Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Sword Drawn - The 3rd Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

January 2013 will mark the 310th anniversary of the attack of the 47 Ronin. A near mythical event in Japanese culture, the 47 Rōnin have come to represent the virtues of loyalty, honour, sacrifice and persistence (and perhaps a good dose of revenge). While a detailed account can be read here, I will outline the basic story.

In 1701 a young provincial daimyo (Lord Asano) was being instructed in court etiquette by an shogunate courtier in preparation for a visit by the Shogun's emissaries. The courtier, being a nasty sort, relished in bating the daimyo, repeatedly insulting him for his uncouth country manners. Lord Asano, ultimately provoked beyond endurance, flew into a rage and injured the courtier on shogunate grounds. This was seen as a grave crime. The daimyo was ordered to commit seppuku (ritual suicide) to which he immediately complied. Asano's family was degraded, his lands made forfeit and his household samurai reduced to leaderless warriors - known as rōnin. Nonetheless, fourty-seven of these rōnin vowed to wash the stain from their master's honour and kill the pompous courtier who had caused his death. They prepared and waited for two years, many even taking odd jobs near the courtier's residence. Finally when the moment seemed right they attacked the courtier's grounds, slew his bodyguards and took his head. The rōnin then made their way to the gravesite of their master where they placed the washed and perfumed courtier's head upon his grave in final absolution. Upon hearing of the event, the Shogun was so impressed by this act of selfless devotion that he allowed them the honour to commit seppuku and be interred alongside their master (as opposed to being summarily executed as common criminals). Their gravesites at Sengaku-ji remains a venerated shrine in Japan to this day.

Honour, sacrifice, persistence and perhaps a bit of revenge? I think this sounds like a great recipe for:

 The 3rd Annual 
Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

The Rules

The Challenge will extend from 12:01 am December 20th through to the first day of Spring, 12:01 am March 20th.
Figures can be prepared and primed prior to the start date (Dec 20th), but no colour can be applied until the 20th. In order to be scored the figures have to be based and groundwork completed. The figures have to be painted by you. The honour system will be followed in the completion and entry of figures to the Challenge. Great dishonour goes upon anyone who shames themselves in the time-honoured craft of painting toy soldiers!
The subject matter can be in any scale, but must be historical in nature.
In order to be scored, photos of all figures/units along with a short descriptive note must be submitted to me for posting on the Analogue Hobbies blog. Up-to-date scoring will be maintained on the main page.   
The Judge (me) will participate, but my score will not have any standing in the Challenge. 

The Scoring
6mm foot figure = 0.5 point
6mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 1 pts
6mm vehicle = 2 
10mm foot figure = 1 point
10mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 2 points
10mm vehicle = 3 points 
15mm foot figure = 2 pts
15mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 4 
15mm vehicle = 6 

20mm foot figure = 4 
20mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 8 
20mm vehicle = 12 

28mm foot figure = 5 
28mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 10 
28mm vehicle = 15 
40mm foot figure = 7 pts
40mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 15 
40mm vehicle = 20 
54mm foot figure = 10 pts
54mm mounted figures, artillery piee or crew served weapon = 20 pts
54mm vehicle, limber, etc. = 30 pts 
Other scales and miscellaneous models/figures will be scored on a submission-by-submission basis. 

The Glory
As with last year there will be prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd along with recognition for People's Choice, Challenger's Choice, Sarah's Choice and Judge's Choice.

The Catch

Ah yes, the catch, the catch. Last year's entrance fee was a painted 28mm Viking and so in keeping with the 47 Ronin theme, the shakedown, er, 'entrance fee' for this year's Challenge will be a single 28mm Samurai figure supplied and painted by the entrant. (This miniature can be submitted any time up until the end of the Challenge.) To generate a little positive karma (I can certainly use it), for each figure I receive I will donate $5 to the Saskatchewan branch of the  Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

There you have it. If you're interested in joining our merry band of brush-jockeys please drop me a note, or leave a comment expressing your interest. Spots are limited so get your name in soon!