Sunday, February 19, 2017

'West' from GregB: West German Marder IFV in 15mm

Marder IFV in 1/100 scale from Battlefront's "Team Yankee" range

I had high hope for this bonus round, but it was not to be this week.  Work, life etc.  So for the "West" theme round I binned my pretension to instead offer a single 15mm vehicle, a Marder infantry fighting vehicle from the West German Army in 15mm, finished very late last night.  This is a model from Battlefront's super fun "Team Yankee" game of Cold-War-gone-hot rules.

Hipsters and pedants constantly point out how "Team Yankee" is more appropriate for 6mm size figures, given the scale and range of the weapons involved in this (thankfully imaginary) conflict. And they are absolutely correct. But it doesn't change the fact that our crew in Winnipeg has had a hell of a lot of fun playing "Team Yankee" over the past few months.  The models coming out of Battlefront have been, for the most part, excellent, an incredibly complete range of figures.  And this from a guy who absolutely despises plastic models...

Count on the West Germans to have a sexy-looking IFV for their that 20mm cannon looks vicious...
The Marder is no exception, an excellent plastic kit.  You can model it with the Milan AT missile mounted on the turret, but I passed on that, preferring to have the missile teams dismount with the infantry to battle on the table.

Panzr grenadier section ready to hold back the red hordes...
In theory there would be three of these vehicles for each Panzer Grenadier platoon...but this one will have to do for now for the theme submission, while the balance of the company awaits for logistical issues to sort themselves out (meaning they will be finished post-Challenge, if at all).  Thanks everyone! And special note to Nick - you need to get started on Bundeswehr stuff - can't wait to see your brush skillz on these things! 

'West' from AdamC: Soixante-Quinze Artillery on the Western Front

I am slowly working on Great war army.  I'm planning on it being a US force but I had picked up these French artillery pieces as support units.  Most US formation had their own artillery but during the spring offensive of 1918 allied units were often put into the line on an ad hoc basis.  These will make excellent supports for my Flames of War Great war army when and if it ever sees the field.

I had to mix my own version of Horizon Blue as nothing in my paint kit looked quite right. I wanted to make the bases look like the muddy Western Front of the popular imagination and I am very pleased with how they came out.

The caisson are supposed to go on the accrual base but that seemed to crowed to my eyes so did them on separate based.

Points wise there are ten men and two guns for 28 points.  I don't know if the caissons should count separately or as part of the guns I leave that to the Snow Lords judgement.

Now its time for a drink to celibate the completion of his project

'West' from AlanD: The Régiment de la Reine

In the East bonus round, I offered a group of French and Hessian soldiers, far to the East of their homelands in the Retreat from Moscow in 1812. For the West round, we have more Frenchmen far from home. These are the great-grandfathers of the soldiers of 1812, fighting in North America in the 1750s.

A battalion of the Régiment de la Reine was one of a number of regular French units sent to Canada during the French Indian Wars (of Seven Years War) to help protect French interests their. The unit fought with considerable distinction, finally falling prey more to lack of replacements and supply than any inherent inferiority to their British enemies.

These figures are all from Conquest Miniatures/Warlord Games, and are part of the extended arms race currently developing between Paul O'G and me, as we each seek to outmanouevre the other in the cutthroat world of Sharp Practice 2. Witness the Indian warband he added to his Challenge output this week. My French regulars are still awaiting further reinforcements, ironically from their depot in Nottingham, but these 18 should give me 90 points.

'West' from AlexS: Jester

Each theme is offered Curt a certain intellectual and associative challenge. When I thought about picking up and the miniature for the theme of "the West", then I went through a lot of options. In the end I settled on a miniature a jester.

Why? Because for me, "West" - is Europe, European culture and literature, and in particular, the idea of a medieval carnival and a book that embodies the culture of fun and mixing the high and low - "Gargantua and Pantagruel". So I decided to use the classic the miniature a jester, to show respect to the Western carnival culture. I decided to use some non-standard color scheme, working only with the color red, to bring to the next the miniature image that I associate with Western cultural - Mephistopheles.

'West' from Barks: Western Front Tanks

There are so many things iconic to the Western Front- one is the distinctive lozenge shape of the Mark IV tank. These are the 15mm versions by PSC, and they are lovely. Single piece, preassembled, with precisely sculpted lines and rivets.
The Mamas and the Papas

The Female version carries twin Lewis guns in each sponson.

The Male version has a 6pdr and a Lewis gun, and a deeper sponson (and a deeper voice).

But wait, there's more! Here's another tank which I have difficulty working out which is the front and which is the back, the Whippet (the front has the stripes).
Whippet good

And yet more! There were only twenty A7Vs produced,  the native German tank (see my Armour entry here), so the Germans supplemented with looted Mark IVs, AKA Beutepanzers ('booty panzer').
Shake that beute
I used Vallejo Decal Fix and Decal Medium over gloss to get the crosses to settle over the rivets, then a generous coating of Army Painter Antishine. Then I hid it all behind mud.

That makes eleven 15mm tanks! I struggle with painting vehicles, so I am very happy with this output.
With the A7Vs

The mud is Vallejo Dark Earth paste, drybrushed with US Tan Earth.

If I was really keen, I'd like to add some stowage to the British tanks to break up the uniformity a bit, as well as some nicknames (which would also help identify the Male and Female e.g. Alf Bert Cedric Doris Ethel Flora).

I really hope that PSC comes out with those wonderful French AFVs. These early tanks, with their asymmetry and lack of turrets, are really characterful.

'West' from ByronM: Chinese Rail Workers

For this weeks "West" theme entry, I had a bunch of choices to work from.  I had actually planned on doing some cowboys, but then thought of these other figures that I had kicking around that I have been meaning to get to for the last 2 years, and they fit perfectly! After all what would the Old West be without a group of Chinese Rail Workers!

To me these fit the west theme in two big ways.  Firstly, if you take west as "Old West" then a common site in the old west was Chinese labourers.  Secondly, being in North America, China is west of us.

The figures here are all from Wyrd miniatures and are some of their lovely plastics.  While Malifaux figures are 32mm heroic scale (much like GW figures, even though they still say they are 28mm), they are made much differently than GW figures as they are far more realistically sculpted and proportioned. My wife looked at these figures and immediately commented that they look far more "real" than most of the stuff I paint.

I started these figures by airbrushing all the skin, using several different thin layers of colours made to a glaze consistency.  To try and get a Chinese skin tone (which is actually quite varied from pretty dark skinned almost olive middle eastern'ish to almost a Caucasian skin tone) I started with some orange brown / camo orange brown mix, then worked in some sunny skin tone, and then some basic skin tone for highlights.  I then used flat brown and red black mixed into the above to do shadow areas.  Lastly I used the shadow colours to paint in with a brush the harder shadows and facial details.  The pictures show them a little paler than they really are due to lighting and white balance, in real life they are a bit darker and have a little more orange to the skin tone.

After all the flesh I started working on the clothing.  I tried to keep everything fairly muted, mixing in a khaki colour to everything to mute it down.  The only exception being the bruisers pants as I figure that someone that big and strong, gets paid a little extra and can afford newer and better cloths.

After the clothing I went on to all the little details, including the mechanical additions to the rail workers.  I painted these all in metallics and then washed them a few times to darken them down. I then went back to the skin around these areas and added in some blues, purples, and reds to make the area look inflamed and recently replaced.  Painting the red last, made it mainly show red though, especially in the photos, but there are little hints of other shades in there as well if you look closely.

After everything was done on the figures, it was time to work on the bases.  As rail workers (and probably more importantly, immigrants) the Chinese typically got the most dangerous jobs, so I imagined these guys as workers in a tunnel blasting their way through a mountain.  With that in mind, I kept the bases very simple with just sand glued in and then painted black and highlighted a few different greys.  Then to add some colour back in I added some bricks laying around, my thinking being they would have been used to build retaining walls or supports and been kicking around.  I know, lots of assumptions here, but having a story helps my painting process and decision making (and justification).

The one exception to the bases, is the base for the factions leader.  She comes sculpted jumping over a wood barricade or on top of an exploding pile of wood whichever you choose to imagine it as.  I looked at taking her off of it, but she just didn't look the same, so I left it in.

Once the bases were painted, I then moved onto adding in some weathering powders to add even more colour around the bricks (using red and orange powders) and to dull down some clothing.  I used blacks and dark brown powders to accomplish that, and then decided that the figures were still too clean, so went back and added some black powder all over the figures especially their skin.

Overall I am very happy with how these figures came out and they give me another crew to play in Malifaux.  I had tried to finish the rail golem that can be added to the faction, but had some issues with getting the glow effects painted, so rather than rush it for the entry I am going to take some more time on him and post him later.

'West' from ChristopherS: Abraham Lincoln Brigade

Many Americans living in the west were not content to sit idle and watch events unfold in Spain and so elected to join in the fighting with most ending up in what's now called the Abraham Lincoln brigade which supported the Republicans although some Americans also joined the Nationalists they were fewer in number.The Abraham Lincoln Brigade was composed of battalions from the 17th and later the 58th Lincoln battalions which were largely made up of American volunteers who were part of the International brigades( Foreign fighters in Spain) fighting on behalf of the Spanish Republican Government vs the Rebel Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39.

The battalion while commonly called the Lincoln Brigade was actually made up of  the Lincoln battalion initially, and later was joined by the George Washington Battalion, Canadian MacKenzie-Papineau Battalions, some Irish, Latins and eventually a small amount of Spanish. The Lincoln battalion was formed in January 1937 of highly motivated recruits and after less then two months training were thrown into action with a rifle and some bullets and used primarily as assault troops. Obviously this lead to the battalion having very high casualty rates indeed losing some 22.5% of it's strength by the end of the war.

In 1937 the Lincoln Brigade participated in the battle of Jarama losing 2/3 of it's number including it's commander in fruitless assaults. After a short reconstitution the battalion then moved on to the offensive at Brunete where it was joined by the Washington battalion and secured the town of Villanueva de la Cañada after a hard fight before attacking "Mosquito Ridge," in series of grinding assaults that failed to remove the Nationalists. The casualties were very high including the loss of another commander resulting in the two battalions being joined together. The brigade then saw action again in the Aragon offensive fighting well and were later joined by Macenzie-Papineau Battalions for the fighting at Fuentes de Ebro again receiving high casualties in leading the action at the front. After Fuentes de Ebro the exhausted brigade was given a rest. In December the brigade fought in the battles around Teruel both fighting defensive and offensive engagements to dislodge the Nationalists before ending in a stalemate.

1938 could best be described as a disaster as the brigade was caught up in what became known as "The retreats" which was basically a series of delaying and holding actions as Nationalists forces cut the Republic in two. The brigade was dispersed and reformed repeatedly during the retreats losing it's two highest ranking officers before finally consolidating at the Ebro river. The brigade then participated in the Ebro offensive which eventually stalled out after the Nationalists regrouped halting the offensive in it's tracks. At this point the International brigades were withdrawn from the conflict by prime minister Negrin in the vain hope that Franco's Nationalists would do the same with his German and Italian troops which they of course did not as they had the advantage at this point.

The brigade included 3,015 volunteers over the course of the war made up mostly of Americans and included some Canadians and small amount of Latins and Irish. Because the Americans were an independent bunch that preferred to vote on things rather then dogmatically follow orders so they eventually included Spanish troops and commissars both for communications and to insure loyalty to the government on their terms. The brigade was mostly white, but did include some African Americans making them the first American integrated combat unit. They were also mostly communists/socialists and ardent anti-fascists, but did include some who joined just for adventure or to escape a bad life back home.

The figures are of course from the excellent Empress miniatures SCW line and are 28mm. The very nice flag is from Flags of War. I painted the figures using mostly Vallejo paints, but did include some Foundry paints. They are organized for Bolt Action with a Captain/Lt. and two guards and Standard bearer and his two guards, but they can also be used with Chain of Command as well.

I still have more SCW on my near to do list to try and keep competitive in the SCW side challenge with Curt, Nick and Phil plus I'm starting to get close to a battle worthy force which is always nice!:-) I have a some more Republicans in the pipeline, but will be tackling some Nationalists pretty soon as well.

Thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company- Empress

'West' from DaveD: Viva Zapata!

When I saw the West bonus round I though I would have a couple of things I could do for it. I decided on this one when I opened my Xmas presents and found another wonderful 54mm casting by Andrea miniatures of an Old West era Mexican.

As a number of you will know I have a collection of these 54mm cowboys by Andrea Miniatures from Spain. They are great to paint. This one had such a dynamic pose too. I challenged myself getting some facial hair and 5 o clock shadow on as well. I even had to resort to the magnifying headset to paint the bottle label.

Emiliano Zapata Salazar was a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution, the main leader of the peasant revolution - so Viva Zapata!