March 2020 Might & Magic Painting Challenge

I thought it might be fun to do my own painting challenge, so in the spirit of being able to paint pretty much whatever the heck you want, I offer the March Might & Magic Painting Challenge.*

Rules of the Challenge

  • Post a beginning picture of what you intend to paint for the challenge.  It can be at any stage of work-in-progress, from still in the box to partially painted.  It is up to you.  If you don’t have a blog, you can send me a picture at the email listed on my About page or leave a comment on this page and we’ll figure it out.
  • I will do at least one mid-challenge progress report, which you can take part in or not as you see fit.  I’ll keep an eye on everyone’s sites, who I know is participating.  If I miss your picture you can drop me a comment or put in a ping-back to my blog so I’ll see your update.
  • I’m going to close the challenge on April 3, 2020 at midnight (your local time).  Then I will do a final round-up post.
  • You can join in at any time and add more stuff, if you want, as the month goes along.
  • Models from any company, range, time period, scale, etc. are welcome.
  • Any questions or anything I might have forgotten?  Let me know in the comments.

Best not to let rodent infestations get to this point!

Magic seems kind of obvious:  anything … magical.  Might can encompass almost everything else.  Great heroes and villains are mighty, sure, but so are ordinary individuals of a larger band, mob, or unit too.  Tanks of course, but why not the mighty factory (or remains thereof) that produces such machines?  As for plane, train, and automotive enthusiasts, I’d say your models fit the challenge too.

Primaris snipers by Joe Lai.  Love those bases.  Check out Joe’s stuff on Instagram.

Some random person in a jump suit with a wrench and toolbox would qualify too when you think about the empire/rebel faction/whatever they are a part of.  Even abstract principles like Friendship or Anger could apply since the miniature in question is a single representation of that powerful force.  Anyway, you get the idea:  paint what you want for the challenge and I’m sure it’ll be fine.  (If not, see the footnote below.)

From The Battle of Borodino, 1812, during French invasion of Russia

As for me, I plan on completing my four WIP dwarves.  I will likely add more models as these guys start to look prettier, but for now I think I had better at least get to the highlighting and dry brushing stage before I start looking too closely at anything else.

I’m probably going to include the owl and complete my familiars too.

I am looking forward to seeing what other people come up with, and hope, dear reader, you too will participate in my first painting challenge.

* As John, 1st Baron Varnish, rightly said over here, the “Might” might stand for “Might Get Painted This Month.”  So there is another way to shoehorn models into the “Might” theme if nothing else works! 🙂

And lastly, I had to sneak in a touch of Nurgle: Wudugast’s lovely, little poxwalker, complete with bloated arm, certainly scratches that itch so to speak.  I agree with Faust, who said in the comments that it seems like we’ve stumbled upon this poxwalker in the midst of its transformation!

A friendly poxwalker by Wudugast of Convert or Die!

57 thoughts on “March 2020 Might & Magic Painting Challenge

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  11. Hey Ann, is it okay to enter the challenge even if I don’t have the before picture? I managed to complete a couple of poxwalkers this week, but I didn’t think to take a photo before I started working on them. The starting point was “new in box”, anyway..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sure, please feel free to join in! Still almost a week to go. I announced the challenge a couple of days into March so I decided to make the deadline the end of April 3rd so it is a full month. 🙂

      I don’t think I’m going to do the before picture requirement going forward to further painting challenges. It’ll be an “if you want” rather than a “must have.” I want to make it easy for people to join in the fun and gets some projects completed.


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  19. Thanks for the shout out, that’s exactly the effect I was hoping to capture with the poxwalker 🙂 I’ll definitely find something suitably mighty and/or magical to include, you know I’m a sucker for a painting challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I’m not alone it seems in agreeing that you got what you went after. 🙂 Great, I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with for the painting challenge. Your unique brand of, uh … I’m not sure what to call it but it is unique, will certainly grace any painting challenge!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Whew, lots to comment on…In short, I’ll join the Challenge. I haven’t done one in ages and have been getting back into painting after…nearly a year hiatus! Hard to believe it’s been that long.

    Love the title “John, 1st Baron Varnish”. Great one! Also, how did I overlook that toad before, really nice paints on that. And great paints on Wudugast’s Poxwalker as well. It has a sense of action, like we’re watching a transformation in process.

    And now, what to do? I have a few models that I’ve been working on. Some closer to completion than others. Will have a look and see what I want to showcase/highlight.

    Oh yea “Might & Magic” brings up fond memories of playing through the Might & Magic computer game (think it was Might & Magic IV: Clouds of Xeen). Thanks for heading up the Challenge!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Resplendent! I’m looking forward to seeing what you decide to paint. 🙂

      Wow, almost a year! I sometimes take breaks from painting and it is indeed amazing how fast time goes by when you put something on the back burner. But then again, when you come back to it, you can come back with renewed energy and enthusiasm perhaps.

      Hehe, well, as a colonial one wants to show due respect for the Quality don’t you know so I thought I’d use John’s proper title when I put in the link to his site. Yes, I agree about Wudugast’s poxwalker. I love his work in general and I agree (again) about how that poxwalker seems like it is sort of in mid-transformation. I hadn’t really thought about it but once you mentioned it, I looked again and you are right.

      Thank you, I’m fairly pleased with Toad and I’m not surprised you didn’t see it. You know how amphibians are about blending in to their surroundings, even if said surroundings are a ten dollar light box. I remember Might & Magic now that you mention it, and although I’m not a big video game player, I remember playing that one (I’m not sure what version but it was either the first or second one, since I played it in the ’80’s.) I’m also reminded of the first book from the OD&D boxed set, “Men and Magic,” with the picture of the fighter with the sword and shield on the front.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh wow “Men and Magic”. I don’t think I ever saw that in person, but have seen pics of it and Chainmail online. We started with 1e and the Basic set. As for M&M, I had to look it up, but we were playing that one in the 90s, so yea yours would have been early on. I think all of them were Bard’s Tale clones.

        I don’t know about the energy/enthusiasm, as most of that gets devoured by our little one. It’s more of ‘Daddy has an hour where he can sit down and be in his own head after bed time’ thing. But yea, I’ve been trying to sink some time in every night. I’ve sort of gone on breaks before, but it was more of a ‘moving onto a different hobby’ thing. Which is I guess what I did with the arcade build for awhile. I certainly hope to keep coming back to minis for quite awhile though, as it can be pretty fun.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I can imagine that almost all of your energy does get devoured by your child. On the other hand, when they get older you can introduce them to your hobbies. 🙂

          Yeah, I started out with OD&D. Gaming has sure come a long ways since then. I find myself often looking back on the early days and thinking that the games I’ve been involved with back then had a lot more imagination and a lot less rules than now, but I wonder how much of that is true and how much is just nostalgia and looking through rose-colored glasses? It is probable, I think, that it is about the same and the differences come down to who you share your hobbies with.

          Liked by 2 people

          • She’s been interested in painting/playing with minis from a young age. I’ve been pretty tempted to let her paint some, but I know that 1) It will be messy. 2) It probably won’t hold her attention for long. 😉

            I haven’t been too active in rpgs for a long time, I think some games have always been rules heavy and others more light. The last time I played D&D, I think it was 3 or 3.5…we seemed to spend a lot more time in combat with a focus on special maneuvers and strategy. Pros & Cons to that for sure. I haven’t checked out 5e yet, but I would hope it’s less combat/mmorpg focused.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Give her something cheap and easy to paint that she might like (I started with old, crappy dolls and such from the thrift store), some cheap acrylic paints and brushes, put down some newspapers and let her go to town for ten minutes until she loses interest. Repeat in a couple of weeks…. That is what my parents did with me and by the time I was in my teens I was painting division after division of micro armor with my dad and had a life-long love of artsy stuff. 🙂

              Yes, that is very true about the rules, I agree. I’ve found that every version of D&D I’ve played is combat-focused since the things you can be (fighter, etc.) focus mainly on combat, and that is what most players have in their minds. I’ve occasionally found players, who are less interested in combat, and have had fun games where there is only a little combat and it is more about roleplaying, intrigue, exploration, etc. I do think D&D 5 is a lot simpler to pick up and play than 3.5 was.

              Personally, if I were looking to play something that wasn’t quite so combat-oriented I’d look to other games than D&D. In general, I’ve found that if you want to play games with less combat then you have to play games where you can make characters that aren’t primarily combatants. Skill-based games are good for this. I remember I used to play a fair amount of the old science fiction game Traveller where I would try and make characters who could do stuff other than combat, like fix things, or explore things or trade and do that instead of getting into fights. For example, we’d smuggle stuff and the guys I was playing with would get their fighting and the GM would design negotiations and intrigues around the smuggling for me to do with the idea I was their boss (the other players were playing mostly ex-military hired muscle), being the cartel’s liaison. It was sort of a win-win.

              A lot of it comes down to the players and the GM though and what they want. I suspect while the people I’m DMing for right now like to roleplay some, if I wanted to do the kind of game I’d really like to do where fighting was the spice rather than the meat and potatoes, I think there would be player stampede out the door. On the flip side I’m glad they are willing to roleplay at least somewhat (one of them is awesome) because if not they’d probably have to find a new DM.

              Liked by 2 people

              • Nice advice on getting the little one started. I had seen My Little Pony minis, but I’m not sure how big they are…and it’s probably better to start off with something larger until her Dexterity score increases.

                I don’t mind combat so much, and yea, it’s a key piece to D&D. Dungeon delving and whatnot. But with the rules they were using, they had to have maps and miniatures, and it started to feel way more like a boardgame than an RPG. My little brother ran a campaign that was really good, and we didn’t get into a lot of combat. I remember one time a fight broke out, and we had to get a map, and some minis, and someone sighed. The ‘smuggling game’ you mentioned would have been exactly something I could picture him running us through.

                Liked by 2 people

                • My parents got me started just buying old dolls, which were large, from the thrift store for next to nothing and let me smear paint all over them while they took pictures of the mess to show me 20-30 years later. My mother keeps “passing on” a bunch of the old family photos now, which makes me happy but a little sad at the same time for obvious reasons, and I expect to see some of those doll painting photos eventually.

                  Another thing they liked to let me do was color with chalk or paint with acrylics on the sidewalks in front of our house. My dad would give me an array of old, crappy paintbrushes and let me go to town. Rarely, my parents would help paint and not just watch.

                  I’m like you in that I don’t mind combat and I agree it is a key component of most D&D games, but I like it to be part of the story, not the whole point of the game. To me, if an rpg is 90% combat and 10% talking, which inevitably leads to combat, (played in more than one game like this) then I think I’d rather just play a video or board game. As for mini’s/map or theater of the mind, I usually go with what my players say they enjoy but also taking account of their characters because some characters require a grid to use their abilities fully and some done.

                  One thing I do to keep combat from becoming tedious, and even the most hardened combat players I’ve met seem to like this, is I draw a curtain on minor or random battles when it is clear that the players have won rather than going through another 20 minutes of mopping up, but I always give them the choice by saying, “The goblins are clearly beaten. Some are retreating, others are wavering, the dwarf hacks through two more. Do you want to play this out or simply say you are victorious?” In the many years I’ve been gaming, I think once the players realize they aren’t going to be penalized for not dicing it out, I’ve only gotten, “Play it out to the last throw of the dice!” once or twice.

                  I really enjoyed the sandbox Traveler game, years ago, with the smuggling. The GM asked the players what they wanted to do and everyone else said, “I’m an ex-military dude with weapons skills so I want to go fight stuff and make credits and get stuff. Looking for merc work.” I said, “I’m an ex-merchant service chick with an old ship and I need some crew and some guys who are good at fighting and want to make credits and get stuff.” So instead of having an NPC hire them, the GM said, “Why not take on these guys as crew/muscle and then everyone gets to do what they want to do?” Worked for us and we had fun with the game for about a year and then we all graduated high school and pretty much never saw each other again.

                  Sounds like I would have enjoyed your little brother’s games. 🙂

                  Liked by 2 people

                  • I really like that idea of wrapping up a combat. Especially in some scenarios where it’s just obvious that the PCs (or maybe even the monsters) are going to win. Perhaps if it was the monsters, they would offer to take the PCs captive. In which case, they could try to escape later.

                    I know I’ve been in combat scenarios before, where they just dragged on and on, while we waited for someone to finally make their ‘To-Hit’ roll, so that sounds like a good solution for speeding things up.

                    Sounds like you had a good GM in Traveller, soliciting the players for what they wanted to do and then tailoring the campaign thusly. It also probably helped a lot with party cohesion, since everyone got to pick what they wanted to do.

                    Yea, I do miss my brothers campaign(s). He ran the best games I had ever played in. Partially because we know each other so well and shared a lot of the same humor and influences.

                    Liked by 2 people

                    • Yes, the taking the PC’s captive is a good idea though in my experience most gamers seem to have that in their minds as a Fate Worse Than Death and would rather just die with blades in their hands. Some of this, I think, is the fault of some DM’s, who forget that some great moments in stories come where the protagonists face capture and escape. I remember one game years ago where we surrendered and the DM simply narrated that horrible things happened to us and finally we died, and then suggested we roll up new characters. Then for the next campaign she used a setting where commoners or “rabble” would be just killed but the ethos was one where if you were important then you’d be taken prisoner and well-treated since the various factions would ransom or exchange such prisoners with each other. The DM was sad when everyone just fought to the death after that and ignored her setting, even hand-waving it away when she tried to tell them about her “new capture rules.” All of this happened a long time ago, long before the idea of “Session Zero” was something we’d ever heard of.

                      I think the wrapping up thing works particularly well for D&D 5 because resource management, especially hit points, seems easier than in earlier editions. I know that things like “wandering monsters” or going through the boredom of dicing out the last of a battle because some warrior might taken another 5-10 points of damage was justified by resource management concerns, that seems to be less of a thing in 5th edition.

                      That Traveler GM was the best. Yes, everyone had fun and everyone got to do pretty much what they wanted. I had tense negotiations and resource management (I had to come up with my payment for my ship each month to the merchant service, lol) and the boys all got to be awesome fighters who killed stuff and stand around looking tough during negotiations. “Yes, well, you could take the shipment away from me, but then I wouldn’t be able to pay Vlad here. How does that make you feel, Vlad?”

                      Yeah, there is nothing like gaming with long-time friends. 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Yea, I get the ‘death before surrender’ thing. It seems to be really common. Maybe because they would rather risk the character’s life than losing all their stuff?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I think that might be right a lot of times, though I’ve played in a lot of games where it seems more like the players feel like the are “losing” at D&D if their characters have to surrender or get captured even when equipment isn’t involved or in games where it is really easy to get good gear, e.g. there is a lot of churn with finding magic items or they have multiple copies of equally good back-up gear at their home base.

                      Sometimes it is probably the players are perceiving a bad type (versus an ok “the adventure is over here” type) of railroad and are trying to get off the rails. 🙂

                      I guess when it comes down to it there are lots of different reasons. With the people I knew I just think it was they didn’t want to ever back down and played all of their characters that way.

                      Liked by 1 person

      • Hehe, great idea, John! I’m looking forward to seeing how one would base such a project. You’d need some empty coke cans from the era, chip bags, maybe model a full ashtray full of cigarettes, since smoking was a lot more popular then, etc.?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha! After I did the conversion…I’d say it’s more in the lines of 1500mm. 😉

        I do have some more touchup painting to do on that one, but has to wait for much better weather outdoors.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Nice, I’ll look forward to seeing what you decide to paint. I got a bit of a laugh seeing the Mary Poppins stuff you painted, because as it happens we rewatched the movie only a couple of days ago. I have to stay that the movie stands up well. There were certainly some real athletics in that movie, which I didn’t really appreciate when I first saw it as a child.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Great. That will be keen. I’m sure there must be something calling out from the pile of plastic, or if you don’t have a backlog, you should definitely listen to those voices coming from inside little boxes and blisters from the hobby shops or the internet….

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m looking forward to seeing what you come with for a painting project.

      But of course! Yep, it does seem that Toad continues to wiggle into the pictures. I imagine that amphibian will manage at least a cameo when the dwarves are done, and again when I paint the owl and finish the familiars pack. After that, I anticipate that Toad’s heyday will be over and a place in Completed Model Oblivion awaits, along with many others such as the skeleton snake with a human head and Sebelex: Devourer of the Dead and other such worthies. Then again, maybe it won’t be complete oblivion. I plan on running an all-dwarf one session D&D game, which was why I decided to paint the dwarves in the first place, and Toad will most certainly sing a swan song as the musket-wielding wizard’s familiar.

      Liked by 1 person

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