Thursday, March 31, 2022

Challenge Submission #20 - The Final Stop of the Challenge Quadrant


My last submission for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge XII was a gathering of Lord of the Rings figures, both Good and Evil. Some of these had been in the painting queue for several years, while others were recent purchases to add to the collection. All were painted in my usual style, starting with a coat of black primer, followed by Vallejo acrylics, and then a mix of ink washes and/or highlights until I got the look I wanted. May they be deemed worthy of the Final Challenge.

The first group is a trio of Orc Trackers that have been in the 'PENDING' box for a number of years. These appear in the Barad-dûr section of the latest version of the Armies of Middle Earth manual, but now seem to be out of production. In addition to their role as trackers, they will also be useful to depict dismounted Warg riders.



Next up are the three Orc Captains, Gorbag, Grishnákh, and Shagrat (holding Frodo's mithril shirt). Like the Orc Trackers, they have also been in the 'PENDING' box for a while. These appear in the army lists in the Mordor section.


Gorbag, Grishnákh, and Shagrat

Shagrat, Grishnákh, and Gorbag

The last of the Evil characters is an Orc Shaman, who also appears in the Barad-dûr section of the latest version of the Middle Earth army lists. He looks pretty badass with his collection of skulls. This is another metal figure that I have had for a while. A plastic version of the figure is available from Games Workshop as a boxed set which includes one mounted on a Warg.


The first group for the Good side are three leaders of the Ithilien Rangers - Faramir, Captain of Gondor, Madril, Captain of Ithilien, and Damrod, Ranger of Ithilien. These are a very recent purchase and came as a blister containing all three figures. They will be ready to command the company of Rangers that I painted last April.


Faramir, Madril, and Damrod

Damrod, Madril, and Faramir

 The last offering is Éowyn (as Dernhelm) and Meriadoc, Squire of Rohan. While I had already painted metal miniatures of Éowyn, I was so impressed by the newer plastic set of figures that another participant had submitted for the Challenge, I just had to buy a box for myself. I especially liked the way Merry can be placed in front of Éowyn, or removed as the scenario requires. Not having any contrast paints in my arsenal, I used my usual technique of starting with a black primer, followed by Vallejo acrylics, with highlights and washes as needed to get the final result. Since the metal miniatures I had depicted Éowyn without a helmet, I went with the 'helmet on' version with the plastic set.


Éowyn with Merry

Éowyn with Merry

Éowyn without Merry

Éowyn without Merry

Éowyn and Merry on foot

Merry and Éowyn on foot

New plastic and old metal mounted Éowyn

Old metal and new plastic Éowyn on foot


This concluded my first year of participation in the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. Congratulations to all my fellow Conscripts who took part. I am looking for next year's challenge, but more importantly, gaming with all our collective newly painted minis. Thanks for reading.

New Project - WW2 Western Desert, Perry Afrika Korps

I posted these models on the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge Blog about two weeks ago, but also wanted to post them here as kind of a record of my new project - the war in the Western Desert. First up is a 10-man section of Perry Miniatures DAK infantry.

The models are from the Perrys' plastic box, of course. I usually shun multi-part plastic models like a social disease, mainly because of the time and fiddliness in assembling the models. However the Perry stuff is only moderately time-consuming and fiddly... they come with head, torso and legs as one piece, and you stick on arms and weapon (usually as one piece), field gear (also one piece), and headgear. That's it, unless you need to assemble a machine gunner or NCO, then you need to also stick on a tool pouch or MP40 ammo pouches. So not a ton of work, and they're way more cost-effective than metal or even the Warlord/Bolt Action DAK box.

You can pick headgear from three variants - the early sun helmet, the steel helmet, or the iconic "Afrika" peaked soft cap. It's a good idea to trim a bit off the top of the model's head (ouch) before sticking on the cap, just to help it sit down a little lower over the eyes.

Once the dudes are assembled, it's time to paint 'em... I stocked up on shades of khaki for these guys. The trousers are all painted GW Zandri Dust with an Agrax Earthshade wash and re-highlight with Zamesi, and the jackets and caps are a variety of shades, including Vallejo Khaki and Yellow-Green, GW Rakarth Flesh, AK Deck Tan, etc... the webbing and helmets are Zandri Dust and breadbags are GW XV-88. Rifle stocks are GW Mournfang Brown highlighted with Skrag Brown, as are the wool covers on the waterbottles. 

Most of the poses are pretty good. In a few cases I had to do some greenstuff work around the joins between the arms and torso, but most were good.

The one-piece field gear is good too, there's a water bottle, breadbag, gas mask canister, entrenching tool and bayonet all attached. The tropical boots are cool too - I painted them with GW Doombull Brown and Vallejo German Uniform as seen here. The bases are made with a new technique - I glop on the Golden Coarse Pumice Gel as usual, but then sprinkle some fine sand on while it's still wet, to give a bit more sandy texture in fitting with the desert theme. After the models are primed and painted, I finish the bases with Steel Legion Drab/Zandri Dust/Rakarth Flesh. 

With this bunch done I've fully succumbed to temptation to start a new WW2 period. The DAK and Eighth Army will join my 28mm NW Europe British/Canadians, British Commandos, BEF/Home Guard, US paratroopers, US winter infantry, winter Finns, Soviets, German Heer, German Waffen-SS, German Fallschirmjagers, and early-war French in the cabinets. 

And since these dudes were painted I've finished another "unit" - a Perry 88mm Flak gun with eight crew. Blog post to come soon on that. Plus some tanks arrived from Blitzkrieg yesterday, as well as a couple of 6-pounder guns from Bolt Action today, so I'm set for painting for awhile yet.

Heia Safari!

Painting Challenge Submission 18 - Jyn Erso's Team from "Rogue One"

Ready to take a chance, until all of the chances are spent...

For my final submission to the 12th Edition of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, I went with a selection of 32mm figures for the game "Star Wars: Legion". The figures are a mix of "Fantasy Flight Games" miniatures and 3D prints sourced via Etsy.

I caved in to temptation and started "Star Wars: Legion" last year. The rules are so baroque and overly complicated that I find them to be barely playable - but the miniatures are generally great, and since there are a lot of other rules options with which to use these figures, I have been diving more and more into it. The range of figures from Fantasy Flight (or Atomic Mass, or Private Equity Tools, or whatever they are called these days) is fairly complete, and includes a number of character figures from the "Rogue One" movie.Even better, there is an amazing and talented community of 3D-print file designers out there filling in the gaps - and in this submission we find both kinds of figures.

Nearly all of the "Star Wars" films made under the Disney banner have been very poor. The three sequel films in particular were a tour-de-force in appalling film making, ranging from "very bad film with lazy writing that somehow makes the prequels tolerable in comparison" to "human excrement rendered as a digital HD experience". But there is one exception amid the Disney film wreckage - "Rogue One". It's awesome, just a great film, and certainly my favourite film of the whole Star Wars bunch. As DaveV introduced me to the 3D-printed-figure world for "Star Wars: Legion", I immediately ordered some characters inspired by "Rogue One".

So we have Bodhi Rook, the "brave defector" - this is a 3D printed figure.

Bodhi Rook, ready to help engineer a landing in a captured Imperial shuttle.

We have Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus, the displaced guardians of the Jedi temple. These are also 3D printed figures.

I love the pose on this sculpt - amazing to see what the 3D printing folks can do these days...

Love that weapon!

We have a team of Rebel Pathfinders - these are from the box set of the same name from Fantasy Flight Games. These are lovely sculpts, but the plastic-resin used in the manufacturing is bendy and crappy. Once you get the paint on them, they are not too bad, but I have ordered some additional Pathfinders from a 3D print supplier to expand this force later on.

Love that door-gunner character...only downside is that it makes the Pathfinder box very bespoke...hard to add variety when all of the figures are so specific. But lovely sculpts.

The Pathfinder team, ready for action!

And last, but not least, we have the amazing Jyn Erso, the young rebel who sets aside bitterness, cynicism and sadness to challenge the evil of the Galactic Empire head-on. This figure is from Fantasy Flight Games. I'm hoping Jyn will be an acceptable figure for a ride on Sarah's Star Yacht!

The sculpting is nice...Jyn is ready to break a knee to make her points...

Prior to the Challenge, I had painted Cassian Andor and the sincere-yet-tactless droid K-2S0 - both figures from Fantasy Flight Games. They won't count for points here, but it seemed wrong to leave them out of the group photo...

Ten people, ready to fight like a hundred...

Cassian and K2 lurking in the back of the group photo...

This was my final submission to AHPC XII. Thanks to everyone who took the time to leave a comment, and congratulations to all participants, particularly my fellow Fawcett Avenue Conscripts, who have made huge progress against their unpainted figure piles. All the best to everyone!

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Challenge Submission #19 - Yet Another Shambling Horde of Zombies

This was my last batch of zombies done for the Painting Challenge. It is a mix of 36 Wargames Factory Zombie Vixens, and 24 Zombicide Box of Zombies Set 1 Walk of the Dead. 

Horde #2 out for a shamble

The Zombie Vixens come as 3 identical sprues of 12 figures of which 10 are standing, one is missing its lower legs, and the last is missing everything below the diaphragm. All the figures have separate heads and some choice of arms, so it is possible to do a fair bit of 'mix and match', although some combinations fit together better than others. The bases also come as a separate piece, but only enough for the standing figures. I had a half dozen wooden discs of the right diameter in the bits box to put the half figures on, so it all worked out in the end. The figures are finely sculpted with a variety of open wounds, with some showing exposed bones and/or skulls, all looking appropriately gruesome.

The Zombicide set consists of three figures each of eight different poses which are described as 'walkers', 'runners', or 'fatties'. They come as one piece, including the base, so no assembly required. The latter two types will add some variety to the usual slow moving undead, being faster or tougher respectively.

Once the Zombie Vixens were assembled both sets were primed flat grey using a rattle can, and then painted with Vallejo acrylics, followed by a coat of Army Painter Strong Tone Quickshade. I deliberately left the bases plain so they would look like concrete, rather than adding sand or flocking. As with my earlier Challenge submissions, the Quickshade leaves everything rather glossy, so I will hit these with some clear matt spray once it is warm enough to do it outside.


I am looking forward to getting these on the table with the Conscripts house rules for Zombies (with a bit of tweaking to accommodate the 'runners' and 'fatties'). Thanks for reading.

Painting Challenge Submission 17 - Orc Characters and Support for Warmaster

Some supporting bits for my 10mm Warmaster Orcs - metal figures from GW.

This is yet another of my concluding submissions to AHPC XII. As the end of the Challenge approached, I thought I would round out my Warmaster Orcs a bit more. That project was a major focus for me during this edition of the Challenge, and it seemed right to make the initial force more complete. Here we have an assortment of Orc characters and commanders, as well as a good old rock lobber - fun awaits! These are all metal castings from GW's long-lost "Warmaster" figure range.

Here's a serious Orc Lord!

One of the (many) things the "Warmaster" rules get so perfectly right is the use of characters. I know one common detraction for the "Warhammer Fantasy Battle" game was the way overpowered characters can take over the game. "Warmaster" is much better - the characters are essential, of course, but indirect. They cannot succeed on their own, they have to work through the units they command. They can enhance them, yes, and have a notable impact, but in doing so they are also creating risk. 

The Wyvern is tricky to assemble (and needed a pin for the base), but what an awesome figure, I just loved it.

Tried to get a leathery look for the wings on this monster.

Even the characters riding terrifying creatures, like this Orc Warlord on a Wyvern, are therefore very influential, and powerful, but also at much more risk than the equivalent in a standard Fantasy Battle game. This figure is a favourite, something I have wanted to paint ever since I saw it in a GW catalogue so long ago. It has been sitting in a blister pack in my horde for something like ten years? How fun to get some paint on this beast at last!

Let's go ladz!

Suitably angry and armed boyz for the chariot.

Nasty war boars ready to charge home!

We also have an Orc hero riding a war chariot of some sort - will be a useful commander to use when the big guy on the Wyvern is not around. That chariot looks like a totally safe ride, I'm sure everyone on board will be fine, right? 

A weedy little gobbo shaman...

Orc Shaman with handy skull supply!

"Warmaster" also totally gets the magic aspect of fantasy wargaming correct - the magic is important, but won't win anything on its own. Still, the Orcs can now get in on the spell-casting with two of the heroes here - one is an Orc Shaman (with a handy skull-shaped altar, just for Barks!) and the other is a Goblin Shaman, with a couple of squigs on hand because obviously...squigs, right?

"Put yer back inno it!"

Finally, we have a rock lobber and crew. The Orcs don't really have much in the way of missile-armed troops in their army. Given their preference for brute force, that makes sense, but going up against all of those cannons and crossbows in the Empire, they could use a little bit of artillery, and this rock lobber fits the bill. 

Troll-powered trebuchet. I'm sure things will be OK with this, right?

You get more crew figures than can actually fit on the game-sized base, so I put the "commander" for the lobber on a seperate base, leaving the poor troll and two gobbos on the same base as the lobber. Looking at the contraption, I can see the orc wanting to keep a bit of distance, in case things go wrong...

Thanks for reading - there was one more submission before things concluded in AHPC XII, and I will post that shortly, but in the interim, happy brushing everyone!

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Challenge Submission #18 - Another Mixed Bag of WW2 Vehicles


Last November fellow Conscript Dallas and I were discussing the idea of a France 1940 scenario for Bolt Action. We had played 'The Battle of Stonne' scenario from the Bolt Action campaign book 'Germany Strikes' in October 2021, and were looking at another chance to pit French and German armour against each other. We settled on 'The Battle of Orp' where the 3rd Panzer Division met the 3e DLM (3rd Light Mechanized Division). A few of the vehicles needed were not in either of our collections, plus I had been looking at ordering some German and Soviet trucks to transport troops on the battlefield, as well as some more early Soviet armour. In the end  I ordered 3 GAZ AAA trucks, 3 T-26 tanks, 3 Krupp Protze trucks, 2 Panzer III Ausf E tanks, and a Hotchkiss H39 tank from Rubicon Models. They arrived just before last Christmas.


A group shot of all twelve vehicles

A size comparison of three tanks in the same scale

The GAZ-AAA was a truck produced at the Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod (Gorky Automobile Plant) from 1936 to 1943 as the company's first 6-wheeled vehicle. During that time, over 37,000 trucks of various patterns were built. The Rubicon kits were easy to assemble, and  could be completed with or without a driver in the cab. (I went with the driver option.) It comes with a one-piece tarp that can be snapped into place, so I can field them with the tarp on or off. They will provide some necessary transport for all my Soviet infantry.


GAZ-AAA truck with tarps

GAZ-AAA truck without tarps


The T-26 tank kit comes with all the necessary parts to build one of ten different variants of the tank, which was based on Vickers E Six Ton. The T-26 entered active service for the Red Army in 1932, and it was used in many conflicts of the 1930s as well as during the Second World War. When production ceased in 1941, over 10,000 tanks of all variants had been produced. Of all the options available, I went with the M1933 turret, and assembled one with a radio aerial along with a commander that came with the Warlord Games BT-7 tanks I had painted in January. 


The German Krupp Protze was a truck used by the Wehrmacht to transport troops and tow the 37mm anti-tank gun. While I have a number of German 251/1 half-tracks, the reality is that most Panzergrenadiers rode in trucks. Using Bolt Action rules, the cost of a truck is less than half the cost of a half-track. The Rubicon kits can be built as the troop transport variant, with the tarp either up or down, or to tow the PAK. I built all of mine as transports, so I may end up ordering another as a towing vehicle.


The German Panzer III Ausf. E was an early model of that tank armed with a 37mm gun in the turret. It saw service in Poland and France before being replaced by upgraded versions. The Rubicon kits supply enough parts to build one of the E, F, or G variants of the tank. I added a commander that came with the Bolt Action Panzer I tanks I built in December as I liked it better than the one that came with the models. I painted up my Panzer IIIs as part of the 3rd Panzer Division with the Berlin bear symbol on the side of the turret.


 The French Hotchkiss H39 was an improved version of the H35. Some models were further upgraded to a longer-barrelled SA38 37mm anti-tank gun. The Rubicon kit is a resin model with enough extra parts to build the French tank with either the SA38 or the earlier Puteaux SA18 low velocity gun, as well as a different cupola if you want to build a version of the tank in German service. 



Thanks for reading. We are planning on playing the 'Battle of Orp' scenario soon, so stay tuned for the After Action Report.