Saturday, 7 January 2017

From MichaelA - Hello Sailor (20 Points)

I have been beavering away since the start of the Challenge on a series of miniatures for the first bonus round, but felt that I needed to register some points in the Challenge proper before the cut was made.  To that end I have set about these rather nice Paul Hicks sculpts with lashings of blue paint.

These are from ‘Empress Miniatures’ New Zealand Wars range representing Royal Naval command and personalities.  They are, as with my previous experience of this range, nicely cast and have been languishing in the lead pile for far too long. 

Before I was once again seduced by the bonus rounds, I was hoping to use this year’s challenge to find a way back to my beloved Victorian era and these would certainly be a step in the right direction.  Alas it would seem that I have already been distracted, but I am hopeful to add to my Crimean War and Indian Mutiny collections before the end of proceedings – time will tell if I have the stamina and willpower to achieve my goal.


Beautiful work, Mr. Awdry and welcome about this year's voyage! 

I've not seen these before and they are quite the treat, especially with your modest 'lashing' of paint. :)  I particularly like the fellow with the grey sideburns, top hat and sword. He doesn't look like he would put up with much guff. 

20 Points for your opening remarks Michael. I look forward to your upcoming Crimean and Indian Mutiny efforts.

From ByronM: 28mm Napoleoinic French Dragoons (120 points)

Let me preface this whole entry with the statement....  I HATE HORSES!  Both in real life and in miniatures. 

In real life I have never understood why after the invention of motorcycles people would ever choose to ride something with 1 horsepower when they can have something with 150 horsepower, I mean the choice is obvious.   
I mean really, is there even a choice as to which is better to ride?
150+ HP and pure sex on wheels, or 1 HP and smells like manure....
In miniature, painting horses intimidates me as they are much like painting human flesh, just a lot more of it.  It is really hard to get right, insanely easy to screw up, and everyone will notice and point out when it isn't right.  Therefore I really try to avoid painting horses if at all possible.

I have however needed to get a unit of cavalry done for my (very slowly) growing 28mm French Napoleonic force for a while now, and this unit got primed for last years challenge and then set aside as I just didn't want to deal with them.  This year I decided I better get to them sooner rather than later or they would once again roll over to the next years challenge.

Theses are all the plastic 28mm Perry Miniatures Dragoons with a Flag Dude banner.  Knowing that I disliked the horses, I started with them.  Having read that the Dragoons were the bottom of the Cavalry types (having started as infantry being trained as cavalry) and therefore very often had to deal with any mounts they obtain rather than being able to count on standard or uniform mounts for a regiment, I decided to make the unit up of as many different types of horses as I could.  Not knowing anything about horses though I had to go looking to find out what kinds and colours they did have.

 After finding out about Bays, Palominos, Chestnuts, Greys, and more, I got to work.  Then I found out about facial markings and socks.  Did I mention, I hate horses?  Anyway, after far too long on the painting table, I came out with the following which I am actually OK with.  Which is fairly uncommon for me, as I tend to think of 80% of the stuff I paint as crap, but despite my dislike for the animals and painting them, I am actually OK with how these look.

Done with the horses and basing, it was time to move onto the Dragoons themselves.  Which led to another love/hate issue.  I really love the Napoleonic era and the games it produces, and I really love the figures when completed, BUT could they not have made simpler uniforms!!!!  Jackets one colour, piping another, facing another, every unit having little modifications to the standard, ARRRRRGGGGG. 

The Dragoons traditionally had a green jacket with scarlet facing, white gloves, and wore a gold helmet with a black mane.  Several units had slightly different piping around the facings or cuffs.

I am very sure I did some things wrong with the colours, for example I found 2 sites that said grey pants, then later found several others that all said a light tan or beige pant was the standard.  However, at this point they look OK on the table as a unit and that is how they are going to stay that way.  I am sure I will get slammed for not being historically accurate with them at some point.

Minor issues aside, while I disliked painting the project, I am actually OK with the results close up, and I am very happy with how they look on the tabletop.  Which is what Napoleonics are all about, tabletop effect, and that they have. 

So one full unit of 12 Dragoons based and ready for some games.  That should net me 120 points for my total.  


Beautiful work Byron. These Dragoons look tremendous! Your whining aside, I think you've done a terrific job on your horses, troopers and groundwork. I especially like the blending and definition on the horses -  really lovely stuff there. I like this box of Perry plastics - the figures produce such wonderful looking units all of which just cries out to be painted and enjoyed.

'Simple uniforms' and 'Napoleonic Period' are two completely divergent concepts, Byron. You have to come to terms with that or move onto something like Necrons. ;) The entire reason I collect and paint Napoleonics is the completely mental uniforms. Next to Italian Wars and Samurai, I don't know anything that can beat Napoleonics for variation and colour.

121 well-earned points for you Mr. M; including a little extra for the proud Eagle and it's banner. I look forward to seeing these on the tabletop soon. Great job.

From DavidB: MERCS Texico (45 Points)

With things slowing up, I've been getting more time to sit at my desk. I honestly have been painting since the kick-off, but my focus has been constantly changing.

Above are two Marshall minis for MegaCon Games MERCS.

The masked man is a metal model while the other is a version of Walker, Texas Ranger. The Chuck Norris figure was from the Recon kickstarter, I didn't participate, but Ebay and Spousal blessing allowed me to grab the games and exclusive minis.

This fellow is the Jaguar specialist. He is a Scifi knife fighter. He is entirely short distance and his war club is an energy weapon that can shoot in close range unless he is actively swinging at someone. Think electric chair meet taser!

This fellow is a demo specialist and is equipped with a double barrel shotgun and explosives.

He is also close quarters 

The Texico heavy has an impressive rate of fire that uses a template to clear sections. He has surprising short range.

I find that he is best used running slightly behind the rest.
Make sure to move friendlies before he rips!

The Assault Leader is long and medium range, but he has his own tactical K-9. In MERCS close combat is clunky as only two armored fellows with assualt rifles can make it. The Shepherd gives the Texico leader a huge break for H2H

I kept the paint simple on the K-9, but I may go back and do the harness all green and brown.

I have two snipers. The one to the left in dark grey is a metal model while the one in the tan blanket is plastic from the Kickstarter.

I prefer the metal models, but the plastic is pretty good.

MERCS is a fast paced brutal skirmish that rewards tactics. You have to eat through your opponents armor AND wounds.

Every Megacorp has a unique style. Texico uses speed and targeting. Texico bounds, lays traps, and gets a bonus if more than one is shooting at the same target. They don't have Monkey wrench specialists to fix armor or Medics to fix MERCS. 

MERCS 2.0 allegedly has given every faction 10 specialists including boosters, Monkey wrenches, and medics. You can also take more than 5 models. I rather like the old rules for 5 man teams. A sniper is great, and the brawler is cool too, but there are missions where either or both would be a liability. 

Still, the Marshall and Jaguar are really cool and my Texico crew has access to Chuck they win! ;) Texico is an Energy Megacon and KemVar is kicking their bottom line. Texico lost the Panama Canal to them. Texico rules the Southwest through Mexico.Texico uses Cowboys and Indians! ;)

The Jaguar is my first native for the side-duel. 


Beautiful work David. I've never tried MERCS but you've finally worn me down after these past few years with great entries like this and I think I'll have to give it a whirl. 

These figures have tons of character, but if I had to choose I have to say that I'd go with the K9 unit and the two seated snipers - I have a soft-spot for any dog-themed figures and the camouflage cloak on the one sniper is terrific. I also like that you included the associated game card with each figure, nice touch that.

45 Points for you, David. Well done Mr. Thursday!

From JamieM - Dark Elf Executioners (151 Points)

It's great to be back in the AHPC and I realised in past challenges that the key is getting something quickly done first..... so I completely ignored my own advice and did a big unit in one go instead....!  Hence it's taken me nearly three weeks to make my submission but the lure of the challenge has had me painting far more than I would have done previously.

But enough of my silliness, my first post consists of 30 Dark Elves, specifically Executioners.

Dark Elves are generally the bad guys and it's no exception with this lot.  These are the chaps who perform all sorts of horrible executions of the Dark Elves enemies, usually involving the ridiculously large double handed swords that they carry.

As you can see, they take being scary to another level by wearing skull faced helms.  I decided to paint these in a bone scheme to serve as lacquered armour.  The only one of these enigmatic fellows who doesn't wear such a helm is the leader.... Is this because he is the only one allowed to speak for the unit?  Is it because he has killed enough enemies that he is allowed to show his face to allow his reputation to scare the enemy?  Or is it because whilst clipping them off the sprue one helmet fell on the floor and no amount of crawling around on my hands and knees searching and cursing could find it?  I guess we'll never know....

I went with a relatively simple scheme of silver, red and gold to keep the focus on the helms and huge swords.

With regards to rules, we've started playing Age of Sigmar from Games Workshop...... a somewhat controversial game as, in a fashion all too familiar to GW watchers, they utterly botched the launch, succeeding in alienating almost all existing players and putting stupid rules in for some units (including such gems as "if you can get your opponent to look you in the eye during your turn, re-roll hits for your medusa" and "if you pretend to ride an imaginary horse during Magnus' turn, he gets +1 to hit").

Fortunately, they've rowed back from the silliness with further releases and it turns out there's a pretty fun game under it all.  It has it's problems, being essentially a first edition after all, but we're enjoying playing and it has our whole group energised and painting.  I've kept to square bases instead of the round bases GW now provide and recommend for the game as I'm old school and I can then more easily use these figures for other mass fantasy wargames rules.

I'm pleased with these guys and there are plenty more AoS figures to come if I can stick to my plan.  I've painted up the maximum sized unit because I then have options on how to use them.

These start off my challenge and my AoS side challenge, but sadly do absolutely nothing for my 30k challenge unless I can fool the opponents by claiming they are Night Lords..... Guys?


Jamie, it's wonderful to see your first entry for this year's Challenge - and well worth the wait, if I can say so.

I'm no fan of The Age of Sigmar (and no, I cannot be swayed), but nobody can deny that this is an amazing group of figures. The metalics are so smooth and the paintwork very clean - just lovely stuff. I had to laugh at reading about you losing the helmet for the leader and resorting to another type of head. I think there is a special intra-dimensional corner in my hobby room that contains a vast assortment of tiny and indispensable items (along with snapped crayons), from dozens of fury-inducing projects.  This all being said, I think the leader having an exposed head adds that je ne sais quoi to the unit.

So, 151 points with a pip extra for the nicely done banner. Beautiful figures aside, I'm sure 
Greg and the rest of the crew from the 30K Duel will squeal with glee upon seeing these. ;)

From PaulO: Woodlands Indians (33 Points)

The Christmas tree has been packed away, the guests have departed and the paint pots are finally open. It’s taken awhile, but I finally have something to share!

To start my challenge, here is a small six man unit of Woodland Indians and with all that war paint they are clearly looking to blood their Tomahawks! (a sod to paint but it gives a great effect).  They will join two Ranger units that I finished last year to complete my initial British FIW force.  These Mohawk Allies were a lot of fun to paint and I’ll be adding more to them in the future as Alan and I set off to progress a small campaign using Sharpe's Practice 2 this year.

Figs are from the Northstar "British Wilderness Force” boxed set and this modest 30 points (any bonus for the war paint perhaps? :-) gets me off the mark at last!


Noice! You've done some lovely work on these, Paul. I'm really going to have to look into getting some of these North Star castings as they look terrific, and to which you've done a cracking job on them, which doesn't help my resolve one bit. Damn your eyes, sir!

The warpaint on their faces is brilliant, especially the addition of the white which really contrasts nicely with the  red.  They are definitely a ferocious looking bunch. 

Well, it looks like DavidB has some competition on his hands.

33 points for you Paul, with a few extra for the excellent warpaint (though it's not quite the number you suggested in your note to me ;)). Well done! Now what's next?

From MilesR: Frostgrave Monsters, Taliban, LRDG, Bigger Monsters & Blood Bowl (435 Points)

A very eclectic set of subjects for this weeks posts - buckle up, this one gets a little confusing  First up, some more baddies for Frostgrave and my convention game (from left to right):

2 Frostgrave Wraith Knights (28mm metals from Northstar) - cleanly cast and very easy to paint

6 Mummies from the Reaper Mini's Bones line, also in 28mm.  These are the first human sized figures I've painted from the Bones line and I have to say they're just not the goods and no fun to paint at all.  Maybe it's because the flexibility of the casting material shows up more with thinner sculpts.  You can see some others in the background (upper right) that I doubt I'm going to paint.  If it's not fun why do it?

As you will further down in this post, the larger Bones sculpts are much better IMHO and you can't beat the price for the entire line - oh well live and learn.

 Next we have 26 Taliban figures plus a motorcycle,  These are 28mm figs from the Empress Miniatures lines and they are fantastic.  Empress is challenging the Perry's for number one in my fanboy book.
 Close up on 12 figures
 and then the other 12
 Close up up their "mechanized support"

 and another group shot, this time with the motorcycle on the left.  I'm sure you all agree having the cycle on the left side does make the group look completely different!
Next up a LRDG force in 28mm from the Perry's - 3 Jeeps and two gun trucks.

These were a blast to paint and like everything else in this post will be featured in one of the games I will be running at Historicon this year.

 I think the vehicles are cast by Blitzkreig Miniatures and they really were very easy to assemble and paint up
 Ok to be honest, I had planned these for the first bonus round, since I thought it was about "Vehicles".  Sadly Curt informed me that it's really about "armor" so I'm painting something else up tonight... Dohhhhh!!!!
I suppose next Curt will tell me there isn't either a North or a South round round.
 More Dungeon baddies in the form of 2 Frostgrave demons and three rather large models from Reaper Bones - an armored Troll and two Giant Scorpions
 The Frostgrave figs were given a very basic paint job but will be serviceable on the table top.
 I really like the Scorpions and may get a few more just because one really can't have too many of them.  Simple paint job but effective.
I spent a good bit of time on the Troll.  As I indicated earlier the soft plastic that the Bones are cast in doesn't really work all that well for smaller/ thinner models but holds up pretty well on larger ones.  I did replace the ax handle with a wooden dowel - I just couldn't get it to stay straight.
 These are a lot of fun to paint up.  I spent a little bit more time on the basing and used some Liquitex texture (black sand) for the ground cover and added a little more details.
 The Troll is pretty big - He'd be 60cm tall if he had better posture

An "action" shot with some 28mm scale US Rangers to give a better impression of the size o these figures.  It kind of look likes the plot from one of those awful SciFi Channel movies - thats just the feel I'm looking for in the upcoming con games.

I then took a painting break to play Blood Bowl with my son, but couldn't resist....

 Painting up the Orc's Blog Bowl team.  Rather than use the decals that come with the kit, I decided to hand paint the position names and uniform "numbers".  The decals just weren't "Orky" enough for me and, apparently, my painting penmanship is just that bad to look sufficiently "orky".
Close up of the Black Orcs - I went with hash marks from numbers rather than arabic numerals - these are Orcs, not Oxford deans.
The throwers

  Blitzers - I might tone down the yellow or add orange to make it look like flames....

 and finally, the linemen.  These are really fun miniatures to paint.
Some action shots about 3/4's the way through painting.  The constant transfer from the painting bench to the playing field did not make the painting process efficient but we've had a whole bunch of fun with the figures.

There seems to be a team that needs some pigment therapy....

This lot should net me a small total of 60 points, but I've had a great bunch of fun with them.

So that's all I got this week, which should push me over 1,000 points.  While I fell short in the "first to 1,000 points challenge" (well done AlexS!) at least I can take solace in knowing that I've met one of the Dux's criteria for success in life....


Holy Smokes! What an eclectic mob of miniature goodness! Absolutely fantastic stuff Miles.

Your Frostgrave baddies look very good. Too bad about your experience with the Bones line, I've not tried them myself but I've heard very similar opinions from many other people. It's too bad as they offer some nice figures and are very affordable. This all being said I really like these mummies with their rotting linen wrappings and nasty khopesh swords. 

I have these very same Taliban figures from Empress awaiting in the Lead Shed and I agree they are beautiful castings. Your's look terrific and you've done a great job on their basing as well (and that motorcycle team looks like it's right from some action movie).

The LRDG vehicles are probably my favourite from this post. Wow. I just love the rough and ready attitude of these vehicle teams and you've done a very good job with all of the crew, their weapons and heaps of stowage. Such iconic models.

More Frostgrave baddies? Check. Nicely done and I particularly like that huge ogre with his humungous axe. Shrek he is not.

And finally more Bloodbowl goodness. I've never played the game, but I heard it's a lot of fun, and I know (from reading his blog) that it was a Christmas break favourite for Miles and his son. These orks look the business, especially in their wonderfully vibrant blood red armour.

Again, wow, that is an impressive amount of hobby fun to have produced over a weeks time. Miles, you are a Machine!