Sunday, March 16, 2014

Announcing the Seventh, and Final, Theme Bonus Round: 'Last Stand' & Curt's 'The Eagle of the 18th'

We've made it! Here we finally are at the end of the seven bonus rounds and, wow, I must say its been quite a ride. I think I can safely say that the bonus rounds have been regarded a great success amongst both participants and visitors of the Challenge. Each round has seen dazzling entries where it is quite obvious that a lot of thought and effort has gone into their creation. This round, 'Last Stand' is no different and you will find numerous submissions that will make your eyes widen and mouth slacken in amazement. 

I wish to take this opportunity to thank all the Challengers for indulging me in this diversion off the Challenge's beaten path. It was a bit of work to administrate, but your enthusiasm and support made it a delight. I also want to thank our sponsors for their prize support for each of the bonus rounds. It has been wonderful to be able to award 'a little something' for each theme. Thank you one and all!

Please remember to leave a comment and vote for your favourite entries (you can vote for as many as you like).

For myself, I kept my submission fairly simple, deciding to return to where I'd started in this year's Challenge: the 1812 French retreat from Russia.

In reading about the French retreat from Russia I came across several references to Napoleon's order to his Grande Armee to burn their Eagles so as to deny them to the enemy.  
The colonel of the 18th Line ignored the order to destroy or even hide his regiment's Eagle. He, like many of his fellow regimental commanders, probably felt that his unit's Eagle would either come out of Russia with his remaining men or it would fall with them. 

This Eagle bearer figure seen here is part of the wonderful Perry range of 1812 Retreat miniatures. I present him as a line grenadier (I've taken to calling him Sgt. Bigeard) who is readying himself for perhaps his last defence of the regiment's Eagle. By the look of his bloody sword and bearskin at his feet he has already fought off at lease one assault. He is cold and exhausted, but he calmly prepares to do what needs to be done.* 

On the 18th of November, outside the town of Krasnoi, the Eagle of the 18th fell under the lances of the Russian Guard Uhlans.  Today the 18th's Eagle can be seen on display in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

*In our recent games 'Sgt. Bigeard' has been a rather ferocious opponent, swinging his standard like a makeshift polearm, savagely defending his Eagle from both cossack and peasant alike. It's always nice when gameplay falls in line with your imagination of a figure you've worked on. As we all know, it usually goes tragically (and often comically) wrong...


  1. Curt,
    Your dedication to this year after year amazes me as does your work on these Napoleonics, simply top quality all round.
    Thanks for having me back

  2. Bloody amazing Curt and I totally agree with Andy.
    Well done and thankyou.

  3. It's you we should be thanking Curt. You've given us an outlet to be creative and to do things we'd not thought of before. Many thanks to you!

    Nice work again sir. The blood effects on the snow are excellent and that yellow-to die for.

    1. Thank you very much Anne. I'm always delighted when I hear that people find the challenge a 'safe' place to experiment and explore different styles, periods, scales, etc.

  4. You're a legend in your own lunchtime Curt. You deserve every plaudit you receive for putting on such a good show and investing so much of your own time and effort. Your Napoleonics have been truly inspirational as well and this lot is no different.

    Can't go past all the individuals and organisations who have chipped in with prize support as well. Top stuff all round.

  5. Agreed. While the output half-done on my painting table is about the same as that I have submitted, it's been fun - and a needed tonic to get me back into painting. It's been a wild ride, and the high point of my day has been opening up the blog and seeing who was offering what treats for the eyes.

    There is certainly a feeling of sadness as it comes to an end.

    You've done another superb job with the Last Stand of the 18th Ligne. I agree with Anne - that yellow is excellent, and so are the browns of the greatcoats. Your miniatures look almost as sick of snow as the rest of us. BZ!

  6. Very nice brushwork on these - the Perrys really hit a home run with this range.

  7. Another cracking bit of work Curt. Well done.

  8. Great looking figure, you have done that range a great service.

    It's been a great ride and thanks for all the work you have put into it for us


  9. Thanks very much people but lets not get all misty yet - we still have several days left in the Challenge (cracks whip) and I have about 20 entries to catch up on...

    I'll see you all at the finish line on Thursday!

    1. Ha! Don't think we're letting you off with a lazy 20 to finish mate...

  10. As to be expected they look lovely Curt!


  11. Great job on the Frenchies! Your attention to detail is amazing. I really like the patterns you painted on the cloaks before adding the snow. Maybe only a little detail but it really enhances the overall look.

  12. Wonderful painting work!!! Really nice colours.


Thanks for your comment! As long as you're not a spam droid I'll have it up on the blog soon. :)