Saturday, 6 February 2016

From PeterD - 28mm Serving Wenches (10 points)

Last week I hit the dreaded point where I had run out of the figures that I had pre-primed to paint for this year's Challenge.  This post and the next feature minis that I had actually primed for last year's challenge.  But then Brendan the Kiwi lured me over the Renaissance and my first batch of Perry figs arrived before I got to the older less shiny figures.

While most ACW battlefields feature a church in a prominent location, the 1812 battlefields tended to be based around pubs.  This probably says much about our two nations.  But in actuality, the War of 1812 was basically fought by small Napoleonic armies on an old school Wilderness D&D campaign map.  Roads and settlements were few and far between, with the roadhouse often being the first (or only) building at key locations like and crossroads, fords and the like.  The armies fought for the key locations and thus fought around the roadhouse inns.

No slap and tickle of the waitresses lads!
These are two metal Reaper Miniatures from their Townsfolk range.  I have painted them up fairly generically so that they can serve in more than one era.  This poses are nice and the figures well done except that the faces could use better defined features.  Of course, one doesn't always notice the faces of serving wenches, especially after a few pints.

Supper seems to include soup broth and veg, and be accompanied by red wine.

Who's round is it lads?
I am continuing to experiment with basing.  These two lasses got my new standard treatment of acrylic gel, raw sienna and small rocks with a raw umber wash on top.  I chose to go with static grass as I figures that the areas around the pubs might be less rocky and weedy than the wilderness at large.  Comments and suggestions continue to be welcome.

Nice work Pete! I love civilian figures but never get around to doing many myself. I particularly like the redheaded lass, with the blue-trimmed apron and the big platter of food and drinks - she aims to please!

As a suggestion for the future, for figures like these, you may want to try experiment by trimming away their cast base and creating an indoor surface for them. Perhaps painting a simple planked floor with a darker patch to hint at some spilled beer? Just a thought. :) 
10 more points to add to your total - well done Mr. Douglas.

From PhilH: A couple more 'Quintos' for 10 points

Hobby time remains scarce, so I scraped through my challenge box for the quickest minis to paint. I settled on this pair of Spanish 'Quintos' or conscripts for my Mountain Brigade section (with green instead of red piping on the gorilla cap). No blanket rolls or jaunty berets, just a lot of khaki-green and not much more to say about them. 

They're even less interesting from the back, but I should hit my three photo quota.

I need to pick up a couple more packs from Empress to muster a full supported section. Is it time for a group shot? A few pre-date the challenge but here you go (the one from last week is actually missing, oops).

With this, I believe I have hit 100 'pure points': eighteen 28mm foot and one cavalryman. That's the finish line in my side-duel with Juan. This side challenge has certainly been useful stuff keeping me slogging away at these less interesting troops throughout an unproductive period. For that, thank you Juan.

Next, better make a start on my L'Amour bonus round entry!

Ahh, excellent stuff Phil - you've brought it home with these very green, but vey finely painted, lads. Conscripts or Grenadiers, it means naught, as they've sealed your victory. Congratulations! You've redressed the balance and Britannia once again rules the waves.  :)

From TamsinP - 15mm Choson Korean "Irregular Cavalry" (144 points)

Are we seven weeks into the Challenge already? Doesn't time fly?

Just the one entry from me this week - some more additions for my Choson Korean army. This time I have 36 "irregular cavalry" for your pleasure.

These guys represent, I would guess, squires, merchants and the provincial minor aristocracy - basically those who could afford a horse but had little or no military training.

In FoG:AM they are classed as [Cavalry, Poor, Unprotected, Undrilled, Light Spear]. You certainly wouldn't want to throw them into combat against anyone, but they can be used to slow down enemy flanking manoeuvres or to provide rear support for other "Poor" troops.

In FoG:R they are classed as [Cavalry, Poor, Unarmoured, Bow/-/-], so cheap crap again. However, in FoG:R they are able to provide rear support to "Average" as well as "Poor" troops which makes them a little more useful. And they have bows which does give them some (very slim) chance of damaging enemies before they get turned into red mist in melee combat.

In both sets of rules you can take 0-6 bases of them, with a battle group size of 4-6 bases. For the "Righteous Army" list I'm working up for FoG:R, I'd be upgrading them to 0-12 bases classed as [Cavalry, Poor, Unarmoured, Bow*/Light Lance/-]. Same cost as the standard version, but at least they might have a chance at impact.

Painting these was a bit of a pain, mostly of my own creation. The horses were easy - it was the riders where things got complicated. Nine different over-robe colours with 4 different trim colours; 4 different saddle cloth colours and 3 cape colours. All mixed up using matrices.

Why, oh why do I keep picking irregular/non-uniform troops to paint?

The figures are all from Old Glory 15s (the Ming range rather than the Korean).

Rounding up, there are 36  15mm cavalry figures here @ 4 points each = 144 points overall.

That will put me over my original target of 1000 points (for some reason I'd been thinking I'd said 1500 points) with 6 weeks to go to the finishing line. I'm going to ease off a bit now so that I can get one gaming night a week and avoid crazy all-nighters to get stuff finished before the Saturday deadlines.

Lovely work on this mob, Tamsin. I know the various robes and trim were a bit of a hassle, but they paid off in spades in the end as the units have a wonderful motley appearance to them. May they meet a glorious end because by the looks of their stats it seems they'd get curb-stomped by a pair of octogenarian rug-sellers riding donkeys. :)

Also, congratulations on meeting your initial Challenge target! A thousand points in under seven weeks is no small achievement, well done.  I'll re-sight you in for 1300 points for your final finishing flourish.

From PeterD - Curtailed Nicomo Cosca (40 Points)

Please excuse the poor photography and lighting
This is the first of what I hope will be three small posts from me today.  My Curtgeld is a Condotierro captain and standard bearer, which I have modeled after the character Nicomo Cosca from Joe Abercrombie's First Law world.  The figures are 28mm metals from the Perry European Armies 1450-1500 range, specifically the Italian command pack.

I do like the movement and posing on these figures
This is a risk taking on my part, since I know Curt has the exact same figures and will surely do a much better painting job than I can achieve.  But what the hey, it's all about pushing personal envelopes.  I have left the figures on pennies commemorative copper medallions featuring an image of the queen, rather than basing them.  Curt's instructions said that this was perfectly Kosher, plus he can base them as he sees fit (or not).  Hopefully they can find a home as a command stand with his Italian wars forces.

I seem to get the flag in profile!  However, the shields show up well here.

I don't follow many high fantasy series any more, but Abercrombie is one that I follow eagerly.  He produces books that are great reads, fittingly witty at times and thought provoking at others.  Plus his writing speed seems to match my desired reading  input speed. I really like how the same characters can appear sympathetic in one novel and then be less likable in the next.  A prime case is Cosca, a mercenary who appears in most of the books of his First Law world in various roles.  Initially he is a broken down drunken soldier of fortune forced to take a command in a forgotten garrison, but who finds his courage when the moment comes.  Later he becomes a successful mercenary commander, a schemer in an assassination plot, a duke and lastly a hired thug who meets a well deserved end.  He consistently goes all in and rolls the dice and we see the result of his wins and losses along the way.

Again excuse the poor lighting.
There is a First Law Wiki which has info on Cosca plus pictures of how others imagine him for those who are interested.  It channeled my inner John Lennon "They're just stories man!", but gave me details without reading all 5 of the books in short order.  He likes fancy clothes, the drink and rides a roller coaster of life.  I gave him a slashed crimson tunic, bi-coloured purple and yellow hose and gilded touches to his rather simple armour (mail, breast plate and barbute) plus a rotadella shield with a griffin emblem.   His standard bearer wears similar but less splendid clothes and carries a flag carrying the same griffin emblem.  
I added this close up to show the details better.  The faces have detail but I lack the skill to bring it out in a photo.

The shields are hand painted as I lack either the patience or skill to use transfers.  I am not completely happy with the griffin but in the end went with the "two foot standard".  I am quite happy with the quartered rotadella on the standard bearer, particularly as it was achieved without the requisite glass of red wine.  The flag came from this excellent site.  

This is completely awesome Pete, thank you so much!
I really like the vibrant colours you've used, and I think you've done a brilliant job on the two shields (sans plonk no less - 'sto cazzo!'). I've not heard of the 'First Law' novels, but now my interest is piqued and will definitely pick them up, especially as I will have one of the principals in my collection! In fact I may have to ply you with a few bottles and convince you to paint up a full detachment of Cosca's men for me to add to my mercenary army. ;)
Thanks again Pete!

From MartinN: 15mm Caesarian Roman Heavy Cavalry (32 Points)

Once again work got in the way of enjoyable and civilized pastime. Nonetheless I thought it appropriate to show a sign of life, no matter how small. Thus I present to you eight 15mm Caesarian Romans from Forged in Battle/ Westwind Miniatures. The miniatures are based for use as heavy cavalry in Impetus.

Except for some minor casting issues (the feet on some of the riders were not fully cast) these, once again were a blast to paint. I think I even enjoyed painting horses for the first time in my hobby career.

A few years back I started a Caesarian Roman project in 28mm, which, due to various reasons, never got off the ground. As mentioned in my last post I'm planning to go 15mm for some of my future projects, so I thought it might be the right time to revive this old favourite of mine only in a smaller scale. And no Curt, 20mm is no option ;-) While the AB figures are certainly nice, I simply can't get to grips with that particular scale painting wise. Don't want to rant again about the subject, but 20mm to me is quite a half-assed thing. Somewhere in between the pro's and con's of 28mm and 15mm. I'll stick with 20mm for my modern stuff, as decent Bundeswehr is hard to find in both the other scales, but nothing else... as of yet ;-)

As I want my force to be based on Legio X Equestris I went for a heavily stylized bull on the signum. Thinking about how unwilling I normally am to do free hands I'm actually quite chuffed with how it turned out. The shields only got a basic geometrical design copied from Heresy Brush's take on the very same figures (sorry can't find an image for illustration).

This should give me another 32 points to add to my total. This also helps me to cement (well, 'cement' might be a bit over enthusiastic) my lead in the 'Bavarian challenge' with 287 (Having already added the 20 points from the bonus round entry) straight points vs. ChristopherS's 244 points.

Wow, these are gorgeous Nick! When I first looked at the images I thought, 'Gee, he must be using giant bases for these 28s.' Then I read the post and was floored by the realization that they are 15s! 
Your work on the signum is excellent, both crisp and clear and the shields are wonderful as well. You have a lot of russets and reds going on in this group, and so the grey-blue of the horse harness really helps to define the individual figures. Top-shelf work here, Nick - well done!

February, already?!!! (25 Points)

Oh my God!!! I have been planning my new terrain board and not painting enough!

We are now in February and I have been unable to paint many figures. In fact, I have my painting table full of half finished models!

Well, at least I have been able to paint some miniatures:

Here is Guillermo form Haslefree Miniatures. A very wealthy barbarian warrior I have been able to finish after a year waiting for its base. Of course, he cannot take part in this Challenge (I began him during the last Challenge...), but I like a lot the model and my painting work on him!

With him there are two new Red Box Games undead souls. All of these models are wonderful miniatures and I´m now in the middle of a problem. I don´t like to mix figures from different manufactures in the same project, so I have some models from Haslefree Miniatures and Red Box Games waiting for my decision. I think I´m going to test "Open Combat" with the Haslefree Miniatures models, they are a bit more solid than the other ones for the game table.

With my choice made, here is Boudie, a young witch  who has Guillermo as her private army. She is a very nice model from Haslefree Miniature.

With her there are the first two models from another very interesting project, a mix of Call of Cthulhu and Pulp I expect to prepare for our club´s new local. I´m going to use the Pulp Figures models I began to paint during the last Challenge, with a lot more I have in my painting box.
As I've said before, these models are a pleasure to paint.

So 25 points for me, I think. Not enough to win my side battle with Phil. He has been very prolific this year, painting really nice figures, but next year will be different!


Lovely, lovely work Juan. Your painting is always excellent, but you've really been hitting these Red Box figures out of the park this year - fantastic stuff. I love the horns on the viking's helmet, and those undead look wonderfully desiccated and macabre.
From my calculations, with this entry included, you have 71 points and Phil is sitting at 90. Now, we'll just have to wait to see if Phil has something new for us today that will bring him to victory, or we'll have to wait until next week to see what happens. I'm wiggling my seat in anticipation!

From Millsy - Savage Orc Shaman on Wyvern (50 points)

As I near the end of my Warhammer Fantasy Battle project building my Savage Orc and Goblin army I'm getting to units I've kind of been avoiding. I much prefer painting rank and file so things like monsters and such tend to get pushed aside until I absolutely can't avoid them any more.

That's exactly what happened with this beasty - a shaman mounted on a wyvern. Anyway, now I've extracted my digit and finally gotten around to painting Shaman Muranduh and his faithful steed. The wyvern is a kind of weapon of mass destruction, or a "Deff Star wiff Teef" if you will...

Even after I got started it still took a fair bit of time to complete simply through complexity and size. The wyvern alone comes in half a dozen parts and needed to be pinned together as well as pinned to the base. The gaps where parts joined were quite substantial in some places and had to be filled, including the sculpting of additional scales. Even I can't see the joins now so I must have made a fair fist of it.

Shaman Muranduh was also pinned onto the neck and his fur loin cloth extended to hide where he was attached. In retrospect not the smartest thing to do as painting him was a right bugger as the wings were constantly getting in the way of the brush or casting shadows over the area being painted.

You can't tell now but at one point the wyvern was about 80% painted (red body, grey wings and black scales), however it just didn't look right so I backed up and started again. I'm much happier with the green and cream scheme he has now even if it is a bit run-of-the-mill.

The shaman is something of an orc-about-town and is sporting a rather natty "Cloak of Many Dead Things", lovingly crafted by the latest in hip orc fashion designers Killit Deadygone.

I've no idea what this is worth so I'm throwing myself on the tender mercies of the Snow Lord and hoping for the best. Surely it'll be worth closer to 1,000 points than not...


Fantastic work Millsy. You've done a stupendous job on this beastie and its rider. I've seen this model close-up several times and know what kind of a challenge it is to do properly. I quite like the cream and green wings, but what really seals it for me is the slate grey dorsal scales. That colour combination looks very, very sharp.
With it's mass and the attendant build, I'm going to score this as two 28mm vehicles, a rider, plus a few more pips to top it up. Well done Mr. Mills!

It's All Downhill From Here

Well everyone, the Challenge over the crest and heading for the finish line!

This is the long leg home, and traditionally this is also where many of us hit the doldrums, finding it a real struggle to keep up the pace. Nonetheless, there's still more than enough time for point bombs and other shenanigans, so stick to your brushes, grind it out and give us some inspiring stuff to gawp at and admire.

As for myself, I have about six or seven entries I'd like to get done, so I hope I can keep the steam up until Spring. Only time will tell.

Today we'll begin with some Warhammer Fantasy from Millsy and then we'll see where the Saturday crew takes us...

As an administrative note, if you haven't done so already, please remember to vote for your favourite 'Defensive Terrain' entries. The poll closes tonight (Saturday) at 11:45pm.

Thanks and have a great weekend!