Saturday, 23 March 2019

From MilesR: Challenge IX Wrap-Up

 Challenge IX's production represents a personal best for me with just over 5K points and barely fits on my 8x4 foot table.  It's also notable in that the points output isn't dominated by 28mm figures.  There were 3 areas of focus for Challenge nine - 15mm Napoleonics, 28mm Wild West and ACW and Terrain - lots of terrain.

 On the 28mm side I added some more to my Perry ACW collection which was required for my Cold Wars convention games which went rather well.  There was also a good bit of 28mm "heroic scaled" Wild West stuff including a ton of buildings.
 The main area of focus this year (and likely next year) was 15mm Napoleonics as you can see in this picture.  There's a good start to an Austrian Army and I've also finished all the odds and ends I need put on my Historicon game this summer (including the ships).  The game is titles "To Catch a King" and will depict a British attempt to spirit King George away from the clutches of Napoleon after a he has invaded Britain.  Of course with King George being THAT King George, his movements may be a little erratic at times.

I'm not sure why Curt insists on inflicting all of you with the lasting visual trauma of my visage but he does - perhaps you all have greatly wronged him in a past life.  So here goes.  I do like the way my glasses squish my head in - very stylish.

The distribution of this year's points is as follows (and yes there is a spreadsheet)

15mm Napoleonic:                  2,133
Terrain:                                    1,780
Wild West                                   640
28mm ACW                               335
"other"                                        163
  Total                                       5,051

Please note that out of respect to all of your intellects, I do not stoop to the tawdry use of flashy charts and graphs as some less discerning challengers may.  Let us keep our mathematical discourse out of the graphic gutter.

Next year's challenge will likely focus on 15mm nappys (one always needs a Russian army and some Prussians to) plus terrain.  I do like building terrain....

I may not have been active as much as I would have liked in comments during the course of the challenge due to intrusion of real world issues but I do greatly enjoy this event and the cherish the people who participate (yes, even you Ray).  This whole exercise is a very great stress reliever and is much appreciated - Thank You.

From LeeH - AHPC IX Body of Work

The Challenge is over and I have that empty feeling that follows the hectic activity of the last three months. There is a void in my life and the only thing that will fill it is to start planning for Challenge Ten! But first I need to cap off this year's festival of painting with a 'Body of Work' photo. Its been mixed bag from me this year, with additions to several existing armies rather than starting a new project. My original target of 600 points was smashed fairly early and everything on my original to-do list has been completed.

So, I think a breakdown is required although I am aware that I'm probably the only one that will be interested in this. I racked up a total score of 845 Points and reached 31st place. Neither of these figures is a personal best, but considering I was also the Tuesday Minion, I'm pretty happy with that tally. I even managed to take a week off for a family holiday in the middle of the Challenge (as I keep reminding the wife whenever she rolls her eyes at my latest project).


Zulu War    12.1% (102 Points)
Fantasy      18.6% (157 Points)
Punic War   27.9% (236 Points)
WWI           7.3%  (62 Points)
WWII          34.1% (288 Points)

6mm          40%  (338 Points)
15mm        38%  (321 Points)
28mm        17.6%  (149 Points)
40mm        4.4%  (37 Points)

Stats aside, and on a personal level, this has been the best Challenge I have taken part in. I have managed to get a lot of 'lead' painted - far more than I would alone - and have added to several existing armies in my collection. There is always more that can be done, so don't be surprised if more AZW units turn up in Challenge Ten.

Slightly amazed at how much I have painted!

Aside from the obvious joy of getting stuff painted, I have also been able to participate (in a small way) to the competition itself and that has been enormous fun. Being a minion was both a rare privilege and a great responsibility and it has given me a whole new perspective on a competition I thought I knew well. I've said it before but I'd like to thank all of the Tuesday Terrors for being such a great team and for letting me adjudicate their incredible entries. And while I'm in 'Oscars' mode, I'd also like to thank Curt, the Great Snow Lord himself, for running this madness every year. It is the highlight of my hobby year and the other nine months are a pale shadow by comparison. 

From TamsinP: My Humble AHPC9 Efforts

Phew! Thank goodness it's all over! Rather than wait a few days so that I'd forget where I'd squirreled everything away, I decided to do my group pics a few hours after the Challenge finished. However, on reviewing the pics and my posts, I realise that I did forget six bases of Mongol cavalry!

I'll start you with a decent pic showing everything that got painted:

And then a not so good one with me in it:

The camera must have tilted a bit when I pressed the button before rushing to kneel down behind the table before the timer counted down. The trouble with living on your own is there is nobody to take pics of you with your glorious collection of recently painted minis.

And now some pics of individual groups:

Stronty Dogs, Waffen SS, Kra'Vak

Ming Chinese

Mongols (missing 6 cavalry bases)

SYW Russians

Pulp, Gladiators, Young Ones, the Lady Sarah

Santa Mondega's worst

Fenrisians and light snacks

28mm and 15mm WW2 Soviets

Early WW2 Aussies

I've also done a bit of maths to work out how my scoring splits up:

Bonus Rounds - 275
Curtgeld - 20
Other Bonuses* - 29**
28mm - 1452
15mm - 1650
Total -=3426

*Flags, random generosity from minions
** I've deducted the 37 bonus points Lee added for the Stronty Dog figures and included them in the 28mm total

Crikey! 3102 points of painted figures, vehicles and terrain in 3 months! That's a 22% increase over my previous best 2522 points from AHPC5 (which was 15 weeks rather than 13!). Taking my score with bonuses, it's a 36% increase; adjust that for the 13 vs 15 weeks and it's a whopping 57%.

It's also my highest placing (I was 5th in AHPC6 with my lowest total out of 6 Challenges).

Breaking things down further:

Foot - 258 + 3 small crewed weapons/bits scored as foot
mounted - 0
Crewed weapons - 1
Vehicles -1
Terrain - 4 cubes* (I've included the Lady Sarah as terrain although it was scored as 2 vehicles)

* for the Challenge  a terrain "cube" is 6" x 6" x 6"

Foot - 535 + 4 small crewed weapons scored as foot
Mounted - 114
Crewed weapons - 27
Vehicles - 1

This was, I believe, my closest ratio between 15mm and 28mm outputs. I could quite easily have skewed things very heavily to 28mm if I had focused on my Wars of the Roses project. But I didn't, largely because I kept being intimidated by the number of figures. I think they will be a project for April. I might have worked out how I will do their basing by then as well.

I think this may be the first time that I have had an entry in all five bonus rounds. That was mostly because I already had something in the paint queue which would fit each theme (OK, one was a bit of a stretch!).

Aside from my placing and output, I  am quite happy to say that this has been the best Challenge that I've taken part in. It's been great fun seeing everybody's entries over the three months and commenting on them. The AHPC does bring out the best in all of us, and this year's Fellowship theme was very fitting.

Once again, a huge thanks to Curt for organising this extravaganza and to Lady Sarah for allowing him to do so.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Curt's Challenge IX Group Shot

Me, Oscar (on my left, with one eye peeking out), and Felix overseeing my Challenge IX output.

While I was caught up with a lot of boring real-life stuff this Challenge, I did manage to get a surprising amount completed. Well, 'a surprising amount' to my workmanlike standards, but nothing compared to the titans of the roster's top 10.

Not bad. I'm particularly proud of that 1:1 scale half-filled wine glass...

Nonetheless, I was delighted to (barely) achieve my 1200 point target and to have stuck to my guns in being totally all over the place in topics. I think my 'Squirrel Tally' indicates around 15 different periods/genres/scales over my 21 entries, which I found to be satisfyingly schizophrenic.

The funny byproduct to this whackadoodle approach is that I currently have about a dozen entries in some level of completion, which should give me something to work on over the coming months.  Bonus! :)

It was a terrific Challenge, and while I'm happy to have a few months break, I look forward to putting my shoulder to the wheel for Challenge X next winter.

In the meantime, I'll catch up with you all on March 31st for our glitzy award show.

See you then!

- Curt Actual Out -

Stats, The Teaser

As if the words "Stats" needs something so mundane as a teaser marketing campaign.  I still get a little tingle every time I type the word stats.  I suspect each and everyone of you have the same reaction or greater when you read that word....

But, sadly, there are a few unenlightened souls who live in the intellectual wilderness of the non-mathemagical world (gads could there ever be a worse place - I suspect not),  For those bedraggled souls, I shall offer a few hints as to the statistical glory that awaits all of you when the Challenge Stats post is unveiled this weekend.  You may all rest assured that, as you slumber in your paint splattered painting warrens, my statistical minions are making the appropriate sacrifices, chanting the needed incantations and carrying the two to provide you with mathematical enlightenment, however unworthy you are to receive it.

No need to thank me, it's what I do.  You're Welcome.

One note - as this is a family oriented channel (despite the attempts of a certain participant to get us a "adult content warning" from Google) I've rounded off the numbers.  Sometimes too many decimal places is just to "suggestive".  I think you know what I mean. (wink)

So without further ado, said teasers are below:




WOW - It doesn't get any better than that, does it?

And, before you ask, there will be charts and graphs for those of you who still need training wheels when playing with numbers.  I can not tell you how it pains me to stoop to this level of numerological communication but it's sadly needed.  Oh how I dream of a day when we all communicate only in binary. What a glorious day that will be.

Your Friendly 'very stable genius" Stats Wizard

For those of you with access to the glorious spreadsheet of divination - NO PEEKING!  I can track who looks at the spreadsheet and my wrath is as cruel as my memory is long......

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Last Lament from the Duels Wallah

A last plea for Side Duel updates please - be it your Squirrels, Renaissance Men, Evil Empire or other
Final standings will be published on Sunday

many thanks!

Wallah 9 Actual - Out

The Final Post of Challenge IX 'Fellowship' - The Syrian White Helmets

Brushes down folks! It's curtains.

Jeez Louise! Our ninth Challenge under the belt, eh! Wow, I'm a bit wrecked, but it feels awesome to have hit the finish line with all of you. I have to give a HUGE thanks to many a minion and particularly Tamsin for stopping in to help me post some the entries over the past few day - you folks were real troopers and helped me stay employed while keeping the show on the road. 


As to my closing post, I wanted to return to our theme of 'Fellowship' and decided to do a small vignette honouring a group of people whose selfless work I've admired for several years now: the Syrian White Helmets.

As many of you know the White Helmets are a group of Syrian volunteers whose mandate is to provide medical assistance, urban search and rescue, civilian evacuation, and essential service delivery to areas caught within their nation's civil war. It is reported that since they were formed more than 5 years ago the White Helmets have saved over 100,000 lives, while losing over 200 of their own people in the process. In 2016 the group was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and have subsequently been awarded numerous international accolades for their humanitarian work.

Sadly, in this politically charged region of the world, there is an active smear campaign levelled at the White Helmets, trying to besmirch and belittle what they have done for their people. Personally I think this is reprehensible and completely disgusting, but these are the times we live in and we all have to do our bit to rise above it and fight injustice when we can. 

I'm proud to say that this past summer the Canadian government was instrumental in organising the evacuation of over 400 White Helmets and their families from Syria before forces loyal to the present regime could arrest them for supposed crimes against the state. Many of these people have been resettled here in Canada, along with other participating countries. I know for many of them it has been a heart-wrenching experience, having to flee their homeland and loved ones to live in a far away, alien place. I am happy to have them here in a safe haven, but I hope there comes a day when these brave people can freely and safely choose to either return to Syria, or remain with us as new Canadians.

As you can imagine, there are no White Helmet figures on the market, so I took a shot of bodging my own. As they wear a distinctive cropped helmet which looks vaguely similar to a German fallshirmjaeger helmet I used that as a basis to run with. 

With this in mind, I found a trio of 20mm German paratroopers tucked away in my collection, repositioned their arms and heads and carefully cut and filed away their equipment to look more like civilian garb. I then mounted them on a piece of carved blue insulation and then added assorted rubble and debris. Admittedly, it's not perfect, but the overall silhouette seems to work to my eyes. I hope it does for you as well.


Okay, on to the administrative stuff.

Over the next few weeks I'd like everyone to submit a group shot of themselves and everything they got done over the past three months of the Challenge. I'll kick this off in a few days featuring my smiling mug with my (small) horde of toys PLUS I will be posting the my remaining Tribute figures for Lee and Robert, so stay tuned for those.

The announcement on the various prizes will be in two weeks time (Sunday, March 31st).  

These will be:

- The six Threshold prizes for 500, 750, 1000, 1500, 2000 and 2500+ points.

- Judges Choice (chosen by me)

- Sarah's Choice (chosen by Lady Sarah)

- Challenger's Choice (chosen by you lot!)

For Challenger's choice we're going to do it similar to previous years. I'd like all the participants to send me their top three favourite entries from this Challenge. The deadline is this Sunday (the 24th). It doesn't have to be in any particular order as I will make a big gallery of all the nominations from which we can vote. It will be a nice way of reminding ourselves of all the excellent work that was produced during the Challenge.

Again, thank you for indulging me in this mad little venture. And a HUGE thanks to both this year's Minions (Barks, Lee, Ev, Iain, Robert, Miles, and Paul) and the Old Sweats of previous editions, I could not have pulled this off without you folks.  I hope you all had as good a time as I did.

There it is: The Ninth Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge has concluded. 

Thanks again everyone!


Wednesday, 20 March 2019

From JonathanO: Slitheen (21 Points)

May I present another set of monsters, who were enemies of Doctor Who, as my final post in this challenge?  The Slitheen:

These 3 figures are from Warlord Games.  They are 40mm high.

The Slitheen are a family of criminal Raxacoricofallapatorians.  They are large, powerful aliens who first appeared in the 2005 episode "Aliens of London".  Using stolen technology they were able to create compression fields and disguise themselves using the skins of their victims.  As part of their plan to take over Earth for use in their family business ventures, they impersonated the Prime Minister, other politicians and figures of authority.

Scary though it can be, Doctor Who is of course pure fiction.  Can you imagine what would happen of aliens were really able to impersonate political leaders and create chaos, division and uncertainty among the population and businesses?

It is a matter of personal regret that I was again unable to deliver on my deal and fell short of my points target by a significant margin.

The clock is ticking and the deadline is almost here.  So it is just about time for all participants to set down their BRushes and EXIT from this edition of the Painting Challenge.  That is unless President Curt and the Painting Challenge Commission will allow a short extension?


Sorry mate, you and your Slitheen overlords will have to revoke article 50 to rejoin the Challenge Union. (The whole Farage/Johnson/May thing makes SO much sense now...) ;)

Great work Jonathan, but these guys seriously creep me out with their non-eyes and icky tri-fingers. I'm just going to give you the 21 points and wish you a fond farewell - until the next time they let us out of the asylum. 

- Curt

From RossM: Final post for AHPC IX (160 Points)

So, we draw near the end of yet another fantastic Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge and this is the eighth I have participated in.  Before I introduce the entrants for this post; just want to say a huge thanks to the minions, fellow painters and of course the Snow Lord himself - Curt. The challenge makes the dark months of the early year fly and is a highlight the hobby year.

This figure is this year's Curtgeld and his brethren have been used in past games of MERP as Black Numenoreans. Given the theme of Fellowship and the request for enemies, I looked for something just that little bit different to pass on and a pre slotta Citadel C09Dark Elf was just the ticket. 

Now I have a confession to make; the figure is based on a 25mm hex base and has been since undercoating. Normally there would be nothing wrong with this, however the Curtgeld figure would sit on a 25mm round base. The dilemma that I faced as I continued to base and flock this figure on a hex base rather than rebase it. Hope that is ok, Curt?

More retro figures from Citadel and more of their classic Skeletons, another six to be precise. Not much more needs to be said about these to be honest.

No kilts to lift here

Yet more 15mm Late Crusaders from Gladiator Miniatures, this time the cavalry arm of a Late Crusader DBA army. Following suit from the earlier figures from this army there are both Brother Knights in red surcoats and Brother Sergeants in black surcoats.

More infantry for the same army and two additional command stands for the same army in ADLG, have the figures and enjoy the game so might as well.

All of the Crusaders as a group shot.

Two stands of Arab swordsmen to oppose the above. Don't know who makes these, probably Minifigs or similar. The undercoat has gone a bit grainy on these and unfortunately this has effected the final wash on the figures. Too old to try and strip them so grainy they will remain.

Another stand of Late Romans that required three figures to be matched in to painting from approx 15 years ago. The figures are front left as seen in front rank and the first and second figures from the left in the rear rank.

The figures are from Wargames Foundry and are still some of my favourite for this period, if perhaps a bit small in comparison to the likes of Gripping Beast and Footsore.

I cut the spears to the wrong length and didn't notice until the figures where glued in place in the unit.  Oh well, its only a couple of mm.

Shown with their fellows who are waiting on basing
Shown below is the entirety of this year's challenge from me and this year I have learnt a couple things for next year:
  • Don't change your mind 3 weeks into the challenge and start prepping other figures
  • Never, ever start rebasing the largest ancients army you have in 28mm, or any scale for that matter 

In terms of points I make this

1 x 28mm figure (Curtgeld) - 25 points
6 x 28mm skeletons - 30 points
15 x 15mm cavalry - 60 points
15 x 15mm infantry - 30 points
3 x 28mm infantry - 15 points

For a total this entry of 160 points.

This will take my overall total to 354 points out of 500 planned for (see comments above)

Thanks again to everyone and I am looking forward to Challenge X later this year.

Cheers, Ross


First, thanks so much for the wonderful Curtgeld figure Ross. I love these old school Citadel models and this guy's an absolute corker (don't sweat the base, it looks wonderful).  

Wow, what a great assortment you have for us as your closing entry. Skeletons, crusaders, arab swordsmen... this has all the makings of a fabulous adventure movie! I have to admit that my favourite of the lot are the Late Romans, bravely holding the line in their matching shields and Imperial standard - wonderful stuff.

Great work Ross and I look forward to you being with us for Challenge X.

- Curt