Seal team for interest on the MATVs. ( They'll be painted as Rangers for my Scfi Terra Force) I gave a Hummer the old ma duce because it is that awesome and a MATV has a chain gun because they are fun too.

The other weapon system is the MK19 grenade launcher which is a fearsome weapon and why the Terra Force has TWO!

These are my first ever 15mm and part of a big present from my wife and kids who purchased 5150 star army and the Terra Force to be Op4 to my Alien Legion which was also gifted from my family.  They are all upcoming in the Challenge!

From Curt:
Wonderful work David and welcome aboard! These are great models - the various weapon systems look suitably ferocious and I really like the camo scheme you went with. I'm not familiar with the 5150 game system so I look forward to seeing the rest of your forces spool off your hobby desk in the coming months.

From GillesW - Welcome to the jungle! (141 Points)

Are you ready for a mad minute?
As promised here is the 1st squad (under the command of Sergeant Dwayne Johnson).

The figures are from the USMC sprues of Warlord games,I tried to give them some life. Some close up ( perhaps too near!)

Flushed by the initial frenzy of the challenge I also painted some Essex Miniatures 15mm figures for my "Hungarian black army of Mathias Corvinus" Field of Glory Project, I needed them to try a first list last friday evening, so I painted them last wednesday and thursday in hurry. You can see the other figures on my blog, I 'll only present in the challenge the figures I do for it since the 5th of December.

A battle group of generic mercenary knights, as usual I have replaced their lead lances

...then a Battle Group of Szeklers (a random mix of Essex Miniatures Eastern range)

I return to my rowing seat, sorry to my painting table.

Be seeing you.....

From Curt:
Gilles you keep sneaking these under my radar! ;)   
Yes, you have been a very busy boy!  The marines look great but I'm particularly impressed with your 15mm cavalry - the mercenary knights look especially sharp (literally) with their striped lances. Great work!