Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Painting Challenge Submission 9 - WW2 German MMG Team in Winter Kit

28mm German WW2 MMG team - figures from Warlord Games.
I am continuing to work through my Winter WW2 project during Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.  Having enjoyed a visit to Burch's Bluffs, I wanted to move to another stop on lovely Challenge Island (see here for more information on the Island and how it works with the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge). The Path Of The New Shiny brings me next to Mudry's Mesa. Named in honour of our very own ByronM, to safely traverse the Mesa one can paint a figure purchased after the Challenge was announced.  This was great news - my 28mm Winter WW2 project fit the bill. I could get back to my project and clear another vista on Challenge Island all at once.

My next destination...
Since there are all sorts of shifty characters traversing the Island, I thought the Mesa could use something helpful for defensive purposes. This is a 28mm German tripod-mounted MG-42 team in winter gear.  They will make great use of the nice, clear, fields of fire scenic views from Mudry's Mesa. These are metal 28mm castings from Warlord Games' "Bolt Action" range.

The deadly MG-42, ready to tear out a stream of deadly fire on its opponents...
I believe the three figures on this weapon crew were meant to be crowded together on to one larger base, and I was planning to do that at the outset...but the only way to do that, it turned out, was to have the officer right in the path of what I would assume to be a stream of empty casings flying from the MG-42. That seemed wrong to me.  I also remembered that games like "Chain of Command" will, at times, have a weapon team like this under the direction of a junior leader.  So I popped the gun commander onto a separate square base I use to mark NCOs/Junior Leaders, and left the two-man team directly with the gun on the larger round base.

Lots of great detail on these castings.

Ready for action...
As with all of the other WW2 Germans I have been painting so far from Warlord's range, these are excellent figures and were lots of fun to paint. And it was great that these figures could net me another stop on Challenge Island.  As for my next destination...well, it has to do with subjects that my painting/figure collection simply does not support right so. So I might need to summon a Balloon ride...more on that later.

Updated Challenge progress...three spots down, but I need to plot my next destination carefully...
For scoring, this crew was good for 55 points toward my goal of 1,000 points worth of painting.  And my small winter WW2 German platoon now has some scary fire support! Thanks for looking, and have a great day.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Painting Challenge Submission 8 - XVI Legion Apothecary

Are you feeling the hope? No? I can help with that...
Curt always looks for new ways to make his Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge a little different. For this 10th edition of the painting event, he has developed, with the assistance of some creative Challengers, the idea of "Challenge Island".  The idea is to encourage participants to "travel around" the Island, and accomplish different themes or tasks associated with the different locations. Curt was kind enough to name one of the spots after me, and invited me to develop the theme for the location, which he called "Burch's Bluffs".  I had no hesitation - I asked that a participant paint up a 30k-themed figure or model for that scenic locale.

Burch's Bluffs...I mean, wherever I managed to travel on Challenge Island, there was just one spot we all knew I had to visit, right?  I've been on a real WW2 trend in the past couple of months (and WW2 subjects have comprised the overwhelming majority of my Challenge X submissions to date), but it was time to get a 30k figure set for painting and visit this location on the Challenge Island map.

Ah, what a lovely spot on an at-times dodgy Island destination...
My 30k collection is fairly large - in multiple scales. Lining up a figure to paint for this spot of Challenge Island did not take long...

Such a fine-looking legion symbol, embossed on his shoulder plate.
Here is an Apothecary from the 16th Space Marine Legion - the Sons of Horus, the Warmaster's very own Legion - wearing Mark II legion powered armour. He's carrying a bolt pistol on the off chance that he needs to shoot anyone, and the obligatory chain sword (he is a Space Marine, after all) but the spooky optics, drill/saw blade "glove" and assorted fluid containers all speak to his specialist function. He will accompany his fellow Sons of Horus on the various battlefields of the galaxy, and in those rare instances where the feeble efforts of those still loyal to the so-called "Emperor" might cause losses or injury in battle, will do his bit to make sure his fellow legionnaires keep on fighting with a minimal loss of time.

Right shoulder pauldron sporting the, er, "symbol of the medical profession"...
This is a resin model from Forge World. Some years ago they released a pack of two Legion apothecaries. I picked up a set second-hand from a local hobbyist who was moving on from 30k. I painted one for the Sons of Horus last summer. At one point I thought this second one should go to a different Legion, but then, come on...naturally the Warmaster's personal forces would need at least TWO only makes sense.

No dirt on this apron. He has standards to maintain!
Because of course the Warmaster is also very busy with charity work, and this chap will also contribute to these worthy not-for-profit efforts, helping to provide vaccines and basic medical care to the survivors of planetary communities which took too long to see that things are changing and got in the way fell victim to pro-"Emperor" terrorism.

Very cool figure - lots of detail.
Supported by the Dark Mechanicum, he will also support valuable medical research - for
example, how long could an average human lung system survive on a planet that was, oh, I don't know, hit with a virus bombardment followed by a pan-continental firestorm? Does being run over by a Land Raider alter this? The medic will help Science answer these sorts of important questions. It's all part of the Warmaster's bold commitment to...knowledge. Yes, that's right. Knowledge.

The new apothecary takes his place with his Warmaster and XVI Legion bretheren.
Here is the obligatory "Challenge Island" progress shot (many other participants do much cooler versions of these, with better graphics - me, not so much). My next "Challenge Island" will be "Mudry's Mesa".

Progress so far...up next, Mudry's Mesa...
This single figure was only worth 5 "points" of painting toward my goal of 1000 points, but you get a bonus of 30 points for visiting a "Challenge Island" location, so it all helps. Thanks for looking - and when you are finished visiting with us, be sure to check out the 10th Edition of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge for all sorts of wonderful and creative figure painting from hobbyists around the world...

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Painting Challenge Submission 7 - The Winter WW2 Germans Keep Coming

28mm German late-war infantry from Warlord Games.
More winter WW2 Germans? Yes - sorry everyone, but I'm trying to focus a bit to take a big bite out of this project.  So yes - even more 28mm WW2 Germans in Winter kit.  As with my other entries from this project to Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, these are metal castings from Warlord Games' "Bolt Action" range. I'm in a "winter" state of mind, and the recent local conditions in Winnipeg are helping keep things that way.  This was from the past weekend...

It's January in Winnipeg, after all...
Certainly the winter weather helps inspire to paint these winter-themed figures. This is one of those "something I've always wanted to do projects" so I'm keen to rip through it and get a force big enough for a game sometime soon - certainly before the snow melts.

The Red River, frozen solid behind my house...

The back yard, buried in snow :)
These specific figures are slightly different from the others - these are meant to represent SS troops, hence the adjustment in the winter look.  While there are some white pants and helmets, there are a different assortment of coats and anoraks.  There are also some attempts at German camouflage peeking out from under the winter gear.

The odd cammo pattern peaking out here and there.
View from behind showing assorted kit.

LMG crew trying to get the MG-42 ready for action.
German WW2 cammo is a very intimidating subject, particularly in the context of the Challenge where so many of the participants can paint camouflage so well. Not only was it complex, but German camouflage is the sort of topic that you understand less the more you try to study it. There were so many different types of patterns, spread across so many different types of kit.  Different coats, different cuts, M41 this, M43 makes me nuts.  The Germans apparently had reversible camouflage garbage mittens! This group of figures is like a Mountain Equipment Co-Op with guns - studying up about it makes me a bit mental, and I'm never sure I like the results...but there is only one way to improve, that is to practice, so here we are!

They look glossy in spite of the use of a matte varnish.  Is there any matte varnish out that actually dries matte?
Another view of the riflemen.
For the most part I left the camouflage mostly underneath - on the odd pant leg or helmet cover. The jackets (M41 or M43 or whatever) were issued in grey and tan (but...not white?) so I used a mix of both on the coats. But I did attempt to copy the so-called "Italian" camouflage for the NCO's coat. This is a pattern referenced in the box - I tried to research it but gave up after web searches surfaced a number of contradictory references.

NCO in the middle - square base - sporting "Italian" camouflage (at least, according to the Warlord box...)
I'm perplexed by how often I see photos/miniatures/colour drawings of German troops mixing white-washed helmets and white coats with some of their fancy camouflage.  Would you still wear the "autumn leaf" pattern (or whatever) with snow on the ground? Maybe...woods and forested areas still have lots of brown, even once the snow starts falling? Whatever, this NCO is wearing the camo-edition of his coat, snow-be-dammed.

The pose for the LMG team is a bit disappointing. What is it with sculptors and their determination to sculpt LMG teams in odd poses? At least this group sort-of-looks-like they are trying to get the weapon into action.

LMG crew.

One of their comrades seems to be saying - "hey, maybe use that ***ing MG42?"
Quite a few in this bunch are sporting the later-war STG44 assault rifles, and between these and the panzerfaust launchers overall the weapon loads exude a distinctly late-war vibe to them.  That's OK with me - I like to game the late-war very much, but I'm going to get some more rifle armed figures just to dampen out the number of assault rifles.

Is that guy on the right struggling with the panzerfaust?
The guy on the left looks a little extra-hard-core with the bandaged eye.
One casting is kind of odd - he looks like he is holding the panzerfaust like maybe he is getting ready to use it? The pose is looks less like he is going to fire it at a tank or hardpoint, and more like he is getting ready to sneak up on one of his buddies and prank him with it...given the power of that warhead, I can see the prank going wrong...

"Group photo" of the 28mm Winter WW2 project to date...
Here is a "group photo" of progress on this project so far - about 37 castings, not bad, but they need to be rounded out with some other bits.  Hopefully that will follow soon. Thanks for visiting and for looking!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Painting Challenge Submission 6 - 28mm WW2 Winter German Command

28mm WW2 German Command and medical assortment in 28mm - figures from Warlord Games' "Bolt Action" range.
Is it possible to paint even more 28mm WW2 Germans in winter kit? Apparently yes... the brushes are on a roll, so here is a third batch of 28mm WW2 Germans in winter gear, part of my ongoing submissions to Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.  These are metal figures from Warlord, and include the contents of a command pack as well as a special giveaway figure(s) they were tossing into various packs during their Christmas promotions.

German senior officer, in fur-lined winter coat.
MP-40 slung over the shoulder.
The main officer is on a hex-shaped base, an approach we use to help easily identify senior command figures on the gaming table.  There was already a lot of feldgrau and white among the soldiers, so I tried to make the officer look a little different by giving him a non-regulation fur-lined coat, the sort of thing a more senior fellow might manage.

That said, there are such a dizzying array of "official" German uniforms that it would not surprise me to learn that this, in fact, some kind of "M41 Special Sheep-Leather" coat or whatever...

Artillery spotter (or, could be another NCO if required). Most prone 28mm castings are huge waste of space, but this one isn't bad at all, I actually like it.
The prone figure is intended to be used as a spotter for mortars etc. I really don't like prone figures in 28mm, but at least it's just an individual model, and this case, and I would hit the turf too if I was trying to keep an eye out for falling rounds!  It is a rare moment of a prone 28mm casting being an asset rather than a pain.

This NCO is serious...he has two helmets!
This NCO-type figure has two helmets! Why, do you ask? Well, Greg doesn't often pay close attention when assembling models! Warlord often provides options for separate heads on many of their infantry castings.  I thought this helmet option looked posh, glued it on, primed the figure and started painting it, and it was THEN that I realized "oh, hey, he had a helmet already tied to his belt...I guess I should have picked a head with a cap for this fellow..."

I suppose I could have knocked the head off and swapped in another, but that seemed like bad instead, I developed a back story.  This fellow is a veteran NCO, but a superstitious one - he keeps his "lucky" helmet - still painted yellow - that carried him from Africa out to the Eastern Front. Now that winter is here, he wears a white-washed herlmet, but keeps his good luck charm still with him, regardless of the extra weight. When the weather conditions change back to spring/summer, he'll put the yellow-coloured lid back on, but until then, he just has it with him, for good luck...

Medic assisting a wounded comrade.
The medic is done by Warlord as a small, two-figure vignette, already helping a wounded comrade who is using his rifle as a crutch.  Several sets of skirmish rules allow for use of battlefield medics, so Warlord's WW2 range often includes medics/orderlies.  In this case, the medic is done more as a vignette-style than as an individual figure.

Really cool sculpt from Warlord.
The sculpting is very nice on all of these figures, but in particular it is great on this pair.  A battlefield wound would always be scary, but in the context of the winter cold this fear is even more pronounced. A wound in the deep winter fighting gets much more serious, much more quickly. The sculpting on the face of the wounded infantryman reflects that grim understanding.

Vignette from Warlord games - this was a "throw in" with one of their 28mm German winter bundle deals.
The sculpting here is really, really well done - on all of these miniatures, in fact.
And speaking of "grim", that leads, last but not least, to another two-figure vignette in this submission, an infantryman trying to assist a fallen comrade.  If things are a little scary for the wounded fellow with the medic, well, they are that much worse here...this fellow may be down for the count, but his comrade doesn't want to give up on him, and is trying to grab him by the lapels, either to get him back up, or just drag him back to the medic, even if there may be nothing to be done...

This figure was included as a bonus in my order, although I suspect that it is available for purchase somewhere in the rabbit maze that is Warlord's web shop.

I am really, really enjoying painting the 28mm metal WW2 figures from Warlord. The sculpts have a lot of character, and are a real treat to paint.  I'm still quite a ways away from playing a game with them, but I'm getting closer! I will also be looking at some other metal castings to augment the collection - I have some figures from Offensive Miniatures and Artizan coming soon - and I may give Empress a try as well.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Formula De: 1992 Gran Premio do Brasil

For Christmas, my dear wife got me some goodies from Eureka... including some of their spiffing little Formula One cars designed for use with Formula De. I'd had a bonkers idea to paint some more of these in some classic liveries - I chose the 1992 championship season as it featured some of my favourite liveries ever - notably the Williams FW14B driven by Mansell and Patrese, and the McLaren MP4/7A of Senna and Berger. Both are essentially "mobile fag packets" (the Williams with Camel branding and the McLaren with Marlboro) and while I understand why we don't (and can't) see this anymore, I still love the look.

Anyway, we started the 1992 season with the Brazilian Grand Prix and the grid lined up like this: Williams (N. Mansell, Conscript Greg B.), McLaren (A. Senna, me), Benetton B192 (M. Schumacher, Conscript Frederick), and Ferrari F92A (J. Alesi, Conscript Dave V.).

We set up for a three-lap race and freely allowed allocation of points to the different elements of the car. Pitstops were not mandatory though and this would prove a strategic element for some...

Off the start I was just able to nip past Greg. Dave and Frederick were driving a bit more conservatively and Greg and I had pulled out a bit of a gap.

Ford and Renault powerplants screaming as we raced past the grandstand...

By the end of the first lap Greg had pulled ahead a bit but I (as Senna) was desperate to get back in front...

We pick up the action here on lap two and a late-braking lunge at the Williams into Descido do Lago, that I almost pulled off...

...only to spin at the exit. Unfortunately this was due to a bit of miscalculation on my part, as I forgot to include the (default) Brake and Tire points I had on the car. Oh well.

Meanwhile Dave and Frederick were in a close battle for third place.

Greg pits at the end of lap two.

Picking up the action starting lap three, Greg is well ahead. Dave and I also pitted and a strategic error by the McLaren pit crew (ahem) allowed the Ferrari and Benetton to catch up...

Nose to tail entering Curva do Sol!!

Nearing the end of the final lap, some hot rolling and judicious car abuse had gotten me within sight of Greg!

...while behind, Dave had stretched out a lead of his own over Frederick.

Unfortunately for Senninha, Mansell got the "big ball" (the 30-sided die!) going and pulled away from the McLaren. We finished in that order - Greg crossing the line well ahead of me, Dave and Frederick.

Championship points after one round:
    1. N. Mansell (Williams, Greg B.)          10 pts
    2. A. Senna (McLaren, Dallas)                 6 pts
    3. J. Alesi (Ferrari, Dave V.)                     4 pts
    4. M. Schumacher (Benetton, Frederick)  3 pts
Of course, in the historical result, Mansell won the race with his teammate Patrese finishing second. Schumacher finished third and Alesi fourth, while Senna retired.

I'm hoping we can complete a seven-race season over the year. I also have boards for Monaco, France, Italy (Monza!), Portugal, Japan and Australia, which would make a decent season. I'm also busying myself painting some of the other runners - so far I've also done the Lotus, Footwork, and Tyrrell cars, so we can accommodate more competitors for sure.