Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Tribute to Byron: Robert Combe, VC in Greyscale

For my Tribute for Byron I decided to do a figure for him that also marks the upcoming centenary of the Canadian Corps' attack on Vimy Ridge. 

My work has had me and my team creating a series of five documentary videos featuring Saskatchewan's involvement in the Great War. It showcases our archival collections and allows us to provide a focused perspective on the war as seen from the Canadian prairies.

We started out back in 2014 to mark the outbreak of the war, and next month, on April 12th, we will be screening the fourth video, focusing on 1917, at a gala event here in Regina. The work (and politics) surrounding this project is is one of the reasons why I've not been as active during this Challenge, but it's been very worthwhile and I'd be lying if I said I didn't love the work. If you're interested in seeing them, here is a link to the first three in the series.

One of the historical figures in our 1917 documentary is Lt. Robert Grierson Combe of the 27th (City of Winnipeg) Battalion. Combe was a pharmacist from Melville Saskatchewan who volunteered as part of the first Canadian Contingent to go to France. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant, served in the 2nd Division, and saw action at St. Elois, Mount Sorrel, The Somme,  and the battle of Vimy Ridge. He was killed leading his men near Acheville in an action for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. 

From the London Gazette:

On 3 May 1917, south of Acheville, France, Lieutenant Combe steadied his company under intense fire and leading them through the enemy barrage reached the objective with only five men. He proceeded to bomb the enemy, inflicting heavy casualties and then, collecting small groups of men, succeeded in capturing the objective, together with 80 prisoners. He repeatedly charged the enemy, driving them before him, but while personally leading his bombers he was killed by a sniper.

The Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan holds Robert Combe's personal papers along with his Victoria Cross.

For this figure I eschewed using colour entirely and returned to the familiar ground of my WWI greyscale project.

This 28mm figure is from the excellent Great War miniatures range. It's of a Commonwealth officer firing a signal flare. He is wearing an officers' cut uniform, but with covered steel helmet. I dug out my old recipe of greyscale paints, painting him in a variety of warm and cool greys.

It was nice to come back and tuck into the old technique again, and it made me look wistfully at the stacks of WWI figures I still have to complete for this project.  Ah well, that's why we call it a hobby, eh? ;)

There you go Byron, I hope you like him. Thanks so much for all your help with the Wednesday crew and for all the wonderful figures you treated us with during the Challenge.

ByronM: Thank you very much Curt!  Not really sure what to say beyond that, I never expected anything for helping, I just wanted to help out in this cool event you started.  Thank you for having me and thank you again for the very cool figure it will go with my WW1 collection nicely.  It is very nice to have a grey scale figure from the person who started me painting grey scale.

SCW - Surprising Curt on Wednesday, Group Curtgeld Entry

When the Challenge was about to start, I started wondering what to have as a Curtgeld. Then one sleepness night the idea hit me: What if all the participants of the Challenge would create one huge collaboration entry (like a Space Marine Chapter or a Napoleonic Battalion) instead of working as pairs or small teams. Of course that was impossible, because at that time many of us had already agreed with someone else to paint something else. There was also a lengthy discussion about the subject. In the end some Spanish Militia was decided to be the one, it would allow several different painting styles and color choices and it would also give something Curt could use on his own games - he seems to distract quite a lot, so if we could give him a full squad, it would help him.

Because getting everyone involved was impossible, I turned my attention to our wonderful Wednesday Group. We soon picked up some Tuesday and Thursday guys as well, some Friday people were also interested in an so on. At some point we had, I think, 10 members, but not all of us managed to finish the painting for this Wednesday. I hope they can post their own entries on the final days.

Nevertheless, here are all the miniatures from our group, which were finished by today. Not as massed entry as I hoped in the start, but something to show our comradeship.

TeemuL - Empress Miniatures Spanish Civil War Militia

I had never painted this kind of historical miniatures before, so I had to paint couple of training pieces first (check my earlier posts). These were very nice and quick to paint and I hope I managed to represent the worn out look of poor militia man quite well.

BillA - Empress Miniatures Spanish Civil War Militia

I don't know that I have a whole lot to say about this figure, although it was eye-opening to go back to closer to true 25mm after painting so many "Heroic Scale 28mm" figures. I would like to thank TeemuL, as in the spirit of camaraderie he sent me this figure to paint at a time when almost the entirety of my "play" funds were going to pay veterinary bills. If the theme of this year's Challenge was the bonds of fellowship, then TeemuL more than exemplified that theme. 

PaulS - Empress Miniatures Spanish Civil War Militia

As part of the group I was intending to do a banner, but Curt beat me to painting the exact same model, so I figured I would go for soething a little bit more useful instead. The same pack of figures included an LMG, a lady with some ammo and another with a pistol. All three are generic enough to be useful in multiples, so what the heck. I know the Curtgeld is only supposed to be one figure, but I was on a roll, so there are now three... two have been formed into an MG team with a little bit of terrain and the third is ready to join the rest of the group entry to flesh out the rifles. Curt, they should pop off the bases easily enough if you decide you need to rebase them. I won't be too offended (much) ;)

From GuyB - Polybian Romans taking shape...(280 Points)

With the clock ticking ever closer to the end of the Analogue Painting Challenge, I thought I'd best post up my Polybian Romans. One base of the Hastati you've seen before, all the rest are new.

I did have some Celtic command I painted up for Poldercon, but I didn't do the basing for them (Jasper did), so they don't count. I also rebased 120 Celtic infantry and some 20 cavalry - but they don't count either!

Principes with Lorica Hamata

Hastati with Pectorale plate

Triarii with Lorica Hamata

The models are mostly Victrix with some Agema and Warlord mixed in for variety and the odd metal miniature. The transfers are LBMS/Victrix with the odd hand painted shield.

Points wise, there's 14 bases of 4. So that's 56 models or 280 points in total. Still shy of my 400 points target...

I've still got a few more of these to paint before the army is finished, including some command for the Hastati, but I'm out of time for this challenge. It's been fun!

ByronM: Thank you Guy for some excellent looking Romans and for being involved in the challenge.  These look really good and I like all the weathering on them it makes them look more real than being perfectly clean.  I would have liked to see some pictures from the side or rear though for full effect.

From TamsinP - All the SYW Russians (not for points)

A few people asked if I'd do a post to show off all the 15mm SYW Russians I've painted up during this Challenge, so I decided to do a quick pics post.

The stuff painted during this Challenge:

Just under 3 foot wide!

Discounting the 6 figures painted before the Challenge, that was 160 foot, 100 mounted, 2 limbers and 4 wagons. That has given me a very convincing lead in the side-duel (although AdamC, IanW and KenR could still overtake me if they've been frantically painting up a huge sandbag of figures). So, I've decided that I will paint up command stands for each of them.

Having got those figures out, I thought "why not take some pics of the whole army so far?". So I did:

Just under 4 foot wide!

Horse grenadiers, Cossacks, 1/3 of the infantry

Cuirassiers and 1/3 of the infantry

Final 1/3 of the infantry

Hussars and Dragoons

The army currently stands at:
14 general bases
4 grenadier regiments
20 line infantry regiments
5 cuirassier regiments
5 horse grenadier regiments
3 dragoon regiments
10 hussar regiments
6 Cossack regiments
6 artillery batteries (plus limbers and 2 spare guns - 1 light, 1 howitzer)
6 wagons

...and plans to keep growing it (as you do!).

ByronM: I am always amazed at how people can stay on task and get that much of one thing done.  I get a lot done, but always have issues getting a lot of one thing done, I find it far easier to bounce between things.  More power to you Tamsin for staying on target, and better yet they look awesome!

From ScottM: War of 1812 54mm US Troops (160 pts)

My submission this week is two units of 54mm War of 1812 US figures. These figures are metal figures from All The King's Men. First up is an artillery unit.

Next is a unit of light infantry.

And a couple closer shots.

These figs will be added to my 200 odd figures that are already painted up. Still need a few more to fight Lundy's Lane! And that should put me over my goal!

ByronM: Nice work Scott, and very interesting to see 54mm gaming pieces, most 54mm pieces I see are only for painting competitions.  Painting Napoleonics in 54mm would likely be a whole lot easier as the uniforms would be bigger and easier to deal with.  I assume these are for skirmish games? Or do you use them to each represent large numbers of men?  Either way, very well done.

Michael D. - 12 Mounted Italian Crossbows and CurtGeld (145 Points)

Well, as my first year in the challenge winds down, it's obvious I'll come up a little short of the 500 pts I had pledged. If I only knew then what I know now.... Clearly more specific planning and prep probably would have taken me where I'd hoped to be. But it's been great to be able to share with everyone, and I'm always learning more about the hobby.

Like my last post, this is part of my WAB Burgundian Ordonnance Army I'm taking to play at Cold Wars this weekend (instead of trying to finish the 100 or so points I need to meet my pledge.)

The figures are Perrys:

Finally, for Curt here's a young senorita doing here part to stop fascism:

I'm submitting this figure along with a number of other of Wednesday's Children.

The Italian Crossbows are 10 each for a total of 120 and then another 20 for the Curtgeld.

Again thanks to everyone for all the great feedback, and special thanks to Minion Byron for all his help.

ByronM: Nice work Michael with everything you did manage to get done.  The challenge is all about getting things done, while there are prizes and awards, that's not really what its all about.  So, if you missed your goal, no big issue, just try again next time, and as long as your happy with how much you got done and what quality you did, then its all good.  Oh and actually you get 145 points (you still get points for the figure for Curt itself, as well as the bonus).

From IannickM : Rule #8: Get five Kick Ass Partners (30 Points)

We don't have enough ammunition to shoot them all in the head. The time to have done that would have been in the beginning. No, we let them overrun us. We are in the minority now, something like 400,000 to one by my calculation.

An entry coming out of left field today, with 6 survivors figures from the original Zombicide board game. Zombicide is the only miniature board or wargame that my girlfriend actually enjoys. I think the cooperative nature of the game appeals to her more than the competition style of traditional wargames. It's also much simple. It's quite funny as she really gets into it and becomes a nervous wreck when the Zombies approach us from all sides! So she's been bugging me to paint the miniatures for the game, and I figured I'd give it a go in between batches of other miniatures. They are really nice figures, it's just that I have so many projects to do! 

Anyways, I started these during the Christmas break, and couldn't find the time to finish them. When Curt challenged me to a race to the finish last week-end, I figured it was a good strategy to finish these first! 

For boardgame game pieces they are lovely figures, even though the face details are a bit soft. I'm also not a huge fan of the semi-soft plastic used, but having said that I'm quite pleased with how they came out.

You will notice none of them follow the art from the game. I just don't like being told what colours to use, unless it's historical or accepted canon!

While obviously their main use is Zombicide, I based them the same as my Pulp project, and I can certainly use some of them, the police officer especially, in my Pulp games.

Now, I just have to paint all the Zombies from the challenge, maybe?

And a small 30 pts to add to my total. I've now surpassed 650pts, I'm into uncharted territory (I'm a slow painter)!

ByronM: Cool post Iaanick, I love these Zombicide survivors and am with you on the soft plastic and detail on the faces.  While the figures are really great for board game pieces, with just a little more attention paid to material and facial detail they could have been great miniatures as well.  Regardless, I love your take on them with the softer colours on the chain saw wielding waitress being my favourite.  Her and Amy (the goth) being my two favourite Zombicide characters in the game anyway :-)

TeemuL: Return of the Oddities of the Week (45 points)

A mixed bag again this week. First some Legend of Drizzt minis I almost finished last week. 3 Hunting Drakes and 1 Yochlol, Handmaiden of Lolth.

I gave the drakes a basic lizard look, green scales and red back. Eyes are black with a smallish white dot and teeth are Ushbati Bone. They are all identical and that soft plastic, that they use a lot in the board games. These have nice details though and basically no mold lines.

I tried something new with the bases, I tried to paint some dungeon floor on them. Looks good from the distance, but it is far from perfect. Anyway, I have lots of these miniatures still unpainted, so there are chances for practice.

Yochlol is some kind a shape shifter. Description from Wikipedia:"Yochlols appear as tentacled blobs of melted wax and continually emit a foul stench. They also have the power to change their shapes—usually to a comely drow female or to a spider (usually a black widow). They can also change themselves into a gaseous form, allowing their unknowing victims to inhale them, and then suffocating them."

I used different browns, some yellow and lots of inks to paint her. I'm very happy with the result and the eye - it was sculpted and big, so it was easy to paint. She is filling almost the whole base, but I painted some dungeon floor there as well.

Then something different, 3 Dwarf Longbeards for my WHFB army (notice the square bases). I started painting these in January, but they were buried under Chaos and other models. In general I like dwarfs, but painting these 6th Ed Longbeards is just painful. They are basically all beard and armor, all texture, no surface to paint. Lots of details, but not that much colors. I'm quite happy I have now finished them and I have a full squad of 20 of them now. Something finished again.

Full squad

These didn't end up as neat as I hoped, but they fit nicely in the back rank, no problem there. I used only yellow and blue on these guys and on the same parts, but when they are with others, they don't look that uniformed. The shields are of course red, there was no choice. :)

And finally two elfs from LotR, a banner bearer and an archer. These both are part of the Gil-Galad's King's Guard. I started the 12 elf strong squad in the last challenge and with these two, that group is now finished. They are similar to regular elfs, but they have a better fighting value (which is basically useless, the fight value of normal elfs is usually high enough) and I have used bright green as a color instead of grey/gray.

As I have said before, these plastic elfs are just a joy to paint, especially when compared to those Longbeards... Now the King's Guard is finished, but I still have some regular warriors with bows and swords to paint as well as some heroes, like Elladan and Elrohir. I really would like to have elfs with sword and shield, but they were not made and converting them from these one piece plastics is quite a job...

Regular High Elf on the left, King's Guard on the right

High King Gil-Galad with King's Guard

These 9 25mm miniatures should give me nice 45 points. As my Curtgeld entry (25 points) is going to be released later today, my point total should be a nice 750 after that - exactly my target. But, I have still some unfinished business and I will create one more post before the deadline.

ByronM: Another good post for the my last day Teemu!  A great ecclectic group of figures, but I really like the elves and think the green, while very different than normal LotR elves, really works and makes them shine.