31 January 2017

Painting Challenge Week 6 Submissions

Some Fantasy focused goodies from me this week, with some unusually good productivity prior to having a weekend away from painting to attend CanCon.

Orc champion riding a Warbeast
First up: Ta-da! This is a surprise present for JohnS’s birthday!

The colours specifically match John’s lovely 28mm Orc army, which is comprised of the long OOP Chronopia figures with their great Moorish vibe.   I carved the body off a Chronopia Orc Leader and remounted him onto a similarly dissected Scotia-Grendel Carnosaur.  This was a somewhat challenging conversion so I added a back banner which is actually a long steel rod which pins the model together very strongly despite the dissimilar materials.

Pleased to present a good buddy with something unique for his army and I know he will enjoy using it.  Naturally though, if I have to face it on the tabletop it will automatically fail all of its activation rolls :-)
Happy (belated) birthday John!

Elite Riders
These guys are the centre piece of my Riders of Doom fantasy army and while expensive points wise, they really kick butt in Dragon Rampant.  Yes they are indeed GW plastic Chaos figs and I didn’t de-skull/chaos them as much as my last batch because I think they look quite good as is.

Unfortunately, three of these had a little paint applied mid last year before stalling, so I’ll only be claiming 3 of them including the hand painted banner chap.  Great to have this unit finished and on the table!

4 big ‘uns which are lovely old and characterful Troll models, originally by Ghost miniatures and now by Old Glory.   Beheaded casualty fig is from the Conquest Norman boxed set and I quite enjoyed doing that dioramic basing to demonstrate that these lads are not to be trifled with!

They have already played their first game and yes they were slaughtered (by Reilly's Dwarves from the Armour bonus round), but at least they looked good doing so :-)

Thanks to JohnS for the donations to the horde – I hope I’ve done them justice!

Classic GW figs to mix up my Riders of Doom force for Dragon Rampant.  I really tried to speed paint these but so help me I just cant leave all those details untouched.  Overall, these maybe took 2/3 of the regular time but I think the rougher and ready looks suits them well.  After painting all those FIW Indians recently I felt compelled to add some tribal warpaint and think it adds nicely.

They have also seen their first combat and were routed from the field after suffering 1/3 casualties, again at the hands of Reilly's Dwarves.  So now we've gotten that out of the way, I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do :-)

Yet another GW fig and I didn’t deskull him either – I understand he is a limited ed figure (?) so I let him be as is.  And standing on a pile of skulls? Well, who is going to inform your Riders of Doom champion that doing so is not in accordance with the warlord's work health and safety policies? Exactly!

I went for blue with metallic features appearance – end result wasn’t exactly what I was after but he will do for now to get him on the table.

In wider terms this isn't a points bomb, but its as close as you're going to see from me!
You can see this submission at the AHPC blog here:

Points wise, this submission grabbed me 160 points to sail past the half way point to my objective.
So my target goal is in sight...and I'm contemplating a push to join the 1k club.  Mission Creep? You betcha, but in the best possible way :-) And peer pressure from Alan has nothing to do with it. Honest!

29 January 2017

CanCon 2017 - Part 1

Another year and another CanCon, so Reilly and I made the trip from Sydney to check out the goodies and catch up with friends:

We met up with a bunch of bloggers, including:

Comrade James of the Man Cave!
Blue Willow of Kampfgruppe Willow
Barks of Wargaming with Barks
Millsy of Canister and Grape
Kaptain Kobold of The Stronghold Rebuilt
Trail Ape of Trail Ape's Wargames
Patch from AHPC VII

Unfortunately, many could not attend the meet up due to other commitments (like gaming!), and there were some noticeable absences from CanCon which made this year's pic a little smaller than last year.

We then caught up with some old friends and lead pushers including:
John and Ian from War and Peace Games
Nic R of Eureka Models
Mike P of Battlefield Miniatures
Jimmi from Flashpoint Miniatures
Reilly: taller than me and catching up to Comrade James too!
And met a whole bunch of guys from the Epic Forums whom I have been "chatting with" for well over a decade (closer to two) but had never met in person - that was very cool.

Barks with his new Norse Blood Bowl team 
Naturally, I bought too much stuff (pile of shame pics to follow) mostly from the second hand trade stall to support our current club Dragon Rampant campaign.  Fantasy hasn't been my thing in the past so some inventory holes needed filling, plus I was buying for two.  Justification complete.

Saw some nice terrain and models about the place - probably another post to follow with those as well
Here is Comrade James' brand new 88 on the table during the BA tournament, lining up a shot on a doomed Matilda
Best part of the adventures was a Day 2 thrown down between Lad and Dad using Bolt Action 2.0, being kindly demonstrated by the Demo Gamers (http://thedemogamers.blogspot.com.au/).  Dave and his boys Peter and James are staunch supporters of the hobby are are inevitably seen at every show patiently explaining the rules and sharing their toys.  They also kindly develop excellent indexes for Warlord's BA series of games, which are available at their blog.
The young Dick Winters with James from "the Demo Gamers"
After watching Band of Brothers with me for the first time recently, Reilly was keen to play US Airborne.  So he grabbed the US forces to play against me as the German commander as we fought over a church and some crossroads in a meeting engagement on a lovely late war winter table.

Started well for me, moving up to capture the church and threaten the crossroads with a Vet squad in a corner building.This got ugly over subsequent turns as two of my squads got chewed up in there in close combat, leaving it in US hands

Reilly moves up paras on the other side to threaten the church

My Panzer IV rolls on - but Hans has to go back to Panzer school after failing to hit *anything* all game :-)
That squad then entered the building and got pummelled into nothingness by the Sherman's HE shells

One thing that went right for me- a flank marching Vet squad comes in from the left to disprupt the Americans, wiping our an infantry squad, a bazooka team and isolating the US Platoon Commander.  Before they got wiped out themselves. 

The exciting conclusion as the crossroads become the focal point.  Alas, my last 3 infantrymen were then gunned down and Reilly won both Objectives at the end of turn 6 - a well deserved win.

A fun two days down in Canberra with Reilly - very social catching up with lots of people.  Cant help but think that there was a lack of diversity between traders though - I wanted some resin terrain and some new autumn coloured trees but such things were not on offer.  Not that I went home empty handed, but I thought there was a noticeable absence of diversity of hobby accessories etc.  Well, the ones I wanted anyway.

It was also two days without a brush in hand - back to the AHPC VII projects!

26 January 2017

CanCon this weekend!

A quick reminder to Aussie bloggers that this weekend is CanCon:
  • 1:00pm - Meet-up in the Board Games section in the Northern Hall at CANCON to say g'day, and check out respective loot bags.
  • 6:00pm(ish) - Pub dinner and extended tall story session.
Pics and the inevitable shopping "pile of shame" confession (ameliorated nicely by my AHPC productivity of late) to follow! 

24 January 2017

AHPC VII 'East' Bonus Round: Millsy of the Naval Brigade

Presenting Lieutenant Commander Michael Mills, New South Wales Volunteer Naval Reserve. Seen here serving with the colonial Naval Brigade dispatched from Australia to the Sudan to give the Mad Mullah a darn good thrashing!

A renowned adventurer, "Millsy” (as he is known in the shearing sheds of the Outback) naturally could not resist stepping up to support the Empire. How he lost his leg is unclear but it involves a dromedary, 3 lovely ladies, a fresh spring of lavender, 4 Chinese coolies and an eel. What is certain is that the prosthesis that the ship's artificer made for him keeps him mobile and on his feet, GIMPy though it is!

From an Imperial perspective, Australia is in the far East. And Africa is also East of Great Britain. And the Sudan is in Eastern Africa. Thats three reasons why this qualifies as an "East” submission :-)

This entry was inspired on Google chat one morning with DaveD when we discussed the Sudan being Australia's first contribution of military forces outside our own colonies. This small contribution to Dave's Sudan project will be winging his way shortly. Congrats on completing your thousand Mahdist foot milestone Dave, and I hope this miniature version of Millsy leads your Jolly Jack tars to victory against them!

Sources advise that a Nile River gunboat Command might be available to him soon!

Figure is by Artisan Designs - "Colonel Lattimer" from the Mars Frontier Force range.

This bonus round entry is here:

22 January 2017

Painting Challenge Week 5 Submissions

(whoops) I did did it again; got suckered into enjoying every bit of detail and going to town on the basing.  Not good from a productivity basis, but I’m quite pleased with the end products.

Anti Tank Gun
First up is a Brit 6 pdr Anti Tank gun for my Paras, and I can use one of the jeeps I finished last week to tow it around the table.  It doesn’t have the best AT effect (the heavier 17pr was far more successful and famously fitted to the Sherman Firefly and Achilles - the up gunned M10 Tank destroyer) but is more mobile to give my Paras some much needed anti armour capability.

As a former Gunner Officer I happily went to town with the basing, carving out wheel hollows in the mdf base and burying the trail spades into the dirt…and then lost most of the effect by excitedly adding all the tufts and shrubbery :-) Overall though I’m pleased with the dioramic style effect and hope it helps them on the tabletop! Figs and gun by Warlord.

Woodland Indians 2
Next are another half dozen Mohawk warriors to take the field with my FiW Brits.  Added to my previous Woodland Indians in week 2 (see here), these round out a tribal unit of a dozen for use with Sharpe Practice 2. 

Looking forward to having them scalp some of Alan's pesky coureur de bois in their inaugural table top game soon! Figs by Warlord which mix well with my Northstar sculpts.  I like the mix they have of traditional weapons, not just all Muskets and Tomahawks - you know, that would be a great name for a game...
These earned me 60 points (including 5 kind bonus points for the gun basing details and Indian warpaint) and my progress remains on track:

Which keeps me hovering around 30th place or so, not that it matters whatsoever - its a personal challenge.  In comparison to my previous AHPC efforts, I am doing well thus far; Now to keep up the rate of effort!

16 January 2017

Painting Challenge Week 4 Submissions

Two contributions from me this week, for different projects underway:

Wasteland Raiders

Here is the beginning of my first ever Fantasy army: a Conan-esque "Riders of Doom" / Game of Thrones Wildling inspired raider force.  These rather ominous looking chaps deliver two 6 Heavy Foot units for Dragon Rampant; one with 2 handed weapons and one with Shields (and led my a Sub-Leader with a Standard Bearer and a musical/signalling Horn blowing chap).

No, these are NOT Chaos Warriors (though the figs are indeed the venerable 2004 GW sculpts).  You can easily tell by the way their shields have been meticulously scraped clean of the characteristic 8 pointed star icons and most of the skulls, right? Right!
Yes that shield/banner device is indeed the Yellow Sign of Cthulhu mythos fame. 
No, they aren't wearing yellow.
Behold: the colourblind Knights of the Yellow Sign!

Painting wise, they were undercoated black and then I fell into the pitfall of enjoying painting all the lovely details and spending far too long on them - not good time economy from a points perspective, but I am pleased with their "just in from the wastelands" appearance.

Banner and shields are of course hand painted to avoid the unpleasantness than Alan unleashes on those who utilise shield decals, which are (and I quote verbatim) "evil and the work of the Devil" (as he is fond of exclaiming loudly into perpetrators' ears...)

Red Devil Jeeps

Another of my hobby objectives this year is to add to my 28mm Brit Para force, which I completed as part of my first challenge back in AHPC IV.  I really love this army (but JamesL's Germans generally don't) and am keen to add some some force options that I didn't do the first time around.

First up is a pair of Para Jeeps which come from the Brigade's Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron, but can also be used to tow the Para's Light Howitzers and 6pdr antitank guns.  Fitted with Vickers K machine guns, they can be very useful for a flanking movements and to throw some suppressing fire about in rear areas and cause havoc generally.  In BA2 terms, they probably wont be as good with the changes to the Recon skill, but I'm looking forward to giving them a go on the tabletop.

Jeeps are by Warlord Games, crews are by Artisan Designs and I've added a bunch of other stowage and gibbons from my bits box.  LMGs are modelled in a "stowed but ready" configuration for playing/storage longevity.  Yes, one of the Paras is toting a captured MG42 - to offset the captured Brit weapons that some of Alan's new Fallschirmjäger are carrying (which will also be posted today) and because its such a cool weapon!

Tip for Commonwealth types (standfast Canuks): note that the Jeep is an American designed vehicle.  Thus, the driver is on the Left hand side. Don't go into automatic and superglue your drivers into your more usual right hand side driver's position.  Yes I felt sufficiently purist (or sufficiently pressured by he who is called Alan) to remove said drivers, fix the paintwork and then re-glue them onto the designed -as opposed to proper! - side.

You can find this entry at AHPC VII here:

Overall, these two submissions added a satisfying 130 points to my challenge total:
 - 60 points for the 12 Raiders + some bonus points for the hand painted shields and banner
 - Para jeeps are 2 x vehicles + 6 full crew figures for another 60 points

So where does that put me for progress? Coupled with the Armour bonus round I have now achieved 271 points to put me above the line for my 850 point target.  Now to keep the pace up with my projects various.

And to feed Miles' love of spreadsheets and graphs, here is where I sit in comparison to my previous performances in AHPCs IV and VI:

12 January 2017

AHPC VII 'Armour' Bonus Round: Soviet Spider Mecha

Presenting a pair of Spider Mechs from the Soviet 1st Guards Mecha Division, as seen on the Eastern front in late 1947 while operating with the 3rd Shock Army, 1st Belorussian Front.  

Russian doctrine is to field Light, Medium and Heavy Spider Mechs within a Mecha Division, deploying them in role oriented pairs to work in close cooperation for shock effect. This is a heavy "Hunting Pair”.  

The Hammerjaw class Medium Mech, while well able to take care of itself with it short barrelled 90mm, flushes big game for the larger and less mobile Nayk class Heavy Mech asks flanks the enemy while the bigger duel is underway.  With accompanying infantry support, this has been found to be highly effective in difficult environments such as urban/rubble, marsh and mountainous terrain not well suited to tracked and wheeled vehicles.
Hammerjaw Medium Mech

The Mecha pilots are dressed in distinctive uniforms with cooled padding, chest plate armour and communications equipment.  Shown dismounted is the famed Soviet Mecha Ace Konstantin Samokhin, Hero of the Soviet Union (limited edition figure)

Nayk Heavy Mech 

Characteristically, this Bonus round became quite an enjoyable distraction from my intended main push, but I’m very happy with the Result. All models by WestWind from their Secrets of the Third Reich range.  Putting these mocha beasties together was extremely challenging and they are probably the most frustrating things I’ve ever built, though it is nice to have them done after a few years of languishing in the garage.  Perhaps I need another Hammerjaw mech (which was my favourite) to complete the platoon though.  Maybe one transferred from the Naval Infantry bridge, all decked out in black and with Soviet Marines as Tank riders.  Thats would be cool...

I’ve swapped the crewmen around because, well I think they look better this way. All painting and weathering was by hand, including the turret markings which say “Crush the Facists!” (on the Nayk Heavy mecha) and “For the Motherland!” (on the Hammerjaw Medium).  If that’s not what they say…I don’t want to know :-) 

To Berlin Comrades!

This AHPC entry can be found here: