Sunday, December 28, 2014

'Rider(s) & Mount(s)' - The Second Theme Round of the 5th AHPC


This is my entry for the mounts and riders bonus round.  These are six 28mm Haradrim from Games Workshop, for Lord of the Rings.  They are led by Suladan the Serpent Lord.  Suladan was killed by Eomer on the Pelenor.

There are two Serpent Riders.  These are Suladan’s personal guard and are medium cavalry in the game.  I have five of these models but only got the two painted in this batch.  Perhaps their three brethren will get finished before the end of the challenge.

The last three are Haradrim Raiders.  These are the Haradrim’s light horse.  While not a match for Rohirrim they are plenty nasty and add a nice punch to a Haradrim army.

Here’s a shot with two infantry.  They were painted a couple of years ago but are here to show the continuity.  I keep detailed painting notes so that I can reproduce my paintjobs after a couple of years (or months, the brain’s not what it used to be).


These are 4 highland horse men from Old Glory's Jacobite line.  I decided to do up two Wolf Hounds from Xyston Miniatures.  I base them individually so they can be used in skirmish games as well as larger battles.  

Most likely these will appear as part of my Imagi-nation The Grand Duchy of D'Argent contingent of Jacobite exiles.  They might also be used as part of a force in '45 rebellion scenarios.  

I did the dogs with them so they could be used in skirmish scenarios where they are hunting cattle thieves or other disreputable sorts. 

I am naming this Imagi-nation unit Campbell's Troop of Horse after an old reenactor friend (not in an effort to curry favor with the judge of the Challenge).


Dinotruppen Los!

Still scarred by memories from last year involving giant spiders, I set out for this round to find the most preposterous mounted figure I could that was still anchored in some sort of recognisably historical setting. Fortunately Eureka Miniatures came to my aid with their beautiful Dinotruppen from their Pulpitations range. These are really splendid figures if this sort of thing is your cup of tea or pint of vodka. The only alteration I made to the figure was to add a number plate, as it struck me that that is exactly the sort of lunatic thing the Nazis would have done if they indeed had dinosaurs.

I was speculating about what possible use Dinosaur mounted troops could really be, and realised that dinosaurs with a penchant for carrion would probably be an ideal anti-zombie weapon. Hence the background for this scene.

Here an officer from an Aufklaerungsaurus Battalion in 1943 is scouting an advance along a road in Soviet Russia. The warning sign suggests that Soviet zombies (Totestruppen) are in the vicinity. As a member of an Aufklaerungsaurus unit, the officer has retained his yelow cavalry Waffenfarbe. He would really rather be in an armoured car, but the madmen in Berlin are only supplying dinosaurs these days. He is hoping to find some Soviet zombies soon to refuel his vehicle.


This is a 28mm Marine Scout Dinosaur Rider from VOID. 


Six 28mm Plastic Knights by Perry Miniatures. 

I did not do these figures justice with my photography. I tried outside and I think next time artificial light will be better but sometimes we rush these things due to a deadline. These are a part of an ongoing project for a War of the Roses type of force but probably more fantasy based than reality. 

It’s a great box to build and it comes with 12 in total so hopefully by the end of the challenge I will have the remainders complete. In excellent news for 2015 they will be releasing a set of light horsemen for the same period.


For the second round I've decided to get back to my roots so to speak. For the past couple of years my main if sporadic hobby project has been collecting miniatures in 15mm for a VSF/ Steampunk setting. This has recently got a boost in the recently released All Quiet on the Martian Front. For this entry I decided to do a troop of Union Horseless Calvary and their Adams class sternwheeler.

The Calvary are the new US Armored Infantry from All Quiet. These are nice sculpts with a lot of gear on them for their breathing apparatus and armored plates. I decided to paint a couple of them in the classic army dark blue coat and sky blue trousers to break up the colors. 

Since I figured they wouldn't want to spend their time walking in all of that heavy gear they might hitch a ride on a land ironclad. I modified a couple to look like they are still dismounting.

The ironclad itself is actually a 28mm tankette from RAFM. I bulked out the bottom with some plasticard and added some extra details like tow hooks and makeshift grabrails on the back.

The background is building and scenery have been pulled out of my collection to set the scene. 

I put them all together dismounting to investigate an abandoned homestead on the edge of the Disputed Territories. Perhaps whatever has poisoned the air in this area is still around and these troopers  have been ordered to find out. 


Reading through all the theme round topics offered, I think this was the easiest for me to make a pick. When I started painting napoleonics a couple of years ago, it be pace apparent to me that the one thing that would never be missing there was a wide range of spectacular cavalry and officers. One of my favourite sets from the moment I saw it was Perry Miniatures rendition of Marechal Michel Ney based on the Waterloo panorama at Waterloo. 

What I really love about this set is all the dynamic and drive in the miniatures. Most napoleonic higher command miniatures are quite regal, watching the action from afar, but these look like they are in the heat of it (like Ney and his ADCs were that day)! And the last thing that always appealed to me is, that they are French officers, so there are is lots of gold and silver fabric in their uniforms and saddlecloths and therefore lots of opportunities for NMM gold and silver, which I have really started to like since I started with Napoleonics!

On a general note: in the past I have often had mixed feelings when it came to the Perry Miniatures casting quality. In this case I was really happy. Except for a bad mould line running over chef d'escadron Levavaseurs face, these minis were really perfect! 

But I felt there was something missing in the set. If you look at the painting itself, one can see, that there is not just Ney, Colonel Heymes and Levavasseur riding close together, but another officer, too. It is hard to tell from the painting but his uniform looks lighter in colour, so I assumed it was not one of the other two Colonels acting as Neys ADCs that day, but possible someone of lower rank. So I chose a miniature from one of the Perry's ADC sets and painted him up as an imperial orderly.


This figure is a limited edition Studio McVey resin called Lisbeth.  She is in no way a game piece and I just picked it up as I really liked the look of the figure and it was something different to paint. The resin itself was stunning, almost no flash, no cleaning, and perfect detail.

While there is no back story for the figure, not being for any specific game, to me she screams future cyber / skate punk.  I picture her being a futuristic hacker fleeing from the authorities on her hover board.  She has stolen the top secret data from the evil monolithic corporation and is now trying to make her escape.  

While I had / have more planned for her, I severely overestimated the time I would have over the holidays to get her finished.  Therefore, while certainly a complete piece as she stands, I think I will go back at a later date and add some OSL (Object Source Lighting) from the engines under the board, some graphite to the rubble on the base, and probably some chipping and weathering to the board as well.  

Regardless, I hope you enjoy my vision of a futuristic cyberpunk riding her jet board.


So this round is a natural fit for my current painting plans. So here we have a couple of Mounted commanders for the Imperial forces.

I have taken the opportunity to complete one in the more traditional British Scarlet tunic to provide a bit of colour – both are Connoisseur miniatures – not entirely sure about the horses as they have been in the lead pile so long!  The infantry are just for effect – don’t panic..


Around this time last year I finally fulfilled a long-simmering ambition to make use of a certain online genealogy website to do some family history research. Imagine my surprise as I traced my paternal line, the Larkins family, and found out that my direct patrilineal ancestor came over from Ireland as far back as the early 1700s!

Even more of a surprise was that his son, James, served with distinction through nearly the entire course of the American War of Independence, from Brandywine and Valley Forge all the way through to Yorktown, where he received a near-fatal injury that put him out of the war for good.

James served with the 4th Continental Light Dragoons, one of the few cavalry units in Washington's army. After the war, he returned to civilian life and worked as a tailor until failing eyesight obliged him to apply for a veteran's pension, which he received (and is the reason we know all these details about his life). He named his first-born son (my great-great-great-etc.-uncle - I'm descended from his second-born son) Washington. He was a Patriot through and through.

All of this information came as total news to me and my family; somehow, somewhere along the way, the fact that our ancestor had served with distinction in the American Revolution had become lost to history. So naturally I wanted to do something to memorialize this finding, and just as naturally I turned to the world of miniatures.

I decided to go for 40mm, a scale I've never done before. The figure is from Miniature Service Center's range of 40mm "Trident Design" AWI figures. The figure required a bit of work to get it ready to paint, particularly when it came to the horse. Lots of filling and supplemental green-stuff work.

I've painted the figure of "James" as he might have appeared towards the end of the war, in the early fall of 1781. By this point he was a sergeant in the regiment, though I couldn't find any information regarding insignia of rank in the 4th CLD, so I didn't include any.

I'm quite happy with how the figure turned out, and it should make a nice little display piece for my office. Chalk up 10 points for the 40mm mounted figure and I'm off to the next thing!


I painted up these Foundry Cowboys for my son and daughter who love going at each other in gunfights.

Both of them love shotguns so they each picked a figure that had a dismounted version with... yes a shotgun. My daughter loves white horses so I had no choice but to comply. My son is lower maintenance so I had my own way.

These are the first Foundry I have painted and found them chunky but interesting. Good job as I have quite a few more to do thanks to Dave D who supplied me with a load f cowboys at a really good price.


When I first read the descriptive for this round, "mounts and rider" I immediately decided there would be no way I would submit a boring horse and rider! I'm knee deep in Oldhammer at the moment, so obviously It would have to be a hero mounted on some kind of exotic monster! I settled quickly on my choice; the "MM43 Chaos Champion on War Griffon", a classic Marauder Miniatures multi-part kit released in 1990. I was, and still am, a big fan of Marauder Miniatures, and this piece is no exception. I will admit it doesn't really fit in the rest of the Realm of Chaos range, it seems almost too clean, but it was one of those figure I wanted so bad as a kid. It took me some time to find one at a decent price, in fact I found it barely two months ago, and the one I got was still in its original blister. And yes, I did what some may consider heresy and opened it and painted it! I'm a collector, but dammit miniatures are meant to be painted and loved and played with! The assembling went better than anticipated (heavy wings are a serious pain to glue!) although those early pieces are always tricky.

You rarely see it painted, in fact I've only seen three painted examples, and that's including the one painted in 1990 for the White Dwarf advert. I painted the Champion's armour a bright colour, in this case green, which is something you would often see in the golden days of Warhammer (85-92). The Griffon I painted a bright palette, too, mostly of white, green and red. Not very evil, maybe, but the early Warhammer Chaos colours were all over the place and that's something I loved. Bad guys don't always have to wear black! I worked like a madman all saturday to finish him in time, fighting a persistent flu as well as time but there was no way in hell I would miss the dealine! I'm really happy with the way he's come up, even though I find the photography don't do justice to the red wings. I just need to find him a proper name and he'll be ready to lead my mighty horde of Chaos in death and destruction.


This is a 28mm American officer on horse for the American War of Independence. The figure is from Perry Miniatures. We played a game of Muskets and Tomahawks a couple of weeks ago and I did.t have an officer to accompany my troops. So here it is. Also useful for new Black Powder rules Rebellion!



I only have a small theme entry, three men and their mounts.  I would have more, but ran out of Vallejo Prussian Blue paint.  There will be seven more in the future.  

They are from the 4th Regiment of the 4th Silesian Landweher Cavalry.  They are wearing frumpy schirmutz caps instead of proper shakos.

Their color scheme is the result of extensive research. I spent at least four minutes stealing the colors from the terrific "Blunders on the Danube" blog.   Peter's blog is a great source of miniature goodness.

You can see in the close-up, I have my first attempt at adding horse biscuits to the bases.  The first experimental dung is a 50/50% mixture of Milliput and Woodland Scenics static grass.  I think I will have to adjust the recipe and make future poops at a smaller scale.  40mm heroic scale doo doos might really hurt coming out of a 25mm Old Glory horsey.

I've included a picture comparing them to other Prussian cavalry, left to right: Perry, Wargames Foundry, Old Glory...


40k Chaos Space Marines bikers/centaurs

I spend more than I probably should on this hobby. I'm sure we all have stories about that.... But sometimes I do refuse to pay for some figures given their cost. And I really enjoy converting figures. Sometimes these two things go together perfectly.

40k chaos marine bikers were one of those things that I baulked at. I think they were £8 each or something and I didn't fancy £80 on a unit of ten. So I went looking for other options for unusual conversions.

After much perusal, I chose the warhammer fantasy Chaos Marauder horsemen as my base as I really rather liked the look of them. And then added another three "bikers" using fantasy battle empire knight horses as I had three of them lying around from another project that didn't get anywhere a long time ago.

I then took the torsos from the chaos space marines from the Dark Vengeance starter set and a bit of chopping, sticking, stealing bits from other kits and green stuffing later, I had my centaurs.

They're from the Word Bearers chapter, who are religious nut jobs. Plenty of books, scrolls, skulls (it is 40k after all) and the chapter symbol where possible and the typical deep red and silver paint scheme. 

The leader gets a lightning claw and the troops get a couple of plasma guns. I figured the leader and the plasma gunners could get the extra armour from the empire horses as they're more likely to use it.....


For my MOUNTED Bonus entry, I have gone with some Dark Ages British Cavalry from the Old North. The Raiders supplement for Dux Britanniarum ruleset allows a British Lord from the Old North: Gwŷr y Gogledd (Men of the North in Brittonic), to field a 4 man shock cavalry unit as an substitution for either a 6 man elite or warrior foot unit.

These figures are from Gripping Beast. I have kept with the basic red/white colour of my British warband. I find it very hard to abandon this scheme as I really like how it looks. The casting is a little rough, but generally they are quite nice figures. I believe they are from the Arthurian cavalry range. Please excuse my poor attempts at free hand shields!

I am hoping that I am close to being done for the Dark Ages (famous last words of course), I have 8 more elite foot figures to do and if lucky they will be done for next week's submission.


Here is a 28mm ACW US Infantry Colonel from the famed Iron Brigade. This is a very nice miniature from FG MiniZ Forgotten & Glorious Company of Art

I have a full Regiment of Infantry and a pair of Command models ready to be painted, and the figures are fantastic, with a lot of detail and a great level of sculpt; very, very fine.

Happy New Year!!!


In last year's Challenge, I did Sergeant Preston for "Favourite Character."

So, for this year's "Mounted" Fortnight Challenge, I decided to do Sergeant Preston and Rex, his horse. As some of you will no doubt recognize, this is from the Pulp Figures "Sgt. Preston" pack. (Observant folks out there, will notice the 'dismounted' figure in this pack, is NOT the one I painted last year - but I think the figure I did paint as "Sergeant Preston" makes a better Sergeant Preston.)

I found this old puzzle box art, which was really handy, and I was planning to paint the horse Chestnut! (...Oops!)

Pretty straight forward painting on this figure - just match up with last year's figure, and the puzzle box art.

Lastly, a shot of last year's figure with this year's Mounted version.

Oh, and I put away the photo booth for the time being. I found a couple of decent swing-arm desk lamps at "Wally-mart" and some good old, Incandescent bulbs to light up the scene! In my mind at least, they look much better than my previous pics this year. I'll need to get some tissue paper to cover the lamps for better diffusion, and I might still need a third lamp for "fill" light from the camera area, but I'm much happier with how these shots turned out - and pretty minimal Photoshopping to get them ready!


My next entry for the second bonus theme (Riders and Mounts), is a small troop of 28mm German WW1 Uhlans from Great War Miniatures.

There are six more figures on the way, to make a troop of 12; but simply I ran out of time to finish them for today’s deadline.

These chaps are from one of the Saxon Uhlan regiments, so can be used for early war on the Western Front, or throughout the war on the more fluid and open Eastern Front (a number of the Saxon Regiment were pulled out of France, and sent to participate on the Battle of the Mazurian lakes in 1914). Most other Uhlans in the west were dismounted and fought as infantry from 1915 onwards. 

As with all my WW1 figures,, these will be used for the TFL skirmish rules “Through the Mud and the Blood,” especially for the new Eastern Front supplement.


Napoleonic Austrian Generals from Perry Miniatures.


After seeing so many LotR entries I dug out my box for old Citadel figures that I bought in the 1980’s. They have lain unloved for over 15 years in the back of the cupboard and have greatly reduced in number due to various house moves.

I bought this chariot in about 1987 and painted it up. Since then it has been broken back up and ignored, in fact I forgot I had it.

I removed all the Evo-Stik glue, reprimed it and repainted it with a lot of dry brushing. The goblin is painted using Vallejo German Camo Bright Green and all the skulls have been flesh washed.

The banner frame is made from the yoke of another chariot I had from an unknown supplier that was pretty crap and I had reused the wheels elsewhere. The chariot is trailing 3 heads from a box of Macedonian pikemen, attached by chains that I found in the street pre rusted. The torso on the front of another long forgotten figure of a skeleton.

Enjoyed painting this figure and have found a few more similar types to paint if I need a break from ACW.


At the moment I'm listening to Ulf Schiewes excellent Montalban Trilogy (unfortunately there seems to be no English edition) while painting. The novels are set in 12th century southern France and Outremer (modern day Israel and Palestine) with a definite focal point on the Crusades and tell the story of a fictitious Montalban family vassals to the masters of Tolosa. Thus inspired it should be little surprise I wanted to pick up the cross and fight the infidels for this submission.

The figure is by Gripping Beast and meant to represent William the Bastard, conqueror of England but for me it's Monieur Jaufré de Montalba, the main protagonist in the first novel "Der Bastard von Tolosa". It's a nice sulpt unlike many others from Gripping Beast, but maybe a little on the larger side of 28mm. The casting was crisp with little in regard of mould lines. Especially it's horse is a great little figure and highly animated.

The figure was fun to paint and even the horse was a joy, well... almost(!). The only thing that brought me headaches was the paint not sticking to the darn figure. Before painting I've washed it in hot, soapy water and even put it in my ultrasonic cleaner. Then I've airbrushed it with Vallejos Black surface primer and left it to dry for two days and still the paint came off even when looking at the model. In the end I gave it to coats of gloss varnish and it seems like this finally worked.

Normally the Montalban family has a red boar on a green field as its heraldry but I decided to go with a more christian motive and went for a red cross on a white field which I found pretty striking at the time I painted it. It was my first handpainted shield in years as I normally put my trust in the excellent Little Big Men line of Decal sheets, but there was simply no time for getting hold of a set before the deadline. Afterwards the shield reminds me a bit too much of the Templars but now he's done and also some of his hangers on were given these colours, so no turning back I guess.


Having made the decision not to purchase any additional miniatures for the Challenge, this round afforded me the opportunity to get to grips with a group of 'Redoubt Enterprises' English Civil War Cavalrymen that I had earmarked for my 'Witchfinder General' project.  

Although a myriad of possibilities presented themselves, with regards to uniform colours, I found it difficult to dislodge the striking red attire or Ian Ogilvy's character, Richard Marshall and his troop of Roundheads in the Witchfinder General film of 1968.  Of course the wonderful thing about this project is that although based in a historical period it is, of course, totally fictitious allowing me to mix and match units, troops and in this case sides with both Roundhead and Cavalier heads on show.

This was also a wonderful opportunity to fire up my new shiny airbrush, with the bases and horseflesh taking no time at all.  This is a great boon to me as it is exactly these areas that I least enjoy.  I will often sit and procrastinate, something I excel at, instead of just wading in and getting them done, but no more!  Now with the flick of a switch they are all but done and I'm looking forward to trying some blending techniques with the airbrush later on in the challenge.

Having done a such basic job with the mounts and saddlery, it seemed only fair to lavish a bit more attention on the riders themselves with the splendid Redoubt sculpts affording plenty of opportunities to pick out the details.  Yes the sculpts are perhaps a little basic by today's standards, but as a result they are easier to clean up and ultimately more rewarding to bring to life.  There have a definite quality to them and are so reassuringly weighty.

Hopefully these six 28mm English Civil War Cavalrymen and their mounts will earn me some much needed points towards my seemingly unassailable tally, kickstarting the New Year drive towards the finish line.

With my very best wishes, Michael


Below is my submission for the Mounts and Riders fortnight challenge - A Tunisian Tiger being ridden by veteran tankers of the DAK.

The model is a 28mm plastic kit from Rubicon and one can build either an early, mid or late war version of the famed Tiger tank. Since this tank will be in my DAK force, I went with the Early version. Well it’s almost the early version - I had to switch out the commanders hatch for a the mid/late war version and my early war one broke off and fell into my hobby Hotel California - you know - where small parts can check in but never leave….

The crewmen are Perry metals from their developing DAK line.

The Tiger model is better than the Panzer III’s from my earlier submission in that all the deck details have a bit higher profile and are much easier to paint.

Painting this kit went through my standard method with one new addition:

(1) prime with grey auto primer
(2) a few costs of Iraqi Sand
(3) pick out the detail parts / paint crewman
(4) dry brush with rust
(5) wash with diluted brown wash from Vallejo 

and the new step:
(6) a quick dry brush with stone Grey

I may need to add some more dry brushed stone grey but it really does make the tank look better - thanks very much for the tip! I’ll be dry brushing all of my other DAK vehicles the same way.


I wanted to do something a bit different for the Mounts & Riders Bonus Round and turn my hand to something in the way of a historical vignette.

That being the case I dug out some 28mm ECW cavalry figures from Renegade and Bicorne, many of which are "extras" in the dragoon command packs of the latter. The troop types are a mix of dragoons and other horse as I didn't have enough of any one thing.

Paint-wise I have deliberately used a mix of blue and red uniform and saddle colours so these could pass for a number of my regiments on the table. Like all my ECW there are far too many variations of brown and grey to see clearly in photos but the effort is there... :-)

I've assembled them as if they are getting ready for battle after a night's encampment. I've made up one larger and two smaller bases so they can form a single large vignette or be split up for other uses. By rotating just one of the smaller bases through 90 degrees you can totally change the dynamic of the scene. I think it works pretty well...


I wanted to have the full unit of 6 done for today, but a varnish disaster earlier this week, combined with Christmas festivities has put me even further behind schedule than planned. This mounted warrior is the first of the wonderful Perry plastics that are being constructed for a Lion Rampant/War of the Roses project. 

The first of two forces is Richard Woodville, the first Earl Rivers. The green, to me, feels too bright and slightly comical, but I’m assured by the colour guide I have that it is accurate. Even my wife assures me that it would have been possible to get something that bright back then, so who am I to argue. 


The 1976 F1 Winners
Having given my competition a three week head start, I am finally making my first submission to the AHPCV.  For the mounts and riders bonus round, I submit a set of 6 representing the six winning car and driver combinations from the 1976 Formula One World Championship.  This was a very dramatic season, so dramatic that they made the movie Rush based on it.  We have
  • Niki Lauda Ferrari 312t2
  • James Hunt McLaren M23
  • Mario Andretti Lotus 77
  • Jody Scheckter Tyrrell P34
  • Ronnie Peterson March 761
  • John Watson Penske PC4
The inspiration
The models are about 1:200 scale and came from Shapeways, a site that produces models with a high quality 3D printer for various designers.  There's lots of cool stuff so go check Shapeways out.  These are designed to work with board game Formula De and indeed we used them in our weekly game at Curt's last night.

I based the models on artist board and then primed them in flat black before painting in my normal artists acrylics.  I used Acrylic Glossy Medium on the bodywork to give them a shine.  I had lots of fun poking around and doing image searches to get the liveries right.  I tried to get the impression of numbers and sponsors' logos rather than exact copies given the small scale.

The first 4 cars (blood red Ferrari, Marlboro McLaren, JSP Lotus and 6 wheeled Tyrrell) are iconic and are driven by world champions from 1975-9, but the last two are more obscure.

Penske was pretty dominant in Indy Cars in the 70s and 80s but were pretty much a bust in Formula 1.  Wattie did given them a single victory in 1976 their last year in F1.  Watson himself kept in F1 til the early 80s and had a  number of victories including a couple from way down the grid (like 22nd fastest), making him my inspiration for this year's challenge.  The Penske is in Red White and Blue.

March built fast but brittle cars and ran on a show string, for works teams and privateers (including Tyrrell, Williams and Penske).  (One of their founders was Max Mosely, son of the Oswald "Worst Britain of the 20th Century" Mosely and a Mitford sister).  Peterson broke in with them in 1970 and returned for the 1976 season.  The March livery was the biggest challenge as the cars used a series of sponsors and ran two different sets of colours at the same event.  Many photos show a bright orange livery used for Peterson's teammate Vittorrio "the Monza Gorilla) Brambilla, while Peterson's car used the same livery as Penske since they had a common shared sponsor.  In the end I found a blue and yellow livery used by the Swede, which seemed appropriate.


My second entry is for this week's second theme round: three more Baggara tribesmen to ride down the enemies of the Mahdi. These are the Perry Miniatures command pack and complete the Mahdi's cavalry for now. 

It was tight finishing these just before Christmas, which became a whirlwind of socialising and preparing. This means that they haven't been varnished or had their robes grubbied up at the hems. I'll get that done next time I have chance. The commander's dyed red beard was a gamble - I was going for a bit of a dandy look, an Emir grown wealthy from years of reaving. It doesn't work for me, so I'll repaint it grey. 

The banner is from Flag Dude. 

As large units offer a spectacle, I dug out their pre-challenge brethren. Not something the stalwart British and Egyptian lines would like to be on the end of! 


Just made this one in with the skin of my teeth, I had planned on some 15mm stuff for this round, nice and easy to paint up, then I found I didn't have any MDF bases to match them up with my other stuff!

So a quick trawl through the Pile O Lead and I pulled out this Reiver Castings figure, its a bit of a quick paintjob, but he'll do the trick for me!!! He'll be added to the slowly ever growing Donnybrook collection.


Prince Rupert and Boye

The first time I saw the film “Cromwell”, I was drawn towards the character of Prince Rupert, played by future Bond actor Timothy Dalton. The sight of the cavalry charge at Edgehill filled the 10 year old with the thrill of battle.

This bonus round caused a couple of re-thinks. My original ideas may well turn up as part of the Challenge, but I wanted to get away from Napoleonics for a while. I decided, therefore, to try my hand at Rupert and his faithful dog Boye.

Prince Rupert, Count Palatine of the Rhine was born in 1619. He was the nephew of King Charles I, cousin of King Charles II, and would become uncle to King George I. He learned his profession as a soldier during the Thirty Years War, and at the age of just 23, he was appointed Commander of the Royalist cavalry during the First English Civil War (1642-46).

A brave, but impetuous commander, Rupert’s reputation was somewhat sullied by his actions during the campaigns. He would be exiled from England following the surrender of Oxford to Parliamentary forces in 1646. He returned in 1660, and was appointed an Admiral in the Royal Navy. He died in 1682, and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

During his campaigns, Rupert was accompanied by his white hunting poodle, Boye. There are a number of contemporary prints showing the pair of them, including one depicting Boye’s death at the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644.

The figures are by Warlord Games from their Pike and Shotte range.


15mm Peter Pig Cowboy (the miniature features a head swap).


With the theme being Mount & Rider I decided to go for the more modern take at a Knight. With air combat being seen as more noble than the bloody grind of infantry and armored combat it's no wonder that pilots were sometimes called Knights of the Air. So to supplement my Flames of War forces I have two ground attack aircraft. One from the beginning of the war and one from the later times.

I was originally planning to paint up a larger scale Typhoon to support my 28mm WW2 troops, but alas the 1/72 kit proved to be an utter nightmare to put together as nothing fit and there were huge gaps everywhere. I was already close to skipping this challenge too, but then remembered I had two 15mm planes waiting for paint.

The Stuka is a Zvezda model and was a breeze to put together as it's basically a snap fit model. The P-47 or Flying Bathtub on the otherhand is a Revell Micro-Air kit that was plain horrible to put together. Considering that these are meant for beginners it has horrible amounts of flash and parts need quite a bit of work to fit together. It took me nearly an hour to get it into a workable condition. On the other hand their decals are of really high quality, so maybe there's something good in the kit too :) Quick paintjobs on both of them to finish them on Saturday evening and in time for the challenge. Nothing very spectacular, but good enough for gaming.


Dear Ladies and Gents, For this bonus round I'd like to take you back to one of my favourite Star Wars scenes of all times. While I like Empire Strikes Back most as film, the Speeder bike scenes from Return of the Jedi are so exhilarating and well shot that I couldn't let these bikes be left out of this bonus round. 

They are, of course, West End Games Star Wars miniatures of which I've obtained rather a lot in the past years. 

The pictures feature a Rebel rider followed by two scout troopers trying to catch him. 

Hope you like them!


For Mounts & Riders I had another group of figures that had stalled on the desk from when I first re-entered the hobby in 2012.

For the sake of brevity, I'll just say that the hobby conditions have been sub optimal at my in-laws. I'm practically painting by candle light.

The orcs are conversions from the 20mm plastic Dark Alliance set, before they came out with their warg rider ranges. The wolves are metal Ral Partha wolves sold by Ironwind Metals here in the US.

The Anglo-Saxon is from the Revell set and was a fun change of pace from the orcs.

The skull on the orc shields is my attempt at free hand. I'm not sure why I went so small. I liked my previous bonus theme entry much better, but these will do. I believe that the riders will give me 40 + 50 for the bonus round for a total of 90.

Now were talking.


I have manged to sneak in a completed Knight of Minas Tirith just in time for the Bonus theme round.

I had started a boxed set of 6 of these figure, but simply ran out of time to get them all done in time for this bonus round, with the approach of Xmas and all that focussed on getting at last one done in time, the rest will follow shortly...

The Knights of Minas Tirith, wounderfully seen and shot in the Lord of Rings, the Return of the King, when Faramir is charged by his father Denethor, the Steward of Minas Tirith, in retaking the city of Osgiliath.

Faramir leads a doomed charge of these fine mounted knights, resplendent in their plate armour, against the orc hordes occupying the captured city's ruins...

A cut scene sequence follows with Faramir's knights charge in slow-mo, and Denethor, unconceredly partakes of a light lunch as poor Pippin is commanded to sing at this mournful time... and what a doom laden song he sings...

A very moving piece of cinema, well crafted by PJ...

The model is a plastic 28mm scale figure from GW's LOTR range and was relatively straight forward to paint. The only tricky bit being to try and get the facial features correct inside the enclosed helmet... 

The horse is depicted plainly with none of the barding often associated with Medievel knights, whilst the rider wears plate armour, and carriers a lance with pennant, and large shield. Both of these depict the image of the White Tree of Gondor, as symbols of the kings of old, which in turn hark back to the very trees of the Valar in Aman; Telperion and Laurelin, which brought light to the newly formed lands of Middle-Earth (I've been re-reading the Silmarillion recently!)...


Warlord and Hearthguard for a Norman Saga warband

These seven Normans are the start for my Norman warband for Saga. The guy on the large round base shall serve as my warlord while the other six knights will be his loyal hearthguard.

The miniatures:
There are a lot of nice miniatures for the dark ages in general and suitable Normans specifically. But since I’m a great fan of the Perrys’ style of sculpting and their slender figures I decided to use their early crusaders for my warband. The warlord on the rearing horse is from the character pack while the knights are from two of their mounted crusaders packs.

As for the quality of the figures I wasn’t disappointed at all. They are exelently sculpted and cast. There was little flash to clean away and the usual mold line. Especially the shields are very nice because Alan and Michael made three different shape so you can mix them a bit to avoid a too uniform look.

The colours:
As usual I employed Vallejo Model Colours to paint the tiny fellows. Most of them is covered with chainmail which was done rather easily and quickly. For the other parts I tried to use different not too bold colours. For the shields I used transfers from Stephen Hales’ awesome Little Big Men Studios range.


Actually nothing special, only my usual mix of sand, gravel, static grass and modelling flowers. I chose the warlord’s base larger than the usual 25mm x 50mm because I wanted to have him stand out. Thus he is occupying a 50mm circular base.


Wurttemberg 2nd Chevaux Legere 1812 Front Rank 28mm


Here's my Mount and Rider. I had some troubles, because I don't like painting horses and I don't have many mounted figures anyway. I do have one Dark Elf Cold One Rider, but I'm not that interested in painting that either.

Then I remembered this old model I bought years ago. He was missing the weapon, so back in the days I ordered a new one from GW Mail Order. While waiting for the delivery I painted the other 6, which were complete and never painted the seventh one (which needed also the paint stripping). In the 3rd/4th edition WH40K the Hellions were said to be very fast, in my experience they were quite fast to leave the table... Before they got to close combat, they were shot to peaces. I also started playing with Space Marines, so this one warrior was not on my priorities gaming or painting wise.

He made a nice entry for this bonus entry thou, so I decided to paint him. During the years some of my paints have dried and the brand was discontinued, so I didn't have the proper color for the Hellglaive weapon, it turned a little bit too pink compared to others. He most likely will be the first casualty when receiving shooting and the back row choice when shooting photographs. Otherwise the colors are like years before, Runefang Steel is close to Mithril Silver and I still have some Blood Red and Red Ink to paint the bright hair.

Most people seem to paint their Dark Eldar quite dark, they are called Dark Eldar (by the Imperium) and they are considered to be evil and bad race, so dark colors are quite obvious choice. They are however hunting souls to survive and I don't think if any race (imaginary or not) can be considered as a good or bad anyway. These Dark Eldar Wyches which ride the Hellion skyboard and wear Hellglaive weapon are called Hellions and they are experienced gladiator style close combat specialists, who enhance their fighting abilities with combat drugs (notice the wide eyes ;)). Although they don't like to get killed, they are quite confident and try to horrify their enemies. Thus I have painted them all with bright colors, they are not hiding - they want their enemy know, that they are there and they are coming. The Dark Eldar Wych Cult of mine is called The Kabal of the Laughing Death, they laugh while they kill and they laugh to the Death himself.

…and Curt

'Tachanka' machine-gun wagons were first seen during the Great War on the Eastern Front, but they gained their fame during the Russian Civil War, being used by cavalry formations which fought in the very mobile campaigns in the Southern Russian and Ukrainian fronts.

A typical tachanka would be crewed by 3-4 men drawn by 2-4 horses with an armament of a rear-firing heavy machine-gun.

The Russian Civil war saw very little use of armoured vehicles and automobiles so the deployment of horse-drawn carts to carry heavy machine-guns was a natural tactic. These would often be used to set-up ambushes and then use their mobility to re-deploy or, if need, required, flee while providing covering fire. The Ukrainian anarchist commander Nestor Makhno made such heavy use of Tachankas that his army was often called 'a republic on tachanki'.

There are several opinions regarding the entomology of the name 'Tchanka'. I favour the one that believes that it is the Ukrainian diminutive of the Russian word tachka, meaning 'wheelbarrow'. Seems fitting.

Okay folks, thats it for this theme round. Please remember to take a bit of time to go to the sidebar on the right and vote for all your favourite entries. The top three will get bonus points and the most popular will get a prize from one of our generous prize sponsors.

Thanks for visiting!