Sunday, December 14, 2014

5th AHPC - First Theme: 'Cold'

The 1st Theme Bonus Round for the 5th Annual Analogue Paining Challenge:



Here’s my entry for the Cold bonus round.  This one was so obvious to me that I just had to go with it.  Villains and cold together made me think of a Dark Elf Cold One Knight.  The model is one of GW’s better efforts.  These are a huge improvement over the old models. 

I was nervous going into this task.  I didn’t really have a plan so I just started painting.  I prefer to figure out which colors will go where but I just couldn’t “see” the model so I had to wing it.  I primed it green and worked it up from there.

The knight was painted in straight forward metal but then I wanted to tie the rider in to the idea of cold a little bit more.  I washed his armour with a blue wash.  The colors of his cloth are the colors GW uses for their High Elves. 

The display base was supposed to be a cold landscape but the snow effect I ordered hasn’t arrived so I had to go the other way entirely on it.  It’s a sabot base for a single 50mm x 100m cavalry model. 

 The plants are aquarium plants with some washes here and there to make them look a little bit less plastic.  The only way this is going to get used in a game is if I’m playing a fantasy version of Hail Caesar or something similar (which is possible to be honest).

I have to say, I’m very proud of this lizard.  It may be one of my favourite figures that I’ve painted.  It’s a great model and I’m really happy with the way it came out.  I’m now intimidated at the thought of trying to re-create the paint job on the rest of the unit.


This is the Mousling Santa and helper from Reaper Miniatures painted for my Nephew William as part of a Christmas gift including a children's book I ran across years ago called "Santa Mouse." A heart warming little story about a mouse who gives Santa a Gift and gets recruited was a side kick.

Normally I use more wash but in this case I wanted the colors bright and sharp... the beard was a particular challenge as I wanted it to have depth but I also didn't want it to look dirty. I think I redid the beard at least three times.

The helper was a simple project though the over sized ears were a bit of a trick.  Also I love his little reading spectacles.

Close in on our Santa Mouse. The eyes were an issue I think they are too big I tried to do them in a black/brown like a real mouse but the came off wrong.  I softened  by painting them blue but they still don't seem quite right.  This will be my entry for the Cold bonus round.   So I think that give me 10 points for the figures (25mm scale) and maybe a another 50 if it is deemed to meet the bonus round criteria.

 A couple of rear angle shots on both figures.


Thor and Fenrir 28mm (sort of)

My daughter is turning 8 and has recently discovered Norse mythology in a huge way, to the extent that she was terribly upset when she discovered that Odin and Thor are fated to die at Ragnarok. For her birthday, and for the winter round in the challenge, I've painted up a figure of Thor about to unleash his hammer Mjollnir at a monstrous wolf. 

Both figures are from Northstar, sold as part of their 'Of Gods and mortals' range. The wolf is sold as Fenrir, although he actually fights Odin at Ragnarok, so perhaps this is Thor subduing Fenrir before he is bound, or perhaps it's a different horrible large wolf with slavering jaws.

The Thor figure is a beauty, and represents the god wearing his magic belt and gauntlets. And obviously it's cold. Brrrrr!

As for scoring, I'll leave that to Curt. Thor is a 28mm god, so actually about 62mm tall.


The space ship is from Hydra, is 20mm and was sculpted by Steve Meli. The remaing two figures are from Bombshell Miniatures, are 18mm and were sculpted by Patrick Keith.  The plinth base is 1.5 X 1.5 square inches, making this a truly small vignette.

The plinth is wooden and wash purchased at a Hobby Shop. I did the cut away by using a lighter to burn the wood. Following that i cut into the charred wood using a serrated kitchen knife. This provided me with a jagged, natural looking incline.

The snow effects were achieved using Gel Super Glue and Powdered Sugar. 

The purpose of this piece was two-fold. As I am planning a full sized diorama for later in the Challenge, I decided to practice on a small scale. I felt it was important to experiment with composition. My intent was to draw the eye upward from the plinth toward the space ship. Also I needed to learn how to provide an overall balance. I attempted this by placing the two character figures at the angles of the plinth. Finally I used both green and black to unify all the figures.

The second reason for this piece was to experiment with black as I have a large Central Command Unit to paint. On my previous space ship I used a "pure" black. The results were less than satisfactory. Working up from black to grey left the highlights chalky. For this piece I used a black that was derived from a dark purple. Midtones were achieved by adding Neutral Grey as this would not alter the purple bias. I began working up to the highest highlights by adding a pale Amethyst.  I was pleased with the results as the transitions are smoother and chalkiness was not a problem. The red and gold accent colours worked well with the black. I have at last found the palette I will use on my Central Command Unit.


Cold. It gets cold on the Eastern Front and this 15mm Panzer III from Battlefront is my first attempt at a winter style camp. I applied it with the idea that it was painted by the crew with whatever they had available in the field. 

It is an idea I had for a while and this challenge made me finally give it a go. It looks like the cold might be leaving this tanks area of operations and the Mud season is starting. This is an old Battlefront tank. 

Resin and Metal with possibly slightly taller proportion compared to newer ones. Decals from Dom’s Decals. I gave him the triple 1 so he can be a Company boss. Might have to paint some more in this scheme. It certainly stands out on the table. Cheers


The Cold theme gave me a chance to resurrect a long abandoned project, Eastern Front WW3 or maybe WW4. Either way I wanted to try to make a future version of a winter city fight like Stalingrad or Leningrad. 

So I came up with an ambush by some Neo-Sov Partisans in the ruined streets of Novograd. The Neo-Soviets are from Copplestone Castings and were purchased years ago. The Cyber-Reich Soldat is a press-ganged AT-43 Therian. 

The rest was scratchbuilt. The figures are all separately based so in case I ever get around to working on the project more, they can be used for gaming as well. I also learned that photographing fake snow is even harder to do than getting good pictures of real snow. 


When I read over the topics for the theme rounds, there were some that gave me headaches and some that did not. ”Cold” was one of the later. Lots of ideas flashed through my head from a snowman to tanks in winter camouflage in the end I settled for an image that I had always liked… the beginning scenes from the movie Gladiator. 

Anyone who has ever had the pleasure to watch it with me and listen to my mutterings of "Stirups were not even invented back then!” will know that it is not for the historical accuracy of the movie (or the lack of it), but all the mud and snow depicting warfare in wintery Germany. So Tribune Maximus seemed like the natural selection here. And a selection I started to curse virtually instantly. 

My first pick was the Warlord Games offering. But the mounted version did not look exactly like Maximus and I felt would better serve on a regular cavalry base. The version on foot looked like Maximus, but did not exactly look impressive. So I turned to the 1st Corps version, which I had already bought when Warlord released theirs. 

I felt he would look a bit alone on his own, so I decided to add the Marcus Aurelius Miniature from Warlord to the base (even though the two were never depicted side by side on horseback in the movie). So far so good. There were a few more problems I had to face. for example the 1st Corps minis face does not look too much like Russel Crowe and the Warlord Emperor is slightly smaller. 

All that being said, I am quite happy with the end result (except for the varnish still being a bit glossy). What I personally really like about the combination of the two minis here is, that they contrast each other rather nicely. The Emperor looks frail and old and even his horse looked worn out. And the Tribune next to him all young and powerful, ready for battle with his horse shaking his head, wanting to charge.


The theme being cold this week, I thought what better time to start adding to my Warhammer 40k army that I need to get done for March.  My Tau army is all done up in pale colours and based in snow for battle on a cold planet.  

While not quite up to my current painting level I had to make sure that these new models that are in my painting queue will fit in with my older Tau army, which I painted over 8 years ago.  So, I either have to paint up all my old models to a new higher level, or paint the few new models to an older level.


The cold round –

So when I think of cold I think of Christmas , and with a the centenary of the Great War being upon us I think it opportune to cover the Christmas Truce. 

The figure is a 28mm one given away as part of the entry to Partizan in the Park earlier this year, depicting Tommy Atkins playing football, I took the change to give him a traditional football scarf  (that would be soccer for those who don’t know  what proper football is..)


My take on the 'Cold' Bonus Round is Cold War, and for me that means Josef Vissarionovich Stalin. Here he is resplendent in uniform, ready for his holiday on the Black Sea and his summer job.

And you don't get 'Colder' than Stalin selling ice-cream in Yalta.

However, for my domestic (Pulpish) purposes he's not Uncle Joe, but Boris Mikhailovich Panin the well-known Stalin look-alike.

Panin was big in the '80s, making popular appearances at Party parties, but that dropped off under Gorbachev and he was reduced to comparing at Jack Rabbit Slimski's – a theme-bar aimed at the flood of foreign businessmen visiting Moscow. After the 1991 coup d'état attempt he went underground. He re-emerged in Tashkent in 1995, declaring himself Generalissimus of the New Soviet Union. He has attracted a large following looking for a return to the old Soviet certainties (and helped a little by the rumour that he is in fact Stalin's illegitimate son).

The real mystery however, is just who is funding his well-supplied private army. The FSB, MI6, the CIA and other (more secret) organisations need to find the answer...


This is a Tiger 1 in winter for Eastern Front WW2 gaming.  The model is 15mm size from Battlefront. As always, I give my tanks a healthy dose of weathering, and I was particularly aggressive with this beast, as it would be almost continuously in action in either the winter of 1943-44 or 1944-45 trying in vain to hold off the hammer blows of the Red Army.  

I imagined Tiger tanks like this one receiving a quick white-wash with the onset of winter, and then facing snow, rain, mud, more rain, more snow etc. and copious amounts of enemy fire.  Such a vehicle would be pretty messy looking, and that is what I went for.

I did not cover the base completely in snow, as I hoped to extend the “eligible seasons” for this figure to games set in either the fall or spring.  I have all the crew hatches open - first as a way to show that I intend this to represent a senior command vehicle on the table - but I also imagined that the crew is either trying to get some fresh air during a rare outbreak of milder temps in the midst of winter (like today in Winnipeg, where the temps are above zero even though it is December), or maybe enjoying a breath of spring air as the snow melts, or at least cooling off a bit, which I imagine would still happen after heavy action, even in the depths of the Russian winter. 


I thought it would be a good idea to use the frost as a backdrop for this round but it fooled both camera's so not the best pictures.

Twelve Black Tree Design WWII German infantry in Greatcoats. These are not BTM's finest hour and I suspect were early attempts. They are not bad but their WWII are generally a lot better than these.

I have based them as Sniper Reminders for ASL (again) and hope to paint up twelve Russians to go with them as well. 

The snow effects was a Christmas Present from my wife last year and is by Deluxe Materials just remove the space and add .com to find them on the web. To get the heap effect you just keep adding layers takes some getting used to though.



This is my first entry for this years painting challenge. I was inspired by TFL's Operation Winter Storm, The Drive For Stalingrad December 1942. So I started with four winter Germans from  the Artizan range.
It was also a good chance to try out the crushed glass I obtained from the Scenery Workshop

The Panther from Corgi is a bit out of place because the production of the Ausf D only began in January 1943. But is such a lovely model and the only German winter vehicle I got. What would have happened if it had been available for Operation Winterstorm? 


The COLD bonus theme, I have decided to go with my next major WWII project: Stalingrad. I was hoping to have all the figures completed by today, but alas I am working this weekend and I also popped up to Montreal on Friday to see the Habs (well maybe I should say Carey Price) crush the Stanley Cup champions, the LA Kings. It has been a busy couple of days. I was however able to get one squad of Soviets done as well as some NKVD supports. Just two squads left.

My Winter War Finns figured predominantly in last year's challenge, and as part of the project, I had purchased some Kursk Soviets from CPModels. For the Winter War, the Soviets had large platoons of 4 squads and in Chain of Command, this is 60 figures even before I start putting together supports. If I was going to paint this many figures, they had to be good for more then one campaign.

Most of my WWII gaming has been in rural settings, so I decided to go with something urban, Stalingrad was an obvious choice and luckily the siege was fought in the winter of 42-43, so it worked out well for the first bonus theme. Well on to the photos.

Although there are a limited number of poses, TQD casting are my favourite WWII figures.
The figures were primed white and then VMC Tan Earth was airbrushed on. I used VMC Olive Green for the helmets, maybe a bit bright but I want them to jump out. Citadel washes were also used, I find the Camoshade very useful in WWII.

Most of my terrain is not painted yet, so please forgive this, but I did need an appropriate setting for the photos.
I am quite happy on how they came out.
A NKVD HMG team. Have to fix that hat band!
NKVD 3 man Mortar team. 

And to finish off.........a sniper.


Here is my participation to the first Fortnight Bonus Theme. He is "Boris", a white teddy bear with short temper. This is a curious miniature from BOF Studios I have had in my painting box for a long time. 

I expect it can be useful for the Theme; at least, because I have put a bit of snow in the base!


Another Analogue Painting Challenge is underway!  For the "Cold" theme (and my first post of the Challenge), I went with a couple of 40mm, Sash & Saber "Retreat from Moscow" figures.

These are (I think?), my first Napoleonic figures (unless you count "War of 1812" figures...), as well as my first 40mm figures!  They are painted largely with Vallejo Game Air paints (that's right, the Airbrush paints!). I recently started to try learning to do more Airbrush work, and I found the Game Air paints work quite nicely with bristle brush painting as well.  They're fairly thin, straight from the bottle, so require almost no additional thinning.

I did the common "black & white halftone" undercoat with the airbrush, then started in with traditional brush painting. (ps: not sure how well the "halftone" undercoat works, but at least it gives a decent starting point, and gives brighter highlights than just a straight, Black undercoat).  The bases are laser-cut MDF, courtesy of Byron from SG2 Creations, one of the Sponsors of the Challenge (Thanks, Byron!).

I used Liquitex "Resin Sand" texture gel to build up the bases, and once all the painting was done, I spread thinned white glue over the texture gel and covered with Baking Soda.  That's right - no need for fancy, expensive "Snow" basing material, just plain old Baking Soda.  Cover the bases LIBERALLY in the Baking Soda, don't just sprinkle it on - the white glue will suck down LOTS of the Baking Soda, and give nice, natural "mounds" like real snow.  I think it looks quite good!  I did some WWII "Winter War" Finns with the Baking Soda basing treatment as well, and they look pretty sharp (if I do say so myself).  I might include a few pics of those in a later post, as I'm working on some of those for the Challenge also.

Here's a shot with the ubiquitous Space Marine, to give a rough idea of size/scale.  For 40mm figures, they don't quite seem "all that" next to the Space Marine, but then, the French are hunched over against the cold, blowing winds of the Russian winter!

One final shot to show the backs of these figures.  I must say, considering the size of these figures, the detail and sculpting seem a bit "primitive" - considering what is available for 28mm figures, you'd think 40mm figures would be super-detailed!  Oh well, I'm not a sculptor, so I can't complain too loudly.  I know Curt has some of the Perry "Retreat from Moscow" figures, and they are, no doubt, much nicer sculpts.

I picked up a couple of dozen of these figures from the Estate sale of a friend who passed away last year - more French, some Russian infantry, Russian peasants, and some "dead" figures.  I think I will try and get more done from this range, and maybe try a skirmish game at some point.  I may need to order some of the Wolves and mounted Cossacks too!


So for my first entry to the Paiting Challenge (and to the first bonus round – Cold), are a set of 15 figures from Artizan Designs’ excellent 28mm WW2 range. I’ve recently been reading “Winter Storm” the new set of Chain of Command scenario’s from Too Fat Lardies. These figures then are a start towards building a ‘Chain of Command’ Soviet Rifle platoon for the Stalingrad front campaign, appropriately attired in padded Telogreika winter jackets, and Ushanka fur hats and helmets. Included are a number of NCO’s and officers, LMG team, sniper, and the ever present Commissar behind the troops with his pistol drawn…

As said, the figures are superb, and a joy to paint. For WW2 I follow my usual method of basecoat, army painter was and highlights, though more effort is spent on the faces using the Foundry Expert Flesh set.

I’ve popped these lads in front of one of those nice 4Ground Russian/East European cottages to frame a simple winter scene.

There are more WW2 Soviet infantry, support weapons and tanks in the pipeline for my next entry. Hopefully I can improve the winter backdrop for the next round of images.


A bedraggled soldier plodding through the snow. Rather embarrassed by the simplicity of my first entry given what others have posted, especially as it's my first year in the event too! But heh, the opportunity for some quick and easy points as I work on some larger entries was too tempting! 

Figure by Perry Miniatures, Napoleonic French range.


This Finnish ski patrol is my cold bonus submission. The figures are 28mm Warlord Finnish Infantry, so the casting is ropey, but I quite like the poses, They were left over from a VBCW conversion, the Northumberland Rangers who patrol the Borders keeping out gun runners and imposing the will of  evil Lord Percy.

Overall I'm really pleased with this effort, its the longest stand alone scene I've done at 30 cm end to end and contains a comedy amount of filler. The tufts of wool on the barbed wire fence are packing from my ACW figs and I quite like the effect.

Hope you like them.


When looking out for a suitable figure to represent the first themed bonus round I found it in the excellent Lead-Adventure line of miniatures. Their Post-Apoc range has some rather nice miniatures which should fit the bill. I was a torn between "Igor and the Red Gang" and "Santa Contaminated". Having already seen some of their figures in the flesh but not having painted some yet I decided to first try my luck with Santa instead of doing a whole group.

I really enjoyed painting this fellow and am rather pleased how he turned out. The figure came with almost no mould lines and virtually no flash what always is a plus in my books.

The detail is very crisp and the sculpting reminds me a bit of Mike Owens work of which I'm a big fan. 

As a post apocalyptic Santa Claus could also be found running round in Australia or some other not necessarily cold place I decided to create a little vignette to further underline the "cold" theme.

As it felt to me as if the little Santa figure was looking at something behind his gas mask I wanted to further inhence this impression by giving him something he could look at.

The sign was made from plasticard and weathered using the hairspray method. The signs inscription suffered a bit under the weathering but it looks suitably worn to me. The text reads "Achtung! Gefahr!" (Attention! Danger!) and "Sperrgebiet" (forbidden zone) while some buffoon painted "Frohe Weihnacht" (Merry Christmas) in red over the shield.

As Christmas is fast approaching and I'm not sure if I get something else done before the holidays I wish you all a Merry Christmas!


"For a moment we thought it was the howl of the biting wind, heavy with snow.  Barely able to discern our frozen and mittened hands in front of our faces; where had this storm come from?  We discovered, too late, that there was more than just the elements to contend with today…"

Well it has been a long time coming, but my first entry to this year's challenge is this rather splendid lump of lead as part of the bonus theme round - 'Cold'. It is a 'Heresy Miniatures' Snow Troll that I picked up a while back for no other reason than it looked cool and was half price - it was surely meant to be.  Suffice to say that it has languished, in its many pieces*, at the bottom of the pile until the fortuitous revealing of this year's themed rounds.

*Ten to be exact and took a fair bit of putting together!

Scaled for 28mm miniatures, this monster stands an impressive 50mm tall, with an even more impressive span of his mighty arms.  It was also to prove to be my first experience with the new airbrush, which certainly helped speed up the process and made the application of paint to all those difficult to reach areas a breeze.

Given that this creature lives in the frozen peaks of some formidable mountain range, it seemed appropriate to make the base snow themed and once again my tub of 'Army Painter' snow flock mixed with PVA glue came to the reduce all based on a 'Warbases' 60mm MDF disc.  As a final touch, I couldn't resist, but to add some gore to his gaping maw, gigantic hands and of coarse a trail in the snow on the base.  

Final image with Guide, purely for scale and he is not to be included in the tally as painted long before the challenge.


Here’s my submission for the AHPCV Cold Bonus Round - 6 28mm French Grenadiers in Overcoats. These figures are Perry Plastics and mark a return to painting a full Napoleonic Unit in some years. Yikes - after doing loads of ACW stuff painting Nappy uniforms is a bit of a challenge.

These six figures from the Grenadier company of a French Infantry Battalion. There other 30 compatriots are also done but will be submitted as a “regular” entry.


Having submitted my Skinks earlier this week I was left in a something of a quandary as to what to submit for the cold theme bonus round. After having a think on the way home from work last night I had a bit of a brainstorm, coming up with the idea to paint a unit of 28mm knights that will span multiple rounds. 

The idea is that each knight will represent a season of the year, allowing me to post for the cold and the hot bonus rounds, plus paint the remaining two knights elsewhere in the challenge. This being the cold round, I am pleased to present Sir Tristram Frost, the Winter Knight.


This beast is a Night Terror from the icy world of Targa, one of the many worlds funded in the Shadows of Brimstone Kickstarter campaign. Shadows of Brimstone is a weird wild west adventure that follows in the footsteps of Warhammer Quest, which was always a favourite of mine. The game has a load of different gribby beasts for the cowboys to fight. Sadly almost all of the models are actually rather poorly done. The detail is soft, the sprue layouts are shockingly wasteful and the alignment of the parts is… woeful at best.

Sadly my box of goodies didn’t arrive in enough time to let me fix some of the worst offending joints on this model, so I’m a bit shamefaced to show these pictures with some joints still visible, despite 3 layers of liquid greenstuff in the grooves. If you think it looks bad now, you should have seen it straight off the sprue. I would have left it well alone, but it was the only cold related model in my backlog. Thankfully the game looks like great fun, so most of the models will probably just be assembled for playing with, rather than painting. 

To give you a sense of scale, you can see this Night Terror (and his glowing, crystalline back) attacking what will become Richard III in a later challenge. It’s quite a large beast.


This entry is inspired by Curt's 15mm WW2 Germans. I was searching for ideas on winter basing when I came across his blog and the post for the Germans. I liked how he had based your models and I really liked the Marder, so much so that I had to get one myself. 

So here is a platoon of winter Germans from the Battlefront Volksgrenadier set and a Battlefront Marder IIIH. The Germans are based for Chain of Command and are intended for gaming the Ardennes 1944, Kharkov 1943 (will have to swap out the Panzerfaust figures for that) and the Cherkassy pocket. The Marder will also be for Kharkov.


My first entry into this years Challenge is for the "Cold" bonus round. 

You can't get much colder than this figure, the poor chap's dead! He was a member of Kirke's Lamb's or the Tangiers regt, but unfortunately took a javelin hit to the gut. 

Hopefully he's the first of many 25's that I'll be painting up for my Donnybrook excursion.


Bridging the Berezina.

One of the most tragic, yet also most heroic episodes of the Napoleonic Wars occurred between the 26th and 29th of November 1812. Napoleon had abandoned the burning city of Moscow, and was leading the remnants of La Grande Armee towards the Polish border and safety. They were pursued by the Russian Army and constantly harried by Cossacks.

One last great obstacle stood in the French way – the wide Berezina River. The nearby bridge at Borisov had been destroyed, forcing the French to change their plans. The Emperor had ordered General Jean Baptiste Eble commanding the pontoneers to destroy the pontoon equipment including the mobile field forges rather than let them fall into Russian hands. Eble disregarded this direct order, in an action which would a large number of French and allied lives, he kept the forges. The Berezina had not completely frozen over, necessitating the building of two bridges. The French used any wood they could find, cutting down trees, and destroying buildings near the bank to use their beams, floorboards and rafters. The bridges weren’t pretty, and were certainly not up to Eble’s usual high standards, but this was an emergency.

The bridges broke a number of times, with Eble’s engineers working chest deep in the frozen water to repair them both day and night. In an ironic twist of fate, a large number of the French merely waited on the bank, too exhausted to move, and were captured by the Russiand.. When they did use the bridges, they crowded on, pushing and shoving, causing numbers to fall into the icy water.

My entry for the bonus round marks the first time I’ve picked up a brush in over seven years – real life and ageing eyes just got in the way – so be gentle! The figures are from the Perry metal range, and the bridge itself is made from various off-cuts of wood I had lying around. Some things worked better than others – this hobby is nothing if not learning by trial and error. I must admit, a huge bonus (no pun intended) of preparing this scene was to re-read first hand accounts of this deed, including that of Baron Marbot, who recalled the men who “…leapt into the cold water of the Berezina and worked there for six or seven hours, though there was not a drop of spirits to give them, and they had no bed to look forward to for the following night, but a field covered with snow.”  Eble would not survive to reach France – dying, an exhausted man, at Konigsberg on the 31st December 1812.


Here's my entry for the Dec' 14th "Cold" theme round. 

Titled: "Winter Adventurer [Midlam Miniatures 28mm]"


Since I have told myself to enter in all the bonus rounds, or at least attempt to, I was horrified to find out I really did not have a sensible set of figures for the very first round's theme: "Cold". I actually had only one set of mini's in winter garb which is labeled: "Encounter on Hoth" and thus I had planned to enter it, as a joke,  in the "Hot" bonus round. 

Now lost for mini's to enter I have decided to paint these West End Games Star Wars mini's ahead of schedule and use them for this bonus round anyway. The facial details of the Han Solo figure do not capture Ford's likenes, sadly. Also my reference research for the probe droid, came up with the fact that they appear to be black/ dark gunmetal in the movies while a lot of reference pictures show them to be a very dark olive green, so I went with the latter as it creates a nice contrast with the white bases. 

Unfortunately an autumn storm is still blowing here an there's no decent natural lighting. This coupled with my poor photographing skills makes for pretty dreadful photo's for which I duly apologize. I'll try to better myself in future contributions. 


"The way is shut!… It was made by those who are dead…and the Dead keep it!"

My submission for the Cold bonus theme round, is the Army of the Dead, from the Lord of the Rings, lead by the King of the Dead and his banner bearer.

I felt that you cannot get much colder than the icy chill of death itself so what better than an Army of the Dead!

There are twenty 28mm miniatures here from GWs Lord of the Rings range, plus the King of the Dead and his Banner bearer., making twenty two in total.

There were also known as the Dead of Dunharrow… men, cursed by Isildur when he called them to his service, at the battle of the Last Alliance, against Sauron in Mordor and on the slopes of Mount Doom. They would not heed his call and fled cowardly into the mountains…

And thus Isildur cursed them, never to rest or find piece until they fulfilled their Oaths.

It is Aragron, last of the bloodline of Isildur, who now stands to command them to his service, and this he must do, to swell the ranks of his forces, to face the might of Sauron once more…

“We Fight!”…


"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn."

"In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming."

The stars certainly were right for me the last two days before the deadline. This has got to be the fastest I have ever turned out a figure from start to finish. I have to say that, while normally I find all the negatives, this time I really feel pretty positive about the whole figure and process.

This guy is a Reaper Bones Eldritch Demon, 28 mm scale though he stands a good 50mm tall. He is a three part model, the head and wings being the pieces in addition to the torso. I was very pleased with how I worked my green stuff to hide the joins. Only my second time using it and I learned the lessons of my mistakes the first time. The Bones material is a little rubbery, but not as rubbery as HaT figures can be. I used the Liquitex spray acrylic to base coat him black and did not notice any adhesion issues.

For the paint scheme I had a plan and saw it through. Perhaps not wholly unique, but something I normally struggle with. The technique I used was similar to that I used on my 40mm Zombies, if you follow my blog. I did successive drybrushes of gray from dark to light. I then glazed with purple, dappling on the body and concentrating on the tentacles. If I were to do it again I might try a gray base coat, washed black, and then drybrushed. I used a sepia ink wash on everything and I think it not only helped to tie everything together, but gave it that dredged up from the bottom of the sea look.

The eyes used a “jewel” technique I read about from somewhere in reference to Oldhammer. The idea is to do the old GW jewel technique in grayscale and then coat it with Tamiya Clear, in this case red.

Lastly I really like how the base turned out. I used my standard technique of air drying clay, texture gel and sand. I used a stone to press texture into the clay, and I think it was pretty effective. I glazed it green and the sepia wash made it look putrid. Over the whole figure I used Liquitex Matte varnish, which ends up quite shiny. For this project I wanted that look.

I hope you enjoyed this one as much as I did, and that you all can accept my interpretation of “cold”.


This 28mm “Wizkids” model of Iceman is number 039 from the “Heroclix” Marvel Xplosion range of plastic miniatures and is not only my first submission for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge but also my Bonus Round Cold theme entry.

The model, which is actually 58mm in height, was initially undercoated with “Vallejo” White before I applied a heavy wash of Blue Shade. Because the figure was made of a light shiny blue transparent plastic, which was significantly more brittle than the manufacturer’s usual soft plastic, I actually ended up having to apply several coats of both the White paint and then the Blue Shade before the model was appropriately covered. In addition there was absolutely no give in the plastic whatsoever, so I ended up having to repeatedly superglue his arms back into his sockets.

As I wanted to try and capture the deep dark icy blue of the original plastic I made sure that the acrylic wash was rather heavily applied, and then once dry, started the hour or so long process of slowly drawing a lightly charged number 10 round “Royal & Langnickel” brush over the sculpt’s raised surfaces. With some patience, I eventually found that the white paint transferred onto the founding X-Man's detail and also started to become quite powdery as well. As a result every now and then I’d just gently dab the model with the edge of the brush and create a fine soft white dust over the model.

Once I was happy that I’d built up enough of these layers on the model, I more heavily charged my brush and applied a final ‘drybrush’ over the entire figure. This gave the mutant superhero almost a brighter white highlight on his sharp icy edges.

To finish off the model I applied a few layers of “Citadel” snow flock to the 40mm base, and around Bobby Drake’s feet. I was tempted to add some additional snow flock to other areas of the model but as this will be on the wargaming table I thought such delicate applications would soon rub off once the miniature was being handled.


The Battle of the Denmark Strait was a World War two naval battle fought between Germany and Britain on 24 May 1941. There were six ships involved, both German ships, the battleship Bismarck and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen were attempting to break out of the confines of the Baltic sea into the Atlantic to raid allied convoys. Shadowing them were two cruisers, HMS Suffolk and Norfolk whilst the battlecruiser HMS Hood and newly commissioned battleship HMS Prince of Wales waited for the opportune moment to strike. However when the British ships finally did pounce HMS Hood, pride of the British fleet was catastrophically hit and sunk with the loss of 1415 lives,  only 3 of her crew surviving (Ted Briggs, Bob Tilburn and Bill Dundas).

Due to gunnery malfunctions the Prince of Wales then broke off the engagement however they did cause some damage to the Bismarck that forced her to flee toward a friendly port (Brest). And so was set a race against time for the Royal Navy to avenge their loss and regain their reputation as masters off the seas!

"How is this related to the bonus round theme of Cold" I hear your all ask. Well the battle I describe took place in mid May in some of the worst sea conditions the crew of the aforementioned ships have ever experienced. All three survivors of HMS Hood came close to death from the icy sea (Ted Briggs spent three hours in the water and was near dead from hypothermia before being rescued by HMS Electra).

So I present to you the protagonists of the Battle of the Denmark Strait!

All six ships are 1/3000 from the Davco range stocked by Skytrex. They're pretty good on detail but are no match for the GHQ equivalents. However as I'm only dipping my toe in the naval wargame genre I'm quite happy with how they turned out! The battle ensigns are just laser prints of images sourced online, the ships themselves being based on lollipop sticks.


A band of Duchy of Warsaw soldiers for Napoleon's retreat from Moscow.

The miniatures:
The miniatures are from Murawski Miniatures. This small company run by Roger Murrow publishes a nice range of 28mm Napoleonics for Polish troops especially for 1812 - 1814. Above all he has some excellent figures in campaign and full dress but likewise two sets of ragged soldiers for the retreat 1812 theme. The seven miniatures I’m presenting here are from one of these sets.

The miniatures are sculpted by extraordinarily gifted Paul Hicks and by themselves a feast for the eye. The details are crisp and clear, the casting quality is extremely good and each and every of the figures is full of character. To cut the long story short: It was pure joy to paint those fellows.

The colours:
As usual I used Vallejo Model Colors to paint the boys. Because of the chaotic background of the retreat I didn’t want to paint them too uniformily and so decided to use different shades of brown and grey for the overcoats. But nevertheless the band should contain an idea of cohesion. Therefore I tried to give all of them special items in dark green. Most of them wear scarves or gloves where I seized this colour. Only exception is the grenadier which unfortunately doesn’t wear anything else than the tabard which I painted brownish.
Most of the figures didn’t have gloves because they’re operating their muskets. Anyway for some of them I painted half-fingered gloves because I found it plausible that they might have protected themselves this way.

Actually I used nothing too special. The usual mix of sand, filler, (white) paint, static grass and PVA glue. As snow I use “Korundsand” (engl. May be: corundum sand). It’s a fine-grained and pure white abrasive which dental technician use for sandblasting. It has some sparkling grain in it and keeps its colour very good. Besides it’s extremely durable so actually perfect for the hard missions on the wargaming tables.

I hope you like my humble work.


I was thinking what really is cold. Is it some Space Wolf Terminator armor in the middle of snow with couple of wolves? No, I think the armor has some kind of temperature control. How about a half naked berserk in blizzard? No, those guys are usually familiar with cold and nevertheless are either drunk or pumped up by some other substances to ignore the cold.

Then I noticed this little miniature I bought some time ago. Poor little creature. He's half naked and shivering in cold, ducking on a bare, cold rock while holding a dead, cold fish in his hands. How about that for a cold? Did I mention cold?

Enough of emotional PR speech, let's continue with cold (did you notice) facts about the paint job. I was surprised how fast I managed to paint this. I really like the eyes, Gollum has so large eyes, that they were quite nice to paint. I ignored the the black spot, only painting the light blue color, which gave him a quite horrifying look. And then there are the other eyes, the eyes of the dead fish on the rock. I really like how they turned up, too. The fish on the hands looks good, but I was not able to capture it with my camera.


December is traditionally a very tense time at my office - everyone expects me to finish all those projects that nobody was really interested in for so many months before. So I have to be a busy bee, and (as I had anticipated) painting progress so far is quite slow - but my masterplan is to make up for this lack of progress during and after the holidays!


Attached is my entry for ‘cold’ it’s the witchking, I’ve also done a painting tutorial for him, the link to youtube is as follows:

…and Curt

In the midst of organizing the new format for the Challenge I found I was scrambling to get traction on this first entry. I knew I wanted to go back to my Retreat from Moscow project, but was stymied on which figures to use. I finally decided to go with this set which depicts a trio of French cavalrymen skirmishing from horseback. 

As I've mentioned in one of my previous posts on this range, I think Alan Perry has hit it out of the park with this line of 'retreat' miniatures. I find it amazing that within a little over an inch of metal he has managed to convey that sense of misery of being caught out in the winter elements without proper food, clothing or shelter.

Like my other figures in this project I've tried to add a bit of something to the bases to break-up the blandness of the snow. In the case of these fellows, the trooper from the 9th Hussars has a poor French light infantryman lying at his horse's hooves, who has obviously succumbed some time ago as the drifts have already gathered around his body. 

Below, this cuirassier's starving horse is trying to dig up some dead grass to eat near a tree stump...

...while the Polish lancer' mount is slowly walking past a pack, probably discarded by some poor infantryman who needed to lighten his burden during the retreat.

Finally, I've added a couple shots of some previously painted Russian farmers who have obviously suffered enough from these invaders and, in a rage, are trying to overwhelm the patrol. 

Now, remember to vote for all your favourite entries. Yes, you can vote for as many as you like and feel free to leave a comment if you wish. Voting will close at midnight Sunday, December 21st.

Thanks everyone and see you in two weeks for the next Theme: 'Mount(s) and Rider(s)'.


  1. Mind-boggingly good stuff and some cracking interpretations of 'Cold' to boot :-)

  2. the first bonus theme is really impressive by the quantity and the quality of all the models shown! congratulations to all !!!

  3. Fantastic work everyone! It's going to be tough choosing favorites - some really stunning pieces here.

  4. Well what a start. And this is only the first bonus round! Well done everyone, this is quite spectacular...

  5. Wow.... all I can think to say now.

  6. Excellent work - some of the snow / ice effects astound me!

  7. Oh my goodness and this was week one!

  8. really great stuff from all. I was ruthless and narrowed it down to 8 favorites

  9. Some really great work there, and I'd suggest folks remember to click on those pics for a better view. Right back to painted horses fr the next theme round!

  10. In my excitement I forgot to comment. Great work everyone. This year's challenge is going to be great.

  11. Nicely done folks! I really like some of those "Cold" interpretations. Lots of good paint everywhere too!

  12. These are brilliant, I never expected there to be quite so many, my thumb got tired with all the scrolling! I especially like DaveD's Christmas truce particularly for its significance this year in particular.

  13. all the work on its good, but Santa Claus Martin for me apart from the competition - not only work well done, but also makes one think.

  14. Wonderful job everyone!

    And thank you Curt for putting these all together in one massive post. I know it's a lot of work for you, but it sure does pack a visual punch!

    1. You're very welcome Anne. It is a bit of a bear to get scripted but it more than pays of in the end I think.

  15. Well that has been a joy to view I must say. Great effort people..

  16. Some really awesome workpieces and some interesting interpretations of the theme.
    Well done everyone!

    And many thanks to Curt for putting all those entries together !

  17. Just cracking! Difficult choices since everything looks good. I think my heart will have to choose... difficult, difficult.

  18. Some great looking entries there!

  19. Fantastic work every one.
    A great Post Curt a great post. I am sure we all thank you for doing this.

  20. A great round indeed! Some of the entries really create the feel of winter and puts shivers down your spine while others made me laugh at the inginuity of the makers regarding their view on the theme. Well done every one and Curt specially for pulling this of in such a grande manner.

  21. Thanks Curt. Lots of fantastic entries from everyone, with some fantastic little vignettes

  22. This really is great fun. Little pieces of art all around. Congrats everyone - and thank you, Curt, that you were so kind not to abandon the strugglers (liek me, ahem)!

  23. A hearty collective clap on the back to all great first round everyone.


  24. Brilliant work, nice stuff here. Wonderful range of entries too!
    It was very hard to select my top five!

  25. Excellent work folks! It was tough to pick my favourites.


  26. Really brilliant works, and interesting interpretations of "Cold". Thank you a lot, Curt, for your effort ruling this all.

  27. Lots of amazing entries! And thanks to Curt for putting them all up for us to see!

  28. Excellent work everybody. As with last year, it's plain to see that some people are going to try to stretch their interpretation of the theme as far as Curt will allow.

    Even though I have decided to abstain from the bonus theme rounds, I'm certainly going to enjoy seeing what you are all submitting.

  29. Some very nice stuff on display here. Interesting to see some very imaginative interpretatios of the 'cold' theme.

  30. Awesome stuff guys. I'll have to think hard about my votes!

  31. Lovely stuff everyone. Inspiring as always...

  32. Great stuff everyone!! Hopefully I'll be able to post something next round. Now excuse the academic brain fart moment but how the frigg do I vote Curt? The last week has included a trip to Santa Monica, tons of marking, family members returning from Uni and flying off to funerals and a car crash.

    1. The poll is on the right hand sidebar of this page. Not sure how it looks on mobile devices but seems to be chugging along nicely - 73 respondents so far...

  33. I stand in awe of all the creativity on display here, truly.

  34. As usual with the bonus rounds, extra stops have been pulled out. Some inspiring work there.

    Pip pip