Saturday, April 7, 2012

'The Agony and the Ecstasy' - The 2nd Annual Analogue Painting Challenge Awards

'I don't know what it is, but I always seem to make a hash of the drybrushing...'
Well the votes are all in and I'm delighted to be able to announce the awards for the 2nd Annual Analogue Painting Challenge.

The Points Race:

Those who followed the Challenge will know that in the final days there was a tight race for the overall points-standing, with Ray unexpectedly surging forward to challenge Kent's seemingly unassailable first place postion. Those last few days saw the two of them painting like men possessed with Ray craftily pipping into first place right at the finish-line.

Ray's dynamic 28mm Anglo-Zulu War Vignette
Kent's meticulous 28mm Hanoverians
Just behind these two acrylic-wielding combatants was Tim with his very impressive and diverse collection that ranged from ancient Egyptians and Anglo-Saxons to a modern-day security contrator.  

Tim's 28mm Anglo-Saxons (all hand-painted shields!)
Tim's 28mm Dark Age Scots (check out the fabulous plaids on these guys)
On a brief aside, here is an impressive statistic: If we averaged the output of Ray, Kent and Tim to 5 points per figure then the three of them combined completed 2600 miniatures in three months and all of it of excellent quality. Absolutely staggering. Bravo to the three of you!!

As the Challenge progressed I quickly realized that very few could hope to compete with painting dervishes like Ray, Kent and Tim so I created four other categories which are not dependent on point accumulation in order to spread the fun. These are People's Choice, Challenger's Choice, Sarah's Choice and the Judge's Choice. 

The People's Choice: 
First I have to say that I was completely blown away by the number of responses that came in for this category, I believe it was little over 100 all told, and so I'd like thank all those who took the time to review the entries and cast a vote. I believe virtually every participant received votes for their entries. As you can imagine there were many favourites identified but there was one submission that proved to be distinctly popular. This was Christopher's gorgeous 15mm Mamelukes. Well done Christopher!

The Challenger's Choice:
The Challenger's Choice was was very hard fought as well, with several challengers in the running. Work from Michael, Juan and Christopher were some of the favourites but it was DaveD's fabulously converted and painted Bavarian Chevaulegers 'Konig' that ultimately took the brass ring. Beautiful work Dave!

Sarah's Choice:
From Sarah:

'Of She-Bears and Strumpets!'
Back in December, after the first entrants to Curt's Painting Challenge arrived thru the In box, I plaintively asked Curt, "These fellows are all very fine, but where are the women?"

In typical Curt fashion, he replied "What are you suggesting?" The result of this conversation  was the additional category of "Sarah's Choice" to the Annual Painting Challenge.

The amount and quality of Napoleonics being showcased through the main painting competition  made me secretly hope that one of the many talented painters might do a "Josephine, in Rose Garden at Malmaison". However, Curt has just informed me that he knows of NO Josephine figure being available (I could be wrong and probably am! - ed). Shameful! Josephine led such a fascinating life and possessed a  fantastic wardrobe! And Hellooo! She was the Empress! 

Moving on ..... The entrants to Sarah's Choice have been remarkable in the diversity of character and eras of women depicted. Some highlights have been Dave's poor Pauline;  ALL of Juan's masterfully painted figures, so full of character and sense of era/history; the animation of the gaggle of Strumpets has made me laugh (especially Scotts winking Prashanthi)! ; Chris's Sarah on Safari, because a Victorian Lady wielding a pistol always deserves the utmost respect and admiration! And my final honorable mention will be Ian's Camp Followers, mother with two children. There is something really poignant about the composition and the subdued/restrained painting.  Well done!

And, so sorry Ray, the wonderful 'Frances the She Bear', though powerfully fearsome and hirsute she may be, doesn't quite spark my romantic sensibilities.

The winner of Sarah's Choice, 2012 edition is ........ the combined entries from Phil, his Femme Fatale from the Societe Archeolgique (bravely fending off the pink-arsed baboons) and the 1930s Gun Moll. I really liked the subject matter, the clean style and the almost impressionistic approach to the Femme's plaid skirt. Well done!

Bravo Everyone and I look forward to what next year's entrants will be ....


Judges Choice:
I must admit that I spent a lot of time wringing my hands and pacing regarding this award. I even ran the entire catalogue of photos (all 1500 of them) from the Challenge through our home theatre so I could see them all on our big screen, and anyone who has followed the Challenge from its beginning will know that I was spoiled for choice (as you can plainly see from the above).

The Challenge featured many excellent entries that impressed me. A brief list is Kent's Roman Camp, Michael's Viking Warlord, Christopher's ACW Signal Station, Dave's Cuirassier Band, JohnM's Prussians, JohnB's Old School Poles, Paul's gorgeous 18mm Napoleonics and I could list many, many others. Nonetheless I finally decided to bend my own rules and select a Challenger based on the quality of his overall submissions.  With this in mind I think all can see why I have decided to give the Judge's Choice to Juan for his superb collection of figures to which he worked at his own pace. For what he did not accrue in the points roster he more than made up in the sustained wow factor.

There you have it! For all of the award winners I will be in touch to arrange for your prizes. Thanks again to all of the Challengers for making this such an excellent event and thanks to all the visitors for providing encouragement and kudos to the lads. I hope to see some of you in a few weeks at SALUTE! 




  1. Well done everybody, the winners are all well desired awesome painting some incredible skills congrats and see you all next year

  2. Well done everyone that took part and registered their votes. Some cracking entries altogether. I am humbled to be chosen as a "winner" by the participants. Thanks lads!
    It was a wonderful challenge to inspire the creative juices - than ks for organising Curt. Catch ya a Salute. - I may even bring these guys along so you can see em in the flesh...

  3. Some very worthy winners. Congratulations to everyone who took part.

  4. Congrats to all the winners. I have really enjoyed all the posts of wonderfully painted figures. Great work all of you.

  5. Well done to all, a great sense of comradeship through the blogs, and a wonderful challenge to take part in. I look forward to the next one.

  6. A very well done to all who joined in the competition and a congratulations to all the winners of which I'm honoured and very grateful to have been chosen the Peoples choice.
    Most of all however I wish to tip my hat to Curt for hosting such a wonderful competition of which you can already auto sign me up for the next! Well done!!


  7. Great job Curt, have fun in Europe and I am sure we will all look forward to next year.


  8. Wonderful entries and deserving winners. Well done all and especially Curt for allowing us to see such inspiring work. I wil bookmark this page when I need a dose of inspiration.

  9. Excellent choices - all very deserving

    Now where are those Vikings!

    Thanks for running the challenge - it was a blast


  10. Some excellent choices there Curt, how excellent that over 100 people voted on the Peoples Choice award!!!
    A big congratulations to all the winners of the special awards and to all the competitors who entered!!!!!

  11. Congrats to all, and indeed some very nice eye candy to stare at further. Lots of inspiration for future historical armies and painters!

  12. Congratulations to the winners - both overall and within the voted for categories. There has been a great sense of community during this and I look forward to watch everybody's blogs over the next year before - hopefully - we do this all again.

    Thanks again to Curt for organising this, it must have taken so much time and effort, but well worth it!


  13. It was a very entertaining contest to watch; maybe next year! Simon

  14. Congratulations to all the worthy winners! Shows a combination of democracy, meritocracy, matriarchy and dictatorship can give a good result after all. :-)

    In honour of my fair ladies' showing, I invite Sarah to choose a character name for this lady of the French Societe Archeologique.

    Lastly, one more big thanks to Curt, enjoy Salute!


  15. Congratulations to all of you, Christopher, Dave and Phil. You are wonderful painters and true gentlemen.

    And, Curt, thank you a lot for your choice; it has been a great, great competition and a really nice experience for me. Have fun in Europe!!!

  16. Congrats to everyone.
    And have fun at Salute, you lucky buggers!!

  17. Well I could not agree more with the results, seemed the perfect choices throughout.

    I can't really add to what everyone else has said other than my Thanks and hopes for next year.


  18. Thanks for the entertainment throughout and congrats on the winners.

    Cheers Bro (PhilH)for introducing me to the Blog and competition.

    I may have to join in next time to spur on a painting streak, I'll not be able to paint the volume some of these guys can but I'll try my best.

    Is it really a year till the next one?

  19. Thanks guys! It was a blast to run and it was great being able to make new friends.

    After my vacation I'll get all the 'Kurt-Geld' Vikings based-up and brought together for a photoshoot.

    @Gharak, Simon and Mike: Please keep eye open next autumn - if I can screw-up the courage and the stamina I'll run another Challenge.


  20. Congratulations to all the winners and thanks for running it Curt. CU next week


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