Sunday, 12 May 2019

PeteF Wrap Up

My helper occasionally bites off bayonets and breaks flags
I take off my hat to Curt, his minions and my fellow challengers. Challenge IX was epic - with some marvellous miniatures, artistry, humour and motivation. The final collective points total speaks for itself in terms of reducing the weight of lead in our mountains.

This is the first time I have managed to drop 200 quid on a specific group of miniatures for a specific time-bound project and then had the discipline to paint them all. The AWI project started three years ago - shortly after I restarted my long dormant miniature painting habit (addiction?) after watching the War & Peace remake. Having tested my brushes on some Napoleonic Russians I searched for a conflict that would not be Napoleonic - since my brother was inheriting the family 25mm army. As an immigrant to the US and now a citizen the Revolutionary War made the most sense.

Perrys were a lot of fun to paint
While the AWI made up the bulk of my entries I did find time for 3 infantry battalions and a half cavalry regiment of 25mm Minifigs.  The family army ended up with me after my brother’s passing in 2016. Which brings me to fellowship - the theme of this year’s challenge and a constant in the hobby. My brother introduced me to wargaming and through wargaming to the boy who became my best friend for life. I have made many friends through the hobby since moving to  the Pacific Northwest. I’m not that far away from being able to refight Waterloo with the Minifigs - especially now I have made a start on the Prussians (for some reason this battalion was my favourite entry to Challenge IX). I miss my brother a lot - but I think he’d be happy to see the new additions.

Since I painted zero female miniatures in Challenge VIII I bought some shieldmaidens with the intention of completing a Viking army for SAGA. Intentions shmintensions. Eight of them ended up getting painted. I was especially happy with the one in the yellow dress and gripping beast shield. Five more of them received some paint but not enough to submit an entry so I can’t even save them for next year.

The other SAGA army that saw only a pitiful expansion was the Normans. I primed a whole box of Conquest plastic knights, a dozen Old Glory metal knights, a dozen archers and the crossbowmen. Only the crossbows got finished. I have a vague plan to run a 12 person Dark Ages SAGA tournament (round robin followed by knockout) where the factions are randomly drawn each round - so I might be doing a lot more of these in 2019.

The red, white and black battle suits were done for the sports theme round - they are the colours of my adopted basketball team The Portland Trailblazers. They came in dead last with 3 votes (including mine! Is it naughty to vote for your own entry?). Fortunately the actual Trailblazers are doing well this year (still in the playoffs at the time of writing).

Each battle suit has the name and number of an actual player - unfortunately the real Nurkic (far right) broke his leg in 2 places a few weeks ago. By contrast this Nurkic has been doing well Beyond the Gates of Antares.
The Squirrel duel really caught my imagination at the beginning of the Challenge and caused me to offer to paint some figures for a friend as well as explore other scales and periods. The only really squirrelly things I ended up finishing were the Jinettes - which will see service in some Italian Wars games and The Sam-mew-rai, which I painted with a cat theme for my son. The list of things I intended to do for the squirrel includes: picts, 54mm poilus, 54mm Jacobites, 54mm Sudan highlanders, WW2 German artillery, all those Normans, Dothraki, Rorke’s Drift defenders from the movie, Union soldiers in greatcoats, and something from the ECW. I would have done all of these but I got terribly distracted.

A portion of the shelf of shame

For my Curt Geld I'm donating to Waterloo Uncovered - a charity that combines care for veterans and archaeology. They are also behind Waterloo Replayed - the giant 2 day Black Powder fest in Glasgow in June. Sadly I didn't get my act together to make the trip from the US for the game - I'm sure the participants will have a blast.

I am in awe of the output of my fellow challengers - both quality and quantity. Those at the top of the chart sustain a ten a day habit (at 5 points per 28mm foot) - very very impressive. Congratulations to all those who made it to the finish line, whether or not they made their target total, to the theme round winners for some excellent brushwork and to Curt for his organizational prowess in managing another Challenge to its conclusion. As I write I can confirm it has been zero days since my last miniatures purchase. The shelf of shame is swelling and Challenge X cannot come too soon.

This one just knocks them over and carries them around the house. The third cat refused to be photographed for this project.

PS I know I owe a miniature to the winner of the Black Powder duel - it'll be on its way once I have your address.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

The 'What a Tanker!' Prize

Hi All!

Curt here, reporting from the sunny south of France. 

Sorree, I didn't know you wanted that last pain au chocolat...

I reluctantly take a break from stuffing myself with pastries, drinking bad plonk and butchering the local dialect to dash off a post announcing the winner of the 'What a Tanker!' prize. 

Sid informed me that Lard HQ was seriously stymied in their attempts to narrow the field for their final selection, as there were so many excellent entries, but he cracked the whip and they managed to come to a consensus. Good man, Sidney!

First up, the list of Honourable Mentions:

Ken's A9 Cruiser Tanks in desert Caunter Scheme, North Africa

Tamsin's M3 Stuart in Australian service, Papau New Guinea

Jasper's camouflaged Puma in ambush pattern camouflage, France 1944

All beautifully executed entries, well done people!

The winner of the Too Fat Lardies 'What a Tanker!' prize goes to Nick's (MartinN) fabulous Panzerjaeger I (France, 1940). Stunning work Nick, well done!

Nick will receive a £25 gift certificate towards purchases of fabulous Lard Island products. Congratulations Nick!

Thanks again to Rich, Nick and Sidney for providing the prize. I know it helped generate a lot of armour over the three months of the Challenge. I hope we can do something similar for our next time out.

- Curt

Thursday, 11 April 2019

From Mike D: My Grimdark Winter

The particular area of my unpainted horde I wanted to work on this challenge was all the GW stuff I had purchased for the past year or so. Overall, I wasn't optimistic. I almost missed the deadline for application to the challenge and wound up making it in at the last minute of the waiting list. And I never really got my act together with planning out the challenges, so I left a lot of points on the table there. I set my goal at a piddling 400, but still fell short.

Still, when I look at what I wound up with, I'm happy. Those figures I wanted to paint were very fiddly, and though I know part of the challenge is speed painting, I often find that I set out with best, simplest intentions only to get drawn in to some need to do a particular something that just takes me forever. I did wind up with enough gangs and cultists to actually play with in Necormunda or Kill Team, which these days feels like a big accomplishment to me . (I'm still only half-way through my ADLG 28mm Thracians, and I've been working on it for so many years, it started out as a Warhammer Ancients army.)

Once again, I want to thank everyone involved with the Challenge for their support and inspiration, especially my minion Evan and Curt. This year in lieu of the usual Curtgeld, I've sent a donation to International Rescue Committee. 

Already looking forward to next year!

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

From TeemuL: Things you do for love

The original idea for this Challenge was to paint vast armies for the re-released Lord of the Rings (or Middle-Earth) Strategy Battle Game. Then I decided to join the Squirrel side challenge. Then Urban Conquest was released for WH40K and I decided to really get back in to that game after 10+ year pause and start a new army...

I did manage to accomplish my personal goals, I hit the target of 900 points, I participated all Theme Rounds and I posted something each week. I managed to paint 11 Squirrels (but I didn't remember to report them in time to Duels Wallah). Above you can see all the painted minis (expect the forgotten ones) and below you can see the same minis and me.

It wasn't the hobbits this year, which I forgot, it was the Hoplites. I took a quick picture of them separately to get them to join this post.

All in all, again an excellent event, very well organized, lots of nice entries (too many to comment - or even read properly) and lots of progress on my armies. In fact, at the moment I own almost 100 unpainted miniatures less than I had 1st January!

Sunday, 7 April 2019

From EvanH - The Challenge IX Wrap-Up, or "I Coulda Been A Contender!"

Well, Challengers and Challenge Fans, it was a roller-coaster of an event this year, and I didn't exactly cover myself with glory. I fell short of my target - proper preparation next time!

As in previous years, my output fits comfortably in the frame of a single photo. I'll be the first to admit, I'm no Stakhanovite. I'm more of an artisanal figlimner.

There were some standout entries from my own point of view. There were figures I'd kept unpainted for nearly 20 years;

The unquiet ghosts of bare metal figures have at last been put to rest!
Some decidedly odd detours;

And an actual ranked-up unit of troops;

And here is my body of work for Challenge IX, as well as the body of me, which is (for some reason) a requirement set down by Our Esteemed Host, Mr Curtis Campbell Esq, in the fine print.

Portrait of the Artist as an Overweight Middle-Aged Man

Next time round, I'm going to get organised, dammit! Because here's what I was working on when the final bell sounded. Missed it by that much!

I only painted one figure between Challenges VIII and IX, so here's hoping I can do a bit better than that this year.

It's been an honour and a privilege to have taken part in the Painting Challenge, and to have enjoyed my first outing as a Minion. Thanks to Curt for entrusting me with this very important duty; I hope I was able to repay your confidence in me! Thanks also go out to the Wednesday Warriors, for being all-round good blokes and extra patient with a newbie minion. It's been grand!

So, will I be able to get it together for next year? Stay tuned...


Saturday, 6 April 2019

From DavidB: End of the Line

Another fantastic season of AHPC has come and passed. My output was diminished, but still pretty good considering all the training and family activities I had to do. Although I wish I had more time to devote to painting (and commenting), it was still quality time. A few cold dreary days were made much better by just viewing the content from my email.

A pretty good haul of painted minions was achieved which included finishing the contents of several GW games like First Strike and Execution Force. I made a substantial dent in Overkill too.

I still have lots of Imperial Assault to complete, but all Battle fleet Gothic ships are finished. I even have enough Scifi that is not Grimdark to venture into 5150

My daughter is mighty pleased with her colored fisherman guild and now has defeated me twice with them. I scored the farmers guild and decided I will keep that team for myself, perhaps with practise I'll be able to tally a win?!

With a freshly painted Huron force, I have plenty to play Flint and Feather. Warlord Games neglected to bring FIW forces to Adepticon, but I did get Blackpowder, Frostgrave, and Saga. I'll be reading those tomes for a bit, but it appears my ancestors will soon have lots of adventures!

I still have three traitor titans and three forces of marines to paint, but the Dark Angels turned out pretty good for an initial foray into Epic. The other loyalist chapter and traitor legions will wait for later.

I anticipated using the Deathwatch forces, but did not take them to Adepticon. I'll use them this summer to support the Cadian 7th in an apocalypse game....I really need some Knights and flyers!

I now have six WW1 figures, not enough for WW1 gaming, but when added to my modest pulp figures, I do have enough for some two fisted pulp gaming!

The Fenrisian wolves were probably my favorite unit painted in this period. They are massive, but will be used in several genres. I may actually use the 54mm Inquisitor figures for a game instead of decoration. The wolves do scale nicely with them.

So maybe not a massive amount of completed miniatures, but it is certainly enough to add to gaming options on wet summer days.

Adepticon also provided a nice haul of goodies to supplement my Christmas haul. Blackstone Fortress, ShadowSpear, Test of Honor, and I even got an incredible deal on Dreadball (two games 12 teams and more for $35!!!!) I even found a mint Eisenhorn which I promptly devalued by assembling!

Yup, getting older and no wiser! I still have a couple models to paint for a friend and Star Saga to complete, but it's nearly time to put the paints away for summer. A final thanks to all for this years challenge as well as Curt for shepherding us along and Sarah for allowing the indulgence. I hope you all have a wonderful summer, and I'll try to see you all again after the leaves fall! 

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Closing Awards for AHPCIX

Well, here we are at the end of our ninth edition of the Painting Challenge. All the votes have been tabulated for 'Challengers' Choice', Sarah has made her selection for 'Sarah’s Choice', I’ve done the same for the Judges selection, and we’ve made the prize draws for all the points thresholds. Whew! It has been a VERY busy day, so please get yourself a cup of your favourite tipple and settle in - you're in for a long read.

The Challengers' Choice

We had 23 nominations for the Challengers' Choice Award this season. It was terrific to take in the gallery as it provides such a wonderful retrospective of the Challenge. Below are your top selections of all the worthy nominations.

Honourable Mention 

Millsy's for his excellent Crusaders.

Honourable Mention 

GregB's imperiously stompy Imperial Titans

Honourable Mention 

BenitoM's British WWII Paras project

Honourable Mention 

Curt's Female Samurai

Honourable Mention 

Byron's Red-Ones-Go-Faster F1 Ork Racer

Third Place for Challengers' Choice  

TamsinP for her wonderfully varied body of work. A few samples to whet the appetite.

Second Place for Challengers' Choice  

MartinN for his sumptuously painted body of work. Here are just a few selections:

First Place for Challengers' Choice' goes to: 

KenR for his beautifully realised Italian Wars project. Bravo Ken!

Ken, for your prize you get a one-year's subscription to Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy.

For those interested in seeing the voting results for Challengers' Choice, they can be seen here.


Judge’s Choice

Honourable Mentions go to:

MartinN's (AKA Nick) poignant 'Last Rites'

Honourable Mention 

Michael's devilishly fun Doctor Aphra, BT-1 and 0-0-0

The Judge’s Choice goes to:

StefanK's wonderfully pulpy 'The Unicorn Club'. Brilliant work Stefan, Bravo!

Stefan, for your prize you get a $50 CAD gift certificate from Northern Lights Terrain.


Sarah’s Choice 

From Sarah: What wondrous madness the ninth edition has brought forth! It seems that for each Challenge, the entrants for Sarah’s Choice provide a stellar variety of figures and genres, and this year is no exception.

I have spent a very pleasing morning, coffee in hand, perusing through all this years Sarah’s Choice entrants. All of them, from old witches and shield maidens to zombies and renaissance orcish ladies are awesome and I admire you all for showing such creativity and diversity!

Honourable Mention 

PaulOG's Jeanne D’Arc

I can hardly believe that this was Paul’s first submission to the highly coveted and sought after Sarah’s Choice Award. 
Such a poignant, well painted vignette and a terrific write up of a very complex historical figure. Well done, Paul!

Honourable Mention

StuartL's Nellie Cochrane and her Fake News Crew

I am unfamiliar with the Malifaux game, but I do love steampunk and fierce Lady journalists are super cool. Every once in a while, Curt convinces me to play Eldritch or Mansions of Madness.... I suspect that I could probably be enticed into Malifaux

And the winner for Sarah's Choice is:

AlanDs Jugoslav Partizanke

I really enjoyed reading Alan's posts on these women and was very impressed by both your research and the hard work on converting suitable figures. This is exactly what I like about the Challenge, people finding a passion and sharing it with wide audience. I am a history nerd, and I thank you for the book recommendation. Added to my reading list! 

Alan, your prize is a gift certificate from the good folks over at 'War & Peace Games'.

Thanks again to all the participants; your posts and the friendly commentary makes for a very warm and welcoming community.

I’ll see you all for Challenge X!



The Prize for The Prettiest Undead 

This was a hard fought contest, a pitched match of decayed tooth and taloned nail.

In the end, and very suitably so, it was a dead heat (ahem). Yessiree, even-stevens, right down the middle with 21 votes apiece. So, what to do you all think? I reckon we need a rematch for Challenge X.  :)


The 'What a Tanker!' Prize

We are still awaiting the adjudication results from Lard Island HQ so stay tuned for that in a future post.


Points Threshold Prizes

Next we have the Point Threshold prizes. These are drawn randomly and awarded to those participants who broke through the six points barriers over the course of the Challenge.

Threshold I / 500-749 points: BrettM
(20 Euro Gift certificate from Barrage Miniatures)

Threshold II / 750-999 points: JamesM
(20 Euro Gift Certificate from Barrage Miniatures)

Threshold III / 1000-1499 points: AdamC
(20 Euro Gift Certificate from Barrage Miniatures)

Threshold IV / 1500-1999 points: PaulSS
(20 GBP gift certificate from Barrage Miniatures)

Threshold V / 2000-2499 points: RayR
(40 CDN Gift Certificate from Westfalia Miniatures)

Threshold VI / 2500+ points: FranL
(40 CDN Gift Certificate from Westfalia Miniatures)


Top Tier Points Finishers

Now, I think it only proper to give some prizes to our Paint Titans who dominated the points roster:

3rd in the Points Standings: MartinC: (20 Euro Gift Certificate from Barrage Miniatures)

2nd in the Points Standings: MilesR (40 CDN Gift Certificate from Westfalia Miniatures)

1st in the Points Standings NoelW (50 GBP Gift Certificate from Barrage Miniatures)


Congratulations to all the prize winners and thank you for sharing your wonderful work with us. Please contact me to work out the details for getting your awards. In the meantime, let's dance.


Okay, keeping with tradition, I've come up with a few small gifts to express my gratitude to this year's Minions who all did a fabulous job keeping the show moving along.  Some will notice that a few of these were shown during the Challenge, but a couple are new here today.

Barks, our Monday Minion, here is your horned Pink Horror to lurk as a warp-cursed vagrant within your Pinkstone Fortress. 

Lee, Tuesday's Minion: I went through my stores to find something that would compliment your interests. So, here is a figure of a senior sergeant and drummer boy from the 24th Regiment at Isandlwana. 

Evan, our antipodean Wednesday Minion, an elder Deep One for your burgeoning collection of monsters and all things eldritch.

Iain, our Thursday Minion, a Sister Superior from your wonderful gifting of an unpainted Sisters of Battle force. Thank you very much.

and Robert, our Francophile Friday Minion, your's was easy, my friend. Here is Napoleon at Arcola, 1796. Vive la France!!

I also want to thank our Spreadsheet Sith Lord Miles and our patient Duels Wallah Paul for gifting us with their herculean efforts this year. Guys, you can expect something from me in the post.


Painting Challenge IX is now concluded.  I’d like to highlight all our Challenge Sponsors for their wonderfully generous support of the event.  If you have a free moment please visit their sites 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 sure 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 hard work, your humour and most of all, your open-hearted good nature. All of these things makes the Painting Challenge what it is. I doff my cap to you all.

So in closing, I bid you all a fond farewell. In a few days Lady Sarah and I will be departing for a much needed vacation to the south of France. The sun and cuisine will be an excellent diversion, but I also have an additional piece of luggage dedicated for brushes, paints and figures - the Challenge continues! In the meantime, enjoy the next nine months everyone, and I hope to see you all next November.

- Curt