Wednesday, 4 January 2017

From DavidL - Sisters of Battle (70 points)

After noodling around with painting up a Black Templars force for Warhammer 40K, I have fallen hard for the Kill Team variant. I love the small, intimate scale of the game, particularly because it has allowed me to collect several factions, something that would be impossible if I were building full armies. I'll get back to my 1,500-point Black Templar list eventually, I'm sure, but this year is all about Kill Team.

First up is an Adepta Sororitas force. (Note: my rules of choice are the Heralds of Ruin variant, and my 250-point lists have been built using the codexes found on their site.) I've long admired the aesthetic of the Sisters of Battle and picked a list that gave a good cross-section of their coolest units.

This team consists of a Seraphim Superior armed with twin hand-flamers, two Seraphim, five Battle Sisters, two Dominions, three Sisters Repentia, and a Hospitaller.

The Battle Sisters are old sculpts but were lots of fun to paint up. (I elected to continue using 20mm bases, as I am a stick-in-the-mud who prefers the smaller bases and also have no plans to enter any tournaments or the like.)

The Dominions (a heavy bolter and multi-melta) are suitably shooty and look like they can lay down all kinds of hurt. I ended up with identical sculpts (that's what I get for buying after-market figures on eBay...), but their weapons are the focal point anyway.

For the Seraphim I went with a variant color scheme I'd seen on the Internet that I felt matched the angelic nature of their name nicely.

Way back in the day I played an Empire army for Warhammer Fantasy, and I always included a unit of Flagellants. The Sisters Repentia nicely capture that same energy, both in their backstories and in their appearance. What could be better than a trio of chainsword-wielding maniacs to lead your charge?

All together, that's 14 figures for a 250-point Kill Team force. I've got four factions more I'm hoping to paint up for the Challenge, so keep an eye out!

And yes, with this all-female force, my shameless grubbing for a Sarah's Choice award continues unabated!

ByronM: Wow, a second very nice entry from DavidL in one day!  

A very tidy little force here for Kill Team, and one that should be able to keep their domicile clean too.  The whole cleanse with fire people, no sexism here, get your minds out of the gutter.

I really like the accent colours with the clean bright whites, reds, and golds standing out against the black armour.  Making the jet back girls white is an awesome way to make them stand out, and they have always been a favourite unit of mine, since WAY back (probably 15+ years ago) Curt did a unit on pillars of flame and smoke blasting into the air.  The Sisters Repentia also brighten the force up a bit as well with all that flesh tone.  Very nice work and 70 well deserved points.

WEDNESDAY from BillA - The Cult of Set (55 points)

I've been sitting on these figures for a while, and decided to take them out of the lead pile and finish them up.  I've been a fan of the 1982 CONAN THE BARBARIAN movie for years - it's Arnold's best, bar none, and James Earl Jones excels as the villainous Thulsa Doom.  So when I saw that Dark Fable Miniatures had a Kickstarter of the Cult of Set, I knew I had to back it.  Having backed a prior Dark Fable Kickstarter, I was able to score a bonus "Prophet of Set" figure in Jones' likeness.

Group shot
"What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?"

The cultists, Doom and Priest of Set are from the Kickstarter, and the two axe-wielding guardsmen I purchased separately from Dark Fable to round out a potential warband for Frostgrave or Broken Legions.  Finally, the Medusa and Giant Snake are from Reaper; the Giant Snake I'm particularly proud of, I feel like I really captured the coloration of the giant snake from the film.

All in all that's 11 28mm figures for 55 points.

ByronM: I always loved that movie, it doesn't hold up awfully well, but I still love it.  These figs really capture the essence of the characters from the movie, and you paint job works well on them, especially the darker skin tones, you can instantly tell who he is. The pattern on the snake is also nice.  Maybe its just the lighting, but I think the white cloaks could use a bit of grey in the folds for definition.  Maybe it is there already though and the photos don't show it. Also was there no Conan with the set?  It was just the cult?  Or was he part of the earlier set you got?

WEDNESDAY From TeemuL: End of Orc Unit (15 points)

Some orcs this time, from the Old World of Warhammer. Keeping up with my theme, these are the Ends. My orc unit was 17 strong and it just didn't feel right, so I painted 3 more to get a nice even number of 20. Not very orcy, but looks better.

The first picture is a bit dark, but you should get the basic idea. The colors are the good old orc colors from the last millenia, the same age as the miniatures. Two of them are a bit newer, while the last one is the oldest plastic GW made. I didn't have a proper shield for him, so he got a brand new orc shield. The bases are from the same time machine as well.

With these three orcs, the unit is "finished." Although, if you take a look at the last picture, you will notice that the unit is missing musician and standard bearer. When I get proper minis for them, the size will be 22 and the unit will be unfinished. Or the unit will be finished, but the second unit will be just starting...

Here you can see the whole unit, got a much better light for this one for some reason. There are both of the old plastic orcs there with couple of HeroQuest orcs and very old metallic Giant Black Orc acting as the champion. The three new guys are in the back row, right.

Next I'll be focusing on the bonus round, but I'll try to get something finished for the next Wednesday as well.

ByronM: Nice to see other areas have gotten into Old Hammer as well as we have around here.  With the new AoS game sucking so bad everyone here has been playing either old editions of Warhammer Fantasy or switched to Kings of War.  While those old sculpts don't have the detail that the newer ones do, there is a real charm to them and they have a lot of character.  

You have done a good job on them making them look as they should have back then, keeping that old school look alive and well.  I like that you kept with the old look right down to the simple glue sand to the base as well.  It makes them really look like they stepped out of the 80's.  Well done!

WEDNESDAY from IannickM - The Vordania II Insurrectio (65 pts)

The "Insurrectio" is my second Sci-Fi outfit, after the Effigy Corporation. It is meant as a small "spaceband" of resistance fighters (see my blog in a few days for a more complete background), to play in various Sci-Fi skirmishes. I find the figures, just like the Effigy Corporation, would fit equally well in some Space Pulp, Cyberpunk or distant future Sci-Fi. They could also be used in a pinch as Imperial Guards in a Rogue Trader game. And of course, could be used as the small principled band of resistance fighters against the highly trained Havoc Teams of the Effigy Corporation! Same as my other outfit, the project is largely an excuse for me to paint some lovely Sci-Fi figures I've been eying for a while and which don't neatly fit in any actual game system. They also make for easy "transportable forces" when playing Sci-Fi away from home.

This merry band of female fighters is from the "Resistance Fighters" range from Statuesque Miniatures and it is a lovely little range. The sculpts are truly fantastic and full of personality, and were a joy to paint. My only criticism would be that some delicate assembly is involved, and gluing small hands or arms is always annoying, even more so on delicate female sculpts. I believe this is my first ever all women outfit! It is made-up of 13 members, including a (sexy) Cyborg!

The "Vordania II Insurrectio" 

I tried to give the outfit a unified theme of green and purple while still giving each figure some personality. I'm happy with the end result.

First up we have the Command group: Antin Sanu in her commissar uniform and her cadre of officers. The two middle figures are probably my favourites of the range, they have *loads* of attitude!

Next up the heavy weapons and communication specialist. 

I love the extra-sized Thompson-style heavy machine gun! (last right)

And then we have the regular Insurrectio fighters, with the Cyborg in the middle. Actually, the Cyborg was part of Statuesque's Pulp range, and is meant to be a Fembot of sort, but the addition of the cyborg head makes all the difference and I find the figure fits very well with the rest of the girls. I also wanted each of my Sci-Fi outfit to have a robot of some sort, and she fits the bill.

These gals are my second entry and will net me a total of 65 pts (13 28mm figures). Now, let's move to smaller things, like Halflings and Epic stuff...

ByronM: Where to start with these....  I love the sculpts, but even better is your paint job on them.  Very nice smooth transitions and shading.  The colour choices are really nice as well.  I don't know if it was what you were going for, but to me, despite being sci-fi based they have a kind of pulp look which I like a lot.  You managed to get enough shadow and dark to setup definition in the figures but not enough that it actually breaks up the models, something that I (and many others) find really hard to do.

Excellent stuff, keep it coming! 

WEDNESDAY from KyleC - Change of Weathers... (60 Points)

So I survived the weekend's festivities with only minor hangovers and remainders of a cold. Speaking of cold.. I finally started, and then subsequently finished my Frostgrave gang that I had assembled for the last competition, but never got around to!

I really want to try this game out in 2017, and so I went to town on the models. Plus it was a nice respite after the mass of US Rangers as I could be a bit more free in the colors here.

I tried for a muted color theme overall. Keeping to some cowardly browns of various shades throughout the gang. Though tossed in some reds here and there to liven them up slightly. Still muted overall, but enough to add some color to them.

One thing that I really wanted to do with my Frostgrave set was to really put some snow and ice onto them. You can see in the photo above how they look differently between with and without. With looked more interesting and so I tried it for the entire gang. And I was aiming for a blizzard like conditions for them as well.

Am not fully sold on it for all models, but at the same time it does look neat. I just hope to see it last overall!

Product used was this, which is normally for showcase, so I am curious if it will last or not with extreme gaming ( or lack of it if I can't get anyone local to play! ).

I then quickly swapped over to some cowgirls to warm myself back up after all the snow and ice ( something that we have not seen much or any of in the UK thus far ). These were a lot of fun, and also held over from last year! I know that there are a few western gamers at the club with Dead Man's Hand being played at times. So now I have enough models overall to play with ( when looking at my less brightly painted cowboys ). Should be interesting to see them on the table and how well they do ( especially the maiden in the middle with her Sunday bests on ).

And quickly just a status update on what I have gotten done over the xmas holidays. The Judges are going to their owner so will be the last photo with them in, but you can see the rest. Am really happy with the output so far and getting back to some gaming models ready for the new year of gaming. Lots of new games to try out and play, and I have yet to start in on the ECW set! Maybe next?

ByronM:  Two very different entries, but both very well done.  The second entry (the cowgirls) are full of character with what I see as a Daisy Duke style country girl with a gun, to a potentially hired gun in the middle, to some Mexican Banditas, all of which show character in their own way.  The high contrast shading on the red dress is especially nice.

The first entry (Frostgrave figures) are a completely different style, but are done equally well and are my favourite of the two entries.  I think the very muted / faded colours completely works for the Frostgrave setting, and the snow on them adds even more to the effect, really selling the fact that they are in the middle of an adventure.  I would keep the snow effect on all the future models you do for the force as it looks really sharp.  Hell, I will probably even steal the idea for my Frostgrave force!

Overall, these two entries net you 60 points.

WEDNESDAY from: PaulS : Where the wild buffalo roam... (20 Points)

This here challenge is being challenging this year, with life and bonus round entries taking too much time away from the main challenge. The Armour bonus entry has taken a lot longer than expected to complete, so last night saw a very quick entry being pulled together for today's weekly post. Not sure what has happened to the colours in the photos, but there is a lot more contrast and tone in reality (honest!). So for now, that is 2x 28mm buffalo.
One of the projects in the pipeline for this year is Western themed, so I thought it would be good to have some wild buffalo to wander the plains... and be hunted until there are no more. I picked these up at Salute from Warbases. The casts are better than the cattle I bought at the same time (coming in a future week), but still not brilliantly good. At least they don't have gaping holes in their stomachs!

ByronM: I will believe you Paul, since I have similar issues taking pictures all the time!  I like the figures and the paint jobs.  It's always nice to see something on the table other than just the game figures and basic terrain, it adds a lot of character to the setting.  Sorry to hear that they are not great casts though, but hey at least they worked out and its a bit easier to take poor castings on terrain type pieces than actual game figures.  

I am going to score them as mounted or monster figures and award 10 points each for a total of 20 points.  I look forward to seeing more of your Western Theme in future weeks.

WEDNESDAY From DavidL - A Lady-Centric Miscellany (22 points)

Greetings all!

I am back for my third Challenge, and, as is the custom, I'm kicking things off with a sort of "odd sock drawer" of projects that have been sitting on my table for far too long.

First up is a "35mm" Wonder Woman from Knight Models. I put the scale in scare quotes because she's really no bigger than your usual "heroic scale" 28mm. Unlike other figures of that scale, however, she's very realistically proportioned, which made for a fun change.

I painted her up last week as part of a birthday gift for my wife (who has nutured a lifelong love of Wonder Woman). She was most appreciative of my efforts—the figure now graces her desk at work—but I managed to snap a couple pictures before she disappeared!

Going from good to evil, next up we have Archdomina Makeda for Hordes' Skorne faction. Like most Skorne Warlocks, she is a holy terror in close combat. I love the powerful, dynamic pose of this figure and am looking forward to finally getting her onto the table!

"Chop chop!"
Lastly, a rather unusual dual-figure "character" for Malifaux. Back during my first Challenge, I painted up the Viktorias, a pair of dimension-hopping Outcasts. In the current version of the game's campaign rules, your leaders can eventually "manifest" in their Avatar form—essentially the core essence of what they represent. The Viktorias seem to represent teamwork and, well, bloody murder, so they manifest as the Avatar of Slaughter on a single base, functioning as a single character.

I'm really happy with how the gore effects turned out on the blades. I was a little miffed that the figures don't really match their non-Avatar counterparts, the scale being noticeably different as well as there being quite a few differences in their outfits. No matter. They'll look great on the table, though I doubt I'll have much opportunity to field them! (Avatars don't manifest every day, y'know.) Certainly a centerpiece for my display shelves, though.

And there you have it! Four figures to start the Challenge, and all of them ladies. Am I grubbing for a Sarah's Choice pick? Well, just wait and see what I'm posting next...

ByronM: Wow, three very different entries all in one post!  So much to comment on that I really like, but I will try and keep it semi-brief...

I love the work on the Wonder Woman and the sculpt, and I think your right, while she certainly has some nice curves up top, she is not the normal waif down below.  That must be one of the newer Knight Models as well as the detail looks good, some of their original stuff was a bit soft on detail.  It could also be your really nice painting skills and attention to detail.  So did the wife give you any hassle about all the attention paid to her tiny bikini bottoms, I know my wife would (in a fun way).

The Skorne figure is painted completely differently but equally as well, I really like the dark red armour and gold effects.  Lastly the Malifaux figures are great as well, and I really like the gore effect, is it the GW technical or the Tamiya clear red?  I suspect the later but am unsure, either way I really like it.

You had this down as 4 x 28mm figures for 20 points, but I know that Skorne figure is much larger and with the back banner added I am going count it as a 35mm and bump the total up to 22 points.  Well done, keep up the excellent work.

WEDNESDAY from MikeD - Six Sisters of Battle (30 points)

To get the ball rolling I decided to kick off with these Sisters of Battle who had been sitting in my lead pile for years. I think I'm eventually going to use them for a Kill Team squad. I had planned on doing them slightly before the Challenge started but with pre-holiday madness I never got beyond priming them, and finally decided I would wait to begin them after the 20th.

Not completely thrilled with how they turned out. I was hoping to give the figures themselves a kind of SS grey menace, and then add on the gory grimdark with the bases. They were old figs I picked up on Ebay and stripped and reprimed them and I think that's where they want wrong. I lost a bit of detail and sharpness in the stripping I think. Ah well, still looking for 5pt for the 6 of them, for a total of 30. Glad to have broken the ice!

ByronM: The high contrast face/hair area really makes you focus there, but also kind of mutes the rest of them almost making them look a little monochromatic.  Those old models were a little soft of detail to begin with so depending on how you stripped them, it could have made them even softer, not much you can do about there though.  If you want some more definition on them, maybe some edge highlights on the armour plates, or some accent colours?  They look good as they are now though, so no real need to change them, just offering some ideas since you say you are not happy with them.  If you plan to do a whole force, I wouldn't bother adding anything, if it's just for Kill Team and will remain a very small force, then an accent colour or edge highlight might be worth the effort.

WEDNESDAY from AlexD - Chaos Space Marine Havocs (25 points)

Hi everyone, this is my first time participating in this painting contest. Hope you enjoy!

I've been sitting on a fully assembled and primed Thousand Sons army for some time now, but thanks to real life shenanigans and general procrastination I haven't gotten around to actually painting them. So my goal is to have the entire 1500 point army finished by the end of this contest.  A lofty task, but I look forward to the challenge!

My first entry is a unit of Chaos Space Marine Havocs.

I've always fancied the Thousand Sons chapter.  I love their aesthetic and find their lore really interesting, especially that their armor is a sealed tomb animated by magic and empty except for a handful dust - all that remains of the Space Marine who once wore it.  Riffing off this concept, I went with an Egyptian-inspired theme, and played up the animated armor angle.

I did a fair bit of converting on each of the figures in this army.  For this Havoc squad I replaced their helmets with skulls from the Tomb Kings Tomb Guard boxed set.  I wanted them to appear intimidating, but otherworldly, so I went with a blue tint on the skulls instead of the standard bone color.  Weapon wise - two of the Havocs are armed with Heavy Bolters, one has a Rocket Launcher, and other wields a Lascannon.

For the Aspiring Champion I added an Egyptian-style death mask (also from the Tomb Guard boxed set), along with a flamethrower and a banner proclaiming his allegiance to Tzeentch.

That's it for this week.  More Thousand Sons coming soon!

ByronM: Welcome to the challenge Alex and VERY nice start!  Not sure where to start on these guys, there is so much good stuff to comment on.  I really like the head swap conversions as it keeps the Thousand Sons feel, but with a slightly different aesthetic than normal.  I also really like the super hard black line / edge highlight work that you did as it almost makes it look like they are from a cell shaded video game or comic book. From table top distance those two things are really going to make them "pop".  Excellent work, I can't wait to see more!

WEDNESDAY - A Beginning from RossM (12 points)

In comparison to some of the first entries seen so far in this year's challenge below is somewhat smaller than others.

The entry has two parts to it, firstly a command stand for ADG or DBA with 6mm Rapier Macedonians.

This is the second command stand that has been recently completed for these games although the other can't be shown here as it was pre-challenge painting.

6mm is a new scale here and still trying to workout the best way of painting the little chaps for me. This stand started off with a white undercoat and then blocked in the main colours before washing with a certain earth coloured wash. On this occasion the mounted character's leg has blended in with the animal skin on the horse, so perhaps less is more on this colour scheme.

From the 6mm specialists on the challenge any hints and tips would be appreciated.

Next is a 28mm water wagon from 4Ground. A good model that was easily assembled - watch the axles as they are bit fragile once out of the frame - and very easy to paint.

The painting involved a base coat of Khemri Brown, followed by washing with that certain earth colour and then dry brushing up to the finish you see here.

Felt that the barrel needed more colour to it hence the coloured barrel lid, no branding intended.

So, there you have it the first entry from here for this year

6mm Infantry x 2 = 1 pt
6mm Cavalry x 1 = 1 pt
28mm limber x 1 = 10 pts

Total for entry: 12 pts

Cheers for now

ByronM:  A really nice first entry into the challenge Ross!  I can sympathize with the new to 6mm scale thing as I only painted my first 6mm figs about 2 years ago (in a previous challenge).  You are completely correct in the "less is more" statement as you really end up painting for effect more than detail. 

Others can voice in, but with 6mm I find the best thing to do is base black then work up, so that you leave really hard shadows that can be seen at that scale, to each their own though.  I tried working from white down and found it didn't have enough contrast.  Your results are really good though, so whatever works!

The water wagon is a wonderful little kit and you really brought it to life with your paint job, excellent work!  It would be a shame to haul water in there though, it really should be beer or whisky!