Saturday, 23 March 2019

From BenitoM: IX Challenge Wrap-up... and a late arrival

I can hardly believe the winter is over and also The Challenge again. It must be the age but time seems to pass faster and faster every year. In any case, time now to clean the brushes (in my case a couple will have to be retired) and to store my painting tray for a few weeks at least.

This is the full harvest of this year’s Challenge, almost completely focused in my British Airborne platoon for Chain of Command.

This are zooms to the British infantry rank and file models…

… support weapons…

… command models…

… and the motor section this year.

Finally the small Napoleonic contingent in this year’s challenge.

I came short of my 750 points target, but with 637 accumulated it’s been my best score of the last 5 years.  I want now to spend more time playing, especially with my British Airborne unit, which hopefully will be displayed in a gaming table in a not too distant future.
This year’s Challenge has been brilliant, I have enjoyed a lot indeed. The quality of the Challengers entries has been outstanding and I can argue that’s been the best Challenge of the 9 so far. That’s going to be a real challenge for the Tenth, no doubt.
I should remark and highlight the effort taken by Curt and Sarah to have this madness running every year: thank you very much, guys; I hope to see you sometime soon in Europe again and hopefully stopping by Madrid to share some wine and tapas as a couple(?) years ago. Also many-many thanks to all minions but especially to Iain, that have made such a terrific job herding the Thursday contenders.
Before I close this post, my selfie photo which as in previous years is one takien in a battlefield visit. In this case in a Nationalists Army artillery OP of the Spanish Civil War in the Guadarrama mountains outside Madrid.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST a late arrival, that I finished painting just today and will conclude not only this post but also my British Airborne project.

Not terribly useful in a gaming table as it has no fighting value, but is such a beautiful model that I could not resist acquiring and painting. 

In the painting tray I also have the Curtgeld which I hope to have ready over the next two weekends. With Curt’s permission, I’ll post in the blog if he agrees.
So that’s all folks, I wish you a fruitful rest of the year and hope to see you all in nine moths from now. The countdown to 10th Challenge starts NOW.

From AlexS: From Russia with Love

Hello to all! My name is Alex and I from Russia.

This is my fourth event in which I participate. Every year brings me an ocean of pleasure, a sea of new impressions and a lake of miniatures. I enjoy watching the work of other people, they inspire me a lot. I already wrote about how I love the work of Greg, Michael and Tamsin, but everyone else is just as important to me. Well, of course Сurt, who stands apart, as a monument in the central square of the city. This year I was lucky the same way as in the past - my curator was a man whose work and blog have always been an example for me. Thank you very much, Big Lee, in what I did at the event, there is your work.

As always, I am grateful to all the other participants, you were beautiful, you gave me a drive. I was particularly impressed that I was on the same day as Christopher, because I began to gather an army on AWI after reading his blog.

Well, here's the terrain and miniatures that I painted. I hope that some of my messages were interesting to you.

Well, the last. Five years ago I was about to leave the hobby. I sold almost all my painted miniatures and was going to sell those that had not yet been painted. But I found this event on the Internet, and I realized that I did not want to give up this hobby. Then I was late with registration, but a year later I took part in this great event. Here is a photo of what I did in four years. I think the events were not in vain.

Thanks again and see you all!

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.