Saturday, 17 January 2015

From Curt - 1/300 Mediterranean Renaissance Ships (30 Points)

A few weeks ago I saw a post on Thomas Foss’ ‘Skull & Crown’ blog where he was play-testing his draft rules and prototype models for Renaissance-period naval combat set in the Mediterranean (update: the rules are titled, 'Galleys, Guns and Glory'). I was blown away by his 1:300 scale wooden models and so contacted him to see if I could convince him to both be a sponsor to the Challenge and to let me get my grubby mits on some pre-production samples of his models. Of course, being a very gracious gentleman, he agreed to both and so I present here some samples for you to check out.

The ship models are ingeniously designed, with each ship, depending on its size, being created from 4 – 7 pieces of flat, laser-cut wood. The pieces are essentially assembled in layers, from bottom to top. While certainly not a perfect rendition of renaissance galleys they provide, in under 10 minutes assembly, a wonderful impression of those elegant vessels.

The 'Galley' and 'Fusta' models on their wood frame.
For this post I’ve assembled and painted three ships, the larger one in green and yellow is a Turkish ‘Galley’, the slightly smaller one in red is a Knights of Malta ‘Galliot’, while the little craft without the sails is called a ‘Fusta’ and serves as a small galley / dice-holder. (I don’t have a copy of the rules yet (subtle hint to Thomas) so I can’t tell you what the Fusta’s purpose is, but my hunch is that it’s used to track ship damage or perhaps morale on the larger ships. Anyway, it’s pretty darn cool.) 

A Turkish Galley
A Knights of Malta Galliot
A Fusta
Thomas was kind enough to provide me with some flags and awnings which you can see here. I understand there will also be ‘strips’ of bulwark art, but it is still in production and will be available later. With that being the case I just bodged a rough paintjob for the hulls. I have to admit that in my eagerness to get to grips on these that I forgot to properly sand the surfaces, so I apologize if the paintwork seems a bit rough.

I used .02 mm plastic rod to mock-up the rigging that seems to have worked out pretty well. At first I thought it wouldn’t be robust enough for gameplay, but now I think it may hold up alright (and imo it's much easier to work with than fiddling about with thread). 

To provide a sense of their size I’ve included a shot below of the Turkish Galley next to a 28mm SCW armoured car and corresponding figure. As you can see the Galley is quite a sizeable model. I understand that there is one class of ship that is even larger, the ‘Lanternas’, which, of course, I’m very keen to see.

The Galley next to some 28mm models
I was also provided with some round crew tokens (not shown here) but I’m thinking I might use small bases mounting 1/300 scale figures for a bit of fun.

Thomas has informed me that while the pricing has not yet been set, one can expect the ships to range in price from $10 – 25 (USD) which will also include crew markers, cannon smoke markers, a sheet of giclee printed flags, awnings and pennants (in a choice of Turkish, Venetian, Maltese, Papal States or Spanish colours) AND the larger ships will come with a ‘Fusta’ damage dice holder. With a typical force being around 3 to 6 ships it seems to me to be an affordable entry to a very characterful period. 

Thanks again to 'Skull & Crown' for these pre-production samples - they were a complete blast to work on. I wish you the very best in this new endeavour and I can assure you that you have my future business! 

Okay so for points, I’m thinking that the Turkish Galley is equivalent to a 28mm vehicle, the ‘Galliot’ to a 20mm vehicle and perhaps a few more points for the Fusta, so say 30 points total? We'll run with that.

Finally, for those who haven't voted for the 'Victorian' theme round please remember to head over to the theme gallery, enjoy the submissions and cast your votes for your favourites. As you can see below the race is very tight again this week, with only a few votes separating those in the top six positions.

Thanks for visiting!

From TamsinP - Salutesville's Finest (105 Points)

"If these are Salutesville's Finest, I'd hate to see their worst!"

For my 10th entry (10 entries in 6 weeks? Am I mad?) I present a bunch of 28mm cops for my Mob Wars project, along with their transport.

The Vehicles are from Blue Moon's "Highways and Byways" range and the crew figures are also Blue Moon.

I will be adding decals at some point. If you care to take a look at the WIP pics on my blog, you will see that the inside of the back of the panel van has been fully painted.

To prove the crew figures are painted to a similar level to the rest of the cops:

"That Tamsin's got to be mad painting us up so well, when we'll hardly be seen!"
A detachment from Dixon Precinct...

...joining the squad from Murch Precinct

Deputy Chief Campbell* thinks The Untouchables' Jimmy Malone is a pussy. "He brings a knife, you bring a heavy machine gun. That's the Salutesville way."

*Named in honour of the Snowlord, as he has his work cut out doing such an excellent job of policing the hoodlums of the Challenge Mob.

You may have guessed from the precinct names that the first 4 cops are from Dixon Miniatures with the last eight being from Pulp Figures.

The paving slab bases were sculpted by me from Milliput so that they'd fit in with my earlier Blue Moon cops.

Now, let us see:
2 vehicles at 15 points each;
4 crew figures at half-of-5 points each (is that right Curt?)
12 cops at 5 points each
one HMG - I'd say it's a little small to count as a crew served weapon, maybe 5 points?

That should give me 105 points, putting me ahead of Alan, but sadly still behind Ian.

From Curt:

Between the Victorian/Steampunk submissions and the work from Dave and Tamsin we're being treated to a wonderful dose of characterful coppers over the past few weeks. 

I love those stretch Paddy Wagons (heading RIGHT over to Blue Moon after this post...). They look almost like diecast models - are they resin or white metal Tamsin? The drivers/passengers are an excellent touch.

While the Murch castings are marvellous, it's great to see the Dixon range getting some love in this popular theme (I particularly like the portly cop with the scattergun). 

Ah, and Deputy Chief Campbell looks like a proper, dictatorial, bossy loudmouth - how especially suitable (Hmm, I wonder if I can get a speaking trumpet on ebay? I could use it to call out to Sarah to fetch me more coffee and treats while I'm working on the blog - I'm sure she'd appreciate that...).

Great work Tamsin! 

From TeemuL- 28mm Monsters from 'Mansions of Madness' (45 points)

These were my first choice to paint during the Challenge, because I knew they were rather quick to paint. There are not much details, they are smallish and the base practically needs to be plain black, so not much time needed for basing. I basecoated these white before the challenge, but for some reason I didn't remove the mold lines... They were not very bad and don't show from distance, but still they are there. Well, these are playing pieces, not showcase models, so I can live with that.

These models are from the board game Mansions of Madness (there was at least one maniac from that game already in this challenge). The game is set in the same environment, but smaller scale, than quite famous Arkham Horror - a horror co-operative game set in the H.P.Lovecraft's Cthulhu myth (you might guess what's coming during the bonus round). So there is little bit everything supernatural and terrible in the 1920s (or so) New England. Like these three zombies and a witch.

Cultists are regular opponents in the games, here are three of them with their Dark Young leader in front with a manic. What is a cult without a maniac anyway?

This Dark Young looks almost like a woof elf, doesn't he? I don't think I have any wood elfs, but if I someday have, I think I might use these colors (Waaagh! Flesh, Averland Sunset and Mournfang Brown), feel free to try by yourselves. Camera is doing some tricks here, the white basecoat does not show through that much in real life. Second layer could be useful (or black undercoat, if you like it).

For some reason the maniac looks like Number 6, might be just my imagination after watching the original series first time recently (I still have the final two episodes to watch).

 Here's a group photo for all of them.

The models are rather nice, but the details are quite soft and the plastic is not same as used for example by GW (at least I think so). This is softer. Even though they are not moving as a group on the game, but rather as random encounters, I wanted to have an unified look in them to get a feeling that they all are living in the same world. Almost by chance I happened to use a limited palette, which seemed to work very well together. Just dark green, dark yellow and some browns in addition to the flesh tones. I wanted to have rather dark look, so ended up using almost only the Citadel Base paints, no layers and minimal use of highlights and washes. Only exception is the witch, witches are usually quite eccentric people. aren't they? They don't mind what other people say about their clothes or hair color.

All in all, this lot looks a better than couple of other monsters I painted before the challenge, for example the cultists were painted in bright yellows and reds, which don't fit the horrific atmosphere very well.

These monsters can be used in the Arkham Horror as well, the monster tile can be slid in to the base and all the necessary information is visible through holes either from the top or the bottom. These bases are quite large, but if glued on a smaller base, at least the zombies can be used in any zombie game I think. Same goes for cultists, maniac and Dark Young. Nothing too futuristic probably, but otherwise they are quite general. The Witch can be used in many eras and professions, too.

From Curt:

Ah, these are really great Teemu. As I've mentioned before I have this game myself and I think you've really added a tremendous amount of fun to your future gameplay by having these nasty denizens so wonderfully painted.  The skin tone of the zombies is excellent and I like the high-contrast of their eyes. I hope we'll see some of the Heroes in a future submission (hint, hint...).

Well done!

From Anne & Sander - The Femme Fatal Duel

Dear Folks,

A Tale of Two Painters

Sander's Tale:

Finally we have reached the decisive moment in that neat little side duel between the lovely Missus O'Leary and myself. How did we get ourselves into this duel? Well simple: I have been following Anne's Antics with miniatures and her sidekicks Ray and Fran for some time now. In my mind I have always called them the Dynamite Trio.

Anne's painting work and more specially her brilliant female figures have been a staunch favourite of mine for quite some time. Upon hearing the news that I was allowed to enter the Hallowed Halls of the Challenge, I found myself challenging Anne to a Side Duel in which we both had to paint our version of the Archetypical Femme Fatale. Gracefully Anne accepted and the fun started.

What was I thinking when I put fort the Challenge? She's miles better at painting gorgeous skintones. Her palette is second to none and her basing and photographing qualities beyond reckoning... basically: I am done for!

The only way out of this predicament was thinking out of the box. So I started by trying to choose a unexpected figure. Your typical Femme Fatal is a jaw dropping beautiful woman in an equally handsome attire, the model I was going to choose most certainly was not... Ever since I visited the first Crisis Convention, I have treated myself to, at least, one Freebooter miniature, this has resulted in a smallish pile of very nice miniatures amongst which I found the perfect little lady for this occasion: Momma Cebada.

This miniature is not the most delicate figure out there but surely full of character and if her choppers will not get you into the next life her cooking most certainly will. I decided to choose a paint scheme that's pretty close to the original but with enough room for artistic license. The base is the regular scenic base included with the figure and I decided not to do anything fancy like including a scenic background. So without further ado I present to you the pictures of the results of my labours and my the deadliest Femme Fatale win!

Anne's Tale:

I am notorious for suddenly and publicly challenging people to Paint Duels. So when I logged onto Facebook and saw the challenge from Sander, I just couldn't say no.  

After picking up the gauntlet the search for a figure began. The obvious choice would have been a knockout scantily clad Babe carrying a big gun. However as I have painted rather a lot of those, I knew it would be easy. As this is a Challenge, I felt I should choose a figure that would push me as a painter.  As my greatest weakness is painting elaborate folds in clothing, I chose this figure.

She is a 28mm figure from Dark Sword and was sculpted by Tom Meier

Sander and I have had a wonderful time putting this together and we hope that you have fun participating in it.

The Poll

Curt has kindly agreed with putting up a poll for you all to vote in (see the right sidebar), so you can all help to decide which Femme Fatale you like best. The poll will be closed on Friday, January 23rd at midnight. The runner-up will sent his/ her mini to the winner.

Greetings from Anne and Sander

From RichardM - 28mm Renaissance Italian Shot and Crossbow (100 Points)

I am continuing my work on the Renaissance armies.

These two bases (done for Impetus) are generic Italian troops.  The shot are Foundry and the Crossbow are Old Glory.  When you consider the price of the Old Glory figures with the benefit of their Amy Card, this range is extra good.

With any luck these figures will make their debut at the Cancon weekend next weekend in Canberra.

Don't have too much time as I have 34 Landschnechts and a some extras to get done for next weekend as well - it will be a push.

From Curt:

Lovely work Richard! I really like the motley assortment of colours and poses you've put together here and can appreciate the work that goes into creating units like these. I find doing a set uniform pattern much easier than having to make each figure unique. 

Great job and best of luck in your upcoming gaming convention in Canberra (I look forward to seeing your upcoming Landschnechts)!