Tuesday, 26 March 2019

From StuartL - A Squirrel by any other name.

Was that really three months? Sure, it felt like it when I was putting brush to mini for the umpteenth time, but looking back it seems like only yesterday I was wondering what madness I had signed myself up for. 
As it turned out, it was a madness I embraced all to readily.

At the start of the challenge, I thought a modest target of 500 points would be reasonable. I usually average about 30 minis a month, so 500 didn't seem to extreme. As it was, I managed around 90 models per month, with a grand total of 269 figures, (counting the multi-based 6mm minis as 1 figure per base), over the course of the challenge. Of course, during that time I practically gave up every aspect of my life except for work and those odd times when my wife dragged me away from the painting table and threatened me with violence if I didn't put the brush down.

I understand that a mug shot and a picture of all the painted models is obligatory at this point.

I began the challenge with the intent to post comments on everyone's entries, but that swiftly became a difficult proposition. The only time I could find a chance to post was during my daily commute and the volume of entries quickly created a backlog that I couldn't work through. So, I would like to take this opportunity to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed looking at everyone's work, whether they entered just a couple of small groups of minis or painted an entire army or three. The sheer enthusiasm for the hobby is astounding and I am glad to have had the chance to participate.

My entries can be divided up into 4 smaller categories. The first is the Fantasy group. I had some of these models lying around for ages, though the Blood Bowl team was donated by a friend for the sports round and the Warmachine figures were done for a friend's collection.

The second group is SF and is the only one where I varied scales. The Epic minis were certainly a challenge as they are so small. I did my best to get them looking prettier than just a small green lump. This challenge certainly gave me a chance to try out different techniques.

This small group is Modern Historicals. I play a lot of Bolt Action and Black Powder, so have plenty of armies half built and in need of reinforcements. The British armour, AZW minis and Japanese infantry will go to join their brethren in their respective army cases. The Germans in winter gear and the Poles will form the start of all new forces.

And finally the main Historicals. I had a plan to paint up three large batches of figures over the challenge. The Crusaders on the left and the Bretons on the right were two of them. Sadly the third never materialized due to logistics issues.

I am very happy with finishing in 10th place. Truth be told, it is far better than I expected. My hat is off to those who finished in the top places. Even if I had had more free time, I don't think I could have managed much more painting. As it was I felt really burned out towards the end and have taken a 1 week break from my hobby room to clear my head a bit. The last couple of days I had to force myself to pick up a brush to finish off the last licks of paint on my final entries. I actually had the day off on the final day of the event, so I could have done another squad of something, but at that point I would rather have taken a hammer to my figures than a brush.

Which brings me to the Squirrel Side Duel. Despite claims to the effect that I only had 1 Squirrel wearing a series of ever more elaborate hats, I am very, very happy with my victory. I thought Noel was going to win it, simply because he outpaints everyone. I knew that to stand a chance, I had to paint smarter. You'll notice that a lot of my entries are quite small. Throughout the time I was working on the bigger groups, I had one or two smaller groups of figures on the sidelines. When I had spare paint in the pallet, I would grab one of them and add a quick coat. I also kept a set of notes on my desk of what was in the queue, what could go in next and what I had posted. I tried to move an entry into each column each week to ensure a steady output, with the final couple of weeks being focused on getting the last few details in on a bunch of different entries.

So that's about it from me. I would like to thank Curt (I have some Curtgeld that I need to finish off once my painting hiatus is done), and Lady Sarah for hosting the event. Ev, my minion for his fair and even-handed scoring, as well as the special guest minions who stepped in when needed. I'd like to say thank you for everyone's kind comments on my entries and I would like to thank Noel for giving me a serious run for my money on the Squirrel Duel.

Despite vowing never to paint again once I posted my final entry, I think I would quite like to come back for the next challenge. I have a novel idea for what I would like to enter, but it will probably take me several months to get everything I need built and prepped. Plus I am likely to change my mind and go chasing off after the next Squirrel that comes my way.

Thank You!

From DaveD - Challenge IX Round up

So another challenge painting season has come and gone , and my 8th time participating  - personally its been a pretty good one. First up I met my challenge target - doing this in the last week. I also managed to post something every week which kept the productivity up.  I only did one bonus round as i didn't feel like committing to them this year as I had a plan already. Millsy and I had a little side duel -which thanks to Mlllsy choosing in a moment of heat induced madness to hand paint heraldic designs saw me reach our target first - though we both agreed to settle the forfeit as we had chosen injured forces charities in the UK and Oz - i will settle for the future bragging rights and slapdowns...

I had a few projects in mind - 15mm WW2, 1/200th Aircraft, terrain stuff , Sudan odd bits and these progressed nicely,

realisation dawns that i have missed a box of stuff from the South Seas side project from the round up shot  - damn!

an inevitable Sudan top up - NSW infantry, Bengal lancers on camels and vignettes,

I completed my Cruel Seas stuff early - played 3 games so far

the missing Pulp stuff 

1/200th aircraft for Wongs of Glory - 10 altogether
 I have really enjoyed doing the various aircraft this season. i just need to properly sort out more flight stands and storage arrangements. especially as I  have also just sourced 3 c47s and Waco gliders - so more coming up soon
15mm WW2 , US army infantry , - landing craft , D Day stuff and 1/144th aircraft - 11 of them - plus buildings, bridges , trees , and hedges.
I see a nomination for challengers choice for my Landing craft - appreciated ! - they were certainly hard work

I have a D Day game pencilled in for June (with JamesM and MarticC) - to coincide with the 75th anniversary - so the upcoming focus  will be more US infantry and Paras and terrain bits for UTAH beach. 

once more thanks to all the back room minions, the Snowlord and  Lady Sarah for making this happen 

I ran a few paint and chats over the season - though not as many as i had wished due to a few technical gremlins and then being a ill in the last week .

Until next time!  remember your "little helper" pills are available for the challenge asylum check out desk... just leave the blue ones for Noel, Miles and Martin .. who are now wondering  where the hell to put everything! 

PaulO'G AHPC IX - Finished with Main Engines

I suspect I am a rarity amongst Australians as an Ice Hockey fan
Season IX was my fifth Challenge and every year I think its been the most enjoyable one so far!  This year I not only surpassed my goal but set a new PB despite some work travel, which was satisfying.  In terms of other achievements:
It always feels like more when you are doing it, don't you think?
  • I finished two major projects in my 15mm DAK (which I started in AHPC 8) and my "Romanised Orcs", which were a bit of fun.  Also finished my SAGA Irish Warband by finally painting the slingers that have looked accusingly at me for well over a year.
Romanised Orcs I completed during the challenge
  • Got a submission completed in the first 24hrs (meagre though it was)
  • Completed all Bonus Rounds, achieving two Honourable Mentions with my Kradschutzen Platoon (Recon Round) and my rendition of Alan as a grumpy Gladiator Spectator (Sport Round) -  same result as last year!
My 5 Bonus Rounds, Curtgeld and Sarah's Choice all together
  • My first ever submission for Sarah's Choice
  • Got seduced into a new genre by PaulSS's lovely HYW project...
  • Only submitted 2 points towards the Naval Challenge side duel. On the bright side, that is 2 points more than last year!
  • Had a ball :-)
The pie graph is a blatant offering to the AHPC Statics Diety and his Magus.
I also was very pleased to be a part of Curt's 'elite' backstage roadie crew where I filled the slot of Duels Wallah. While there were far less kick-backs than I had anticipated, I was really glad to help put on this amazing activity.

Thanks indeed to Curt for his ceaseless endeavours to put on the premier hobby event of the year, to Lady Sarah for enabling Curt to do so, and to all the Challengers who make this event come to life with their submissions, encouraging comments and positive attitudes.  I'm already planning my projects for AHPC X!

Monday, 25 March 2019

The Challengers' Choice is Now UP!

Hi All! 

Please check out all the wonderful nominations for the Challengers' Choice over at the Theme Round Page. After you've enjoyed the gallery please remember to cast votes for your favourites. I'll make the announcements next Sunday as part of our awards wrap-up.



Side Duels & Challenges - Settling the Butcher's Bill

The brushes are down and as breath is once again drawn, its time for our side-challengers to pony up on their duels and side bets...

Squirrel! (SD1)

The inaugural Squirrel! duel was fiercely contested throughout. Our Snowlord Curt was the progenitor of the idea and it is most fitting that he came in 3rd place with 15 pelts.  Noel pipped him with 19 but it's StuartL who goes home with the golden acorn having posted 22 Squirrels. Well done that man!

The World is Not Enough (SD2)

Naturally, the world was not enough for DaveD (who could have guessed?) and Millsy nobly acknowledged his defeat. Honour was abundant though, as both combatants donated $50 to veterans' charities. Well played Gentlemen, well played indeed.

I have already had inquiries for an AHPC 10 sequel matching up DaveD and MilesR, which I call:
No camels were harmed in the making of this movie

Engage the Enemy more closely! (SD3)
Hearty tots all 'round in this one me lads, with everyone making an entry of some kind (though one blaggard posted a paltry 2 points - I suspect it'll be a dozen lashes of the cat for me later!).  Stefan's lovey Cruel Seas Kriegsmarine entries netted him 3rd place, while DaveX's Japanese ships got him into 2nd place.  But Miles took this one out by an order of magnitude with his fantastic entries, including his rigged 15mm sailing ships.  A golden rivet for you Sir!

Hither do I Challenge Thee (SD4)
Challenged indeed were these bold souls of the Renaissance. The Snowlord posted 110 points, IanW's 660 netted him 3rd place, while PaulSS's 1277 won him 2nd place. But the feathery hat and puffy sleeves for first place goes to KenR on 1475 points with his gorgeous Italian wars figures.

Duel Rampant (SD5)

This duel was taken out early in the season by Paul SS and his lovely HYW French (and just to clinch the deal, he then did the opposing English army too!) - AdamC's Norman's netted him second place. Honourable mention to Tamsin with her not-so-flea-bitten Fenrisian Army.

Evil Empire (SD6)

Who were the biggest GW fanboyz of the challenge? Well I must say that the incoming data hasn't seemed to match up with all the submissions I saw. I can only conclude that a few challengers are immersed in their latest White Dwarfs or working second jobs to pay for their latest armies :-)

Competition was tight, with DaveB taking the Bronze, JamieM the silver and MichaelD gold by a margin of just 21 points.  Special Mention for Miles who posted a total of 7 points in this category, representing just 0.139% of his submission total.

Postal Strike (SD7)
I am advised by my OH&S adviser not to go anywhere near this mosh pit, so I will simply post some numbers below (for which I bear no responsibility whatsoever)

Fran3rd - 2887
MilesR1st - 4801
Tamsin2nd - 3426

Vertically Challenged (SD8)
JohnS took this out convincingly with his monastic like vows to only permit the vertically challenged to grace his painting desk during the challenge. Thats wasn't too much of a stretch, was it mate?

Keep yer Powder Dry! (SD9)
This was a no-hold-barred slugfest from start to finish. With just over a thousand points in this category PeteF took 3rd place, while RayR grabbed 2nd with 1707 points worth of Donnybroom submissions.  But it was Miles who took it out in the end with 2207 points (a more respectable 43.69% of his total submissions)

North vs South (SD10)

In this replay in miniature of the Civil War, PaulSS's 130 points took second place to Miles' 351. The Confederacy lives to fight again another AHPC Season!
Miles accepting his latest award (after claiming his costume was another 20 point terrain submission)
Prettiest Undead (SD12)

I am advised that we will soon see the contender's submissions posted for our voting pleasure - stay tuned!

The complete tallies with all participants' scores are available in the master spreadsheet here: https://challengepaintingduels.blogspot.com/p/side-duels-and-challenges.html

Thanks to all who participated in the side bets and challenges, its a fun way of adding further interest to our own personal challenges. Bragging rights are just a bonus (but not a small one!)

                                          this is Wallah 9 Actual, signing off

Sunday, 24 March 2019

From JamesM: This is not the end...

Hi folks,

My very own (rather insignificant) end of challenge lineup, with the obvious exception of the full LCT, as I only painted some crew figures for that.

I had set myself the rather moderate target of 750 points for this challenge, which I achieved and no more.

However I was happy enough at the progress made towards my ongoing project, so the challenge time has definitely been productive. Almost everything was 15mm scaled, other than a few 6mm vehicles at the start of the challenge.

The required shot of me at my painting station... complete with grotty painting t-shirt

And a quick shot of the 'also rans' - the stuff I has as in progress when I hit my target and all motivation left me:

Polish Stuarts, 40mm SP Bofors and the last of my Scottish Quads, all still on the paint desk!

Moving forward, I've more D-day themed models to paint this year, including some more DD Shermans and Sherman Crabs. I've bucketloads more stuff to do for Normandy, with purchase of more only just being restricted as this weekend I started the process of buying a house. This may mean 1 to 1 scale painting is in my future, but I'll keep on with the fun stuff until then!

Thanks to everyone else who took part, while I didn't get round to commenting much, the scope of the different projects everyone is doing is always impressive. Thanks especially to Lee for being the Tuesday Minion, and to the guys that joined in on the paint and chats!

From IainW: Post Challenge Wrap Up

Well that went fast! I've really enjoyed the challenge this year,I set out to paint some terrain and some light cavalry units and by the skin of my teeth I just about achieved it! I didn't reach my target this year but I only entered one bonus round and as I concentrated on the Italian wars to the exclusion of all else, that's not in retrospect a big surprise!

So that's all I've painted, plus me and then Toby and me! It's been fun, thank you Curt and well done to everyone involved in what is an impeccably good natured and supportive event, which isn't something universal on the internet let's face it!

All the best Iain

From GregB: Another Wrap-Up

That's a wrap for AHPC IX! A pile of stuff, my Jets jersey and my little buddy Joey - all of the key ingredients needed to keep painting!
Another edition of the Painting Challenge has flown by. As many have observed, the time does pass quickly, and as so many others have experienced, I always thought I would be able to finish many more figures than I managed to...at the same time, I made some great progress in several areas of hobby interest, new and old.  My mountain of unpainted stuff has been chipped away, and the inspiration of others has been an excellent motivator! 

The finished pile...
Anyway, here is the obligatory wrap-up photo - my completed figures, sitting in the kitchen where I do my painting.  You can see all of the key things that support my painting obsession - my lamp, the jersey of my favourite hockey player, (Patrick Laine, #29 for the Winnipeg Jets) and my little buddy Joey (more on him below).  The only thing missing is my amazing and understanding wife Linda, who tolerates me setting up in the kitchen to paint for hours and hours - and who was kind enough to take this photo!

The Turcos are now prepared to defend France...
I think we all wished could have finished more stuff than we managed to - certainly I'm no exception there.  Like many of you, I had to deal with 1-to-1 scale matters in the background, particularly some demanding things with regard to work, and this slowed my painting production in this edition of the Challenge.  But I still managed to hit my target, which is what matters, right? Looking back on my paintbrush wanderings through the AHPC IX, I was very, very happy to get so many bits for my 28mm Franco-Prussian War collection finished - enough to finally host my first game of "Black Powder" using the figures, something that I am quite chuffed about.

10mm FPW in the foreground...after all, when you love a setting, do it in multiple scales!
I was also very happy to add another great big unit of 28mm Austrians to my Napoleonic collection.  Given the theme of this edition of the Challenge, I was very pleased to get it done - and to have been able to spend several hours working on the figures together with Curt while he and Sarah popped into Winnipeg for a visit. It is a fact that units and figures you paint with your friends perform better on the table.  I'm sure of it!

28mm Austrians tucked in front some units from the Iron Hands in GW's 30k setting...I bet they would love to have that dreadnought on hand to handle Napoleon's lackies...
On the sci-fi side of things, it's always fun to add to my collection of 30k bits - in particular, I finished a few of GW's new plastic Titans for the re-booted "Adeptus Titanicus", and now I have two complete maniples of the "god-engines" in my collection, a great basis for games with my friends, and a good basis on which to add more, naturally :)

Joey having a snooze one night while I was painting late in an evening during AHPC IX.
Now, back to the dog in the photo - that's Joey. Since the theme was "Fellowship", I thought it would only be right to include Joey in my wrap-up photo. He is my constant painting companion. When I'm painting at the kitchen table, Joey likes to stay close and keep an eye on things. So we got him a little doggie bed for the corner of the room. He can relax, snooze and ponder dog matters while I paint away into the wee hours of the morning. Painting is always fun, but its even more fun when you have a loyal little companion snoozing away beside you!

A few super heavy tanks for the 30k setting - and some Vostroyans in the background.
In the spirit of those who seem to think we need stats to interfere with painting, I thought I would provide a comprehensive analysis of my painting output in AHPC IX.

Scale breakdown of points total:
28mm: Most of it.
15mm: Some of it.
10mm: A bit of it.
6mm: A little bit.

Period/Setting breakdown of my points total:
Franco-Prussian War: Quite a bit of it.
Napoleonics: A notable amount.
Renaissance/Italian Wars: One figure...not sure what happened there?
Seven Years War: An amount to signify a fixation on Austrian things.
Lord of the Rings: Enough that it could have been more.
30k: A falling contribution indicating loss of focus.
40k: Some amount, pointing to the likelihood of what could have been more.
Arab-Isreali Wars: A token amount signalling a sudden diversion to something else. 

As you can see, careful statistical analysis really consumes a lot of my hobby time!

Thank you to all of the Challengers for your support and inspiration!  Every supportive comment helped keep the brushes moving, and I appreciate very much all who took time to share a thought or an acknowledgement, not always easy as there are so many submissions!

Tamsin, you never fail to support any of us, even as you paint enough to fill a museum, thanks so much for that. Alex, your tremendous output, and clever use of whatever material is on hand to create neat terrain features, is always inspiring.  It was great to see the tremendous efforts of Byron and MikeF, my friends here in Winnipeg.  Nick, your painting skills continue to blow everyone's minds! And a big "thank you" to JaimeM, I can't wait to see that dreadnought arrive here in Canada!

Thanks again to Curt for hosting the madness. It was so nice to see you and Sarah again this winter.  I hope you enjoy your pending trip abroad this spring, and I look forward to seeing you both again soon!

Congratulations and best wishes to all of the Challengers - I hope to be back with you again next winter.