Wednesday, December 18, 2013

From GregB: 15mm Yom Kippur Israeli M51s & Tiran-5 (26 points)

Greg cracks off another fine entry with this great foursome of Israeli armour from the Yom Kippur War.

From Greg:
This submission includes four 15mm Israeli Defence Force tanks - three M51 Shermans and one Tiran-5. The models are all from Old Glory, with a few additional bits (the crew, the .30cal MGs) from Peter Pig.
The M51 Sherman - "ISherman" - is one of my favourite tanks.  I like up-gunned and up-armoured vehicles - everything from late model Panzer IIIs and IVs to things like the current Russian T-90.  The M51 fits this bill, taking a tank designed for WW2 and somehow stuffing a high-velocity 105mm gun into the turret.  The gun looks so large you would think some "horizontally sensitive" Space Marine came up with it.  The end-of-days-size muzzle brake really caps off the look, making giving a menacing air and cool silhouette to a tank that otherwise had a target-practice vibe to it.
These vehicles served in the 1967 Six-Days War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War.  The Centurion rightfully gets most of the glory when it comes to IDF tanks from those periods, but the role of the M51 cannot be overlooked. On the Golan Heights in 1973 it was IDF reservists in M51s that kicked off the critical Isreali counterattack against the Syrian penetrations across the 'Purple Line'.  They were part of the counter-invasion into Syrian, and played major roles in actions such as the ambush of the Iraqi armoured division which had been sent against the Israeli salient on the road to Damascus.

I have more M51s coming - this time from Battlefront.  I was very, very excited to see Battlefront release a line of Arab-Israeli war figures and models, but one thing I find so damn frustrating with Battlefront is how their concept of the word "released" does not seem to involve the notion of "physically available in stores for purchase" without a one or two month (or more) delay. Stay tuned! 

The Tiran-5 is a captured T-55 put into IDF service.  The IDF came into a large stock of captured Arab gear after their decisive win in 1967, including many T-55 tanks.  The IDF gave them a new gun, and maybe a new engine (although I'm not totally sure about that).  They equipped some reserve armoured formations in the IDF. I haven't come across a lot of information about where/when they served, but I believe they saw action in the Sinai in 1973, and equipped some "allied" formations and militias during Israel's incursion into Lebanon.  This particular Tiran figure was a test model, so it's a little lonely - I will need to add a few more to equip a couple of platoons for some T-55 vs. T-55 games in the Sinai!

Wonderful work Greg! I'm looking forward to seeing these during one of our on-the-road gaming weekends soon. (Something with a hot desert theme might be the perfect antidote for us right now.)

These four tanks will give Greg 26 points including the commanders and nice basework.

From AndrewS: Challenge Desperado - 28mm 'Sheriff Saunders' (23 points)

Andrew starts out of the blocks with this very fine sheriff figure who will take his place amongst the other Challenge Desperados.

From Andrew:
The loon is off the mark!!!!
I decided to open my account this year with the entry fee figure, This is a Foundry sheriff from their excellent range. I picked this and a Mexican up from Ebay a while back and myself and Kevin drew straws to see who got what figure to paint.  I undercoated in black and worked up using Foundry paints and various techniques to achieve the finished look.  
The base took rather longer than planned and my bright idea of making a few bits of tumble weed got rather messy and took several attempts to get the desired look I wanted. I decided to have him walking past a horse rail that I had tucked away the bonus was that it had a nice little cacti attached. The tumbleweeds came from a few experiments with different products this final incarnation is the result of some polyfibre and a fair bit of dry brushing. 

Overall I am happy with the final finish, and hope he is a fitting model for this years theme.

Wonderful work Andrew! The figure is brilliant and the basework really places him in context - excellent stuff.

Sheriff Saunders will give Andrew a base of 20 points but I'm adding another 3 for the wonderful basework (who knew tumbleweeds could be so fiddly!).

From DaveD: 'The Dalton Gang' - 28mm Wild West Gunslingers (75 points)

Dave continues with his Wild West theme and sends in these excellent rootin' tootin' ne're-do-wells from the outskirts of Serenity.

From Dave:
Here we have a new band of trouble makers heading out of Serenity territory heading down South of the Rio Grande. Maybe they need to be cut off at the pass!

These are 28mm Wargames Foundry of which I have picked up a host of them recently. I had forgotten how nice they are overall , not too fussy or over detailed and clean crisp casting. Of course the beauty of these is they do a matched mounted and foot figure - really useful.

So time to do some victims for these to "terrorise"

Really lovely work Dave. I too really like these Foundry sculpts - very clean and substantial. 

These five varmints, both mounted and not, will give Dave 75 points. Great job!

From PaulJ: 28mm Steampunk Royal Navy Armoured Landing Party (50 points)

PaulJ sends us this wonderful Victorian steampunk diversion for us to enjoy.

From Paul:
My first submission for the competition is a Royal Navy Armoured Landing Party for In Her Majesty's Name.  Led by a Lieutenant assisted by a Chief Petty Officer, they command a 4 man rifle unit and a 4 man cutlass and pistol assault unit. 
The landing parties of the Royal Navy are well armoured to withstand fire while closing with the enemy to take defended ships and locations.  Supported by ship launched support dirigibles or light steam contraptions, these sailors give Naval Commanders many options to take the fight to the enemy both at sea and ashore.  
Landing parties can also be deploying via war-dirigibles of the Royal Naval Air Service, extending their utility significantly. The exploits of RN landing teams in recent history are an inspiration to many. British newspapers were abuzz with the feats of Commander Everton in the Orient, for which for was knighted upon his return. More recently, young Midshipman Hornblower (the latest personality of that reputable naval family) and the grizzly but ever loyal Petty Officer Bowlin, have built a reputation in action on the Nile and the rivers of the Dark Continent.
All 28mm figures by Ironclad Miniatures.  Now to start on their support dirigible and contraptions!

Excellent work Paul! I particularly like the Union Jack emblazoned on the Lieutenant's breastplate. Flag close to heart, wot! I also like your backdrop of soil and grass as I whimsically look out my window at three feet of snow...

This squad of Her Majesty's finest will give Paul 50 points. Great job! Now, please get back to us with that dirigible you had mentioned.

From ByronM: 28mm Great War Canadian Highlanders (50 points)

Byron builds on his Great War theme with this brilliant entry of a section of Canadian Gordon Highlanders in their early war gear.

From Byron:
This is a section of WW1 BEF troops, specifically a rifle section of Canadians from the 16th Battalion. The 16th was made up of four different highlander regiments as the Canadians rushed to the aid of the Empire. 

This section is made up of the Gordons as shown (barely) by the blue green yellow tartan peeking out under the kilt apron and the red white checked hat and blue pom.  While I really wanted to paint them up with complete kilts showing, while discussing the project with Curt earlier, he argued that they really would have gone into battle with the aprons on made me rethink that and so I stayed with the apron being the apron, despite the fact that I really wanted to show of the colours of each of the different regiments that made up the battalion. [I know, I'm such a wet blanket, er, apron. ed]

I believe all of the figures in this section are from Muskateer Miniatures ( and are great castings!  There may also be a Great War Miniatures casting or two mixed in, but I got the figures, cleaned, primed and based them a while ago and then they sat waiting for this painting event to start. 

Having mainly done Warhammer miniatures in the past (only a small number of FoW WWII stuff and figures for other small skirmish games), I missed out on the event last year and needed a project that would allow me to enter this year, so picked the Great War with a Canadian perspective.  Then of course, Curt goes and changes the rules and allows “any” figure this year to be entered….  Oh well, this gets me doing more historical figures.

Cripes Byron, you make me sound like a real SOB. Oh yes, I forgot, I am!  ;)

Seriously, beautiful work once again. The Musketeer WWI range is excellent and you've done them no shame here! I particularly admire the red/white chequing on the glengarry and of course the (partially visible) tartan.

Love the card as well. It does make me laugh though: Canada is filled to bursting with ferocious and majestic animals, but what critter ALWAYS gets rolled-out as our national symbol: the freakin' beaver. (sigh) I suppose I should take heart in at least this one has a fixed bayonet and claws... 

These nine strapping lads will give Byron a base of 45 points, but I'm rounding it to 50 for his attention to detail on the Highland uniforms. This places Byron neatly into first place, well done!