I initially planned to do these as part of the fortnight theme, but after not doing so well on the last two rounds and since it seems I am unable to take proper photos this year (even if my life depended on it), I decided to stick to just one base of minis for the theme round and here is the rest. I painted a awful lot of Napoleonic French and Prussian units over the past 2 ½ years and one thing that is missing are casualty markers for them. As as part of the Challenge I decided to paint a few more up, to beef up their meagre ranks. The French are from Perry Miniatures (metal). Virtually all my French are wearing greatcoats and to my knowledge these are the only two French casualties in greatcoats around, so I simply had to use these.
The other is a Prussian Regular by Calpe Miniatures. The brick-red collar and cuffs denote him to hail from a Brandenburgian unit.
All of them are mounted on octagonal bases, each numbered through (by my better half… my hand writing is rubbish). While this is not really a fabulous new idea, I do not like the bases with the integrated casualty wheel (too thick for my taste). They are placed behind the unit that took casualties, with the side that matches the number of casualties facing front. They are placed left or right behind the unit depending on the moral state they are in. The clever bunnies amongst you will realise, that some units may take more than eight casualties. In that case the counter os moved one base towards the centre of the unit, with each base it is being moved denoting a +8.
Now the entry fee. Last year I saw to it, that I got the entry fee off my chest pretty fast, but this year I was a bit undecided what to do, so it took me a bit longer. Now the Peckinpah theme gave me some headaches. Last summer I had asked Curt if he already had an idea what the theme for the 4th Challenge would be and I picked a nice minis to paint up for it. Unfortunately Curt decided to go for something different (Yes, I am a cruel, fickle beast - ed.) and while he offered me that I could still enter that mini, I felt this would be wrong. I felt pretty sure, that I did not want to to paint something for the Wild Bunch / Western theme, but since Curt said a minis from any Peckinpah movie would do, I decided that Cross of Iron would be a nice option. I assumed everyone going that route would be painting Germans or Russians, so I decide that Americans from Cross of Iron II would be a nice choice. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to check the credits for the movie and found that not only had the actors changed, but so had the director, so this was no options anymore. Thinking about the characters from the movie I felt that Stranski would be a nice choice. Looking through my lead pile, I found a virtual look alike from Artizan miniatures and decided that decided that I would paint him up… only to find out a few days later that someone had beaten me to it. I guess you can all see a theme of one step forward, two steps back developing here, can you! So I sat down with the DVD and watched the movie again. It is funny that what stuck with me the most was not one of the main characters, but the tripod mounted MG42 firing in defense of the trenches during the Soviet attack, so I decided that this would be it.
Looking through my lead pile again I found that I still had a very nice MG42 team from Victory Force and so this was finally painted up. According to Curt's preferences based as a team on a slim base.
While a trench would have been a fitting base according to the movie, I went for more open ground, to give it more of an universal use. The minis are now on their way to the wilds of Canada and I hope they arrive safe and sound. Sorry for the poor photos… they look much better IRL. Hope you enjoy them Curt!
Wonderful work Burkhard! It's always interesting to see how people approach casualty markers, especially for rule systems that have high count numbers. Your octagons are a very nice approach and I like your idea of moving the marker to different points of the unit to denote change of status (something we do as well). You just have to be mindful not to inadvertently move the markers - it's all about discipline!
Also, thanks so much for the excellent MG42 team! I've not seen any Victory Force stuff for quite a while so seeing these are a nice variation on the theme. The team leader reminds me of the young, ill-fated officer in the movie who was a friend of Steiner.
These figures will give Burkhard 48 points. Great work and thank you again!