18 April 2022

Band of Brothers: Bolt Action Army

By Reilly: Over the last month (ironically after the recent painting challenge finished) I have built a WW2 US Paratrooper unit for my University Tabletop Society. This was my first historical project and was really interesting to research and not have the flexibility to freely mix and match units as I would in say 40k.  On the other hand, it was fun to have a specific theme and focus in on the uniforms for my selected Normandy campaign.

I wanted to recreate Easy Company and have used a mix of figures: mostly Artizan, some Warlord and then the US Airborne Hero characters figures from Stoessi's Heroes. Naturally we enjoyed re-watching Band of Brothers during this project.

While focused for Bolt Action, I have also ensured the army is set with the figures I need for other game systems including Chain of Command and Battlegroup. 

HMG team sheltering behind a stone wall we 3d printed

So 1200(Winters and Spiers special characters from Overlord points done and a different but fun project. 2 games in: 1 draw (500 points) and 1 win (1000 points) and have proven themselves adept at dispatching Fallschirmjaeger - so historically accurate!

I now have plans for further expansions such as a 75mm pack Howitzer, M8 Greyhound and some mohawk and war painted Pathfinders.

Paint recipe (all Vallejo paints) - thanks to Dave at the Left Handed Panzerfaust for the tips, which you can find here: https://lefthandedpanzerfaust.blogspot.com/2017/07/jumping-in.html

Undercoat Grey spray

Uniform: Middelstone (70.882)

Webbing / Scrim: Germ C Beige WW2 (70.821) - ironic!

Helmet / knee patches: US Dark Green (70.893)

Boots / Gun: Flat Brown (70.984)

Chinstraps German Cam Mdm Brown (70.826)

Skin: Army Painter Barbarian Flesh

Wash all over: AP Military Shader (flesh with GW Reikland Flesh Shade)

Highlights with own colours (Webbing Highlighted GW Ushabti Bone)

17 March 2022

AHPC XII: Iron Golems Warband

"Flesh is Impermanent - Metal is Eternal!"

These doughty fellows are highly skilled armourers and metal smiths who hail from the Volcanic mountains of Chamon in the Realm of Metal.  To showcase their master crafted wares in a kind of uninvited roadshow advertising, they get out on the road and take their frustrations out on people they consider naughty (and there are quite a few of those). And after all that time practice on anvils, they are itching to thump out some punishment and prove their skills as master artisans.

Heavy Hitters: Signifer, Dominar, and Ogre Breacher

Rip and Tear lads!

Together they form a warband for the Warhammer skirmish game Warcry that I call the 'HateForged' and are lead by Dave the Dominus - not to be confused with the other Dave who is neither the Dominus or as imposing as he stands at only 4 foot 3inches tall. 

Dave and other Dave (no relation)

There was some debate at the forming of this intrepid group that they be called "The League of Extraordinarily Murderous Gentlemen" but a Nether Realm judge considered this to be too similar to an existing IP and  a Cease and Desist Order was issued. Such is the way of things in the badlands of the Blood Spoil regions.

Ready for Trouble, one way or another

I went for an antique Greek style with a slightly rusted/tarnished look to go with Deep Sea diver helmets.  It was also a colour experiment, using a brown/metallic monochrome style with accents from the blue/green verdigris and red blood splashes.  I think it worked out OK, but it does lack a certain 'pop'.  

This duo deliver a slightly ranged effect to the team

Actually, I understand their rules are kinda underpowered but the models just look too cool to not paint. Such is the way of things... 

Painting Notes:


Basecoat: Coat d' Arms Dwarf Bronze (quite a light, desaturated colour)

Wash: Ork Flesh green contrast

Drybrush: Coat d' Arms Dwarf Bronze

Wash: Agrax (leave some of the green in areas)

Drybrush: Coat d' Arms Dwarf Bronze

'Zenithal' style drybrush GW Dwarf Bronze (much stronger yellow tone)

Alternate metal colour: Brass Scorpion

Aged effects with GW Nihilakh Oxide (veridgris) and AP Dry Rust (on chainmail mostly)

Flesh: Palid Wychflesh base, wash Druchi Violet, re-highlight with Palid Wychflesh

Basing (matching the Warcry 'Defiled Ruins' board): base Snakebite Leather with Gor Grunta Fur contrast

07 March 2022

AHPC XII: Beastmen

Due to work travel its been a good few weeks since I touched a brush. This gave me time to reflect on this year's Challenge and I realised I was missing something - I've painted no Beastmen - for shame! So this week I've rectified that with some characterful Beastmen models from the Underworlds "Grashrak's Despoilers" set.

BFFs Grashrak and Draknar are the bruisers of this warband

Grashrak Fellhook is a magical Bray-Shaman, and his buddies are Gor Draknar the Cruel and the Ungor Hunters Gnarl, Ushkor, Murgoth Half-Horn, and Korsh the Sneak. Together they 'hate all things pure with a bestial vehemence that knows neither reason nor restraint' - nice lads to gatecrash your forrest outing. 

With the idea that these would be a flavoursome raiding force for WHFB as well as a Warcry Warband, I lavished attention on their lovely details and tried something different with desaturated flesh tone colours and shades. I quite like the paler, muted tones but I'm not going back to my 200 odd beastmen army to redo those :-)

Painting notes (all GW colours)

Basecoat: Rakarth Flesh

Wash: diluted Bugman's Glow

Highlight: Rakarth Flesh

Fine Highlight: 50/50 mix Rakarth Flesh and Wraithbone

Fur was GoreGrunter Contrast with a light drybrush of Baneblade Brown


15 February 2022

AHPC XII: 'Nidzilla!

News of the upcoming release of the new Tyranid Codex had Reilly and I reaching for some unpainted bugs this week. He did a Broodlord and this is my contribution: a Trygon - and a big (half a foot tall) menacing fellow he is!

Game wise, he is a burrower and erupts from the ground in a nasty surprise attack kind of way. He also generates a tunnel behind him that other bugs can then scuttle through - so apart from his personal attacks, it can be a bit of a pain when bugs suddenly erupt amidst your army.

The basing is done to match the rest of the army - I'm not super happy with it yet and will add to it later, but I am literally off to the airport for a work trip now so thats good enough for today.

Game wise, he erupts from the ground in a nasty surprise attack kind of way. He also generates a tunnel behind him that other bugs can then scuttle through - so apart from his personal attacks, it can be a bit of a pain when bugs suddenly erupt amidst your army.

08 February 2022

AHPC XII: War of the Roses - Lancastrians

The start of a new but long awaited project: War of the Roses. Stage 1 is a Lancastrian force to oppose Alan's lovely Yorkists that he painted a few years ago.  Ironic that I should be doing Lancastrians though, as I served aboard the Destroyer HMS York for more than a year... 

Anyway, this initial burst of 48 figures includes Foot Knights, Billmen and Retinue Archers for Lion Rampant. In the wings are lots more of the same plus Mounted Knights, Prickers and artillery, as well as European mercenary Pike, crossbows and hand gunners.

Foot Knights advance under a Percy House Banner

I was experimenting with the Scale 75 metallics for the armour - very nice products, and I'm really happy how they have come out and contrast with the snow. This is also my first real foray into snow basing so that they match Alan's army; going for a patchy, early winter look. They came out a bit heavier than expected but I'm happy with them overall.

Well armoured Retinue Billmen move into the attack

Fun fact: Snow basing really soaks up any rum and coke that you might inadvertently spill over your entire army. REALLY well like a sponge. Like, scrape it all off and start again the night before your submission is due. Still, the models now have a nice smell and Reilly observed "You're really putting something of yourself into this project". I figure the spirits will keep the lads warm in the snow...

Unarmoured Billmen, led by a Man at Arms

Alan has convinced me with his zealous promotion of the 3-2-1 basing schema for the foot troops, but I kept the archers in more refined lines on rectangle bases. I think it shows a more formed and static line up, while the foot sloggers are a bit more ragged in the advance.

Stout Englishmen and their yew bows ready to deliver an arrow storm

That's 48 figs and the two banners are hand painted of course.


06 February 2022

AHPC XII: Chaos Landraider "Blood Storm"

It was only 2 weeks ago amidst this very challenge that I got obsessive over a single, low point submission. I wouldn't fall into that particular hole again so soon would I?... You know it!

Meet Bloodstorm, a Chaos Landraider with a multitude of Spikey bits and more than the odd skull affixed to the superstructure in praise of the Dark Gods. To be more precise it is a captured and repurposed Imperial vehicle, turned against it former masters - Chaos guys are a bit insidious like that. Its also big and bright and red. Chaos guys like that too.

Obviously I went overboard once again with the customisation and the silly amount of layering and edge highlighting (not seen well in the pics) to get the bright, vibrant red colour.  Hopefully that draws the enemy fire and lets the other parts of my army get close enough to breathe sweet nothings in the enemy's ears, before they hack them off (and the rest of the head too, ideally).

In true Khorne fashion is trying to climb OUT of the heavily armoured fighting vehicle so he can hit things with his chainsword - Khorne guys REALLY like doing that.


25 January 2022

AHPC XII: A few more DungeonBowl players

Back to the office this week, which has impacted hobby so only a minor submission this week, adding a few new players to my College of Shadows Dungeonbowl team.  

Added to the roster is a third Skaven Gutter Runner, Git-git Greenstripe - a fast player who can skitter around the dungeon with great agility...but is admittedly a little fragile (Reilly stomped one to death during a recent match!) 

Also joining the Team is Penny the Pricker, Dark Elf Assassin. This is a player type I haven't used before but anything that against the tower of muscle that is Reilly's team is welcome. 


16 January 2022

AHPC XII: Chaos Hellbrute and Silver Bayonet Beastie

My next AHPC submission was a Chaos Hellbrute/Dreadnought. Basically, this is a hulking murder obsessed robot named KILLFRENZY who is controlled by an insane, blood craving heretic. Good times!

For the 40k affectionados this is a converted Blood Angels Death Company Dreadnought fitted with a pair of nasty looking Blood Talon close combat weapons, heavy flamer and storm bolter.  Lost in battle when its former pilot succumbed to wounds, the happy-go-lucky World Eaters salvaged it and interred their own ill-mannered psychopath who rather enjoys his new toy and its plush (if somewhat blood spattered) upholstery.

I enjoyed sculpting the battle damage and trying to get a more dynamic feel to what is a rather static and boxy sculpt, even trying some OSL and 3d printed effects (Translation - yes, I again made the classic Challenge error in being completely obsessed with minor detail on a single model). I also used some new techniques with oil washes over acrylic base coats.; it certainly takes a lot longer to dry and I haven't got it quite right yet, but I got the grungier look I wanted.  I'm trying to improve my basing game too and did more in that regard with a slain foe who, quite coincidentally, looks remarkably just like the new Thousand Sons force that Reilly is painting... 

"All is Dust..."

While I'm here I'll also post this strange little fellow whom I found lurking in my stash: a Razormouth from the Reaper Black Bones series. I built him as a beastie for Silver Bayonet, but he will be equally at home in the Necromunda Underhive or similar.

That completes my 4 outer sphere planets (Istvaan V, Glorantha, Klenadathu and Skaro) and so I now transit via the adjacent Great Abyssal to start the challenge of the middle ring...

11 January 2022

A Bloodbowl 21st Birthday

Happiest of birthdays to Reilly aka Right Stuff aka The Lad - 21 years old today.

After over a decade of being a diehard Blood Bowler, there was only one kind of cake to make!

Some on-pitch highlights of this coach's career thus far!

09 January 2022

AHPC XII: Stalingrad Apartment Complex

28mm Soldat shown for scale

This 28mm scaled apartment complex building occupies a 1 foot square tile and has 5 seperate (and detachable) floors. It was 3d printed* in small sections by Alan on his filament printer last year, after which I then spent some 30 odd hours glueing, chopping and drilling to give it that pristine Urban Combat look. Quite a labour of love in which I took my own modicum of injuries!

WIP build pics here: http://tasmancave.blogspot.com/2021/10/october-hobby-roundup-terraintober.html

 Each floor was modified to make it is quickly removable to allow whole skirmish games to be played just in this building alone.

The building breaks down into five separate floors - I added framing to the underside of each so that it doesn't inadvertently revert to this state mid-game...

I wanted a balance of dioramic destruction vs playability, so tried to portray a holdout building in which defenders have cleared the worst of the rubble to keep their fighting positions effective. It took quite a bit of time to do this sensibly (and of course with obligatory research of actual Stalingrad buildings - Alan's high standards require nothing less than primary source evidence, which makes one really lift one's game!). All this took well over a month so I then quietly packed it away so I could enjoy painting it during the Challenge

Undercoated in black, I then got my airbrush into action (with coaching assistance - thanks Marty!) to finally start adding pigment to the project. I really wanted to bring some colour to the table amongst all the usual urban grey wreckage, so went with a timeless brick red vibe with some coloured internal walls. I added floorboard beams and other detritus from scrap balsa. Final layers on the brickwork were traditional drybrush method, while internal floors and walls were stippled to give a bedraggled look.

Junkers-eye view of the building

Overall, this construct netted me 140 points for the painting challenge. 

* commercial stl files by WOW Buildings, here: https://wowbuildings.net/

Hail Hydra! (Red Skull was my AHPC VII Character bonus round submission :-)