Monday, April 8, 2013

Awards for the 3rd Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

A period print of The 47 Ronin.
First I apologize for the delay in getting up this award announcement but we had the pleasure of hosting the Mad Padre (MikeP) for a wonderful weekend visit to which I blissfully ignored my blogging responsibilities in favour of fine food, great drink and excellent company.

So, now that I've emerged from my geek hangover I'm delighted to be able to announce the awards for the 3rd Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

First up is the Challengers' Choice. I had a tremendous amount of fun reading everyone's comments regarding their selections. Many mentioned how difficult it was to select just one entry (a sentiment to which I can very much sympathize) and I was frequently given a long list of favourites. Popular choices were:

Tamsin's Swiss Pikemen, 

Greg's Sudan collection, 

Millsy's Ronin, 

and Seb's Gladiators. 

Nevertheless, it was Michael's Cannibal Cooking Pot that was the most voted-for favourite amongst the Challengers. 

It possesses such great storytelling, flawless composition and seemingly effortless execution. Very well done Michael and thank you for treating us with this imaginative bit of fun!

Nothing brings a family together like an evening cook-out.

Sarah spent a good portion of the weekend reviewing EVERY entry, not only to be thorough but also to take some time to enjoy the Challenge as a whole. She tells me that the task took a little more time than she anticipated as she found herself being drawn off to read comments and follow links to others' blogs - mission accomplished, I say!

From Sarah:
I have found it hard to pick a Sarah's Choice Award, particularly since my own criteria was a little "vague". I mean, what does non-military figure or vignette really mean in the context of this Painting Challenge? The superb soldiers of both the Tratavian world and our friend John Bertolini's hand cast and painted Demi-ronde figures beggar the question are these "military figures" or "Toy Soldiers"? Certainly these figs can be gamed with, but are vastly different in feeling compared to for example Greg B's modern Afghan figures 
Then we come to the vignettes and units presented. The Chinese Chariots of Seb's were so lovely, (fabulous shade of blue by the way) and Kawe's French Dragoon and Sleigh evokes the despair of the never-ending winter we are enduring here on the prairies of Saskatchewan (more snow today, yuck). One of my particular favourite vignettes was Michael A's Colonial Heliograph Station. I am a romantic at heart and these great Victorian era colonial expeditions capture a spirit of adventure which I admire. 
So as is evident, I was scattered with what I was looking for, other than something out of the ordinary. In order to narrow my choices, I decided to focus  again on the under-represented female figures.
So here are my four runner ups:
Mike P's Fräulein Barmaid
The Mad Padre was our house guest this past weekend and brought along a stellar bottle of Scotch, while this can easily be construed as a bribe, he was merely exhibiting good manners (no really)! Mike's Fräulein has quite a lot of sass and her back story (not her badadonkadonk, Curt!) is quite unique. Just imagine a samurai trained Octoberfest Barmaid.... There would be no bad behaviour in the beer tents she was serving!
Greg B's Austrian Sutleress
A number of years ago, Curt made me read RF Delderfield's 'Seven Men From Gascony' (a brilliant book as it turned out), one of the characters was a young woman making her living as an ambitious cantoniere. Also, a movie which is watched annually in the Hanks-Campbell household is 'The Duelists' ... Diana Quick  played the camp follower. It is always interesting to see how war affects women and how they cope within that dangerous, alien world of armies and men.
Dave D's badass Female Gunslinger
A determined gal not relying on anyone but herself, and making her own way in the world. Awesome! Let's pair her up with Mike's fräulein and see the two of them kick some butt!
Dave's Geisha
Such beautiful paint and color choices. There is a real elegance and even serenity about her. Love it!
All of the above exhibit brilliant work that I deeply admire, but a choice had to be made! So, driven to a decision, the winner of the 2nd Sarah's Choice is Phil H's 'Lonely Lady'
This figurine could have so many stories woven about her, as Phil said she could be a sailor's widow looking out to sea, a ghost from a Wilkie Collins novel, a damsel in distress.....
Bravo to Phil for such lovely work!

Same as last year I received a surprising amount of comments from the People's Choice Award. In addition to many of those mentioned above, those who followed the Challenge very much enjoyed:

The Hawkins brothers (Ian & Phil) with their various Pulp adventure entries,

Ian's Maharaja Fella
Phil's 'The Swede'
Iannick's Canaanites,

Christopher's Successor Pikemen,

and Andrew's Napoleonic Neuchatel battalion, 'The Canaries'.

The overall favourite for the People's Choice Award was, once again, our talented Mr. Awdry with his amazing Greyscale Seven Samurai!

Congratulations Michael! Thank you again for joining (and vindicating) me in my monochrome madness!

And finally the Judge's Choice Award. As you can well imagine this was a tough one for me. I had the great pleasure of posting each and every entry for the Challenge and so had loads of time to ruminate and ponder on which would be my favourite. Of course it didn't help a bit. I've been paralyzed with indecision for weeks as there are so many brilliant pieces of work to choose from, as you can well see above. 

In the end I've decided to go with my emotions instead of thinking about it too much. 

As Sarah mentioned previously, one of our favourite films is Ridley Scott's 'The Duelists'. Within that film is an amazing scene set during the French retreat from Moscow. Being Canadian prairie folk, with a long experience of harsh winters, we've always thought that Scott did an admirable job in capturing the striking, bleak beauty of a winter landscape. So I was deeply impressed when I saw Kawe's abandoned snow-covered French ammunition caisson as it elegantly conveys that great sense of sadness and waste - a vainglorious Imperial dream shattered by nature's elements.

I found it especially striking as there is not a man or beast in this scene. An effect which seems to underline its haunting isolation, its sense of despair and desolation. I know, grim stuff, but also very powerful.

Superb work Kawe - I'll draw great inspiration from this vignette if I decide to attempt something similar in the future (but it will be on a hot day in July to be sure). 

So there you have it. Congratulations to all the winners! Thank you for treating us with your great imagination and skill. All of your work provides us wonderful entertainment and a source of inspiration.

I will be in touch with each of you with details regarding your prizes. 

And finally I want to thank, once again, all the Challengers for joining me in this fun bit of  distraction. I thank you for your industry, your great sportsmanship and most of all for your warm camaraderie over the past three months. Bravo to you all and I look forward to crossing brushes with you in the next Challenge!