Monday, January 31, 2022

Painting Challenge Submission 4 - Raven Guard Specialists

Reinforcements for my 40k Raven Guard.

I continue to be a laggard when it comes to my Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge content posted to this blog! Apologies for that. Here is my fourth entry to the Challange - more figures for my Raven Guard forces in GW's Warhammer 40,000 setting. All of these figures are multi-part plastic kits from GW. This submission contains what might be described as "Specialist Marines" - a group of particularly tough fighters known as "Bladeguard Veterans", as well as an "Apothecary" and a "Librarian".

Bladeguard Veterans

Bladeguard Veteran Space Marines, painted in Raven Guard colours.

These are hard-hitting, veteran Space Marines, equipped with fancy swords, scary pistols and big shields - all rocking a requisite number of skullz, of course. You would expect these chaps to be found in the thick of the fighting, alongside the crazy Bladeguard Ancient, whacking and blasting the enemies of the Emperor back into their component atoms.

Rear view, showing some of the flash and flare on the models - and the one fellow with his shield stowed on his power pack.

As always, I stick a "beakie" style helmet on the commander.

I quite enjoy the OTT look of these types of Space Marines - they are more like a kind of "Space Knight", a sort of look which previously had been found among specific named Chapters (such as the extremely cool Grey Knights, the somewhat interesting Black Templars or the extremely pointless Dark Angels). The newer range of Space Marine figures is bringing this sort of "Space Knight" look to any Chapter you like. The design of the helmets even bears a striking resemblance to the look of the helmets on the Grey Knight Terminator models.

"Check it out guys - there is a Starbucks over there. Anyone else up for a latte?"

Of course the large, skull-covered shields are focal points for these figures, but there is all sorts of "flare" on these guys. They are covered in fun little features on them, like little religious icons hanging from belts, and copious parchment seals affixed to all manner of their kit. It's all quite whacky, and I find it all to be very enjoyable. On the gaming table, this is a small unit, but they will accompany their commanding officer and standard bearers into battle, making for a tough core of any Space Marine gaming force.   


"You have some overdue books, and The Emperor is not pleased..."

Who's afraid of a Librarian? You should be! Not only is this guy a Space Marine - eight feet tall, a genetically enhanced super warrior with massive power armour and a big, scary sword - he has SPOOOOKY POWERS. Yes, he can fry your brain using his powers - before removing your head with his trusty sword! You know the powers are SPOOOOKY, because even though he has the sword handy, he is simply pointing in your direction, meaning whatever he can do just by concentrating on your is WORSE than what he do with a big sword. RETURN THOSE BOOKS ON TIME SON!

Light blue = SPOOOKY POWERS. At least, that is my interpretation.

The wardrobe on this fellow is kinda funny...he is clearly clad in Space Marine power armour, but he is also wearing robes over that armour, and then a huge Matrix-parody-level trenchcoat over the robes! You should flee from this guy BASED ON FASHION ALONE.

I tried to reflect/acknowledge the SPOOOOOKY POWERS by imparting something of a light blue glow to his helmet, the blade of his sword, and to his hand...the result was mixed, but it was fun to experiment. 


Raven Guard Apothecary contemplates some extracted bits while standing over a fallen comrade.

Medical care among the Space Marines is something of a mixed bag. On the plus side, as a Space Marine you have 100% medical coverage, pretty useful in a job where you expected to face off in battle against terrifying threats which the regular Imperial Army cannot handle. Knowing you can count on the best health care would give you peace of mind, right? 

On the other hand, since they are subject to intense pschyo-conditioning (with emphasis on the "psycho" part), "peace of mind" is not a state most Space Marines would strive for, and in any case, and seeing your "front line health care worker" might erase any peace one might have - meet the Apothecary.

Lots of extra kit comes with this job...

The Apothecary is kitted out in all manner of specialized equipment - the practice of battlefield medicine in the grimdark future being still, well, grim. Drills, saws, injection kit - much of this stuff intended to help keep brother Marines in the battle, but there is another aspect to the job that this specific figure sculpt calls attention to - let's call it "recycling". 

The extracted bits in his palm will provide a replacement for the fallen comrade under his boot...

When a Marine succumbs to injuries in battle, the so-called "gene seed" needs to be recovered so a replacement Marine can be created. With this figure, we can see a fallen Marine on the base, and the Apothecary has recovered some manner of gooey bit. Using the various lenses, he is inspecting it closely, before getting ready to place inside a specimen jar (hanging from his hand). Looking on his chest, you can see a number of other similar jars hanging from his neck...your service to The Emperor thus never truly ends, as your "gooey bits" fight on in other Marines...

That's all for this one - thanks for reading, and thanks to the other Conscripts who are keeping up an incredible painting pace during this year's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge!

Friday, January 28, 2022

Challenge Submission #7 - WW2 Soviet Anti-Tank Guns and Heavy Weapons

In my post from last week, we saw a major buildup of my Bolt Action Soviet tank forces. This week we are looking at giving the Soviet infantry some much needed firepower. All of the figures and weapons in this post are from the Plastic Soldier Company's 28mm range, specifically their boxes of 'Russian 45mm Anti-Tank Gun' and 'Russian Heavy Weapons'. 

The Plastic Soldier Company's range are an inexpensive alternative to metal, or even multi-pose plastic figures, although I do find some of the poses remind me of the cheap toy soldiers I owned as a young boy, especially those cast as a single piece. They are fine in length and width, but a bit lacking in depth. All of the figures were assembled, mounted on bases (with the exception of the anti-tank gun crews) and primed black using a rattle can. I painted them using acrylics from the Vallejo Soviet Paint Set. Finally everything was hit with Army Painter Strong Tone Quick Shade. The Quick Shade leaves everything with a glossy finish, so when the weather is warmer I will be taking these outside to give them a coat of matte spray to dull them down a bit.


The Russian 45mm Anti-Tank Gun box contains 2 guns and 8 crew figures. Each gun sprue has different barrel options to allow you to build any of the following: 45mm M1937 anti tank gun, 45mm M1942 anti tank gun or 76mm M1943 infantry gun. Since I am current working on an early Operation Barbarossa theme, I built my guns as the M1937 version. The set also contains ammo boxes, both live shells and spent casings, as well as a rifle and sub-machine gun to add to the ambience. Since the bases I used for my guns were getting a bit crowded, I shifted some of the ammo boxes to the medium mortar bases, and the rifles to the machine gun bases.



The Russian Heavy Weapons box provides you enough sprues to build 26 miniatures and 8 models depicting WW2 Russian infantry heavy weapons as follows: 2 x 3 man Pulemyot Maxima PM1910 machine gun teams firing, 2 x 2 man machine gun teams moving, 2 x 2 man RM-38 50mm light mortar teams, 2 x 3 man M-37 82mm medium mortar teams, 2 x 2 man firing PTRS-41 anti -tank rifles, and 2 moving PTRS anti-tank rifles.

Pulemyot Maxima PM1910 machine gun teams

M-37 82mm medium mortar and RM-38 50mm light mortar teams

PTRS-41 anti -tank rifle teams

За Родину (For the Homeland) Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

1/56 Sdkfz 234/2 Puma Armoured Car from Bolt Action

The debate rages on over what vehicle scale is "correct" for 28mm models. I've always been a proponent of 1/48, mainly because my infantry is based on thicker GW-style plastic bases, and these just look more "in-scale" with larger 1/48 vehicles. However, there are some vehicles you just can't find in 1/48, so for these I turn to 1/56. This makes sense to me because without similar 1/48 vehicles to compare, the size of the 1/56 vehicles looks OK. Makes sense? Good...

Here we have a 1/56 Sdkfz. 234/2 "Puma" armoured car from Warlord Games/Italeri. I note the Italeri connection in particular here because this model is truly a 1/56 scale model kit, not a purpose-designed gaming piece. The vehicle's suspension is extremely well detailed and full of tiny parts that reward care in assembly.
Painting was more fun than building, in this case, although assembly took only one evening. The model was painted in a classic 1944 German three-colour scheme, with Zandri Dust, Doombull Brown, and Castellan Green washed with Agrax Earthshade. Tires were painted Vallejo Dark Rubber, a really great dark-grey colour.

Decals were supplied by Warlord with the kit and worked fine. After application the model was lightly weathered and matte spray varnish applied.

The kit even includes a commander figure. I had momentary indecision over whether to paint his uniform Panzer-crew black or SP-gun crew field grey - apparently armoured car crews were spotted wearing both - but opted for Panzer black after all.

Fun facts about the Puma... apparently it was never actually called (either officially or by the troops) the "Puma"! The turret was adapted from the cancelled "Leopard" VK1602 recce tank. There's Teutonic efficiency for you. Also, the vehicle was a quite modern "monocoque" design with the armoured hull serving as the chassis, rather than the armoured body being bolted to a frame as on previous designs. And last, logic prevails with this recce vehicle as it has two driver positions - front and rear - allowing the vehicle's radio operator to speedily extricate the Puma from danger by reversing out of troublesome situations.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

"You don't know the power of the Dark Side!" - Challenge Submission #3


Star Wars: Legion has a very nice injection-moulded plastic model of Anakin Skywalker as he appears during The Clone Wars and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. There are optional parts for a couple of cool poses. However, I decided to paint Anakin in a kind of "What if...?" scenario, as a somewhat older Darth Vader, who came out of his original fight with Obi-Wan in better condition, and does not usually need his armoured suit.

I assembled the pose with Anakin holding his lightsaber in his right hand, and casting a Force power with his left. The only gaps needing filling were across the shoulders of his tabard. I also set aside for use the head option with a more neutral expression.  

I black primed with Chaos Black, and airbrushed the lightsaber with Vallejo white, fluorescent orange, and red. I laid in zenithal highlights on the head with Vallejo Dead White. After affixing the head, I underpainted Anakin's face and left hand in Vallejo acrylics, with details and blending in artists' oils. I gave him greying hair, and made the sculpted facial scar fresh using Alizarin Crimson. 

I painted the tabard, right glove, and boots with Vallejo Grey Black. Light highlighting and details were added for his clothing and gear using artists' oils.

This is a similar project to my last year's submission of a young(er) Count Dooku, modeled when Jedi Master Dooku had just left the Order to defend his home planet. In Star Wars: Legion, the Anakin Skywalker character is part of the Grand Army of the Republic faction. I plan to use this version of Anakin/Vader as part of the Empire faction, using the rules for Vader’s Operative form.

Scoring: 7 points for a 40mm figure, plus 20 bonus points for Istvaan V: Betrayal; Heretical/Heretics or Loyalty/Loyalists. In either his canonical or this AU guise, Anakin betrayed his master and murdered countless innocents. Total = 27 points.

Monday, January 24, 2022

28mm Panhard 178 Armoured Cars


Here are two Panhard 178 armoured cars in "28mm" scale (honestly not sure if they are 1/48 or 1/56)... they're from STL files found for free on the Internet and printed for me in resin by Conscript Byron. Thanks man! 

There are a few different paint schemes I've seen for these vehicles so I chose the one that had the most aesthetic appeal for me - this happened to be on a diecast model formerly sold by "King and Country", purveyors of painted toy soldiers in 1/35 (54mm) scale.

The scheme is basically Steel Legion Drab and Castellan Green/Camo Green, outlined with a mix of Castellan Green and black-grey. 

The numerals are decals from my decal folder, and the roundels and number plates were painted freehand.

I'm pretty happy with the models, as they were much much less spendy than the resin version sold by Warlord. The only weak spot on them is the wheels and tires - I think the tires should have a bit more "balloon" to them. Pretty good for a free file though.

These "Pan-Pans" will be good for the early-war scenario being planned by fellow Conscript Frederick. They should be effective on the gaming table too, packing a 25mm AT gun in the turret - enough to make a Panzer I or II jockey think twice.

The Panhard 178s will join my Char B1 bis, Renault R35s and Somua S35 in the display case... I love the French early-war camo schemes. The design and production of these vehicles was apparently somewhat fraught as well - as it turned out, turret production capacity lagged well behind that of the hulls, and ultimately General Gamelin determined that these light cars were ill-suited to modern battlefield conditions and planned for their replacement by heavier Panhard AM40Ps.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Challenge Submission #6 - The Four Hobbits of the Fellowship of the Ring


The figures I painted for one of the Quadrant Challenges are the four hobbits from the Games Workshop "Attack at Weathertop" boxed set. When I bought the set many years ago I was primarily interested in the five Nazgûl, as I already had painted figures of the four hobbits from a different boxed set. As a result these minis languished in the 'big box of unfinished projects' until now. 

After gluing the miniatures to the bases with epoxy, sand was applied using Lepage PVA glue. All the figures were then primed black with a rattle can.  I looked online for stills from the movie to get the correct colours of the clothing for Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin. I used Vallejo acrylics for all the paints, along with some Game Workshop washes, primarily on the hair. They are shown with the scratch-built model of the ruined tower of Amon Sûl, better known as Weathertop, that I built to play the scenario with the Conscripts many years ago. 


I have included a 360° tour of the terrain piece. It was constructed over the course of a weekend out of a mix of different types of polystyrene, along with pieces of cardboard for the floor and to suggest stonework. The curved portion of the pillars are large plastic straws split in half lengthwise. The two statues were fantasy figures I found at the dollar store of a woman in long robes, and a wizard with a staff. I used latex house paints in black, and various shades of grey applied with a 1" brush with lots of drybrushing of the lighter shades to get the effect of weathered stone, Mixed green flocking and lichen was glued down after all the paints were dry.


Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Challenge Submission #5 - За Родину (For the Homeland) WW2 Soviet Armour

Since I had painted up a large force of German armoured vehicles in an earlier submission, Stalin was starting to look at the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact with growing suspicion. It was now time to increase the Red Army's tank arm. Ready for this week's report are the following: a BA-20 armoured car, a trio of BT-7 fast tanks, a KV-1, and a Lend-Lease M10 Wolverine.

First up is a BA-20 armoured car, which is a 1/48 scale plastic kit from Ace Models out of Kyiv. I did another model by this company in my first submission as part of my early war Polish Army reinforcements. I found these kits to be finely detailed, but a bit fiddly to put together. Instead of the body being a one- or two-piece molding, it consisted of separate eight pieces. After assembly, the vehicle was primed black with a rattle can, and given a base coat of Russian Green. This was followed by some drybrushing along raised surfaces and edges with Vallejo Olive Green. After the decals were applied, it got a wash of Vallejo European Dust.


Up next is a platoon of three 1/56 scale BA-7 fast tanks from Warlord Games. The Soviets produced over 5700 of these between 1935 and 1940, and in 1941 it was the main cavalry tank of the Soviet army. However some 2000 were lost during the first 12 months on the Eastern Front.  These are resin castings with metal gun barrels and turret hatches. The castings were very clean, and came as just two pieces - the body of the tank, including all the tracks and road wheels, and the turret. The kits all included a metal tank commander of which I used one. They also included flame and smoke markers consisting of a wooden base and some coloured wool in white, black, and orange-red to glue on. They were painted in a similar manner to the BA-20 armoured car.


 Now we have the "Russischer Koloss" or "Russian Colossus", the mighty KV-1 heavy tank. The Soviets produced over 5,000 of these between 1939 and 1943, with about 500 in service at the start of Operation Barbarossa. This is another 1/48 scale model, this time from Hobby Boss. When first looking at the kit, especially with all the separate track pieces, I was a bit intimidated. However it went together very smoothly, and had a lot of interesting details such as etched brass parts, and fine twisted copper wire for the tow cables. The painting technique I used was the same as with the previous vehicles. I used one of the three options for decals provided by the kit, specifically that of the 12th Guards Armoured Regiment, 1st Moscow Mechanized Division, August 1942.


Lastly I did a Lend-Lease M10 Wolverine, which is a repainted 1/50 scale Solido diecast model that I was given by fellow Conscript DaveV. I already had a 1/56 scale resin model of the M10 Achilles with a 17-pounder from Warlord Games, and the size disparity was too great for me to ever field the two models on the table together. The solution was to send the Solido M10 to the Eastern Front. Approximately 52 M10s were supplied to the Soviet Union through Lend-Lease. They were used to form two self-propelled artillery regiments. The first was the 1223rd Self-propelled Artillery Regiment of the 29th Tank Corps, part of the 5th Guards Tank Army. This unit served on the 3rd Belorussian Front in 1944, taking part in summer campaigns in Belorussia, the Baltic, and East Prussia. The 1239th Self-propelled Artillery Regiment was part of the 16th Tank Corps, 2nd Tank Army. It fought in Belorussia and Poland in 1944.

Painting this vehicle was pretty much as per the rest of the vehicles in this post. The only change was the addition of a gun crew, which was needed due to the open-topped turret. The three crewmen were converted from some spare Soviet tank crew that were left over from a Bandai T34 kit plus two sets of 'seated legs' left over from some unused Panzer crews. I also added a .50 cal machine gun from my bits box.  In the end, I had to trim a little off the bottom of their legs so that they would all fit in the turret. I am pretty pleased with the way they all came together.


Thanks for reading.