Thursday, March 20, 2014

From Millsy: 28mm WWII Steiner's Squad & Bart (70 points)

From Millsy:
This is my final entry and as has become something of a tradition for me I've kept my entry fee submission right to the end. I'm calling this "Plastic Bart vs. The Magnificent Seven" for reasons you will soon understand.
Part one is a set of 28mm miniatures depicting the central German characters from Sam Peckinpah's WW2 classic Cross of Iron. The miniatures are by 1st Corps and quite unlike anything I've painted before. They are proportionally correct and absolutely packed with character but at the same time the sculpting is kind of overstated. The clothing and boots in particular are really chunky, making the subjects look like they're wearing some sort of odd costume. For all that they great fun and I enjoyed painting them far more than I expected.

I used a black undercoat and then numerous coats of lighter shades and highlights to build up depth. I don't often paint black undercoat at this scale but given the palette it works for me. The iron cross is a resin piece and sets things off rather well IMHO, hinting at the subject without giving the game away too easily.
Part two is more of an accident than anything else. When I was rummaging about last week looking for bits for my Napoleonic vignette I came across him in my enormous collection of junk. [ahem] I mean indispensable modelling supplies.

The figure is a *really* crappy plastic cowboy I dug up in my backyard years ago when landscaping. He somehow made his way inside and has been lurking ever since. Yes, really. Plastic Bart is exactly 54mm tall, made of vibrant bright blue bendy plastic and almost certainly came out of a cereal box. Looking at him I thought about how as modellers we often dismiss items like this out of hand. Yet at some point in time an aspiring sculptor quite likely spent a good few hours on him. They put in a pretty decent effort too and I thought I'd see what I could make of it.
So I scraped a LOT of flash and abraded plastic off to begin with and then undercoated him in white. Everything got a base coat of flat colours before inking on the blue and red vs. varnish dip on the other warm colours. Following that there was a lot of blending and adding details in places where much had been rubbed off like the face and hands. He came out much better than expected to be honest. He's no DaveD but he'll do given what I had to work with. Next year I'm going to have a go at converting a thousand Goodies Plastic Spacemen into 40K Terminators. Stay tuned.
So that's my challenge done. Time now for a quick couple of thankyous before I sign off...
To Curt who is truly one of life's gentlemen. Of all the wonderful people I've encountered in this hobby you sit right at the top of the pile, devoting time, copious amounts of effort and mountains of good will for no material gain whatsoever. Unless you count a handful of painted lead and (bright blue) plastic of course. Thanks Curt, you're a true mate in every Aussie sense of the word.
And to my fellow challengers, who are unbelievably talented, funny, creative, inspired, unstinting in their praise and fellowship and in one or two cases I suspect slightly touched. You know who you are. If the interwebs have done nothing else for mankind they have brought us together from all over the world and that'll do for me. Here's to you guys!

And that's it! I'll be in touch soon mate, but for now take care and try to get a little sleep. :-)

Thank you very much for these excellent figures Millsy, but more-so for the very kind words. I'm a bit speechless really. No easy feat there. It means a lot to me that everyone in the Challenge has a good time and gets an opportunity to mix with some of the best people in the hobby. As I've said before I think this 'blogging thing' is social media at its best - if we did not have this technology available to us we would not be able to make these connections around the world, share our interests and enjoy a few laughs. I've made more friends in the past 4 years of blogging than I have since my days in university. It is a great , great gift.

Bart rocks btw.

...and 70 points for you sir! 


  1. Mr Mills, you are full of surprises! A plastic cowboy toy converted into a proper miniature? Now THAT'S craftsmanship!

    I especially like the hat, almost Cromwellian; does this mean that you will be coming over to the side of the angels soon?
    ; )

    And those Wehrmacht chappies are top-notch as well. You certainly played that close to your chest - excellent work all round!

  2. What a splendid entry fee you have produced Millsy. And a great rescue job on Plastic Bart

  3. Speechless two years in a row Curt? That's bordering on a challenge for next year!

  4. Excellent work on the Germans and the recast Airfix cowboy! My son has a ton of them and my own old ho/oo collection!

  5. *tips hat*

    Well said Millsy

    And great crappy plastic cowboy.

  6. Couldn't have found any better words than you Mr. Millsy!
    Great painting and I really like Plastic Bart. You really made him pop.

    1. Damn it... totally forgot what I wanted to say about your Germans.
      Looks like Steiner has finally shown to Stransky where the Iron crosses grow.

  7. Superb painting and Plastic Bart is brilliant. Might have to stretch my mind and painting and look at sculpted oddities in a different light.

  8. I completely missed this outstanding entry. Great stuff. Hopefully I won't embarrass myself too much with my take on Steiner et al. I can't wait to see the Terminator conversions.


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