Tuesday, 8 December 2015

VI Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge ...

...The Preparation.
Yes, yet another post about plans for the forthcoming 'VI Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge', now less than two weeks away! Having had a difficult year, I was determined to make more of a showing with this year's challenge by getting involved with the light hearted commentary and generous encouragement that is issued by so many of my fellow challengers. To that end, I thought that I would rely less heavily on the bonus rounds for my points and get stuck into painting some of the ever growing lead divot that is amassing here at 'Awdry Towers'.
As a result, I spent a good period of time during the summer holidays prepping and undercoating the best part of three 'Really Useful Boxes' full of splendid miniatures from the variety of Victorian conflicts that I have dabbled in. There were representatives from the Crimea, Indian Mutiny, New Zealand Wars, Anglo-Zulu wars and even the North West Frontier, but when I went and inspected this fine assortment of  the other day, I suddenly felt less than inspired!
With the exception of the thirty two unmarried Zulu Warriors*, I'm not sure that any of the others will see the light of day this year, but why you might ask? Rather than look to my own inability to focus on one topic for any length of time, I'm laying the blame squarely at the feet of the wonderfully ambiguously titled bonus rounds themes that have now been announced.
*Required for the 'Cetshwayo Challenge' my side duel with Martin Cooke.
Reinforcements have arrived!
It is no secret that I really enjoy creating little vignettes or scenic bases and Curt's challenge has given me a wonderful opportunity over the years to indulge in some frivolous flights of fancy. To that end the last couple of weeks have been spent scratching around looking for possible miniatures that, collectively, might fit the requirements. So far thoughts include the following:

January 3rd: Nostalgia - I'm thinking old war movies here, something that reminds me of sitting at home and watching television with my father, a copy of the Christmas Radio Times may be required for inspiration. 

January 17th: Epic Fail - This is causing me the most sleepless nights, where on earth did Curt dig this title up from?  The current idea involves the expenditure of a lot of ammunition, but I'm keeping things suitably vague in case I change my mind. 

January 31st : Defensive Terrain - This has to be the trenches of the Great War doesn't it? I've found some rather characterful sculpts, long forgotten, that will hopefully now see the light of day.

February 14th: L'amour - Bizarrely, when I first read this I thought of zombies, odd I grant you, but nevertheless expect some shuffling undead ladies for this one!

February 28th: Nautical - Ah-ha an opportunity to unleash the Cloctopus, probably best not to ask!

March 13th: Gambler/Risk-Taker - I haven't got a clue, but I do have so rather splendid Post-Apocalyptic survivors that might be shoehorned in here. 

So as we wait patiently for the starting pistol to signal the start of the madness that is the 'VI Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge', I have found a new distraction to pass the time, another rather splendid 'Sarissa Precision' building, their Gate House from the newly released English Timber Frame series.

This very generous birthday gift from the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' has been slowly taking shape over the last couple of weeks and I'm looking forward to giving it a lick of paint when the academic term finally comes to an end. So all that remains for now is to dust off the Christmas decorations and wish all my fellow travelling companions on the good ship challenge, the very best of luck.

68 comments:

  1. I've been pondering the bonus rounds and have some ideas but it's tough this year as it is less obvious than last year. Looking forward to the Zulus though

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    1. I think half the fun is trying to find suitable miniatures to fit the rounds, but rest assured there are a load of Zulus now running around the desk!

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  2. Curt's certainly stumped me, on quite a few of the Bonus rounds??? Love the Gate House, that should make a great backdrop to some of your pics for the Challenge!

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    1. He has certainly plucked a few corkers out of somewhere for this year.

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  3. The best of luck with the Challenge Michael... except perhaps the Pulp side-challenge, and then may all your paintbrushes be bent with split ends ;-)

    Seriously I'm really looking forward to seeing all your wonderful submissions, especially your vignettes; undoubtedly some of the highlights of last year's event :-)

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    1. You say the kindest things Simon, except of course about my split ends! :D

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  4. Wishing you the best of luck with the Challenge once again Lord Michael.

    I probably should start with a bit of prepping of figures to break the monotony of 6mm ACW. Oh, what the heck - I've got a few civvies for my Mob Wars project that are primed already; everything else can wait until I have time :)

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  5. Good luck with the challenge, there are some truly intriguing titles to the bonus rounds and lots to ponder upon - no doubt we'll be seeing some great entries from yourself and others

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    1. Thank you Joe, the ideas are slowing coming together.

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  6. Good to see you getting organised for the start date of the Painting Challenge. I will be joining you shortly in doing the very same.

    Cheers, Ross

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  7. Wot no dinosaurs?!

    Looking forward to seeing your entries as ever.

    Nice gatehouse. Will it double up as Bruce Manor?

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    1. Perhaps a break from dinosaurs, but who knows as I have some on the Christmas wish list. I was certainly thinking about the doubling up the gate house, but initially it was supposed to be for the Lord of the manor in Witchfinder.

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  8. Beautiful gatehouse; I've been eyeing some of the precision buildings myself, but I've hardly got room in the apartment for my toy soldiers, much less houses for them.

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    1. To be fair Bill, neither do I, there are an awful lot of strange looks when a new parcel arrives. That said not this one as it was bought by the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' herself.

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  9. As always, your entries will amaze and astound. I look forward to them!

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    1. That's incredibly kind Paul, thank you.

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  10. Sounds you have a plan mostly figured out. Good luck!

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    1. Well let's see how the plans last the first week!

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  11. Best of luck Michael - look forward to your wondrous creations

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  12. Very interesting and inspiring ideas for the bonus rounds. They are really luring me into the rounds again... :-)

    Your much further than I with the preparations. I'm looking forward to seeing your challenge outcome then.

    Good Luck!

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    1. Thank you Stefan, they are tempting aren't they? ;)

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  13. Good Luck my friend, it's going to be fun again

    Ian

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    1. I do hope so and best of luck to you too Ian.

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  14. Good luck especially the bonus rounds, you are the bonus master!

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    1. Thank you Fran, there looks like there will be a lot more competition this year though.

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  15. Good luck with the challenge. A few of the bonus rounds confound me. For example "Defensive Terrain" but without building any terrain. (No points for terrain) In fact the are only 3 I am sure of.

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    1. Thank you Clint, just read that terrain will receive points for the third round, goodness knows how they will allocate them though?

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  16. Find me one who has the ability to focus on one topic for any length of time, and I'll congratulate him. At these times, with so many options, it's almost a miracle if someone manages to focus for more than a two/three weeks' period on one subject (too many nice models around you see...).
    I'd go for Nostalgia Michael, only nice thoughts derive from it. :) Good luck!

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    1. Thank you Thanos, I certainly have lots to think about.

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  17. Good luck with the challenge! I shall be watching from the sideline.

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  18. Good luck with the challenge! Your vignettes have always been some of the best entries throughout the challenges. Judging by your hints it seems you have quite some interesting bonus round entries up your sleeve.

    Having learned from the last three challenges I decided to skip the prep altogether. I still have embarrassingly unpainted minis that I prepped for the 2013-14 edition and even more from last year. What's the point of planning 3 months ahead if I don't even know what I feel like painting a week from now :)

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    1. Thank you very much and I know exactly what you mean, best laid plans and all that.

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  19. Good luck sir! Some solid plans there.

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  20. Hola Amigo
    Muchos frentes abiertos tienes,espero que te salga todo bien
    un saludo

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    1. Thank you J.D. you are absolutely right, lots of different fronts to keep me amused.

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  21. I suspected you'd be drawn back to the bonus rounds despite other intentions and I can't say I'm sorry to hear it either. Best of luck mate!

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    1. Thank you Millsy, breaking strain of a KitKat me!

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    1. I shall certainly give it a jolly god try!

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  23. Really looking forward to seeing your entries!

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  24. If you are looking for inspiration from a Christmas War film then surely it has to be something from The Great Escape. That is on every year without fail

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    1. That is definitely on the top of my list!

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  25. Looking forward to seeing your entries once more! Always fun.. and great to see so great planning for both the bonus rounds and the prep in general. Not sure I have that skill as I will just be painting whatever is prepped and ready :) Good luck!

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    1. Thank you kyle and the very best of luck to you too!

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  26. Hi Michael - as you are fond of all things Victoria, my latest post may interest you, as it features Victorian/Edwardian "ghostbusters". And be sure to check out the link on the TMP thread announcing it, as a chap called Richard has provided a link to his Victorian city build (as well as a picture of his 'Spectre Throttlers') which is absolutely stunning.

    Regards Jez

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    1. Oh my goodness me! Just seen the Victorian city build - that is truly stunning!

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  27. First of all… happy belated birthday!

    Some of the bonus themes leave me about as unsure what do, as they do you. It will be interesting to see what you and the others come up with!

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    1. Thank you and like you I am certainly looking forward to see what everyone else does - it is such good fun to see how everyone else interprets the bonus rounds.

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  28. Good luck on the Challenge, Michael.

    To paraphrase Zeus, "Release the cloctopus!"

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    1. I have just been putting the beastie together, my word there are a lot of parts!

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  29. I am sure your trademark vignettes will be the showpieces of the bonus rounds. Your work in this department is always awaited with the greatest of expectation in all corners of the Empire.
    That Sarissa piece is quite brilliant. It might work well for an English college that I am thinking about for a pulp campaign.
    Best,
    Michael P

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    1. That is very kind of you Michael and I hope that have a couple of surprise up my sleeve for this year. Love the idea of a college building and I desperate to get some paint on it before the challenge demands my undivided attention.

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  30. Looking forward to seeing your bonus round compilations.

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    1. Thank you Dave, must get on and order up some supplies.

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