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