Sunday, 18 March 2018

From JohnM: A Plunge into the Dark (210 points)

I have decided over the last couple of years to take the opportunity afforded by the AHPC to do something different. Last year saw my foray into a 6mm miniatures with a Blood Angels Epic army. This was quite novel for me as I had never painted any 6 mm models nor had been involved in anything to do with Fantasy wargaming. For this year's Challenge, an unusual series of events and observations sent me down a path I would have never predicted.

This past fall found me with far fewer wargaming opportunities than had previously been the case. What was I do? Through a Kickstarter a Boardgame had landed in my lap. I gave it a go and discovered that boardgaming was a possibility but at the same time it was still a challenge to play solo. Somewhere along the way, I believe Curt mentioned that there were Boardgames out there where the story line was driven by a computer programme. In fact he had recently painted some figures for a same said game. 

So I bought Mansions of Madness. I had heard of HP Lovecraft but had never read him and the Cthulthu Mythos was unknown to me, although I had wondered what it was. I like main stream Science Fiction but had never really been into the horror genre aside from maybe Steven King and TED Klein. I set up a game and found it quite interesting and fun to play and as a bonus one day my wife and sister-in-law were watching me play and quickly got talked in to having a go. They were immediately drawn in by the character profiles of the Investigators in the game. At the end of a 2 hour session, they both said when are we going to play again!

Being obsessive, I really could not play with unpainted figures, so I set about painting them. A further conversation with Curt gave me the idea that it might be interesting to paint the Investigators in polychrome while painting the Monsters in a monochrome. But while putting the project together, I started to ask myself who was HP Lovecraft?

Well I suppose this is where I started to lose control of myself. Reading about him certainly revealed a somewhat unusual character; both parents going mad and dying in an asylum, riches to rags, and a quite extraordinary fan base. His books are out of copyright, so Kindle versions are easily obtained. I read The Dunwich Horror, a strange story and I liked the writing style. But what was this Cthulhu Mythos. While researching this, I discovered that many of his stories have spoken versions and are easily available without cost. I discovered HorrorBabble and I was hooked. 

I suspect in the last two months I have listened to maybe 20 of HP Lovecraft's short stories and novellas over and over again! At the Mountains of Madness is my favourite, but close behind is The Shadow over Innsmouth and of course The Call of the Cthulhu. I suppose it does not help that I live in Salem, Massachusetts, the dead centre of Lovecraft Country

This immersion has also sparked an interest in 1930 and 40's pulp magazine cover art. I am going to have to stop myself from starting a collection.

I could go on and on, but I should stop. If you would like to take the plunge, here is a link to my YouTube playlists of HP Lovecraft stories.

Anyway, please excuse my ramblings, time to get back to the challenge! Below find the start of my Mansions of Madness figure collection. The figures are mostly semi-hard plastic, the faces are somewhat soft but generally I enjoyed painting them. The polychrome Investigators were easy enough to paint but I am not really sure if you can call my Monsters true greyscale, so I decided to use the term monochrome. The black background is a real challenge to get right. I have photographed all the figure 3-4 times. I initially tried my iPhone 8 but I just could not get it right. I then went back to my Cannon and in iPhoto I was able to adjust the background (make it black) using the blackpoint adjustment without destroying the image. Still not an hundred percent but improving.

The Investigators

Carson Sinclair, Joe Diamond, Father Mateo
Kate Winthrop, Rita Young, Agatha Crane
The Monsters
Hunting Horrors
Cult Leader, Witch, Priest of Dagon
Innsmouth Rioters
Deep One Hybrids, Barnabas Marsh
Ghost, Hound of Tindalos, Maniac
Deep Ones
Star Spawn
Well another year's challenge has gone by: Many thanks to Curt and a very patient Sarah. Also thanks to my minion Ray as well as all the other helpers. And finally congratulations to all the participants, each year the submissions are just more and more brilliant.


I can't express how stoked I was when I saw this entry. John had dropped me a line a few months ago asking me about figure-based boardgames and I had suggested he look into the various cooperative titles out there like Kingdom Death and Mansions of Madness. Well John, to see that you've not only been having a good time with the game and figures but also enjoying the literature of HP Lovecraft makes me very happy. It's such a rich 'world' and so very thematic that I always love seeing others get immersed in it. (As a quick aside, if you enjoy Lovecrafts writing then you HAVE to check out Peter Rawlik's writing - it's sooo horrifically good.) I also had to smile when you said that your lovely wife and her sister had a good time with the game. Sarah is a big fan of the genre as well, so these games (Elder Sign, Arkham Horror, Eldritch Horror, Mansions, etc.) are perennial favourites in our home. We've even travelled with them so we can play them with friends abroad (Phil and Alice had to put up with a multi-day marathon game in Avignon a few years ago.). As you can tell, I'm a huge fan of the setting.

Back to your post! I really love how you've done your figures John. I especially admire how the punchy colours of the Investigators are wonderfully juxtaposed against the greyscale of the eldritch monsters. Such a great effect. I also see that you've adopted using clear bases for your figures which I think is such a good idea, especially with tile-based games where it's nice to see the varying artwork below the figures' feet. (And I see you've discovered my 'secret' of using the blackpoint adjustment in iPhoto. ;P Good one! ) 

210 points for you John. Tremendous work and thanks for sharing your newly discovered love of all things eldritch horror! 


KentG 28mm Iberian Cavalry (pts 120)

 Ok so this week has been crazy i've painted 6 out of 7 nights 
which i haven't done in the whole comp normally only painting three nights a week plus saturdays, but what i have been doing throughout the whole challenge is in my lunchtime is painting live on google + analogue painting challenge live chat, can i encourage you to join the group
awesome bunch of guys and has made the challenge even more fun, also it runs all year round so
hopefully ill see some of you guys on the chat

 Ok so these guys are victrix 28mm Iberian cavalry they are really nice figures with great
detail but as per normal with Victrix you need to be very careful with the spears,

 I hand painted the shields on these guys as the client they are going to didn't supply transfers
i must say it took me a lot longer but i'm really pleased with how the shield turned out

12x 28mm Cavalry = 120

From Byron:
Another amazing entry today that I managed to snag to comment on!  Superb work here Kent especially given the subject matter.  I hate painting cavalry as I find I never get them looking real, but yours look superb.  Secondly, hand painting patterns on shields is another thing that I just never seem to manage, yet yours look stunning.  With those two things in mind I will be using my honour guard status as a minion to award an extra few points and bump you up to 126 for the unit.  

Great work, I honestly don't know how you manage to bang out as many figures as you do and have them look this good, and I will miss seeing entries like this when the challenge ends in a few days.  I hope to see more great miniatures like this next year.

From Millsy: Curtgeld and Sarah's Choice (40 points)

So... last submission for Challenge VIII. [sniff]

I always like to save my Curtgeld until right at the end of the Challenge. It's become a kind of tradition, not unlike leaving out a mince pie for Santa on Christmas Eve. It makes me feel like everything is done and dusted and the guy who makes all the fun happen gets his just reward when his labours are almost over.

This year with no restrictions on what's appropriate for a Curtgeld I decided to paint something Curt can use for one of his current projects. I've got loads of extra Warhammer Fantasy Empire miniatures and they are a perfect fit for Curt's Italian Wars project. So this year under the tree Curt will find three artillerymen, all ready to be added to his army once a suitable artillery piece has been found.

The other half of this final submission is my Sarah's Choice entry for the year. Sander sent me this lovely little piece by Freebooter Miniatures a while back (thanks again mate!) and I've been waiting for an appropriate time to paint her. Coincidentally she is called 'Sarah' in the catalogue so I needed no further encouragement.

Judging by the sculpt she's meant to be an alchemist or similar. Given that's she's dropped a couple of bottles lets hope her recipes are better than her coordination!

Her skirt comes with a removable front piece that shows off a good bit of leg. It's an interesting option but seems at odds with the demure nature of the sculpt overall so I left it in an maintained her dignity. OK, I admit I checked her legs out first but hey, I'm only human...

In total that's 40 points and with that I sneak over the 1,000 point line and nail my target for the year. Pretty happy about that! A couple of weeks ago I didn't think I had a snowballs of getting there.

All that remains then is to thank my fellow challengers, our awesome minions and most importantly our Snowlord Curt and Lady Sarah. I've been involved for 6 years now and every time I have an absolute ball. It's the highlight of my hobby year without doubt.

See you next time peeps!



From Curt:
Aww, this is just wonderful Millsy. All of these figures are tremendous and very thoughtful. After a few bruising scenarios where Peter shot holes through my brave pikemen I find I'm in desperate need of more artillery for my Italian Wars collection, so these fellows will come in very handy. I've always admired that trio of artillerists from the early Perry Warhammer years, especially the Leonardo engineer. Beautiful work.

Sarah the Alchemist is a spectacular figure (kudos to Sander on his good taste). I love the light blue lace on her dress and her blonde hair is wonderfully rendered. Also, good call on going with the more demure version - I think it suits the figure better. Such a characterful model.

Beautiful brushwork, mate, congrats on hitting your personal target and thank you so much!


From MartinN: A last hurrah (62 Points)

Another challenge is drawing to a close and what a blast it was once again! So here I am with my last submission for this year. I feel a little drained by now I tell you.

So, in order to cash in some easy points I changed scale and went 15mm.
After having painted a US Paratrooper force for the Battle of the Bulge over the last two challenges, I decided it was about high time to give them some opponents...

... oh well, bugger that.

No, in fact I started work on some US Army guys ready to invade Tunisia/ Sicily/ Normandy. Figures are the current Battlefront plastic offerings. I got them for a steal which meant instead of painting up some Brits for a change, I was stuck with US... again.
The figures are OK-ish. Better than most of their metal ones but still there's the odd miscast in the mix.

And as if that wasn't OCD enough I also decided to paint a ISU-122. It's also from Battlefront and compared to the figures it was a joy to paint.
And truth be told it's all about tanks in 15mm - for me at least.

While being able to paint up whole infantry platoons in 15mm in the same time it'd take me to paint a squad in 28mm is certainly a boon, I definitely don't enjoy it half as much.

With tanks it's a completely different matter. In this scale they have just enough detail to look interesting while still being big enough to make best use of all the different techniques out there.

With 28 infantry and a tank this submission should be worth 62 points, thus lifting me comfortably over the 500 points barrier.

From Byron:

Wow, what an excellent last submission!  I am with you on feeling drained after a busy painting season, but what a way to end it!  I wish you had included some closer up images of the infantry though, because if they are anything like the tank destroyer... wow.  So much to love there with all the subtle shades of green and what I assume are brown or sepia washes and streaks over it.  Simply stunning work in 15mm. 

Also, congratulations on meeting your points goal.  With super high quality entries like this, that is no simple achievement.

KentG Probos games miniatures - 65 Points

these are samurai armoured figures that i started about a month ago but finally
finished yesterday they are nicely detailed but the swords a very flimsy and look
like they would break easy 

Now these chaps a re nascar and they are very cool models 
and ive had a hoot painting them very very cool

so the 5 samurai are 38mm high
the 3 Nascar are 50mm high
So the total is ? i don't know

From DaveD Guest minion slot once more . I could not give up a slot to "minion" for Kent who has been A regular on the on line paint and chats - Kents has been the best part of 12 hours ahead of some of us on the chat - (he still would not tell us the lottery numbers) - and was regularly found painting in his "break" for his day job...

A fine entry altogether I have rated these as 65 points of loveliness,

Now what else might Kent have in his tank eh?

From Millsy: Yet More Boxers (60 points)

Yep, that's right. Yet more Boxers. The buggers are near endless it seems. Quite possibly this is what it felt like to face them in real life. Thankfully I have only another 15 left to paint. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DAVED PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME ANY MORE. :-)

Right then. Another 60 points in the bank.


From Sander:
Well Gimpa-Din, you are progressing nicely with this project! It is a joy to follow, both the figures as well as your custom terrain are da bomb mate! While I relate to having to paint too much of the "same" figures, and yes Dave is very generous (keep sending them in Dave, let the Gimp suffer!), I do not think these Boxers have suffered from your Boxer-painting-burn-out, they are superb. The basing is great too by the way. 
Thanks for all your efforts this Challenge both as Side duels Wallah as well as contestant, it's always great having you around.

Cheers Sander

From: AlexK - Crossing the finishing line (260 points)

Hi all,

I'm hoping this final post sees me cross my points finishing line! It's a post that spans scales, eras and subjects.

The first part has been a bit of a pain. I've learnt many lessons whilst painting these chaps.....chiefly that 28mm Napoleonic do not make easy challenge points. These Hanoverians have taken much longer than anticipated and I nearly gave up and switched to something else, whites and yellows over red were never going to be plain sailing but these really tested my patience.

So we have 30 x 28mm Hanoverians that are small part of the Allied forces at Waterloo. They are a mix of Warlord Games plastics and Perry's metal command figures. Now I've had a few days since completing these and I'm much happier with them as a whole. I think spending so much time with each individual figure 10 inches from your face as you paint it can be a bit of a challenge as you notice each little mistake and your morale drops a little bit. My hat comes off to all those that have been throwing Napoleonics out by the bucket load, your work seems even more impressive now.

The second part of this post returns to my Arab 15mm army. Compared to the Hanoverians these were a piece of cake. They're all Essex Miniatures and as usual were nice clean sculpt and painted really easy. The shields are a mix of hand painted and transfers.

The total for these are 24 x 15mm cavalry figures.

Finally I have a few pieces of terrain. Just some simple trees to go with my U.S airborne from earlier in the challenge.

So that's four bases of varying sizes to be judged, the 2 smaller ones are CDs if that helps with sizing.

If my points counting is correct that should be 150 points for the Hanoverians, 96 points for the Arab cavalry and whatever the terrain is worth?

Thanks for looking.

From Sander:
Hoi there Alex, so we meet again just before the end of the Challenge mate. You have surpassed yourself with this pointsbomb! The uniforms on those Hannoverians are really very crisply done, shading is amazing and the basing top notch too. What I like most about the Arab horsemen is their gritty and realistic appearance, very well executed they look as if they've come riding off the battlefield just minutes ago. Now for those trees. While I guess you get the floor measurements of 6 x 6 easily I am not sure about the 6 inch height. So I am going to err on the save side and award you 14 points rounding up the total for 260 points. Is that okay with you? Hope to see you next year Alex!