“First of the Year” 2021 Painting Challenge Roundup

We started off January with a challenge to showcase the first miniature people painted for January 2021 to start the year off right, painting-wise. We have a nice round up of first fruits of the year. If you click on the gallery pictures, they will lead to larger versions. As usual, if I missed anyone, please let me know and I’ll update the post with your work.

Dave Stone of Wargames Terrain Workshop was first out of the gate just a couple of days into January with his nicely painted space marine librarian sporting the colors of his Night Hawks chapter. Dave’s in-laws gave the model to him as a Christmas gift, which is nice. Better than a tie or some paisley socks, though as I think about it paisley socks sound better and better.

Looks like the mechacherub is no pushover either.
I like the yellow cloth and the freehand black detailing is nice too.

My friend, Daniel, a local, legendary Imperial Guard commander, has been playing a lot of Infinity these days and his first model of the year, according to the official lore “is a member of the Zulu-Cobra unit, a reconnaissance unit that specializes in asymmetrical warfare as well a niche for amphibious and jungle environments.” Daniel likes him because “he’s a very handy sneaky piece that can bring some cool surprises to the table.”

He’s from the PanOceania faction.

I was curious about the radar dish so I asked Daniel about it. He says it is “a jammer” that “can easily harass everything on the board” by shutting down the enemy’s communications and such. I’m told he is a pretty good shot with with a good, old fashioned firearm too. I like his cloak too; the hexagonal pattern is nifty.

Tom Douglass, the owner of Dragon Den Games in Stockton, California, finished his Death Guard Plagueburst Crawler as his first miniature of 2021. Tom says that Death Guard is “so liberating compared to my space marines or even Necrons, just because there’s no ‘wrong answers’ and nothing has to be uniform. Painting Ultramarines, I need to be exact, be sure not to overstep or overdo anything, it’s all very clean and shiny, which is also very satisfying, but in a different way entirely.”

Tom illustrates this Nurgle Ethos with a gap that he noticed while building his crawler: “There was a gap in the back when I was building it, and while I was wondering how I was going to fill it I decided, ‘You know what? how about “it’s broken” and bubbling gook out of the gap?’ Now it’s on purpose.”

I like that about Nurgle-based stuff too. Embrace the imperfections and treat them as enhancements. πŸ™‚

Rolling on shrieking treads from the Death Guard to the Heer, we have John, 1st Baron Varnish, from Just Needs Varnish!, and his 20mm scale resin and metal German Sd Kfz 138 Ausf Hj Grille (“Grille” means Cricket), which was also called the Bison.

Which rivets are the ones John made to fix up some battle damage suffered casting the model?

John tells us that the Cricket was “armed with a 150mm heavy infantry gun and allocated to the support gun companies of panzergrenadier (mechanized infantry) regiments.” There were various versions built; the one shown here “used the chassis of the Czech LT 38 light tank, this vehicle being built by the Germans as the Panzer 38t” and provided “short range, indirect fire support.”

I like what John did with the camouflage. He details how he achieved this look in his post, so check it out if you are curious.

Nice diorama too.

Mick at Twitchy Bristles comes in with his repainted Eldar Farseer Ry’hil. He reports that his faithful eldar commander had distinguished himself in battle and deserved an upgrade. So into the paint stripper he went and the result below is new Ry’hil, ready to distinguish himself even further for Craftworld Ulthanash ShelwΓ©.

Mick’s Ry’hil specializes in fighting Tyranids.

Mick writes that is much happier with the repainted model, “especially the green colors and how much better the bone colors ‘pop’ on the rest of the model.” Serendipitously, he “also managed not to spill excess varnish on everything this time,” so there’s that too. A fine kettle of spirit stones that would be, spilling varnish all over a war hero!

Mark of Mark A. Morin painted quite a few Aztecs over 2020 and his first completed miniature for 2021 is a Conquistador with a banner. Mark writes that the banner “is a representation of the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary that Hernan Cortes used during the Spanish Conquest.”

Part of a four man “Conquistador Foot Command” sold by Outpost Wargame Services.

I think Mark did a nice job with his bannerman as well as the other members of his command group. Check out the others members of the group on his site. I also liked the dioramas he put together for his Aztecs and I’m glad he did the same for these guys.

Mark is pretty serious about getting his Conquistadors painted — he’s running “Mark’s Conquistador Contest,” (complete with prizes) to motivate himself to paint them. I have to confess when I first saw the contest in my email I didn’t check it out right away, since I don’t have any Conquistadors to paint, but I wish I had before the entry date closed in early January, because it turns out the contest was to guess the date Mark would complete his forces. Lesson learned for next time!

Eric, of Candore Et Labore, graces our painting challenge with his “very old Bretonnian Green Knight,” that he painted after “stripping 99% of the old paint off the miniature, repairing some really bad gaps,” and repainting the miniature with what he’s since learned over the past twenty or so years.

He is certainly a nice study in Green.

Eric doesn’t think he’ll be playing Warhammer Fantasy Battle again, so he opted for a vignette. I think he did a very good job on it. Kind of makes me think that his old knight has been granted an honorable retirement as some sort of Protector of the Lonely Wood.

Maenoferren22, of Bogenwold, also decided to paint a Green Knight, the same miniature in fact that his “good mate Eric,” had already painted. He already had stripped the paint from his knight (I’m seeing a pattern here) along with a bunch of squires and such. Maeno decided to paint up a couple of retainers to accompany his lordship, though he “cannot actually remember which was finished first.” I know what he means. I’ve batch painted a group of miniatures before without really being able to remember which one I stopped working on first.

Steve, of Dreadaxe Games, painted an Imperial Guard/Astra Militarum Sergeant for his 2nd Infanty Squad as his first miniature completed for 2021. He opted to equip this model with a laspistol and chainsword “due to the fact that I ran out of bolters!” Steve also did a head swap from the Sisters Repentia kit for that “grizzled veteran appearance.”

It looks to me from the scars that the Sarge has both seen a lot of action and is hard to kill.

Steve is “currently batch-painting the 2nd squad in 2 chunks of 5.” He’s been painting these troops in a “fairly straightforward” way and “keeping the palette to a minimum,” which he’s been having fun with. I can see that. Although not fancy, the color scheme is effective and I think what one might expect to see for a typical field uniform. After all, not all of the Imperial Guard can march into battle looking like they just stepped out of the Napoleonic Wars or wearing giant, mutant bearskins. πŸ™‚

Matt, “a Welsh bloke living in Vermont” at pmpainting, offers us a Reaper miniatures flashback to the 1970’s, Horace “Action” Jackson. Matt wrote that he “did [his] usual job of procrastinating over what colours to paint him,” and ended up looking to Google for his inspiration, settling on the pink pants pictured below (with just a hint of ’70’s flare).

I like Matt’s choice of colors for the clothing and agree with him that Horace is very suitable for inclusion in a collection of “zombie survivor” miniatures.

Continuing with the zombie survivor theme, Azazel, of Azazel’s Bitz Box, brings us “Old Betsy,” from the 10th Anniversary Edition of Last Night on Earth. I very much like the job he did on the weathering, including some bullet holes and a nifty, cracked windshield.

Kind of reminds me of an old (albeit red) truck that was moldering in my grandparents’ field when I was a child.

Azazel reports that he’s used “Old Betsy” in a number of different games, including “the entire campaign of” Zombicide’s Night of the Living Dead, where the truck stood in for the “cardboard car chit in almost all of the scenarios.” I agree with Azazel that the truck “can also work in any modern game, other zombie games and also quite a few post-apoc ones as well.”

Joe, of JoeSavesTheDay, brings us his Raptors chapter terminator hero, Brother Feurranator, with an assault cannon. I like the green color scheme and in a way it reminds me a little of Green Army Men.

Originally, Joe went with the gray basing in the pictures below but remembered that his “Raptors are all based in a reddish Martian wasteland setting,” even though it messed up his brass ammo casings. Perhaps he’ll put them back in at some point — that’s his hope.

Dave, of The Imperfect Modeller, painted “Alain,” a 28mm cavalier produced by Reaper. I agree with Dave that there was “quite a lot going on and a fair bit of detail” with the figure. He said that he kept “base work simple,” and I think it all came together nicely.

Note the freehand cross on the small shield device.

One of the commenters in Dave’s post mentioned that he was “surprised by the black shield on the back,” figuring it would be the same color as the device on the front. I was similarly surprised and think that the black shield was a very nice choice, both in terms of the “surprise” and also because with everything going on with the miniature having a solid bit of black and red was pleasing to my eye.

David, from Scent of a Gamer, brings us a welcome touch of Nurgle with his Corrupted Alchomite Stack that as you can see has been taken over by a trio of sickly, yellow nurglings. The base is “old packing material” and David “scatttered some bits of the sprue around as bits of twisted metal and broken railings,” which I thought was a nice idea.

The green piping suggests the stack is thoroughly blessed with the gift of Sacred Rot.

Kuribo, of Kuribo’s Painting, is enjoying Fallout from Modiphius Entertainment and his first completed miniature for 2021 is this Super Mutant Master. A solid plan — paint what you enjoy and are playing. I thought Kuribo had an interesting take on doing the flesh. It looks to me like it sort of could be mutant, desert camouflage. Perhaps the Mutant Master applied it himself but more likely, I think, it is a lucky mutation that gives him a better chance of closing the distance and whacking someone with his hammer before he gets filled with lead or arrows or whatever.

Given how big this guy is compared to an average person, that is one big sledge hammer he’s brandishing.

This guy is a “leader/elite model” that “is going to hit in melee close to 90% of the time.” Sounds like if you are see him coming at your forces, you’d better try to soften him up a bit before he gets in your face if you can, unless you have someone on your side who is similarly brutal or maybe is a master of defense!

The last entry for the painting challenge is that same puissant Chaos Lord who began the last challenge I sponsored back in 2020 — Wudugast of Convert or Die. He’s been painting forces for Warcry and his first miniature for this year is this Kairic Acolyte.

These fellows are “the human followers of Tzeentch, petty sorcerors and schemers who make up the rank and file of the cult.” This miniature, as Wudugast relates, comes from the Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower board game. I mostly know Wudugast for his excellent Nurgle and generally dystopian offerings, but it is good to see him turning his attention to some of the other Chaos gods as well.

Thank you very much to everyone who participated in the painting challenge. It is a fun, varied palette of work and I enjoyed putting this post together. I am toying with the idea of doing a Macabre March painting challenge where the idea is to paint some miniature that unequivocally qualifies as being horrifying, ghastly, gruesome, etc.

I didn’t get anything finished myself painting-wise for January, though I did make good progress on Frank’s Pig Demon’s clothes and I made a start on a friend’s dragon gnome for Dave Stone’s Paint What You Got and Alex’s Femburary challenges, both of which conclude at the end of this month.

39 thoughts on ““First of the Year” 2021 Painting Challenge Roundup

  1. Pingback: December 2021 – Personal Painting Round-Up, Year in Review and Plans for 2022 | Azazel's Bitz Box.

  2. Well I know why I missed this one that pesky move πŸ₯΅! Though I’m glad I found it , brilliant load of work there Ann , you must have put in a lot of time putting it all together, top marks πŸ€“.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: February 2021 – Personal Painting Round-Up + Paint What You Got Challenge Round-Up | Azazel's Bitz Box.

    • Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the challenge. I do plan on working on the eternal Pig Demon. Who knows if I’ll ever finish it? I plan on trying since it does belong to someone else. That is probably the only thing that keeps it from suffering the fate of Becky the poor, neglected bloat drone.


      On the other hand, if I die of old age in the far future, perhaps I can will the pig demon as a sort of dark legacy with a stipulation in the will that the pig demon be painted with the inheritor’s own hands to the satisfaction of Frank’s descendants, since I’m pretty sure neither of us will be alive a hundred-and-fifty-eight years from now when the thing is finally finished. In any case I hope to complete the cloak soon and then I’ll have to see if I can sort out the trident. Duncan has a promising sounding tutorial I haven’t reviewed yet about painting metal on his site so we’ll see….

      Liked by 3 people

      • For what its worth, everyone has a model or two like that (or way more) so I wouldn’t sweat them. If you keep chipping away at them when the mood strikes, you’ll get them done πŸ™‚ Watching tutorials can be a great way to get motivated to paint too. I’ve been known to suddenly get inspired after watching a good one!

        I do like the idea of willing all of your unpainted miniatures to some poor soul. It could be good for them to learn a hobby that way πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 3 people

  4. All truly great entries for the first model of the year, with such a diverse content, it really is time well spent looking at all the photo’s.
    Thank’s for organising the comp, and all the work you put into the roundup

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Dave, you are very welcome and thank you for participating. I put you first and it seemed just since you were the first one done with your miniature though only narrowly and a bit surprisingly since one doesn’t usually expect celerity out of people (Tom) who favor the forces of Nurgle, but then Tom is a pretty uncanny and dangerous general and you do have to stay on your toes with him. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Alex, everyone sent in some nice stuff. You are welcome and good luck with your Fembruary challenge. I’m working on my friend’s gnome for the challenge. I really hope to get it done by the deadline.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Dave and thank you for including your cavalier. I really liked him and I also liked that women you painted with blue armor brandishing two weapons. The first time I saw her on your site I thought to myself, “If I get into a D&D game again I’m going to play a character like that instead of my usual wizard or cleric.”

      You are right: I enjoy doing the round ups but they do take quite a bit of time to put together. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 3 people

      • Just glad to have taken part Ann. You will have to forgive me though, I have now conjured up an image of you in blue armor brandishing two weapons and I really do not know whether I should be excited or scared stiff given your background! I’ll let you know when I’ve figured it out. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 3 people

        • I’m glad you did take part; your cavalier was very nice and I’m glad for it to be in the round up. Heh, I don’t know about the stuff about the blue armor and I don’t want to be falsely modest and say that I never had any athletic glories, but they are well in the past though I am working hard to recapture what I can of them. πŸ™‚

          Whatever the case, that warrior with the two weapons would make for a great character to play in a sandbox game. I could see her as a freebooter, was the power behind a mighty chief like Conan, but Conan was betrayed and taken out of the picture and is seemingly dead. Through dint of her skill at arms and a little bit of sorcery she took over the band and cemented the temporary loyalty of the varied collection of cut throats, brigands and vagabonds by dividing up the accumulated wealth of the band between them, including her own shares, and then taking them from adventure to adventure with the problem being their loyalty is bought so they are only loyal so long as they perceive her as strong (her sorcery terrifies them) and more importantly the gold flows.

          After many adventures and the game is well along, Conan turns back up and thinks that she was the one who betrayed him, but she wasn’t and had been loyal to him. She was also as surprised as anyone that he shows back up, thinking he is dead. Now she has to figure out a way to either fight him or prove that she hadn’t betrayed him. Being that Conan is Conan, he won’t actually kill her but he’ll be glad to defeat her and take away her band, which would be a defacto death sentence since the band would then kill her once toppled from the leadership, much like they almost did to Conan. She knows that she can’t defeat him by force of arms. She’s tough but no one is as tough as Conan and she doesn’t want to use sorcery against him if she can help it though she will if her hand is forced.

          Given that is a game and not a novel, though I think this could be the good, basic bones of a novella, who knows what will happen? Anyway, that is what your miniature evokes in my mind off the top of my head.

          Liked by 3 people

    • Yes indeed, good work from everyone who participated and varied too. As you say, off to a great start; Tzeentch’s plans are Proceeding As Intended, I’m sure. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Great post Ann, and thank you for including me in it. Great painting across the board here, and a few new ones for me. Sorry my contest passed you by (it’s going hot and heavy now and I hope to wrap it up as soon as I can). I might be doing a second one on a batch of terrain, complete with prizes again, so stay tuned, and again, thanks.

    Liked by 5 people

    • You are welcome, Mark, and thank you for including your nicely painted Conquisators to go along with your Aztecs from the other challenge. As for your contest, well, that’s on me … I shouldn’t have just assumed that you were running a challenge to try and get people to paint Conquistadors. πŸ™‚ I remember thinking at the time, “Darn, wish I had some because I’d definitely paint them up.”

      I’ll keep my eyes open for your terrain challenge.

      Liked by 3 people

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