Sunday, January 11, 2015

'Victorian' - The Third Theme of the Fifth Annual Painting Challenge

There may be some who may raise an eyebrow to some of the interpretations of the various themes (this theme included as you will see below) but I've always been a great supporter of imagination, creativity and bending the rules, so my policy is as long as it's not egregiously offensive, and you can somehow rationalize it, then bring it on!

So with no further ado, I present to you our third theme of the Challenge: 'Victorian'.


For My Victorian theme entry I decided to paint the 69th New York Regiment better know as the Fighting Irish (36 figures in 18mm Scale).  I wanted to use up the Bluemoon figures I had left over from my Longstreet Campaign so I can complete my Union army for that game.  I have been basing my Marching Union troops with 4 men on the center 6 stands and 3 on the 4 flank stands. This gives them a bulkier look then their confederate opponents making them look bigger (even if in game they are not) the smaller numbers on the flank stands give the impression that men have been hit and are clustering to the center of the battalion as often happened.  I chose to do the 69th for its fine combat record and its Irish heritage a heritage that lead to an incident involving Queen Victoria's heir the Prince of Wales in October of 1860. 

"On October 11, 1860, Colonel Corcoran refused to march the 69th regiment on parade for the 19-year old Prince of Wales, who was visiting New York City at the time, protesting the British imposition of the Irish Famine. Corcoran was removed from command and a court martial was pending over that matter when the Civil War began.[10] (form"

The 69th went on to fight in many of the savage battles of the eastern campaign of the American Civil War as part of New York Cities Irish Brigade.   As a Massachusetts man it hard for me to give New York any credit but that state produced some damd fine regiments in the Civil War and the 69th was certainly one that would rank near the top. 

The 69th Can't be ranked amount Victoria's enemies but its fair to say that the wouldn't have minded being in that company had the Trent Affair or the Fenian Raids gone differently.


Flashman's Guide to International Diplomacy

I've been looking forward to the Victorian bonus round for the chance to paint a vignette with Flashman, my favourite Victorian Antihero, Rogue and Ruffian. I will frankly be amazed if I'm the only person to submit a model of Flash for this round!

Here we see Flashman during a diplomatic visit to the Grand Duchy of Wurstigkeit seizing the opportunity to exercise his charms on the Duke's daughter Sigrid as she takes a bath before dinner in the castle. Will this unexpected move lead to greater understanding between Her Majesty's government and Wurstigkeit? Or perhaps provoke a diplomatic incident that Flash will have to negotiate with his customary cowardice, lechery and self interest?

The figures, including the slightly anachronistic rubber duck, are part of Eureka's barking mad 'Pax Limpopo' range. Flashman is resplendent in the uniform of the 11th Hussars. Sigrid's bath was tricky to paint. After a modest amount of research looking at images of ladies in baths I started with a greeny - grey base colour, then overlaid shades of white, grey and grey/blue. I made the bubbles by cutting up hundreds and thousands, which is now officially the maddest thing I have ever done in service of this hobby.

The Persian rug (which ties the room together well, man) started life as some foil from a champagne bottle, and was then hand painted. Since I'm on a roll with Islamic designs I thought I'd extend myself a bit. Hope you like it!


These are 5 Corvettes (Fujin) from the Empire of the Blazing Sun faction for Dystopian Wars. A game that is based in an alternative historical steam punk past. I think it is Victorian based. 

I have not painted them to be a part of any Japanese fleet but instead as another option for my large Mercenary Coalition force. The Black Wolf pirates and the East India Merchant Company based near Singapore who make a killing in trading in tropical sugar powered Rum. 

I had almost forgotten I had these in the unpainted stash and realized that I had intended to paint them in this scheme which is much darker in reality than these photos show. I remembered I had these in the last few days before the deadline. 

I have included a picture of the Pirate force gathering near one of the ocean bases they use.


For the third theme entry I really wanted to do someone riding a pennyfarthing. The problem is I don't have a miniature for that and I've already decided to do the Challenge without buying any new minis. The solution, brought about by the suggestion of my wife who shares my fascination with high wheelers, to sculpt my own.

After finding a decent reference I started sculpting. He wasn't really designed around any scale just off the picture but he measures out to about 2.5" tall not counting the bicycle. So he's about 54mm. Sculpting took most of the two weeks but by far the most difficult part was making the bicycle. Everything didn't go quite as planned but he was good enough to move onto painting. 

The bike was done in blue to honor my first bike when I was younger. The rest more or less fell in around that. It was a fun experience and in the future I'd like to take another stab at making a new pennyfarthing rider, just need to figure out that big wheel first.  


When I read the topic for this theme round, my first impression was ”Oh BLEEP!” . Victorian age certainly is nothing that I ever dabbed my toe into. Being more at home with Napoleonics my first idea was to paint Marechal Soult (for he had been present as a representative of France for Victorias coronation, but i felt this would be stressing things a bit too far. 

But then I remembered that more than half a decade ago I had bought a Lieutenant Bromhead (limited edition) Miniature at Salute which I had never touched. It seemed like a perfect idea. For one Rorke´s Drift took place in 1879 so well within Victoria's reign and Bromhead was one of eleven VC recipients for the battle, so this seemed more than fitting!

While the miniature does not look too much like Micheal Caine in the movie (only enough I do not feel it looks too much like the historical pictures of Bromhead either), I based the colour choices on him in the movie. I started painting this before we left for our holidays in Wales and since I had never seen the movie I had to work solely on pictures from the internet. Funny enough… I got to see the movie while we were away, somehow bringing all this full circle.


I got to thinking early on what to do with the Victorian theme and was stuck.  After a while, I came up with the thought that most steam punk is based of a Victorian theme and most people that I know, now tie the two together.  So a quick check with Curt, and yup, steam punk was a go!

Now the topic, hmmm.  While searching for Steampunk figures I came across a company out of Australia called Guild of Harmony, and they had some very cool looking steampunk fairy tale miniatures.  My wife is a fan of Tinkerbell, so that is the one I went with.

Their interpretation is a steampunk tinkerer Tinkerbell.  I look at the figure and think, older, rougher, been through it Tinkerbell.  She has obviously been through a in her adventures with Pan and Hook, as she has had to replace her wings and an arm.  That doesn’t stop her though, as you can see she is still at work, creating something new. 

It’s a little different, and not your normal image of Tinkerbell, but it was a lot of fun to work on.


Colonel Frederick Burnaby–  travelling without permission - was among more than 4,000 British troops who took part at El-Teb.  Burnaby was in the thick of it, doing dire work with a characteristically unorthodox weapon: a double-barrelled shotgun. 

Burnaby was a larger than life character , and Victorian Hero. Depicted here in his characteristic blue patrol dress as he refused to wear khaki. He met his end at the later battle of Abu Klea – where he had left his Shotgun behind after the bad publicity of using it on the natives at El-Teb. 

It is said Queen Victoria wept on learning of his death. The figure is by Redoubt and is a fair size compared to other 28mm – however as Burnaby was 6 foot 4 and reputed to be the strongest man in the army it seems fitting.

We also have the newly arrived Daily Telegraph reporter Bennet Burleigh with notepad , and for the Illustrated London News Caton Woodvile looking on , protected accompanied by the skirmish screens.  I picked up the skirmish lads as part of the painted stuff I bought – they needed rebasing only . So only the 3 miniatures count for new painting purposes.


I have observed some charitable interpretations of the theme guidelines, and am hoping for the same with this one.  My Victorian Theme entry is a Vostroyan officer from Games Workshop's Imperial Guard figure range.  This would be a junior officer - a platoon commander, armed with a short ranged, but hard hitting energy pistol and baroque power sword for handling business at close quarters. 

As with the other figures from this range, he is clad in a proto-medieval style armour, and wearing an absurd bearskin, along with sci-fi respirator equipment. I quite enjoy this range of figures, as their dark, whacky appearance brings to mind an 18th century grenadier blended with a John Blanche drawing - this fits very well with the dark dystopian mood I enjoy from the original Rogue Trader game.  

I still have about 40 of these figures unpainted in my hoard, and am hoping to get to some of them in the Painting Challenge.  Hopefully this fellow will inspire more progress on that front. 


I must admit I almost didn't participate in this theme round. Victorian? Yeah not my cup of tea. But then I realized one of the figure I intended to give for Xmas to a friend fitted the bill perfectly (you may remember I decided to paint a unique figure as a show of gratitude to my best friends who supported me, visited me and cheered me up through last year's hard times)! How lucky is that?! So I present to you "Monsieur la Mort", Death, if you prefer. For you see, in the Victorian era even Death would dress with flair! 

The figure is from Freebooters Miniatures, one of those unique sculpt full of personality. It is meant as a gift to Emmanuelle, one of my best friend who happens to be a big fan of horror movies and zombies/undead, as well as a hopeless romantic (notice the rose our Monsieur la Mort is offering).

So there it is, la Mort, å la Victorienne!"


I'm somewhat unknown to the Victorian period. We never play it and I thought that I didn't have any figures to paint for this Challenge. Then I remembered a foundry pack I bought at Salute last year. It was a pack of farm workers which I intended to paint as multipurpose civilians for any game in the 18th or 19th century. So here are the five 28mm Foundry far workers.


Victorian - Taken very literally

I don't do a huge amount of historical wargaming. I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that I don't even know much about what conflicts were going on during the Victorian age. Add to that the fact that I'd decided that I shouldn't buy any figures just to complete a fortnightly challenge, because that would be crazy as I'd entered this challenge to clear figures off the pile, not to add to it. So there's no way I was making an entry to this challenge, right?

Cue a trip to my local game shop, Eclectic Games. Whilst flipping through boxes and blister packs for figures for games I didn't even play (does anyone else do that or do I need help?), I came across a blister pack that changed everything.... As I saw it, the sounds of a choir singing "Land of Hope and Glory" suddenly started up, Union Jack bunting hove into view and a tear appeared in the corner of my eye. What was an Englishman to do other than buy the pack to enter? Thus, I present to you, Queen Victoria herself!

Oh, and her trusty steampunk butler who I also couldn't resist, painted in his natty "Hot Pink" waistcoat. A picture of the historical (sort of) couple

And another

I have no idea why a game (Empire of the Dead in this case) would need Vicky in it, but it appears they do, so here she is, Lawd bless 'er.


My choice for the Victorian Themed Bonus Round was pretty easy. I could think of nothing more representative then the "H" Division of the Metropolitan Police who were of course stationed in White Chapel during the Ripper Murders.
CID: DS Bennet Drake, CI Fred Abbeline, DI Edmund Reid, Captain Homer Jackson

These figures are from Westwind Productions Empire of the Dead line and include all the figures from the London Bobbies and The Men of Hell Division packets. Although I suspect it was not intentional it was quite easy to match up the men of CID to the characters in the BBC television show Ripper Street.
The Men of "H" Division

The figures were a pleasure to paint. I made a few mis-starts, I initially painted the cloaks on the Bobbies blue and then decided to switch them to a more gray hue. I must say I enjoyed painting them.


Here is my participation for this week "Bonus Theme". He is Mr Quatermain in his quiet African retirement. Since "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" movie, my image of Allan Quatermain is that of Sean Connery: an old hunter resting peacefully after a long live full of adventures and, occasionally, going to hunt something.

This is a 28mm model from Foundry Miniatures sculpted by the very talented but inconstant Mark Copplestone and I´m going to use him in my Pulp games as an US dinosaur (and other critters) hunter.


Amongst the figures I bought from my friend's estate sale, was the beautiful Wargames Foundry, Limited Edition "Victorian Ratcatcher" model by Steve Saleh.  Wow, this is a great model!  Nice, crisp detail, great proportions, cute "character."  It's a bit bigger than most 28mm's (maybe a "29mm" if you like), and sort of a bit more "heft" than most 28's, but those things don't harm this model at all.  When I found it among the figures I'd picked up, I knew I wanted to paint it for the Challenge - then, I noticed "Victorian" was one of the Fortnight Challenges!

I like the little rat poking it's head out of the cage, and the one crawling up over the shoulder.  I was tempted to start Googling pics from the movie, "Willard" but decided against that.  When I started cleaning the model earlier this week, I was thinking about clipping off the cast base, and sculpting a "sewer" base for this guy.  Then I noticed the one additional rat on the ground, between his feet.  Rather than trying to cut around the rat, and maybe risk ruining the rat, I decided to just glue the figure to a GW base, and do basic Liquitex Resin Sand groundwork instead. 

This was a pretty straight-forward paint job.  I was a bit rushed on it, as "Life" threw me a curveball today, but I think it turned out OK.  I stumbled on a nice trick for the gold buttons and top hat buckle - I base-painted those items with a "dark yellow" (basically, the colour of  WWII 'Late War' German armour).  I'm never quite happy with how Gold paints onto a model - often the paint itself is a bit thin, as it's really just "carrier" with Gold flecks.  The dark yellow base colour helps unify those flecks, and I didn't get the "streaky" Gold I usually get!  Maybe this isn't something new to most of you, but it was something I tried on the spur of the moment, and it worked great!  I'll have to try using a Grey base for Silver and Gun Metal paint next! 

When I was poking around for some "rat catcher" reference pics to give me some inspiration, I came across this old illustration (surprisingly, there seem to be very few pics of the miniature out there on the Internets!).  So for my final pic of this post, I added in a couple of dog models my friend had painted.

I think it makes for a nice grouping!

Thanks for looking!


Something a little more peaceful from me this time, Vicky the maid, calmly watching tabletop affairs with her knitting...


Same as Curts entry fee figure this is a 28mm figure from Westwinds 'Empire of the Dead' miniature and is meant to represent the infamous 'Jack the Ripper'.

Of course thinking of MichaelA's take on Jack the Ripper for last years 'Casualty' bonus round I knew I couldn't match his fantastic vignette so I didn't even try replicate it. Instead I decided that it's time to go greyscale again.

I tried to make the figure look a bit more menacing by adding the blood of his latest victim to his knifes and the base. Thus making it look (in my mind at least) like he just made a step back to marvel at his latest masterpiece. In retrospect I should have added a gully or gutter for the blood to trickle into.


The ‘Victorian’ round has proved the perfect opportunity for me to finally complete my Scotland Yard Company for the ‘In Her Majesty’s Name’ ruleset.  Once again, I feel a pang of guilt at not having painted these miniatures sooner, particularly as they are such joy to work with.  The sculpts, which have plenty of detail to them, are most forgiving and I am delighted to see them finally done.  

Eagled eyed viewers will have spotted the 'Whitechapel' set from last year providing a suitable backdrop for this crew. Included in this group of six, 28mm miniatures, is a steampunk Fagin, a bonus figure for pre-ordering the miniatures back in the mists of time.  I've included him here as an informer to the company, somebody whose connections with the crime underworld of the mighty Metropolis proves invaluable to the boys of the Yard.

To complete the entry,we have a ‘Warbases’ Jailer’s Van; this was one of those silly impulse buys that seemed to have inadvertently jumped into my virtual shopping trolley when I was last  picking up some MDF discs.  

A relatively simple kit to put together (which is fortunate as there were no instructions) this Jailer's Van is a truly versatile kit, based on 'Warbases' original horse drawn van it could work equally well in the Wild West, stirring fond memories of my 'Timpo Jail Wagon'.  The website also suggests that it might prove just the ticket as an appropriate transport for that most wonderfully camp villain, the Child Catcher, played by Robert Helpmann in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. (now there's an idea for a project!)

Deciding against the more traditional colour scheme for the 'Black Maria', (well this is supposed to be a painting contest!) I opted for a dark blue colour.  With a touch of weathering, some rust on the bars and a suitable base this little MDF model soon sprang to life and I have to confess, I'm pretty pleased with it.  Now just the small matter of finding something for the 'Myth' round!


My first submission for the Bonus Rounds.   Figures from Architects of War.   The dapper civilian fellow is carrying a revolver or a derringer.   The last photo hints at a story - is the gentleman with the revolver a jealous suitor of the lady in the pink dress?  Is he threatening the young Confederate officer?


Below is my submission for the Victorian fortnight challenge - a company of 24 British Riflemen from the Zulu Wars in 28mm scale. The figures are metals from Empress Miniatures . I picked these chaps up from a convention vendor 43 or 4 years ago more on impulse than any real desire to start a colonial collection - the “oh shiny” strikes again. The miniatures are superb - some of the best cast I’ve come across so I can recommend them highly. I did feel guilty leaving these figures languishing on the purgatory of the lead pile and used the impetus of this fortnight challenge to get them out and painted.

Outside of watching the movie “ZULU!” a few times as a kid, I don’t know that much about the period so I downloaded a Farnsworth painting guide and did these little gentlemen up as a generic Rifle company. I’ve got some other Empress figures prepped for painting from their moderns range and I’m very impressed with the quality of the castings and these are one of the few metal figures that I would rate above plastics for painting ease.

The only downside is that neither of the officers resemble Stanley Baker or Michael Caine.

Sometimes my fortnight submissions stretch the definition of the intended category but I don’t think that’s so this time - British infantry from the Zulu wars is about as Victorian as one can get!


For this round I've gone with something a bit unusual, a weapon that in may ways typifies the Victorian experience in Africa in that it was an attempt to use the advances of Empire to subdue a more numerous but technologically inferior foe. These are RAFM Naval Brigade and Gatling Gun miniatures in "true 25mm"...

The Gatling is an early machine gun invented by the American Richard Gatling and patented in 1862. It first saw use by the Union army during the 1860s in the American Civil War. It's a crank operated, multi-barrelled design, the act of cranking the gun performing the dual tasks of firing and reloading. It was prone to jamming and overheating. The Gatling was one of several types of machine gun used by the British Army in Africa in an attempt to counter (to limited effect) massed attacks by native forces. It was first used by the Royal Navy against the Egyptians at Alexandria in 1882.

The Gatling gun appears often in "popular myth" during the Victorian period, albeit often incorrectly or even accidentally.

Sir Henry Newbolt - Vitaï Lampada (poem, 1892)

The sand of the desert is sodden red,
Red with the wreck of a square that broke;
The Gatling's jammed and the colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed his banks,
And England's far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of schoolboy rallies the ranks,
"Play up! play up! and play the game!"

The battle referred to in the poem is Abu Klea in the Soudan during January 1885, part of the attempted relief of Khartoum and the rescue of Charles Gordon. The colonel referred to is Frederick Gustavus Burnaby, something of a Victorian icon. The gun that jammed was in fact a Gardner machine gun and NOT a Gatling.

Hillaire Belloc - The Modern Traveller (poem, 1898)

A Mutiny resulted. 
I never shall forget the way 
That Blood upon this awful day 
Preserved us all from death. 
He stood upon a little mound, 
Cast his lethargic eyes around, 
And said beneath his breath : 
Whatever happens we have got 
The Maxim Gun, and they have not.
He marked them in their rude advance, 
He hushed their rebel cheers ; 
With one extremely vulgar glance 
He broke the Mutineers. 
(I have a picture in my book 
Of how he quelled them with a look.) 
We shot and hanged a few, and then 
The rest became devoted men.

The Modern Traveller is a satirical verse attacking the British colonial experience, the concept of the explorer-journalist and the idea of the White Man's Burden. Often misquoted as "Whatever happens we have got The Gatling Gun, and they have not." The line referring to the Maxim is often misquoted as "Whatever happens we have got The Gatling Gun, and they have not."

All that aside, these were fun to paint and an oft represented weapon in Victorian colonial wargame armies...


"One-Arm" Jones.

Jones is a Wargames Foundry Victorian Ex-Soldiers pack form Tim Prow. “One Arm” is part of a planned 7TV program about an exclusive Gentlemen’s Club in Victorian London designed, not for the rich, but for those that have seen things outside the norm. 

Jones was one of the few survivors from a secret war on the Ashanti in 1875, where the Ashanti tribesmen conjured up a terrifying beast that devoured most of the soldiers before it was stopped. This Club now protects the slums of London from those things that hunt the poor...


I wasn't going to enter the Victorian bonus round as I don't own any figures that would fit into the period. I was chatting to Postie who said he had a few 25mm Zulu Wars figures in his unloved leadpile, so he gave me one of them and its now finished, just in time!!

Postie thought the figure was from Newline Designs, but I can't find the figure or anything like it on their website, so I've no clue where the figure comes from.

He is of course painted up as an Officer from the famous B Company, 2nd Battalion, 24th Foot the Warwickshire regt of Foot, later renamed the South Wales Borderer's


This bonus round, I decided to go large, very large in fact. I first saw this bust whilst visiting Euromilitaire with Michael Awdry of this parish. The fact that it was a British uniform deterred my from buying it – I have long preferred the French Army to the British (much to the chagrin of my boss!). However, once the themes for the Bonus Rounds were announced, I decided to take the plunge, and paint something British rather than French for the Victorian round.

Sadly, the UK distributor, had sold out, so I had to obtain this example from the US manufacturer – Michael Miniatures.

This is a 1/10th scale bust of an Officer of the 17th Regiment of Lancers c1840. As a result of their experience against Napoleon’s lancer regiments (particularly at Albuera and Waterloo), and number of British light cavalry regiments were converted to the role of lancers. They were uniformed in the standard European style, with plastron-fronted tunics and the distinctive square-topped czapka. During the reign of King William IV, the 17th was given new red uniforms. The Regiment would revert to its original blue tunics following the accession of Queen Victoria in 1857, although most units retained the red uniforms for a year or two.

The 17th would retain their unique motto of a skull and crossed bones above a scroll reading “Or Glory” – a reference to their admiration of Wolfe who was killed at Quebec in 1759, the year the Regiment was formed. They became known, particularly after their participation in the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava in 1854 as “The Death or Glory Boys”

The bust is a kit of six parts, and was painted in acrylics and (the face) in oils. The one thing I had hoped would arrive before the deadline was a name plate for the base – I bet it arrives on Monday!!!!

The last photograph includes an original czapka plate from my own collection. I bought this at auction a couple of years ago. It was described as a French C19th plate. Once I got it home, I was able to confirm it as a rare example from the Garde Royale c1824 – who knows, a few years earlier, it could have been worn by one of Napoleon’s veterans.

Thanks to the 28mmvictorianwarfare Photography Studio!


For my second entry I decided to enter the Victorian Theme round.. Not for a specific reason no other than the figures for this period always look wonderful and have a certain kind of feel of days gone by. Also they look cool in the showcase when painted up...

I have chosen a figure from Studio Miniatures in 28mm that i bought at Crisis in Antwerp last november. It was just something I saw when strolling along the trade stands that kept catching my eye during the day so I finally ended up in buying some figures that I really had no purpose for. You get the idea; we have all been there.

The figures actually were great sculpts and very easy to paint. I will certainly paint up the rest that I bought in the near future. For now I just painted up a mounted officer representing, I think, the stoic character of a fine British gentleman of noble birth in Her Majesties service, while exploring upcoming spoils to enhance the Empire.


I've painted these to use in my Play By Blog game and so they will be controlled by other bloggers in the upcoming (scenario-driven) game.

First off, we have 'The Good'

You'll have to excuse the green background. The hedge is actually 10mm -scale Timecast 'Bocage' and the building is a 'privy' by 4Ground.

After the 'Movember Mo-Bro's', we have The Bad

Perhaps the longhaired gent' should have been painted as a darker skinned person of Native American origin, but I wanted to keep all of the PBB game characters as American's of European descent. So the reason for the pale skin tone.

As to the ugly, well, we'll call that the painter ;)


Says the right tart to the left: "What about that Ripper, eh?" upon which the left ones says: "no one is ripping me off, payments up front!"

Both these models are Wargames Foundry and I had a hoot painting them, the pictures are (a penny) dreadful again but in real life the mini's look far better and so do the colours. I really like this era and have started a Victorian project in a big way. Part of my birthday money will be used to buy a lot of the older Foundry Victorians to play around with and the rest will go the some laser-cut terrain. 

Anyway the bases are from who have some brilliant bases for very reasonable prises. 

Hope you like these ladies!


This was the only round where I couldn't find a way to use a LOTR/Hobbit figure... I did ponder using either Afrid or the Master of LakeTown as being in appearance as somewhat 'Eccentric Victorians', but felt that was probably stretching things a bit, and besides I still have a pile of Empire of the Dead figures to get done, which are great sculpts and a joy to paint, so... I offer you..

Sir Henry Baskerville.

Baskerville is a WestWind, Empire of the Dead figure in 28mm scale, and was released as part of the expansion factions from the EotD Requiem Kickstarter, which I subscribed to quite heavily... and which is still a notable part of my Lead Mountain...

But I digress...

Baskerville is of course based on the character in the novel the Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson...

The novel was adpated to the silver screen many times and has inspired many other adaptions,  and I still recall with some trepidation the B/W movie from 1939 with Basil Rathbone as Holmes. Stiring stuff that saw me peaking over at the TV from behind the sofa, as a little nipper... 

And it somehow seemed appropriate that I get this model done now, as I submitted 'the Hound' last year!


When the list of bonus theme rounds came out I began to get grandiose notions of what I would do for the Victorian theme.

Since I do mostly 1/72 I was of course going to buy boxes of British and Zulus and paint them up. Fortunately I came to my senses. Firstly I already have boxes upon boxes of unpainted, albeit non Victorian, stuff and secondly I had to be realistic about my chances of prepping and painting the amount I fantasized about.

Fortunately my Google Fu was strong that day and I found this silly figure from West Wind Productions Empire of the Dead range.

He is Great Uncle Thulu (I have to resist putting in a second h) and I purchased him on sale from FRP games. Or perhaps that was clearance as, upon unboxing, I found he had a void the size of a small pea in the right side of his face, just behind the mustache tentacle thing.

When I was doing a bunch of green stuffing I managed to resculpt his cheek and eyebrow, but didn't notice that his collar was also missing on the right side. So as I was painting him this morning I noticed this collar discrepancy and what little OCD I have kicked in. So I made him a collar out of a piece of paper. Sorry for all the shots of said collar, but I wanted to document it and get your opinion if it worked.

The painting was fairly straight forward, I did quite a bit of layering but it may not show. I think the greys on the black cloak may be too subtle and the lavender on top of the other purples may have been too heavy handed.

I did intentionally leave some of the black undercoat showing through this time and I'm not sure if it really transmits the effect of deep shadow well, or just looks lazy. I'm probably the least satisfied with it on the cigar. Interestingly enough, before I saw a painted version of it, I thought it was an alien death ray he was holding.

The base was made by smashing some weird beans I had and gluing the chunks down to approximate cobbles. They just look like weird rubble.

I hope you like him, non Euclidean collar and all, he was fun to get done.


Finally! My first entry in this competition, and my return on the blogosphere after more than a month without touching a brush. Gosh that was hard. I now have really started so you should see more stuff coming.

Anyway, As soon, as Curt announced the Victorian theme, I knew I had to paint a Queen Victoria, somehow. After surfing the net, I saw this wonderful minis from Victoria Lamb. Simply gorgeous, and very easy to paint. I practised on my black by using mixes of black and dark Prussian blue. I like the final result, with lots of contrast between the white, the black, the blue and the reds from teh gems. And if you look closely, you'll see I tried a gemstone effect on the jewellry. Really hard to achieve, especially when so small. Anyway. Back on the saddle, and you won't know what to expect from me next time.


This 160mm resin model is the Cyberking figurine made by “Eaglemoss Collections”. It appeared in the British science Fiction television series “Doctor Who” at the conclusion of the Christmas Day Special, “The Next Doctor” in 2008. Whovians will know that it was created by Russell T. Davies in order to have “A great big Cyberman… striding all over Victorian London!”

The model was originally pre-painted metallic blue and attached to a rather formidable resin stand. Indeed, when it came time to remove the Cyberking from its base, it was so firmly attached that it broke into several pieces before it could be properly removed. This meant drilling and pinning a number of pistons and chains back into place before I could begin undercoating him. However it did afford me the opportunity to slightly alter his pose, so instead of standing straight up I was able to slightly manipulate his stance in order to try and portray him stepping slightly forward.

Once firmly attached (with screws) to his large oval 120mm wide base the model was given two thinned coats of “Citadel” Abaddon Black in order to completely eradicate the previous rather garishly-coloured paintjob. The model was then painted Boltgun Metal and thoroughly washed with the Shade Abaddon Black. I then dry-brushed the entire model with more Boltgun Metal. This was an extremely time-consuming process as a lot of the detail on the sculpt was rather soft, and its former paint-job had been rather liberally applied in places. In addition I had to keep stopping in order to deal with pockets of casting sand which the previous painter had clearly simply plastered over.

Obviously Cybermen in general don’t rust, but as the Cyberking was made of metals scavenged from across Victorian London as opposed to Cyber technology, and he had been hidden beneath the Thames, I figured there would be some metal fatigue in some areas. As a result I dabbed some watered-down “Vallejo” Copper in appropriate areas, such as gears and leg pistons, and then washed these areas with some gloopy “Citadel” Devlan Mud. Once dry I then dry-brushed back over these areas with Boltgun metal in order to blend them in with the rest of the model. Finally to give the mechanical behemoth a more Cyberman look I dry-brushed the entire model with a light covering of Mithril Silver in order to help bring out the finer detail. One thing I did not especially like about the model was its glowing eyes, which I thought made it look a bit too ‘Metal Mickey’ for my liking. As a result I drilled out the eyes and left them as dark soulless holes similar to those of the normal Cybermen and then gave it a layer of Boltgun Metal. Once dry I then washed him with Nuln Oil.


The clanking noise coming from the workshop at the rear of the squalid tenement increased in volume to the point where the conversation could only be conducted in raised voices.

“I tell you that obtaining the remaining Shabti of Akhenaton should be our priority, before that idiot Inspector gets his hands on them” said the well-dressed gent leaning in the doorway whilst subconsciously fiddling with his pistol.

“No, I do not ag-ag-agree” stuttered his gas masked opponent sat in the tattered arm chair on the other side of the room. “We ne-eed to stop the Good Doctor in hi-hi-his ministrations. He ca-ca-can’t be allowed t-t-to heal that damn consulting detec-tec-tive”.

“Let me handle my cousin, my friends” said a new arrival coming from the hallway, Deer Stalker still perched on his balding pate, “I think we should be looking at your brothers new toys Lucius”.

They all rose at the implied command, Deer Stalker being the de facto leader of their little group (in the absence of the Professor). They all filed through the hallway, stepping over the bodies of the previous tenants and into the ‘workshop’ space, littered with all manner of esoteric tools and apparatus. In the centre of the room, fez perched jauntily on his head, green smoking jacket covered in oil stains stood Lucius’ brother Algernon looking rather triumphant.

“Behold my brethren, our new weapon in the fight against order and the corrupt empire of her most ignoble Majesty. I present to you my Iron Men!


These chaps and their back story form part of my onging exploration of the wonderful world of VSF which began when I jumped into In Her Majestys Name. I managed to write up a number of Battle Reports as a spoof Journal of the brave Inspector Johnson however moving to NZ has put that on the back burner for some time, so the challenge was good incentive to jump back in and restart things!

These are all Black Pyramid models from their Steam and Steel range, very nice clean models which were all relatively easy to paint. My only complaint was that in some areas they're a little light on detail and the chap holding the rather large aether pistol had a badly miscast hand! Otherwise they're quite characterful models.




A couple of friends presented me some miniatures from Northstar’s tea time miniatures range and I was delighted by those extraordinary figures. A very nice collection of interesting fellows having a cup of tea. After I read that one of this year’s bonus rounds would be Victorian I spared some of them to paint them for this special occasion and here they are: A British officer and a soldier during the Crimean War having a cup of tea.

...and Curt

I was a bit under the gun for this entry but I knew I had failsafe with one particular figure in my inventory. 

Probably my first exposure to the Victorian period was as a child seeing the movie 'Oliver!'

As many will agree it's often seen as a magical film for children, yet it has undeniably dark and troubling undertones. 

Victorian England's use of child labour, the extreme urban poverty (with its attendant crime) and the huge gap between the classes were core thematic elements in both Dickens' book and Carol Reed's film. Nonetheless, in amongst these grim surroundings are a set of characters which bring a spark of humanity and optimism to their place in life. We have the well-meaning crime boss Fagin, the irrepressible barmaid Nancy and the kind patrician Mr. Brownlow who all give Oliver hope and a sense that the world may not be all that bad. 

One of these, and one of my favourite characters in the film is Artful Dodger played brilliantly by the late Jack Wild. 

I remember as a kid thinking that Dodger was the absolute cat's pyjamas - craftily resourceful, embarrassingly brash and unfailingly optimistic. So, with this in mind I present to you my vision of the quintessential Victorian rogue : 'Dodger'

Okay folks! It's a wrap! Please take some time to vote for all your favourite entries and come back next week to see which submissions meet on the podium.

Thanks for visiting!


  1. Great entries this weekend, but I miss some classic participants!
    Good luck to all of you!

  2. Some cracking stuff on display here. Predominantly Victorian Steampunk and her Majesty's forces abroad but some other beauties as well. Certainly a few figures I'll be tracking down post-Challenge. Well done to all :-)

  3. All work is very good and perfectly convey the spirit of the age, at least in the sense in which I read Dickens. But the cyclist, made from scratch - it's awesome!

  4. Great stuff.. With a number of standout entries..well done all.

  5. Another cracking effort people!

  6. Some standout submissions in a very high quality set again. God save the Queen

  7. The level of competition here just went up by quite a few notches! There is some utterly stunning work today. I'm going to have to take some time to think before I cast my votes this time.

  8. Another awesome round of work, peeps! Well done everyone!

  9. Spoiled for choice... again! So much excellent work - should I just tick everything?
    ; )

  10. I just got back from my escapades in the frozen woods. This was a very pleasing post to enjoy with my ' Russian Tea' ! ;)
    I'll vote later after some sleep, but there are several fine entries!
    @ Juan- I've been stymied so far for the fortnightly challenges( and I still gotta get some stuff for the sidebar duel completed).
    I'm hoping to at least hit one of the fortnight themes before old man winter is through!
    I should figure out a 'Curtgeld' too!

  11. Wow! Lots of amazing work. I'll have to take my time considering my votes with a cup of brown joy in hand.

  12. Awesome figues, chaps!
    Although the orher rounds had excellent entries aswell I think this round became even better. And the choices become harder and harder...

  13. Great looking round. I'm amused by how many people's response to this was "Dammit, I don't paint this period... Quick! To Wargames Foundry!"

  14. I'm glad this round was included as I've needed to get back into my Victorian painting. Looks like a few others have too, some great stuff on display.

  15. Some very interesting interpretations of a Victorian theme indeed!

    Great painting.


  16. Briliant stuff indeed and a hard choice for the vote.

  17. Great stuff and great painting all around voting will be very hard. Some of us stretched things a bit (I count my self in that group) but that is part of the fun of these bonus themes. If I had only one vote the man on bike would get it hands down, Great work Brian.

  18. More great entries from everyone!

  19. Why are you making is so hard to make a choice? But I did vote! So good luck to all who joined!


  20. Votes cast although it wasn't easy to do so. Good luck to everyone who submitted a piece for the Victorian period bonus round.

    Cheers, Ross

  21. Aha, brilliant all round - fine interpretations and even finer painting.

    I am saddened that I had nothing to offer from a painting box and lead pile stacked high with suitable miniatures. Alas!

    1. I was waiting something really Victorian from you. Phil!