Thursday 7 December 2023

From TamsinP: How To Write And (Not) Publish Your Posts (AHPC XIV Version)


"Good morning Ladies, Gentlemen...and Ray. My name is TamsinP and I will be the Senior Librarian for your browsing in the AHPC Library. As we have a number of first-time readers and some who are returning after a gap (also because there have been some changes to how we are doing things) I have been asked by Curt, the Director of Library Operations, to write a guide on how to submit new works to the Library. I hope that this instructional post will help."

Tamsin's Terribly Terrific Tutorial To Challenge Posting

Before You Post

Just a little checklist for you to consider:

  1. Have I taken photos of everything I am including in the post?
  2. Are there at least 3 photos of everything, taken from different angles?
  3. Have all the photos been resized to a maximum of 1000 pixels in either direction?
  4. Have I worked out how many points I am claiming?

If your answers to all four questions is a resounding "Yes!", then you may proceed.

A Request On Behalf Of The Minions

"Given how many budding readers we have this year, please (please, pretty please) try not to overwhelm your poor, suffering, wretched minions with hundreds of posts every week. If you can combine multiple entries into a single post, that would be very helpful. That being said, you might want to do a separate post for "Library" submissions."

"Remember, the minions are all volunteers and doing the minioning stuff does take them away from their own painting."

*Important Note 1: This post was originally written for AHPC XII and examples shown may reflect that.*

(aka - it took me the best part of a day in 2021, plus a few more hours to update in 2022, so I'm only amending text parts)

*Important Note 2: This cannot be repeated enough, and it makes sense to begin with it.*

Whatever you do...


I repeat...


For the avoidance of any doubt....


OK, it's not the end of the world if you do click "Publish" but it requires a bit of work to correct it. This is particularly important if you are writing the post ahead of your assigned posting day.

The above message will be repeated at the relevant point in the post. 

How to Create a New Post

1. Open the Challenge Blog (linky-link)

2. Click on "New Post" (as indicated by the red arrow in the photo above). This will take you to this screen:

3. Click on "New Post" (as indicated by the red arrow in the photo above). This will take you to the post editing screen:

Congratulations! You may now begin writing your post!

A quick word about post formats. There is a certain preferred "style", simply because it looks good on all screens. However, if you choose to format differently (within reason) you won't be penalised. Just take this guide as, well, a guide on how your post should look.

As a reasonable example of preferred post formatting, here's a post of mine from AHPC X (linky-link). 

Post Title

This is very important and there is certain information that must be included. Here is an example of how the Title should look:

A brief explanation of the different parts:

[draft] - This indicates that you haven't finished writing the post. When you are finished writing and happy for it to be published, change [draft] to [ready]. On your posting day, your minion will delete the [ready] from the title once they have finished scoring your submission.

[today] - As everyone has an assigned day for posting submissions (linky-link), please do remember to include this is your post title. For example, my posting day is Friday this year, so my post titles would start [draft][Friday] (nb - photo examples below are from AHPC XII).

"NB - The first and last few days of the Challenge are, traditionally,  "free-fire" and you can post submissions on any day of the week. Curt will advise you as to when the "free-fire" rule applies, you do not need to include [day] in your post titles during frefire periods."

"From TamsinP:" - Please start your post title with your assigned "handle" (linky-link). After all, we want to know who has painted those wonderful miniature masterpieces - no need to be shy! It's also a great help to the minion who will be scoring your post. You can either use a colon (":") or a spaced hyphen (" - ") as a separator.

"How To Write And (Not) Publish Your Posts" - Something that describes what you are posting. For example, if your submission is a warband of 28mm Orcs, you might make this part of the title "28mm Orc Warband".

(Nul points) - Please do include an estimate of how many points you think the submission is worth. The scoring per figures can be found in the announcement post (linky-link)

Just as a quick addendum, if your submission includes entries for AHPC Library, please include the location name between the description and points claim, eg:

"Phew, that's the Title done with. Onto the main bit. Which should be quite quick and painless***."

Body Of Post

This is the part where you write your actual submission and add all your photos. Some people choose to start by adding a group shot of all the figures in their submission, some start with an introductory text. The choice is yours.

What we expect to see in the text of your submission is:

A description of the miniatures - how many, the scale (eg 28mm), what they are and the manufacturer (if known)
A summary of the points you are claiming for the figures and (where applicable) Library locations, eg:
24 x 15mm foot @ 2 points = 48 points
12 x 15mm mounted @ 4 points = 48 points
9 x 28mm foot @ 5 points = 45 points
True Crime bonus = 20 points
Total = 161 points

"NB - the points summary is possibly the most important part of the post from the minions' point of view as without it scoring your submission may be difficult (we don't want to spend an hour working out from your photos how many figures you are claiming). "

If your post contains multiple different submissions you can, of course, include a summary after each section and then a "grand summary" at the end.

Beyond that, feel free to write whatever you want. You can, if you want, write a tall tale interspersed with photos (RIP NoelW - you are definitely missed by us all). You can include a guide to how you painted the figures. Or you can just write "Hey guys and gals - here are some Orcs I've painted".

Adding Photos To Your Post

Yes, we do want to see photos of your painted minis. We do know that not everyone is a great photographer, that not everyone has the best lighting for taking photos, and we don't expect that.

What we do want to see?

  • Photos that show how many figures are being claimed - if you are claiming 5 x 28mm orcs, we want to see a photo of the five orcs together.
  • Photos taken from different angles.
  • For odd-sized models, you might want to include size comparison photos to assist the minions
  • Close-up photos if you dare!

How to add photos:

1. Assuming you have written a couple of paragraphs of text and wish to insert a photo between them, eg:

2. The first thing to do is click "Enter" to create an additional blank line between the paragraphs:

3. To add your photos Click "insert Image" (as indicated by the red arrow in the photo below):

This will bring up a menu:

4. Click on "Upload from computer" (as indicated by the red arrow in the photo below):

That will open this pop-up window:

5. Click on "Choose files" (as indicated by the red arrow in the photo above). That will open your Folders, like so:

6. Find the folder with the photos you want to add, select them and click "Open" (as indicated by the red arrow in the photo below):

7. Your selected photos should appear in the "Add Images" pop-up window:

8. Make sure that all the photos you want to add are highlighted, then click "Select" (as indicated by the red arrow in the photo above). The photos should now upload to your blog post.

The last photo uploaded should be highlighted and there should be a menu box:

9. Please adjust the image size to "Large" for all your photos - click on the button indicated by the red arrow above:

I repeat, "Please adjust the image size to "Large" for all your photos" - there is nothing a minion hates more than having to spend several minutes resizing all 40 photos that someone has included in their post. No, I'm not looking at anyone in particular...or am I? (You know who you are!)

10. You can add captions underneath your photos. Click on the photo to bring up the menu bar and then click on the "A" button indicated by the red arrow in the photo below:

Underneath the photo you should now see "Add Caption":

Add whatever caption you like to the photo:

"There you go, wasn't that simple and clear*. Now you know how to add photos to your blog post, so that we can all see your lovingly painted miniatures!"

* amended from "clear and simple" to avoid confusion with a brand of soap

Just one more thing (TM Lieutenant Columbo) - please check that there is a blank line between text and photos and also between photos. It just looks nicer (and also makes it easier to correct any formatting issues).

And another thing (also TM Lieutenant Columbo) - please, upload photos rather than linking to photos on another site. Doing so avoids the possibility of broken photo links in future.

"Okay, so we have the post titles, scoring summaries, post text and photos covered. That just leaves one very important thing to cover before we go on to saving and (not) publishing your post."

***I might have been slightly "economical with the truth" when I suggested "quick and painless" at the start of this section.

On The Importance Of Labels And How To Do Them

Labels are pretty important as they allow people to search for specific posts. For example:

  • all posts written by TamsinP
  • all posts for a particular AHPC Library location
  • all posts that qualify for entry to the "Sarah's Choice" prize
  • all posts with Orcs
  • etc, etc, etc
So, how do you add labels to your post and what should you include? I'll cover these in reverse order...

What Labels To Include

  • Your "handle" (linky-link) (eg TamsinP), as per the Post Title
  • Scale of figures (eg 28mm)
  • Period (eg WW2)
  • Army/nationality/faction (eg Space Marines)
  • Manufacturer (eg Warlord Games)
  • Library location if applicable (eg True Crime)
  • "Sarah's Choice" if applicable (ie a female figure* is part of the entry)
  • Anything else that you think might be helpful for people searching the blog
* for avoidance of any doubt, the female figure should be humanoid. Painting a bear and claiming it as a female miniature isn't the done thing, is it Ray? 

How to Add Labels To Your Post

In the right-hand sidebar, you should see "Labels" at the top:

To add your labels, start typing where it says "Separate labels with com...":

As you start typing, if anything looks like it might match the label you want to add, the "matches" will show below where you are typing:

In the photo above you will see that I have added "TamsinP" and started to type the next label - it has offered a match "Administration" to the "adm" that I have typed. As that is correct, I click on the offered match. One letter earlier in my typing, the list of "matches" was much longer:

If no correct "matches" are offered, finish typing your label, add a comma immediately after and click "Enter". That will create a new label:

"Is that all clear? Jolly good - we can move on now to saving and (not) publishing your post."

Saving And (Not) Publishing Your Post

Now that you have finished writing your post and are ready for it to go to the minions for scoring, etc, there is just one little task do first - go back to your Post Title and change [draft] to [ready]. All set? OK, let us proceed.

Whatever you do at this point...


I repeat...


For the avoidance of any doubt....


OK, it's not the end of the world if you do click "Publish" but it requires a bit of work to correct it. This is particularly important if you are writing the post ahead of your assigned posting day.

This is what we need you to do.

Just above the red arrow, you will see a button marked "Preview" - click the arrow next to it. That will bring up a small menu:

Click "Save". 

NB - you can click "Save" at any point while you are writing your post. It might in fact be a good idea to do so every so often if your post is quite long.

Your post is saved and you can now either close the tab or go to the "Posts" screen if you want to write another post:

To do so, click on the little arrow above the big red arrow. That will return you to the "Posts" screen and you should see your post in the queue:

If all has gone to plan, you should see in orange "Draft" underneath the title of your post.

Now, you may be asking "how do I add links and videos" to my posts. Adding videos (use the "Inset Videos" button next to the "Insert Photos" one) is much the same as adding photos, but we do ask you to link from another site. 

Adding links (as I have done several times in this tutorial)  is quite easy.

1. Highlight the text that you wish to use as a link
2. Copy the URL of the page you want to link to
3. Click on the "link" button (as indicated by the red arrow in the photo below):

This will open a pop-up window:

Paste the link where it says to, and then check the box for  "Open the link in a new window". Click "Apply" and you should have created the link.

Phew! I do hope that I'm getting paid overtime for doing this as it's taken me much longer than anticipated*, what with all the screen captures and photo editing. 

What's that Curt? I'm doing this for free?!?!?!?! Again?!?!?!?!?!?!Yikes!!!!!

Anyway, that's enough from me for today. I hope that you have found this post useful. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.




* (2022) We'd originally agreed that Curt would include a link to my post from last year in one of his admin posts and I would add amended text to the joining document he will be sending out.
(2023) Curt suggested that he was going to tweak my 2022 post himself, which I assumed meant "Tamsin, I think you really ought to tweak it yourself so that I don't make a complete mess of it. By the way, do you think this new bicorne suits me?"

Tuesday 5 December 2023

Duels and Side Challenges for Challenge XIV

The the declaration of paint duels, side challenges and grudge matches extends to the earliest editions of the Challenge and has become a time-honoured tradition ever since. Paint duels help motivate some participants to keep their steam up and creates a fun atmosphere of smack-talk and brush-baiting.

For those who are new to the Challenge paint duels allow for groups of participants to test one another against their own established criteria. Maybe it's to see who can paint the most Space Marines over the duration of the Challenge, or who can paint the most figures within a particular historical period/genre. Other duels may be to see who can get to a specific points threshold first. Really, the sky's the limit - it's entirely up to participants' imagination.

Over the years the side duels have become more formalized, with many of these clashes of brush and paint have become fabled parts of Challenge history.

There's already been murmurings amongst a few participants about issuing duels, and to facilitate such, there is an area of the blog dedicated for it for tracking purposes. You can find the link to the Duels page on the top navigation bar.

One of our fine Antipodean friends, PaulOG, will be in charge of keeping track of the paint duels for this year. (Thanks Paul!!) ALL updates on duels must be sent to him for tabulation and posting - he will be the official scorekeeper of duels and side-challenges. Ndodgy spreadsheets, heretical documents, or bogus scorecards will be recognized. So send him a note to get your duel registered and keep him appraised of any progress.

Paul can be reached at: 

Again, when you finish an entry that's eligible for scoring in a duel please send Paul a quick note, giving the name of the duel and the criteria you wish to log. He in turn will update the duel page. Simple! 

Okay folks! Let's see what y'all can dream up to contest each other in pigmented honour.

- Curt

Monday 4 December 2023

The Participant Roster for Challenge XIV!

Hello Challengers!

Below is the 'Brave 86' who will be taking part in Challenge XIV. We have around a dozen new people this year, which is exciting as I always like seeing fresh victims, er, faces in the ranks. 

As to the daily assignments, I've tried to accommodate any special requests, and have grouped our Australian friends under our antipodean Minion Millsy to better adjust for their time differential from CST (i.e. Challenge Snowlord Time).

In a few days I'll be sending out invites to the blog to those who are not already registered as having 'author' status. Also, in a short while I'll be posting a 'How To' package penned by our very own TamsinP. It's a riveting read, and yes, she will be conducting snap quizzes from time to time, so I highly recommend you do you homework and be very vigilant. The alternative is to risk 'undue unpleasantness' by the 'Auditrix-in-Chief'.  :)

- Curt

Monday 20 November 2023

The 14th Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

We're nearing a month away from the first day of Winter, and with the season comes that feverish hobby event: The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge!   

This will be our 14th season of the Challenge and this year participants will be making their way through the aisles and bookstacks of the AHPC Library. More on this below. 

The Basics

The Painting Challenge will extend from the first day of Winter, 12:01 am December 21st, through to the first day of Spring, 12:01am March 19th, Central Standard Time (CST). (Yes, it's a leap year!)
Miniatures (i.e. figures, vehicles, artillery, terrain, etc.) can be prepared, assembled and primed prior to the start date, but you cannot start painting until December 21st. In order to gain full points. (Though there is a theme location which allows partial points for the completion of already started projects - see the AHPC Library below.) The figures should be based (if appropriate) and any planned groundwork completed. The figures have to be painted by you. 
The Challenge follows the honour system in the completion and entry of figures. 
Miniatures can be in any scale and in any genre (pulp-adventure, science-fiction, fantasy, etc.).
For purposes of scoring, participants will create draft blog posts of their wok on the  Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge blog. Up-to-date scoring (or as up-to-date as we can manage) will be managed by our intrepid team of Minions and displayed the blog's main page. 
I will send out an email to all participants a week or so prior to the event to provide additional details on submitting your entries to the Challenge blog.
An Important Note: All participants must have at least one entry submitted within the first four weeks of the event (i.e. January 21st). Failure to do so will result in being dropped from the Challenge roster. Yep, remember, this is not called a Challenge for nothing. :)
The Scoring

Below is an outline of the scoring that will be used for the Challenge. 
6mm foot figure = 0.5 point
6mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 1 point
6mm vehicle = 2 points
10mm foot figure = 1 point
10mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 3 points
10mm vehicle = 6 points 
15mm foot figure = 2 points
15mm mounted figure, artillery piece or large crew served weapon = 4 poin
15mm vehicle = 8 points

20mm foot figure = 4 points
20mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 8 points
20mm vehicle = 15 points

28mm foot figure = 5 points

28mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 10 points
28mm vehicle = 20 points
40mm foot figure = 7 points
40mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 15 points
40mm vehicle = 25 points
54mm foot figure = 10 points
54mm mounted figures, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 20 points
54mm vehicle, limber, etc. = 30 points 
Other scales, miscellaneous models/figures will be scored on a submission-by-submission basis. 

Terrain Submissions

We'll retain our 'imperfect-but-it-works'  6" cube format. In short, if your terrain piece (or collected terrain pieces) fills a 6" cube, you get 20 points. If your terrain submission would 'fill' multiple 6" cubes, then multiply 20 points for each cube of volume. 

Terrain filling the 6" cube on the left would be worth 20 points. The composite group on the right, made up of eight cubes, would be worth 160 points.

Example 1: I've painted three 28mm barrels and six trees. They would roughly fill a single 6" square cube. I would get 20 points for this. 

Example 2: I've constructed and painted a large 28mm manor that is approximately 12" wide, 14" long and 10" high. All in all, this would roughly take up 8 cubes worth of volume. This would give me 160 points.

Example 3: I've painted a few bits of scatter terrain. I estimate they only 'fill' around a 1/4 of a 6" square cube. This would get me 5 points.

Submissions of terrain should be sent in with a picture illustrating the scale of their work (a ruler laid alongside should do the trick). This will give your hard-working Minion a basis for scoring. Extra points for extra detail, scratch-built insanity, etc. will be left to the Minions to adjudicate as they see fit.  

Welcome to the 'AHPC Library'!

Those doughty Challengers who wish to to gain bonus points can enter the AHPC Library, browse the stacks, and engage with the various themed challenges found within. Here is a early draft of the Library map.

The Library will feature various locations which participants can explore by completing a themed hobby task. Once you've complete the task at a location you will get bonus points and will be clear to travel on to the next location on the map. 

Remember, participants do not need to engage with the Library to enjoy the Challenge, it is a voluntary diversion for those wishing to try some theme-based challenges.

In the next few days I'll follow up with another post laying out the specifics of the 'AHPC Library', its final layout, and its bonus themes.

Our Marvelous Minions

Keeping to form, I will serve as the Head Librarian / Tormentor-in-Chief / Dork-Lord, etc. etc., BUT I also have a happy group of 'Minions' to help me keep this all chugging along. Here are the wonderful people (and their assigned days) who have taken the Snowlord's Shilling to assist me in this year's Challenge:
  • Monday: SylvainR (Canada)
  • Tuesday: MartijnN (Belgium)
  • Wednesday: GregB (Canada)
  • Thursday: TeemuL (Finland)
  • Friday: Millsy (Australia)
  • Saturday: DallasE (Canada)
  • Sunday: KyleC (UK)
We also see the return of MilesR who will be our stats guru and PaulOG who will keep on top of the Duels (see below). Thank you guys for stepping up to help for this year's edition!

Signup, Personal Targets and Duels

For those wishing to participate please send me an email, providing the following information: 
1) your full name,
2) your country of residence, and 
3) your points target for the three months of the event (see below).
My email address is:
curtcampbell at mac dot com 
I will post a comment below when the roster has been filled and will follow-up with an email in a couple weeks detailing the specifics of the event.

Many participants have found the personal points targets to be a great incentive to maintain their pace over the three months of the Challenge. I encourage participants to pick a target that is just beyond your comfort zone, but still achievable. As a rough benchmark, 300 points is considered a manageable amount for someone who is new to the the event and/or has a busy work/life schedule. Also remember that a significant amount of points can be secured by adventuring in the 'AHPC Library' (more on this later).

Also, related to the points targets, many people have a lot of fun issuing 'paint duels' to other participants. This could be racing to meet a declared target, painting the most figures for a specific period, etc. We have our indomitable Minion, PaulOG, to keep track of the duels, but more on that in a later post.

The Cost of Entry

Last year we had great success with our donations to the Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation. Thank you again to all those supported this worthwhile cause.

As we have a library theme this year, I'm going to ask participants to donate to their local library. As we all know, these institutions are incredibly valuable to the social wellbeing of our societies, and often operate on a shoestring, so let's give them a little lift if we can. I leave it to participants to manage their own donation. Perhaps we can feature each of our local libraries in our future posts during the event. I think that would be quite interesting!


Challenge XIV begins at 12:01am December 21st!

Now, sign up for the Challenge and get you minis assembled and primed!!  We'll see you on the start line in a few weeks!

Monday 24 April 2023

From BartekR: Challenge XIII in the can

A much belated wrap up - I’ve been travelling for work but to put a full stop on my AHPC XIII

Adding my voice to the thanks and appreciations: to Curt and Sarah as our gracious hosts;  the hardworking minions for getting the posts up and keeping things running (big shout-out to Martin for keeping the Sunday Crew on the rails, and for his patience as I found my feet). A nod to Mr Roundwood for creating the Studio challenge - fantastic stuff which had me diving into random pockets of my pile of shame (and at least one impulsive purchase of Murch Pulp figures). Lastly, thanks to everyone for their posts and comments – inspirational and sometimes intimidating stuff, but the sense of community and camaraderie has been a definite high point.

Challenge XIII was my first time participating in the AHPC and a definite case of 'long time listener, first time caller'. Its been an absolute blast despite/with its periods of pressure (a few late nights). Most importantly (and I can't overstate this), its pushed me from what has been for years pretty much ‘collecting’ (hoarding) and being in this hobby in investment and theory ('fellow traveller' might be an apt description) to actually getting paint on plastic and metal. Really baseline stuff but a massive shift after close to a decade of overthinking and umming and ahhing on getting back into the doing. 

In terms of actual output, I aimed low in terms of points and walked away pretty satisfied with the result – a lot to improve in terms of technique (I am an utterly inefficiently slow painter) but happy with the journey so far. 

The output, minus the Conquest unit (back with my brother)

From a target 300 points, I came away with 332 pts for painted minis with another 140pts in Studio bonuses for a 472pt total. Not bad for a first attempt I reckon. A really scattered bunch of topics - worked against me a bit but also got me deep into the ‘miscellaneous’ stuff in my stash/pile and let me indulge a lot of nostalgia and fave topics. Amusingly, looking back on my first post, barely anything I did was in the original planned pile and there is a lot more sitting around I didn't get to. Oh well, there will always be a next time! :-)

As an aside, I have to admit the ‘Work in Progress’ Studio really made the difference to kickstarting things at what was up against the clock for the first post. I don’t know if a ‘WIP’ studio/space will remain a thing, but I’m a definite fan of the concept as a fast-track gateway (even if the points values are reduced to account for it being what it is).

Hope to see you all back here for XIV. In the meantime, my plan is to do a hard reset on a very defunct blog and then choose a project from the pile to keep the momentum rolling on. 

Stay safe, and see you all later this year!

Monday 17 April 2023

From MattW: XIII - It’s a wrap

XIII it’s a wrap

A big hearty thank you to Curt, Sarah, the Minions and all of the participants for another great challenge. A wide range of inspiring, superb and cracking paint jobs were entered,  huge terrain projects, and massive miniature armies were built and hopefully lead mountains were diminished. 

I was really happy with my results this year, my first time I surpassed my challenge goal number and  completed the side challenge. I managed too complete every studio so that really boosted my points. My highlights for the studios were building the ww1 aircraft and the female miniatures painted for Lady Sarah’s limousine which turned out a treat, which too my surprise I won a prize for. 

Rabens Ravens

General Varus

The fruit picker 

Chieftain Marobodus

I had a lot of projects I wanted to get started on, my main focus though was my Roman’s and Germanics. Originally I planned only do 120 odd Roman’s but by challenge end it was close to 200 miniatures, and 140 Ancient Germans plus some nice commands. I did fail to complete the ten cohorts planned for my legion, due to a planning fail and the Royal Mail strike which left me short 4 foundry commands and 18 praetorian shields (which could be possibly in storage somewhere) and running low on enthusiasm for Roman’s and Germanics in the last ten days of the challenge. I plan to complete the last 4 units next month or so when I return from holidays in Australia.

Legio VI

Woden the all father

Seubi tribesmen

Looking forward to next years challenge, and plan too build another big army…..not sure what though. See you all next year.