Thursday, 1 January 2015

From Millsy - 15/20/28mm Sci-Fi (126 points)

This is the other half of the week of crazy odds and sods I referred to in my earlier Fantasy post. It's a mix of 15mm, 20mm and 28mm miniatures from a variety of vendors for a couple of games. Variety is the spice (not the Spice) of life after all.   :-)

Part one makes me shake my head at how disorganized I am. Last week I submitted an entire force of Titan Marines, happily thinking I'd painted everything I had bought. Guess what I found packing them away? You guessed it, another batch of stuff including 6 more battle suits (Khurasan Miniatures and really 20mm or so tall) plus 3 spider drones (Ground Zero Games). I couldn't leave 'em so painted they were and that's really all of it now I hope. 30 points on the nose.

When I found the above I also found these. Critical Mass Games walkers standing about 28mm tall (in fact exactly the same height as a GW Space Marine). Wonderful resin miniatures which I made a complete mess of and threw in a box.

When I undercoated them I used a cheap primer and the ink I painted over the top made a horrible mess. Cue minor hissy fit and away they went for a good few months. Well if the Challenge is good for anything it's making you paint stuff you've put off and it worked with these. I'm not thrilled with the paint job but neither does it horrify me and they're done. Another 30 points on the tally so all good.

And lastly a bunch more Space Marines because a) they needed doing and b) people were nagging me to do them (you know who you are!). There's a pair of Dark Angels including a sergeant to let me split a 10 man squad into two of 6, a new 10 man squad of Blood Angels and a custom Chaplain in terminator armour.

I don't like any of the termie Chaplains so I kit-bashed this one from about four different models. Oh yeah and a "Teleport Homer" which always gives me some sort of weird Simpsons cross-over ideas when I hear it out loud. :-)

That totals up to 13 loyal sons of the Emperor for 65 points plus whatever the Teleport Homer (tee-hee!) is worth.

Now if my math is correct that brings my points tally up to at least 1251 which means, Mr Docherty, that I believe I've won our little handbag side challenge stoush. There's nothing I can say at this point which can't be better said by the Reverend MC Hammer so I'll leave you to watch this little gem and think of me sleeping the sleep of the righteous...

From Curt:Ah Millsy, gracious in victory as any spastic man in red baggy pants can be.  ;) 
Another wonderful sci-fi entry from you Mr Mills. Actually, I think those purple walkers are excellent, they somehow remind me of the funky robots in 'Borderlands 2'. And your work in the 40K genre is always impressive - such clean and distinct paintwork. 
Again, a great entry Millsy and bravo on your duel victory!

From RayR - 15mm French NYW Infantry (42pts)

Blimey into the New Year already and I've finally sent in my first proper entry into the Challenge!

My final unit from 2014 is another unit for my 15mm Nine Years War collection. The unit in question is La Marche, who with 5 other units were sent over to Ireland and were present at the Battle of the Boyne, although, none actually fought.

The figures are from Essex and the flag came from the Warflag website

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

From Curt:Welcome and Happy New Year Ray!  
What!? A unit of Nine Years War infantry? Well, slap me on the ass and call me Tesla - I'm shocked! I was expecting Space Marines, or Dark Elves, or perhaps even a 1/6th scale Tiger tank, but THIS?! You've NEVER painted any units of guys wearing lace, floppy hats and carrying big-ass flags. This is just crazy.  
Seriously Ray, it's a lovely regiment (but not your flags, what's up?). Just for the record, since you're now reduced to painting units that were essentially scenery dressing and fox hunt attendants, how many do you have for this period?  Your loyalty and persistence to the period is really quite astonishing - I'm very jealous actually.
Again, welcome back Ray! 

From Sander - And now for something entirely different! (40 Points)

Dear Ladies and Gents,

Today I would like to show you some miniatures I've grouped together since I could not decide under which category they fall. First are some miniatures from Ainsty Castings depicting the famous (or is that infamous) Tardis and some of the deadly predator statues from Doctor Who. Personally I am not a big Dr Who fan, I tried to watch several episodes but it's not my cup of tea. That said I have a dear friend who is totally bonkers about the stuff and since wasn't able to find a miniature version of the 11th Doctor (her favourite) I decided to get here these. Now the Tardis is strictly speaking scenery so doesn't count towards the points total but the statues should get me about 15 points.

Next up are two miniatures I will be using to portray two Steampunk heroes namely Space Captain Smith and his trusty pilot Polly Carveth, sprung from the pages of Toby Frost's series of books. Smith is of course the special figure you get when buying Warlord Games new "Blood on the Nile" book and Polly is a Bombshell Miniatures girl. The bases and scenic inlays are both from Bombshell as well. Funnily enough Space Captain Smith has his own Facebook pace which is frequently visited by Mr Frost himself and lo and behold: he's a wargamer himself! What are the odds?

Isambard Smith:

Polly Carveth:

These two mini's will also rack up a mighty 10 points, leaving me a healthy score of 25 points richer by the end of this post.

Hope you like them!

Cheers Sander

From Curt:Ah, another soul who missed the boat on 'Dr Who'. So I'm not alone after all.  
Nonetheless your friend should be delighted with these miniatures. What are these predator statues? No, wait, forget I asked. :) 
Your Cpt Smith and Polly are excellent as well. I really like the colours you chose for Polly - She's got that Pipi-Longstocking-meets-Mad-Max thing going on there. Wonderful. 
Since the Tardis is technically a time travelling vehicle I'm going to be generous and count it as such. So, 40 points total. Great work Sander!

From MilesR: USS Nashville, Land Ironclad (130 points)

 First, let me wish everyone a very Happy New Year!  My next submission is the mighty Nashville, US Land Ironclad #107 - the Defender of Memphis and scourge of the Martian Invaders.  The Land Ironclad is the apex predator of the human arsenal in "All Quiet on the Martian Front" and it's a massive beast.  The 18mm scale model boasts both size (it's 13 inches long and 11 high) and mass (it weighs over 5 pounds) and was a joy to build, paint and detail.  The model itself consists of resin and metal parts.  The metal parts include gun barrels, decking, rails/stairs, mast and machine guns - all the rest is resin.

 A close up of the conning tower shows that the Nashville has claimed two of the dreaded tripods as kills.  I'm sure there are also a fair number of the red menaces who were maimed from her  mighty guns.

 An "action shot" showing the scout car just after deployment.  I added the scout car and scratch built the scaffolding on a bit of a lark.  Since the Land Ironclad reminds me of a battleship, I thought it should have some form of integral recon.  One of the fun things about sci-fi / alternative history modeling is you can customize with out worrying about rivet counters pointing out your flaws (which my modeling creates many of).

 A picture of the starboard side of the beast.
 Another shot down her starboard line.  The mud on the tracks is Liquitex modeling paste colored with a few drops of vallejo brown and khaki.  Since this vehicle is operating in the Tennessee Valley, I researched soil composition and coloring to ensure the mud was realistic.  Yup that's it - the coloring is the result of scientifical-like research and wasn't really due to the fact that  the brown and khaki bottles were on the workbench when I got of the Liquitex and I just mixed 'em up.

You can trust me on that one....
 A close up of the conning tower - the semaphore flags on the port guy wire (the closest set) are sending a very specific message in via WWI US Navy semaphore code.  Since the game is set in an alternative 1910, I thought WWI would be close enough.  The US flag is also period correct (46 stars).

What's the message - like Raphie, lets all get out our Little Orphan Annie decoder rings and work out the code.  OK everyone ready?  Lets start from top to bottom  "A - H - P - C - V."... Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge V!  Well, at least it wasn't a crummy commercial like "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine".

The messaging on the right guy has the rank of the commander (Fleet Admirable) and some maneuver messaging - essentially "return to port"

 Just how big is this bad boy?  My battered hobby mat is 12 inches wide.  The 28mm Tiger tank submitted for the Mounts and Riders fortnight challenge is also included for a scale reference.

 A close up of the scaffolding and name plate for the Nashville.  The armored car also comes from the All Quiet on the Martian Front line but it's a British one - I'm taking some liberties with the rules and assuming the US crew "liberated" and armored car from their British allies.   In the game, the British have sent an Expeditionary force to aid the US during the second Martian invasion.  The British forces are a bit are more advanced from a technology viewpoint as they've had the ability to study the Martian machines left over from the failed first invasion (the one depicted in the HG Wells book).

 The command crew on the deck.
 Sentries posted to ensure security.  I gave the non-officers blue colored helmets to make them stand out a bit.  I'll also be adding some naval troops in a later submission and want to make sure they stood out from the regulars when on the table.
 Next up a few shots of how the scaffolding for the scout car crane was built.  It's just a few pieces of styrene assembled into a truss structure.
Another shot of the cranes.  After building I did notice the plastic was a bit "bendy" with the weight of the armored car so I added a few more supports.  The crane and AC platform took about 60 minutes from concept to completion and I like how it came out.  Styrene is very easy to work with and is something every modeler should have a supply of near their workspace.  One of the harder things for me was tying the cotton thread for the cables from the cranes to the platform and getting them "even-enough".

Well, there you have it - LI 107, the "Nashville" submitted for your approval.

As for points, that's the province of the Lord High Commissioner himself.  As a mere mortal, I can not hope to grasp the inner workings of his mind and am shackled to only trust absolutely that his contemplations are both fair and just.

I can, however, provide some humble guidance:

Figures 9 x 18mm figures (8 full and 2 half figures)
Vehicles 2: 1 x 18mm Armored Car, 1 x big ass metal/resin Land Ironclad, lots of tiny flags.

Final tally - 'tis up to the will of Curt

From Curt: 
Whoa... That thing is freakin' huge, bro. Wow, just wow...  
Can I have it? :) 
Seriously, this is an amazing bit of kit Miles. You've not only done an absolute stonking job on getting it assembled but also pimping it out with some of your own wonderful modifications (the semaphore flags are a stroke of sycophantic brilliance). A real tour de force. I assume that in the game, points-wise, if you plopped this on the table the Martian player would be allowed to bring in something equivalent to a Victorian Death Star Walker thingy? Zoiks. 
Points? Hmm, good question. Well, by the sheer scale of it I think this behemoth is the equivalent of five 28mm vehicles. Then there are the mods, the armoured car and the figures... So lets say 130 points. That may seem like a lot (it is) but then I just went through the pictures again and I feel fine about it. 
Great work Miles.

From MarkO - 28mm Napoleonic Austrian Line Infantry (604 Points)

Happy new year all! I've been slowly working away on these Austrians since the start of the Challenge, and finally have them finished - hurrah! These are from Perry Miniatures, and they finish off a large chunk of "German" Austrian infantry regiments that I've been working on. 

 First two regiments are in shakos.

Second two regiments in the classic Austrian helmet. Around 1809 was a transition time with regiments gradually swapping from the crested helmet to the shako.

Four regiments of 36 figures = 144 figures, though I had six command figures in each regiment started before the challenge so they can't count. That still leaves 120 troopers to score though = 600 points I believe. Together with my last bonus round entry that means I've now hit my stated target... (and possibly won the Down Under Challenge vs Brendon and Alan?) though it seems a shame to stop here - so onwards! New target 2500 points...

From Curt:Ahh, I knew it would only be a matter of time before someone went thermonuclear with the 'Points Bomb'. An amazing entry Mark, these regiments look fantastic.  Though the sight of a shako usually quickens my pulse I have to stay that I've always been a bit partial to the crested helmet as they were so wonderfully rococo in their design - truly form before function. Nonetheless, aren't you a flag short on your battalions? I may be wrong but the Napoloeonic dork in me believes the Austrian infantry carried two per battalion.  No matter, I'm going to give you a point each for these four to bring your total up to 604. This astonishing points haul vaults you into 3rd place AND allows you to seize 'The Downunder Summertime Side Challenge Race'. Congratulations!! 

From PeterD - Fred and Ginger, plus 2 Bangers (30 Points)

I had a busy December so this is my first non-bonus round submission, and it’s figures that I actually had primed for last year’s challenge but didn’t proceed with any further.   

We have two Napoleonic 28mm siege cannon, a 12 pdr and an 18-24 pdr, both on fortress cannons.  They are made by Brigade models and match the similar pair that I did submit to last year’s challenge.  But honest they are different models (check the much chunkier rocks on the bases on tis year’s models).  They are very nice pieces; I will use them for War of 1812, FIW and SYW projects.

Also we have two 28mm civilians from Reaper, a barman a working girl.  I’ve christened the barman Fred as he looks like a Fred, plus I remember an odious barman named Fred from Coronation Street in the 80s.  So Fred needs a Ginger, which fits for obvious reasons.  Michael A did a much better job on this particular figure for a bonus round last year, so hopefully everyone else forgot about that by now.

I think that these add up to 30 points (10 each for the weapons and 5 each for the foot figures).

From Curt:
Ah, it's great to have you on the prime-time roster Peter - good work.  The barman is a great figure for so many periods and Ginger seems to be a perennial favourite (probably in more ways than one). I pity the poor bloody gunners who had to maneuver those two guns though that scree - I think mutiny is in the air.  :)

From MikeP - 15mm WWII Soviet Infantry (152 Points)

My third entry is a large batch of 15mm Soviet WW2 infantry.  Nothing really special here, just a small but vital Russian horde.  Most of these figures are Plastic Soldier Company, from their Russians in Summer Uniform box.  Mixed in with them are some Peter Pig figures (which don't count as I started them before the Challenge) and some figures from Battlefront.  I've been waiting until I had enough done to base them all.  All the bases are FOW-sized bases by 4Ground.  I like the green shade of them, and so have only added minimal flocking.

Also in this batch is one sprue's worth of the figures from the PSC Russian Infantry Heavy Weapons box.  A sprue provides a light, medium and heavy (81mm I think) mortar, a Maxim machine gun, and two 14.5mm anti-tank rifles, one deployed, one moving.  There is a No 2 for the deployed ATR, and I found a No. 2 for the moving ATR from the PSC infantry in summer dress set.

Some of the Battlefront figures.  I mostly kept them on their own stands since they are a little larger than the Peter Pig and PSC figures, though not fatally so.

And some of the Peter Pig figures (the riflemen on either end) advancing with a PSC LMG team and an intrepid frontline nurse.  The PSC infantry box gives one enough nurses to equip a small MASH.

Half of the SMG section.  Useful chaps to have when holding a village.

To paint these fellows, I used my airbrush to prime them all in Vallejo German Armour Yellow surface primer, which becomes the colour for the tunics.  The trousers are VJ Russian uniform, the helmets are VJ Russian green, and the rest is pretty simple.   When finished the whole figure is treated to Army Painter Strong Tone, and then given a shot of Dullcote once dry.  I'm not entirely happy with the Army Painter dip, I think it darkens the figures a bit too much.

As I said, nothing special about these fellows, except that they were in battle last Saturday, and didn't do too badly.  Here are some of my lads charging heroically to drive the fascists out of the village of Turnipograd (aka The Turnip Capital of South West Belorossiya).  Many heroes of the USSR fell in that charge.

My friend James, (half of J&M Miniatures and one of the sponsors of this Challenge), has an AAR of the battle of Turnipograd on his blog, where you can also see yours truly, appropriately dressed to lead the Red Army into battle.

Not counting the figures painted prior to the Challenge, I have 76 15mm foot figures here, for 152 points.  I don't think the mortars, ATRs or Maxim are big enough to count as crew served weapons.

From Curt:Wow, that is a nice body of work Mike (and great T-Shirt worn for the game I must say). It's very refreshing to see non-Battlefront bases being used for a change. As for 'The Dip' I'd suggest going over the figure with the original colour to help lift and soften the shading effect. Otherwise, as you say, the dip often darkens the figure too much. 
Again, great work!

From PaulS - Who you gonna call? (20 Points)

Over the years I've bought and been bought too many things that were "Gifts", rather than presents. You know the sort of thing. The bits that get put at the back of a cupboard and forgotten very quickly. This year I decided it was time for a change and painted up some bits for a couple of close friends.

The first was this great set of Ghostbusters from Crooked Dice. Unfortunately I had an accident with the spray varnish as it misted up. Thankfully a coat of hand painted gloss varnish managed to fix the problem... but I didn't have any flatter varnishes to take the shine off the models... hence the photos being a bit dark to counter this.

He was so pleased with them that 5 minutes after dropping off the parcel there was an excited post on facebook with the following photograph. Made my day :)

Slimer was painted before the Challenge was announced, so this should be 20 points. Not massive, but it's a start, right?

From Curt:
'He slimed me...' 
These are some very cool miniatures and you've done a cracking job on them Paul. I love the last pic from your friend with the Ghostbuster car - brilliant!