Monday, 22 January 2018

From MartinN: SCW - Tropas regulares de marruecos (55pts)

This entry definitely was a close run thing. Just as I type this, the varnish still sticky, I'm waiting for a colleague of mine to pick me up for work. I still have to pack my stuff for the week, so I better make this short.

Well, todays entry sees the first few Moroccan Regulars for my ongoing Spanish Civil War project.

The Moroccans were highly capable troops on the rebel side. They often fought alongside the Legion and gained a reputation as shock troops and excellent fighters in the open countryside. They also were notorious for their cruelty.



Miniatures are from Empress Miniatures once again and, as ever, were a joy to paint. It did me take a while to come up with a recipe for Near Eastern/ North African flesh. First I tried the "Near Eastern Flesh" triad by Wargames Foundry but results proofed to be unsatisfactory. Not only didn't I get the desired results, but the paints were rubbish as well. Too thick with too low pigmentation.

In the end I settled for some paints from Vallejo I already had at home.




Points wise this should add 55 points (2 prone figures at 2.5pts. each and 10 figures at 5pts. each) to my total. 

For the challenge tunes I got something different for you today. Just to prove I also got a soft and romantic side too.

This actually is also the song (in just this version) I proposed to my lovely missus. You see, I'm a true romantic at heart ;-)


Artist: Puma Hardchorus - originally by Savage Garden


Okay, I'm off!

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I'm so pleased these wonderful Moroccans have appeared before you've needed to jet off again to an airport, Nick!! They are really lovely figures and you've painted them beautifully. The Empress Miniatures are very fine, delicate, well-proportioned figures, but they ask for a fine brush to bring them to life.  And you've done just that.  Really fine work, Sir!!

I love the deep shad of red which you've brought out on the caps, and those familiar dusty off-white robes and shirts which you see throughout North Africa from Egypt to Morocco. They look very authentic, even down to the lovely green jacket on a couple of them. And you've perfectly caught the North African skin tone as well - it's a tough one to get right, but (again) you've hit it perfectly.

Super basing as well, picking out the rocky terrain in which these units could operate.

A hugely well-deserved 55 points here towards your total, Nick.  And, yes, please can we see some more?

And, with a final flourish you leave us with a great tune for a Monday morning (also one of my own wife's favourites, in fact!).  Safe travels, Nick, and we'll catch you soon!

From AlanD: Germans for Battle Group Barbarossa (128 points)


This week my entry reflects my Fifty Shades of Grey fantasy...

Yes, it's another eclectic bunch of Panzer grey vehicles and guns in 15mm for my ongoing Battle Group: Barbarossa campaign with Paul OG. 




The vehicles are from various sources, with 8-Rad armoured cars from PSC, a Sdkfz 222 from Zvezda, a 223 from Battlefront, two Hanomags from PSC, Pak 38s from PSC and the 88 and transport from Forged in Battle. Making the 8-Rads was a particular treat. The PSC box is a beauty, providing 5 armoured cars with lots of options. The Pak 38s come from the PSC kit with the RSO tractor, another gem.




As for points, I count 8 vehicles, 3 guns and a limber which I claim as an extra gun, 15 whole figures (with two seated in a Hanomag) and 5 vehicle drivers and two armoured car commanders. That seems to be 48 points for vehicles, 16 for guns, 30 for figures and say another 2 for all the part figures. 126 points?

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These look terrific, Alan!  I've been looking forward to more of your fine work after the German Recce Units which drove into the Challenge in Monday#3, and these wonderful additions to your Barbarossa forces certainly do not disappoint.

They're really excellent and look terrific on your tabletop.  You've really found the right 'look' for the German grey armour, and the weathering you've added looks just right for the endless dusty roads around Kharkov and Smolensk!

I particularly like the ground work on the Pak 38s, really setting the artillery on the table with a flourish.

Really great work, and I'm very, very keen to see more!  A very well deserved 128 points to your total, Sir (adding a couple extra for the flag recognition and lovely basing on the Pak 38s).

From ValeryN - A lot ... No, very, very many guns! (430 Pts)

Hello everybody!

My name is Valery. I live in Russia and I'm crazy about guns. You could say "I'm a cannon freak".

Most of all I like painting cannons!

So, let's start with the smallest. This German anti-tank gun PAK-36. In the war they wore the nickname "Heeresanklopfgerät" (literally «army door-knocking device»).




Over time, in the German army they were replaced with guns PAK-40. For the long barrel and for the fact that their shells painfully stung, they received from the Russian tankmen the nickname "snake".





On the Russian side of the front there was a response to the "snakes" - this is the famous ZIS-3, which was called the "ratsh-boom". German tankmen said: "You do not have time to hear the sound of a 'ratsh' shot, how the "boom" in your armor will immediately happen".





If the 76-mm ZIS-3 could not penetrate the frontal armor of the Tigers and the Panther at long distances, then this task was not bad solved by the anti-aircraft 85-mm cannon








Now let's turn to more significant calibers. This is a 107-millimeter cannon of the 1910/30 model. At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, it was in large quantities in the corps artillery.








By the end of the war, a powerful 160-mm mortar had appeared in the arsenal of the Red Army. This weapon proved to be so simple and effective that it still is in the arsenal of some countries (for example, North Korea - it is possible that they like to play Kim Jong-un before breakfast).




Well, we finish our artillery parade with another era and another scale (28mm). This is a Russian howitzer from the period of the war with Napoleon of 1812-1814:





Total, if I was not mistaken, in a scale of 15mm 30 guns * 4 + 140 crewman* 2 = 120 + 280 + 400 points And at the scale of 28mm gun + 4 crewman * 5 = 10 + 20 = 30 points. Total 438 points.

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Oh my gosh.....I mean...WOW.

Now, deep in the recesses of my wargaming mind, I do remember something about Russians liking a lot of artillery.  Hmmm.... something about a Grand-Battery at Borodino, perhaps... And something about the artillery onslaught at Kursk, I think.... 

Valery, my dear friend, all I can say is that the reputation of the Russian wargaming community for being well stocked as regards artillery bombardments is in very, very safe hands.

What a ground-churning, cordite-fuelled, ear-drum-splitting, cannon-cascading entry!  I love it.  It's like "artillery", and THEN SOME....!

Well done indeed for amassing, painting and basing such a very fine entry.  Just terrific quality and quantity here, which is mind boggling.  I mean, you all of us at the PAK-36s - that's a fine entry in their own right.  But the rest .... well, fantastic work.

I do, I confess, particularly like the Napoleonic howitzer.  Lovely work on the brass barrel, and that green shade of the uniforms is just about perfect in my book.

A tremendous entry, and 438 well-earned and impressive points to add to your already very considerable total.  Congratulations!

From BenitoM: Le belle fille de Napoleon (30 points)

Moving towards the "other side of the hill" in this week's submission, so no Austrians but still within my Napoleonic project: a French artillery gun and crew.



A relief for my eyes to have to paint in blue instead of white!. This is a model that I completely forgot I bought and was at the bottom of a box with some French infantry; to be honest I found not one but two artillery blisters (one foot and one horse), although I had only time to paint one this week.


This is a Foot Battery (the other blister is a Horse Battery) and is a Perry metal model. Great detail both the crew and the gun, a joy to paint. Still undecided how to display on the table; I'm working with some Renedra plastic gabions models and I'll probably make some generic bases to display on top the artillery units and crews of different nationalities.


So it's one artillery piece (10 p) + 4 crew (4 x 5p = 20) in 28mm to a toal of 30 points.

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She's a beauty, Benito!  I can almost feel your relief here, in London, all the way from your wonderful home city of Madrid, as you take a break from Austrian white!  It must be like getting your colour vision back again!

And this is a perfect antidote to those weeks of working on Austrians.  Lovely castings, sumptuous painting and a really pleasant colour scheme for these French Foot Battery gunners, which you've expertly rendered.

Very fine brass work on the barrel of the gun as well, and a great piece of painting overall.

Well done indeed, Sir, and a thoroughly deserved 30 points to your already impressive total.

From Paul OG: Stone Bridge and Mosque (20 points)

For the second year in a row I have set aside the figures carefully prepped before the challenge in order to follow (willingly, it must be said) Alan into another project of opportunity :-) So just a few small terrain offerings from me this week in the interim while I build a prep the new models.


First up is this 28mm Stone Bridge by Warlord. A nice plastic model with lots of lovely detail and useful for pretty much any period.


Secondly, a 15mm desert building. Found it in my spares box, manufacturer unknown. Offered here as a hint of the project to come...


Together these models fill most of a "terrain cube" (the AHPC patent pending unit of measurement) so I propose 20 points.

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Great work, Paul!  It is no mean feat creating a great entry like your 'BFG' themed entry, and still managing a fine submission to the Challenge on a Monday such as these lovely terrain models.  Well done, Sir!  

There's nothing quite like a fine piece of terrain to bring any battlefield to life, and these both fit the bill perfectly.  I am very sure that bridge will see endless pairs of dusty wargaming boots tramp over it for many happy wargaming years to come.  I really like the way you've picked out the stonework with a fine, light dry-brush.  The small grass shoots poking above the stonework are a great touch as well.

And, as for the Mosque, it's perfect.  From Casablanca to Kabul, that's going to fit in anywhere in a hundred wargaming scenarios.

Top work, Sir, and a worthy 20 points to add to your total!

Good Minion-ing Monday Morning!!!


Good Minion-ing Monday Morning Challengers!!!

I hope you all had a fantastic and terrific weekend, and that among the all the fun, you still found time to wield a paintbrush and add some paint to a model or two. 

And for all the Challengers submitting models in the Themed Round of “BFG”, BRAVO, HURRAH and WELL DONE everyone. A cracking selection of entries which I am still greedily devouring on the internet.

But we’re not content with Themed Rounds here, as we enter week 5 of Challenge VIII. OH NO….

The Monday crowd have been hard at work making sure the momentum is not going to slip. So, this morning, being MONDAY#5 we have a most fine selection of Challenge additions for all of you to feast your laptops, browsers, iPhones and other communication devices upon. 

We’ve spectacular terrain in stone. We’ve inspiring artillery in brass. We’ve anti-tank guns in mottled camouflage. We’ve Germans in field grey. And we’ve Moroccans in the dusty garb of the Sahara sands. 

In short, my fellow Challengers, we’ve our wonderful hobby, in miniature, marvellously painted. 

So, although the working week for many of us has started, relax, put the kettle on, and enjoy the entries from the Monday Challengers over the next few hours.....




Sunday, 21 January 2018

The 'BFG' Theme is Now Up for Viewing! (and Curt's 'Landsknecht Gun & Crew')


Hello Everyone!

The second Theme Round of Challenge VIII is now up for your viewing pleasure!

This fortnight's theme is 'BFG' and we have 41 participants who have submitted entries for your enjoyment. In the theme gallery you will see every assortment of gun, cannon artillery piece imaginable (along with one or two reimagining of the theme to keep us entertained). 

Please click here, or on the 'Bonus Theme' link in the navigation bar above to take in the efforts of the participants. Again, once you're there, please use the links on the right sidebar to navigate through the entries. As I mentioned before, there is a persistent glitch in Blogger in how it displays multiple entries over several pages on a single day, so use the links in the sidebar so you are sure to see everyone's entries.

Finally, remember to take time to vote for your favourite submissions. You can vote for as many as you like. The top three in votes will get additional points added on to their total for the round.
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For my entry to the theme, I've returned to my Italian Wars project to add some artillery support to my collection.




This is a German-crewed culverin (or bombard) mounted on a adjustable split-tail carriage. In modern terms this is not a particularly large gun, but to those of the 16th century this would have been quite an impressive piece of artillery. (With it being of as much danger to its crew as it would be to its intended targets.)



The figures are from Redoubt Enterprises and while they are a bit ill-formed and perhaps a tad lumpish, I find they have a certain charm and posses a wonderful dynamism, especially in how their various poses convey a sense of movement. These fellows really convey the idea of them frantically trying to realign their gun while in the midst of combat.



I tried to match the groundwork to the rest of my bases, which are all autumnal, so a wide assortment of brown foliage, late blooms and a generous carpet of fallen leaves are in appearance. If it weren't for the big freakin' gun and its boorish crew of beer-swilling Landsknechts, perhaps it would be a nice place for a quiet repast with a bottle of Chianti, a loaf of fresh bread and a plate of prosciutto. Ah, bellissimo!
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Now, please visit the theme gallery and enjoy the wonderful entries for 'BFG' and remember to vote for your favourite submissions (voting closes next Saturday at 11:45pm).

Enjoy!




Song: Closer to the Heart (1977)

Artist: Rush