Friday, February 21, 2014

From AndrewS: 28mm Napoleonic French Foot Artillery, Converged Grenadier Battalion & Legere Battalion (231 points)

I know Andrew has been very busy being a new granddad (with all the attendant support service and logistics that role entails) so I was surprised and delighted to see these in my inbox.

From Andrew:
I decided to have a break from the endless hordes of Nubians and decided to get some of the French Napoleonic project well underway. Having spoken to Kev about wanting to at least have a brigade completed by the end of the challenge whilst completing the aforementioned Nubians . This entry sees that particular target fulfilled, with three pieces of artillery and crew and 2 battalions of infantry.
First up are three French guns and crews, The crews have been given some campaign trousers to break up the sea of blue and to make them fit in with the existing units of French I have already painted. In total there are 3 Guns and 12 crew all Perry 28mm miniatures. I have to say cleaning these guns up was the devil of a job, and quite possibly took longer to do than painting the piece itself.

Next up is a Combined grenadier battalion for our version of Black Powder, The bulk of these are 28mm Perry figures the exception being the drummer and mounted commander which are Foundry. Once again a mix of great coats and campaign trousers to add variety to the unit, which consists of ten foot and one mounted officer.

The final part of this entry is a battalion of 16 Legere that have been painted to represent the 2nd Regiment. These are a 50/50 mix of Foundry and Perry miniatures again in a good campaign mix of dress. This time I have included a Flag.

Lovely work Andrew. I always enjoy seeing your Napoleonics and these certainly don't disappoint. I quite like the mix of the older Foundry models in with the more recent Perrys'. I really have to do some battalions wearing greatcoats as they give such a wonderful campaign feel. 

This French force will give Andrew 231 points, enough for him to meet his second Challenge target. Bravo Loki and well done!

From SebG: 28mm AWI British 44th Foot Light Infantry (23 points)

From Seb:
What you have here are six 28mm British light infantry from AW miniatures.
You'll have to excuse the poor quality pictures, but my parents' PC refuses to acknowledge the existence of my camera's SD card, and of course I forgot to take the USB cable... When Andrew (Loki) and James launched their Bloggers for Charity project, I was immediately interested. They intend to game a battle during the Seven Years War in Canada. I have offered my services and Andrew sent me these figures to paint as a light detachment of the 44th Abercrombie. I was delighted since I knew i could then practice on my red and flesh techniques for 28mm.
Sadly, the minis are not great. There was no flash but you can find some errors in the sculpting, such as the cartridge box but no belt to carry it !?!  And some cuffs and hands are miscast. Ah well. Still they were easy to paint.

I haven't based them because as soon as James receives them, he'll do it. So that's it. 6 more miniatures done from me.
Seb, the photo effects are actually kinda neat. These shots give the impression that the camera was last used to film Sophia Loren or Catherine Deneuve - a dab of vaseline on the lens does miracles.  Seriously, very nice work here Seb - I quite like your flesh tones and that deep yellow facing colour is excellent as well.

These half dozen hearty fellows will give Seb 23 points. Well done and bravo for contributing to a good cause.

From PeterD: 28mm War of 1812 Native Warriors from Grand River Six Nations (60 points)

From Peter:
Next up for the painting challenge is another War of 1812 unit - as Anne O'Leary says I've got around to the good guys. This is a unit of 12 native warriors from the Grand River Six Nations, who featured in many War of 1812 actions especially along the Niagara.
The figures are 28mm from Crusader's FIW range. I did some poking about of Webstores before settling on the Crusader figures. I was looking for figures which had a mix of European and native clothing and equipment, and these guys did the trick. I have some Crusader figs in my El Cid armies so I knew the company. Plus Caliver Books in the UK had them in stock and they ship world wide post free if you order £15 of figures. At some point it would be great if North American hobby suppliers could be even in the same ball park as the UK firms in terms of shipping costs and timeliness of delivery. OK, I'll get off the soap box now…..
For painting these figures, for me the big challenge was skin tones. I live in a city with a fair Native population so have the ability to do some people watching among fellow bus riders, shoppers and people wandering the halls of academentia. I hope I didn't come off as too creepy!
I settled on Liquidtex "Dark Portrait Pink" with a heavy wash of "Raw Umber" - being a Artist's Acrylics man at heart. This contrasts with my European figures which use "Flesh" topped with washes of "Terracotta" to give a tanned look and Raw Umber to get the crevices. This Bloom County gem from the 80s sums up the process nicely I think.

I never paint eyes on 28mm figures, or at least I haven't in 20 years or so. I subscribe to the theory that eyes are only discernible at much closer range than that implied by a 28mm fig. That and the fact that most figures I see with eyes remind me of pandas and raccoons.
I wanted to base these figs to give the impression of native warriors operating in a loose order and taking advantage of cover. Therefore I used double sized bases with 2 figs per 40mm square base instead of 2 per 40mm*20mm. The fuzzy caterpillar grass is an Evil Empire product while the other scenic items were produced by mother nature. Incidentally SWMBO had me roast the sticks at 400 degrees to make sure that no new friends were introduced to our indoor environment.

Lemme get this straight: You cooked your sticks so they would get past house-safety quarantine? You need to tell your lovely wife that it's not the outdoor critters that are the danger to your household, rather it's you being around any sharp tool or piece of cutlery. Last I heard you barely escaped cutting cabbage without losing a digit!  :)

Great work Peter! Your recipe for Native American skin tones looks very convincing and I see you have been converted to the 'Cult of the Tuft'. Good man. I look forward to seeing these fellows in a game soon.

These Native Americans will give Peter 60 points.

From BurkhardS: 28mm Challenge Levy & Napoleonic French and Prussian Casualty Stands (48 points)

From Burkhard:
I initially planned to do these as part of the fortnight theme, but after not doing so well on the last two rounds and since it seems I am unable to take proper photos this year (even if my life depended on it), I decided to stick to just one base of minis for the theme round and here is the rest. I painted a awful lot of Napoleonic French and Prussian units over the past 2 ½ years and one thing that is missing are casualty markers for them. As as part of the Challenge I decided to paint a few more up, to beef up their meagre ranks. The French are from Perry Miniatures (metal). Virtually all my French are wearing greatcoats and to my knowledge these are the only two French casualties in greatcoats around, so I simply had to use these.

The other is a Prussian Regular by Calpe Miniatures. The brick-red collar and cuffs denote him to hail from a Brandenburgian unit.
 All of them are mounted on octagonal bases, each numbered through (by my better half… my hand writing is rubbish). While this is not really a fabulous new idea, I do not like the bases with the integrated casualty wheel (too thick for my taste). They are placed behind the unit that took casualties, with the side that matches the number of casualties facing front. They are placed left or right behind the unit depending on the moral state they are in. The clever bunnies amongst you will realise, that  some units may take more than eight casualties. In that case the counter os moved one base towards the centre of the unit, with each base it is being moved denoting a +8.
Now the entry fee. Last year I saw to it, that I got the entry fee off my chest pretty fast, but this year I was a bit undecided what to do, so it took me a bit longer. Now the Peckinpah theme gave me some headaches. Last summer I had asked Curt if he already had an idea what the theme for the 4th Challenge would be  and I picked a nice minis to paint up for it. Unfortunately Curt decided to go for something different (Yes, I am a cruel, fickle beast - ed.) and while he offered me that I could still enter that mini, I felt this would be wrong. I felt pretty sure, that I did not want to to paint something for the Wild Bunch / Western theme, but since Curt said a minis from any Peckinpah movie would do, I decided that Cross of Iron would be a nice option. I assumed everyone going that route would be painting Germans or Russians, so I decide that Americans from Cross of Iron II would be a nice choice. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to check the credits for the movie and found that not only had the actors changed, but so had the director, so this was no options anymore. Thinking about the characters from the movie I felt that Stranski would be a nice choice. Looking through my lead pile, I found a virtual look alike from Artizan miniatures and decided that decided that I would paint him up… only to find out a few days later that someone had beaten me to it. I guess you can all see a theme of one step forward, two steps back developing here, can you! So I sat down with the DVD and watched the movie again. It is funny that what stuck with me the most was not one of the main characters, but the tripod mounted MG42 firing in defense of the trenches during the Soviet attack, so I decided that this would be it. 

Looking through my lead pile again I found that I still had a very nice MG42 team from Victory Force and so this was finally painted up. According to Curt's preferences based as a team on a slim base. 
While a trench would have been a fitting base according to the movie, I went for more open ground, to give it more of an universal use. The minis are now on their way to the wilds of Canada and I hope they arrive safe and sound. Sorry for the poor photos… they look much better IRL. Hope you enjoy them Curt!

Wonderful work Burkhard! It's always interesting to see how people approach casualty markers, especially for rule systems that have high count numbers. Your octagons are a very nice approach and I like your idea of moving the marker to different points of the unit to denote change of status (something we do as well). You just have to be mindful not to inadvertently move the markers - it's all about discipline!

Also, thanks so much for the excellent MG42 team! I've not seen any Victory Force stuff for quite a while so seeing these are a nice variation on the theme. The team leader reminds me of the young, ill-fated officer in the movie who was a friend of Steiner. 

These figures will give Burkhard 48 points. Great work and thank you again!

From KentG: 28mm SYW Russian Dragoons (90 points)

From Kent:
These figures are 28mm Front Rank SYW Russian dragoons. They were really nice to paint. These took me a lot longer as my painting time is now harder to come by.

A man of few works but of great talent, wonderful work Kent! I always marvel at your cavalry units as they are so consistently excellent, especially your horses. Something I always struggle with, sigh.

This regiment of dragoons will give Kent 90 points (a bit has been docked due to them being unbased as per his client's requirements). Again, excellent stuff Kent!

From RayR: 28mm Floppy Hatted British Horse Holders (40 points)

Another non-15mm, non-Nine Years War entry for Ray. Could this be a trend?

From Ray:
My next entry is only a small one. Postie asked me to paint up these Dixon Battle of Sedgemoor figures, as I painted up the rest of his Sedgemoor collection a few years ago.

They're Horse holders for the English, King's Royal regt of Dragoons led by none other than John Churchill himself.

Lovely work once again Ray. I always like seeing these additions to the tabletop - not really required but they add such a nice finish to the overall display. I also like the spray of red poppies on the one base - very whimsical.

These two horseholders and their equine charges will give Ray 40 points, enough to edge past Fran... Now the game is afoot! Well done!