Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Fourth Fortnight Thematic Bonus Round: 'Hero or Heroic Group'

I purposefully chose the Hero and Villain themes to see what kind of response I'd get from the participants. As we all know: One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist. Heroes and Villains are so often interchangeable and I think visitors will get a taste of this varied perspective below. 

One last thing. Due to last round's poll being interrupted by rude voting bots I've decided to go take a more conservative (and secure) approach to voting this time. So, to place your vote please use the comment field below and let me know which entires you thought were the best Heroes. Yes, you can vote for as many entires as you like but you only get to cast one batch of votes. The votes are moderated so your votes will not be visible on the site, rather I will keep a log in the right sidebar which I will update at the end of each day.

Have fun viewing the gallery everyone!


It's been back to work this week, so I've been scrambling to get something done for the Heroes round. As it turned out, I stayed up much too late on Friday night and managed to him done.
It is hard to think of many military figures who deserve the title 'hero' more than Marshall Michel Ney. Whether (as here) leading the rearguard in the retreat from Moscow, having more horses killed under him at Waterloo than I've had hot dinners or giving his firing squad the orders to fire, he truly was the bravest of the brave. 
Thanks to Curt, I've been bitten by the retreat from Moscow bug, and look forward to painting up some lovely Perry figures for Ney to command. This figure is from Gorgon Miniatures, and it was a joy to paint. I may have a couple of quibbles with the accuracy - would Ney have worn his sword belt over his coat? Shouldn't his Marshall's hat have feathers sculpted on? - but the sculptor Mike Owens has done a lovely job of evoking Ney in a moment of resolute command. Just as an aside, buying Ney was the first business I've done with Gorgon, and I couldn't have been happier with the way they looked after me.


This is a tongue firmly in cheek entry, the figure is the last one in the Celtic legends box set from NorthStar miniatures. As to scale Heroic 32mm.

The figure is meant to represent Cu Chulainn (the Hound of Ulster) ancient Irelands Greatest Hero.

However on opening the model the temptation to bring a bit of fun into play was just to much and I altered the sporran with a small amount of scalpel work and some milliput, and the new incarnation was arrived at:

I now present  “Loki - Slayer of Brocks”

Yes this legendary Hero has only one mission in life to exterminate the Badger cult that sprung up in this hallowed land. Regular readers of my blog and several others will immediately pick up on the theme as another contribution in the battle of the Banter between myself and Mighty Ray Rousell.

Also last year, an incident with the figure I have used as my online Identity for such a long time got used improperly and that sort of took the polish off him for me so I will be using this new figure as my new online Identity, after all Loki is a master at shape-shifting!


After my last challenge entry of 15mm Minifigs ACW from a project I started back in the late 90s I thought I'd step back a little further for this entry! Back when I was doing my A-Levels in the early 80s I started playing assorted RPGs with friends in Shrewsbury (who are now friends in Birmingham!) and although we played mostly AD&D to start we did move on to Call of Cthulhu and others. Including Runequest. I always like the background to this where the human element wasn't some pseudo medieval thing! So around that time I bought some of the Runequest figures released by GW (and sculpted by the Perrys I think). As ever, we moved on to other games and I never got any/many painted but the remnants have moved around the country with me ever since! So one of them seemed ideal for the Hero Round.

The figure is a Non-Cultist Adventurer from Box Set 2. As he's broadly a hoplite type figure I intended just painting a generic Greek hero.  But as I searched for a shield pattern I stood a chance of painting I came across what I believe is the one carried by the Spartan King? So the figure morphed into Leonidas on his way to Thermopylae. Burdened with his own baggage (as I think any Spartan king would be) he strides through the marshes to see off bandits threatening the 300 on the march!

The base is an offcut of blue insulation board as I figured I should make a little effort with the base.

I've also almost finished my Last Stand entry with figures of a similar vintage!


As I generally paint only figures that are on the side of good rather than evil, I had no lack of miniatures that would work as heroes. I settled on gnomes, but as they are so tiny I wanted to depict them doing something heroic. What you see here then are two gnomes taking on an invading orcling who is riding on the back of a dinosaur. 

The gnomes are from Stonehaven Miniatures and are from their second line, McKrakken's Glory Squad. They stand at about 20mm. 

These little gnomes are a delight to paint and some of you may remember the gnomes I painted from the first Stonehaven line. 

This is a 28mm Orcling Outrider from Foundry. There are 3 in the collection and as a long time fan of Mr. Awdry's dinosaurs, when I saw them I had to have them. 

I like this particular figure because the standard he is carrying appeals to my sense of whimsy. The pattern on the jesters hat was done free hand as was the eye on the standard. 

These delightful mushrooms were hand sculpted for me by a gent some of you may know as "Deafnala" over at the LAF. They were sculpted using green stuff placed on wooden skewers. The only work I did on these was to deepen the shadows, pop up the highlights and then base them.

One last photo of the group with the orcling viewed from the back. I chose to base each figure independently rather than fixed on a single base because they are part of a group. This gives me the option of making gifts of these sets when all are painted.


Dredd and a Female Judge. Judge Dredd measures approx. 35mm tall (not including base) and I don't recall the manufacturer. Possibly Mongoose but before the current bunch of Dredd stuff they have released. It was an absolute blast to paint these two figures. I have had them sneaking around in my stash for ages no doubt busting other figures for crimes like failure to remove flash before painting. 

I had no game in mind when I purchased him just wow I found a Dredd figure. I haven't kept up with Dredd in recent times but I started reading 2000ad as a kid after I graduated from Beano. I started just before 'Block Mania' which led to 'The Apocalypse War'. As far as a Hero is concerned he does not have special powers but 5 years training in the Academy and street experience. 

He has access of course to the Lawgiver (standard Judges gun) which has a variety of bullets such as High Ex, Armour Piercing, Heat Seeking or is it Heart Seeking and so on. The badge on his helmet can handily slide down to act as a breather when he uses Stumm Gas. I really liked the Dredd 3D film. They captured Anderson and Dredds core characters even though Mega City One was more like the very first versions in the comic book and the uniforms obviously not the same. Dredd....he is the Law!


Now this fortnight theme got me thinking good. Hero or Heroic group left me slightly at loss first. I wanted to with on the 95th Rifles for a different reason anyway and thought about a reasoning I could justify this (thanks Andrew, aka. Loki). Looking at their campaigns they sure saw the heat of battle during both the Peninsular Campaign and the 100 Days. In many cases their heroic stand stand made an impact on the battles they took part in, often a decisive one. But would this make them any better than the troops fighting by their side? At that time it actually dawned on me. No they were no more heroic than the next unit fighting along side them. In a way each and every one of them was a hero, for it takes a lot of guts and heroism to march out into a field where there are hundreds of other men intent to kill you. So I think they are a justifiable entry.

What else to say. Well all of these are Perry Miniatures (two of them plastic, the other metal). There is twenty of them in total, which under the Republic to Empire rules we use (1:20 ratio) will allow me to field them at full strength for Quatre Bras or if i remove a few minis for Waterloo. I am doing this with all my Napoleonic British, since I do not play the Peninsular and this will allow me to replay either battle. 

I have to say, they are some of the Perrys best minis, since each and every one has lots of character (often you only find that with the command packs or special packs). None the less the casting quality still was bad. I know these came from one of the first batches, so they should have been good, but even though I took great care to clean them up, I still found some flash or chimneys where I did not expect them during painting. All in all I went and did a fast job on these to be able to finish them in time (and still had to pull a night shift last night). I think the most interesting feature about these are their basing. Under the R2E rules you are allowed to deploy the whole regiment as skirmishers with light troops (only a faction of the regiment with all other types). I usually base all my minis four to a base. Wit the light troops I only do this for the command stand (which will serve as reserve under the rules). All the others are on half bases. 

So as long as they are deployed in line for example, I put them all in a movement tray so they look like all the other units on the table. Should I decide to use them as skirmishers I will take the half bases and put them in double hex sabots. That way the y will look like my regular skirmishers and I do not have to paint all the minis twice to cater for both options.


It is a simple Dark Angels Space Marine Captain with storm bolter and power fist.  I had a figure like this for my Dark Angels army before, but at a tournament about 2 or 3 years ago, when I got home he was not in my case.  Not sure if he was stolen or simply forgotten.  I suspect the former, as I remember packing him up, and I am sure if he was simply forgotten my friends that run the tournament would have found him, which they didn’t.

Anyway, he is a simple plastic space marine captain with almost nothing done conversion wise or part swap wise. While I love the look of power fists and storm bolters, they tend not to be worth their points in the new rules, but I still wanted to re-create this model as I just felt he looked right with those weapons.

Basing is simple by my current standards, but had to be done that way to match all my other Dark Angels.

Painting is a little more complex even though the colours are simple.  The cape, armour, eagles, and gems were all wet-blended to get smooth transitions.  The rest was pretty simple though.


Since I entered Custer for the "Villain" round, I thought it only fitting to enter one of his Nemeses as a "Hero"... per the current narrative of course ;-)

Not too much to say about the model itself. It's "Pawnee Killer" from the old Foundry 28mm Plains Wars line. This was another one of the models from Tim's estate sale. I spent a bit of extra time on this one and I like how it turned out. 

I painted the eyes - which I don't usually do - even the eyes on the horse! It's funny, I don't think that horse eyes actually look like this in real life (they're just black) but I know I've seen lots of miniature horses painted this way, and it just looks "right" somehow. 


So here is my "Hero" submission , although I guess he could have come under a number of other titles - certainly Villain or Favourite Character. Well who else could it be but the that stranger "The Man with No Name", or even perhaps "Blondie!!"

A new addition to the 54mm Collection. Made by Andrea Miniatures , a really good characterful sculpt and great casting. It even comes with the hanging tree , spade and the "Unknown" grave marker marker for the iconic scenes at the the end of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". 

I think that even may form the basis of the simple large scale game , with the various characters looking for the gold in the graveyard , all the time looking over their shoulder and hoping they do not roll more 1's than 6's and go "Out of Ammo" , because "In this world there are two kinds of people my friend, those with loaded guns, and those who dig.... YOU DIG!"

Oh and yes the Poncho was fun! Enough, no more I say.


For the Heroes bonus round, I submit an image of the famous statute of 'A Aranha' that dominates the Praça dos Heróis.  He is, of course, captured in his penultimate moments, urging his men to victory in the final battle against the oppressors.

I'm not sure what the figure is - it came in a lucky bag deal from North Star, but I can't place the range. 

He looks vaguely Crimean to me, but I've chosen to see him as a liberator of his nation who fell in the final battle against the oppressors.  He cries out for a pigeon or two, but I couldn't bring myself to do that - so the cat has chased them off.  The plinth I botched together, and I'm afraid it shows!


The first picture is my hero or heroic group challenge featuring my 28mm Wargames Foundry 2000AD "Rogue Trooper", he was a hero of mine growing up and technically a group as he carries 3 chips of former squad mates who talk to him.


This is a Captain of the Empire from GW's Fantasy Battle range. Near as I can tell, this is the first Warhammer Fantasy figure I have painted in about six years.  It was a gift from fellow Challenger Dallas - thanks Dallas! Took me forever to paint it, but got to it eventually.

He has a handy two-handed hammer to deal with Emperor Karl Franz's enemies, and a handgun if that doesn't work…


I wanted to do something with a little more impact so help back the first special Sniper base and actually my first use of snow at all. This is meant to represent Vassili Zaitsev the hero of the 62nd Army at Stalingrad where he attained 149 kills.

This was a fun project that saw me building the door frame and smashing part of it. Cutting out the walls to make rubble and adding pre made clay bricks before hiding half the detail in snow  :-) You may even be able to see the small fires I made in the rubble as well.

I decided on the direction the snow was going and hopefully you can work it out. This is some of the best work I have done and was so much fun I lost my way with time and kind of went in the opposite direction to my original intent for the challenge and doing so had a blast.


Here is my entry for the hero bonus round; Sir Kermit de la Grenouille.

Hero. When I saw the word I immediately thought of heroes from fantasy worlds, and especially the fantasy of my youth, the Disneys and such. I just wanted to do something really different from what I usually do, something bright and shiny...and good.

Dark Sword miniatures were just the right place for that (btw I highly recommend them, great figures and amazing service). When I saw the figure, a Frog Champion in shining armour, I knew I had found just the perfect piece. Standing tall at 37mm, this figure is clearly on the "heroic scale" side of the "28mm" world. It is a really cool and awesome sculpt and it was immensely fun to paint. I call him "Sir Kermit de la Grenouille". I could just see him in a Pixar movie! 

Obviously being meant as a display piece only I gave him a big 40mm round base and had fun putting a big mushroom on it, which I think works well with the figure and gives him a sense of scale. The mushroom was done with milliput, with some wire covered miliput for the stem.

I must say I haven't painted a figure for display only in ages, and its not a figure I would've painted otherwise, so I have to thank the challenge for that, which is pretty cool. 


My heroic group consists of dark age figures for my saga Irish warband. The large base has the warlord from gripping beast, two crusader Irish, and an unfortunate victim a chopped up gripping beast plastic viking. I really liked the guy holding the severed head and I'm pretty happy with the blood effect made using tamiya clear red with a bit of black mixed in.

The two smaller 40mm bases have gripping beast Irish curaidh champions and two warlord games Celt casualties. The curaidh were inspired by Irish heroic legends, and in saga are treated like mini warlords so I felt they really fit with the challenge theme. My Irish colour scheme was predominantly green and yellow tones and I followed suite so these guys will fit right in. Can't wait to try these guys out on the field.


The Company of Thorin Oakenshield

Here we have 13 Dwarves and a Hobbit. I primed these figures over a year ago, but have never got to painting them. They immediately came to mind though for the Heroic Group bonus round of this year's painting challenge. I put much more work into these figures then I usually do, no relying on AP to make them look good. 

All have been painted in layers with various washes to smooth the transitions. I thought this approach was mostly successful except for a couple of figures. I have to say that I really enjoy painting GW figures, they are really quite fantastic. The colour scheme for each figure is taken from the movie. There were excellent on-line guides to painting them. I really quite like them, I hope you do as well.


Here is my Hero bonus round entry. This was a bit of a tough one for me, I have many hero's. But I couldn't find a John Lydon miniature, so I thought long and hard. I had submitted Saladin as the Villian, so the logical Hero should be Richard 1st, (even though he was a bad man)

But I had painted a Richard before the challenge started. He was the First Crusader figure I painted. I thought what the heck. Do another Richard, and this time with a crown on his great helm. I have saved the original Richard and will turn him into a Div commander later with a re-paint.

So here we have him. Richard Ist The Lionheart with retinue. 3 mounted 1/72 figures. Figure are a mix of Italeri and Strelets. Converted standard bearer with Richard's personal banner. The Lionheart is also resplendent in his crown. I added the others as military orders, Hospitallers and Templars as this seemed to add the Crusader feel to the base.


Nothing like getting pneumonia to slow down the painting process!  Anyway, I've roused myself from my sickbed to send in my hero for the competition: Michael Wittman, the German World War II panzer ace, credited with the destruction of 138 tanks and 132 anti-tank guns as well as an unknown number of other vehicles. 

I've shown him here perched on top of a piece of wood I used as a support for painting him, then in more natural surroundings on his Tiger tank, with a Normandy village in the background.  

This finely sculpted 28mm figure and tank are produced by Warlord Games for their Bolt Action series.  I painted Wittman in his black Panzer uniform, with the SS rank of Haupstrumfuhrer on his left lapel.


My submission for the 'Hero or Heroic Group' bonus round is St George and the Dragon. This was the free figure that was given away at Salute 2005 and for me its one of the best models the South London Warlords have ever commissioned. It's a 28mm Mark Copplestone sculpt that comes in two parts and when assembled makes a very nice vignette showing England's patron Saint fighting a Dragon.

The real St George was probably born to a Greek Christian noble family in Palestine (modern day Israel) during the late third century and for a while was a soldier in the Roman Army eventually being promoted to the rank of Tribunus. In AD302 Emperor Diocletian issued an edict that every Christian soldier in the army should be arrested. George refused to hide his faith, was sentenced to death and subsequently became venerated as a Christian martyr.

The myth of Saint George verses the Dragon didn't become widespread until the publication of a book called The Golden Legend in 1483. This was a translation of a book by Jacques de Voragine, a French bishop, which incorporated fantastic details of Saints' lives. St George it was said "...came in to the province of Libya, to a city which is said Silene. And by this city was a stagne or a pond like a sea, wherein was a dragon which envenomed all the country." 

The Dragon had been terrorizing the city and the population had been offering up sacrifices of young maidens to placate the beast. George arrived just in time to save the Kings Daughter from this terrible fate! 


Here's Major Harry Smith of the 95th who, aged 28, was Brigade Major for Lambert's Brigade at Waterloo. From Whittlesea, the son of a surgeon, he had joined the Rifles in 1805 and served at Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, the Coruna campaign, then throughout the Peninsula from 1809 until the end of the war in1814, Bladensburg, Washington and New Orleans.

Amidst the murderous carnage at the fall of Badajoz in 1812, Smith had rescued two young sisters and later married the younger, Juana Maria de los Dolores de Leon. She would follow him throughout all of his campaigns including Waterloo where she searched the battlefield for his body, having heard that a Rifles officer acting as Major of Brigade had been killed (it was another Captain Charles Eales, Brigade Major for Kempt) Smith was wounded at Waterloo but survived to command a division in the Kafir War of 1834 and then to the Gwalior campaign in India after which he became Sir Harry Smith. In the First Anglo-Sikh War he was given his own command and in 1846 inflicted a crushing defeat on the Sikhs at Aliwal. He returned to the Cape Colony (South Africa) in 1847 and appointed Governor General. He fought the Boers at Boomplaats in 1848 and the Xhosa in 1850 and the town of Ladysmith was named after Juana Maria.

He returned to England and died at his home in Eton Place, London in 1860. He is buried at Whittlesea.

A common gripe of mine is that the choice of staff for 28mm British Napoleonics is virtually zero. The Perrys make no ADCs, nor any of the other many types of staff officer. Victrix make none. Front Rank make two ADC figures. Foundry have a couple as part of their ludicrously priced staff set (and I don't need yet more Pictons and Wellingtons). So this figure was cobbled together using a Perry hussar figure with a Rifles head. 


My next entry for the "Heroes" bonus round are two figures from Gripping Beast's 28mm Romano-British/Arthurian range. These two chaps are painted up to represent Artorius himself, plus hero sidekick Lancelot (he of the mask).

These two caped crusaders were a joy to paint, and the cast on shields really are much better than the glued on variety, much more natural looking. I hope you like them.

I had intended to do more figures for this round, but I was working all hours in a new job. The additional planned figures for this round will come in, in dribs and drabs over the next week.


Continuing my journey into the Dark Ages I painted the leaders for my Franks. I intended them to represent Childeric and his entourage. Note: What follows is only my interpretation of some rather inaccurate bits and pieces of history and myth.

His father Merovech is said to be the founder of the legendary dynasty of the Salian Franks who lived in the first half of the fifth century and was one of several warlords that joined the Roman general Aetius in his fights against the Huns on the Catalaunian fields. Merovech claimed to be a direct descendant of a sea god and the first Frankish royal dynasty called themselves Merovingians.

It's said Childeric was exiled at some point because he was known to be interested too much in the wives and daughters of his people. It's more likely he simply married too many women (not uncommon at that time) and wasn't able to pay for them all.

Before he went into exile he gave the half of a golden coin to his closest friend and told him to send for him with his half of the coin if it's save for him to return. While Childeric was in exile in Thuringia the Franks appointed the Roman general Aegidius as their leader.

When Childeric returned eight years later he brought with him Basena the wive of the Thuringian king and married her (Seems he really wasn't able to keep his hands off the better sex).

As the Romans slowly lost control over Gaul Childeric ruled as Administrator over the province of Belgica Secunda in Roman service. He fought some wars against other Germanic tribes like the Allemanni and Visigoths.

As he died in 481 he was buried as the first real Frankish king but with the insignia of a Roman officer indicating the Franks felt themselves still beeing part of the Roman Empire. His son Clovis succeeded him as king of the Franks.


This then my entry for the 'Heroes' round, a Celtic War band, created to be used with the splendid skirmish rules created by the 'Dark Templar'.  The group is made up of 28mm miniatures from 'Hasslefree', 'Warlord Games' and 'Crusader' miniatures.

Intended to strike fear into the invading legionaries, this heroic band of freedom fighters was linked by a subtle use of blue. 


Please find my submission for the “Hero” Fortnight challenge. It’s a unit of 12 Templar Knights from the Third Crusade. Sometimes there can be a fine line between one person’s hero and another’s villain but I always wanted to start a Medieval army and a Crusader force seemed to be as good a place to start as any. The models are 28mm plastics from the Fireforge Miniatures box sheet. I found these models to be a lot of fun to both assemble and paint (yes, even the assembly was fun). Unlike my last submission, I followed the instructions on the box for a painting guide and I’m pleased with the results. 

From a lazy painter point of view, one of the nice aspects of medieval figures is the helmets as there were not a lot of faces to paint. I’ve always struggled with white for some reason but think these figures came off ok. Next up for the Crusader army will be a unit of 24 dismounted Templars. All of the figures are based individually and held onto unit stands via a magnet. Doing so will allow me to field the units both for large battle games like Hail Caesar or use a smaller grouping for skirmish type games such as Saga. 

I’m very impressed with the Fireforge product line and can always supplement my force with a few of the Perry Crusader era figures. 


What's more heroic than loyal servants of the Emperor battling against the odds on a rock in the middle of nowhere? Nothing of course. The fate of the Empire and her Astartes legions is in the best of hands with experienced Space Marines commanders leading them to into the fray.

This is a complete command squad for my growing 40K divergent Space Marine chapter. It includes a Commander, Librarian, Techmarine, Apothecary, Standard Bearer and Veteran Sergeant. They are all the older style metal models with plastic arms, weapons and jet packs as required. I've given some of the lower ranked marines non-standard jet packs to represent the mechanicus theme.

The banner is bespoke, made using iconography from the web. As it's a divergent chapter GW have never produced anything official so I made my own in Photoshop. It shows the Adeptus Mechanicus skull crest, surmounted by the dual Dark Angel / Blood Angel chapter icons, above the Legio Mechanicus name. The black side stripes have a low key text pattern, repeating the Legio Mechanicus name over and over for a little extra interest. All the icons are of course copyright GW.

The setting is my "bug planet" terrain, made from corks, ecalyptus gum nuts and other bits and pieces. Just the kind of place you'd find a nasty xeno threat that needs to be expunged.

I've been holding off on painting these as I knew they would take a LOT of work. I also wanted to make sure I gave them the best finish possible so I didn't attempt them till I had the colours and force theme down to a fine art. I'm pretty happy with them overall.


I have enjoyed seeing other participants' consideration for previous bonus rounds and they way they have considered the theme in different ways.  With that in mind, for this bonus round I wanted to do something other than a Warlord or Audie Murphy type, so here is figure which would have been a heroic sight to anyone in need of his services: a WW2 British Airborne Medic.  

What field medics do to help others while also under fire themselves, is simply astonishing and heroic by any measure.  The scenes of them in action in A Bridge Too Far gives some inkling as to their mettle.  This fig is a metal 28mm Bolt Action figure from the British Airborne HQ blister and mounted on a Renedra plastic base.  


This fortnight's bonus round has the theme of "Hero or Heroic Group".  My submission is Laura Second from the War of 1812.

Laura Secord and her husband were from loyalist families in the Niagara area of Upper Canada.  By the summer of 1813 the war had been rough on them.  James was injured at Queenston Heights where he fought with the militia and thier store was destroyed by American bombardment in the same battle. After the US capture of Fort George they lived in the US occupied zone.

Laura overheard US officers planning an attack on a British outpost.  Leaving her injured husband and 5 children (ages 3-14), set set off on a 32km trek through the US lines and the Canadian wilderness to warn the British.   The result was an ambush at Beaver Dams by Native forces with a few redcoats and the capture of the entire force of 500 Americans.  Here's a link to the full story at Wikipedia and a Canadian History video vignette.  They built them loyalist women tough!

Ok there's the history snapshot, now onto the figures.  Laura is a Reaper Bones  Townsfolk - intended for medieval times but her clothes work well for later periods too.  I opted for plain colours but tried to work hard on shading and highlights to bring the details out.  She is based singly so that she can be a civilian on table.  

The US command stand shows two infantry offices (one Perry and one Victrix) with a Victrix sentry.  They can serve as a command group on table since infantry officers often took the role of leading detachments.  I posed the figures to (hopefully) give the impression of the officers deep in conversation without noticing that they are being overheard.  The map is made from vellum paper folded and crumpled.

The details are fuzzy on how and where the invaders were overheard.  For simplicity I have placed them in a wooded area, presumably close to Laura's house where she has been occupied with domestic duties.  The trees are woodland scenics and the rise is floral foam shaped and flocked with ground cover.  I placed the figs on my standard gaming mat for land based games.


Another week, another theme round! I seem to have settled into a rhythm for the challenge and once again bring you a theme round and normal entry at the same time. 

No doubt this week's theme round will be filled with heroes of history, film and the Imperium. And perhaps a few curious interpretations too. Well here is my humble offering, a classic antihero of the Victorian age: Sir Harry Paget Flashman VC, KCB, KCIE. 

Of course, a true heroic story wouldn't be complete without a love interest - even more so for the lecherous Flashman. So I offer two for him to charm - a modestly dressed local and upstanding European lady. Here we can see our man, on Her Majesty's service in some far-flung corner of the Empire, spying the ladies on the veranda...

...and making his move. 

I painted Flashie in his older years, suitable for the Sudan era that is of such interest to me. Hence the touch of grey in his hair and whiskers and the slight flush of a man who has enjoyed a few (rather large) brandies over the years. But he remains sharply turned out in his finest dress uniform, as befits a man of his reputation. 

Flashman is from Eureka miniatures. The ladies are both from Redoubt's Sudan range. 


Here's my entry for the Hero figure. I was given this figure free while attending Blog-con last year, So thought I'd paint him up as the ECW Parliamentarian hero Sir Arthur Haselrig. The commander of the London Lobsters. He was described as "an absurd, bold man." He was rash, "hare-brained," devoid of tact and had little claim to the title of a statesman

Sounds good to me??

Sir Arthur Haselrig, 2nd Baronet (1601 – 7 January 1661) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1640 and 1659. He was one of the Five Members of Parliament whom King Charles I tried to arrest in 1642, an event which led to the start of the English Civil War. He fought for the Parliamentarian cause in the Civil War and later tried to uphold the republic against Cromwell's autocracy, Lambert's attempt at military control and Monck's Royalist conversion in favour of the Restoration.


My next entry for the challenge.. a themed one this time for the now running Heroic group theme.. Some older ACW figs I had in the spares box and did not know what to do with.. 

A confederate command stand with a mounted officer riding into battle amongst his troops. A drummer by his side to transfer orders and his brigade banner on the other side to acknowledge his importance.. However being under fire the standard bearer is hit, fortunately another one steps up to cary the colours to glory...

Mounted officer is from Redoubt, the three other figures are Steve Barber.... There is already said a lot about the quality of the Redoubt figures but they paint up OK with some extra work.. The Steve Barbers are really nice figures and I have used them a lot for my Confederates along with Foundry which, in my opinion, are still the best ACW out there.. So these 25 points and the theme bonus will secure my way ahead on the other Dutch brushmen.. 


My entry for the hero theme is a lone Poilu going once again over the top through the muddy fields of no-mans-land near Verdun. In my opinion the true heroes of any battle are the ordinary soldiers who risk everything over and over again to satisfy the wills of higher ups and politicians. The middle part of World War 1 was definately a sorry affair for most soldiers involved as tactics hadn't yet evolved to overcome the technological advancements. 

I wasn't originally going to submit this mini for the Hero category, but thanks to Royal Mail my original submission is still somewhere between UK and Finland. Luckily I had this excellent Forgotten & Glorious mini at hand which easily fit into my idea of the citizen soldier hero. Joy to paint with great detail all around. I tried to make the ground look extremely muddy, like he is sinking and getting muddier with every step he takes.


My selected hero is Balin, from the Escape from Goblin Town set... a 28mm scale plastic miniature. Though to be sure not 28mm tall, and Balin is pretty short for a dwarf too, not much bigger than Bilbo!

But he is charming and caring fellow in the Company of Thorin Oakenshield, and I feel, somehow the brains behind the company of dwarves, with a somewhat more level head, than the rest.

Perhaps not the best fighter, but a hero in his own way...

He has been a long time coming, but I am happy to say I am now one down, twelve to go in my Company of Dwarves, with Thorin currently enjoying a little paint application...

I also chose to do him first as he is probably the simplest of the dwarves to do!

I hope you like him!


A dude and his mutt. In the wasteland some times your only friend is mans best friend. The Stranger and Max the dog are again from Aberrant's Warlands range here. These were both white metal and the only trouble I had was with cutting them off their slotta base tabs. The dog's rear right leg almost broke off and was not level with the rest. So I went through my bag of rocks and found one that would work on the base.

Again an embarrassingly simple paint job, once I decided on my palette. For the dog I wanted to try and capture the look of the dog from the movies. I had always thought it was a dingo, what did I know, but apparently the breed is a blue heeler. Primed black, camel belly, gray dry brush. Some washes and a little more dry brushing and we're done. I did a little with the eyes and mouth, but nothing to write home about.

For the Stranger the hardest part was to not do him in the iconic all black. The jacket and boots I would leave black but I decided to go with Navy blue pants and brown leather holsters. I also tried the rust technique on the various pads and plates spread around on his body. My main aim is to try and get some visual interest and not just paint it black and drybrush that and call it a day. I'm not real happy with my work on his flesh. I tried to mix up my own wash, but it's too subtle.

Well anyway that's an awful lot of text for very little work. I hope you enjoy the nostalgia of these figures as I do.


Since I've gone down the Longstreet way, I need some hero markers. Those are used to represent heroes that could appear during melees. They give little bonuses, but they can die too. Since we start the campaign with three infantry units, I painted three such markers, each one representing one of my units. You'll have to gave the third one though.

And next, the three mounted officers are the incarnation of... me! Indeed during the campaign, you play an officer who will rise in the ranks. And though non compulsory, it's better to have something representing the one who will incarnate you on the battlefield. So, I present you Colonel John M.C. Lain, who was noted, during the Mexican war, as someone prone to action ;) You can see him giving the order to attack, while two staff officers assist him.

Once again, minis from Old Glory 15mm: 6 foot and 3 mounted.


I've always loved moments of military history which turn out, with the benefit of historical hindsight, to be slightly different to what everyone thought when first they become known.  So here's a classic group of German assault troops, led by Oberleutnant Von Brandis, commander of the 8th company of the 24th Brandenburg Regiment at Verdun in 1916.  They are storming Fort Douaumont, a remarkable feat of military daring which was a body blow to the French nation in February 1916.  Von Brandis became famous, met the Crown Prince of Germany, had a village named after him, and wrote his memoir of the adventure in 1917.  

A true hero, in the classic mould.  A young, 27 year old Teutonic hero, with a firm soldierly jaw.  

Apart from the fact that by the time Von Brandi's had arrived at Fort Douaumont it was already under German control thanks to the pragmatic and fast thinking action of a much more down to earth Thuringian Feldwebel, Sergeant Kunze.  The good Sergeant survived the Great War and became a police sergeant, waiting patiently for 20 years for the real story of the fall of Douaumont to be told.

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes!


Jean-Jacques Desvaux de Saint-Maurice was a French general and artillery commander during the Napoleonic wars. During Napoleon's Russia campaign in 1812 he held command of the horse artillery of the Imperial Guard. Presumably he was one of Napoleon's best artillery commanders although he wasn't able to avert disaster in Russia. After Napoleon's return from Elba Desvaux stayed loyal to the Emperor and died on the fields of Waterloo.

To represent this able and  brave officer I used one of the retreat 1812 figures by Perry Miniatures. Actually the miniatures depicts a hussar but it fits perfectly for an officer of the Artiellerie à Cheval de la Garde Impériale because the shape of the busby and the style of the pelisse was similar. So I loved the idea to do something special with the figure and followed an idea which a friend of mine planted in my brain shamelessly.

Once again I must underline the excellence of the miniatures. It is extremely well detailed and everything is crisp and clear. The face is full of expression and it was extremely nice to paint. I enjoyed each and every brushstroke on him and I hope to have transported that into the result of my humble work.


Egil Skalagrimsson (c810-890) - outstanding poet, warrior, farmer, rune scholar, politician and almost certainly a berserker (his father and grandfather are both noted as having been "shapeshifters"). Not to mention being the mortal enemy of a Norwegian King and Queen. He was immortalised by Snorri Sturlusson in Egil's Saga.

Egil was a prodigy. At the tender age of three he composed his first poem. At the less tender age of 7 he killed another boy with an axe (splitting his head to the teeth) for cheating in a game. He was born in Iceland, the son of Skalla-Grimr Kveldulfsson, a respected chieftain who was the mortal enemy of Harald Fairhair the King of Norway.

As an adult he was insulted by Baror of Atley and slew him. Baror was a retainer of King Eirikr Bloodaxe and also kinsman to Queen Gunnhildr. Gunnhildr sent her two brothers to kill Egil - he slew them both thus showing himself to be the true son of Grimr by following in his footsteps and becoming a mortal enemy of a Norwegian King!

That same summer Harald Fairhair died, leaving Eirikr as the sole King of Norway (after murdering his two brothers of course). He declared Eigil outlawed in Norway.

Egil fled Norway but in a parting act of defiance erected a niding pole and placed a curse on Eirikr and Gunnhildr and Norway, that the land wouldn't know peace until they rose up and expelled the King and Queen. It would seem that this curse was effective - very shortly afterward they were forced to flee to the Kingdom of Northumbria were they were set up as rulers.

Some years later, Egil was ship[wrecked in Northumbria and sought out an old friend. The friend persuaded him to seek reconciliation with Eirikr, so they set out for his court. Gunnhildr called for him to be executed straight away, but his friend persuaded Eirikr to delay until the morning. He told Egil to compose a poem in praise of Eirikr which he did. The drapa was so fine that Eirkr was given to spare his life.

At some point, Egil entered the service of the Anglo Saxon King Athelstan and fought at the Battle of Brunanburh.

In his later years he returned to Iceland and became a farmer and politician. He lived into his eighties and had five children. He died shortly before Iceland was Christianised.

This figure is 28mm from Gripping Beast and is part of their Heroes of the Viking Age range for Saga. In Saga he is a mercenary and can fight for any non-Viking faction along with 3 or 7 hearthguard, using the Viking battle board and dice (separate to the warband they are hired by).

I had fun painting this figure and went way over the top doing several stages of highlights and blending washes on the cloak, flesh and wolfskin. I even managed to get the eyes this time (on about the third or fourth attempt!).


My entry to the "Hero" Fortnightly Theme bonus round...

The Watchmen

These are old 25mm figures from Grenadier Models made for the DC Heroes Role-Playing Game by Mayfair Games. 

Silk Spectre II (Laurie Juspeczyk) and Doctor Manhattan (Dr. Jonathan "Jon" Osterman)

Nite Owl II (Daniel Dreiberg) and Rorschach (Walter Joseph Kovacs)

Ozymandias (Adrian Veidt) and The Comedian (Edward Morgan Blake)

Hooded Justice and Captain Metropolis (Nelson "Nelly" Gardner)

…and Curt

"They don't advertise for killers in the newspaper. That was my profession. 
Ex-cop. Ex-Blade Runner. Ex-killer."

I clearly remember seeing Blade Runner in 1982 and being struck by its clear-eyed vision of our dystopian future. Since the film's original release, the protagonist, Rick Dekard, became iconic due to the controversy behind his origins. The film's remake in 1992 'revealed him' as one of those he himself was hunting, a Replicant, a synthetic human, a type of robot whose genetic design made them virtually indistinguishable from humans ('More Human Than Human' as the Tyrell Corporation claimed). 

Personally I've always preferred the original cut with him clearly portrayed as a human. It seems less contrived and somehow more honest. In the original film, Dekard begins to question what it is to be human, what it means to take life, to die and ultimately what it means to fall in love with that which you've been taught to revile. I think this resonates closer to us today as we've become more polarized, suspicious yet increasingly intertwined with our social media and digital identities. We have become increasingly insular, yet strive to be connected. Wanting to be engaged yet demanding a level of detachment from others. How wonderfully troubling.

Anyway, enough existential blather. I think Rick Dekard is a film hero tailor-made for our modern age and so I bring him here in 28mm from Aberrant Rezolution. A very nice sculpt and quite a clean casting, it was a pleasure to work with. Nonetheless, I find it odd when sculptors, who dedicate themselves to painstakingly portraying a particular character, seemingly refuse to follow through with all the details. I really like the subtle posing of the figure, the facial features are amazing and Dekards clothes are spot-on, but why in Ridley Scott's name isn't his pistol correct? Dekard's 'Steyer-Mannlicher Police Bulldog' is almost as iconic as the character himself, but its not conveyed in the figure. Puzzling. This all being said, I had no inclination to fiddle with putty to try to mod it so I merely added the two LED lights often seen in the film and called it close enough. Still, a great little figure for the collection.


  1. Lots of fantastic entries here. Great work everyone :)

  2. The best overall group of entries thus far I think and it won't make voting easy for me. As per usual, I shall ponder a while.

  3. Amazing stuff people. Well done folks!

  4. Having stepped out of this bonus round it is good to view the entries with a bit of detachment. Firstly FANTASTIC work from all of you, I believe you are all winners.

    Secondly Curt amazing that you manage to put these bonus rounds together each fortnight.

  5. Lovely entries all around. Although I think there are also one or two anti-Heros! ;-) And I am surprised there is another entry for the 95th Rifles! (PS: The Perry twins have a nice pack of light infantry officers, which does provide good choices for a mounted rifle officer!)

    Votes have been cast and I do not envy Curt for having to tally all our votes manually! You have my sympathies and eternal thanks!

  6. Wow.
    What a fantastic array of eye candy.
    Well done to everyone.
    Time to ponder methinks

  7. Fantastic work from everyone - very inspiring

  8. Hmm? so many I like, what to choose????

  9. What an amazing collection of well-done work. Art, really.

  10. Simply outstanding set of figures, well done all.

  11. Great job Curt and also all the painters well done Wild Bunch.

  12. Some fantastic entries in there and good luck with the manual count Curt!

    1. It's a complete bear but at least its secure and properly moderated

  13. Great work from everyone - really hard to choose faves!

  14. Great work everyone. I have to say Millsy's really stands out for me. Also glad to see Dallas getting a beautiful piece done for his project. And as always Mr Roundwood's stuff is bloody incredible.

  15. Once again top-notch entries.
    It's great fun to enjoy them again and again!

  16. Curt,

    I didn't see my comments on here, and just wanted to check that it hadn't been lost in the aether, and that my vote was added. Many thanks.

    Pip pip

    1. Yes, never to worry, I received your original comment with your votes. Since the comment included your voting I did not publish it just in case you didn't want it broadcast. That has been my policy throughout all the voting. If you wish I can go ahead and publish it to the comments - just let me know.

    2. Curt,

      Thanks for that. Just to say, this is probably the best round for quality so far, and that kudos should go out to all the entrants.

      Pip pip

  17. That's some bloody brilliant stuff here! The entries seemingly are getting better every round.