Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Voting Results for the 3rd Bonus Theme Round: 'Victorian'

Ah, the 'Victorian' round proved to be a real corker, with many imaginative entries ranging from steampunk ships to an indomitable ratcatcher plying his trade in the back lanes of London. 

Again, it was another tight race with only one vote separating First and Second place and no more than a dozen pips between the other top 5 spots. Great stuff.

Here are the runners up:

AlanD's 'Flashman's Guide to International Diplomacy'

MartinN's 'Jack the Ripper'

IannickM's 'Monsieur la Mort'

ByronM's 'Steampunk Tinkerbell'

As for the finalists, I was fortunate enough to secure Third Place with my rendition of 'The Artful Dodger'.

BrianB took Second Place (and 50 bonus points) with his brilliantly SCULPTED AND PAINTED 'Pennyfarthing'.

...and in First Place we have the ever-talented MichaelA with his fantastic ensemble cast: 'Scotland Yard Company' 

Michael, for your efforts you will get a 75 bonus points AND a gift certificate from Martin and Diane at Warbases. Congratulations Mr. Awdry, and thank you Martin and Diane for your generous and continued support of the Challenge!

Okay! This Sunday the bonus round theme is 'Myth' so participants make sure to get your submissions in by Saturday and visitors please come back and visit the gallery to see all of the fantastic entries from our maniacal painters. Paint On!

From IanW - 6mm Zulu's and Project Finished!! (40 Points)

Well one of the aims of the Challenge is to get us to finish long overdue projects and this one really fits the bill. Back when I was unable to work I took to painting up mates figures for them just to give me figures to paint. They tended to give me two figures for every figure I painted for them or so. Well given that I have now been working for just under two years you could say this was a tad late Matt has been a real gent and been really good about my lack of push on these.

So as part of my to do list for 2015 was to get these finished before the end of February, well a big bad tick in that box.

These are the rifle armed Zulu's and by far easier to paint up than the shield toting ones from last weeks post.

Again I went with four different coloured loin cloths and give the finished figure a brush over with Windsor & Newton Chestnut Brown ink with adds a good skin tone and depth.

Here is all the Zulu's painted during this years Challenge and the few I did just before the Challenge started. A total of 96 figures at 0.5 points each so base value of 48 points but Matt is basing all of them including the ones from way back so knocking 20% off 38.4 points for Curt to round up or down.

Given that this will leave my original points in the rear view I will push for 2000 points which would be better than last years total if I remember correctly.

From Curt:

Ah, brilliant! Congratulations on getting this project behind you Ian - well done. That is an impressive mob of Zulus and you've really done a great job on painting these tiny castings. I'm going to have to get myself a bottle of that W&N ink as it really did a wonderful job on their skin tone. Great tip, thanks.

Just for the record you made it to 1153 in the 4th Challenge, so 2000 is a great target for this year. It has been duly registered and scribed. 

Now, back to your painting bench Mr. W. there's not a moment to loose!

From JamesR - A few Prussian Landwehr (35 points)


I only managed to finish a seven Prussian Landwehr troops.

Whoops, didn't capture the whole unit.

The tall guys are Warlord plastic Prussian Landwehr.  I had a few left over from when I originally painted the box up.

I have no idea who produced the little guy, but he looks a bit like a Prussian.  My Prussian recruiting office allowed him to join up.

Here they are marching off to the right.

Till next time, when I hope to bring you some Cthulhu goodness.


From Curt:

Haha! This is a great entry James!  You really should have saved it up for the 'Comedic' theme round.  

Your Prussians are very well-painted, but I've always had a problem with how huge the mits are on these models - they're absolutely monstrous! In fact your 'little corporal' looks more in proportion than these schnitzel-fed boys from Silesia. Nevertheless, Old Blucher will no doubt welcome the new drafts. Well done! 

Now, bring on your tentacly Cthulhu goodness!

From DavidL - Hordes, Malifaux, and Curtgeld (37 Points)

My painting has slowed a bit over the last couple weeks as I begin to gather focus and energy to start dropping some points bombs. In the meantime, please enjoy this modest potpourri that really runs the gamut of small, medium, and large offerings in the 28mm scale...

First up, we have a figure for Hordes, a Titan Gladiator from the Skorne faction. I just got into Warmachine/Hordes last year due to its popularity around my local gaming scene, and I went with the Skorne despite their rather grim and despicable "fluff" because I just couldn't say no to these elephantine Titans.

This is the second such Titan in my collection, and I intend to pick up a couple more this year.

"Here comes trouble."
The banner has been left blank while I decide what sort of sigil to put on it. As my primary caster is Dominar Rasheth, I'm thinking of designing a symbol evocative of Hedonismbot ("I apologize for nothing!"), but that's a project for after the Challenge...

For the armor, I wanted to evoke a scarab beetle's shell, and did some layering with purple, gold, and gloss varnish, achieving a result I'm quite pleased with.

Next up is a throwback to my first entry in the Challenge; it's a new-old figure for my Latigo Posse crew for Malifaux. I mentioned in that initial post that I was having trouble sourcing the original Perdita Ortega (and so had used a proxy from Warmachine). Well, I finally tracked down the coveted figure (and for a really good price, no less!), and so I've painted her up.

I know from a couple games played with the proxy figure that Perdita is a pretty formidable foe on the field, and I'm looking forward to seeing this "authentic" figure take her bow soon.

I was tempted to try and add a cigarillo dangling from her lips, but my sculpting skills aren't quite up to snuff to pull off something as tiny as that.

The angle on this shot makes it look like the figure is leaning forward. Weird.
Finally, we have my entry fee for this year's challenge. As the theme is Antiheroes, Rogues, & Ruffians, I knew I'd found my fee figure when I stumbled across "Warfare Wombat" (not to be confused with "Rocket Raccoon," I'm sure) from Bombshell Miniatures.

"I'm an original creation, like Rickey Rouse, or Monald Muck."
I'll cop to being one of those johnny-come-latelys who was unaware of the roguish charms of everyone's favorite talking procyonid until I saw the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, but as this sculpt is clearly based on the comic book version of the character, I painted him accordingly. As this was the entry fee, I made sure to tart him up a bit by popping him onto a custom sci-fi-themed base (courtesy of Secret Weapon), the thickness of which threatens to dwarf the tiny little guy!

The only downside to working on this excellent figure was that I had The Beatles' "Rocky Raccoon" running through my head on a constant loop the whole time I was painting him. (Even now, as I'm writing these words, the tune has burbled back up in my brain!) I used to like that song, but now if I don't hear it again, it'll be too soon...

As I mentioned at the top of the post, I couldn't help but note that the three figures here really run the gamut in terms of size within what is nominally the same scale. Points-wise, I'll leave it up to Curt how to score the Titan (artillery piece...vehicle...?) and little Warfare Wombat (who's about the same size as a 20mm figure).

From Curt:

Well, it seems to be a day for Titans which provides a treat for all of us! These are three great figures David. I really like how you've done the tusks on the Titan and the mottled purple on its carapace is fantastic. I'm happy you managed to find Perdita (and at a reasonable cost no less) - you've done a great job on her. Her sweat-stained hat is spot on and so is her weathered chaps. 

Finally, I love what you've done for your Curtgeld.  Rocket Racoon with his trusty BFG is a brilliant antihero. You've really nailed the texture of his fur and I like that you went old school with the comic book version of his spacesuit.  Thanks very much David!

I'll score the Titan as a 54mm figure plus a pip for each tusk. :)

From IanW - 15mm Essex Roman Archers (80 Points)

I really want to make god use of this years Challenge to actually put some mileage into the Dominate Army that I started in last years challenge. Well it was not to difficult to beat the one unit painted up during and post challenge last year but I manage to keep the wagon rolling with a further increase in the firepower of the army.

I miscounted as I really need just the one more base of light bow so will get a couple prepped and onto the table over the next week or so giving me enough painted to act as part of the heavy infantry.

These actually have the cloth detail sculpted onto the figures, quite an achievement in 15mm. I would have liked a couple of different poses to break up the look a little but these were what was available when the army was originally bought way back when.

I'm guessing that my original thought of the slingers having swords that were too big was incorrect as these guys also have rather large straight swords, makes me think of Crocodile Dundee. 

To go with these are eight bases of medium bow infantry. I have not tried medium bow before so it will be interesting to see how they work in Field of Glory as they should be able to dish out some pain but being medium infantry and just bow armed I can see them being butchered in melee.

Here are the two units painted earlier in the challenge with their bow added, not sure they will be worth the points will have to experiment. I can use up to four bases of light bow away from the heavy infantry but that would be instead of the slingers painted up a couple of weeks ago.

So eight bases of light and eight of medium amounts to forty figures for 80 points. Quite a grab but the figures were a little more tricky to paint than they look.

From Curt:

These look marvelous Ian.  I really like the pale blue you went with for their tunic trim - they really visually pop as a unit. Also, the last shot of the force as it stands is wonderful (my favourite is still that legionnaire unit with the red and blue shields).

Finally, this unit will give you enough points to achieve your 1K target - well done Ian!

From GregB - Reaver Class Battle Titan, 28mm "Scale" (100 Points)

Reaver Class Battle Titan from Armorcast
So far my entries have been mostly 20mm figures, and it has been a lot of fun.  But I mentioned at the tag end of my last entry that I was getting an itch to switch over to some sci-fi. Well I decided to do so in a big way (literally) with this entry.  This is a Reaver class battle titan, a giant fighting machine from Games Worskhop's dystopian Warhammer 40k setting. The model is 13 and a half inches tall, from the toes to the top of the missile launcher on the top carapace. It's a big sucker!

Crew would be inside the "head"
Obviously this is a fairly unusual war gaming model, particularly for many Challenge participants who don't know much about or care much for GW's Warhammer 40k setting. I will try to provide a little bit of background about these vehicles, this specific model and why I bothered to paint it without blathering on for too long (I hope).

Heavy laser cannon of some sort on the right arm
In GW's Warhammer 40k setting there is always a bigger gun, so to speak, and no part of the setting embodies this more than the "Titans". They are large bipedal machines, armed with incredibly heavy and powerful armaments. Organized in pseudo-monastic formations, each pledged to a particular "Forge World" (i.e. planet or system given over completely to the manufacturing of arms and weapons), Titans are of course the "killer app" of the Warhammer 40k universe.  Whoever or whatever human faction or alien race resisting the Imperium in any given conflict is unlikely to last long against whole detachments of machines like this.

View from the top
Titans look like killer robots, but are in fact vehicles, walkers with crews - a commander ("Princeps"), gunners and tech-types ("Moderatii") and a few unpleasant/unfortunate former humans who are essentially just installed directly into the machine ("Servitors" - yuck).  This Titan, a Reaver class, is a very large fighting machine, but is actually classified as a "medium" class (!) battle titan.

These figures are just to show the size, but they are actual Titan Crew figures from GW's Rogue Trader period; I painted them years ago - now they have an actual Titan to crew!
The Titans first came to the GW gaming table in 1988 as part of a game called "Adeptus Titanicus".   The game featured large walking machines battling each other on the table in 1/300 or 6mm scale/size.  Fun! The first model Titans were about three inches tall.  In time, this game expanded - infantry were added, tanks were added, and more Titans, for the humans and the aliens, were added to the figure line.  The game evolved and went through many name changes, but would be known by most GW players as "Epic".  Epic was a great game, and because GW is singularly incapable of supporting anything people enjoy, Epic now sits, to borrow a phrase from Curt, "mouldering in GW's IP graveyard." For a relatively recent example of an Epic game featuring a number of Titans, see here.

An example of the "tech guys" who would help maintain the Titan from the Adeptus Mechanicus; the figure on the right is a Rogue Trader vintage, but I'm not certain of the origin of the one on the left.
So how did the 1/300 combat walkers make it to the 25mm/28mm gaming tables? Well, there was a period (in the 90s, I think) when GW had issued/sold a license to a company called Armorcast to make 40k models.  I was just getting into gaming at this time, and I can remember cruising their web site looking at all of these models I was sure I would never own. Armorcast had set out to make 28mm-scale versions of the super-heavy vehicles which had started to appear in GW's "Epic" game.  Included among these were models of the Titans.  

"Before" - this the model after it arrived via EBay
So this model is very old - perhaps as much as 20 years old.  I can't recall how long ago the Armorcast license expired, but GW has subsequently issued many, many new models, including many new version of models that were once sold by Armorcast (such as the Baneblade - a really large tank).  It also offers models of some of the Titans through Forge World, although those models are beyond my price point and my skill to assemble or paint.

A WIP shot of the torso and legs receiving base colour coats
So why, all these years later, track one down and paint one up now? For starters, as some may have noted in prior Challenges, I really have a soft spot for the old GW "Rogue Trader" era and I actively collect and paint figures from that period.  But a second jolt has more to do with a decision last year to dive into collecting figures for the Horus Heresy - see here for more on that.

Basic colours on the head
It was my very good friend Dallas who suggested that, if we really wanted to go nuts with Horus Heresy stuff in 28mm, we would get Titans for a "really, really big game".  I thought he was kidding, but he wasn't!  He tracked down a model on E-bay.  I was shocked - while Dallas is prone to provocational collection escalation, this was a new level entirely! I couldn't let that stand! Dallas connected me with the same seller.  So before we knew it, we had Armorcast titans to paint up!

More WIP - one of the weapon/arms and the shoulder carapace plates

But as happens so often with hobby projects, it took a while to get it under the paint brush, which is why this Challenge is great. A few weeks ago Dallas finished off a giant alien walker, and he seemed likely to jump from there to painting up his Titan - hinting as much in his blog post.  I suddenly felt the race was on.  Having completed a long run of 20mm stuff, it was time to hit sci-fi again, and so I painted this model.

Last week - basic colours and highlighting applied, waiting for decals, weathering and other finishing touches
The colour scheme, and markings, are for a formation known as "Legio Mortis". This Titan unit sided with the Warmaster Horus and his rebellion against the Imperium, so this machine is one of the bad guys.  The Titan itself is named "Ferrum Mori".  I haven't the slightest idea if those words actually mean anything, but this was apparently the name of a Titan among the forces sent down to finish off loyalist troops in Horus' first action in his rebellion - the purging of his own forces on a world called Istvaan. I have been painting figures for this setting, so I thought this name would make as much sense as anything else I might try.

Another view of the laser weapon on the left "arm" - sadly this weapon has just the slightest bend in the casting...
Assembly of this model is interesting.  The model is cast in a very, very solid resin, and the components are bolted together.  This allows different parts to be swapped out. This is the only war gaming model I have which needs a ratchet :) I tried to use some rare earth magnets, but it was far too complicated and I didn't want to risk damaging the model while doing modifications, so I stuck with the original tried-and-true bolts.

No magnets on this sucker...you literally bolt it together!
You can see the bolt in the shoulder holding the weapon in place; unscrew the bolt, and you can switch the weapon
The model came with three arm options - two different gun mounts and a giant powered fist, useful for smashing opposing Titans.  This is absurd, of course, but I love it and it adds to the enjoyment.  After all, if there is a Titan on each side, well, they just have to fight it each other in close action.  Anything less would be a travesty!

The "power fist" - an arm specifically designed to allow this Titan to tear apart other Titans it encounters on the battlefield; the decal is from the Imperial Knight kit, but I freehand painted the name and banner - I'm surprised at how well it turned out
The decals are mostly spare ones from GW's Imperial Knight model kit, with some assorted ones  coming from spare model aircraft kits.  I tried to give it a little wear, but I did not weather it too much.  For all of the combat action these things would see, there are casts of hundreds of mechanics who (literally) worship the thing and bring it back to snuff after every single battle. With that in mind, I mostly tried to scuff up the feet a bit, and left it at that.

Another view of the "power fist"
Although Dallas is not participating in the Challenge this year, credible intelligence reports in Winnipeg indicate he is already painting his Titan - it will represent one of the Loyalist Titan orders from the Horus Heresy.  While details are still fuzzy, we do aim to have a rather large engagement sometime where we can put these bonkers things on to a gaming table for a scrap - that will be quite a day!

I purchased a spare banner from a GW Imperial Knight kit to add some flair;  drawings in the books show much larger banners, but those are hard to do and make this even harder to put on a table - or even a shelf - I like how this turned out

In terms of using this in a "skirmish" game, well, other than perhaps an immobilised objective of sorts, it has no practical application.  The statistics of the weapons reflect its stature on the battlefield, and this thing would blow away entire segments of an enemy force with every turn.  To take just one example, the launcher up on the carapace is called an "apocalypse launcher".  How will your infantry squad do under fire from that? Not a fun game. But a fight against another Titan? Well, that will be fun!

Cousins - the smaller model is a Reaver Titan from GW's Epic figure line...
As for how many points this is worth for the Challenge, well, I'll leave that to Curt.  At the end of the day, this is a 28mm scale vehicle - a very, very large one, but still just one.  Whatever the tally, it is a real jolt to have this finished and on patrol in my gaming room. Use for gaming? Pretty limited - but for fun, well, this project has been a real hoot.

From Curt:

Dude, that thing is the t*ts!! (Ahem, sorry girls...)

Back when I was a fully follicled 40K dork (as opposed to the denuded 'History dork' I am today) I had one of these bad boys and a Warhound from Forge World in my collection. (Yes, almost grounds for divorce.)  They were completely stupid, and as Greg says they have almost no gaming utility, but I've always loved the 'fluff' supporting them in the 40K universe and, hey, they just look so freaking cool. Greg, this Reaver looks waaay better than my stuff ever did. This is amazing!

The purple and copper paint scheme works very well and I really like the heraldry /iconography (especially on it's left leg and power fist). The only thing I would suggest is that each section should be festooned with purity seals from the Mechanicus (a bit of the quasi-religious fluff from the 40K history that I've always perversely enjoyed).

As far as gaming is concerned, I would suggest (here I go again: big mouth / no trousers) organizing a scenario where you have the Titans deployed on the floor in a good sized room. Otherwise I think they will look completely naff facing off on a typical tabletop as the scaling would be just too ridiculous.

For points? Well, I think we can safely say that the mass of this thing is easily the equivalent of six 28mm vehicles. So let's go with 90 points with another 10 for the hand-painted heraldry and sheer scale of the thing.

A great addition to your collection Greg!