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.  



Monday 10 April 2023

In Celebration of Challenge XIII

Well, here we are at the end of the thirteenth edition of the Painting Challenge. The film lot is closed, all the votes have been counted for both 'Minions' Choice' and 'Challengers' Choice', Sarah has made her selection for 'Sarah’s Choice' and I’ve done the same for my SnowLord's selection. Whew, it's been a hectic few days! 


Minions' Choice

Okay, first up! Our intrepid cabal of Minions have convened, muttered their sacred rights and made their 'Minions' Choice' for our last month of the Challenge.

The runners up are:

Dallas for his majestic and imposing Warhound Titan

Kerry for his whimsical Baron Munchhausen.

...and Simon for is incredibly impressive Jewish Revolt Temple Mount

The Minions' Choice' goes to:

Ken for his stunning Italian Wars Spanish Colunella!

Ken, for your prize you have a $50 gift voucher from Westfalia Miniatures. Congratulations mate!


Challengers' Choice

We had 31 nominations this year for the Challengers' Choice, with a great responce from voters (in fact, there were only a few votes separating 1st and 2nd place). I found it a lot of fun to take in the gallery of nominees as it provided a wonderful retrospective of the thee months of the Challenge. Our Monday Minion Peter was kind enough to tally up the votes and so here are the runners up and podium finishers.

3rd Runner Up 

Curt for his Mad Maximillian Roadsters.

2nd Runner Up 

Sidney for his Samurai figures

1st Runner Up

Miles' Battle of Peleliu Project


Podium Finishers for Challengers' Choice

Third Place

Tamsin for her enormously impressive and, well, just enormous 'Spirit of Camberwell'

After looking at it again I think you're right Tamsin. It really is worth 1000 points... :)

Second Place for Challengers' Choice  

Darrell for his sumptuously painted Byzantines. Here are just a few selections of his work:

First Place for Challengers' Choice' goes to: 

Ken for his fabulously salty and foamy WWII ships. Once again, bravo Ken! Challenge XIII has been a banner edition for you - well done!

Ken, for your prize you get a print edition of Simon Miller's 'For King & Parliament' and the 'Marlowe to Maidenhythe' scenario book from 'BigRedBat'.


Snowlord's Choice

Honourable Mentions go to:

Kerry's  Italian Wars Gendarmes

Martijn's Don Quiote and Sancho Panza 

SnowLord's Choice goes to:

Sidney's wonderful Samurai-themed figures and terrain for his upcoming rules, 'When the Last Sword is Drawn'. Absolutely stunning work Sidney, Bravo!

Sydney, for your prize you get a starter boxed set of Moonstone from the good folks over at Goblin King Games.


Sarah’s Choice 

Hi Everybody!

Another fantastic Challenge comes to a close! Well done everyone!

A highlight of the Challenge for me is seeing the terrific variety of female figures being presented.

The scope of this years figures - from cut throat lady pirates, Viking shield maidens, vampires and zombies, steam punk witches and French Revolutionary peasants, ghosts, nuns and queens and an excellent Frankenstein Bride - has been a real pleasure to re-visit these past few days.

I find that no matter how diligent I am during the Challenge, there are often figures that I missed or forgot about. It’s such a treat to come across these unexpected treasures!

I’d like to highlight the sculpting skills of GeoffreyT, his Bandida was a really fun entry and I liked the cool-hippy chick vibe of his sculpt. Very characterful!

Another of my favourite entries this Challenge was the elegant 75mm Female Duelliste from MartinC. The paint job reminds me of classic toy soldier style… which is awesome. The Duelliste herself could be the heroine from a Georgette Heyer novel .. also awesome!

This years Sarah’s Choice Award will be un-precedented .. and the Snow Lord agrees that I can do this …

We have two winners for Sarah's Choice:

StuartL and MattW!!

StuartL’s Malifaux Mannequins Showgirls, the fish seller, and his steampunk witch are all wonderful.

MattW’s Apple Lady with donkey, medieval milk maid and the French Revolutionary peasant women were also standouts for me.

Definitely treats for all of us to enjoy!

And, speaking of treats, Stuart and Matt, you both will get a $50 Gift Voucher from our good friend Kawe over at Westfalia Miniatures.

Thank you and congratulations!!

- Sarah

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners. Thank you for sharing your wonderful work with us. To the winners, please email me to work out the details for getting your awards. 


Before Challenge XIII concludes, I’d like to thank again our fabulous Minions for all their hard work herding entries, managing the Spreadsheet of Doom and keeping on top of the duels. I also wish to thank our Challenge Sponsors for their generous support of the event.  If you have a free moment please visit their web stores via the banners on the left sidebar and see if something strikes your fancy.  As I say every year, the Challenge doesn’t need prizes to be a success, but it adds a bit of sparkle to the show.  Thanks again to all our wonderful sponsors! 

Finally, and I really can't say this enough, I want to thank all our Challenge participants. This event would be nothing without all your industry, your humour and most of all, your open-hearted support. All of these make the Painting Challenge what it is. You folks are terrific, thank you.

So in closing, I bid you all a fond farewell. I hope you enjoy the next eight months 'off', and until we get together again next December...

In Memory of Oscar

- Curt