Saturday, May 14, 2022

Painting Challenge Wrap Up

  End of the 12th challenge and time to sum up.  And unlike prior years' I've actually got my stuff together to post my wrap up before the next Challenge starts!  Here goes.

Wot I did this Challenge


I enjoyed putting this final shot together, as it's easy to forget what you got done over the quarter.  In the end I got a reasonable amount of stuff built, remained mostly focused, got most of what I bought for the challenge completed and found a new project.  Not a bad result at all.  I worked through COVID and the annual getting older grumpiness (I turned 60 on the Ides of March).  

This all included:

  • A dark age/early medieval ring fort
  • A ruin for dark age/early medieval historicals or RPGs
  • A bunch of dark age/early medieval characters and baddies
  • A bunch of forest fauna suitable for most eras
  • The last (I think) of the lovely Bad Squiddo Women of WW2 kickstarter
  • A couple of SYW civilians



Goofball in chief.  I never take good photos.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Final AHPC Post - The Shelf Soup Post

 Last weekend of the Challenge and time to clear off anything on the workbench that is close to done. It's kinda like shelf soup or leftover day, a mix of everything.

First up a trip of nominally 28mm Wizkids monsters for my Beowulf RPG.  These have been sitting around finished or nearly so in some cases since January, but weren't as satisfactory as some of my other beowulf baddies.  We have a troll, an earth elemental and a Sea Hag,


I tried to get a different green effect on this troll from his skinnier compadre posted earlier. I'm not quite happy with the results but he's big green and ugly, and I'm pretty sure I've seen him pushing Chaos Space Marines around a 40K battlefield.  The earth elemental is a nice figure but I kinda whiffed on my attempted morph into a elemental from the sea bed for a Beowulf adventure.  I had ambitions of sculpting the base with modelling gel so that the broken rocks looked more wave like but in the end went for a paint conversion.  I gave him a green wash to represent marine growths and overdid the gloss medium applied over top.  The Se Hag came in the same pack as the Bheur Hag posted earlier.  Unlike her sister (which has a Disney villainous vibe) the Sea Hag lacks character and has more of a Zombie Luau dancer vibe. 



Next up a set of 28mm Bad Squiddo Women of WW2 ATA members with rifles, and an NCO from attached to a Highland regiment.  They are great figures, but not as colourful as the other packs in the Kickstarter I back (i.e Lumberjills and Pig ladies).  I am not sure of the uniform colours but am unlikely to ever field them on table and they look ok.



And finally a Wizkids 28mm well and Bad Suiddo Land Girls Rat catcher.  Yes she is proudly showing off her collection of dead rats which have been strung together and are draped over her shoulders.  I am not sure what to make of a woman who smiles so broadly while wearing a lei of dead rodents, but this sculpt is based on a period photo.  Lots of character but kind of disturbing, particularly as in the Miss Marple rural England universe she might be your Great Aunt Sally or Mrs Jones from down the lane.

So that's 7 regular 28mm figures (the 6 Bad Squiddo ladies and the Hag) for 35 points plus the well (5 points as being about the size of a 28mm figure or maybe 1-2 points as terrain.) and 2 two bigger figures.  My previous troll was counted as a 54mm figure so I suggest the same for these two.   The hag, troll and elemental would count towards the fantasy duel.


Friday, March 25, 2022

AHPC An Irish Tide for Luna

 The themes for Luna include tides and I present a boatload of Irish Sea Raiders who arrive with the tides on the western coasts of Dark age Britain.  Other than the curragh they sail in, the figures are all Gripping Beas and mostly from their plastic Irish set (or the Paddy O'Furniture set as it's known in our household).



Landlubbers and most North American sailors don't often realize but the tides along the coasts of the British isles are something to be reckoned with, with big tidal height and strong currents resulting from a lot of water sloshing through some narrow openings.  Tides determine when you can sail, which direction you sail in and when you can enter port.



Ireland in the Dark Ages was like most of its history rich in people and culture and poor in just about everything else.  So they exported their people to Scotland and Wales and used some forced acquisition import trade.  The leader here is a metal fig from the Arthurian range meant to represent a former mercenary who acquired better gear fighting foreign wars and has come back home.  Otherwise these are the Plastic Irish done straight up from the box.  I have had lots of metal GB figures but these were my first plastics from them and I was quite pleased with the box.  Nice poses, clean sculpt and good variety of heads, arms, shields and cloaks.  


Here's a back view of the cloaks showing the natural wool tufts that were used as decoration.  I've based them individually so that they can serve in Beowulf RPG skirmishes where they will serve perfectly as Sea Raider.  I also plan to have them serve as a unit of 12 for mass battle games (once I work out magnets and basing etc).


Close up of the second half of the bunch. You may notice that some look a little grainy which is down to my own impatience. The box arrived mid challenge in a cold snap and I was so keen to get them primed that I took them outside before the weather had warmed up enough.  However, they look ok and work well from my standard 2 foot range.  


Back view of this lot again with a cloak or two (these are separate pieces and can go on any torso before the head is attached).    I tried for a unit feel by using a limited colour palette and a common shield theme. Shields are all free handed in basic Celtic spirals.  I gave some figures basic plaids (the modern usage as a pattern, not the traditional item of clothing).  The flag was bodged together quickly in MS Word using Celtic clip art.


Two other metal figures.  The priest originally came with a sword and spear, but I wanedt a less violent Irish cleric.  I tried to bodge a cross by cutting down the sword, and may have to revisit that later.  The horn blower is from the GB Sub Roman British range and will end up with those forces.  Both are venerable but fine figures.  The Currragh is from the Freebooter's Fate range and is a resin cast.  Back in early December I was in Toronto on business and the trip armed with a shopping list.  A search on Meeplemart website of "boats" had unearthed this as a potential stand in for an Irish curragh, but I had no idea where to find it in store.  Turned out neither had their staff, but they assured me that if it was listed as in stock on the webstore, then it was in the brick and mortar store.  Kudos to the lovely young lady who searched all over the store to find it for me.





A curragh is a traditional Irish boat made of leather over a wooden frame.  According to Irish legend, St Brendan the Navigator and companions sailed to the New World in one in the 6th century.  Tim Severin's book The Brendan Voyage (a very good read) has great material on their construction and history.  I don't suggest following Severin's lead by sailing one to Newfoundland via The Faroes, Iceland and Greenland to prove that the legendary voyage was possible if you are determined and crazy enough.

Points wise I make it 14x28mm foot figures, plus I suggest counting the boat as a vehicle for 20, and 20 for Luna for a total of 110 points.  This could be my last post, but I am hoping for the traditional Shelf Soup last week end post of odds and ends. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

AHPC Dark Age Buildings

 Last post of the day as I clear off my workbench.  I've been to my requite four planets on the middle Ring so can move one.  First stop on the Inner Ring will be Terra and a home theme.

I have an 'humble Dark Age house and barn plus a rather more substantial church.  All are 28mm pdf kits from Sarissa (but you knew that I was going to say that).

First up is the 'humble abode itself.  I need to trim my thatching a bit.

Works for my Arthurian, El Cid and SYW tables.

Next up is a timber barn or workshop.

Every time I use teddy bear fur, my wife threatens to glue big google eyes on it.

Last up is this Saxon/Norman church.  It was intended for the later Saxon era, but does look a lot like the early Saxon churches dating from the 6th century.

It should do fine for El Cid games and for SYW games set in the Saxon duchies too.

I didn't do the interior, but there was a set of inner doors entering into the main church.  These became the gates of my ring fort.

Not much to say here and I've blathered on too much today.  Great kits, they were fast easy and fun to assemble and put together.  My terrain cube-calculator puts the church at just over a cube and the two smaller buildings together at just over a half cube.  Let's say 1.5 cubes for 30 points and hopefully 20 for Terra for a home for the peasants, a home for their animals, and a house of God. 

Monday, March 21, 2022

AHPC Sub Roman British for Noel's Comet

 My students and family can tell you that I could give Noel a run for his money on verbosity, but hopefully I keep this within everyone attention span.

Love the Sutton Hoo helmet and the Draco.

Back in September 1980 I started University and a new FLGS opened up in Halifax, in a location that was at least not too far off my walk home.  The FLGS turned out to be run by Ross McFarland of the Battle Game of the Month blog, With MacDuff to the Frontier rules and servant to the world's most superior looking wargaming cat. Ross' store was short lived, my university career lasted 5 years as a student and 20 years as an instructor (with a 15 plus year interlude in between) and we still keep in touch.  We have gamed in the past on my visits back to Nova Scotia, and were hoping to do so again at Christmas, but Omicron put the boots to that idea.  We should try a Zoom game.

The chap on the left is from a Pictish command pack but fits in with the unit.


One of Ross' projects at the time was Late Roman/Sub Roman Britain, a project which I've returned to in my recent Beowulf gaming.  I have another 6 figures from a Sub-Roman rulers comitatus.  These are Gripping Beast 28mm figures and most are from their Arthurian range.  Some of the facial details has gone soft, but it's kinda like painting old minifigs which is pleasant nostalgia in its own right.  As is my way I freehanded some noble headed shields and bodged together a flag using Celtic clip art and MS Word.  


I'm quite happy with the cloaks.  I think that the Pictish fellow is supposed to have a mail coif but it works as ringlets.

In digging through the family photos recently, I found some pictures from a Convention game that Ross ran at Dalhousie in 1987 or 1988, which I am sharing below.

Ross resolving combat on the Pratzen.  The vibrant cloth is still in my basement.  I remember that it was fall when I bought it and the salesgirl at Fabricland asked if I was going as a Frog for Halloween.


This was an Austerlitz scenario featuring Soult's assault on the Pratzen and the defence of the Goldbach (40K players will need to google this).  It was fought using Ross' home-brew rules, 15mm figures and at a 1:40ish scale with individual casualties.   The next year I ran a Jutland scenario using my home brew rules and 1/3000 scale Navwar ships. Ken Reilly you're not the only one who can run crazy big games. 

Struggle for the Goldbach crossings.  We achieved an impressively historical log jam.  Those are my white and green coated Italians masquerading as French on the defence and my Russian infrantry.  


Ross and I were chatting about this game via his blog comments recently.  He gave the French commands to the most experienced players (I was Marshall Soult) and the Allied commands were given to newbies who didn't know the history.  The Allied column commanders were told to follow written orders based on the actual orders of the day.  As a way to simulate historical fog of war and command confusion it worked the charm.  Ross reminded me that the problem was that the newbies figured they'd been set up as sacrificial offerings and some of them left the game in huff.  I had not recalled that aspect, but then again it was 35 years ago and I was rather busy directing St Hilaire and Vandamme.


I still think that it was a great achievement and I have fond memories of those big games are played with small figures in the 80s, as well as the small games that we played with big figures (54mms) in the 90s and 2000s.

Points wise that 6 28mm figures for 30 points and I hope the yarn ents me another 20 for Noel's Comet.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

AHPC Painting Burgermeister and Pig Ladies

First up is a short hop from Coruscant to Vlogsphere.  One of the proposed themes for this planet is Bureaucracy and I present the Burgermeister Ruprecht Von Wichtiguerin, accompanied by his flunky nephew Ernst, the regrettable offspring of his unfortunate sister.  For his part Ernst knows that he should have done better than take the job from Uncle Ruprecht, but law and business are hard work.  Besides it's lazy work that keeps him in bier and Strudel and leaves him his evenings free to moon over the lovely Katja down at the Schnitzel Haus.

 Figures are 28mm from Wizkids and might actually find use in a Seven Years War tabletop.

Hear ye, hear ye to his excellency's decree.


There is quite nice detail on this figure, although the clothing looks way too late for the standard DnD campaign settings.  Ruprecht is looking exceedingly self important here.

My wash gave Ernst a pleasantly grubby face but I'll have to go back and revisit the lacework.


My next stop is Noel's comet, which requires a trip on Lady Sarah's Star Yacht.  I have a couple of Land Army Girls (or land women of a certain age) with piglets as long as Sarah doesn't mind the smell.  Figures are from the Bad Squiddo games Kickstarter that I backed a couple of years back.  Pig farming is not quite as glamorous a role as a lumber jill, but they are very nice figures.  I really cannot say enough about the Women of WW2 range, there was a lot of research, respect and love that went into these figures.


The drab and grubby clothing required fairly heavy handed shading which looks fine a a proper distance.  I did try to give Miss Piper (see below) a pair of shiny black Wellies. 


Miss Piper and her little swine Ray.  The sculpts have mangled to capture a certain pride of accomplishment in the faces.   

I have not named the other lady pig-wrangler on the grounds that the other women in the challenge live locally and therefore can easily track me down and hurt me.


Points wise the base is four 28mm foot figures for 20 points.  I am not sure how to score the pigs (are they animals or equipment?) and two of them would count as prone, but maybe 5 for the set of three.  Plus I am hoping for 20 points for Vlogsphere and the Star Yacht.


Wednesday, February 23, 2022

AHPC Coruscant Good vs Evil Encounters

Second post for me today (ok, actually the second this week on this blog) and I will be hopping from Perelandra to Coruscant with my take on good and evil RPG encounters.

Wizkids Bhuer Hag on the left and Stag on the right.

On an earlier post, my stag got some positive comments.  I obviously liked the sculpt so much I bought two of them, so I went with a white stag on the second.  

I am not as thrilled by my results as with stag #1, but it'll do.  In my experience white animals are actually various shades of off-white which is the effect that I went for.


The White Stag has a place deep in Celtic Mythology and appears in any number of stories, including Arthurian legends, Harry Potter and Call the Midwife!  In my Beowulf RPG campaign he might be a Noble Beast that can provide assistance to my heroes if they prove worthy.

I won't be accepting any treats from this old dear!  She's got a lovely Disney villainness  vibe to her.


I'll share my best hag related story, which actually came from real life.  While visiting my dad, he and my step mum took me to Chichester Theatre with their octogenarian friends to see a production of MacBeth.  It turned out to star Patrick Stewart, who none of my elders had heard of!  It was in the round and we were in the front row at stage level six feet from the action.

A set of 5 Oathmark Revenants, not nearly as nicely done as Millsy's

My adventurers had an epic graveyard fight with a super-revenant plus two regular ones.   Two of the party were saved from death by followers (a nifty Beowulf second chance mechanism) and the other two were almost in the boat.  


I really like the ancient Celtic vibe to these sculpts, they fit into my Beowulf setting as tomb guardians and the like very nicely.

Finally a set of 4 Wizkids woodland critters that have been cluttering my work bench.  I don't like the  regular timber wolves nearly as much as the Winter Wolf I painted earlier, and was disappointed that they are in the same pose.

However, the fox has a good sculpting pose to him/her.  reminds me of my favourite book from childhood, Harlequin the Fox.

Challenge veterans might remember that there was a badger themed location a couple of years ago.

Points wise there are a total of 11 figures of various sizes (the hag and stag are quite large) but all in 28mm scale.  For simplicity I'd suggest averaging them all out to 5 points a head for 55 base points.  If the Snowboard approves, the Coruscant bonus brings this up to 75 points total.

I think that the hag, white stag and 5 revenants could all count towards the Fantasy Side Duel lost cause.