“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.

March 2020 Might & Magic Painting Challenge Round-up!

I thought it might be fun to organize a painting challenge where you could paint nearly anything you wanted.  Thus the Might & Magic Painting Challenge was born.

You can click on the various pictures and galleries.  Some will take you to larger versions of the pictures.  Others to the miniature on the artist’s blog or some other page related in some way to the miniature.  There are a few Easter eggs here and there for readers who might be interested in such things.

Thank you very much to all of the kind people who participated.  I had a lot of fun checking out your art and looking at your pages, and I learned a few things along the way too, such as some tips on painting tattoos and skin tones, and a little about the Italian navy.  If I left anyone’s miniatures out, please let me know and I’ll update the round-up with your work.  Ciao!

Cat Familiar Ink Version 100 wide

The first completed model that came howling out of the wilderness before mid-March was Hearteater from the inconceivable Wudugast of Convert or Die!  I love his jawbone axe and agree with Wudu that he is “ready to lead his followers on a hunt into the wilds of the Bloodwind Spoil.”

Love that jaw bone axe!

Toward the end of the month, Wudugast also completed a Blackstone Fortress Traitor Commissar.  As it common practice at Convert or Die!, our good Commissar was graced with a somewhat painful, at least for Wudugast so I understand, head swap.

Instead of being merely fallen to Chaos we have this happy fellow, who looks slightly drunk to me (on power, ardent spirits or perhaps both?) and certainly more than willing and capable of “leading his regiment on a capering daemon dance into damnation” and infernal alliteration too.  Good work if you can get it, for sure!

The second offering for the month that came in was the “mighty Helljack” Kharybdis by Argentbadger of The Bovine Overlord for his “Cryx force for Warmachine.”  Silver Badger reports this lovely, tentacled monstrosity is “focused on melee” and has an “amusing ink spray,” which I suppose keeps with the whole nautical motif of this helljack’s namesake.

Here we have Kharybdis with its bonded warcaster, Aiakos.  Argentbadger (I keep wanting to type Ardent rather than Silver) tells those of us who are uninitiated into the mysterious of Warmachine that you don’t have to play them together in a game but the helljack  “does get a slight benefit from being in Aiakos’s battlegroup.”  I’m sure those who would defy Cryx are glad for that!

Dave, who produces the outstanding blog,  The Imperfect Modeller, writes that he likes “painting all sorts of figures but none more so than the occasional wizard,” and I’d said it shows with this magician from Reaper Miniatures named Vinharis Tenspire.

The miniature has a lot of details and Dave does some great freehand work, which really adds a lot to a piece that was already pretty awesome.  The striped hat, the starburst designs on the hem of his robe, writing on the bits of paper tied to his staff (magical notes or perhaps simply reminders to pick up milk?), and so on.  The little familiar is cute, and there is so much going on with the base.  He looks like he’s casting a spell probably from the middle of his sanctum or secret laboratory that seems in utter chaos with all of the papers, books, jars of dubious, past experiments and so on scattered every which way.

Dave paints all sorts of different types of miniatures (he strikes me as a bit of a polymath) and I especially like his dioramas too.  As I type this he is currently working on a waterfall piece that is shaping up to be quite spectacular.

Turning from the fantastic to the historical, we have John and his fine historical miniatures blog, Just Needs Varnish!  He decided to share with us some recent additions to his 1/600 and 1/700 WW2 Italian Regia Marina coastal forces.

John’s new forces along with some of his older ships.

My personal favorite of John’s new naval forces is the colorful Driade.  Perhaps this is because, as John points out, there “is the somewhat tenuous link to magic … since dryads are tree nymphs and this is the closest I’ll ever come to painting something that, to me, could be considered magical!”

Or maybe it is just the colorful lifeboats and whatnot?  I think I like John’s rationale better.  Whatever the case, I enjoyed checking out John’s coastal forces and learning a little about some of the ships of the Italian navy during WW2.

Driade, a Gabbiano scale corvette” in 1/600 scale.

Lince, a Spica class torpedo boat (small destroyer)” in 1/600 scale.

Turbine, namesake of that class of destroyer, in 1/700 scale.

Minesweeper and two torpedo-armed motorboats, 1/600 scale.

From the Italian Royal Navy we shamble over to Mcmattilaminis, who has a blog of the same name, and his lovely poxwalkers!  He decided to experiment with Games Workshop’s Contrast paints and these pictures are the result.  (He also lists some interesting Contrast paint Youtube videos in his poxwalker post that might be worth checking out.)   I think his living dead turned out grand and I’d be proud to plunk eight or nine thousand of these rotters on the table in a friendly game of 40K.

I quite like the Easy-to-Build Poxwalker sculpts.

Mcmattilaminis sees poxwalkers “as the lowly embodiments of Nurgle’s might, and there’s at least a little magic involved as their disease-ridden bodies are blessings from a [the!] plague god.” I quite agree and given how dangerous poxwalkers can be in large numbers, I’d say they embody both Might and Magic quite nicely indeed!

My favorite weapon of the bunch is the grenade flail, lol.

Next up is this bruiser, an ogre painted by Faust of Double Down Dice.  I have to say that this guy is ugly in all the right ways.  Faust reports that his ogre is named Morg N’ Thorg and like almost all star players is a freelancer.  In Morg’s case he “will play for just about every Blood Bowl team out there.  Except for the Undead, who he hates.”  Faust also notes that this guy doesn’t play for peanuts so he doesn’t see a lot of use in games because he costs a lot of points to field.  (Now we know how he comes by all of that gold!)

This guy pretty much embodies everything that is right about Blood Bowl, lol!

I wonder if the team gave him the number 100 because he said, “Morg N’ Thorg want biggust nummer onda teem!” If Blood Bowl is anything like the National Football League the numbers normally only go up to 99, but if someone were to object and I were one of the coaches, I’d say, “You tell him he has to give up his number!”

I didn’t think so.

It isn’t as far a journey as you might think from the hot-blooded pitch of Bloodbowl to the cold-blooded jungles of Lustria.  I’m sure Maenoferren22, Potentate of (3D) Printing, Lord of Lizardmen and owner of the blog Bogenwald would agree.

We offer, for your consideration, a Scar Veteran riding a re-purposed Allosaurus.  Maeno said that he “decided to give him a spear as he is on a big bloody lizard and a little sword wouldn’t reach anyone on the ground.”  Seems legit to me and what is more, that is pretty cool spear so there’s that too.

One wonders where that Allosaurus originally came from….

I thought Maeno’s dino harness came out looking good.  He used green stuff for the straps and then made the decorations by fashioning molds out of molding paste then putting green stuff into said molds.  I like he end result and I agree with Sir John, who commented in Maeno’s “Lizards and Moulded Greenstuff” post that the sculpting “looks like it’s all meant to be there!”

I have happily followed Azazel’s Bitz Box for quite some time now, and what strikes me the most about his work is how when the painting bug hits him, he can churn out vast quantities of high quality work in a very short amount of time.  Apparently Azazel learned about my painting challenge with two-and-a-half days to go, so he painted up this ginger-haired Mantic dwarf berserker lord.

I was curious how Azazel did the tattoos.  I liked how they looked somewhat faded as real tattoos might over time unless you are careful of them.  (I somehow don’t see a dwarf berserker lord remembering to rub lotion into his body art and making sure he doesn’t get too much sun, but you never know.)    Azazel told me achieved the tattoo effect by using a Vallejo paint called “Periscopes,” which he thinned and mixed in a touch of flesh tone.

Nice, but Azazel wasn’t done yet.  He also finished this Rackham Forest goblin chieftain from Deuteros Games and posted it on the last day of the challenge.  Azazel reports that this was a fiddly model with a lot of detail and “it would have been so easy to continue stretching out the painting time for another couple of years,” but he wanted to finish it in part because of the painting challenge.  Glad I could help in some small way, and I think your goblin looks great as is!

Azazel Goblin Chief and Berserker March 2020

This could be a real donnybrook!

Finally, we wrap things up with the rust monster and four dwarves I decided to paint for the challenge.  I purchased these miniatures from an Etsy seller who calls his shop NorthernIcewerks.  I enjoyed painting them very much and plan on using them in games such as Dungeons & Dragons and Goodman Games’ Dungeon Crawl Classics.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in my first painting challenge.  I’m doing another challenge for April with the catchy name of Paint the Crap You Already Own!  What project(s) are you going to be working on?  I’m thinking I might finally get Poxwalker #18 done at long last.

Paint Water Cat asks, “What are you painting for April?