Tuesday, 17 January 2017

From Curt: Miliciana from 'Columna Durruti' and AAC-1937 (20 Points)

I'm almost embarrassed to present this submission in light of the heavy artillery booming around these parts. It seems a bit of a damp squib in comparison, but progress is progress, so here goes.

This past summer saw the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, and this autumn marked when Republican Madrid held fast against Franco's Nationalist forces. 

A significant amount of credit for the city's resistance was due to the arrival of reinforcements from Barcelona led by a charismatic anarchist by the name of Jose Durruti. His force, known as the 'Durutti's Column' became famous for its assistance in fending off Franco's hardened Moroccan professionals. The anarchists took particularly heavy casualties, including Durruti himself, fighting in the Casa de Campo (Madrid's largest park).

Durruti, in car crudely marked with 'C.N.T.', with his column heading west in the autumn of 1936.

Durruti's ad hoc column of Republican fighters on the move.

Durruti's death is still shrouded in controversy. Some say he was killed by enemy fire, while others contend he was a victim of friendly fire.  A few go so far as to say he was killed by Soviet-led Communists who saw him as a threat to their leadership within the Republican cause.

So, seen here is a miliciana standard bearer, wearing the distinctive blue workers overalls (el mono azul), giving the Republican clenched-fist salute and holding aloft an anarchist flag. The flag is emblazoned with 'Columna Durruti' and the acronyms of the two largest anarchist workers militias, the C.N.T and the F.A.I.

The figure is from the Empress Miniatures' range and the banner is from Flags of War.

Behind her is a AAC-1937 Chevrolet armoured car. This vehicle is often mistaken for a Soviet BA-3/6, but in fact was built in Valencia, using a Chevy 6x4 chassis as a basis. This one is armed with a hull machine gun along with a 37mm gun with a coaxial MG. It saw service in the later part of the civil war.

Many of these vehicles were captured by the Nationalists, or confiscated by the French during the Republicans' final retreat into exile. Oddly enough, many would see the end of their active service as German armoured cars on the Eastern Front.

This vehicle is, again, from Empress Miniatures. A nice, simple and clean kit. I've given it a fairly basic paint job in dark olive green, which seemed to be a relatively common colour  for vehicles at the time. It has 'U.H.P.' on the upper hull, denoting it's crew as supporters of the Uníos Hermanos Proletarios (United Brothers of the Proletariat) a socialist workers organization, part of the alphabet soup of socialist-anarcho-sydicalist trade unions that were (and still are) popular in and around Barcelona. 

There you have it! Thanks for visiting and thanks to Team Tuesday for letting me piggyback with you folks today. 

Alan and Paul: 'What's that, Master? You have a submission to publish? At once Master, at once!

I am really enjoying seeing your SCW figures, Curt. I really admire your painting style, especially the way you achieve contrasts that make the figures 'pop', and the basing helps to achieve this as well. Excellent armoured car as well, and thanks for providing the fascinating historical context. And there was me thinking the Durruti Column were a post-punk band from Manchester...

From AledC - Even More Arab Spearmen, even a dead one! (65 points)

Hello, everyone! Only a short post from me today, it's too hot at the moment to do much beyond sit in front of a fan with a zooper dooper.

Sorry for the poor photography, the lighting situation isn't great
This week I have the last batch of Arabs for my first unit, the blue unit. As I mentioned last week, somewhere in that wall of text that I'm sure no one read, I plan on differentiating my units of spearmen by use of colour on their shields. This unit has been getting the attention of Vallejo Magic Blue, a wonderfully bright paint. I plan to do the other two units with green and yellow which will hopefully be nice and eye catching.

The casualty marker is one of the fantastic Perry Miniature sculpts of Crusade period Arab casualties. I have painted him to match the rest of the troops, with the major colour being the cream/bone, but I couldn't help myself taking advantage of some of the extra details the Perry's include to make him stand out a bit. The shield is from the Gripping Beast Arab Heavy Cavalry box set and I felt it made the marker a bit more special and stand-outish than the standard fellow.

I do plan on taking a break from the spearmen blocks though for the next few weeks by painting, instead, my unit of archers. I hope these will paint up quickly, I just have to wait for the temperature to drop a bit so my can of spray primer actually works.

The Blue Unit in all it glory

Well, that's it from me this week. Hope to be back again next week too but we'll see.


Alan and Paul: I like the use of casualty bases as markers - definitely something I want to do more of. This is growing into a great looking army, which will no doubt crush me, if my recent games against you are anything to go by. I really like the contrast between the bases and the spearmen's tunics, and the overall look of this large unit is very impressive.

From BrendonW - Perry Plastic Knights of Beer and Bacon (70 points)

7 x 28mm Knights. Perry Miniatures Plastic.

More heavy cavalry for my collection ready to defend the values of Beer and Bacon.

Not much effort made for the background. Just a boring old cutting mat. I will try and improve on that for the next submission.

Cheers all and enjoy your painting.

Alan and Paul: Those Perry WOTR knights are lovely figures, and you have done them proud. The striping on the lances contrasts nicely with their armour, and ties the unit together. 70 points for you, good sir.

From RusselG - First Post (194 points)

Hello everyone,

This is my first time posting and taking part in the painting challenge. I am enjoying seeing the contributions from all the participants and I hope to reach my target of 400 points.

It has been a struggle to get as much painting time as i had hoped due to a few problems, but I am glad to say I have finished the first batch of miniatures just before the deadline.

The following photos show my Critical Mass Arc recon troopers, all from the company of the same name, and 3 transports I think I bought from Antenocities workshop but no longer appear on the website.

Apologies for the poor pictures, turns out iPhone camera is not as good as they think it is.

For the purposes of the total there are 88 infantry and 3 vehicles in 15mm.

Bye for now, and good luck fellow challengers.

Alan and Paul: What a great first Challenge entry! Well done for getting in before the deadline, and for doing it in such style. The colours and weathering on the vehicles and infantry armour is terrific. What rules are these for? I'm hoping we will see more of this army, judging by what's lurking in the background of the last photo...

From BenF - It's highlanders laddie, the Campbells are coming (48 Points)

Well, the weather is still sweltering here just north of Sydney, Australia, but despite the rolling heatwaves I've managed to get some painting done. These are the first of my major project for 2017, American Revolutionary War era British and Patriot forces for Sharp Practice 2. While my force will be designed around the Philadelphia campaign of 1777 (Including the battles of Brandywine, Paoli, White Horse Tavern, and Germantown), my interest in the period was piqued by reading Bernard Cornwell's 'The Fort'. This book is based around the surprising victory at Penobscot Bay and Bagaduce of a tiny British force under Brigadier Francis MacLean in 1777. 

The narrative follows a number of characters, including the young John Moore who commands a scratch skirmish company tasked with defending Fort George and the town of Bagaduce (now Castine, Maine) against Patriot Massachusetts Militia and Continental Marines. The British forces in this battle were drawn from the 74th (Highland) Regiment of Foot and the 82nd (Duke of Hamilton's) Regiment - both drawn from Scotland. I wanted to paint up Moore as a Leader for my Sharp Practice force and a couple of units of skirmishing Scots. 

Now, all good historical gamers know the value of research. Moore served in the 82nd, which I discovered was not a 'kilted' Highland regiment, but was instead a lowland regiment equipped as regular British troops. Unfortunately I discovered this only after purchasing some of the lovely Perry and Kings Mountain highland figures. So, these are all painted up NOT as Moore's skirmishers, but instead as men from the 74th Regiment.

So, below we have two officers, one a line company man and one a flank officer with a rifle. In the novel, Brigadier MacLean comments on the prevalence of officers called Campbell in the 74th, so for my SP2 games, these officers have been dubbed Archie and Angus Campbell  (no relation). 

It just wouldn't be right to paint up highlanders without having a crack at a piper, so I decided to do one of them as well. These Perry figures are lovely a sculpts. This was also my first crack at tartan, and I followed Giles Allison of Tarleton's Quarter's excellent tutorial on how to paint government sett, the standard AWI tartan.  

Finally, the chaps who will actually do most of the fighting, six hat company men serving as a skirmish group.  I painted the officer's tunics in a bright scarlet, and the men's in a more faded brick red. Apparently at Breeds Hill, the Patriots aimed for the brighter tunics through the smoke, knowing that only officers would be wearing such fine quality material. I'll be painting up Moore and his skirmishers in the correct lowland uniforms, along with a two groups of 74th hatmen in line formation for good old Angus Campbell to command  in the game.

As I mentioned at the outset, my goal with this challenge has been to speed up my painting without losing too much of the quality. I completed this lot using a basecoat/wash/highlight method, and with the exceptions of the eyes (on some of the figures -the piper particularly) and flesh, I'm very happy with the result. My plan from now on is to paint the faces using my older technique of layering, and then paint everything else using the much faster wash/highlight method. For a glacially slow painter, I'm very happy to have taken this unit from bare metal to finished figure in one week.

For the basing, I went for a rather bleak, Autumnal look, which for me works for the battles around Philadelphia and in New England in 1777 and 1779.

I've actually played a few games of Sharp Practice 2 this past week, using my Peninsular war kit. I've noticed a few odds and sods which my forces could benefit from, so next week's  entry will be a mixed bag of Napoleonic Peninsular Brits, French, and civilians.

Well, that lot should be a couple more points towards my goal. Also, if possible, could these be added as an entry for me to the Sharp Practice side challenge?

Alan and Paul: Coincidentally, I am re-reading Bernard Cornwell's 'The Fort' at the moment. Great book - one of Cornwell's best, in my view. Wonderful work on these challenging figures. I think you have nailed the wash and highlight approach - if you can produce figures of this standard at a pace you are happy with, you are doing very well. Congratulations on the dicing around the cap bands, and great effort on the dreaded tartan. The leaves on the bases are a very nice finishing touch. That's 45 points for the figures, with a couple extra for the tartan.

From GregB: Warmaster Halberdiers, Crossbowmen and Knights (60 points)

Empire troops from GW's Warmaster game

My second submission today is a kind of after-effect from my earlier one.  Inspired by the fantasy stuff from Iannick and Jamie, I went digging into my horde for some fantasy figures of my own.  There was not a lot to find, other than the Empire Engineers in my first post earlier today. The overall interest in fantasy among our group has been on the wane for many years, so there is not much fantasy stuff among my hobby hoardings.  But I did make one exciting discovery of a long-lost "I'll get to this next week project" - Warmaster!

Remember these fantastic rules?

Crossbow regiment in front, Halberdiers in the middle, and the Knights at the back (will counter-charge when these lads are run over...)

Yes, Warmaster, GW's ridiculously fantastic set of macro-level fantasy combat rules.  Remember Warmaster? The rules alone were fantastic, serving as the inspiration/basis for many subsequent sets of rules to follow.  But it was more than great rules. I also recall the figures - 10 to 12mm collections - that GW released to support these rules were also just tremendous. They had lots of character and variety. Warmaster was a lot of fun and there were many games played among our group back in its time.

I just loved the sculpts GW released to support this game...they captured the setting perfectly, with tons of variety and character - a (rare) example of GW getting something right

Great rules, and great figures...sounds like a recipe for success, right? Enter #lolGW. Warmaster was around for several years, but ultimately succumbed to GW's gold-into-coal black touch along with the rest of what were then called "specialist" games.  The prices for the models entered the stratosphere, so they didn't sell, so GW cancelled the game as it wouldn't sell.

Really basic paint job on these Knights - hope to get more colourful and less grim with the subsequent units

When Warmaster first came out, I collected and painted a small Empire force. In 2010, I resolved to re-paint it up to a higher standard, and re-base some of the models. This effort lasted through some Knights and some characters and artillery pieces, but not much more. Back into storage they went! Meanwhile, GW killed off the Specialist games.  So many Warmaster units I had hoped to collect - Kislev, or the super neat figures representing Araby! I settled for grabbing a few more units from Ebay (and have purchased a few more here and there since then) but in classic wargamer fashion, I have hardly touched the models. We moved to a new house, but these figures stayed in the box, gathering dust, or still in their blister packs, with the plastic turning yellow :)

My updated Empire forces, with these new units added...
Having encountered this little stash of models once again last week, I figured it's the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge - when would be a better time to take another crack at this?  So I dove in, and have been sawing away with the brushes for several days. I painted a unit of halberdiers and a unit crossbowmen, a did a touch up on an old unit of Knights. I have also spent some time re-basing models I had already touched up, so I can have a sense of coherency among figures which have a seven-to-ten-year interval between painting!

The Knights take their place...and a wizard is on hand
That Crossbow regiment is a little lonely - will need at least one more for the basic Empire force requirements
Empire hero on a griffon - he'll finally have a force to command after almost 10 years!
Various heroes and officers, ready to lead the Empire army to battle!

This submission includes 60 foot models and 12 mounted models in 10mm.  However, the Knights were a touch-up job, not a real paint job and don't count. This submission should score 60 points.

Another five or six regiments and this will be a fine 2,000 point Empire force, fit for a good-sized game of Warmaster with the group...

See you next week

Alan and Paul: It is great to see neglected armies finally getting some paint love thanks to the Challenge. Gosh these are nice, and yet another indictment of GW's kamikaze approach to supporting their products. 60 points to you sir!

From JamesL: Tractors true love and friends, and something completely different (187 points)

I've recently had a few days off work which has enabled me to get some good headway in the painting queue. This time around I present the Tractors True Love, the 88mm Flak/ATG from Warlord Games, that will be towed by the Sdkfz 7 I presented previously, and 21 infantry that make up my Bolt Action (and Chain of Command) army. And for something completely different, I've also included 7 of the 35mm scale Jokers Crew from the Knights Models range for their Batman Miniatures game.

The gun is 28mm scale with 6 crew, painted with predominantly Vallejo paints and Army Painter wash. I went for a grey scheme rather than Dunkelgelb (yellow) as I wanted it to blend in a little better with the field grey infantry that will make up the rest of my force.

The infantry, all Warlord figures from their excellent German Grenadiers box, comprise 3 squads, two Heer infantry and one Waffen SS in Oak Leaf camo. This was my first crack at painting Oak Leaf, or any SS camo scheme for that matter and I'm fairly pleased with the results.

5 Strafbattalion (Penal Unit) and Leutnant

8 Heer Grenadiers 

8 Waffen SS in Oak Leaf 

The Joker Crew is a real departure for me, both for being 35mm and the genre. I mainly paint historical or fantasy, so painting a guy in a giant Panda suit holding an assault rifle provided endless amusement. The BMG itself is a surprisingly tactical game, and although I'm not usually a DC comics fan I have enjoyed using these guys in their first outing the other night. 

Joker,Harley Quinn and the Cosplay Crew...Pandas with assault rifles,what's not to love ?! 

The Eyeball guy gets a bonus if he focuses fire on a single target...given he only has one eye and all.....

I'll leave it to the minions to decide the points value of 35mm figures :-), but this is 27 figs at 28mm, a 28mm arty piece and 7 at 35mm.

Alan And Paul: A panda with an assault rifle? That's taking Open Carry to surreal new levels (although Open Carry is pretty surreal already). But I do support the right to arm bears (thank you!) I worry a bit about the eyeball guy's depth perception... Nice entry James! The tooled up cosplay crew is cool, but the 88 is my favourite. An impressive looking beast, and I love the basing. I've given the cosplayers 6 points each to reflect the larger scale.