Monday, May 9, 2016

Lead Painters League: round 7 through 9

What? A victory in an odd-numbered round?? And even more, an above .500 winning percentage for Lead Painters League 10???

Yes, a fortunate series of events (my apologies to Lemony Snickets) led to me ending Round 9 with a 5-4 record. I had back-to-back victories in rounds 8 and 9. Perhaps this is a sign of the Swiss Chess format settling into matchups with approximate skill level opponents. Perhaps I just got lucky. Either way, I'll take it!

Round 7: Hunters of the Forest
Flint & Feather 28mm Indians in my Round 7 entry, "Hunters of the Forest"
 I honestly thought I had a pretty good chance winning this round. I really like these Flint & Feather miniatures, sculpted by Bob Murch from Pulp Miniatures. The poses are dynamic. I especially like the guy on with the wolf headdress. That is just a cool figure all around. I thought the warpaint turned out well, and the photo was bright, colorful, and atmospheric. The best-laid plans, though, are always subject to contact with the "enemy."

In this case, my opponent had a wonderful entry. His yellows on his Chinese temple dogs were outstanding. I fully admit my weaknesses. My number one weakness as a painter is that my skills at shading and blending are very pedestrian. I am a block painter at heart. I do an occasional watered down acrylic paint wash, I regularly dry brush, and do a finishing black or brown wash to bring out the shadows. One day, maybe, I'll learn to use inks and do a better job of blending. However, for now, when I am matched up against someone whose entry shows off their superior skills in that aspect of miniature painting, I freely admit mine is worse. My hunters lost soundly, 369-94. To see my opponent's excellent entry, check out the matchup page.

Round 8: To the Blockhouse!
28mm Blue Moon "Ohio Valley Frontiersmen" in my Round 8 entry, "To the Blockhouse!"
 I have to admit, I was pleased how this entry came out. I was a bit worried in that miniatures were from Blue Moon (Old Glory), and their castings are not highly regarded in Europe -- where many of the members of the Lead Adventure Forum are from. However, the poses were unusual, and the Acheson Creations blockhouse a nice piece of terrain, and the stream of refugees heading towards it atmospheric. So, I felt fairly confident. I was a little surprised when I saw my opponent's entry and that mine was losing to it. I feel I am honest and admit it when I'm outclassed. I didn't feel this was the case with this pairing. As the round progressed, though, my frontiersmen rallied and took the lead. It was a near thing, though, and I probably kept checking the score in this race more than any other this competition.

I enjoyed painting the Blue Moon figures. It is interesting, as I came very close to choosing Blue Moon Indians over Conquest Miniatures way back when I was getting into this period. Blue Moon is very affordable. However, the fact that Conquest were reasonably priced, and the fact their poses were so darned nice, sold me on them. So, this was an interesting "What if?" batch to paint up. I failed to mention, though, that the center figure with the coonskin cap is actually Reaper Miniatures' Davey Crocket figure. The rest are all Blue Moon, and I have about six more to paint up from the Ohio Frontiersmen box. The castings are better quality than the standard-issue Old Glory bags of 48 (or whatever huge amount they sell them in, now). However, they are a step beneath the Conquest and other manufacturers I tend to paint up, nowadays. The guy at the far left of the line has a serious mar on his face where the two halves of the mold must have not lined up perfectly (which is why he is turned away from the camera).

In the end, these guys were good enough to win a close race, 258-212. To see my opponent, click on the matchup page.

Round 9: Gorilla Slavers
28mm Sergeant Major Miniatures Apes in my Round 9 entry "Gorilla Slavers"
 Okay. I will say it. I was tired of painting Indians. There! You happy? I also figured the voters were suffering from warpaint fatigue, so I dug through my figure box and found something that I would be excited to paint. The gorilla infantry are from Sergeant Major Miniatures' Science-Fiction (we can't call it "Planet of the Apes") line. I honestly don't know who makes the mounted gorilla general. It was given to me half-painted by a very generous HMGS Great Lakes member who knew I had a soft spot for the period. I reprimed it, and all the painting is my own, of course.

Honestly, this line of apes is not as finely-cast as Eureka's (we can't call it Planet of the Apes, either) figures. However, a couple years ago, I'd picked up these six figures because...well, Planet of the Apes figs don't grow on trees! They're relatively rare, and I have always been interested in doing some post-Apocalyptic gaming using them. I actually did use my Eureka 28mm apes in my friend Dave Zecchini's campaign he ran using Mutants and Death Ray Guns rules. It was a blast, and I look back on those games fondly.

So, I Googled a lot of images of gorilla infantry and found this purple color being fairly common in the movie still photographs. I did this as one of my acrylic washes, the primary color being the old Ral Partha excellent "Tongue Purple." I think the uniforms turned out great. The leather armor was a nice dry brush of dark brown and medium brown. And the gorilla faces turned out bettrer than I expected. I admit I am not that talented at taking black and giving it definition and shading with gray dry brushing. The mounted general is an awesome figure, but I almost messed it up with too many layers of color on top of a half-painted miniature. Honestly, that is why he is slightly in the background. I think a close-up reveals some mistakes. I love the dappled gray horse, though, and the uniform with its black, steel, and gun metal colors.

The voters must have agreed, as I won this one by a more comfortable margin of 337-115.  Shocker of shockers, I was above .500 at 5-4!!!