Thursday, January 31, 2019

Painting Challenge Theme Submission - LOTR Orcs

Arrgh! It's the bad guys from Middle Earth! Orcs from GW's "Lord of the Rings" line.
Another "theme" submission for Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.  The theme in this case was "Sport"...I couldn't really come up with something, but I had been painting some Lord of the Rings figures, and wanted to keep in that setting for a bit, so I thought some Orcs would do.  I mean, hunting orc seems like a sporting thing to do in Middle Earth, does it not?

Two-handed weapons and "archers".
These are all plastic sculpts from Games Workshop's Lord of the Rings line.  There are 12 orcs here, the product of one sprue-worth of orcs from a "Return of The King" box set.

Orcs with the one figure with the bonkers mask.
There two orcs with bows, four orcs with spears/polearms, four orcs with hand-weapons and shields, and two orcs with heavier, two-handed weapons.

Good old basic, straightforward Mordor Orcs.
In games of Lord of the Rings, you generally need orcs. Often quite a lot of them. In our gaming group Dallas has always done the heavy lifting of ensure there are lots of orcs on hand for the games, so hopefully I can finally now chip in a bit with a few bad guys of my own.

Sauron is such a great boss!
The Painting Challenge continues to move along at a good clip - be sure to check it out - including some tremendous work from Byron and Mike F!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Chaos Renegade Valkyrie and Hellhound

Well, this week I got REALLY motivated and finished off two models that had been hanging around the painting desk half-finished for literally years.
The first one was a rehab Valkyrie that I'd picked up from somewhere long-forgotten. It was assembled and I think it may have been missing some cockpit parts, and I definitely added the rod to replace the broken pitot tube.

You can see that it had a coat of some kind of paint on it before (primer maybe?) but I know I'd bought it with the intention of rehabbing it for my Chaos Renegades.

Once I got cracking, it was a pretty straightforward job. Base of Mechanicus Standard Grey, with Averland Sunset as the contrasting colour, then weathered with Nuln Oil wash and sponge-chipping, and a bit of craft black drybrush soot. The underside was basecoated XV-88 and panel-highlighted with Hoeth Blue. It was a bit bright but looks OK after Nuln Oil and chipping.

This aircraft should do well in our ongoing 40K games. I have very few flyers in my armies but after seeing what Greg's Valk-spam can accomplish I felt it prudent to get at least one for the Renegades!

You can see a bit of the underside paintwork here. Unfortunately the previous owner assembled the model all buttoned up so no interior detail except the cockpit.

The sharp end, avec rocket pods...

This was a fun model to paint. The marking scheme was copied off a model I found on another hobbyist's blog. I thought the yellow panels looked great, so cheers mate! :-)

Today being Sunday, I thought I'd continue the Renegade theme by finishing another model that's languished in basecoat for a couple of years - this Hellhound. It's the older version, with cast metal turret and detail parts.

It's also painted in MSG, but brightened up slightly with an MSG-Celestra Grey mix. Nuln Oil, then chipping and rust (powder mixed with water) followed by a Mournfang Brown drybrush around the dirty bits.

Shout out to our old friends on Toxo IV!

I love the Imperial "number plate" decals from the Baneblade transfer sheet, and use them wherever I can.

Promethium tanks used a bit of weathering.

Tracks were basecoated Leadbelcher and weathered with the rust powder-water mix.

Lucky 13! Good to get this one off the painting desk and into the cabinet as well. Unfortunately, there's plenty more models hanging around the desk where this came from. But that's what quiet Sunday afternoons are for, I guess!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Painting Challenge Submission Six: Prussian Artillery for Franco-Prussian War

Prussian artillery from 1870, 28mm figures from Wargames Foundry.
My sixth submission to Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge was modest, but progress is progress and I'm pleased to be making more, even if it is just a bit.  This is a Prussian artillery piece from 1870 for my ongoing Franco-Prussian War project. The figures are all 28mm from the Wargames Foundry range.

Artillery was THE decisive arm for the Prussians in the war against France in 1870-71. In terms of small-arms, the French Chassepot rifle was the class of the period.  But the French artillery enjoyed no such advantage. The French artillery was obsolescent and plagued by things like dud fuses. On the other hand, while the Prussian infantry rifles were greatly out-classed by their French opponents, the Prussian artillery arm was kitted out with the latest-and-greatest of the era: steel breech-loading rifled artillery.  Manufactured by Krupp, the Prussian guns of 1870 were far more deadly and useful than the pieces of the French Imperial Army. The Prussian army made full use of this advantage during their invasion of France, and did so aggressively.

While painting artillery is far from my favourite activity, I do love the 28mm figures from Wargames Foundry.
Once in place, Prussian guns could easily wipe out the French batteries with fast and accurate counter-battery fire.  The gunners could then turn their attention to the main French lines, and blast whole regiments into dust. It was all rather dreadful for the French, who would slow and halt Prussian attacks with their magnificent Chassepot rifles, only to see a key artillery bombardment open a critical hole in their lines that aggressive Prussians would exploit. A devastating artillery bombardment helped the Prussians to win the battle at Gravelotte-St. Privat, shattering the French right and turning what had certain defeat into a grim but critical victory.

Bit of a stretch to have these on a table in 28mm, but whatever - they will look cool, that is what counts.
These guns so greatly outperform the cannons of the "Black Powder" era that having them on the table as models at all is a bit of a bodge, particularly with 28mm-sized castings. But it is a bodge I am prepared to make just so we can have a more complete, all-arms game of some sort of the table. The gun & crew will represent a battery of Krupp guns.  The Prussian side of my collection now has two of these, an ominous sign for anyone wishing to play the French when the time comes...

Excellent animation in the castings.

"French sighted - fire!"
This submission worked out to 30 "points" worth of painting (my goal for the whole Challenge is 1200).  Not a whole lot in one week, but as I said, progress is progress, and I am very much hoping to keep making progress on this project. I really dislike painting artillery, so it is great that I am getting these things finished and out of the way, bringing a first game that much closer...

Saturday, January 19, 2019

15mm PSC Bundeswehr Leopard 1s

If there's one home truth about our participation in the world of Team Yankee, it's that we are subject to constant escalation. My Bundeswehr force hasn't been added to in some time, but I found it hard to resist Plastic Soldier Company's Leopard 1 box... so I didn't!

The rest of the force consists of excellent models from Battlefront, but I saw no reason why I shouldn't try this box of Leopard 1s from PSC. After all, they cost significantly less than the BF models and are also modern injection plastic models...

I certainly wasn't disappointed, either. The PSC Leopards are great. The kit contains parts to build five Bundeswehr (or other Euro) Leopard 1A1 or -A3s, or the Canadian C1 variant. The only deficiency identified with the C1 parts provided is that they don't include the proper pintle MG. However, this wasn't a problem with my build as what's provided is correct for the 1A3.

I also really like the PSC crew. They're super characterful and as the model's turret hatches can BOTH be modelled open, crew can be doubled up too as seen above.

Nice eh?

The only downside of the PSC box is that no decals are provided, but I used some I had left over from my Battlefront West German kits (plus some kindly provided by Conscript Greg), and freehanded the license plates.

Highly recommended! I love the ease of assembly and extras (like crew) provided by PSC, as well as the low price. However, you do miss the decals and unit card that comes with Battlefront's Leopard 1s.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Fifth Painting Challenge Submission - Vostroyan Officer and Special Weapon Troopers

Vostroyan Officer and Special Weapon troopers, metal 28mm figures from GW. 
My fifth submission into Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge included more metal goodness from GW days gone past.  The setting switches from Middle Earth to the grim darkness of the far future, GW's Warhammer 40k.  These figures are special weapon troopers for the "Vostroyan" Regiments of the Astra Militarum Imperial Guard.  They are 28mm metal castings from GW. 

Vostroyan officer - power fist and laser pistol (and feathers!)
A view of the detail on the casting - love the buckles, the, these are cool and fun figures.

The Vostroyans first appeared as a box set some time in...I want to say 2004? I can't recall exactly...but it was a while ago.  I fell in love with them at the time.  They have a bizarre, baroque look that, to me, meshes just so well with the dark artwork of folks like John Blanche. The Vostroyan troops look like some manner of 19th Century Grenadier, with a grim-dark-tech touch that is done very nicely, giving them an utterly dour and ominous appearance. Other sculptors have tried to fuse the various notions of black powder-era soldiers and sci-fi (particularly GW's grimdark sort), but I have never seen it done better than with the GW Vostroyan castings. 

Plasma gunners - blue feathers on this bunch to distinguish themselves. 
The look, of course, is not for everyone.  This style of sci-fi is a bit of a specific look, and I find people either love it or hate it. Certainly I love it. I started painting a few up "back in the day" when they were first released.  This initial painting output covered most of the force from one of the starter boxes - two 10-man squads and a command squad - not very many for a game. Over time GW's product lineup has "evolved", and the Vostroyan castings (and all other metal products) became harder to find.  Before they faded from view completely, I did use some Christmas money to assemble a final addition to round out the force into something useful for the tabletop. I even painted one of these squads back in the 2013-14 edition of the Painting Challenge

Some different colour for the feathers on these fellows. 
Rear view showing (probably very dangerous) power supply for the weapons. 
But since then...well, I haven't touched the fellows! The project went into hibernation - still something that "I'll get around to soon"...LOL!  Which is unfortunate - at 30 troops (plus a few commanders) strong, it is a small force (although they have seen a lot of action on the tabletop over the years). In fact, even though my painted force of Vostroyans is small, they have been used a lot, usually as an allied detachment of some kind, or playing a smaller role alongside a larger force.
But if I just bulked them up a bit, painting more figures, they would make a fine overall (or more complete) force of Imperial Guard for the gaming table - after all, the vehicles do most of the work in an Imperial Guard force, so why not have nice metal sculpts to serve as the dismounts.

So, for years I have been meaning to dig out my precious little metal reserve of Vostroyan castings and paint them up. Like...well, at least five years I have been telling myself "hey, I'll do those next." Clearly my painting interests get easily distracted.

Troopers with "flamers" - squad-level flame-throwers. I would not have though a flamethrower could appear baroque, but here you are...
It is always fun during the Curt's Painting Challenges to see long-stalled efforts get some renewed energy. It is a common theme from many of the participants, and I find it inspires me to do the same, to finally tackle something that has been sitting around for a long time. I resolved to start with these fellows who had been waiting - base-coated and all - in the "pending" pile for quite some time now. Having found the will to get back to them, I did, however, encounter another Challenge...I could not remember the colour sequence I used back then...

Rear view of the flame troopers. 
So...well, I did my best to match the look of the figures I had painted...14 years ago.  I don't paint the same way I did in 2004 - or even 2014 for that matter. I like to think it is mostly for the better, as I have been able to improve with experience, as all of us do, but there are some aspects that are more about an evolution in style than a strict improvement.  As I said, I tried my best to match the look of the previously painted models, while allowing for a new touch here and there. 


Rear view of the trooper with the grenade launcher. 
There is one officer and seven troopers with special weapons - four with plasma guns, two with flamers and one with a grenade launcher.  These will give some variety to the regular squads, who otherwise come equipped with only flamers.  The plasma guns in particular are quite useful in the game, as they offer some hope of bringing down heavily armoured opponents (not much hope, but some).   The extra officer will give a bit more command flexibility too.  But most importantly, hopefully I can run more of these figures through my painting table and get that "small" initial force from 2004 to a larger level.

These figures were good for another 40 "points" toward my goal of 1200 points worth of painting through the Challenge period.  The submissions continue to pile up at Curt's blog, with a wide variety of subjects and projects trucking along from participants all over the world.  I encourage you to take some time (or just kill some time at the office) and check it out!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Fourth Painting Challenge Submission - Erkenbrand, Hero of the Westfold

Erkenbrand of Rohan, on foot and mounted, in 28mm - figures from GW.
My fourth submissions to Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge took my paint brushes to Middle Earth once again...

To find figures for the theme round this past weekend I went rummaging around in my hoard-o-stuff and stumbled across some figures from Games Workshop's Lord of the Rings range.  The Rohan Outriders went into the theme submissions - but I found another blister sitting on the shelf with them - Erkenbrand, Lord of the Westfold, hero of Rohan. Since I was painting some other Rohan figures anyway, I thought I might as well paint this fellow up too while I was at it. 

Beautiful metal casting from GW. Remember when they did metal?
Wanted the green on the cloak to jump out a bit. He is a hero of Rohan after all!
In "The Lord of the Rings" Erkenbrand was a hero of the Kingdom of Rohan, helping to defend the Westfold from invasion.  It was Erkenbrand who, together with Gandalf, led a relief force to help break up the assault on Helm's Deep.  Erkenband's character, however, was not in the 2001 movie trilogy (or if he was, I don't remember him at all) - in the film "The Two Towers" the relief force at Helm's Deep was led instead by Eomer (and, of course Gandalf was there too).

The mounted pose is beautiful - you can imagine the other Rider of Rohan rallying behind his charge!
Even though he was not present in the 2001 movie trilogy, the range of figures sculpted by GW was unbelievably comprehensive, and included several characters which appeared in the books but not the Peter Jackson films. I do not even recall purchasing this figure, but sitting as it was with the other little pile of LOTR stuff in my hoard, I must have just assumed it would be cool to have another hero-type for my Rohan force. 

I love the war horn he is carrying on his belt. Brings to mind the "Horn of Gondor" and poor Boromir...
And it is! This is a stunning casting.  While it retains the slimmer, more reasoned proportions of the other LOTR figures, he is still a good size - befitting a hero of Rohan! The figure is metal, but sadly the horse is plastic - and connected to the base by just one hoof. No doubt disaster awaits if we ever put this fellow on to the table while mounted...

I loved painting this figure. 
But it was just lovely to paint.  It has been a real treat to dive back into a figure range that I have not otherwise touched with a paint brush for more than 10 years. Hopefully we will find a game some time in 2019 where this fellow can run down some orcs! This submission was small in terms of moving me toward my goal of 1200 "points" of painted stuff, but it was sure fun.