Sunday, February 18, 2024

Pendraken Painting Competition 2024

I haven't posted in a bit but I have been painting...I took a hiatus from my various projects to paint up some entries for the Pendraken Painting Competition. I can't believe it's been full year since I was in this same position for the 2023 competition. I still remember making the conversions to the little Italian tankette and trying to figure out how they were painted up in the Spanish Civil War. So much of my life has dramatically changed for me in 2023, it really wasn't a good year.  Here is hoping that 2024 brings more joy and less sadness. 

Anyway, I decided the competition would be a good opportunity to kickstart some new projects and resurrect a few dormant ones.

First up is an M24 Chaffee in French service during the Indo-Chinese war, this is "11". I added some homemade storage and a radio wire. The Chaffee (or Bison as the French called them in the war) is a small little bugger but they were thought of quite highly by the French as they offered good firepower, protection and low ground pressure. 

I didn't really do anything spectacular with the basing as these are, first and foremost, gaming pieces. 

Next up is a Viet Minh platoon with attachments. These guys are based for Five Core Company Commander. Each big base is a section of infantry, supported by some support weapons and attachments: a sniper, commander, bazooka team and heavy machine gun. I painted them in a mix of khaki, yellow green and grey green to capture the polygot nature of the uniforms.

The sniper is actually a Japanese sculpt but since the Viet Minh didn't have a sniper in their range and they used a lot of old Japanese kit, I figured it would be quite suitable. 

Next up we visit the late 17th century, specifically 1685 and the battle of Sedgemoor. I painted up Kirke's Lambs, the Queen Dowagers Regiment of Foot. I have painted this notorious unit before in 15mm. If you follow my blog, you may remember I painted up some of the rebels for the 2022 Pendraken competition, after that I let the project languish for nearly 2 years before I tackled these fellas. 

I also painted up Oxford's Regiment of Horse in their blue uniforms and blackened armor. What's interesting about these guys is that I first began painting this unit in 10mm in 2016 or so. They were less than half painted and languishing in a bin for about 7 years so dusted them off (literally) and repainted them I in their entirety. 

From 1685, we go back to the future to 1866 with the wacky invasion of Canada by Irish American veterans (Fenians) of the Civil War. First up, we have some Canadian militia. The mounted arm of the Canadian force is the Governor General's Bodyguard in their dark blue uniforms trimmed in white. The GGBG weren't present at the Battle of Ridgeway but we're involved in some of the peripheral actions.

Most uniform descriptions I have seen indicate the cross belt should be white however I saw a black and white photo of a trooper wearing a buff leather cross belt and decided it was a an accurate way of adding a bit more color to the unit. 

Next up we have a mounted officer of the Queen's Own Rifles (QOR) as he leads his men past a fence line at the battle of Ridgeway. The fence is courtesy of Pendraken's very nice fence range and I felt bad butchering a segment for the purposes of this base. I promise to use the remaining pieces in bits of scenery. 

I painted this mounted officer to represent Captain Otter of the QOR. As such, he sports a neatly trimmed mustache and brown hair. 

Next up is a mounted officer from the 13th Hamilton militia (same sculpt as the QOR officer) looking very triumphant as he rides past a fallen Fenian invader. I painted him up as a specific officer of the 13th but I can't remember his the moment. The fallen Fenian was inspired by some beautiful artwork found in the Osprey volume (which was inspired by an actual black and white photo from the period) that covers the Canadian 19th century militia. 

Here is our Canadian army commander stand which depicts General Alfred Booker and a member of the GGBG acting as escort. Booker has a map of the area clenched in his right hand. 

Booker gets some criticism for his handling of the battle because he panicked when he saw some mounted Fenian scouts and ordered his units to form square in the middle of a firefight. The ensuing chaos forced the Canadians to retire from the field. 

Here we have 3 companies of Fenian invaders. I painted them in uniform bits described in Peter Vronsky's book about the Fenian Invasion and gave them a conjectural Fenian flag. The Fenians wore surplus ACW kit, some of which was trimmed in green, civilian garb and green uniforms bits.

The figures were sourced from the Pendraken ACW range. I quite like the ragtag look that's tied together by bits of blue and green. 

And finally we have some Canadian infantry, red clad 13th Hamilton and green uniformed Queens Own Rifles. I should state that I had some difficulty with the uniforms of the Canadians. They used very dark blues and greens that's were hard to replicate in miniatures and still be historically accurate. Hopefully I captured their look decent enough. 

And there we have it. Actually, not quite as I still need to finish up some 1973 Yom Kippur War Egyptians. They will also be based for Five Core Company Commander rules which are my default choice for 20th century conflicts at the company level. Stay tuned for them as I race against the clock to get them finished and photographed. 

UPDATE: I managed to snap some pictures of the 1973 Yom Kippur War Egyptians. I always imagined that if I ever gamed the conflict, I would probably do it in 3mm or 6mm and would probably focus on the armor aspects. Pendraken released their 1974 ranges and I really like the sculpts so I picked some up. I didn't really know much about the Egyptian uniforms so I was surprised to see them in their "assault vests". 

I'm fairly happy with the basing. I used a fiber past with sand glued once dry. The base color was craft paint "teddy bear fur", a diluted AP soft tone wash and then some dry brushing to even everything out. The figures are based for Five Core Commander.

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