Friday, 23 March 2018

From DaveD - Crashed and burned.. well maybe just smouldering...

Well where did Challenge XIII go eh. This is my 7th foray - and i enjoyed the usual whit and repartee plus following along some fine work by fellow challengers. Running the paint & chats was fun as ever - Kent you are such a paint machine...! lets see you on them through the year dude. Paul O 'G - I am just jealous...

As for me, it  was perhaps not as fruitful this year as I had initially hoped due to losing pretty much the first 5 weeks due to illness - I really don't want to see that flu strain again thank you very much! With too much gone it was just not going to be possible to play catch up on my initial target this year given the units i wanted to do . I decided to go off list and play with some side projects...

The projects - various!
the 6mm Modern Soviet force has been completed - Martin C is just loving the Hind Squadrons...

6mm moderns  and 15mm WW2
JamesM is to blame for the foray into 15mm WW2 - which has come from left field - I am really enjoying it - and it is in real danger of getting out of hand... Mrs D says - what more parcels... again... 

Key units for the Sudan were though completed - the Cameron Highlanders - a unit that was in all honesty bloody hard work, Plus the Egyptian Camel Corps.

The extras for the baggage - that has been added to Challenge 4-5-6 and 7 output - the "Biggest Ever Sudan Game" is planned for the summer.. a 24x12 table with the 3000 figures on it..

I enjoyed a madcap challenge with Sander and Arthur in relation to Camels... Arthur was the star! 

Private Millsy and Doc off into the Foreign Legion Sunset - Boxers Millsy?
I enjoyed the addition of terrain items which helped with the 6mm project big time. JamesM, MartinC and I got a few games in over the period too .

So  - some things will be held over to challenge 9... - it wont be long people...

do svidaniya from Comrade Docovich - apologies of course  to Alex..


Martin , James and I are giving my Old West game a run out at the re-scheduled Hammerhead show on the 28th April in Newark Upon Trent - so if your are going pop by and say hello - and give "Budgie Ray" his just rewards..


And a final word of thanks to Ray and the cast of our erst well minions - good job guys ...

Curt and the fine Lady Sarah  - thanks - until next time! 

From RusselG: Challenge VIII group photo

This was my second challenge and the first in which I achieved my proposed total, actually surpassing it by nearly half.

It has been great fun and has invigorated myself to get back into painting and starting new or old projects.

Last year was a difficult one, with personal tragedy, and injury, and the hobby was more or less abandoned.

However, participation in the challenge this year has helped me no end.

A thank you must go out to Curt and his marvellous minions in looking after all of us through the course of the challenge, without you all we would be lost in the maelstrom.

As is apparently the done thing for the finale, I enclose my photos of the finished total and myself (at the end of a tough work week and full of the common cold) of which until i opened the box of challenge painted work, I had forgotten how much I had done.

Here are the collective, i really must choose a size/scale in future, its getting ridiculous.

 And an unshaven, cold riddled monster, fits with the challenge lol

And i cant remember who asked, but someone did, for a group shot of the Vietnam battlefront helicopters, here they are with what i managed to paint during the challenge, only another 10 bases of infantry and 3 guns and its all done, woohoo.

I had forgotten about the Curtgeld, but luckily for me, my village community trust is raising money to fit a defibrillator outside the local post office and have been selling raffle tickets, so instead of buying tickets i asked if i could just make a donation which they accepted. Hopefully when they raise the money it never needs to be used, but its good to know its there if required.

So that is it for another year, i wish you all good health and happiness, and thank you all, i now have the time to look back all the posts and see you're marvellous achievements.


Special Guest Post: From StefanK - Dr. John H. Watson 'A Study in Scarlet'

L to R: Curt, Christopher, Nick, Stefan and Sid.
In late 2017 I had the great pleasure to meet Curt, the diligent host of the Painting Challenge, in person in Antwerp at the 'Crisis' wargaming show. He was there with a couple of other honourable members of this challenge and I was lucky enough to spent a most enjoyable our with those fellows have a pint of Leffe and a really good chat. During this Curt and I discussed the upcoming painting challenge and I had to renew my unpleasant decision to skip the challenge this time. Anyway he asked me whether I’d like to contribute a guest entry out of the valuation and I agreed happily. So with no more ado to a well known physician. Maybe the best known doctor in British literature…

Let me quote his very own words to describe him:

“In the year 1878 I took my degree of Doctor of Medicine of the University of London, and proceeded to Netley to go through the course prescribed for surgeons in the army. Having completed my studies there, I was duly attached to the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers as Assistant Surgeon. The regiment was stationed in India at the time, and before I could join it, the second Afghan war had broken out. […] I followed, however, with many other officers who were in the same situation as myself, and succeeded in reaching Khandahar in safety, where I found my regiment, and at once entered upon my new duties. […] II was removed from my brigade and attached to the Berkshires, with whom I served at the fatal battle of Maiwand. There I was struck on the shoulder by a Jezail bullet, which shattered the bone and grazed the subclavian artery.”

I stumbled over this introduction a couple of years ago and somehow I kept it in the back of my mind. Last year then when I started with the preparation of my Northwest Frontier project it pushed forward and I was not able to resist the the seduction to bring this noble fellow to the battlefield. You recognized him, didn’t you? It’s Dr John H. Watson, the loyal friend, assistant and chronicler of the famous consulting detective Sherlock Holmes. The lines gives above are part of his own introduction at the beginning of “A Study in Scarlet”.

Since I’ve already added a detachment of the 66th Regiment of Foot (the unlucky Berkshire regiment) it was a no-brainer that I had to add the honourable doctor as well as soon as I discovered that the hospital set from Perry Miniatures Sudan Range could be useful for the 2nd Anglo-Afghan War as well. Obviously the vignette shows him treating a wounded comrade before receiving a bullet himself. After consulting a couple of reference books and an interesting conversation with sculptor Micheal Perry who is very studied regarding the mentioned conflict I realized that the only real hindrance might be the helmets and the characteristic puggree. Luckily in the NWF plastic set there is an officer’s head with a cap bearing a 66 (for the 66th Regiment) which I put on Watson’s body after removing the given pit helmet. Although the neck looks a bit strange I’m rather satisfied with my humble conversion work.

After this piece of work painting the figures was kind of business as usual. I employed mostly Vallejo Model colours as well as the splendid set of skin colours Wargames Foundry is offering. Finally I added a coat of matt varnish and a couple of grass tufts and a couple of pieces of clump foliage

Well that’s it then. I hope you like this humble piece of work and the story behind it. It was a great pleasure and honour to me to be able to present it as a guest entry here amongst this outstanding collection of pieces of art. Although I didn’t take part I followed this year’s challenge again with greatest pleasure and was fascinated again which power our hobby is able to unfold. It’s truly beyond comparison how much eye candy you participants produced during the last three months. Kudos, Ladies and Gentlemen!

Best regards



From Curt:

Stefan, it was terrific chatting with you in Antwerp and I'm delighted that you took up the offer of submitting a guest post here as a small consolation for your noted absence this season.

Your Watson vignette is brilliant. It's a wonderfully creative and unique glimpse to the background of one of English literature's most beloved characters. The shading on the uniforms, the varied skintones and the subtle use of a head-swap for the good Doctor has been masterfully handled. Bravo Stefan!

I hope that your busy schedule (and that of your hockey powerhouse daughter) will allow you to join us for next year's edition. In fact I'm going to hold you to it. :)

Thanks for sharing some of your recent work with us Stefan.

From MartinN: Challenge VIII Group Shot

The challenge just finished, the brushes not yet cooled down and the varnish barely dried, our esteemed leader and host Mr. Campbell wasn't content with letting the dust settle.

So off I went, broke open all the cupboards and boxes in which I store my painted miniatures in order to take the requested group shot.

There was definitely no way to fit myself into the photo-booth as well, thus you've to make do with a random mug shot from this years trip to Rome.

Yours truly in the Collosseum in Rome

This year was my 5th time participating in the challenge and as in the years before it was a blast again. On a personal level I enjoyed this year maybe even more than the previous ones, as I had no renovation works to complete at home.

Albeit starting slowly into the challenge it was probably my most productive year to date.
And looking back through the years I seem to be getting better and better in staying focused on projects.

So, thank you all for the great company and some outstanding eye candy throughout the last three months.

(Ready)From MikeD: What All I Painted

This was my second year participating in the challenge, and where last year I fell just short, this year I hit my mark. As much as I'm impressed with the quality of the work of all the challengers, I'm even more blown away by the sheer volume people are able to achieve. I have to admit that the thought that I'm painting for a goal, and that I'll be sharing what I worked on with the group does still make me work a little more slowly and carefully than I might do otherwise. This was especially true for me this year on the challenge pieces. But the flip-side of that is I'm happy to have turned out a number of one-off pieces that I otherwise would have let sit in favor of something that would be put on the table right away.

At the same time I was able to finish off enough Greeks and Thracians that (along with what I already had painted) I can put together a nice variety of ancient army lists for ADLG or DBA. Like a lot of folks in the hobby I've gotten more into the skirmish games in the past couple of years, and I'm really itching to get back to mass historical battles.

Finally, let me just acknowledge what a great community the challenge represents. The internet is an increasingly sad place in many ways, but everyone from Curt to his Minions to the all the other challengers really maintain such a wonderful sense of just wanting to share the joy that we get from this hobby. Thanks again to everyone.

From MilesR: What I Did Done Paint for VIII

I'm really pleased with my productivity during Challenge VIII and set an all time high in points for myself.  Now I did take advantage of the inclusion of terrain - which generated about 1K points for me.

When I looked at the amassed output, the first thing that came to mind after the "oh crap where am I going to sore this stuff?" moment was 2 things I didn't paint.  There are no Napoleonics or Flames of War in this years output.

 Lets review what I did paint (from left to right) - a Sassanid army in 15mm, 2 regiments for my ACW collection and a whole bunch of German and Italian figures and vehicles for the North Africa campaign.

In the center we can see the Sassanid calvary and Roman army - I'm really please how my 15mm ancients came out and I suspect you'll see a lot more of them in future challenges.
Down the right side are some fantasy figures - 20 Ghost Archipelago crewman, 5 barbarians and 30+ sons of Anubis plus some treasure markers.  Also all the terrain sections were built during this challenge.
2 Pirate factions, complete with rides were also painted up
Some tree plates for Curt and...
Dungeon tiles which I'll likely give to a friend whose really into D&D.
 For some strange reason Curt demands photos of the participants, which in my case can cause distress to the viewer.  Here's my staged "Hollywood" glamour shot.  Notice I'm wearing a very stylish painting apron and, yes, it is a Jackson Pollock original painting.

 Here's a more realistic shot of yours truly - I'm usually in a befuddled state and this year a bit more than usual.

I haven't been that active with positing and comments with this years challenge as it's been a bit of a stressful year with a very busy professional agenda (which is good but tiring) and, more importantly, dealing with a serious illness with my son, Sean (uniformly bad).  Thankfully, Sean is a tough cookie and is on the mend but there were a few weeks in February that I would prefer not to relive.

The craft side of the miniature hobby has always been a great stress reliever for me and this year that aspect was especially important.  While my commenting was limited I am very grateful to all the Challenge participants whose entries and banter were very helpful to me over the past few months.

Thank you all very much.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

From JamesM: Challenge VIII lineup!

Hi folks,

My final round up for the challenge, which is a veritable array of 15mm artillery 'goodness' (with some 3mm sci fi thrown in):

I've not taken pictures of my terrain efforts, as that's all packed away. But Ray will no doubt attest that I completed a fair amount of terrain, which all went towards gracing this table (all my terrain) during the challenge, and which took a fair chunk of time out of my painting schedule to set up and run:

If you look closely you'll see trees that were based, rough ground/forest bases made, church walls painted, outbuildings painted and a couple of buildings and outbuildings converted and painted as well.

Final tally for the German guns (by calibre!) was:

4 x 15.5cm sFH 414(f) - French guns in German service
3 x 15cm Nebelwerfers (Heer)
3 x 15cm Nebelwerfers (SS)
4 x 10.5cm leFH 18 guns (Heer)
3 x Wespes (10.5cm guns)
4 x Luftwaffe 88's
2 x Heer 88's
2 x SS 88's
3 x 3.7cm AA guns
3 x Quad 2cm AA guns
4 x 2cm AA guns

For a total of 35 guns! Suffice to say I am now as sick of painting 15mm German artillery as you guys will be of seeing it! I think there must be close to 150 artillery crewmen with those guns as well. A lot of 'support slots' filled in, and a good start on my planned III Flak Corps force as well.

Thanks everyone for the positive comments throughout the challenge, and it's been a pleasure to see everyone else's work and to chat with people on the Painting Hangout - especially impressive to watch Kent motor through unit after unit in the time it took me to paint a couple of figures!

This was my second year in the challenge, and I set myself a higher target than last year and managed to significantly beat that, although I think entering every themed round helped that significantly. I had hoped to finish in the top 30, which I achieved. I was very very pleased to get an entry's for the themed rounds in the top 5 twice.

Cheers also to Ray, for getting all the stuff checked and posted, even when it was those annoying terrain entries! thanks to Curt, as ever, for running the show. No Curtgeld model from me this year, but I will be making a donation at the Hammerhead show to whichever veterans charity is in attendance.

From TomM: the rookie made it to the finish line

It is an time-honoured tradition... at the end of the Challenge, participants are asked to post a picture of themselves together with the figures they painted.

Okay... technical problem... I don`t have that large a table at the place where my figures are stored...

So I went to that other medium instead that I have at my disposal: the trusty videocamera and made a short movie, making sure my ugly mug is on it to get you through the summer months.

It was great venture to participate in, and while it did reduce lead mountain significantly (I guess I did around 300 figures, haven`t counted them exactly I`m afraid)... it also had an "unfortunate" side effect.  You see, as I rummaged thorugh my boxes to add variety to what was planned to be all pink and plastic dark ages as entries, I stumbled across figures long forgotten, like the Shang Chinese.  So of course I`ll need to build an army of them now, what else is a wargamer to do!

Oh well, at least that will give me plenty of figures to enter in the NEXT year (is it december already?) challenge, and some very "guided" shopping at out Crisis wargame show come november.  And that Mongol army still is eyeing me, begging for paint... they might have to wait just that bit longer then...

Well, that`s it for me then this year, this was great fun, and all I have to do now is split that 1.5 shelf of all sorts of figures through each other to their respective armies, orden the cabinets as such, and update the "The Armies" page on my blogsite to round it all out.

Until next year!