Saturday, December 20, 2014

28mm Early Imperial Roman Officers

Here is my third entry to the Challenge. I'm planning a special scenario for the local group that is set during the Imperial Roman period and needed a few more Roman officer-types with whacky helmets.

These are a mix of 28mm castings from Wargames Foundry and Warlord Games. I believe they come from their Centurions and Optio packs but don't quote me on that.

The uniforms and kit are fairly fanciful, largely aligning to the Kirk Douglas and Charlton Heston school of ancient history. The reason for the absence of shield insignia on most of these models can be followed through the link above (which has a few more pics of these fellas) - it's all rather silly mainly due to the fact that I'm a complete muppet when it comes to working with decals.

Right now I'm working on my entry for next week's 'Rider(s) & Mount(s)' theme plus a few special entries for the holiday break. Now, to shoo away those odious carollers from the doorstep so I can get back to the desk...

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The First Theme Round for the Painting Challenge is Now UP!

This year's Painting Challenge is now merrily bubbling along over on the Challenge blog. One aspect of the event which has grown in popularity is the fortnight Theme Rounds where participants create an entry that corresponds to a pre-set theme. 

This year I've selected seven themes for the participants to explore and have a bit of fun with. They are:

  • 'Cold' (Dec 14th)
  • 'Rider(s) & Mount(s)' (Dec 28th)
  • 'Victorian' (Jan 11th)
  • 'Myth' (Jan 25th)
  • 'Hot' (Feb 8th)
  • 'Comedic' (Feb 22nd)
  • 'Antihero' (March 8th)

The first theme, 'Cold' is now up on the Theme page, and so I invite you all to get a cup of your favourite seasonal beverage, click over to the site and enjoy the gallery which is packed full of wonderful submissions. You can even vote for all your favourite entries for which the top three get will get some bonus points! (Note: Voting closes Sunday night, Dec 21st)

For my own part, I did up this trio of Napoleonic French cavalrymen who are seen here desperately trying to make their way out of Russia, yard by yard, drift by drift, one musket shot at a time.

Again, please drop in for a visit and leave a nice comment for the participants - they've earned it!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Second Entry to the Painting Challenge: Donon 'Rouquin' Carro, French Smuggler and Pulp Adventure Hero

Above is my second entry (small as it is) to the Painting Challenge. This is Donon Carro also known as 'Le Rouquin' (The Redhead), son of Bernez, fisherman, smuggler and no particular friend to men in black boots and brown shirts. You can see a couple more shots of Donon along with a little of his background over on the Challenge blog.  My plan is to do a similar montage for all of the Carro family along with their dubious associates and nefarious enemies. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

The 5th Painting Challenge Begins!

Hi All! This is just a brief infomercial to let you all know that this year's Painting Challenge has officially launched on the Challenge blog. I've kicked-off the madness by submitting one of my favourite antiheroes from The Lord of the Rings, Boromir (C'mon, Hit Me One More Time) of Gondor. 

So, I invite you all to head over to the Challenge, check out the day's entries and say hello. The next three months are going to be a very hectic, with up to twelve new entries debuting each day - so make sure a visit to the Challenge is part of your daily ritual, you won't regret it.

Click on over and enjoy the show!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

28mm Gladiators for 'Spartacus' and 'Jugula'

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, our gaming group quite enjoys playing a wide variety of board games. In fact several of us cut our teeth playing Avalon Hill and SPI war games and so it seems we are 'hard-coded' to love anything with a hex map and having a point decimal rules organization. (I still get a nervous tick whenever I hear 'Advanced Squad Leader' mentioned - a title that is notorious for being more of a lifestyle choice than a game.) A recent favourite is Gale Force Nine's 'Spartacus'. For us, any game with a byline that promises a fun-filled evening of 'blood and treachery' gets our vote!

'Spartacus' has each player (up to six) taking the role of a Dominus, controlling a powerful Roman household with its attendant school (ludus) of gladiators. Each game turn is composed of running nasty schemes, buying slaves, gladiators, equipment and then bidding to see who will host the games for that turn. To win the game a player needs to amass 12 points of influence (which can be damnably tricky with everyone doing their best to cut each others' throats!). The rule mechanics for the gladiatorial combat is quite elegant, fast and suitably bloody, with all the players being able to bid on wins, wounds, and decapitations (yikes!). We've always had a rip-roaring time as the game allows you to be as creative as you like in formulating your deals and crafting wonderfully treacherous backstabbing gambits. Great fun and highly recommended.

As you can see from the pic above the board for the arena is hex-based (swoon) and the game even comes with some basic soft plastic gladiators. They're not bad, but, being the dork that I am, I immediately wanted to replace them with my own painted miniatures. 

I had picked up some 28mm gladiators from Brigade Games a few months ago and I found that, once based, they fit perfectly within the hexes of the game board. You may have noticed that one of the bases is round while the others are square - this is because these figures will also be used for 'Jugula', which differentiates between 'heavy'  (square-based guys) and 'light' (round) class gladiators.

A light 'Thraex'
A 'Secutor'
To follow in the spirit of the game board, I indulged in painting the bases with gratuitous blood trails and ghastly spatters of viscera (love that word, viscera, it sounds just as it describes). 

A 'Murmillo'
A 'Hoplomachus'
A 'Provocator'
I have another batch of these to do, mostly lighter class fellas,  but I'm going to hold off on painting them until the Painting Challenge starts. Every point counts now...