Saturday, December 21, 2013

AndrewS: 20mm Ancient Briton Sacrifice (16 points)

Andrew sends us this grisly yet wonderfully thematic vignette for his Ancient British army.

From Andrew:
This is just a small entry for today I have been creating a small vignette for our Hail Caesar games, I normally default to having the hapless Ancient Brits against the might of Kevin's Romans. So I thought it would be nice to add some flavour to the table in the form of some wildly celebrating Druids holding a ritual sacrifice of a Roman at the altar. 
These are all 20mm plastics, the Druids are from Hat and the Roman from Italeri I believe.
The stone altar was carved out of another piece of dense styrene and dry brushed up to be a touch more realistic. The hapless Roman was beheaded and mounted onto the alter then a leg and arm were removed and repositioned to look correct and his head mounted on a nice little stake.
These have all been painted to my tabletop standard, which is fine enough from a couple of feet away.

Awesome work Andrew! Those Britons do have a reputation of giving a pretty mean haircut. I particularly like the altar and the grisly 'lamp-post'. Nothing says Winter Solstice like a ritual sacrifice to the gods of the forest.

This vignette will give Andrew 16 points. Well done!

From BenG: 1:72 Napoleonic French Regimental Gun and Artillerist (12 points)

Ben sends us a Napoleonic regimental gun, a 3lb 'door knocker', for his 1812 French collection. 

From BenG: 
Here's a bite sized entry to whet your appetite while I concentrate on larger units: A regimental artillery piece! 
The gunner is another 1/72nd HaT figure with a head conversion, replacing the original bicorne with a shako wearing head from another HaT figure. The gun is a  metal 15mm 6-pounder from AB/Eureka masquerading as a captured Austrian 3-pounder pressed into French service.
For our Borodino game, the French get a 2-gun section per regiment. They'll be lucky to cause any damage, but add a little colour to the game! I really should have made a little red flag to stick out of the barrel with the word BANG! written on it!

There'll be more of these as I have 5 more to do before I finish IV Corps.
Great stuff Ben! I really like the idea of using 15mm guns to stand in for lower caliber 1:72 artillery - brilliant.

This artillery piece with its attendant gunner will give Ben 12 points. Well done!

From PaulJ: 28mm Hell Hounds for Strange Aeons (10 points)

Paul is off for Christmas and then going with his son to a Boy Scout jamboree in New Zealand so sends this entry in as his parting shot before he returns to us after the holiday season.

From Paul:
This is a pair of Hell Hounds which I will use for Pulp Horror skirmish gaming with the Strange Aeons rules.  I really like these figures by Heresy Miniatures and while I originally intended to use the standard heads, I loved these alternate ones which conjure images from the Aliens movies.  

They are scaled for 28mm gaming but are quite large and stand 32mm and 42mm in height.  They are wonderfully dynamic figs and I specially used a small lipped base for one to make it look like it couldn't be contained and was 'escaping' it, as it had another dimension.   Well thats was my intention anyway!

Very cool! They have bodies that remind me of  the 'Gatekeeper' demonic hounds in 'Ghostbusters'. I agree with you Paul, the addition of the eyeless Alien heads really amps up the creep factor. 

These two hounds will give Paul 10 points. Enjoy your holidays and your vacation!

From Millsy: 28mm Warhammer / Oldhammer Undead Fantasy Army (147 points)

Millsy starts his Challenge in scope, scale and style by finishing the better part of an entire undead army for OldHammer!  Woo!

From Millsy:
As some of you may know I've decided to try and paint an entire "Oldhammer" Fantasy army over the course of the challenge. It's a very fluffy undead army that appeared in White Dwarf issues 309-311 under the guise of Heinrich Kemmler's Undead Army of the Cairns. I've been collecting the models for about a year now and when Curt opened the challenge to fantasy and sci-fi I jumped at the chance to get the army painted quick smart. I'm pleased to say week one of my challenge has seen some solid progress...
First up we have a couple of core units. These are Simulacra, essentially animated statues from barrows and mausoleums. They're the original wight models and some of my favourites from the fantasy range. In total there are 12 figs split into two units of 3 bases each, or I could play them as one big unit if required. They were undercoated black and then dry brushed and inked a number of times to get the desired stony finish.

Next up is another animated statue but this one much larger. This is a Tomb Stalker (one per unit) and is one of the early Chaos Centaur models. He's a special choice in the list. He was painted the same way as the Simulacra but given his size I've spent a bit more time on the basing.

The third set is a pair of Ghosts, one each per unit. The female is a pretty recent banshee sculpt and the other is an old skool ghost miniature. These count as core choices in the list. They were painted the same way as the Simulacra and Tomb Stalker.

Second last is a unit of eight Mummies from the old Khermi range. These are classed as special choices under the list. They were undercoated brown and the dry brushed, inked and then over painted to get the desired result. I've painted these figs three times now over the years and this is the first time I've been properly satisfied with the outcome.

Lastly is the piece of resistance (and didn't he resist!), a Winged Nightmare. This is also a unit of one and counts as a rare choice. When I purchased the model it was in a horrible state. Past owners had attempted to pin the joints numerous times and had damaged him quite badly in the process poor chap. It took 2.5 hours just to pull him apart without further injury. Another 4 hours was spent pinning and rebuilding him, including filing away the saddle behind the head, followed by carving and inserting two more spines to give the right look. He's the 6-million gold piece monster! "My Spikey" was undercoated black and then painted in layers with a bit of dry brushing on the leathery part of his wings. He's very dark (obviously) and has more depth in real life but no amount of Photoshop Foo could bring him up better unfortunately. He's my entry for the monster category BTW Curt. 

And to finish off here's a "family photo" with everyone together. The gang are wishing Curt and the other challengers a very safe and prosperous holiday period, whether you're up to your neck in snow or sweltering in 41 degree heat like me.

Whoa!! Now that is another cracking debut entry! Fabulous work Millsy. I really like how you created moss for some of the statue figures and your rehabilitation of the Winged Nightmare seemed appropriately nightmarish, but you did a beautiful job on him. 

The only thing your missing for this force is a beard. ;) 

Most of the rank-and-file are fairly straightforward to score. For the Winged Nightmare I'm giving 25 points as it's better than the equivalent of a 40mm 'vehicle' especially when you take into account the repairs and modifications. So, Millsy's grand total for this entry is a well deserved 147 points. Well done!

From ByronM: 28mm WWI Canadian Infantry (60 points)

If you've been following his first week's progress in the Painting Challenge, Byron has emerged as one of this year's painting machines! Here he comes back to his Great War project to show us a Canadian infantry section to add to his previous Highlanders.

From Byron:
This is my first rifle section that will make up the WW1 BEF troops of the Canadian 10th Battalion.  All of these these figures are from Renegade Miniatures which unfortunately is not taking orders right now.  I am lucky I picked them up over the summer when they had a same which was buy 3 regiments (28 figures per I believe) and get the 4th free.  Which was an outstanding deal since I believe they were 20 pounds per regiment pack!

The castings are generally really clean, and I only had a few figures out of over 100 that had issues.  The only real problem with them is they are pretty chunky.  They are essentially Games-Workshop 28mm, not real 28mm.  Therefore for units where I have other manufactures miniatures mixed in I had to get creative and dremel-out the 3mm base and sink these guys in about 2 mm as well as cut off their build in base, and then on the other figures I left them on their tabs and mounted them on top of the base.  It makes them all the same height, but they guys look like they would weigh about 250 pounds each of solid muscle.

The 10th Battalion, along with my previous entry from the 16th were some of the first Canadians to see battle in WW1.  Better yet for me as someone from Winnipeg both Battalions had strong ties to Winnipeg and many of the soldiers that fought and died in those Battalions came from Winnipeg or other prairie towns.  The Winnipeg contingent of the 10th was made up of the The 90th Winnipeg Battalion of Rifles which still exist today as the Royal Winnipeg Rifles nicknamed the “Little Black Devils” and are stationed out of the Minto Armoury here in Winnipeg, which also houses the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders which made up part of the 16th Battalion I submitted earlier.

My plan is to have 4 sections of each the 10th and the 16th painted before the end of this event.  Don’t let my recent flourish of painting fool you though, that is still highly in doubt, since I have already painted more in the last week than I have in the last 4-6 months….

Well, that is what the Challenge is all about. I expect, like previous years, many of the participants will be twitching husks holding smoking brushes BUT they'll have lots of stuff done!

Byron, beautiful work here. I agree about the 'heft' of Renegade figures but I like them for it. Besides these are strapping Canadian prairie boys, fed on beef, bread and perogies!

This infantry section will give Byron 60 points. Well done! (And I really like the beaver-free activation card.)

From PhilH: 28mm Mahdist Infantry (33 points)

A veteran Challenger, Phil starts his gambit with a fine group of Mahdists (also serving in response to Michael's previous Indian Mutiny figures).

From Phil:
I start my tally with these six Perry plastic Mahdists. I started with a larger batch but realised part way through that I wasn't going to get them all done before the weekend. Two Nile Arab riflemen and four Beja tribesmen to bolster my existing units - I'd like to get them all to 10.
The skin as always has been done according to the guide on the Perry website, involving a dark grey base and multiple washes, and the jibbehs a mixture of off-white and tan shades.  

With over 40 foot Mahdists completed already, I've started converting some, including three of this lot. I'm also trying to add details like coloured hems for more variety. The flag is from Flag Dude, it isn't glued on to this fella as I need some more and would like to use these large ones for command stands and pick up some slightly smaller ones for standard bearers in units.

Great work Phil! You must have enough of these fellows to play some larger Black Powder games now.

These six Mahdi will give Phil a base of 30 points but I'm adding another 3 for the conversions that he's done. This will help to close the gap with Michael for your Victorian Duel.

From MartinN: Challenge Figure - Captain Stransky from 'Cross of Iron' (22 points)

MartinN (aka 'Nick) sends in his Challenge Desperado which actually is not a desperado at all but rather a German character from Peckinpah's WWII film, 'Cross of Iron'.

From 'Nick':
I'm starting into the challenge with my entry fee figure. Seemingly opposed to all others I didn't go for the Wild West theme but decided (after Curt pointed out to me the film is from Peckinpah also) to do 'Hauptmann Stransky' from Cross of Iron. 

It's a miniature from Artizan Designs I deemed appropriate for the job. Originally the figure had a Iron Cross around his neck but to stay with the film I decided to remove it. As for the basing I imagined him in some trench or command post.
Jeez, this is a wonderful figure Nick. His face even looks like Maximillian Schell's 'Captain Stransky'. Very nice groundwork as well. I especially like that you removed the Iron Cross from the figure as that was such a pivotal element of the film. 
Captain Stransky:  'I will show you how a Prussian officer can fight!' 
Sergeant Steiner:  'And I will show you, were the Iron Crosses grow.'
Great cinema. 

This figure gives Nick a base of 20 points but I'm adding a couple more for the wonderful basework and the overall attention to detail. Thanks again!