Friday, February 28, 2014

From SamuliS: 28mm Winter War Finnish Ski Troops (25 points)

From Samuli:
Back to Winter War project again with 5 Finnish ski troops representing a Kaukopartio or Long Range Patrol squad. I originally wanted to paint these for the hero themed fortnight challenge, but only got the minis two days before the deadline thanks to Royal Mail/Fail taking their time with my package :)

The long range patrol teams that Finland employed are quite a personal subject for me as my grandfather served as a sergeant in one of the teams and later on I ended up serving my own military service as a platoon leader in reconnaissance too. The Kaukopartio troops have quite a legendary reputation in Finland as they are some of the highest decorated units to serve in the Finnish army and they carried out some awe inspiring missions during the war. Details of their operations are still a bit sketchy as most of the material was destroyed after a peace had been negotiated with Soviet Union.
Their missions ranged from small intelligence gathering patrols behind to lines to strikes at Soviet supply depots and rear echelon troops with nearly battalion sized forces, with the longest missions lasting over three months hundreds of kilometers behind enemy lines. Such was the effect of their missions that one of the most famous commanders, Lauri Törni, even had a 3 million mark (roughly 600,000 dollars at the time) bounty put on his head by the Soviets. The same Törni actually fought under three nations serving in the Finnish army, the Nordic battalion of the Waffen-SS and finally being killed in Vietnam while serving in the US Army as a Major in Green Berets.

The minis are from Warlord this time. The quality difference between the Baker Co stuff and Warlord is just massive. These guys have far more realistic proportions and better facial features than anything from Baker Company. There are still some issues like the massive amounts of flash. And I only had one rifle in the whole blister that was completely intact with the rest of them missing the front sight and the end of the barrel.
You've done just a wonderful job on these miniatures Samuli. I particularly like how you've dirtied up the knees, elbows and edging of their trousers and parkas. I have to agree with you in that these castings seem significantly nicer to the Baker Company sculpts we've seen to date. 

Also, this Lauri Torni fellow seems to be a very impressive, if not controversial, character. An ex-Waffen SS member in the Green Berets? That is an interesting (if not shocking) tidbit indeed. I definitely need to do some reading on this fellow.

These five Kaukopartio will give Samuli 25 points.

From MartinN: 28mm Late Roman Cavalry & Archers (30 points)

From Martin (Nick):
One of my goals for the challenge was to paint up the Late Roman figures I have in my lead pile. As the end of the challenge grows closer I'm slowly running out of time for this. So here are two heavy cavalry and two archers from Musketeer Miniatures.
I really like the figures Bill is making. They're full of character and require little in the way of cleaning.  Sometimes the detail on the tunics and trousers is a bit flat but they still are a treat to paint.
I decided to go for another colour scheme as for my other Romans as they look a bit too elite to me nowadays in their greyish blue tunics. Most of the older figures are also missing the patterns I painted on these guys here. 
As I occupied myself with the late Roman army for over a year now I came to the conclusion they need these patterns to look right. So maybe I have to go back to my older figures somewhen.

Till then I still have six archers and three infantry men left in the queue which I'm hoping to finish in time.

Wow, absolutely stunning work Nick! I really like the red patterns you've chosen for the archers' tunics and the duller toned metallics seem to resonate well with these figures (especially the scale mail and helm on the mounted leader). But it is in the facial detail where your brush control just amazes me - astonishing stuff and a feast for the eyes, bravo!

These Late Romans will give Nick 30 points. Again, lovely work.

And while I have everyones' attention I'd like to make a few announcements:

1) First, some sad news. Kent has suffered a serious back injury and so has regretfully decided  to put down his brushes and bow out of the Challenge. He told me he was very disappointed as he had planned a glorious dash to the finish, but things just didn't turn out. He extends his heartfelt thanks and well wishes to all his fellow Challengers and hopes to join company with us all next time out. I know I speak for all of us in wishing him a speedy and comfortable recovery. Get well Kent, your participation will be missed!

2) On to more prosaic news: The bonus points for the 'Casualty' bonus round have been tabulated and the participants' scores updated on the roster. Also as a reminder, Sunday 6pm (CST) will be the cutoff for voting on the Casualty round so if you've not had the opportunity to see the gallery please take some time to visit, enjoy the wonderful work and cast your votes for your favourites.

3) Finally, remember this Saturday midnight is the deadline for the 'Favourite Character' theme round so now's the time to stoke the fires of industry and get your submissions wrapped up and into me. I'm looking forward to seeing what folks come up for this one! I'll endeavour to have the gallery up by late Sunday afternoon...

Thanks and have a great weekend everybody!