Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fortnight Theme Bonus Round 1 Prep: December 22: Non Combatant(s)

As part of my diabolical scheme to win the challenge, I have decided to make sure I have an entry for every single one of the Fortnight Theme Bonus Rounds. That has been guiding my preparations.

The most important requirement was to get the painting space set up. This has now been achieved:
As you can see, the selection and preparation of figures for the first Fortnight Bonus Theme has already begun. I took a very strict definition for "Non-Combatant(s)" and decided the figures had to be those sculpted with no weapons what so ever, not even a pistol in a holster. That ruled out many of my civilian models, including the Mutineer Miniatures Defenders of Lucknow, and many Foundry Darkest Africa characters. Fortunately, the Colonials Project has the requirements for lots of figures who're sculpted just that way, and I have had them sitting in bare lead for quite some time.  

The standard prep regime for metal foot figures is clean off flash and mold lines, file down the bases and glue them to soda bottle caps for painting. Since the weather has been cold, rainy, and damp - and I lack an indoor priming area - I've been using Vallejo's Surface Primer (black) and Model Master's Grey Primer to brush on. Since I made the mistake a while ago of gluing unpainted minis to their final wooden bases before painting, brush on primer has been my go to for a while now.

So, what do I plan to do for the Fortnight Bonus Round 1? 

First up, some Europeans, and an African servant:
From the left, we have the Reverend Peter Lovejoy, and his wife, Mrs. Rebecca Lovejoy. They will be missionaries from the fictional but plausible English Bible Society (EBS). Third from the left is David Livingstone. Then we have Aunt Augusta, the meddlesome and trouble prone Aunt of the current German commander in East Africa, Herr Major Vogel. Think Jessica Fletcher in East Africa. Finally, the servant Hamid.
These are all Foundry, and come from several different packs in the Darkest Africa line.
The Reverend Lovejoy, EBS, is the "Doctor Zwingili" figure from Traders and Travellers - DA017
"Fairplay" Fanshawe, Poirot, Furtwangler, Captain Korzeniowski, da Souza, Doctor Zwingili, Dupont.
Mrs. Rebecca Lovejoy and Aunt Augusta are both from Deadlier than the Male - DA016 (nice bit of Kipling there); Mrs. Rebecca Lovejoy is the "Agnes Day" figure, and Aunt Augusta is Mimi. 
Mrs Stanhope, Agnes Day, Mimi, Frau Schadenfreude, Jane, Miss Brodie, Miss Baedecker.

Livingstone is the "David Livingstone" figure from Men of Substance - DA011:
Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton, John Hanning Speke, The Lord of the Jungle, Dr. Livingstone, Carl Peters, Henry Morton Stanley, Sir Samuel Baker.

Hamid comes from the pack Askari Characters - DA014, "Sir Garnet:"
Limi, Kush, Mboni, Jemadar, Bull Henry, Baraka, Sir Garnet, Bugler.
Next,  I've primed thirteen porters for one of the Caravans:

These are from Foundry's Bearers packs (DA021 and DA023, respectively):

Finally, there's nine African civilians, for a village set somewhere:

These are all from Foundry's Women and Children - DA027 pack:

So, why are two sets primed a different color, you ask? Well . . . for the Europeans, I plan on painting them lighter colors (yellows, light greens, creams and blues) and yellow especially has serious issues going over, well, anything. The Reverend Lovejoy I plan on painting similar to the Foundry sculpt, but with a paler green smock, and probably brown pants. Mrs. Lovejoy I am putting in a yellow dress, and yellow will not go over black for me. David Livingstone I will also probably paint like the Foundry sculpt.

For Aunt Augusta, I plan to paint her like the mannequin displaying Victorian women's fashion in the Musée Historique de Lausanne I saw when visiting there back in August:

Now, the dress isn't sculpted the same, but I plan to use the same blue and white color scheme, with the off white umbrella. It really was quite lucky that I picked up that figure.

From my research, the major colors in East Africa for non-European clothing were whites and off whites (the whiter the white of your clothes, the higher your status), blues and reds. Those go fine over black. I plan to keep the paint schemes simple, and not try anything as advanced as the pattern shown for the lady with the basket of corn on her head. Suitcases will probably be green, cloth the usual off-white, red or blue, jars terracotta, and so forth.

So yes, that's rather an ambitious lot to paint in the week from December 15 to December 22. Fortunately for me, all the sculpts are simple, so there's not a lot of colors needed. First priority is the bearers, since they absolutely MUST be done in order to have a caravan. Then the Europeans, then the African Civilians.

Now onto planning the next Bonus Round: Villains!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

And we're back

We apologize for the studio interruption, and now return you to your regularly scheduled blog, already in session.

The truth is, I have not put paint to brush, let alone mini, since May. An untimely flood rendered by previous abode uninhabitable, the refugee camp was not conducive to paints, and with two major moves in there, the paints and minis have sat in the storage boxes since.

The upside is that I have been regularly gaming, it's the painting, photographing and the blogging that have slowed down to nothing

Fortunately, the The Fourth Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge has rolled around again, and it's prime to get me back into painting and blogging. 

For those not familiar, here it is, according to Hoyle:
The Challenge will extend from 12:01 am December 15th through to the first day of Spring, 12:01 am March 20th CST (Central Standard Time).

Figures can be prepared and primed prior to the start date (Dec 15th), but no colour can be applied until the 15th. In order to be scored the figures have to be based and their groundwork completed. The figures have to be painted by you. The honour system will be followed in the completion and entry of figures to the Challenge. Again, great dishonour goes upon anyone who shames themselves in the time-honoured craft of painting toy soldiers!

The subject matter can be in any scale and in any theme, including sci-fi and fantasy.

In order to be scored, photos of all figures/units along with a short descriptive note must be submitted to me for posting on the Analogue Hobbies blog. Up-to-date scoring will be maintained on the main page.  

The Judge (Curt) will participate, but my score (typically negligible) will not have any standing in the Challenge.
Naturally, of course, there is a twist:
For an added bit of fun, this year we will have 'Fortnight Theme Bonus Rounds'. Each 'Theme Bonus Round' challenges Challengers to enter a submission that illustrates that particular theme. The Bonus Rounds are not mandatory, they are just a little bit of silliness to mark the path of the Challenge.

Any Challenger who manages to submit an entry for a 'Fortnight Theme Bonus Round' will get an extra 50 points on top of the regular entry tally. No scales less than 15mm will be eligible for the Theme Bonus Rounds but they can be of a historical or fictional subject.

The Bonus Themes along with their submission deadlines are: 
     •   December 22: Non Combatant(s)
     •   January 5: Villain(s)
     •   January 19: Vehicle
     •   February 2: Hero or Heroic Group
     •   February 16: Casualty / Casualties
     •   March 2: Favourite Character
     •   March 16: Last Stand

And, as always, Curt's cut: 
As previous years, I ask for a small memento from each Challenger. Last year's entrance fee was a 28mm painted figure of a Ronin and so in keeping with this year's 'Wild Bunch' theme, the entrance fee' for this year's Challenge will be a single 28mm figure that is inspired by a Sam Peckinpah film. The figure will be supplied and painted by the entrant. This miniature can be submitted any time up until the end of the Challenge. Again, same as last year, for each figure I receive I will donate $5 to the Saskatchewan branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
The theme of the competition being Sam Peckinpah, that suits my Western/Cavalry collection theme. But, in that vein, it also works with my Colonials and Africa; while Peckinpah did not do any of the colonial epics as far as I know, it's the same kind of storytelling. So that's where I will focus my efforts. I do intend to do better than I did last year, where I was playing along at home, scoring an absolute zero, getting nothing finished during the competition.

Since the goal is to get me painting again, I mean to better that. I've set the goal of 200 points, which is 40 25mm foot figures, or 20 25mm mounted figures. I'm also adding the further optional goal(s) to discipline my painting:
  1. Be able to run a game set in the East Coast of Africa (Cairo to Durban and all points in between)
  2. or Be able to run a game set in the Old West
Now, I don't know what's up with this smuggling budgies in sandbags nonsense, but I realize I don't paint quickly enough to have a shot at winning through sheer volume. I can, however, rack up Bonus Theme points, and probably submit minis that can compare with most/all other comers. 

I have approximately twenty-five (25) days to put together a plan and prep figures. That's looking at what I have available, what (few) bits I plan to buy, slotting things into order, and figuring out how to hit all the bonus themes.

Over the next few weeks, I plan to blog my Diabolical Scheme to Win, posting my painting ideas and photos of the prepped items. So watch this space.