Friday, December 11, 2015

Painting Challenge Prep

It's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge weather outside my house...
As winter locks in here in Canada (even it has been relatively mild, so far, by our standards), the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge takes shape.  Basically, its just a big race to get as much stuff painted as you can.  You get points based on the volume of painting - check out Curt's blog for all the rules (link here). This is my sixth year participating, and it looks like there will be quite an assortment of participants - something like 86 from around the world.  Three Fawcett Conscripts are involved - Byron, Kevin H and myself. 

The Challenge is a lot of fun.  People have different targets for their points - some aspire to get a few figures done, and others paint whole battalions with seeming ease and a frightening pace.  The variety is great. I like to paint a lot anyways, so for me the best part of the Challenge is the group dynamic, mutual encouragement and inspiration from different Challengers, hobbyists from all over the world. It's entertaining and helps motivate further painting efforts. 

Some of the allotted Painting Challenge figures...some are already primed

Many of the participants approach this event with a "plan", so much so they even use spreadsheets (WTF?!?), one of the least useful "solutions" our society has ever devised for anything (yes, fighting words for some, but spreadsheets are the worst).  Clearly, my approach to the hobby seldom involves anything like a "plan", and even when I try to "plan", it seldom survives contact with reality (after all, with 30k, my "plan" for small skirmish forces turned into this - which was awesome).  While planning is important in the work I do, and other parts of 1-to-1 scale activities (i.e. life) when it comes to this hobby, screw "plans".

Tactical support troops in Mark III power armour with Volkite Calivers for the Sons of Horus

On the other hand, having some kind of plan seems to be all the rage, so I'm giving it the best go I starts with a "strategy".  So, my strategy in approaching this year's Painting Challenge involves the following four cornerstones:
  1. Use side duels as additional motivation and a means to channel my hobby randomness
  2. Ignore the theme submissions (most of the Challengers love them but they almost never work out for me anyway)
  3. Build and prepare as many of the figures and models beforehand as possible
  4. Use a spreadsheet format consistent with my overall approach and views regarding spreadsheets 
I've been on a big 30k kick since...I dunno, lets say 2014. I want to finish as much 30k stuff as I can, but I also know I will, at some point, randomly want to work on something else, just for a break.  So I've got two side duels - one to paint the most sci-fi themed stuff, and the other, to paint the most Horus Heresy/30k themed stuff - going to help me with the main goal of finishing 30k stuff.  And to channel the random "hey, I haven't painted a T-55 in, like, forever" thoughts I am prone to experiencing, I am also dueling (with Curt and Byron no less!) to finish as much modern stuff as possible...with that new "Team Yankee" game looming from Battlefront, I wanted to be prepared...

Plastic Mark IV armoured "seeker" Legion Marines for the Sons of Horus...breacher Marines can be seen in the background
For the past several weeks I have been working to build models so I can focus on actual painting during the Painting Challenge...I have almost 100 Legion marines, as well as some bits like Dreadnoughts, tanks etc. all ready to go.  I'm not limiting myself to 28mm either...I'm also busy prepping Epic models (infantry, tanks, titans) etc.  My liquitex supply is nearly exhausted, but hopefully when the starter gun fires I'll be ready to start ripping through this stuff.  

Assault marines in the foreground, tactical support marines and devestator marines in the background

Finally, I have prepared a spreadsheet of my own devising to help me with all of this...

This is the only appropriate format for spreadsheets I have ever seen

So who knows, I might actually stick to this plan, maybe win a duel or two, and by the spring our 30k games will be in some sort of even more bonkers new level.  Or, I'll suddenly want to paint ancients...I would lose all the duels, but then we could play more ancients, just never know, right? 

Anyway, best of luck to all the Challenge participants, particularly fellow Conscripts Byron and Kevin H - watch the Challenge blog, as well as this space, for more on our submissions!


Millsy said...

Let me make sure I understand you 100%. You don't like spreadsheets right? :-)

Chuckaroobob said...

Go man go! Make us proud!

JamieM said...

100 marines you say? 100?!?!?! I'm going to have to up my game a little!

Now where did I put all those 30k figures?