The Summer Solstice Painting Challenge

This painting challenge ends on June 20th.*

It is time for the next painting challenge with the second annual “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” painting challenge just ended. So I thought I’d announce a May-June challenge before I get started with the “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” round-up.

For this challenge, I’m looking for pictures of whatever single model you think is the best one that you finished anytime between May 3rd and June 20th, which just happens to be the summer solstice at least in the northern hemisphere where I live. You may also do a diorama for this challenge.

By “best” this can mean whatever you want it to mean: the best paint job, the model you like the most, or any other criteria you wish to apply. The reasons are yours but remember there can only be one best model.

For example, Toad here is one of my favorite miniatures not because of the paint job but because I like the miniature and I’ve built up a fondness for him using him a lot as I have in games of D&D as well as a marker/mascot for my Nurgle army back when I was playing a lot of 40K.

Rules of the Challenge

  • The challenge closes at the end of the summer solstice: June 20, 2021 at midnight (your local time).  If you can’t get your pictures posted by that date, it is fine.  Just post them as soon as you can.
  • A model is eligible for the challenge if it is completed between May 3rd and June 20th, 2021.
  • I’m looking to only see a single model per artist for this challenge. Instead of a single model, you may complete a single diorama for this challenge.
  • Questions and/or ideas?  Let me know in the comments.

* Photo of “Stonehenge in your face” by Simon Wakefield. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

“Neglected But Not Forgotten” Painting Challenge Round-up (March 2021)

The challenge for March was for people to dig into their pile of models and paint something they had owned for at least a year. I think most miniature painters, who have been at it awhile, have no general shortage of such models. the collector’s bug tends to hit model builders pretty strongly, no matter what they generally like to paint.

Many thanks to the eighteen artists who took part in the challenge. As always, in many cases, if you click on a picture the link will take you to a larger view. If I have accidentally omitted anyone’s work, please let me know and I’ll add you in. I made a list of everyone and checked it trice but you never know.

Steve, of Dreadaxe Games, begins our round up with his rendering of the mighty Inquisitor Coteaz. Steve says he “bought this figure maybe 9 or so years ago,” so it is neglected and then some.

Coteaz has a lot to recommend him: two-handed eagle cyborg mascot, lots of special abilities that made me weep real tears back in 5th edition, his magic hammer, and apparently a stern but calming demeanor. The inquisitor apparently helped Steve, in a small way, through a rough patch, which you’ll have to read about in his blog if you want to know more.

Marouda says that she is fairly new to miniature painting but she isn’t new to artistic endeavors in general and I think it shows in her work. She saw this challenge and Monster March, put on by Path of an Outcast. Between that and Azazel asking, “are you going to paint a model?” she decided that she was. After all, what is the worst that could happen, she thought.

I’d say it all turned out very well with this trio. The first is Giant Iguana from the Bad Squiddo Shieldmaiden Kickstarter from 2018.

This treant is far and way my favorite of Marouda’s work. She did a great job on it and I like the base very much as well as all of the vegetation extras she added to the miniature. The beard is a nice touch and I think adding the crown of green is much nicer than the bare branches of the unmodified miniature.

As you can see, the treant is pretty good sized.

Finally, Marouda painted this rather grotesque Maggotcrown Bonesack, produced by Reaper miniatures. She points out “how easily this miniature crosses genres,” and based on her picture below I’d have to agree with her.

Azazel, of Azazel’s Bitz Box and a most prolific painter, comes in this month with 13 entries. We’ll take a look at his five Dungeons & Dragons-based offerings and see the rest at the end of the round-up.

These four cute (but murderous) frog people are called Grung, from the “Waterdeep Dungeon of the Mad Mage” board game. I like the bright lime green Azazel used for their skin, which he details in his post.

They are “assassins” with the bowfrog being an “elite warrior.”

Muiral the Misshapen is another miniature from the Mad Mage set. Muiral was a warrior, who engaged in magical studies that in hindsight he probably should have avoided. He descended into madness, turned his odd experiments on himself with the result you see below. Azazel was going for a “boiled lobster red” with this guy. I’d say he most certainly achieved that effect and then some.

These goblins are from The Legend of Drizzt board game. Besides having pretty D&D board game sessions, with all of these sorts of miniatures that he as painted over the years, he also has a great collection if he feels like doing a tabletop roleplaying campaign.

Azazel painted this shadow dragon, Shimmergloom, which also from the Drizzt game.

Finally, from the Tomb of Annihilation board game, come a trio of Zorbos. They are apparently vicious koala-looking beasties that can take on some aspects of their surroundings to make themselves more formidable in combat. For example, they could take on the aspects of a stone cave they are in to increase their general toughness.

That is all well and good, but I do have to say these three don’t look terribly vicious. I’d say they’ve probably eaten too much bamboo and eucalyptus and just want a nap.

Eric, of Candore et Labore, painted this Warhammer Carnosaur, which was “epoxied together and primed black with cheap Walmart spray paint,” just before his wargaming group dissolved in the early 2000’s. So this beast has been hibernating for a long time indeed, which seems appropriate somehow for an ancient dragon.

I like Eric’s choice of colors for the dragon and love the base.

The carnosaur missed out on being “the big bad center piece of a bunch of large reptiles” for Eric’s youngest son’s army but I’m sure the beast is a lot happier in its new home than it was ratting around the bitz box for 17 years!

Blaxkleric (or Blax the Kleric), of Fantorical, offers up a White Gorilla produced by North Star Military Figures as part of their “Frostgrave” range. This beast is “known to leave their nest deep in the ruins of the Frozen City in order to hunt, these formidably-sized animals ‘are not above eating human flesh.'”

Blax also painted this steathy-looking FedSec Trooper from Crooked Dice Games Design Studio. He obtained the figure from “their now out-of-production Federated Security Starter Set,” and painted him to evoke a “Federation trooper” from the BBC science fiction television series Blake’s Seven.”

Daniel, Infinity player and local Imperial Guard Commander operating out the Santa Cruz Sector and Infinity player, painted this older sculpt of Gabriel DeFersen from Infinity by Corvus Belli. Gabriel “is one of the last templar knights,” who were broken up this time for the sin of creating artificial intelligence. Daniel relates that Defersen does well in games and has “got all the based covered” but you’ll have to pay a premium for his utility.

Does he seem a little disgruntled or is it just me?

Dave, of Faith & Steel, is adding some walls to his gaming table for his upcoming WW2-based games. This gate and accompanying walls are produced by Rubicon Models. As you can see from the pictures the walls will block line-of-sight nicely. Plus they’ll be good for any battles fought in Melbourne, Australia where “it is just about a law to paint ironwork green.”

I wouldn’t mind a gate like that at my house and, yes, I’d paint it green.

Marvin, of Suburban Militarism, painted these ten 1:72 scale Saxon soldiers, produced by Mars. Each line of five models represents a regiment “of the Saxon army during the Great Northern War.” The front rank in the picture below is “the Kurprinz Regiment.”

The fellows in blue are “Martinière’s Grenadier Regiment.” Check out Marvin’s post if you want to read more about his historical sources (or lack thereof) for the uniforms. As he says, oftentimes “details are scarce,” and he had to use his own judgment.

Marvin painted two more regiments before the month was through. The men in the front rank, below, represent Zeitz’ Regiment. They were “apparently disbanded in 1705 just prior to the Saxon army’s heavy defeat by the Swedes at the Battle of Fraustadt the following year.”

These models represent Hayn’s Grenadiers. The red and yellow piping on the back are Marvin’s “own invention.” He relates that “as key source Daniel Schorr wrote that it was unknown whether the battalion even wore grenadier caps.” Whatever the case, I think they work well with the rest of the uniform.

Marvin’s final offering for the challenge is this 54mm Worcestershire Yeomanry sergeant circa 1900. This piece is one of his “54mm Yeomanry Cavalry Project.” The model was manufactured by Mitrecap Miniatures. Marvin reports that Mitrecap’s source material for this model is 50 Years of Yeomanry Uniforms by R.G. Harris, plate No. 29 by Edmund A. Campbell.

John, of Just Needs Varnish, added two more models to his vast (I’m sure) collection of armored vehicles: a Czech S-I-d tankette (the one on the left) and a French R35 light tank. The Czech tankette is 1/72 and the R35 is 1/75 scale. John writes more at length about these models in a later post for any who are interested.

We’ll conclude our historical foray for the painting challenge with a bit of historical fiction by Mark, of Man of Tin, who refurbished some very rusty figures after watching the 1967 comedy film, The Magnificent Two, which is “set in the fictional 1960s South American ImagiNation of Parazuellia.” He decided the figures would make a good pipe and drum band for his Parazuellian Womens’ Revolutionary Army, complete with a reviewing general.

You can check out Mark’s post if you want to see the condition of the miniatures before he put refurbished them. He writes more about their uniforms in another post.

Tom Douglass, the owner of Dragon Den Games in Stockton, California, tackled a large project this month in the person of Mortarion of The Death Guard. He had fun and it was “easily the biggest project” he’d ever done. The daemon primarch was smaller than the imperial knight he completed last summer but a lot more detailed.

Tom had fun with the base too, adding “extra skulls and goo” and so forth. He even “made sure to always add everything in seven’s because how could I not?” Good man. How not indeed!

Despite completing the mammoth task of putting together and painting Mortarion, Tom still had some painting left to do for March. Some of his friends are “starting to pick up Tyranids,” so he painted up a mob of termagants. He had worked on the models some years ago and wasn’t happy with them. So Tom redid them using the new Games Workshop Contrast paints, which do seem to be perfect for batch painting things like termagants.

Wudugast, of Convert or Die, completed four miniatures for the challenge. They’d make an unlikely group to be thrown together by fortune for a time in, say, a The Magnificent Four or The Dirty Quartet type of scenario.

Wudugast doesn’t know the origins of this Orc Champion, but he’s had him for more than a decade now. The model does remind him of the work “produced by Rackham for the – sadly defunct and much missed – game Confrontation.”

Larsen van der Grauss was “released as part of the Kill Team: Rogue Trader set” and as “a Lectro-Maester” within the Adeptus Mechanicus. This “means he’s a prospector charged with seeking out new sources of power for the forge worlds.” The sculpt certainly isn’t lacking for detail!

This Data-Scrivener is another representative from Necromunda and an example of “futuristic hackers who specialize in stealing data from the hive’s ancient cogitators and manipulating them to suit their purposes.” Wudugast decided to paint the figure when he saw it in the House of Artifice book.

Corwyn the Hunchback is the last of our quadrumvirate and probably my favorite sculpt, mainly because I have a thing for evil magic-using types. He’s another neglected model having remained unpainted “since the late 2000’s,” and is an “evil shaman from Rackham’s Drune Kelt range.” It has taken quite some time but as Wudugast wrote, “the evil old bastard is finished at last.”

Matt, of pmpainting, painted four miniatures for the challenge. The first is Lord Karghoul, produced by Hasslefree Miniatures. I agree with Matt, who wrote that Karghoul “certainly has that ‘evil warrior vibe about him.”

Matt also painted this Space Goblin Commando by Reaper Miniatures. He wasn’t sure what he’d do with a space goblin commando but named him Globrik. Matt thinks he might go back and do some more work on him but isn’t sure if he should “try to tart Globrik up or just get on with something else.” I’ll be curious to read what he decides to do.

This Post Apocalyptic Hunter is my favorite of Matt’s four offerings for the challenge, who he has named Trevor. I’m not sure if this chap looks like a Trevor or not, but there it is. I thought he did a good job on the urban camouflage. The mask is a bit of freehand that I thought was an effective addition to the piece.

This is the metal version of Reaper’s Aina the Valkyrie. Matt acquired the miniature in late 2019, got it 70% painted and then “kind of just gave up.” He isn’t sure why. I particularly like the hair and also favor the shiny scale armor.

The kit gives one the choice between a spear and a sword for Aina. I think Matt chose correctly because I think it would have looked a little odd for our valkyrie to brandish her sword while she has a second sword in the scabbard. One could say it was the sword from an enemy or something else, but I think it is just better to give her the spear.

Plague Gardening painted this Princess Leia miniature from West End Games. He bought the model in 1987 and has completed her after “an impressive 33 to 34 years in my collection.” I think he did a good job with the shading for Leia’s white robe. He painted her base white to go along with his other Star Wars models, which you can see in his Princess Leia post.

David, of Scent of a Gamer, started painting this wizard “maybe 20 years ago.” The model was a freebee “on the cover of a White Dwarf magazine,” which he bought several copies of to “get as many different wizards as possible.” This is an interesting piece: I like how the wizard’s clothing sort of evokes something of a fantasy European Renaissance look juxtaposed with a beard that looks like he’s been using his magic to travel back to Bronze Age so he can hang out in Sumer.

Dave Stone, of Wargames Terrain Workshop, finished his wing of four land speeders. First up is this Land Speeder Tsunami. I think that the freehand work on the vertical stabilizer adds quite a bit of interest; especially when several speeders are displayed together.

Dave also did quite a bit of painting for his Battlefleet Gothic fleets. I don’t know too much about the game and I’m not terribly familiar with the ships, but I do know a Space Marine battle barge when I see one. This one is from the Night Hawks chapter and give him four barges.

Next up are four Strike Cruisers. There are “normally six in a fleet” but Dave’s Night Hawks “lost two to the warp.” Maybe they’ll turn up someday. Hopefully they won’t be painted pink and have grown lots of waving space tentacles or pointy bits during their wanderings. You know, after all, how impressionable these space marines can be at times.

These ships “are the three classes of escort ship” put out by Forgeworld “to use instead of the Imperial escorts.”

Dave tells me that these are also imperial ships, but that another version was released for the Eldar, which “were a lot sleeker.” I think these ships would make appropriate-looking logistics and support vessels.

Finally, we have a Desolator-class battleship, which Dave painted for his Emperor’s Children fleet. With five of these battleships, his chaos space marines have quite a formidable long range (if what I read about them is correct) threat going for themselves.

Tamor, of Dragons of Lancasm, painted this Hero Quest “gargoyle.” Tamor puts the name in quotes because he thinks the miniature is in fact a “second-rate Balrog.” I feel the old school balrog-bloodthirster vibe going on with this guy too. I also agree that this miniature would make a good “terrain piece, and potentially a construct (animated statue).”

Our balrog used to have a whip that Tamor carved off.

He also painted three squads of marines for his Space Crusade cooperative board game.

Finally, Tamor finished this orc. “He’s a bit paler than his brethren because he’s apparently been hiding with my skaven for at least a decade.”

Heretic 30K painted these ten miniatures – five heroes and five villains – from the Marvel Crisis Protocol starter set. He received them as a Christmas present in 2019 and they have been “collecting dust” until now.

Captain America’s shield is looking very crisp indeed!

“The figures are 40mm scale which makes them quite a bit larger than what most people are likely to already have in their modern terrain collections so it is handy that the starter includes a reasonable amount of scatter terrain too.”

Heretic had to assemble and paint the terrain as well.

We conclude the painting challenge by coming back to Azazel and his eight further entries. The first is a Varghulf Courtier from Citadel. Depending upon which lore you read, the Varghulf are “powerful Vampire Lords who have devolved into a permanently animalistic and bestial form,” or some type of ghoul-like creature.

Azazel painted a number of miniatures for Growing Hunger expansion of the Last Night on Earth board game. The first group of survivors are Kenny the Supermarket Bag Boy, Amanda the Prom Queen, Sam the Diner Cook and Detective Winters.

The next pair of Growing Hunger survivors are Mr. Goddard the Chemistry Teacher and Jade the High School Outcast. For Jade, he used “some of the Goth chicks I used to know in my own youth.”

The final pair of survivors are Stacy the Investigative Reporter and Victor the Escaped Prisoner. Azazel painted Stacy’s notepad to look like a tablet “to bring her into a slightly more modern timeframe” and because it would be fun to “see if I could make it look good.” It certainly does add some nice detail and a touch of verisimilitude to the model.

Azazel also completed this duo from Marvel Crisis Protocol, Rocket and Groot. He did some extra work on the bases “in order to really mess up the sidewalk where it’s been smashed in and smashed through by Groot’s extended arm.”

That extended arm thing is nifty.

I think it is cute that the angry raccoon’s weapon is much larger than he is. I suppose being a “master of weapons” he can handle it no problem.

I really like this Thrasher Snail by Reaper. Although I’m not buying miniatures very often these days, this is one I’d like to own. (I might go so far as to ask for it as a birthday present this year.) The production model comes with a bunch of what Azazel calls (and I agree from what I see) “poorly-cast flails.” I think his solution of using a “lovely twisted unicorn-style horn” was a much better solution and if I ever get this miniature I’ll do something similar.

Love the shell.

Next up are “Lucius” and “Seth” from Zombicide. I like how the game includes a “zombified” version of each character, which, as Azazel points out in the comments, “can be used as action versions, wounded versions or just extra-nasty zombies in various games as needed!”

We conclude the round up with “Ross” and Phil” also from Zombicide. I particularly like the zombified Ross (aka John Goodman) for some reason. Probably because I like the actor. Azazel relates that the idea of characters as zombies was “to let players who had been killed keep playing.” They never used those rules and instead “played with however many survivors the scenario called for and doubled up when there were more survivors than players – and then we would just hand off a character if someone was unlucky enough to die.”

Well done, Azazel. Thirteen entries and thirty-six completed models. Not too shabby at all!

Much thanks to everyone who participated in the “Neglected” March challenge. The next painting challenge, for May and June, is going to be “The Summer Solstice Painting Challenge,” which begins in May and closes on the Summer Solstice (first day of summer), which is June 20th at midnight (your local time). The idea will be to exhibit a single miniature or diorama that you think is your best or you like the most, which you completed between May 1st and June 20th.

I am thinking of doing a dragon-based painting challenge for July since my mind has been turning to all things draconic lately. I’m looking into to doing a Kickstarter-based anthology of short stories along the theme of dragons. It is all currently in the research and planning stages for now but I’ve been moving forward with the project a little each day.

April 2021 Second Annual “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” Painting and Hobby Challenge

The “Neglected but Not Forgotten” painting challenge ends on April 2nd, so I thought I’d announce the April challenge before I get too busy doing the “Neglected” round-up, which is looking like it’s going to be large indeed! For April I’m going to do a second annual “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” challenge.*

The idea is simple.  You can paint anything you want so long as you owned it on or before April 1, 2021. It doesn’t have to be a neglected model — you can have purchased it the day the challenge begins if that is your desire. A nice way to perhaps add something new to your collection of painted miniatures if you are tired of painting neglected models smelted during the Age of the Antonines.

Always good advice! 🙂

Also, again this year, as a Hobby Challenge, you don’t have to confine yourself to painting models.  For example, you can write a short story, paint a picture (or bedroom or some cave art), develop a recipe, post a Youtube video, complete a needlepoint project, finishing putting together a swing set out in your backyard, put in a porch light, etc.  Pretty much anything fun, hobby or craft oriented that you start on or before April 1st.**

Rules of the Challenge

  • Models for this challenge must be ones you owned on or before April 1, 2021.
  • The challenge closes on May 2nd, 2021 at midnight (your local time).  If you can’t get your pictures posted by that date, it is fine.  Just post them as soon as you can.
  • You can complete one model or project for this challenge or as many as you want.  Basing is optional if you don’t plan on doing basing later. It is mandatory if the plan is for the finished project to be based.
  • Models and projects you feature in other challenges (not also run by me) are welcome here too.
  • You can join in, and add more models at any time as the month goes along.
  • Models from any company, range, time period, scale, etc. are welcome.
  • Questions and/or ideas?  Let me know in the comments.
  • For those who missed the 2020 round-up in two parts, you can see part one here and part two here.
Pioneer’s Cabin Diorama by Dave of The Imperfect Modeller.

Painting an entire diorama is certainly a worthy project and who doesn’t love a fully painted tank?

Panzerkampfwagen VI, Pattern Tintenfisch, from Sir John’s Just Needs Varnish!

Of course some good, old-fashioned space marines are always welcome.  One or a whole squad.  (Wretched, Gollum-looking person peering out of a hole optional.)

My friend, Daniel’s, Deathwing terminators from a March 2017 game.

Like I said, a project doesn’t have to be painting miniatures to have a place in this April challenge.  Something like this map I made using Campaign Cartographer software or one drawn by hand would find a welcome home here.

Might be fun to run a Fantasy-meets-Old West mini-campaign using my little map?

Carve some Easter pumpkins, perhaps?***

If  you don’t want to paint a picture, play a game, paint a model and making videos is lame … then when all else fails bake a Cthulhu pie!

Once again, “In his pie at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu dreams for (drowns in?) whipped cream.”
Tree Symbol Clip Art

* This challenge also has the added feature that I can pretty much recycle the challenge announcement, including the pictures, from last year. I kind of wanted to give that Cthulhu pie some more love!

** Home improvement projects may or may not be fun but they are “crafts” and thus count for this challenge.

*** Ensorcelling said pumpkin(s) as container(s) for the bewitched life force(s) of extinct but somehow still nascent being(s) of pure song is, like basing, optional unless you were planning on doing this at some point to complete the project in which case said thaumaturgy is mandatory. I will make case by case exceptions if you have unavoidable blockages such as not being able to secure required material components, timing of sacrifices due to astrological-related issues, ritual assistant union troubles, etc.

March 2021 “Neglected But Not Forgotten” Painting Challenge

For March I’ll be encouraging everyone to revisit their burgeoning pile of neglected models and pick one or a few old chestnuts you started and for whatever reason stopped working on. Or maybe something you bought a year or two ago and despite your best intentions has been gathering dust ever since. I’m sure everyone, who has been involved in the hobby for more than 30 seconds, has a closet full of metal, plastic, and resin that qualifies. I know I do!*

Rules of the Challenge

  • “Neglected” means a model that you acquired at least a year ago. The models can be sitting in a box still in the shrink wrap, partially assembled, or partially painted. The key is you have to have owned them for at least a year.
  • Your model must be based unless you aren’t planning on basing it later. 
  • You can enter miniatures you are working on for other painting challenges.
  • The challenge closes on April 2nd, 2021 at midnight (your local time).  If you can’t get your picture(s) posted by that date, it is fine.  Just post as soon as you can. The best way to let me know you’ve put up a picture is to either link your post back to this one or leave a comment here.
  • Questions and/or ideas?  Let me know in the comments.

As for me, I can’t remember the last time I successfully completed a painting challenge, including my own. Fortunately I seem to be doing ok lately running challenges even if paint and brushes aren’t my priority right now.

I do have many good neglected candidates, Frank’s Pig Demon being the prime one and probably the less said about poor Becky the Bloat Drone the better. It isn’t all bad news though: I did manage to eventually finish Poxwalker #18, pictured above in its previously neglected state.

How about you — do you have any neglected miniatures you might want to revisit for March?

* I thought of doing this challenge after simultaneously failing three painting challenges all in a go last month, including my own. You’ll notice for this one I didn’t declare that I would actually get anything done since when I do … I don’t. Perhaps this time by not making any declarations, maybe I’ll actually get something done. Probably not though. 🙂

“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. 🙂

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 Shelwé.

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. 🙂

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.

Dave Stone’s “Paint What You Got” community challenge

Dave Stone at Wargames Terrain Workshop announced he is doing his Paint What You Got community painting challenge. The idea is to paint one or more models of any type and with the deadline not being until February 28, 2021 there is plenty of time.

My plan is to finally finish Frank’s Pig Demon and since it is a two month challenge perhaps the Hero Forge gnome, who apparently really likes dragons, which I’m painting for a friend. This will allow Frank’s demon to pull double duty, since I plan on having it be the first miniature I complete in 2021 for my own painting challenge.

I’ve made a little progress on the pig demon since I look the pictures in this post. I’ve done the blue shading on his cloak and made a beginning at cleaning it up with more of the base color before I do the final layer and highlights. I hope to have that stage done by the end of next week and then after that I’ll turn my attention to the trident.

I traditionally have several miniatures going at once on the painting table and I am feeling some temptation to make a start at working on the gnome while I press on with the demon. However, I feel compelled to resist that particular siren song because of how long a road it has been with the demon. Now that I’m nearing completion I think it is better to focus my efforts before moving onto another project. Perhaps things will all work out so that my friend’s gnome can find a home in both Dave’s challenge and Alex’s yearly Fembruary challenge at Leadballoony.

January 2021 “First of the Year” Painting Challenge

It has been awhile since I’ve done a painting challenge and thought it might be fun to do a challenge where you share a picture of the first miniature you completely finish for 2021. We aren’t interested in completing squads, mobs or other collections this time. The focus is to start 2021 off right by showcasing everyone’s first miniature fruits of the year.

Rules of the Challenge

  • The model can be a work in progress but must be completed sometime in January 2021.
  • Your model must be based unless you aren’t planning on basing it later. 
  • A tank, cavalry, chariot, dinosaur or some other miniature with rider(s) counts as one miniature for this challenge.
  • A stand with multiple miniatures counts as one miniature so long as all of the models are affixed to the same base. This excludes dioramas, but you can certainly post a miniature for a diorama so long as it is the first miniature you complete in 2021.
  • You can enter miniatures you are working on for other painting challenges.
  • The challenge closes on January 31, 2021 at midnight (your local time).  If you can’t get your picture posted by that date, it is fine.  Just post it as soon as you can. The best way to let me know you’ve put up a picture is to either link your post back to this one or leave a comment here.
  • Questions and/or ideas?  Let me know in the comments.

Some ideas from past challenges include a mighty dragon, painted by David from Scent of a Gamer

or perhaps an Imperial Knight if you are feeling particularly ambitious like the one painted by Thomas of Dragon’s Den Games?

If you aren’t in the mood or have time for a knight or giant, green dragon perhaps something a bit smaller, but still great, like the miniatures from challenges past in this little slide show. Remember any single miniature is fair game, even a status marker and the like if you so choose.

As for me, I’m hoping to finally finish my eternal work in progress, Frank’s Pig Demon. I got pretty far along before I stalled once again. There are a bunch of minor things I need to do, but finishing the demon’s clothing is the last major piece left. I’ll probably keep the basing fairly simple in line with what Frank told me he wanted.

Miniatures of Magnitude Painting Challenge Round-up

May through June saw the Miniatures of Magnitude painting challenge where the idea is to paint something that is on the larger side.  The model didn’t need to be large, but it had to represent something large.  As I wrote back in early May, “Aircraft, daemon engines, tanks, giants, trains, cavewomen riding mammoths, ships, and beasts that are great, writhing masses of tentacles, eyes, and maws that tumbled down from the stars or crawled up out of the sewer all will find a home in this challenge.”

As usual, if I missed anyone, please let me know and I’ll make sure you make it into the (amended) round-up.

Flying Battleship by John of Just Needs Varnish ink sketch clip art effect

First up is Wudugast’s of Convert or Die Warcry bell tower, complete with gibbets and “fiddly” skeletons.  I’m glad he included the skeletons because I think they add an osseous touch of class to the piece.

Belltower by Wudugast

Wudugast also painted this very nice Chaos Space Marine Obliterator. Our heretic astartes is bristling with weapons of all kinds, as you would expect. He’s got some sort of assault cannon, a heavy flamer, a hefty power fist complete with little claws … heck, let’s face it, the only thing he’s missing are pants!

Next up is Tom’s Imperial Knight Castellan.  I know Tom because he used to work at the local game store I often frequent.  Some time ago, Tom made the trek north from Santa Cruz to Stockton, California where he opened his own store, Dragon’s Den Games.

Tom Douglass Imperial Knight front view

Tom’s knight is the largest model he has painted to date.  He says that it has “technically more surface area than a Bloodthirster” and the latter being “mostly skin and wing so they go a heck of a lot faster, especially with Contrasts!”.  I’m glad Tom persevered because I think his knight came out looking good and will surely strike terror into the hearts of his many nefarious foes.

Look to the skies! David, of Scent of a Gamer, painted a huge dragon who is just waiting to blot out the sun as it soars through a fantasy sky on xanthous wings. David tells us that this miniature is “from the Dragons Don’t Share boxed set that was originally released as part of the Bones II Kickstarter.”

Green Dragon by Scent of a Gamer

David used a “dark green/black mix” for the body and contrast paints for the wings.  He was going for an “eye of Mordor” feel with the dragon’s eyes and I think he succeeded because the eye reminded me of that when I was looking at the pictures in his post before reading the text. I really like that baleful eye!

Continuing with our “Look to the Skies” theme, watch out for flying battleships!  John of Just Needs Varnish! painted a couple of 1/1200 scale aeronefs, which are “ships that fly using some form of gravity-resisting technology to stay airborne.”  The miniatures are produced by Brigade Models.*

Below is a Japanese Shinano class dreadnought. Nicely done and cute spotter plane too!

Japanese Flying Battleship Shinano class Just Needs Varnish

Check out John’s post if you want to see some pictures of the models before they were painted as well as his thoughts about building and modifying these models.  He also shows off some of his older aeronefs in his post as well. John also painted a Russian Poltava class dreadnought, pictured below.

Russian Poltava class dreadnought by John of Just Needs Varnish

Maybe we’ll see more aeronefs from John in the future.  He writes that he has “some lighter aeronefs to finish for these two fleets” and he also has the better part of a Chinese fleet done, and a French fleet to paint.  Let the 19th Century steampunk skies be filled with flying warships!

All of these aerial pictures makes me wonder: can aeronefs drop bombs on each other and the general landscape as well?

Russian Poltava class dreadnought by John of Just Needs Varnish aerial view

It pleases me to continue with the fortresses that can fly and things with wings, so next up is a nicely painted succubus by Dave Stone of Wargames Terrain Workshop. I like those wings by the way with the veins and such.

Dave reports that his demon miniature is about 70mm or 2.75 inches in height, which puts it into the ogre-sized category. Demons come in all shapes and sizes, especially given many of them are shape shifters.

Next up is the prolific Azazel of Azazel’s Bitz Box. He finished quite a passel of miniatures for the challenge. Where to start? How about something with wings such as his Ashardalon the Red Dragon, which he painted with Contrast paints, from the Wrath of Ashardalon board game.

Ashardalon the red dragon by Azazel left front view

Makes me think my friends and I should paint the miniatures from the D&D board games we play, though we probably won’t.

We’ll end the current aerial theme (but not Azazel’s contributions to our challenge — there is much more to come!) with his crashed Aquila lander from the Warhammer 40K 4th edition starter set. I’ve seen a lot of these in games over the years and this one is very nicely done.

Azazel's Aquila lander 01

Azazel writes in his blog that I “was not quite so enthusiastic” about the idea of the Eagle lander being a miniature of magnitude when we talked about it a couple of months ago. I have mostly forgotten the conversation but apparently I was willing to be mollified so long as “there was some kind of giant monster smashing through it.”

Yes, that sounds like me all right. I’m not sure why I was previously unenthusiastic since the lander fits the challenge as much as, say, a Rhino APC would. Probably part of a now forgotten master plan to get Azazel to showcase some of his monsters, which I favor. It worked because he included a “Kaiju shot with not one, but TWO giant monsters …” as you see in the picture above. We even get smaller bonus monsters too and kind of a Nurgle meets Tyranids meets Lovecraft thing. It is great when a plan comes together!

The two larger monsters in question from the “Kaiju shot” are Mudgullet the Froghemoth and Goremaw the Devourer, both from the Reaper Bones line. I’m leave it to the reader’s perspicacity to determine which is which!

Going back to the Wrath of Ashardalon board game for a moment, I quite like Azazel’s Rage Drake. I think this one would be a whole lot more intimidating when it is plunked down on the board than the unpainted ones I’ve seen when I’ve played the game myself with friends. I particularly like the light stripes on the neck.

He’s also painted an Otyugh, also from Wrath of Ashardalon, which jumped (or perhaps burrowed is way past) the queue “because ‘need it for the game.'” I have a soft spot for this monster because of a rather strange dungeon I ran back in the early ’80’s, which heavily featured these creatures. I won’t say any more about it here because I don’t want to digress.**

These four (air, water, earth, and fire) elementals are from the Temple of Elemental Evil D&D boardgame. Yep, they are bigger than a standard ogre!

We’ll cast Plane Shift and leave the world of Dungeons & Dragons for Zombicide, where Azazel’s Abominations can be found. They are certainly both colorful and corrupt, which is just how we like our zombies.

He also painted an Orc Abomination too. This one comes from “Black Plague’s standalone expansion, Green Horde.”

Azazel has been doing a lot of experiments with Contrast Paint lately and has been mostly “emphasizing how things have gone well.” These Trun Hunters from the Shadows of Brimstone board game, are according to Azazel, are “an example of when Contrast Paints combine with bad models to create … something not good.”

I won’t comment except to say while they probably won’t win the 2021 Golden Demon, they are certainly table top quality and fine for board games, where (at least with my crowd) the figures are usually unpainted. So this green-skinned trio has us beat, board game-wise at least.

We’ll end Azazel’s challenge contribution on a sort of virenslithic happy note with the mighty Mossbeard the Treeman. We’ve saved the largest for last here: Azazel reports that this is “the largest model I’ve painted to date.” I like all of the grass, moss and such; it really adds a lot to the model. Many of the people, who commented on his post, think so too and they aren’t wrong! Here is a little slideshow of this most magnitudinous of ents.

Next up is Steve of Dreadaxe Games and his Word Bearers Rhino. Our friendly Chaos Lord’s goal with this new addition to his painted forced was to “keep it in line with everything that I liked about the Chaos Vehicles: the spiked top sections, the grumpy gunner, the variety of gruesome trophies, etc.” As you can see Steve’s APC has lots of suitable, heretical bling. I wonder if that doom caster he’s got will still make it harder for people to shoot overwatch in the coming 9th edition 40K rules? I hope so!

Mcmattila of mcmattilaminis painted Mollog, of Mollog’s Mob from Warhammer Underworlds. Colorful and as usual, his painting is very good. I think that his miniature pictures could be used as art on some of the miniature boxes or in the army books. They are that polished. I particularly like the big, squishy toad and the dorsal mushrooms are none too shabby either.

Argentbadger, of The Bovine Overlord, completed a Chaos Knight War Dog in “deep red in honour of the Blood God.” With the giant melta arm and another melta on its back, as well as a nasty-looking chainsword arm, I don’t think I’d want to be sitting in a tank watching this thing as it scuttles my way. I thought it was a nice touch that Argentbadger used the head from a Juggernaut of Khorne kit, which fits these things nicely, both in look and in the canine spirit of the name. Besides melta, this dog’s got some teeth!

We’ll close the painting challenge with a visit to the world of Blood Bowl where Faust of Double Down Dice has added another ogre to his burgeoning roster of malcontents, murderers, and gridiron mavens of mayhem.

His human team can field one of these guys as a special player. If they are anything like trolls, which Faust assures us they are, then they are easily confused and will often just stand around on the pitch and do nothing, but as he goes on to reassure us, “the strength of an Ogre is nothing to scoff at, when they decide to work with you.”

Thank you very much to everyone who participated in this June-July challenge. It took me awhile to keep this round-up posted and all I can say on that front is I spent the last couple of months in the dark prince’s court within the nacreous cloud spire atop his Eidolon of Indolence. It was time well spent and now I am feeling the whole blog and painting thing again. I hope everyone is doing well and as always, “Paint On!”

* John’s ships remind me of a show I used to love when I was teenager called Star Blazers, complete with flying battleship.

** Back around 1980 or ’81 I wrote up an adventure for my friends where the boss was a Xorn with magical spells and very high intelligence. Its upper level minions were a bunch of Otyugh. The secret entrance to the Xorn’s inner sanctum, which was the interior of a huge geode, was beneath one of their enormous crap piles (mostly the accumulation of waste from slaves) through which the Otyughs had burrowed an elaborate network of rooms and passageways. One of the players coined the title, “Dungeon of Dung,” which stuck, though I originally named it the Fane of Feces. Perhaps if one of these days I decide to run some D&D, I’ll dig out this old chestnut and see how it stands up to the march of decades and my older (but hopefully) wiser eyes. That was pretty long-winded for a “I won’t comment” comment.

April 2020 “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” Painting Challenge Round-up (Part 2 of 2)

Welcome to second half of the April 2020 Paint the Crap You Already Own! painting challenge.  Part One of this painting challenge round-up can be found here.

John at Just Needs Varnish French HQ looking at map small filler art ink sketch effect

Yes, here!

First up is John’s Franco-Prussian War marching Prussian infantry, currently on parade from Just Needs Varnish!.  John mentioned that this “marching unit is a bit different from the others I’ve painted.”  He makes a good point.  Now that I think about it, I haven’t seen many marching units like this one either on the tabletop.  Plenty of units at attention or in action, of course, but not marching.

These figures are from “the Emhar plastic 1:72 FPW Prussian Infantry set,” and the officer is “a metal figure from Hagen Miniatures.”

John at Just Needs Varnish Marching Prussian Infantry

Looking good but that private in the back and fourth in from the left needs to get back in step!

John mentions that the “Prussian coats are described as black-grey,” and thus are lighter than the real thing.  You can read more about what he has to say on the issue here if you’d like.  Whatever the case, I think they would look good.

He also painted some Prussian field artillery to go along with his infantry.  All of the figures in the gun battery below “are from the B&B Miniatures 20mm FPW range.”  In games, when the gun is being moved, John places it on the lengthened base “behind its limber.”

John at Just Needs Varnish Prussian field gun with crew and limber

I like how that one wheel is sunk a little into the mud.  (Vallejo Flat Brown for the horses.)

Below we have a French Mitrailleuse team.  John reports that “In English, Mitrailleuse is the name given to the first machine gun in French service in the Franco-Prussian War, the Reffy Mitrailleuse.”  John also has a couple of interesting videos showing how the Montigny (1863) and Reffy (1867) versions of the Mitrailleuse operated.

John at Just Needs Varnish French Mitrailleuse Team

French mitrailleuse (machine gun) team.  John says this looks more like the Montigny version.

The story behind this Headquarters base of a “French senior officer conferring with one of his aides,” gave me quite a chuckle when John wrote the officer was “wondering why he hasn’t got a map of France.”  Apparently the French expected that they would be invading Germany and consequently didn’t have maps of France.  Turns out the Prussians had “tourist maps of France” aplenty.  Either way doesn’t exactly sound ideal!

John at Just Needs Varnish French HQ looking at map

Face it, monsieur, we’re lost … again!

Dave of Faith&Steel is working on increasing his Chinese Bolt Action forces and toward that worthy end completed a GAZ jeep.  The model is produced by Warlord Games.  I had never heard of these vehicles before so I poked around and learned there were several versions.  (At first glance I thought it was one of these but the nose and fenders were wrong.)  I asked Dave which version he thought his miniature was and he believed it was a GAZ-67B.

Faith and Steel GAZ Jeep front view

Snazzy sunglasses!

According to Wikipedia, “GAZ” stands for Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod, which translates to Gorky Automobile Plant.  The GAZ-64 was developed “during the 1940 war between the Soviet Union and Finland,” and used “commerically available parts already available in the Soviet Union.”

Improvements made to the GAZ-67 over the earlier GAZ-64 included, among other things, a stronger frame, wider wheel base and greater fuel capacity.  This newer version was first produced in September 1943 with the B-series entering production as a replacement in January 1944.

Many people paint Blood Bowl players/combatants, but this month Dave from Scent of a Gamer presents something for the teams to fight over:  four trophies!  They are good sized as trophies go and to illustrate this Dave includes a couple of players for scale.

Scent of a Gamer Blood Blowl Trophies

See pictures below for each trophy’s title.

The trophies have some fun lore associated with them.  When I asked David about it he wrote that each of these trophies is awarded for a separate, major contest with the Blood Bowl being “the richest tournament which awards players a finalist medal.”  My favorite is the Chaos Cup (obviously) because of the “special interest” the Chaos Gods take in the tournament, resulting in random mutations and the like, as well as innovations such as prize money being determined randomly.  (“Yes, Gruncher, we only took second place but we got ALL the money!”)

David “decided to stick as close as possible to the original art in the 1993 Blood Bowl box.”  The pictures below show each trophy next to their original art.  I think he did a good job with that and a nice job painting them as well.

Maenoferren22 of Bogenwald worked on cavalry again this month but this time instead of Lustria he rides into Japan, possibly during (by the looks of things) the Sengoku period, which was a long period of civil war.

I always wondered about those flags on their backs or sashimono.  They look pretty cool in those old movies I used to watch many years ago (back when James Clavell’s novel, Shogun was popular) and I always assumed they had to do with identification and unit cohesion.  Turns out I wasn’t far wrong.

Bogenwald Samurai Cavalry

Plus they also provide aspiring tabletop shoguns scope for painting because Maenoferren22 wrote that he spent a fair amount of time painting the mon (emblems) on the sashimono and he had to 3D print them separately as well.  With posts such as I Hate Sashimono,” and Maeno’s general sashimono-based efforts here and here, it is a good thing they add a lot of color and interest to miniatures as well as fun to old timey war movies because otherwise I’d have to say there were an awful lot of trouble.  Fortunately it turns out they are worth it.

Maeno’s force certainly is colorful and there are quite a lot of them now.  They’ll present quite a spectacle and instill the requisite awe and fear in his enemy’s hearts on the battlefield.

Bogenwald Japanese Force

Argentbadger of The Bovine Overlord continues to expand his painted Warmachine collection and this month he has painted Anastasia Di Bray of the Mercenaries faction.  Argent reports that she is “basically a spy in the stories and her game rules involve ambush deployment and a highly amusing (if hard to pull off) special rule,” that seems to involve creeping up to the enemy warcaster/leader-type such that her forces can take advantage of the distraction to move into “punch them to death” range.

This seems a highly desirable thing to do and I have to say that I’d make sure Anastasia (or anyone else who could pull off a plan like that) got paid on time and was happy with her mercenary contract.  Wouldn’t want to look up one day and find out the hard way she’d gone over to the enemy!

Argent used “dark, naturalistic colours” for this miniature because it fit into the idea of Anastasia being sneaky.  He also pointed out that he liked the “fairly old” and “understated” pose versus the probable newer sculpt that would have her “balanced precariously on a rock throwing knives around like confetti.”  I agree and think that companies often overdo this, especially with rank-and-file types.  Heck, even though I don’t play Warmachine I find myself wanting this miniature because I think it would be useful for Dungeons & Dragons and other games.

Wudugast of Convert or Die! apparently has a love-hate relationship with the Adeptus Mechanicus.  Here we have two Skitarii rangers, one of which he started years ago, abandoned the project, then finished him for the challenge; the other he recently knocked out in about ninety minutes.

Convert or Die Two Skitarii Rangers

Can you tell which is which?  I think they both look great.

I said “love-hate” because Wudugast wrote that he has “a long standing love for the Adeptus Mechanicus, dating back to long before there was a range of models available for them,” but that until now he had “never painted a single model from the range,” and he found painting his first ranger an exercise in “frustration and irritation,” though he did much better sanity-wise with the second.  I’m glad because I’d very much like to see more Adeptus Mechanicus stuff from the mighty Wudugast!

What game doesn’t need more “hard-done-by civilians” to populate its burgeoning Necromunda hives?  Wudu is quite right to complain that with all of the xenos, cultists, gangs and such, no one is “here to do a day’s work.  They just seem to think that the corroded pipes, pools of toxic gunk and ominous piles of skulls just happen by magic.”  Complain no longer for here are some “Mechanics” produced by C-P Models ready to put in a hard day’s work.

Well, they used to be mechanics until Convert or Die’s chief, um, “converter” got his multifarious and (perhaps) charmingly misshaped paws on them.  He also used “heads from Anvil Industry and various Games Workshop gubbins.”  The spherical drone was “kitbashed entirely out of odds and ends” and almost ended back in the bits box junk pile until Wudugast decided his new workmen might make use of it.

Convert or Die Necromunda civilians three and drone

I wonder if that drone perhaps needs a candle?

Wudugast also wanted to experiment with “a new and easier way to paint orange.”  For these chaps he base coated with Jokaero Orange, followed by Gryph-Hound Orange Contrast, ending with a highlight of Jokaero Orange and then Fire Dragon Bright.  Looks pretty good to me.  Might have to try this recipe out.  Certainly sounds easy enough.

On a side note, I mentioned to Wudu that I liked the candles and he told me they came from the Cawdor kit.  Fancy!

Here are the original C-P Models mechanics in case you were wondering:

Convert or Die Mechanics models C-P Models

The think the guy on the left is pissed about his errant pile of skulls.

Head swaps, candles, sinister drone assistants and the like might not be ideal working conditions/fringe benefits, but at least they are better off than these four unfortunates below.  If you would like to see Wudugast’s completed forty poxwalker-strong mob (I manually counted them in the picture), with all of his various conversions, sometimes subtle but always delightful, you can find them here.

We continue our tour of Necromunda with Alex’s (of Leadballoony) D’onne ‘Mad D’onna’ Ultanti miniature he “originally intended to complete” a couple of years ago, again for his yearly Fembruary painting challenge.  Happily, Alex finally managed to gather his courage and complete the miniature for this little challenge.

Leadballoony D'onne Ultani front view

Forget the weaponry, the hair alone puts D’onne firmly into the elite category.

I suspect D’onne would be the sort of person our aforementioned mechanics would complain about, what with her tragic upbringing, her time in and out of various underhive gangs, and not having the inclination what with being on the run and all, to admire their cunning fashioned piles of skulls and working, not-leaking-too-badly plumbing. 

Given her penchant for the plasma pistol and table manners (one wonders if a fish fork is the correct utensil for taking out someone’s eye at a formal dinner … at least in polite society?) I imagine said mechanics would do well to keep their opinions firmly to themselves.  

Alex based his paint scheme for D’onne from the book, Survival Instinct, by Andy Chambers.  The cover art was done by Clint Langley.  He (Alex not Andy or Clint) talks about some of the challenges of painting the miniature, such as fishnets, and I have to agree that sounds hard.  Well done, Alex, for finally getting D’onne finished and not having to endure another year of her sending you threatening, faux Morse code-based messages from your bits box by cunningly revving her (nuclear powered?) chainsword, demanding you get her painted for Fembruary 2021.  Now you can have some other miniature threaten you instead!

Candore Et Labore Tree person bust ink sketch effect clip art

Eric of Candore Et Labore certainly was productive for the month of April, which heralded (besides finishing 26 models) the completion of Eric’s first (five months in the making) diorama.  Here we have a scene near the cliffs of Dover, very likely during the Battle of Britain.  Note that the decals on the German aircraft, painted in 1940 colors, represent the 109 flown by Luftwaffe ace, Feldwebel Heinz Bär.

Candore Et Labore Spitfire and Me 109 diorama

1/72 scale German Bf 109 E-3 and British Spitfire Mk I.a.

Some of the “many firsts” for Eric in his diorama is “modeling water using toilet paper, using an airbrush to paint a realistic model and camouflage and making smoke/fire from cotton balls.”  I think he did a great job and this dogfight alone would have been a good month’s work, in my estimation, but Eric was far from done yet.

From England we journey to a scratch-built patch of North Africa where Eric has emplaced a flak gun.  I like how this turned out, particularly the weathering on the gun shield.  The sandbags where a nice touch too, as well as the verisimilitude in locating the emplacement in what seems a tactically sound area.  The picture gives the sense that the area is a slight depression.  The ridge on the right provides good cover and concealment on that side and the Germans have placed some sand bags where they would do some good for the riflemen.  Perhaps they have a machine gun back there somewhere they could bring up if needed?

Candore Et Labore German flak gun diorama

This Flugabwehrkanone is from Tamiya’s “Siege of Tobruk” set in 1/48 scale.

Eric fired up his printer and completed some alien plants.  His idea was to paint them up fast with “wild colors,” and to that end Eric “used only craft store paints straight from the battle.”  (Note the guardsman in the bottom right picture put in for scale.)

Eric also printed out and painted a Necromunda loader and a “little critter” that reminds me of a Tarantula sentry gun with twin assault cannons.  (I think I have one with heavy bolters eternally lost somewhere in my pile of plastic.)  He also got an interesting bit of terrain done that looks like it could be some sort of turbine or field generator.

Finally, Eric painted two busts that he “had printed months ago.”  The plant person on the left is “baby Groot,” and the idea was to “put a small cactus in his head,” which is hollow like a planter, and present Baby Groot Cactus Head as a present for his wife’s birthday.  Alas, with the stores closed down he couldn’t make the cactus happen, but he did also paint up a plague doctor bust.  Nice!

Mark, of Man of Tin, inspired by a 1987 article by Stuart Asquith, decided to open up his blue box of drawers that has done good service by helping “preserve a small core of randomly painted and unpainted figures from my gaming in the 1980s throughout many house moves.”

He has taken advantage of his extra hobby time to finish a bunch of figures and units that have been sitting around for nearly 40 years.  Mark got a lot of work done and I’m sure there is much more space in his blue box to build up to another big painting project by 2060 or so!

Man of Tin Peter Laing 15mm ECW unit with white and gray flag

Peter Laing 15mm English Civil War pikemen complete at last.

In addition to the Blue Box Figures, Mark also had another box where he stored “random figures from job lots,” that he acquired in his quest for more Peter Laing figures.  Some of scrapped metal found new life as european “ImagiNations ‘Forgotten Minor States,'” such as the Volunteer Militia.  One wonders what the symbol on their flag is supposed to represent?

Man of Tin FMS unit Volunteer Militia of Thyer Brigadia

Volunteer Militia of Thyer Brigadia unit.

Some “Confederates, generic rebels or Revolutionary forces” made up from “unpainted scrap American Civil War type figures from various makers in mixed uniforms.”  Given its pedigree, it seems to me like this unit ought to get some sort of bonus in games when fielded as irregulars, militia, etc.

Man of Tin generic Confederates rebels revolutionary forces unit

“They have improvised themselves a dramatic Revolutionary flag.”

The cannon is “from the Napoleonic Risk board game served by a crew made from “broken figures.”

Man of Tin cannon and crew from the Napoleonic Risk game

Artillery support, perhaps, for our revolutionary types above?

Besides, revolutionaries, Mark also found (and patched up) pirate types a plenty in his magic Blue Box of Insurrection. I think he has enough miniatures between these guys and some of the others to put on a pretty respectable Treasure Island game.

Man of Tin 15mm Pirates with muskets and blunderbusses

Forgotten Minor States: 15mm pirates with muskets and blunderbusses.

Man of Tin 15mm Pirates with muskets and blunderbusses

More 15mm pirates (or brigands perhaps) with long pistols.

These chaps below in white shirts could fill many roles.  Guerrillas, colonists, sailors pressed into service by the pirates perhaps?

Man of Tin Guerillas or sailor looking types in white shirts with muskets or rifles

Guerillas or sailors with muskets or rifles (and a cannon!).

Mark also found a lot of 15mm “Tricorne figures with short muskets or carbines.”  He painted them to be “practical Redcoats roughing it in the forest wilds or along the cliffs and coast searching for Natives or Wreckers.”  Worthy opponents for the revolutionaries and pirates and as Mark points out could be useful for 18th Century Close Wars types of conflicts “in the forests of America.”

Mark completed a couple of dioramas, in addition to his newly refurbished 1980’s 15mm forces.  Here we have a “border watchtower in one of the forgotten minor states.”

Man of Tin Border Watchtower hex diorama

The hexes look good and a board of these would make for a very playable game.

Man of Tin Border Watchtower hex diorama view from back

This picture makes me want to play either a Command & Colors game or Muskets & Tomahawks.

Finally, Mark put together a “portable port” that was (in part) “inspired by finding a Murray King postcard of Cornish Wreckers” when he was “on a seaside trip a year or two ago.”

Man of Tin Portable Port

“Redcoats!  Smugglers!  Wreckers!”  Note the postcard in back.

The lighthouse and warehouses came from a “wooden buildings from Christmas” project.  The Martello tower has a swiveling cannon that Mark is very proud of.  He writes more about the these fortifications and how he made his here.  A spoiler:  it involves some “mini crumble puddings” containers.

Miko, of Dawn of the Lead, offers up a “mixed selection” of six miniatures he painted this month.  I think they are all very nicely painted and I like the background he used for them too.

The fellow below on the left is Black Cat Bases’s metal pirate surgeon, who provides many opportunities for the Carpenter to make a wooden limb.”  The pirate is Esmerelda II from Black Scorpion Miniatures.  Let’s hope a wooden limb isn’t in her future anytime soon!

Dawn of the Lead Barber Surgeon and Esmerelda

Like the glasses and the pirates’s hat & hair.

The monkey with the hat is another miniature from Black Scorpion.  (I think Mikko did a much better job of painting his than the one on the company website for what it is worth.)  Originally, as I pointed out in the comments to his post, I thought the miniature was a “dwarf anthro-donkey swashbuckler with an outrageously oversized hat,” but nope, it’s a monkey.

The monkey on the barrel was a “3d print from Depths of Savage Atoll.”  Speaking of barrels, Mikko did some more you can check out here.

Dawn of the Lead pair of monkeys

Another great hat.

The pirate on the left, with the raised sword, is a “custom Hero Forge piece” who Mikko named Smith of Bristol.  The inspiration for the name comes from a song by the Dubliners, and “tells the story of a daring pirate who goes around a-plunderin’ and a-robbin’ before finally being killed by a Spanish bullet.”  If you want to listen to the song, Mikko put a Youtube link in his blog post.

The last miniature is Tigl Uilenspiegel (or Till Owlglass), who “is a 16th (or possibly 15th or even earlier) century trickster figure,” and a rather odd fellow indeed.  Nice job with this one:  I really like the shading of the skin and the choice of colors for his clothes.

Dawn of the Lead Smith of Bristol and Till Owlglass

Finally, we wrap up our April painting challenge with my small contribution:  a bugbear and two poxwalkers, #18 and #19.  I liked how the flesh on “Somewhat Orange Poxwalker” came out so I might do something similar with the flesh on #20, which is the second of the great coat zombies.  (I saved the ones I wanted to paint the least until last.)

Bugbear and Poxwalker #18 and #19 for 12 Months of Hobby Painting Challenge at Painting in the Dark by Warbringer April 30 2020

Only one more poxwalker to go and I’ll have finally finished my Dark Imperium zombies.

Thank you very much again to everyone who participated in this, my second painting challenge.  If I left you out, please let me know and I’ll rectify the situation pronto.  If you haven’t seen Part One of this challenge, you can check it out here.

I apparently haven’t had enough of running painting challenges yet, so if you enjoyed this one and want more, check out the Sixty Day Miniatures of Magnitude Painting Challenge, which ends on July 3rd.

Take care, thank you for reading … and Paint On!

Fight On guy

 

April 2020 “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” Painting Challenge Round-up (Part 1 of 2)

 

Part Two of the Challenge is Here.

My thoughts turned (as they often do, especially when I’m buying another box of undead or demons or something) to the fact that most of us already have a box or closet or garage full of unpainted plastic and wouldn’t it be nice to chip away at that mountain, even if only symbolically?  Thus the Paint the Crap You Already Own! painting challenge was born.

We have twenty-two artists, who contributed pictures of their work, this time around.  As you will see, this post is quite long.  So I decided to split the round-up into two parts.

If you click on the various pictures and such, many of them will take you to the painter’s website.  Click on the galleries to see larger versions of the pictures.  (As usual there are a few Easter Eggs here and there.) Thank you to everyone who participated and I will get the second part out just as soon as I can.

Who better to place in the vanguard of this month’s offerings than a squad of Mcmattilaminis’ nicely painted space marine scouts with shotguns led by the sergeant with a big fist?

I like the basing skulls, particularly the orkish one.

Mcmattilaminis reports that he did quite a bit of work modifying these guys.  He used Scion heads, which I agree look good on these guys.  I also appreciate his nod to tradition in having the sergeant eschew wearing (or even carrying) a helmet.

I thought the backpacks were a nice touch too and added a lot both from an aesthetic and gaming standpoint.  (These also came from the Scion box.)  They look good and if you use these scouts in a game they can pay the points and have camo cloaks or if you’d rather not, well, they’re rolled up and stowed.

Nice job on the camo cloaks.

Mcmattilamini also presents three orks, which seem like they’d make suitable enemies for our scouts.  I like the weather and armor chipping and the orange is pretty.  Plenty colorful too.  The freehand work on the helmets and shoulder pads and the little “evil sun” on the boy’z shoulder pad on the right are all nice touches.

I like how he uniforms aren’t identical …

… but still appear unified along the same theme.

Mikeland82 from Starship Vorenus writes that “from 28th Feb through to the end of June I would buy no new minis, and focus on the backlog.”  In other words he’s going to paint the crap he already owns.  Good man!  He made excellent progress for May as the gallery below illustrates.  (You can also see some larger pictures of these models by clicking on the gallery or still larger yet on the round-up post in his blog.)

My personal favorites are the Last of the Mohicans figures.  I remember these miniatures from a Muskets & Tomahawks game I played at a convention some years ago.  I also like how Mike based them so they are carefully advancing through the tall grass.  The brown roots evoke memories of wetlands for me because I’ve hiked and hunted many times through exactly this kind of thing back in my ancestral stomping grounds of New England.  Never met any Mohicans but I’d occasionally meet a Penobscot.

Turning toward the gigantic now, we have Lordcommandereloth’s, of Eloths Endeavours, mighty “Stick Man” with a giant sword that his wife bought him for their 5th wedding anniversary.  As he reports, this is most appropriate since this the wooden anniversary.  Good thinking indeed on both their parts!

A lot of interesting stuff going on with this highly impressive centerpiece ent.

I think LMC did a brilliant job.  I particularly like the bark and all the many details, such as the red shelf mushrooms, the sword and staff, the leaf loincloth and of course the base.  L.C. Eloth says that he did the bark by basing with a cream color, washing with dark brown and then dry brushing progressively lighter colors ending with white.  Smashing.  Did I say that I liked the bark yet because I really do?

In addition to all of this arboreal goodness, I found some interesting work-in-progress posts as well:

Next up is that rather prolific painter, Azazel of Azazel’s Bitz Box, with, well, lots of different things.  Imagine, for a moment, that you have been challenged to play a game with whatever figures you can paint in 30 days.  The game is Mishmash 40,000 where your force is more effective and you unlock key capabilities by putting together something like what we have below.

Azazel's April 2020 Wrap Up Photo

I respectfully submit, Gentle Reader, that this is a power gamer’s list for Mishmash 40K!

If you would like to know more about these miniatures, I’ve included a list of Azazel’s individual posts.  Something I find interesting about reading his site is that he enjoys working on older pieces and one gets to see some unlikely and obscure items from the past on his blog.  From more or less left to right (more or less) from the above image:

As Azazel pointed out, a few things he painted didn’t make it into the above group picture.  He painted two of the “industrial pallets” from the Battlefield Accessories Set, of which I only see one.  His Slaaneshi Champion, from 1988, who has been sitting neglected for maybe 20 years never made it into the picture and neither did a respectably large collection of cages and chains.  I don’t know if it is just me, but do you think perhaps there might be some sort of dark prince-based connection here?

Azazel's Wizkid's Cages

I definitely could come up with some interesting house rules for this terrain.

Azazel's Champion of Slaanesh

Twenty years and now a fully painted Slave to Darkness!

Azazel's two Reiksgard Foot Knights

“Reiksguard Knighrts, your Emperor is calling!”

We turn now from ancient miniatures cast during the mists of time and left sitting on desks throughout dark antiquities to a painter, who is making her debut on the pages of this blog, and exhibits her art using the non de plume of The Little Elf.  Her work can be primarily found at Double Down Dice, where she is assisted by Faust.

I like Little Elf’s choice of colors for Her Little Pony.  One wonders what the pony’s name is and what magical powers our equine friend exhibits?

Faust’s offering is another Blood Bowl entry, well, sort of.  He is planning to use the prosperous fellow below as a “dwarf coach” for his team, though I agree with Faust that Coach could also “do double duty as a merchant, noble, etc. for other games.”  Whatever the case, surrounded as he is by all of those chests of treasure, Blood Bowl seems to be treating him well.  What more could any dwarf want?

Faust said that the gold bands on the chest are lighter in the picture than in person.

Speaking of the chests, Faust reports that he used Contrast paints for the wood, “which was nice and quick.”  He used Army Painter Light Tone shade for the metal parts.  I liked how the wood turned out and the word “quick” got my attention as it always does, so I asked him in the comments what he used for paints.

Faust wrote that he used Gore-Grunta Fur Contrast for the open chest, Wyldwood Contrast for the darkest one, and Aggaros Dunes Contrast for the lightest chest.  “Washes were only used sparingly towards the base on most of the chests.”

Thanks, Faust, I’m definitely going to give this a try on my two Etsy chests!

Glad the painting challenge helped you get this guy done!  I like the cloak.

Next up we have The Introverted Hermit, who some of you might know as (among other things) the Monday Maker of Mandalas.  This month she completed some interesting (and useful speaking from someone who plays D&D with a grid map) bases and bunch of “miniatures I’ve had shoved in drawers for months.”  Sounds like an ideal project for the “Paint the Crap You Already Own” challenge!

Here we have our Stone Golem friend, who made its debut in the advertisment for the upcoming May Miniatures of Magnitude challenge.  I would say from the expression on its face, some treasure robber is going to have a bad day.

Stone Golem by The Introverted Hermit

Love the mean, glaring expression.

As for the treasure this lithic chap is guarding, I.H. helpfully supplied some treasure bases, including this one and some more in the gallery …

The Introverted Hermit treasure base

I think my 3rd level Fighter could retire with all of this loot.

… and being ever-helpful, there are also some bases of bones, entrails, and such in the gallery just in case things go awry for any plunderers of ancient wizards’ towers.

Last and not least, just in case our adventurers don’t run afoul of bandits, gnolls, bugbears, mind flayers, bat swarms, and trolls, plus make it past the stone golem, there is this Mummy Captain and/or Lord as a suitable end boss.  In addition to dual-wielding a couple of khopesh-looking blades, the good captain/lord may also have defenses and powers formed from the dreams/nightmares of the intrepid DM!

The Introverted Hermit Egyptian theme skeleton

“Join me in death, vile mortals!”

Continuing down the black road of eldritch magicks, undeath, darkness and perhaps even “vile mortals,” we have another Reaper offering from Dave at The Imperfect Modeller —  the aptly named Marise Greyshroud (and friends).

The Imperfect Modeller Marise Greyshroud front

One wonders what the writing on the sword says.

I must say that Dave has been doing a good job of marketing for Reaper between their fun miniatures and his great painting skills.  Last month his wizard caused me (or perhaps ensorcelled me, who knows?) to go over the their website, make an account, and put a bunch of their miniatures onto my nascent wish list.

Besides being nicely painted, Queen Greyshroud (or perhaps Greenshroud?) would certainly make a meet sovereign for some wraiths I started assembling.  Yet more grist for the mill of my Reaper wish list?

Ghostly Ink Sketch from The Imperfect Modeller's Marise Greyshroud 125 wide

I think it is best, before I hand the good folks at Reaper all my credit cards, to perhaps plane shift over to the more solid ground of Napoleon and the 19th Century, courtesy of Marvin at Suburban Militarism.  For April, he undertook the fairly ambitious project of completing these 28 figures representative of Napoleon’s Old Guard.

Twenty-eight Old Guard in 1/72 scale by Strelets.

Marvin says that he liked how the miniatures had interesting “facial features which seem to give each pose character.”  He goes on to opine:  “Perhaps my favourite is this fella below who seems to be casting a quizzical glance askew.”  (He is speaking of the soldier in the largest image on the right in the gallery below.)  I wonder if the grizzled veteran can’t help but think of all that has happened over his years of service and wonder how it all could have come to this?

The “this” I’m referring to is of course Napoleon’s farewell address before he leaves for his exile to the Isle of Elba in 1814.  Marvin has put down some sand and arrayed his Old Guard into a hollow square in front of his 18th Century country house that has also seen duty as an ersatz palace.

“Soldiers of my Old Guard, after 20 years I have come to say goodbye!”

Here we have Napoleon Bonaparte.  The figure below also comes with the Strelets kit, which I think is a nice touch.  Marvin, as a painting guide, “settled on some portraits of him wearing a grey overcoat and the uniform of a colonel of the Chasseurs a Cheval,” and including “a silver medal with a red ribbon” he often wore.

L’Empereur Himself!

All quite well done, I’d say, but Marvin wasn’t done yet.  No, not by a long shot.  He decided to make a Youtube video, “Napoleon leaves for Elba”.  This link will take you directly to the video, where you can leave Marvin a like if you wish.

You can also access the video from his page or see a non-video pictorial transcript of the farewell.  Marvin was kind enough to allow me to post the video here as well.

We say farewell (or bon voyage perhaps?) now to Napoleon and hoof it west, hop a boat, hoof it west some more and finally hop into our moves-temporally-while-staying-in-the-same-place time machine from France to the Aztec Empire.

Mark Morin recently purchased a bunch of miniatures that were from the ’70s to the ’90’s, including a bunch of Badger Games Aztecs.  He originally didn’t have a “fully developed concept” for them, but then he “volunteered to write a supplement covering the Spanish Conquest of the Americas in the 16th Century,” and thus he had a reason to paint up his miniatures.  Let’s begin things with Mark’s novice warriors.

Mark Morin Group shot of 12 novices

I’m sure what the novices lack in experience they more than make up for their enthusiasm.

Mark reports that “a major aspect of warfare of this period was the overriding need to take captives.”  A novice could advance to veteran status by taking suitable prisoners.  (You can read more about what he has to say on the subject here.)