Saturday, 17 March 2018

From Richard: For two special ladies (15 points)

A very small entry, but one to keep me going until a somewhat larger effort in a couple of days.

The wife of my esteemed minion, together with my beloved other half (aka the Saintly Mrs Awdry and the Long Suffering Briony) share a love of animals, and one particular beastie is close to both of their hearts – the Highland Cow. For those of you who like looking at photos of "the real thing", here is a Facebook link to the genuine article -

Here is my take on the long-haired hippie of the bovine world. A family of Highland Cattle. They are from Warbases, and I picked them up at last year's Salute. I decided to paint them in a winter setting as this time next week, we will be in the Highlands of Scotland, in a nice pub having a wee dram of something single and malty whilst the wind blows snow drifts against the back door.
I shall leave it to Michael to allocate the points.

3 x 28mm animals; Warbases.

Very nicely done Richard and I'm sure the ladies will be delighted with your rendition of these fine beasts.  I think a straight 15 points for these, but you must try and complete your other project before Tuesday!  Best of luck in the Highlands and looking forward to catching up when the thaw comes! 

From MikeD: Hoplites and Skellies (113 pts)

I'm gonna cut it close here but I see my goal in sight. First up are 5 residual skeletons from the Skull & Crown line. I didn't get these rank and file done in time for the Monstrous theme round, but better late than never.
I really like this line. I also have a set of those Eureka Chaos figures that I had primed hoping to paint  for this years challenge, but it doesn't look like I'll make it in time. Together I'm hoping to do a nice Bruegelian horror diorama.

I've also made a dent in my Greek bin with 17 Foundry hoplites:
The big slowdown with these is obviously the shield decals and the painting of the skirts on the shields. I have mixed feelings about shield decals. Or better said, I am frustrated with my ability to get them to look decent. For all my micro-setting and micro-solling and dulcoting I can never get them to look smooth and even. But at a certain point you just need to declare "table-top quality" and move on, I suppose.

So between the living and the dead, that's 22 28mm foot for a total of 110 pts.


Smashing post Mike, I just love those skellies, I am instantly transported back to my youth and watching Ray Harryhausen's wonderful contribution to 'Jason and the Argonauts'.  I have not had much cause to work with shield transfers, but the times that I have I came away in utter frustration at my inability to apply them with any degree of skill and so I have to say yours look rather splendid to me and for your efforts I am awarding an additional 3 bonus points.  Now by my reckoning you are only 65 points short of your par score, perhaps one more push for Tuesday? 

From ByronM: Zombies, Zombies, and yet more Zombies (1130 Points)

When I started to paint things for the challenge this year, and started painting large numbers of Greeks and Mechanicum forces I got challenged by the wife about why there were no zombies on my painting table.  Zombicide is one of the only miniature games that my wife will play, and we have all of the expansions.

I started painting zombies in monochrome 2 challenges ago, and have a bunch done, however we always run out of zombies and I have never done anything other than the normal zombies in black and white monochrome scheme.  That meant we normally stuck to the basic games so we could use painted figures, but the wife made the logical complaint that with all the other painting, surely I could get some more zombies done for our games.

SO.... starting from week 1 I started to get at least 10-20 zombies done per week to add to our collection.  I also made the choice that posting 10-20 here and there would not have the same impact as posting them all at once.... is everything I have gotten done over the course of the challenge in all its monochromatic glory!

As you can see there are several different shades shown here to match up to different types of zombies in the game.  I have done them as follows:
- Normal zombies - grey scale
- Berserker zombies - red scale
- Toxic zombies - green scale
- Skinner zombies - yellow scale
- Dog zombies - grey scale

Nothing here is at all original though, I came across an excellent site years ago when looking for ways to quickly get through the mountians of plastic that came with the game and found Carmens site that has a number of guides on each of the colour schemes required.  You can find a lot of info on his blog here: Carmen's Miniature Painting Blog.

Also, nothing here is painted all that well, or neatly.  The nature of the game is that handfulls of zombies go on the table, and handfuls of zombies come off the table each turn.  The are there more for effect (and look good when there are mobs of them on the table) but each one individually looks pretty poor. These are not figures that you would show people to say "here is how I paint stuff", but when grouped up they look pretty cool, and the different colours let you quickly identify what zombies do what and to sort the threats visually very quickly.  The photos are worse than the figures are too, since I obviously could not put them in a light box with that may of them, so there are only a few pictures that show up any detail at all well (the green one shows the shades properly for some reason, and the rest don't).  They also look much much better than bare plastic, so there is that.

Lastly, as you can probably tell from the big first group shot, there are a LOT of zombies here.  This is in addition to the almost 100 grey scale zombies that I already had done!  The total numbers here are as follows: 
- Normal zombies - 64
- Berserker zombies - 36
- Toxic zombies - 36
- Skinner zombies - 80
- Dog zombies - 20

I think that this submission should appease the wife on the zombie front for at least a little while...  But then again, our copy of Zombicide: Green Horde showed up the day after finishing all these and she said "Come on, you havent painted Black Plague yet and now have Green Horde to do, quit slacking off!",  those will have to wait until next year though, as I am still madly trying to finish off the last of my greek units.


Ka-Boooooom!  Brilliant job Byron, what a bomb to drop on me at the last.  Like you I have long admired Carmen's grey scale zombies and have often thought of doing something similar myself, just need to pluck up the courage first.  These look awesome and I love the different colours to represent the different zombie types.  With regards to points, I have decided to give the dogs the full 5 points, thinking that any discrepancy in scale would be offset by the fatties and abominations so that is a whopping 1180 points to you Sir!  

From AlexS: Late Romans (200 pts)

Hello everybody! My name is Alex, I'm from Russia, and I'm an paint-holic. I have scored the necessary points and could continue to have a rest. But I'm an paint-holic! So I painted some more miniatures.

This time I painted part of the band of the Late Romans.
I made a detachment of eight nomad mercenaries, two detachments of archers, a small squad of infantrymen and miniatures for the command teams. I plan to increase this squad due to infantry, but it will be later.

This is the last Saturday of the event and I want to thank my curator, Michael, for his patience, attentiveness, and the subtle English humor that he demonstrated in his correspondence. Thank you, Michael, it was a great communication, you are a wonderful painter and a great creator of the terrain.

8 cav = 80 pts
24 inf = 120 pts
total 200 its


Firstly Alex, it is I who should be thanking you!  Your enthusiasm and ingenious use of found objects have been an inspiration to many of us this winter.  I have thoroughly enjoyed our correspondence and look forward to following your progress through your blog.  A lovely finally submission and another 200 points to your already impressive tally.  Bravo Sir! 

From PeteF: Various Command Stands, ECW Shot and a Shapeways NCO (110 points)

For submission 18 - which may be my last of the challenge - I tied up some loose ends. 

First was a Napoleonic Russian General and drummer which I made into a command stand. I was hoping to get this submitted last week but my cat attacked the general's horse and broke its legs. I had to use greenstuff and do some drilling - hopefully it's not too visible.

Next is a 3D printed 30 years war NCO from Shapeways. This cost nearly 5 bucks excluding shipping but I wanted to see what the state of the art was as an experiment. The surface is quite bumpy - there is a resin that comes out smoother that wasn't available for this particular model and does cost a bit more. Verdict: Shapeways won't be displacing the existing manufacturers and artisans just yet - although the figure would work fine as a game piece.

By December this year I am hoping to have both sides painted up for Wetzel's Mill - a battle in the AWI southern campaign shortly after Cowpens. These are a few command figures and stands cobbled together from some Perry metals and Warlord sprues that I bought as a job lot online. The Banstre Tarleton figure is the Warlord mounted general that comes on the artillery sprue with a Washington's guard head from the Continental Infantry sprue.

Finally I completed some more mostly dressed in green shot for a Pikeman's Lament army that will be completed sometime in Challenge XV.  These are from Warlord's King & Country set. 

4 Mounted (3 Warlord Plastic 1 Warlord Metal)
14 Foot (1 Warlord Metal, 1 Shapeways Resin, 3 Perry Metal, 9 Warlord Plastic)

110 points


Thank you for this Pete, a lovely post and nothing to taxing for my addled brain, points wise.  I was interested to hear about the 3D printed miniature, clearly the way things are going, but somewhat heartened to hear that we are not there yet.  Another 110 points to the tally, but can you finish the last remnants that you have on the painting table by Tuesday?

So it's goodnight from me...

... and it's goodnight from him.
My final scheduled posting as a fully fledged minion and I just wanted to say a huge thank you to my allotted challengers who have kept me entertained with such wonderful work over the recent weeks.  I was so lucky to have such a diverse bunch of styles and periods to work with and have throughly enjoyed our, all too brief, correspondence - gentlemen it has been a pleasure!

So for one final time, this year at least, let's enjoy the Saturday Showcase!

From: SanderS - The Grand Finale Part I (127 points)


These being the last few days of Challenge VIII, I am desperately trying to gain my points target of 1000 points. To do so I have painted up two vehicles and some Indian Mutiny figures.

Let's start with the vehicles. First up is the last of my GI Joe Armadillo's.I had 3 of them printed and while I painted the first two of them in the clean canon pint scheme, I also wanted to have one in a more gritty and stowage endowed version. So therefore I painted one up as a desert vehicle. Sadly I am lacking decals for it so those have to wait, but it is otherwise finished.

The next vehicle is an 1:72 Reviresco WW1 vehicle, it is meant as a sort of proto LRDG vehicle for the Egyptian Expeditionary Force or the one functioning in Africa during the Great War. The load is left separate and I misplaced the driver figure so will have to source  a new one. I am very happy with this little piece.

Next up are 20 Mutineers from the Indian Mutiny era made by Mutineer Miniatures, how many times can one include the word Mutineer in one sentence eh? ;-)

These depict the Mutineers of the middle period of the conflict where most uniforms and equipment have been discarded but not everything yet. I have some units of early Mutiny rebels in uniforms in cue, but those will not be done during this Challenge. I have another project going for next week.

So that pretty much sums up my last regular Friday post, so let's look at the points.
- 1 vehicle in 1:72 scale is 12 points
- 1 vehicle in 28mm is 15 points
- 20 Indian Mutiny figures is 100 points thus totalling 127 points.


Excellent work Sander! It's great to see another addition to your GI Joe force. The dessert colour actually works very nicely for these models. As cool as the Armadillo is I must say that the Reviresco jalopy takes the prize. I particularly like the stowage and arid groundwork. Finally, the Mutineers are terrific. Those sculpts are so characterful and your brushwork has really made them bloom. The officer in the looted jacket is especially eye-catching. A wonderful collection of miniatures!

From MilesR: Sectional Terrain Squares (710 points)

I've had a never ending search to find / build the "right" sectional terrain and think I may have finally stumbled onto the answer via Sally 4th's innovative Terra-Formers terrain system.  I backed their kickstarter and received enough squares to build a 7x4 table of 1 ft sq sections.  I also custom made 2, 2'x1' sections just to see how they might work.

These will be used for games the require a 6x4 footprint so there are some extras and more will be added to the inventory.  These are also really easy to expand and add one or two squares each weekend.

 The dots on the sides of each sections are magnets that are used to hold the pieces together.  These are fairly strong rare earth magnets and keeping track of the polarity was harder than you think.
 The bridge is a simple laser cut model and is removable - you may see a more elaborate one by the end of this challenge..
On a whim, I made one of the hill sections a crypt entrance - it's one demonstration of how flexible the system is.
 The shore line came out nicely
The road sections were thrown together without a lot of planning - hence the one section off on  it's own.  I used a heat gun to melt the EPS foam to create the depression and then used flexible caulking for the road surface.
The river sections are nice and the resin cured really well.

 Each section is 8 part laster cut frame that you put EPS foam inside.  I reinforced my frames with plywood strips which really strengthen them (they survive a 6 foot drop rest) and allow me to used the 1" thick foam I had on hand.  You really don't need to reinforce the sections if your not going to transport these things back and forth to conventions.  Once the frame is built attache the magnets with super glues and your good to go.
 A shot of the crypt entrance - it was a lot of fun to build.
A river section.  I used styrene plastic for the river base.  The ground texture is a form of tile grout that I mix up that stays flexible (doesn't crack with stress but dries rock hard.  I can stand in a tile and not damage the foam.  Once the grout mix dries, paint light brown and add ground flocking.

Here's a picture of one of the two 1x2ft sections I custom made being glued up in my shop.  I tired to make a couple 1 ft square sections also but didn't get them perfectly square so can't really use them.


This is a tough one, the "legal" interpretation of the rules implies I should compare cubic inches.  The 6x6x6 terrain cube for 20 points equates to  218 cubic inches and .0926 points per cubic inch 20 divided by 216).  Well need to remember the latter number.

Now lets figure out the volume of each type of section:

Flat / road / river 2 x 12 x 12 = 288 cubic inches
Shore line 1.5 x 12 x 12 = 216 cubic inches
Hill 3 x 12 x12 = 432 cubic inches

Inventory (32, 1 ft sections)
Flat / Road: 14 x 288 = 4,032
River:          7 x 288 = 2, 016
Shore:          4 x 216 = 864
Hills:          7 x 432 = 3,024
Total:          9,936 cubic inches

Now take the sum total of 9,936 cubic inches and multiply it time the .0926 points per cubic inch and the product is 922 points.

That feels a bit high to me so we could dispense with the maths (I actually shuddered while typing that last phrase) and go with a much simpler scoring mechanism of simple and complete sections.

Simple Sections (flats, roads, simple hills) get 20 points each and complex sections (rivers, shores, complex hills w/carve rocks and the crypt) get 25

Simple sections 18 x 20 = 360 points
Complex sections 14 x 25 = 350 points
Total: 710points

I'll leave it to the powers that be to determine the appropriate score.  I really happy with how these turned out and look forward to adding more to the collection.


Wowzers! That is an absolutely amazing terrain setup Miles. I love the modularity of the system, especially the use of rare earth magnets to keep it all snug and aligned. I'm curious, how long did it take you to build all the sections pictured here? It seems that once you had your process established then things rattled along at a brisk pace. A very cool project and one that you'll reap the benefits from in your upcoming convention travels. Brilliant work. 

The math was starting to reduce my brain to mush (a clever tactic) so I will concur with your Plan B point estimate of 710 points. In any case, an amazing terrain bomb.