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)

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.)

Next up are the veteran eagle warriors.  These guys and the novices represent the beginning of what Mark hopes will someday be an impressive force of 150 painted models.  I like how colorful these Aztecs are, so I agree that many warriors would look very nice on the tabletop.

Mark Morin Eagle Warriors advancing close up

Veterans on the run brandishing their tepoztopilli (spears).

I fondly remember the days of lead miniatures so it comes as no surprise to me that Mark wrote that the spears were “spaghetti-like” and “vulnerable to bending.”  I liked his solution, which was to put a thin layer of Apoxie Sculpt on the weapons, which made them less bendy.  That is a great idea that I’m going to remember.  Mark details the process he used here if you are interested.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the future brings for his 150 warrior horde. 

Tarmor of Dragons of Lancasm, who is “married with four chickens,” completed five Reaper miniatures this month.  He hasn’t been painting as much because he’s getting ready to play Shadowrun, but five is “more painting than I’ve achieved any other month this year!” so it sounds good to me.  Heck, I would count five as a darned good month in my household so well done, Tarmor!

Dragons of Lancasm front view

I like Mal’s glowing, green eyes.

The miniatures represent, from left to right, “Reaper 03893 “Mal” Catfolk Warrior, SW76 Mon Calamari, SW26 Bossk (trandoshan bounty hunter), SW77 Engineer, & SW27 Weequay.”

Dragons of Lancasm back view

Looks like the Star Wars contingent isn’t getting along very well at the moment!

He plans on using the Reaper Catfolk Warrior as “one of the player characters” in his D20 Gamma World game.  The other Star Wars figures were produced by West End Games/Grenadier as part of boxed sets in 1988-89, and he purchased them back then.

Glad to see you were able to get some of those vintage figures you’ve had sitting around painted up!

Dragons of Lancasm Catfolk Warrior Reaper 03893 ink sketch 150 wide

Obliterators are used to endings (or ending peoples’ lives, rather!) so I think a pair of these guys are a good place to close out part one of our round-up.  The Word Bearers are strong over at Dreadaxe Games as is evidenced by first a helbrute and now this fanatically gruesome (or gruesomely fanatical?) pair offered up for our spiritual edification and enslavement. 

Dreadaxe achieved his obliterators’ “mad pink” flesh by base coating with Rakarth Flesh, which he washed with Carroburg Crimson.  He “added Cruchii Violet to the recesses and some of the more bulbous areas of the skin for a bruised, infected look.”

On that happy note so ends Part One of the April 2020 “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” challenge.   Part Two will be about as long as this offering and I will publish it as soon as I can.  I hope you have enjoyed our little journey through space, time, and the imagination.  So we won’t say goodbye quite yet to our painting challenge but instead au revoir!

Napoleon doffing his hat stylized ink sketch 200 tall from picture by Suburban Militarism

Bugbear with Mace & Shield Finished

I finished my first Etsy Bugbear with a mace and shield last night and took some pictures this morning.  I’m fairly happy with him because whatever shortcomings he has paint-wise I do think he does look suitably powerful and brutal.  I can’t help but think that my new friend here would be at home in a Robert E. Howard Weird Tales story.

Of the three miniatures this one is my favorite pose.

For the flesh I base coated with Doombull Brown, washed the whole miniature with Agrax Earthshade, then painted the muscles with Tuskor Fur.  Then I highlighted with about a 50/50 mix of Tuskor Fur and Kislev Flesh, and washed the whole thing (optionally, I think now) with a glaze of Contrast Medium and Reikland Fleshshade.  I finished the flesh with some very small highlights of Kislev, and some Bugman’s Glow along the upper part of his lip.

I haven’t tried to do much with flesh in the past, so this is the beginning of a learning curve for me.  One thing I’m discovering is that once I get past the Doombull stage it is good to dilute my paints on the palette so they are translucent and work on building up color on the muscles.  I will try to keep this in mind for the next two bugbears and going forward in general.*

Tusks and teeth were Dawnstone, Agrax, then highlights.

I painted the leather tunic with Vallejo Russian Green (70.894), washed with Agrax Earthshade and then highlighted with Nurgling Green.

I also experimented with some patches of Nurgling Green to try and make the leather look somewhat old and worn in places.  I’m going to play around with that some more with the next bugbear, which will be good practice trying to develop that technique.  Also, next time I think I might do the highlights of the raised folds with a slightly darker color than I used here to see if I like the results better.

Bracers: Rakarth, Skeletal Horde Contrast, Ushabti dry brush.

I wanted to do something other than my usual “glue on some sand and maybe a rock and bush and call it a day” basing method that I’ve been doing for the last five or six years.**  So out tried out the Slyvaneth Base from Warhammer TV.  Turned out to be simple, which I liked.  The base was primed with Rhinox Hide like the rest of the miniature.  I covered the base with Vallejo Dark Earth (26.218) Texture and glued down a little rock that wanted to come home with me during one of my early morning Social Distancing in the Darkness Hikes up in the hills.***

From there I dabbed Death World Forest all over the base so that the brown texture still showed through.  After that, I washed the base with Athonian Camoshade and dry brushed with Nurgling Green.  Then a light dry brush in patches (not the whole base) with Averland Sunset and finished it off by adding the flowers and brush.  (Chose tan brush over green because his tunic was green.)

Hair: Rhinox, Slyvaneth Bark dry brush

So this fellow with enter the painted ranks for my own contribution to the April painting challenge, which ends on May 3rd.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do for a painting challenge for May yet.  I have a day or two because in keeping with tradition the May challenge won’t end until June 3rd.  I don’t find myself tired of doing challenges yet or feeling like I need a break, so I’ll come up with something.  Not surprisingly it’ll be something that will feed in to what I hope to accomplish myself this month.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to getting started on the April challenge round-up.  It is going to be a large one with lots of great models from many different artists!

This is how bugbears look in real life!

* In addition to the trio of mace bears, I also have three more Etsy bugbears with halberds who are anxiously anticipating any artistic attention that might come their way hopefully (for them) sooner rather than later.

** I’ve been continuing with this “desert basing” method with my poxwalkers because I want the mob to be uniform.  Once they are done, I think I’m going to try some desert texture products on future Nurgle forces.

*** I know the rock wanted to come home with me because I had to shake it out of my shoe and it was a sharp little bugger too.  Ouch!

April 2020 “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” Painting and Hobby Challenge

My first painting challenge, March Might & Magic, is wrapping up on April 3rd, so I thought I’d announce a new painting challenge for this month:  Paint the Crap You Already Own!*  The idea is simple.  You can paint anything you want so long as you owned it before April 1, 2020.

Also, as a Hobby Challenge, you don’t have to confine yourself to painting models.  For example, you can finish a short story, poem, write a roleplaying game adventure, craft a mandala, paint a picture, post a Youtube video, complete a needlepoint project, finishing putting together a swing set out in your backyard, etc.  Pretty much anything fun or hobby-oriented that you started before April 1st.

Always good advice! 🙂

Rules of the Challenge

  • Models for this challenge must be ones you owned before April 1, 2020.
  • Before pictures are great, and I’ll use them for updates, but they are not required.  We’re on the honor system here.
  • If your project doesn’t involve painting models, you must have started work on it before April 1, 2020.
  • The challenge closes on May 3rd, 2020 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 for this challenge or as many as you want.  Basing is great, but is optional.
  • Models and projects you feature in other challenges 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.

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?

Learn the rules for a board game, play a game and then report your thoughts or review the game.

From review of Tiny Epic Galaxies game by Justin of The Solo Meeple.

Carve some 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 being April 1st, I was going to put up an April Fool’s challenge that for the month you could paint your entire backlog of unpainted models, but decided maybe to save that for next year.

** Ensorcelling said pumpkin(s) as containers for the bewitched life forces of extinct but somehow still nascent beings of pure song is entirely optional and probably beyond the scope of this hobby challenge.