Thursday, March 13, 2014

From AnneO'L: 30mm 'Women in Uniform' (28 points)

From Anne:
Four weeks ago I challenged myself to make a radical change in my palette, avoiding my usual bright colours in favour of blacks, greys and shades of brown. Further, I have chosen to use minimal basing that does not detract from the figure itself.
For my admission fee piece I chose to paint a figure from Peckinpah's classic film "Cross of Iron". My figure represents the female Russian soldiers in the film. Peckinpah was criticized for including a rape scene in the film and the scene was used by feminists to condemn him as a misogynist. I strongly disagree. What was portrayed was a fact of war and should not be shied away from. In my eyes these were brave women, willing to take up arms to defend their country and able to fight back when set upon by brutal, savage men.

This is a 28mm figure from Reaper Miniatures and was sculpted by Werner Klocke.
Meet Moira, the Irish fighter pilot. As a child Moira was a bit of a tomboy preferring to play rugby with the boys over playing dollies with the girls.  The thought of growing up and having loads of babies and taking care of house filled Moira with a savage anger. She longed to fight and she longed for freedom.
That freedom came when the yanks joined the fighting in WWII.  Hearing that America had equal opportunities for women, Moira boarded a steamer bound for New York.
Upon passing her physical, Moira was told she could serve, but it would be behind a desk, not behind enemy lines. Well let me tell you, Moira flew into a rage so great it scared General Patton near to death.  "Anger like this could win us the war" Patton was heard to say.  
So they did the only thing they could do. They renamed her "Bob" , gave her a plane and she spent the rest of the war as a fighter pilot, happily bombing away her anger at being born a woman. 
This is a 32mm figure from Bombshell Babes and was sculpted by Patrick Keith.

First off, thank you very much Anne for this wonderful Soviet sniper. Both of these are such fabulous miniatures. 

I've really quite enjoyed this recent series where you've been using variations of this wonderful orange-russet-brown colour, punctuated with that vibrant emerald green. Subdued yet still very punchy. Great stuff.

These two women in uniform will give Anne 28 points. Super work Anne and thanks again!

From AndrewS: 20mm Nubian Warriors (200 points)

From Andrew: 
Well its celebration time with this entry as a major target for this years challenge has been reached.
These last three Nubian warbands another 48 x 20mm figures conclude the Army build. These have been a grind to finish, although not a difficult paint job, I have after all had plenty of practise by now. I really struggled to get these off the workbench, I definitely hit the challenge brick wall in trying to complete them.
I have continued with the same unit distinctions yellow this time and basing as previous entries as well as the usual spear conversions and stippled shields. This was a huge project overall I have painted in excess of 300 figures for it. I am very happy with the finished result though. This means I can move onto another biblical army, but that can wait till the challenge has concluded.
I was really pleased the weather was at least dry today as it enabled me to get the desert table outside an take some snaps of the entire force for everyone to see, I was amazed at just how big this is when laid out and when its opponents are completed will give myself and Kevin a huge game.

Wowza. That last image conveys a very impressive achievement. And the thing is, this force is in addition to the other stuff Andrew managed to complete during these past three months. Amazing.

These last three Nubian warbands will give Andrew 200 points. Enjoy the army Loki, it's a real beauty.

From JohnM: 28mm Napoleonic French & British for 'Sharp Practice' (75 points)

From John:
Over the 6 months, I have been slowly assembling skirmish based figures for TFL Sharp Practice. In the last week I have done these fifteen 28 mm figures, all Perry Plastics. Aside from some Perry Napoleonic cavalry, I have now finished the plastic pile, including the dismounted French Dragoons that really had no other utility. They are certainly nice enough figures, but no way sturdy enough for game play.

I have yet to play a game of Sharp Practice, but at least now I am all set. I have put together two fair sized French and British forces as illustrated in the last two photos. The French force has two big men so far (still waiting to find a figure for Major Ducos), a 16 figure company of ligne, 16 figure company of dismounted dragoons, as well as a dozen voltiguers. For the British, I have 3 big men, Major Sharpe, Sgt Harper and of course Lt Harry Price. They are accompanied by 16 men of one of the centre companies of the South Essex, as well 8 men of the 3/95th Rifles, 8 men of the 5/60th Rifles (they are missing from the photo) as well 6 chosen men from the 1/95th.
I also could easily put together a Germanic force with Brunswickers, Hanoverians and Prussians skirmishers I have painted. All these single based figures are also used to mark the skirmish factor of my Lasalle infantry battalions on specially designed 2 and 3 slot sabots, an idea stolen from Curt.
These look wonderful John. We've played 'Sharp Practice' quite a bit and have had a lot of fun with it. As a suggestion, I'd recommend the TFL supplement 'The Complete Fondler' as it has loads of excellent scenarios and is really very good value. 

These fifteen French will give John 75 points. Great job!

From Burkhard: 28mm WWII British Heavy Weapons & Ordinance (175 points)

From Burkhard:
So now it is time to continue with my British Infantry platoon. Or in this case rather some ”very” heavy weapons for them. 
Lets start off with the lightest of them all, a pair of 3” mortars. Medium mortars were a very essential of the lower level (company or handed down to platoons) support weapons, giving the soldiers on the ground limited artillery support without the need to go through higher level commands. I know many people just use one in skirmish gaming, but my previous experience has taught me, that one simply does not make much of an impact on the game, while two do without becoming a game breaker. The minis are old vintage Bolt Action. Unfortunately this means that both crews are exactly the same, but maybe I will get me a Warlord Games team one day to give them more variety one day.
Now if 3” mortars are on the light end of the ”artillery” support a platoon can call upon, here is the heavy end… a 25pdr. artillery gun. I bought this well over half a decade ago, back when none was producing any AT guns with the idea that this could give at least some heavy fire power to the poor bloody infantry. Not sure what I was thinking. I only ever read about the 25pdr. used for direct fire in North Africa and I only intend to war-game Europe. Anyway the whole set is by Artizan and actually quiet nice, even though it comes with their old style of faces, which i do not like too much. The only grief for me was that I found the limber to be missing one of the doors. Now after more than half a decade I did not want to approach the good people at Artizan for a replacement, so I scratch build one from plasticard and wire.
So do you care for some real AT guns? Well here we go. This is a 6pdr. gun. This time by Warlord games. Now you may find that this one (and the 17pdr. in the later pictures) have quite a large crew. Now I bought the para version from Warlord some time ago but it arrived with a regular infantry crew. I got a proper replacement crew, but in the end it meant I had more crew than usual, which is nice. I had originally planned to do a cloud camo on the gun, but decided against it. the 6pdrs were used by the US Army as well and I plan to use the gun for them as well. I know the Americans used it without the muzzle break and the green is wrong, but I  guess most people will not notice. But I think everyone will notice a camo that was not used by the Americans so I did without.

So now something heavier, a 17pdr.. Again the model is by Warlord Games with a little extra crew from their hic up. Not much to say, except that this one got the cloud camo since it was only used by the British. I was a bit afraid how this would come out with the weathering technique used on the British vehicles and guns (as described on the Universal Carrier post), but it really comes out well. I personally believe, that this is due to the fact that I did not use black for the camo, but a very dark slate grey.

So while i was busy painting guns, I decided to tackle some guns for the paras I had around as well. These are a 6pdr. (para version without the enfilade gun shield and collapsable legs) and a pack howitzer. Before anyone asks… the crews for these were painted some 3 ½ years ago and are just there as scenery. Those who have followed my painting adventures will notice that their eyes lack the black outlines I switched for in 2012, but with the the heavier shading of the skin I have used since 2010, so that is a good telltale sign of their age.

So this is it. As indicated before these were weathered the same way as my other British vehicles with a Modelmates weathering  washes and pigments from MIG. The crews all wear shoulder flashes from the 3rd Infantry Div, to make sure they match my other infantry. While painting these, I felt that a little more firepower might be due, especially one capable of taking on some big cats, so in due time these will see the addition of another 6pdr. and another 17pdr.. With this in mind i leave you with a group shot of this entry:

Wow, that is a load of BFGs Burkhard - excellent stuff. I quite like your interpretation of the British camo scheme - using a dark slate grey instead of black was a good call (must remember that). Great pics as well! I particularly like the shot of the 6pdr about to knock on the side door of the Panzer IV.

These guns, mortars and artillerists will give Burkhard 175 points. This in turn will allow him to meet his Challenge target of 1000 points. Great work Burkhard and congratulations!

From SeanS: 28mm 100 Years War Lord De La Warre and his Retinue (100 points)

From Sean:
I present to you Lord De La Warre of Treyine and his men. To create some interest in my red and white theme I broke it up into solid red, half red and white and quartered red and white. I figured that this would represent each of the knights and their retinues. As with the previous entry these are a mixture of Zvezda English Infantry of the 100 Years War, Miniart German Knights, Airfix Robin Hood and Strelets Military Order Warriors. They are all 1/72 (20mm) scale plastics. 
All the same painting techniques, but this time only Vallejo matte varnish at the end. I feel like it dulled the metal a tad too much and it almost looks like NMM. Still flailing around, but why change how I work now. I'm just glad to get another batch done. It only took me the whole competition to do it.

There is nothing particularly special about the two footmen, I just hid them on the work bench and found them after I'd photographed the main group.

I really enjoy these 100 Years War themed entries of yours Sean. Again, I quite like the gritty feel to your paintwork on these fellows. They look like veterans that have spent some time on campaign.

Lord De La Warre and this retinue will give Sean 100 points. Great work!

From TimB: 28mm Wood Elf War Dancers (60 points)

From Tim:
Here are a few old Wood Elf War Dancers from back when... well... back when I played Warhammer... (c1989). A couple may be ones I had back then that I stripped the original paint off a few years back, the rest I picked up off ebay a while ago... 
The whole warband. The plan is to use them as a Warband in Song of Blades and Heroes. Given the cost of regular Elves, this would be a pretty big warband! 
I like the wounded guy - he may not be a regular member of the warband, but instead be used in a campaign when I'm fielding a member that's been injured (and has reduced abilities) 
I was kind of torn as to whether I should go with muted tones - greens, greys and browns - like my other Wood Elves - or go with something a little more "flashier"? In the end I tried to hit somewhere in between - a bit of colour, but not TOO flashy... 

One of the guys looked just like a highlander in a great kilt with a claymore... so I couldn't resist doing a bit of tartan... 

Now I wish I'd done a bit more tartan on some of the others.  
Of course there wasn't a LOT of fabric on most to DO a tartan, so I went with stripes on a few - to give them a bit of patterning.  
The shields are crazy small, too, and dominated by the edging, so it was a bit difficult to come up with something to paint in those wee areas other than simple geometric shapes. 
I'm not so keen on these dudes with the big hair.... 
what is up with THAT!? I guess it was the 80s....

Yes, but back in the 80s these 'Flock of Seagulls' dudes got all the chicks...  

Great nostalgia trip Tim! I've never tried 'A Song of Blades and Heroes', what level a game is it aimed at? Tactical? Army level? I'm on the lookout for something different to use my fantasy stuff with.

These dozen elven war dancers will give Tim 60 points. Nice job Mr. B!

From ClintB: 10mm Spanish Civil War Assault Guards, Mountain Guns & Bilbao Armoured Car (44 points)

From Clint:
I need to round out my 10mm Pendracken Spanish Civil War forces for a game later in the year at Posties Rejects. To that end I have painted 21 "Guardia de Asalto" these were a paramilitary force before the war started and split so some fought on each side.  They wore black uniforms with a peaked cap and were some of the most mobile troops in the war.

The Bilbao Armoured Car had a crew of 4 and could carry an additional 5 personnel. It was armed with a 7mm Hotchkiss machinegun and was issued to Guardia de Asalto. So while the majority of Asalto used lorries a few were driven to battle in these. 
Unrelated to the Guardia de Asalto I have also finished two 65mm Italian mountain guns. I have given them militia crew as the broken down travelling version has. This will of course mean that they can pack up and move out or arrive as the battle situation dictates. 

Wonderful work Clint. I've not seen the 10mm SCW range from Prendraken before so this is quite a treat. I must say all of these figures are great but I'm particularly taken by those pack teams - evocative of the period and very nicely done. 

This fine selection of SCW figures will give Clint 44 points.