22 March 2019

AHPC IX Reflections - Part 1: Facts and Figures

Time's up - Brushes down!
Another Painting Challenge comes to an end and its time for me to tally up:

Challenge target: 1000

Total Points Achieved: 1305 - Target Achieved, a new PB (previous best was 1228 in AHPC VII). That placed me 21st out of 85 challengers (just 5 behind Dux!)

Submission rate - after the ramp up period and despite a few trips away, I averaged 100 points or so per week, which I'm pleased with.

Other Highlights 
- Participated in all the Bonus Rounds and got two Runner Up positions  (same as last year)
- Posted a submission on day one of the Challenge
- Made my first ever submission for Sarah's choice

- only posted a grand total of 2 points towards my Naval side duel. Still, that was two more than last year :-)

Scales: Combination of 28mm and 15mm, with more of the latter.

Genres: At just over 600 points, WW2 was the biggest slice of the pie being my 15mm DAK project, followed by Fantasy (representing my Romanised Orc project).   It was great to achieve my goals of finishing both these projects during Season IX.

So that completes my fifth AHPC and brings my 'aggregate career total points' to just over 4100 points.  Yes, some individuals crack that in a single challenge.  I was also pleased to able to assist the Snowlord in running the activity as his 'Duels Wallah'.
(No, we don't talk about AHPC VI around here much...)

Next Up - Part 2: Submission summaries

18 March 2019

AHPC 9: Lupi Feroces

My last AHPC 9 submission is a final addition to my Orci Invicti army aka Romanised Orcs.  Roman Legions predominantly used Auxilia to deliver scouting and cavalry forces.  I have chose to deliver these effects to my army not through mounted forces but trained wolves: the Lupi Feroces.
The 11 wolves are directed by a Beast Master (Orc not scored for this submission)

These are Northstar figures from their Frostgrave range. I have based them in the same frozen ash style as the rest of my Romanised Orc army, using the 3-2-1 method for Dragon Rampant.  I intend to use them as a lesser warbeast unit.
The Lupi Feroces are indeed 'hungry like the wolf'!

I enjoyed doing different colours to make them all unique, giving the pack a motley look
Eleven 28mm figs totals 55 points - which takes me just over a grand total of 1300 points for AHPC IX.  A new PB to finish up on and another major project completed.


16 March 2019

AHPC9: (Anti) Fellowship Bonus Round

I thought I would address this bonus round from the opposite side of the theme, while also completing my Season IX Curtgeld.

This is Lurtz, Saruman's first Uruk-Hai Commander - destroyer of the Fellowship of the Ring.  Leading a small warparty of Uruks, Lurtz tracked and attacked the Fellowship in the ruins of Amon Hen.  While he was defeated in this encounter, its outcomes saw the Gondorian hero Boromir slain and the Fellowship broken.

This is a 28mm GW fig in their smaller (and nicer IMO) LOTR proportions.  I have used Vallejo Mahogany Brown as the base for the skin to fit with his dark tone in the movie.  As a Curtgeld figure I have refrained from the basing so that it can match the rest of the horde when it arrives.

Points wise that is 5 points for 28mm fig, plus 20 points for Curtgeld an adding the bonus round 50 points - that's a high yield 75 points for a single figure! :-)


12 March 2019

AHPC9: DAK Infantry, Command and vehicles

Presenting the final submission for my DAK Army - Panzergrenadiers!

Infantry (with each 3 squads each separated into their rifle and LMG groups) a Platoon HQ squad, both light and medium mortars in support, and a flammenwerfer trooper in case I want to field the platoon as Sappers.  Forged in Battle (FiB) figures.

For early desert war encounters I will mount them in trucks as Shutzen but in later engagement during the Tunisia/Torch era they will be Gepanzerte Grenadiers riding fancy new SdKfz 251 halftracks (PSC Hanomags, FiB Command variant)

Here is the Kampfgruppe Kommander and his Command halftrack (FiB figures)

To keep the boys in fighting shape, the medical support team: a medic, stretcher bearers and a SdKfz 251 ambulance variant. Taking these in Battlegroup increases the resilience of your force, so they have a real, on table effect.  I haven't really in this capability before and am looking forward to trying them out. Combination of Peter Pig and FiB figures, Ambulance by FiB.

And to keep those Allied Jabos off their backs, an SdKfz 10/5 with a 2cm FlaK mount (Battlefront model)

I also finished off some minor terrain pieces - 5 haystacks for the 15mm Russian village I did back in AHPC 8 (and then misplaced before I could paint them), and a small area of rough desert terrain.

Thats a total of 56 Infantry and weapons crews (2 points each), a mortar (4 points), 7 vehicles (8 points each) and the terrain for a submission total of 180 points - 182 awarded with a couple of bonuses.


That is the last of my DAK submissions, which have been spread across both AHPCs 8 and 9.  While I am sure that there will be future additions that is the last currently planned. I'm pleased with their veteran but cohesive look, and all the early war vehicle diversity it incorporates.  I am looking forward to taking some Army pics of them all together soon.

And as if that wasn't enough, this submission not only a new AHPC Personal Best it takes me over 4,000 points totalled during my five AHPC seasons (yes, I know some people do that in a single season...).  Thanks to everyone for all the kind comments and words of encouragement along the way.

This is exactly how I feel having finished this army! :-)

07 March 2019

Returning to the FIW with Rebels & Patriots

Light Infantry screen the flank of the advancing Redcoats
A wonderful return to the French Indian War last night with Alan, using the new Rebels & Patriots rules (the latest of the Rampant series of games, which we have really enjoyed). Didn’t get everything right but it gave a fun and quick game. It was nice to have forces painted and ready to go!
The British army in its element
French Indian allies failed to activate twice and then fled off the board - the British must have given them a better offer! French light troops and sharpshooters then took the objective ridge-line and the redcoat lines advanced upon them.
Having faced the French fusillade with resolve, British regulars go in with the bayonet
The British took some casualties and enjoyed the proximity of their commander to help with their morale checks and keep advancing. They then got stuck in with the bayonet and cleared the feature. 
The Redcoats pursue the retreating French without pause
The Grenadiers assaulted the last unit and the French Commander, Lieutenant Pierre Pouchot, was taken into captivity. 
Ransom has been set at one Matilda tank (its a long story...)
Lieutenant Pierre Pouchot gives his parole

04 March 2019

AHPC 9: Jeanne d'Arc

As we enter the last 3 weeks of AHPC9, my latest submission is a foray into a new period for me, the Hundred Years War, and my first ever submission for Sarah's Choice.
Contemporary illustration of the Maid of Orleans

Jeanne d'Arc is an amazing historical female personality, and the ultimate glass ceiling breaker of the Medieval age.

From a humble French peasant background, Jeanne believed that she was chosen by God to free France from the Anglo-Burgundian invaders.  At 16 she persuaded a judge to nullify the arranged marriage her father had brokered for her.  At the age of 17 she petitioned and amazingly gained an audience with the Crown Prince.  Despite all advice to the contrary, he agreed to place her in Command of an Armed force to help relieve the besieged city of Orleans, which she forsaw would result in him being crowned King.

While the exact nature of her position remains unconfirmed (not well documented and the story has grown in legend through the centuries), her presence and the inferred divine inspiration definitely had an effect. The enemy was defeated and the siege lifted, though Jeanne was wounded by an arrow in the process.  The Dauphin was subsequently crowned King Charles VII in Reims, as Jeanne had promised.

Romantic period depiction

Jeanne was subsequently sent to Campiegne to attack the Allied forces there but her force was ambushed and she was captured.  The English moved her to their Headquarters in Rouen where they tried her for a range of crimes including heresy, witchcraft and dressing like a man (!) in order to discredit both her and Charles VII.  In 1421 she was found guilty of Heresy and burned at the stake in the town square, aged just 19.  A memorial and Church in her name stand there today and I had the opportunity to visit a few years back.  20 years after her death the Pope overturned the Heresy ruling and she was eventually cannonised as a Saint in 1920.  But long before that her martyrdom and reputation had been well established and she has represented French Unity and Freedom for centuries. Her annual feast is held on 30 May.

This model is a 28mm dioramic figure by Baueda Wargames and is a great tribute to this amazing Lady.  The figure herself is metal while the wood piles are two piece resin. I really enjoyed painting her and used a heavy black outlining technique so she would stand out more dramatically in her white gown. Its not something I have tried before and think it came out rather well.

I kept the pyre sections seperate so that I can also put her on the table in a less dramatic fashion
When assembled the two tiered pyre and figure stand at 75mm in height - my minion awarded 35 points for this submission.  Just 5 points until I hit my thousand point target!


24 February 2019

AHPC IX Progress

With just under a month to go, I am looking at what is next for my AHPC participation:
  • Points rate of effort are well in hand despite 3 aggregated weeks away from home and one week of no submissions (which I anticipated when setting my target).
  • I should meet my target in the next week and with a solid push might even beat my current PB of 1228 points
  • Submissions thus far have been predominantly based on my 15mm DAK Army and 28mm 'Romanised Orcs' project.
  • I have only 2 points posted toward the Naval Side duel. Ironic really…
  • With just one bonus round left to go am on track to hit all 5 again this year
  • I have yet to do a Curtgeld figure, but it is in the project plan.
  • I am enjoying AHPC as much as ever - I hope the other challengers are enjoying themselves also
On on!

22 February 2019

AHPC9: Desert Oasis

The obligatory "sun shining off the water" shot :-)
Noting my DAK project of late, the topic of my Water Feature bonus round probably comes as no surprise: an oasis in the desert is key terrain regardless of what era one is playing.
SdKfz 222 was painted during AHPC 8 and is for scale only
While my immediate use is for 15mm North Afrika, I have endeavoured to keep this scale terrain feature scale agnostic.  It is also the first time I have used resin to attempt a water effect, so this Bonus round was useful in pushing my skills envelope!

I have used plastic palm trees, painted and drybrushed to reduce the overly artificial look they tend to have out of the packet. They do look better outside of direct sunlight though.


19 February 2019

AHPC9: African Hunting Party

Having enjoyed an introductory game of Congo a few weeks past, I thought I would pay some attention to some long neglected figures in the lead pile to start my own White Explorer force.  This is my initial Hunting Party, comprising 2 Big Game Hunters, 3 Askari Guards, and 5 Bearers/Servants:

After a bunch of my submission have taken much longer to finish than anticipated, I challenged myself to do these rapidly and got them done over an aggregated 3 evenings. Unfortunately, they are a bit grainy up close - likely it was too hot when I applied the undercoat (its been a stinking hot summer here in Sydney). Still good enough for the Congo methinks!
Figures by the lesser known Askari mini: https://askari-minis.com/

Another 50 points towards my total Bwana!

17 February 2019

AHPC 9: DAK Panzers and Tank Killers

This week sees more DAK Panzers joining my Panzer IV Specials from earlier in the Challenge.
First up - a platoon of Pz IV F1s:
Panzer Marsch!
Their short barrels limited their effective range but the 75mm guns were capable of ripping the heart out of any Allied tank in the early desert war.  Mercifully for the 8th Army, they were always in short supply throughout and thus saw heavy and constant action.

As befits their operational usage, I have painted them up as well worn desert veterans. These models are PSC plastic kits.

As Battlegroup Torch takes the Desert War to Tunisia I can now field the Tiger tank, which was in operational use there from Dec 42.  The thick armour and brutal 88mm gun were a lethal combination which, while far from unbeatable, established the concept of "Tiger Fear" amongst Western Allied tank crews.
I'm really thrilled with how crisp I managed to get the Tiger's finish
As a newcomer to the theatre, I have done this Tiger as looking new and an unbattered example.  This model is from the recent Battlefront release in plastic.

My final offering this week is a Pak 38 5cm Anti Tank gun battery.  I have also modelled additional crewing options (allowing it to stay operational after taking some personnel casualties), and with both SdKfz 10 tow tractors for mobile operations, and dug-in 'nest' positions for flexibility.

The guns, crews and tows are by Forged in Battle. The PaK nests are resin by Battlefront.


13 February 2019

AHPC 9: Barbarian Auxilia

This week sees me adding to my Orci Invicti army with something a bit different. Later Roman armies were known for incorporating warriors from conquered lands and using them as Auxilia troops to increase the Force's fielded strength.  I have always liked Bellicose Foot units in Dragon Rampant, so this seemed like a perfect excuse to get some into my army.

This unit of fur clad Shield Breakers is from a Hill Tribe that was recently (and violently) incorporated into the growing Orc Empire. Now they fight for something greater than their loose collection of villages.

They are old Grenadier Orc "Big Uns" from the 90s - and big beefy chaps they are too weighing in at a hefty 40mm. I picked them up at a Bring & Buy at MOAB last year and really likebthe old, characterful sculpts.
The Bigs Uns showing their size next to my Sattagarian Goblins from earlier in this challenge

I have been asked what my skin recipe is.  My intent was to go for a olive yellow tinged skin, rather than the more modern GW Green.  This is what I ended up with (though I do drift about a little they are Orcs, after all!):
Black Undercoat
Rough Drybrush with British Uniform Khaki, leaving key recesses black for shading/outline effect
Liberal wash with Army Painter Strong Tone (the brownish, middle one)
Highlight with Vallejo Green-Brown
Fine Highlight with Green-Brown lightened with some Bone

That submission was six 40mm figs at 7 points each for a total of 42.  Yes - the answer is indeed 42!!!