Sunday, 5 January 2014

Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge: December 2013

With all of my free time being spent either at the painting desk or attacking the extensive list of household jobs and DIY, I doubt I'll get chance to post up each Challenge entry as they are submitted, so have settled on a monthly summary. This should also ensure I get chance to post up terrain, AARs and general rambles over the course of the challenge. I seem to have settled into around an entry each fortnight which is convenient as it will loosely follow the theme rounds. 

Upon picking up my brushes, the first painted mini was actually my entry into first theme round, 'non-combatant'. Finished in the first Sunday, a single miniature of a Napoleonic Cantiniere from Westfalia miniatures. Unfamiliar with French Hussar regiments serving in the Peninsula, I painted her Hussar jacket as the Spanish Maria Luisa Hussars. I liked the cheerful colours, offset by the yellow scarf and particularly with the rest of the colours I settled on being various browns. I really enjoyed painting this miniature and hope to buy more from Kawe at Westfalia. 

The theme round entries were all superb this time around and I can see I'm going to have to really up my game to have even an outside chance of coming top in any of them. I have now got something lined up for each round too! (mmm, points...)

After that, I ploughed into the Sudan project that forms the majority of my challenge box.  I started out with nine miniatures including one mounted, but the days rolled on an I had a deadline before I had to visit family for Christmas. Realising that I wouldn't get them done, I trimmed the batch to six. The rest will follow, hopefully in January. These are Perry plastic Mahdists, many of which have seen a scalpel, as I've around 50 complete now, so I've started adding variety. The flag is from Flag Dude and will permanently live on a command stand. The ones in units will get smaller banners, once I put an order in with Flag Dude. 

Next up, their opposition, some British infantry, specifically the Royal Marine Light Infantry. The RMLI were one of the first units to disembark at Suakin in 1885 following the Mahdist revolt. With a strength of 464 men and 14 officers, they fought at El Teb and Tamai. Their helmets, pouches and belts were lightened with white pipe-clay, which makes them quite distinctive from the other regiments in grey serge uniforms.

I thought I'd left the white cross-belts behind with Napoleonics, but it seems I'm a glutton for punishment. These took an age to do, particularly on the kneeling figures. But I'm pleased with the final outcome. 

The bugler and sergeant were finished back in May, but I'm very pleased the unit is now usable on the tabletop as I've had to use my mounted infantry as stand-ins to date.

Finally, a dalliance in the 'what-if': a British Hales rocket team. I'm not actually sure whether the British used rockets in Sudan, though I've seen a few references to Egyptian forces doing so. But I couldn't resist adding one to my force: I find the British perseverance with the rocket as a weapon of war quite charming and Hales rockets remained in service until well after the Mahdist revolt was brought to heel. 

This is a very fine Empress miniatures sculpt from their Anglo-Zulu war range, I just trimmed off the braiding on the cuffs. There are a few other differences in the uniforms, between 1879 and 1885, but if I'm honest, I could hardly tell so I didn't think it was worth the work to correct it as it could have all ended badly. The bombardier's uniform is pure conjecture. The rocket trough itself is quite delicate and I did accidentally crush it and to repair it I had to prop it up with a small rock!

After submitting the last of these last week, I've had a fairly dry week of painting. I have completed my 'villain' theme round entry and have bizarrely done quite a bit of prep work. This is because I've thrown down the gauntlet to Mr Awdry and Greg and am getting a bit panicky that I'm going to be steamrollered. Also, as I paint upstairs, the wife wasn't seeing much of me in our free time, so I've taken to spending an hour or so each night pottering downstairs, often doing smaller bits that I can set up on the coffee table. That includes prep and small terrain bits so far. 


  1. You don't have to step up your game that much to do well. Splendid figures.

    I've also got some Mahdists on the challenge table, so I'm interested in what color combinations you used.


    1. Thanks Rob. The skin was done using the Perry guide which I really like - a dark grey base, highlighted up then washed three times.

      The robes and jibbehs are done with a fairly tight colour palette, mostly using Vallejo Iraqi Sand, Tan Yellow and Leather Brown and my much loved GW Khemri Brown. I've a few in the force in white too. My usual method is basecoat, Devlan mud wash then highlight up, white is shaded with Adeptus Battlegrey instead of Devlan mud.

  2. These were all excellent figures and a great start to this year's Challenge.

  3. Your cantiniere was one of my favourite entries in this year's Challenge thus far. Lovely piece. The Sudan figures are cracking as well. I have to check out this Flag Dude dude.

    1. Thanks Michael! I really like the ease of Flag a Dude flags - they come assembled and seem really durable (wish I knew how he did it). My main gripe is the pixelation you can see up close.

  4. Some of my favourites so far Phil, really great to see them here like this.

  5. Sudan stuff looks really good Phil, I see you have changed your banner, a constant reminder to the save that Sharp Practice Card, just in case.

    1. Yes, photo of that moment came out rather well!

  6. this is incredible... you made my blogroll! i would love to know more about your Sudan project and would like to do a post on any pics of Egyptian soldier figurines / Gordon of Khartoum era you may have... fab job!


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