Thursday, 19 March 2015

From MarkO - Austrian Grenadiers (480 points)

Ok, right at the last here we go... four regiments of Austrian Grenadiers. Victrix models for a change, which do the job quite nicely. I painted them in eight facing colours, given Austrian Grenadiers were made up of companies banded together from multiple regiments.

Bit of a rush at the end, so I had to turn to that wargaming staple, the partner's hairdryer to speed up drying of the glue!

Speaking of which I really should say thank you to my smart beautiful partner who's been very understanding right through this challenge! And thanks so much to Curt for running the challenge - a spectacular effort, and to everyone else for all the encouraging comments and friendliness during my first time. Has made it very special!

I'll end with a few pics of my Austrian Army all together that I had time to take. All but four of the infantry regiments were painted during the challenge! 

A lot though not quite enough to see off Dave's Sudanese horde! I blame horrible Hungarian trouser braiding! But then that's what Napoleonics involves so can't complain! Well done Dave (assuming no one else has crept ahead at the end somehow!!). 

So long everyone! See you next year hopefully, though Napoleonic and other action will continue in the meantime through my Napoleonic blog and Hordes of other stuff blog!

From Curt: 

You are a powerhouse Mark! Holy cow, this is amazing. Such beautiful work and at such incredible volume. My hat's off to you!

(BTW, I have both an Austrian and Russian Napoleonic army awaiting paint. Care to give it a go? Really, it will only take you a couple months. Just sayin'... )

I love the last images of your Challenge total. You had to pan so far back - it's hard to see them all! Bonkers. I love it.

It's been a pleasure Mark!  Until next autumn.

From StefanoS - 28mm WWII British in Med Gear (40 Points)

Despite home happiness I managed to add some more figure to my (personal challenge).
These are  8 beautiful Artizan Design and Black Tree 28mm WWII British infantry, ready to fight in North Afrika, Greece or Italy.

Cheers from Italy

From Curt:

Excellent Stefano! It's great to get a last volley in from you before we close down shop.  I've always admired the WWII offerings from Artizan and Black Tree and I really like what you've done with them here. I especially like the mix of helmet colours and webbing - it gives them a real Med veteran look about them.

Well done!

From Evan&GrantH - D&D Miniatures (45 Points)

For our final entry, we decided to do little blast from the past and paint these 28mm Grenadier 1990 D & D miniatures. To tell whose miniatures are whose, Evan painted on a tile-look to the bases and Heather (our mum) had the grey bases. We got these miniatures from our uncle Douglas a few years ago. The priming, trimming/filing, and painting took a good 5 hours. 

Thank you so much for inviting us into your Challenge and see you next time!

Evan and Grant.  

From Curt:

Ah, it's great to see these miniatures from Doug done-up in style (and kept in the family no less)! 

I like the dungeon flagstone floor and the well-bloodied hand weapons. They look to be tough characters with a few adventures under their helmets. 

Well done and I look forward to seeing you two, AND your mum Heather, next time out. ;)

Warm regards,


From RichardC - Three Napoleons and are you Dim? (200 Points)

From Curt: Richard sent these in as four separate email entries but my poor head can't take much more for entries so Richard please forgive me for combining them into one.

Sleighbells in the Snow

Well, I’m coming to the end of my first Challenge, and am finally getting round to finishing off those little projects that have been eating away at what little time real life gives me to play with.

So here is what was originally going to be my Cold round entry – Im very glad I changed my mind as it turns out. This is the Perry range of 1812 figures, and includes Napoleon’s sleigh.I did paint one hardy chap in a sort of Santa outfit (I couldn't resist). All in all, it was fairly straightforward, but curses….. I ran out of pumice for the basing, and therefore, the bases are annoyingly visible. I also managed to lose the reins just as I was putting everything together. The trees were from a very nice chap on Fleabay, and the base, as usual, was from Warbases.

I managed to find a photo from a Russian Museum of the sleigh, which is actually reputed to have been Davout's rather than the Emperor's.


Roadside Assistance

Even an Emperor gets caught short on occasions. I bought the privvy from Ainsty Castings some time ago, but couldn't really find a use for it. It has now been ceremonially christened by Napoleon himself. The figures are from Warlord Games. I didn't use the Chasseur a Cheval escort figure, as he somewhat came a cropper during the preparation stage.

I can just hear the Mameluke coachman yelling "I'd leave a few minutes if I were you!"

Yes, it's yet another one of Napoleon. I do have other figures, but it just happens I like Napoleon.

Having a cat nap

Now Napoleon was famed for being able to fall asleep (or cat nap) even during the height of a battle. The Foundry figure of him napping with his foot resting on a drum has always been one of my favourites from this range. Here then is my version of it. We never had a definitive answer from Curt as to whether the hay cart counted as a vehicle or scenery, but I liked it so much, I've put it in this scene anyway. Although I do like the figure of Gourgaud from Perry metals, I prefer the original Officier d'Ordonnance from the Foundry set in his full dress. Sadly, I painted him many years ago, so the more recent, larger figure can be seen here (and a delight it was to paint).

Not only is the Emperor cat napping, but he's also the subject of a cat's attention - and no, I don't know if Napoleon was a cat lover. This moggy comes from Mirtilon, and I painted it to represent my ex girlfriend Meryl's somewhat feral cat, Claude (I really think that should have been spelt Clawed).

Curtgeld - Dim from A Clockwork Orange

Along with just about everything else this Challenge, I changed my mind about the Curtgeld. My original plan was to paint a certain Napoleonic cavalry officer, but then a visit to the master of the arcane at Awdry Towers changed everything. For once I was on the receiving end of a small plastic bag of lead.

Michael informed me that it comes from Crooked Dice set under the nom de guerre “Eavies”. They are, of course, based on Alex and his Droogs from Kubrick’s film of Anthony Burgess’s novel A Clockwork Orange”, released in 1972.

This anti-hero is Dim, played in the film by the late, great Warren Clarke. Fat, gormless, and favouring a bike chain as a weapon, much put upon by Alex, Dim finally has enough. To stop him escaping from the clutches of the police, Dim smashes a milk bottle across Alex’s face. Dim may well have acted out of a desire to stop Alex’s ultra-violence, but his real motive is much less heroic.

For those who can access this, check out the Droogs at 1:24, then check out Dim’s transformation. Dim’s motive is revenge. He becomes a policeman who extracts his own punishment on his former leader

It was a great figure to paint, and hopefully will stand next to Michael’s figure of Alex in Curt’s “trophy cabinet”. Those with good eyesight, or high res monitors, may just be able to spot a musical homage to one of my favourite bands, and their 5th album – also dating from 1972.

Now I must say something about the Challenge. I echo all of those who have praised Curt for the wonderful way in which he has run this mammoth undertaking. Not only has he managed to wrangle us into submitting our entries in an organised and efficient way, but he's also managed to paint some bloody superb figures at the same time - the Artful Dodger is high on my short-list for best figure of the Challenge. As I mentioned right at the start of the fun, I haven't picked up a brush in over seven years. I'd like to thank Curt and Mike Awdry for motivating me to start up again, and I would especially like to thank my fellow Challengers for their kind comments, their votes in the Bonus Rounds and, most of all for proving to me that the world of painters and wargamers is still one of best hobbies one can have!

Pip Pip!

From Curt:

Amazing work Richard! Those three Naploeon vignettes are absolutely brilliant. I think my favourite is the roadside stop - a beautiful carriage and a very funny scene.

Thanks so much for Dim! He will be a wonderful counterpoint to Michael's Alex. (I'm particularly impressed with the basework here!)

Thanks again Richard it was an absolute pleasure to have you with us and I'm delighted if the Challenge helped you get your brushes out again. I hope we see you with us next autumn!

From MilesR: A Last Gasp Napoleonic Naval Entry (30 Points)

 One last hurrah - I've been hinting at something Napoleonic and wanted to close out this year's fantastic Challenge with some 1/1200 ships from the Langton line.   For me, building and painting Langton's is one of my favorite hobby endeavors - they are both challenging and rewarding to complete.  I also wanted to do something that was inspired by Clint's fantastic play by blog naval game.

So with our further ado, may I present two Spanish Third Rates (74 guns) the San Leonardo (on the left) and the San Justo (on the right).  Both of these ships fought at Trafalgar and both managed to escape the debacle.  The inclusion of these two ships brings my total collection up to 48 of the 74 named ships that fought there in 1805.  Each year I get closer by 5-7 hulls.

Given the time constraints of today there is a just a "hint of rigging" and, accordingly, I hang my head in shame.

These ships have been lurking in the Challenge painting pile since December 10th and, to be honest, were hidden under a box until last week! My hobby area really needs a good cleaning.

I think this really last submission will put me over the top of the Naval challenge and might move me back into third or even a tie with Mr Millsy.

In terms of points, I'll leave that to Curt

Thanks again for a wonderful experience - both to Curt and his lovely bride for hosting this shin-dig and to all the participants who make the effort both inspiring just a plain damn @#$*%-load of fun.  Enjoy the summer, replenish the lead pile and buy new brushes - December will be upon us soon enough....

"SpreadSheet Challenge 2.0: This Time the Auto Calc if Off!"  Yes, that's very heady stuff.  Pure marketing genius if you ask me.

From Curt:

Lovely, lovely Napoleonic ships Miles. Beautiful work. Last time I scored them as 15 each so that's what I'll go with here. 

You're already in third so its up to Mr. Mills to reveal his final gambit.

From BrianB - The Long Goodbye (20 Points)

For my last entry into the Challenge I wanted to submit my entry fee. When I first read that the theme would be an antihero for the figure I immediately thought of a Film Noir hard boiled detective. Luckily I knew the perfect figure from the Reaper line. And what better way than to paint him up in grey scale just like the movies.

I had to break out all of my greys and off greys in my paint box but in the end I think he turned out pretty well for my first figure painted in a monochrome palette.

Since this is the very end I would like to say thanks to everyone who participated and who took the time to look at and comment on my posts. I had a lot of fun throughout and enjoyed everyone's many submissions. Also thank you very much to Curt for running the whole event. I really can't imagine the amount of work involved and thanks for having me.

I'm going to finish out with a picture of all of my submissions. In the span of the Challenge I easily passed the number of figures I painted in the entire previous year. I hope to see all of you again in next years Challenge!

From Curt:

Fantastic! Some of my favourite films are French crime noir so this is just awesome. I think you've done a brilliant job on him Brian. Of course the glowing cigarette is a stroke of genius. Thanks so much!

AND I love that final pic of your Challenge efforts. That's just terrific (and seeing your pennyfarthing in the back makes my smile even wider).

Until next time Brian!

From SimonM - The Gentleman Ghost, Chemo And Johann Kraus (20 Points)

These three plastic miniatures are made by “Wizkids” and are part of their “Heroclix” range of pre-painted figures. Once rebased I applied several thin layers of “Vallejo” White over The Gentleman Ghost in order to ensure a smooth(ish) covering all over his transparent sculpt. I then liberally washed the model with Pale Grey before dry-brushing it with more White. 

Chemo, who stands an impressive 70mm in height, was initially undercoated with “Vallejo” Heavy Green before being thoroughly washed with Green Shade. I wasn’t terribly happy with how this transparent acrylic dried out. So I dabbed a load of “Citadel” Thrakka Green over the towering mass of chemical by-products and this seemed to really help bring out all the swirling detail which was on the model. I was then going to dry-brush the behemoth with more “Vallejo” Heavy Green. But in the end thought that would ruin or at least cover a lot of model’s blotchiness, so I simply picked out the super-villain’s eyes with spots of Dark Vermillion.

Lastly this model of Johann Kraus from the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense was undercoated with “Vallejo” Heavy Brown before I picked out all his body armour with Heavy Sienna. Both areas were then washed with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. The disembodied ectoplasmic spirit’s head was then given a coat of “Vallejo” White before being washed with Pale Grey.

Finally I’ve quickly painted a large plastic stone gargoyle squatting upon a tombstone as an objective marker. 

From Curt:

Oh, I like these guys, a lot! The Gentleman Ghost is a fantastic model and I like your minimalist approach of using grey with a white highlight - very effective. Kraus is awesome with that freaky ectowhatever head of his. Nonetheless, my favourite has to be 'Chemo' with that fabulous green you've created - it really helps to convey his name!

Wonderful work Simon and congratulations on achieving your Challenge target!

From SeanS - A whole bunch of random stuff (77pts)

It seems fitting that I should submit my last entry very late in the Challenge and make myself late to go kick other adults in the crotch.

Here's the lot of them, glue for flock still drying.

Caesar Fantasy Goblins and lone Dwarf,

Caesar Numidians and Orion Khazars,

Reaper Dwarf Dain from the Learn to paint intermediate armor kit.

I'll try to get a shot of everything I've done on my blog tomorrow. Thanks again Curt, it's been great and you've been awesome as usual. Thanks to everyone for making this thing what it is. I'd gush more but I am now 17 seconds late for a class 30 minutes away.

From Curt:

Haha! I hope you slip into your class unnoticed Sean. :o)

A great final entry with lots of colour and variation to be sure. That being said I have to say that that dwarf is the dog's dangles. I love his beard and the whacky horns on his helmet. Brilliant stuff Sean!

See you next time!