Saturday, January 11, 2014

From PeterD: Challenge Desperado 'Zeke' & War of 1812 American 9th Infantry Regiment (65 points)

From Peter:
I am not sure of Zeke's exact origins, but the smart money is that he is a Minifig Boer commando whom I inherited via RossMac's spare parts bin.  The old style true 25mm figures aren't much in fashion thee days but I think that they have a certain charm to them.  They paint up very nicely with the right approach.  
To the best of my memory (never the best), I've never seen a Peckinpah movie so based him of Westerns that I have seen - True Grit (both of em), Butch Cassidy, Clint Eastwood etc.  I opted for a muted dusty appearance to suit the lone wolf who hasn't seen a bath or a laundry tub in a long time.
Next up for me is the US 9th Infantry regiment, but once again only 8 of the 24 figures should count towards the Challenge.  I've been beefing up my 16 man units to 24 strong and the US 9th was next to get the upgrade.  These are a mix of 16 Perry figures and 8 Victrix.  The new additions are all Victrix and I partially rebased the unit to mix the two makes.  These were all painted up straight out of the box - ok, out of the box and then assembled as per the box as closely as I could get.  

I've represented the 9th in the Official uniform - blue coat with red facings and white lace and the 1812 shako.  As with the 16th US,  the packs are a fudge as they regulation pack was shorter, softer sided and had black straps (not white).  More over there shouldn't be a blanket roll on top - I clearly painted these before I worked out that I should trim off the blanket roll like I did with the 16th.  I learn, but slowly, so the next US battalion will be the Perry figures with the shorter pack and the blanket roll trimmed off. 
I quite like how the unit paints up, but having looked at the photos I need to fix the flags a little.  RossMac noted that my 16th gave the impression of soldiers taking individual aimed shots rather than volleys, and I've aimed to get that appearance here as well.  I should really do a red coat unit that mimics the look of platoon volleys rippling up and down the line.

That's 4 units of Americans.  Now I need to work on the good guys!

Haven't seen a Pekinpah movie? Good god man, we'll have to correct that and damn quick! 

Great work here Peter. 'Zeke' is wonderful. I really like seeing these old Minifigs again, it makes me quite nostalgic, though they almost seem like a 20mm casting amongst today's ubber robust figures. The American 9th is very nice as well and my kudos to you for sticking through the Victrix assembly process - not everybody has the patience to deal with them.

Zeke and his additions to the 9th Infantry will give Peter a very respectable 65 points to add to his tally. Well done Peter!

From KevH: 20mm Dark Age Viking Army (535 points)

KevH breaks for tea as celebration for finishing his new Viking army.

From Kev:
Here is the Viking army in all it's 20mm glory, lol.
All figures are plastic 1/72 (20mm). The majority are Zvezda & Strelets, with a very small amount of Revell to make up the numbers. This force is more or less the same composition as the Saxon Army I painted last year.
The Army general has already been seen and is here just for completion.

The Army is based for Hail Caesar and to our own basing system for the rules. We mount infantry on 30mm x 30mm and four bases make a standard unit. Two bases make a small unit with a large unit at six bases. Skirmishers are usually a small unit and consist of three figures. The troop types also determine how many figures will be on a base. 
Heavy infantry are 4 figures.
Medium infantry are 3 figures.
And Light infantry are 2 figures.
We found this system works well and the troop type is easily recognizable.
The Army consists of
The CinC (already Submitted)
2 x Divisional commands (3 figures per base)
1 x Hearthguard (Huscarle) Heavy Infantry unit (16 Figs)
3 x Hirdmen units, (16 figs per unit).
3 x Bondi units, Medium Infantry, (12 figs per unit).
5 x Beserker stands (2 figs per stand) for representing the Beserker wild fighter element within a unit.
1 x Bow unit, Light Infantry, (8 figs)
2 x skirmish units, (6 figs in total)
Thats a total of 140 figures according to my reckoning and not including the command. [Actually it adds up to 130 figures - ed.]
All standard bearers are conversions as you only get 1 in the Zvezda box and he is blowing a horn as well.
So I used them both as horn blowers and converted 10 into standard bearers for the unit and army commands.
I need my tea now.
Indeed! That is a colossal amount of work Kev, well done young man!

This Viking force will give Kev a very impressive 535 points, which includes some extra for the standard-bearer conversions. This was a little too late in his race with Andrew but it will pip him into 1st place in the points roster, with a point to spare! (And, serves as a quick response to Millsy's challenge!)

Fabulous work and an impressive effort Kev!

From AlanD: 15mm WWII German 'Stuka zu Fuss' Self-Propelled rocket Projectors (16 points)

Alan sprints for his 500 point target with these two German self-propelled rocket projectors.

From Alan:
So, here is a brace of Sdkfz 251/1 halftracks, with Wurfrahmen 40 rocket launchers. The models are resin from Forged in Battle, and quite nice they are, with lots of clutter to make them look lived in. 
The interior detail is fairly dodgy due to moulding the complex shape of the vehicle in one piece, but the sculptor has camouflaged this pretty well with clutter and some extra rockets in their launching frames inside the vehicles. 
As with all my 15mm WWII stuff so far, these are destined for use with Battlegroup Kursk. And let's face it, they look pretty mean.

Very nice work Alan. The detail on these models looks a bit soft but, as you say, the interior detail is nice and you've really done a wonderful job, working to their strengths. 

These two vehicles along with their crew will give Alan 16 points, just enough for him to seize the win in the 500 point side-challenge between him, PaulJ and JamesL. Congratulations and Well Done!

From SamuliS: 28mm Winter War Finnish Riflemen (50 points)

Samuli sends in this great unit of riflemen portraying his own nation's history, 'The Winter War'.

From Samuli:
For my next entry I have a squad of Finnish Riflemen from the Baker Company Kickstarter. Just in time for the first snows to finally grace the ground here after months of misery caused by continuous rain and darkness.

These are some of the minis from the highly successful Baker Company Kickstarter that ended up exceeding the expectations of everyone. It's nice to have someone make minis of Finns, too bad that the quality isn't always up to nowadays standards. It seems that Baker Company was bit of a victim of their own success as they have had to sculpt massive amounts of new minis to fill all the stretch goal unlocks etc. 

And boy does it show on the minis as there are just massive quality differences between them with some having good proportions and having nicely sculpted faces etc. and then some with ridiculously thick or thin arms and legs and faces that are more in the likeness of an ape than a human :) Also some equipment like most of the shoes doesn't look like anything used in the war. And don't get me even started about the huge amount of flash that the castings had...
Not much to paint as most of the minis are covered with a snow suit so I tried to put some extra effort on that. Starting out from Khaki I tried to achieve a slightly dirtier look on it. 5 layers of highlights later it may have ended a bit too light, but I guess they present a unit at the start of the war then!

The snow is a combination of Noch snow paste and snow flock. A new material for me as I was actually supposed to buy another kind of snow flock from them, but only realized at home that they do numerous different ones and I managed to pick the wrong type. Too lazy to go back to the shop I decided to give it a try. It ended up looking quite a lot like fresh snow on a really cold day so I guess it achieved it's goal well enough.

I was part of this Kickstarter as well but I bailed when I decided to go with 15mm for this period and started seeing their later sculpts (which, as you say, seemed rather uninspired). Nonetheless they look very nice under your hand, Samuli, and makes me rethink my decision not to have stuck it out. Oh well...

These ten riflemen will give Samuli 50 points. Well done!

From RayR: 15mm Nine Years War French Cavalry (49 points)

From Ray:
I've been busy with the brush here's another unit for the Challenge. 

My next entry is another French Chevauleger (Horse) regt for the Nine Years War, but this time we have a little colour, not much I must admit but at least its not that boring grey again. 
This is the regt Anjou which I only chose because I had the flag for it and it wasn't a grey regiment!! They're Essex minis once again and the flag, like my previous unit was free from the old and defunct Venexia site.

Great work Ray. I'm sure it's nice to get away from the grey paint for a bit. I quite like that figure with his arm slung over his drum - very jaunty!

These 12 lads will give Ray 49 points. Lovely stuff Mr. Rousell.

From Millsy: 28mm OldHammer Kemmler's Undead Army of the Cairns (514 points)

When Millsy first sent this submission in I was about ready to kill the f*cking git. But I consider him a good mate and since he's flying us down to Australia for a visit I thought I'd give him a pass. ;) Anyway, Millsy starts the escalation of what I'm sure will be the beginning of the huge, two-fisted entries of the Challenge.

From Millsy:
Name dropping and a challenge of sorts
Last Thursday was supposed to be our fortnightly D&D session. Vinnie Jones and Rutger Hauer had already cancelled (man flu and crochet club) but it still left us with our minimum of three plus DM. At the last minute the Dalai Lama rings and says Hauer has been ragging him all week on Facebook, going on about now that Mandela is gone HE has to be the cleric cause that's for pussies and nobody else will do it. Anyway, long story short and the Dalai says he isn't playing any more. He's going to play X-Wing with Di Caprio and the Beckhams instead. What a big girl's blouse.
So I've just hung up and I hear the door slam. In walks Mr T and Clint Eastwood all ready to play. What do I say? I skirt round the issue but after T puts me in a headlock I eventually fess up (I can call him "T" cause I've know him for ages, don't you try it). Fortunately the lads are pretty ambivalent about the whole thing and before I know it we're doing shots and watching Ferris Bueller.
Eventually conversation turns to the painting challenge and T wants to know who's dropped the biggest points bomb. I answer someone did a 350ish I think and he just snorts. He turns to Clint and says "Yo C, tell Millsy what you think of 350ish." Clint doesn't answer, he just looks at me like this...
T responds "Ha! Nuff said. Millsy, you need to set an example brother. Do something impressive. 500+ or nuthin!" Anyone who knows T knows you don't argue with him after the third bottle of tequila, and well, the rest of this submission is history.
My good friend T wants to know if any of you have the cojones to try and take me down (his words not mine). Anyone got a bigger points bomb in their locker? T says not...
NB. Some of this may be a slight exaggeration. It was only two bottles of tequila. Plus I don't really know Rutger Hauer either. I wish I did though, he'd play an awesome Fighter/Magic user multi-class.
Submission info
Right, that's the bant over, time for some facts. This "rather large" submission represents the remainder of my Undead Army of the Cairns project, plus some stragglers that have been hanging about clogging up my painting desk. If my Mathhammer is correct it's 510 points worth. Woot(!) plus apologies to Curt, I reckon this might finally slay Blogger. :-)
First up we have four additional command stands for my 28mm Royalist ECW army. These are intended so I can field some of my muskets as units of commanded shotte. I can only count 12 of the 16 towards my point total though as the other 4 already had a couple of colours on them. They're a mix of Renegade and Wargames Foundry miniatures.

Next up we have a unit of 5 knights for my Warhammer Dogs of War army. These are Empire plastics with old skool Empire plastic spearmen shields as I wanted a lion motif. I've named them the Regimento Los Liones de Lustria (please bear with me and my bad Lustrian-mock-Spanish). I made the banners myself in Photoshop to finish them off.
Now we move onto the remaining units of my Undead army, starting with another unit of 20 Skeleton Warriors armed with spears. These are mostly plastics with a metal command from the Cursed Company Regiment of Renown. These will be one of my standard core regiments in the army list.

Rolling along we have a rare 20 figure unit of Glooms. In the WD article these were represented by Spirit Host miniatures but they are flipping expensive figs to buy so I've used a combination of Empire skirmishers and undead bits instead. With the weapons clipped out and their hands still clutched into fists it looks like some sort of ghostly pub brawl. Awesome! Not sure how much use they will get but hey, they're in the list so they get painted.

Following on we have 10 figure unit of Unquiet Horsemen. These are the older Black Knight miniatures commanded by a Wight King. The Wight Kings is possibly the single most badly cast GW model I've ever built and he required oodles of green stuff to line up the two halves of his steed. Things worked out OK in the end though. They're rubbish stats-wise in the list but I've got 10 and I needed something quick and mobile in the army.

Lastly we have a 20 figure unit of Barrow Guardians, a kind of elite infantry formation. These were built using Empire state troop torsos and skeleton weapon hands and heads. I've continued the red skull shield theme on these guys too. I will eventually replace these with decent metal figs of some description but they are fine for now and clear another pile of plastics off the paint pile.

So that's it. Kemmler's Undead Army of the Cairns is complete at a total of 108 infantry, 10 cavalry, 2 monsters and 1 chariot, all done as part of the challenge. I have to admit I'm rather chuffed with it overall, especially the character figures and the Winged Nightmare. Now to get a game or three. Thanks for the inspiration Curt!

I know, what a ultramaroon, eh? 

Seriously, Millsy, this is amazing. I can't believe you got this whole freakin' army completed in under one month - that is an astonishing amount of work and they look brilliant. Bravo to you!

Okay, points wise, what do we have here? Hmm, I make it at a whopping 514 points, which includes a few points extra for the nice ECW banners. Awesome work Millsy, that puts you in third place (for now). Best of luck with your first time out with these lads!