What's the idea?
The idea is for me to re-base or otherwise re-purpose some of my old miniatures so I can use them in my current games.
I don't intend to repaint these old miniatures. Many were painted 25+ years ago but, so long as the paint isn't damaged, I plan to keep them as they are. They might not be as well painted as my current stuff but they are of their time and I'm happy with them.
I'm renovating more miniatures than I'm showing here. Some are destined for particular projects so they'll be posted in the relevant sections.
Let's get started then. this first set is my wolf pack. All the miniatures are originally from Chronicle Miniatures whose style I loved. Nick Lund was the first sculptor whose name I knew and whose work I could recognise.
The werewolf in the blue trousers is also a Chronicle Miniature. The werewolf with the sword is from Asgard miniatures.
The smaller dog at the front is a Ral Partha wolf.
These repulsive little things are Alternative Armies 15mm giant spiders. They're mounted on 50mm bases and work well for 28mm games.
Pack animals are always useful. These are from Citadel, Dixon, and Connoisseur Miniatures.
A Grenadier big demon, Orcus? and a Ral Partha chap.
Two more Ral Partha ones. I think these were all AD&D Planescape miniatures.
If you have the forces of Hell you'll need some of God's chosen to combat them. These are Redoubt monks.
Some more Chronicle Miniatures. Kobolds to begin with.
Some individuals. A wight, a chest (with Citadel goblin feet, he is Chester, once a mimic but soon became a trusted and indispensable member of several D&D parties), an undead chap with a scythe and a dwarf.
I also have a Chronicle Mummy. Here he is with three Citadel ones and a Reaper Mummy.
Some Games Workshop giant eagles.
More Chronicle miniatures. These two are both a bit of a cheat for this section. The giant has been repainted as well as being rebased. He was painted in enamels a long time ago and needed brightening up a little. Chopper Tom is a replacement for a miniature I broke when I was rebasing it for my Vikings project so I had to source a new one and paint him.
A collection of old fantasy miniatures that I've rebased.
Some Alternative Armies Dwarven miners that I painted with black skin to be proper Svartalfs.
Alternative Armies Wraiths.
And a mixture. Citadel, Grenadier, Altenative Armies and a MTG miniature.
These were painted by Simon Webb (with some bits by me),
Lead Painters League season 5 2011
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
I decided to enter my first Lead Painters League on a whim but I'm glad I did. I've been avoiding painting competitions for the last few years because I know I'd never win a straight competition based on painting skill alone and I'd prefer to spend my time and energy on adding figures to my hobby.
The LPL isn't just about painting skill though. It's about keeping going for a marathon ten weeks, producing a new set of figures, often to a specified theme, week after week and being pitted against another painter's work in a public vote.
Few can keep this up and produce their best work so every week the playing field is getting more and more level for the 'average but fast' chaps like me.
This is something I understand, churn them out and move on. Don't stop or the lead mountain will topple and crush you...
I determined to provide a new set of figures each round and comply with all the bonus round subject requirements and ensure I got every spare bonus point going to bolster my total. If I could make the top ten at the end that would be icing on the cake.
Everything had to be usable after the event. No painting miniatures just for the League, that would be against the point of it all.
Round one was a bonus round, paint some civilians for the extra points. No problem! I grabbed half a dozen from my ever-handy box of modern civies and set to work. They were done fairly quickly as befits background artists and sent in to await their fate. They returned victorious after the first round of voting which put me 1st equal on points with roughly 30 other contestants.
For round two I submitted the command figures from my Galaxy Rangers. From my own voting in this and previous LPLs I think first impressions are very important and I hoped a great big poke in the eye with a yellow space suit would grab me some impulse votes. It seemed to work, another win got me up to 12th place, comfortably in the middle of the 'two wins' group.
Round three needed a change of pace so I entered a platoon of Malayan terrorists. I was happy enough with the painting, it was my usual faded khaki recipe and they were on decent enough jungle bases, but I thought they were very dull and didn't have high hopes for them.
Well, it shows how much I know, they were a big hit. They not only grabbed me a decent win but were chosen to decorate the leader board too. This was the highpoint of the contest for me and being in 6th place was an added thrill.
Riding high on a wave of euphoria I shoved the Galaxy Ranger troopers in for round four. Originally they were going to be entered with the personalities as a single group but, just in time, I realised that this wouldn't necessarily add to my chances in round two and would hamper me in later rounds when the timing got tighter. The more entries I could eke out of a single painted set the better.
Sadly they met the Professor himself and took a beating, falling in battle like other redshirts before them. Their traditional approach to their role in life dropped me down to 18th.
Round five was the first of the two big bonus rounds. The theme was Africa and for maximum points I needed to submit two opposing groups. Luckily for me I had the personalities from my 2008 Tarzan project to finish and this was just the incentive I needed to make me paint them. I painted them all which was more than I needed for the entries but I wasn't going to leave some unfinished, this was probably their last chance to see a paintbrush.
Another win saw me rise to 10th position which felt good and restored my confidence a little but the ability to finally look at my completed Tarzan forces was an even better feeling and one entirely in keeping with the raison d'etre of the League.
For round six I entered another platoon of Malayans. This gave me some breathing space to work on figures for later rounds as they'd been painted at the same time as the first platoon. I hoped nobody would be bored with seeing the same subject a second time. Indeed they were so similar to the first group that I sent a photo of all of them together to Richard (Captain Blood) to prove I wasn't just entering the same miniatures a second time.
Bored or not, they were voted to a win and I found myself in 7th place.
Round seven was a nasty one. I had nothing I was happy with and was about to enter the final group of Malayans, the command figures, and await my 'wot these again?' defeat when I returned to a half painted Predator figure I had started a few weeks before.
I wasn't happy with the painting. I couldn't get the look of the armour right and since he was completely armoured that was a major problem. I'd been fiddling around with it in between other stuff and finally settled on green since blue/green was escaping me but it needed a pattern or something to make it pop.
I eventually got as far as trying to give the impression of energy crackling over the suit as the camouflage screen faded away but it still wasn't working. Finally, just before I consigned him to the failed file (the bin) I added dots of an entirely too bright yellow as a joke and watched the figure come alive before me. Time was short, very short. The other Predators were banged through the production line and all the weapons were finished just enough to qualify as painted. Then I came to the next problem. Try as I might, I couldn't get a photo that showed these figures off properly. They would not bloody photograph at all (Predators, what can you do?). To have any chance of a win I thought I needed something else.
When all else fails go for a gimmick! I based up the clear resin versions of the Predators and based them as near as I could to the painted ones and then made a quick test animation to make them fade out. It was jerky but the final one would be against a background with a tripod so that wouldn't matter.
That was nearly my entry but good sense prevailed and besides, I couldn't get the file size down enough without losing too much detail and destroying the point of the whole exercise, so my final entry was a compromise.
Despite all my misgivings the little resin chaps won and I found myself in 5th place.
The previous round was stressful enough but round eight was worse. Round eight should have been Conan but Gripping Beast didn't send me the figures in time to complete it. In a panic I rushed out a set of almost done Black Cat Bases Policemen who had been sitting in reserve and hoped for the best.
Well, they met the Brain Monster and were eliminated without a trace. Anything I'd painted would have been brushed aside by that masterful creation so it's probably just as well that it was a substitute entry that suffered. I nearly voted against myself in this round.
Here it is, Brainiac and his Army of Z's by Arcturus, marvel at it and then ask yourself how you'd have felt seeing that posted against your painting entry. I nearly cried. Back down to 10th place.
Conan was ready for round nine and I was happy again. Everything came together and looked like I had envisioned it when I started. Back on track and by the end of the voting up to 7th place and all set for a final push in the last round.
The final round was the big one. The second of the extra bonus point rounds with a whopping 40 points up for grabs. The theme was a scene from a famous movie with two opposing factions and a piece of scenery for maximum extra points. I started on this one early with the figures from my Agon project ready to stand in for Jason and the Children of the Dragon's Teeth. I made a large figure of Talos for the scenery element and thought I was all set. Except I wasn't, Talos wouldn't do because he wasn't in that part of the film. I needed the fleece then but that was okay too because Steve Barber made one and he'd be at Salute so I could just pick one up from there. He didn't have one with him of course, that would have been too easy, but he did post me one in time for the final.
It was a close one. In the end I lost by under 20 votes to some beautifully painted Star Wars miniatures and came 8th over all. A nail biting finale to a great competition.
I did manage to enter new figures every round, I did get every bonus point on offer and, despite losing three matches I did finish in the top ten.
Fantastic! I can't wait for next year's.
The League would not be possible without the outstanding work of Richard (Captain Blood) who coordinates it all and Ray Rivers who works out the maths for the leader board nor would it exist at all without the Lead Adventure Forum started and hosted by Alex (Professor Witchheimer) and the very special (in a good way) members of the forum who both entered the league and voted on the entries so thank you to all of you for a great ten weeks.