Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge: February 2014

Wow, is it March already? As I flick through February's photos, I realise how much I've been slacking. Just one main entry, my entry fee and two theme round entries for four weeks' work. Crikey.

The month started with the 'Hero/Heroic Group' theme round and I rolled out a classic antihero of literature and the Victorian age: Sir Harry Paget Flashman VC, KCB, KCIE.

Of course, a true heroic story wouldn't be complete without a love interest - even more so for the lecherous Flashman. So I offer two for him to charm - a modestly dressed local and upstanding European lady. Here we can see our man, on Her Majesty's service in some far-flung corner of the Empire, spying the ladies on the veranda...

...and making his move, brandy in hand.

Flashman is from Eureka, both the European and native ladies are from the Redoubt Sudan range. All were rather nice to paint up. 

The bulk of my work in February was a few more infantry for the Mahdists and a third Command stand: Osman Digna himself. I was very pleased with the basing on him - raised just a little on a rocky outcrop, overseeing the battlefield. A very fine sculpt, his lack of movement nicely complimented by a more active rifle-armed tribesman.

I painted these alongside the casualties below, a fairly sizeable batch for me but a mere drop compared to DaveD's ocean. Different parts of the force are starting to get differentiated by colour, with Beja being very plainly dressed, mostly in Vallejo Iraqi sand and tan yellow, deeply shaded as usual with Devlan mud. I'm almost out of Devlan Mud - crisis!

Once again, this batch is well furnished with conversions to mix things up a little. These five all got a good hacking, mostly with arms from various places, including Warlord plastic Celts and Wargames Factory Greeks. My favourites are the tribesman with arm thrust in the air, his war-cry of 'Allahu-Akbar' almost audible and the Beja flinging his spear, shield arm thrust backwards for balance. No doubt I'll do some more conversions at some point - I fancy a stick-thrower for starters.

This batch will bring my Mahdist infantry to 70 or 80 - no mean feat for me as someone who normally paints a mini or two then shuffled off to order something else.

For my entry fee, I went for a desperado from the lead pile. I don't know who the manufacturer is, as he was picked up in a bargain bin at Triples many years back. A slim but nicely posed sculpt.

I chose a 'Wild Bunch-eque' palette. He's unbased, so Curt can finish it to his liking.

I like the fluff that has settled on his hat here

This is him after a few updates last weekend - I painted the eyes and made him quite a lot grubbier - actually just done with stippled Khemri Brown rather than powders, but came out well on the black clothing. 

Finally, I finished the 'casualties' theme round, a handful of Mahdists  painted in the same batch as Osman Digna and the rather more healthy Mahdists. For this, I set a scene packed out with Mahdists and the Sudanese infantry that featured earlier.  

 On my entry, I wrote:

The first Battle of El Teb was a disaster that destroyed Valentine Baker's Egyptian field army in a single day. When deploying into a brigade square to face Osman Digna's Beja tribesmen, one regiment inexplicably extended to the front, leaving yawning gap on one flank. Poor fire discipline at 1000 yards wreathed the line in smoke for no effect and caused skirmishers and artillerymen to be fired upon by their own infantry. When the furious Beja charge hit, the fragile Egyptian formation collapsed entirely and routed, to be slaughtered for no quarter. There were only small pockets of organized resistance, including a fighting withdrawal by the Sudanese Massowah Battalion, that I attempt to represent here.   

Of the 3500 men who had set out, barely more than a thousand survived. The Beja force is estimated to have been 1000, with a marked technological disadvantage and yet their casualties were only in the dozens. The disaster led to the deployment of British troops to secure Suakin and defeat Osman Digna, starting with the second battle of El Teb just a few short weeks later. 

I had a lot of fun getting some minis out and setting it up, but I didn't seem to do well on the voting - perhaps unsurprising as there were some quite excellent entries, spearheaded by MichaelA's grisly Victorian murder scene. Stiff competition this year!

I also did Egyptian and Sudanese infantrymen, picked up from Redoubt as Perry don't do wounded Egyptians. I was pleasantly surprised by these minis - perfectly serviceable alongside my Perrys.

I was really pleased with this one

So, the final countdown: barely more than two weeks to go. My plans have been tweaked accordingly: the 15mm WWII platoon is unlikely to feature and while I've started a test mini, I'm waiting on the arrival of some AP Strong Tone to replace my nigh-on empty Devlan mud. I've some colonial cavalry on the table now that have a realistic chance of being finished and my final theme round entry needs a lot of work. Beyond that, I'm not sure I'll get much more done. And that'll be it for another year! 


  1. You may not feel that you have got as much done as you hoped, but my word it's classy stuff. Looking forward to seeing the cavalry and your final round - sounds intriguing!

    1. Argh but im finding that time is against me

  2. That's some absolutely outstading work you did ov the last few weeks. Flasman holding his glas of wine is definitely my favourite.

  3. Fantastic painting work. I like a loot the adventures of Flashman, and the character!

  4. It is indeed lovely work. The conversion pieces in particular.. Which has also given me some ideas once the spares box is topped up. I agree the last one is excellent.

  5. Splendid work and believe me its good quality work as well

  6. Good to see old Flashy; he is definitely one of my favourite literary characters!

  7. Excellent choices, excellent work!!

  8. Cracking Job on Flashman Phil... Looking forward to seeing him on the table.

  9. Some great painting you did, I enjoyed them very much with Flashman as the favorite


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