Wednesday, 20 November 2019

'X Marks the Spot!' The 10th Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

While many places in the world are enjoying a lovely long autumn, or better yet, a rejuvenating spring, here in the Canadian prairies the remorseless grind that is winter begins in earnest.  Yes, it can be a bit depressing: frozen extremities, navigating treacherous roads and the absolute worse, enduring the five million games that make up the NHL season. Nonetheless, it's not all hoarfrost and death-by-hockey, the winter also heralds a wonderful decade-long tradition: that of reacquainting with old friends, making some new ones and having a bunch of laughs painting a load of cool minis - all through the madness that is the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

The Basic Rules
The Challenge will extend from the first day of Winter, 12:01 am December 21st, through to the first day of Spring, 11:59 pm March 19th, Central Standard Time (CST). 
Your miniatures (i.e. figures, vehicles, artillery, terrain, etc.) can be cleaned, assembled and primed prior to the start date, but you cannot start painting until December 21st. In order to gain full points 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.).
In order to be scored, photos of your submission along with a short description must be uploaded to the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge blog. Up-to-date scoring will be maintained on the blog's main page. I will send out an email to all Challengers a few days prior to the event with further details on submitting your entries.
All participants must have an entry submitted within the first month of the event (i.e. January 21st). Failure to do so will result in being dropped from the Challenge roster.
The Administrator (me) will participate, but my score will not have any standing in the Challenge (except to allow me in the mad scrum with the rest of the participants).

The Scoring

Below is 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 = 2 points
10mm vehicle = 3 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

While admittedly not perfect, I want to keep things simple for terrain submissions, so we'll keep to our 6" cube format. Briefly, if your terrain piece (or collected terrain pieces) fills a 6" cube, you get 20 points. If your terrain 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" 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.

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.  

Changes to the Challenge

Okay, this is a bit of a biggie. As this is our 10th anniversary year, I thought we'd shake things up a bit. Here are the list of changes to the Challenge program:

1) The participant limit is set at 60 with no reserve list. 
While I’ve always loved having loads of people participate in the Challenge, what I’ve found over the past few editions is that the high numbers have made it somewhat cumbersome  to manage and a little difficult to follow. I’ve heard from several participants and observers that the sheer number of daily entries could sometimes be too overwhelming to keep up with, especially if you missed a few days of posts. So this time we'll keep the group smaller and a little more intimate. Please note that we will not have a reserve list this year - it's first-come-first-served, so if you're a Challenge veteran please get your request in.
For all those wishing to participate please send me an email, providing: 
1) your full name,
2) your country of residence
3) your blog address (if you have one), and
3) your points target for the three months of the event.
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.

2) The Challenge will be entirely 'Free Fire' 
We're going to go back to a 'Free Fire' approach this year, allowing participants the latitude to submit entries whenever they wish, as opposed to having them assigned to a specific day of the week. The only limit we'll have is that each day there will be a cap of 10 submissions, with any remainder spilling over to the next day.

3) There will be no bi-weekly theme rounds. Instead we have something better... 
This is a big change, especially as the theme rounds have been somewhat of a favoured child of mine. In consultation with the very talented Sidney Roundwood we've created something new for you to enjoy: I give you 'Challenge Island'!

Challenge Island 

Welcome to 'Challenge Island'!

Those hearty participants who chose to test their mettle can explore the mysterious 'Challenge Island', tackling the multitude of hobby challenges to be found there. 

The island features a rich assortment of geographic locations that participants can explore by completing a themed hobby task at each. Once they finish a task they will be allowed to travel onto the next location, ultimately making their way inland to the summit of 'SnowLord's Peak' to where 'X Marks the Spot'! 

In the next few days I'll followup with another post laying out the specifics of 'Challenge Island', its geography, its rewards and a more detailed map. ('Yes Sidney, the chains and ball-gag only come off when you deliver the final version of the map. Now back to your cell and get to work on your watercolours!')

The Minions

As usual I will serve as the Master-of-Ceremonies / Tormentor-in-Chief / Dork-Lord, but I also have happy group of 'Minions' to help keep this madhouse moving along. Here are the wonderful folks that I've convinced to assist me for this year's Challenge:
  • Monday: GregB
  • Tuesday: PaulOG
  • Wednesday: DaveD
  • Thursday: MartinC
  • Friday: TamsinP
  • Saturday: ByronM
  • Sunday: MilesR

Personal Targets and Duels

Upon signup, I ask that each Challenger provide me with their name, nationality, blog and declare his/her points target which they hope to achieve by the March 19th deadline. 

Many participants have found the personal points targets to be a great incentive in maintaining 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 on 'Challenge Island' (more on this below).

Relating to the points targets, many folks have a lot of fun issuing 'duels' to other participants in order to race to meet a declared target, paint the most figures for a specific period, etc. I leave this to the participants to dream-up, organize and keep track of.

Shiny Prizes

During the event I will maintain a gallery of submissions for each map location and at the end of the Challenge we will vote for our favourite entries. 

Also we will award prizes for Challengers' Choice, Judge's Choice and Sarah's Choice.

The Price of Entry

Each participant will be required to paint a figure as a prize for another participant. These will be awarded to those who have successfully completed the 'X Marks the Spot' final adventure of Challenge Island. If you have a specific participant you'd like to paint for their prize please notify me and I'll make note of it. 
All prize figures must be completed and submitted for scoring during the first month of the Challenge.


Challenge X starts at 12:01am December 21st!

Now, sign up and get some miniatures prepped - I'll see you at the start line in a month!

As Always I’m Late to the Ball

Hopefully better late than never on this one.  The end of the Challenge hits at the end of my winter semester which is a very busy time for me, plus I’m typically run completely out of gas and running on fumes by that time.  I tell myself that I’ll get my wrap up shot posted once exams are marked and in the system, but there’s always a long list of honey- dos with the same time frame.

Ok pathetic whinging over, here’s what I did over the Challenge plus a few extras.  Almost all are Seven Years War units, with the exception of my mouse adventurers.  I have the full unit of Orleans Dragoons, 12 men instead of the 4 painted in the Challenge.  The old Foundry figures had a lot of “character” and took a lot of time, so the last 8 loitered on the work bench half done for months.  I also rebased the unit, wrapping bases of twos for bases of threes.  I also have added the full unit of the Hessian regiment that I finished this Challenge, finishing 8 figures to go with the predicting 12 from a prior Challenge.

As always I had a blast on the Challenge this year.  It’s a great incentive to get ones butt in gear and get painting.  It’s also great to see others work and steal ideas from them.  However, the best Challenge related activity was getting to meet Miles at his secret Bond Villain lair on the Chesapeake.