Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Stylin' and Profilin' (or Sumthin')

I believe Groucho Marx once said, "I refuse to join any club which would have me as a member," but then again he obviously wasn't nominated for the 'Stylish Blogger Award'.  ;)

Over the past few weeks I've noticed this 'Award' making its rounds amongst several of the sites I regularly visit. Well lo and behold,  Miles, Col Shofer and Ray have each kindly selected my blog as, hmm, what? A nominee? Part of a group of recipients?  I confess I really don't know where this thing originated, or what its actually for, but I do recognize and appreciate the sentiment behind it, so thanks very much guys!

I understand that  in being selected for the award means that I have to state 10 things about myself and nominate 10-15 other blogs for the same award. Ok, on to the first part:

1) I used to race bicycles and worked as a bicycle courier in my early 20s.
2) I enjoy collecting vinyl records and am a bit of a hi-fi junkie.
3) In the mid-80s (at around age 20) I owned and managed a game store with a good friend of mine (we were at ground zero for the introduction of Warhammer Fantasy and 40K - those were heady days!).
4) When I'm not slouching I'm taller than your average geek (6'2").
5) I lived in Europe for a year (Italy, Austria and the Netherlands)
6) I worked in the US for around 4 years (Biloxi, New Orleans and Detroit)
7) I now work as a preservation archivist.
8) My wife calls me a 'social misanthrope' (amongst other kind things) which is a nice way of saying that I like my friends but am generally not too fond of humanity.
9) I like to garden.
10) I love all hounds.

As this award has been in circulation for a while I'm going to keep my nominations rather sparse:
John de Terre Neuve's "Wargaming in 28mm"

Iannick's "Clash of Empires"

Dallas, Greg and "The Fawcett Avenue Conscripts" (my old gaming group from Winnipeg)


Each of these sites project an enthusiasm for the hobby that is unique, admirable and infectious and I think they are more than deserving of nomination.

So a big thanks again to those who've nominated my little area of nerdspace for this accolade!

Final Results: The Spring-Thaw Painting Challenge!

It was at the beginning of February when I issued a challenge to see who could paint the most Napoleonic figures over the following three months.  Over those ninety or so days I've had the pleasure to make several new friends, paint ALOT of toy soldiers and experience an infectious enthusiasm for our 'little' hobby - in short its been a hell of a lot of fun. Amongst the six who participated we painted the equivalent of 449 28mm figures in three months!

As I stated in the original rules my participation was purely as the 'pace car' for the other painters and so I would not take a stake in any of the prizes.  The prizes are unimaginatively simple, being gift vouchers valued at 30, 20 and 10 pounds sterling for First, Second and Third place respectively. I know, its not much but it'll take the edge off a future purchase.

So with all that being said and without further ado lets review the podium.

Coming in Third with 67 points is Paul from Scotland! Paul was a late-entrant to the Challenge but made both great inroads and a great impression to those who saw his work. Unlike the rest of us, Paul's focus is exclusively in 15mm and the quality of his output is just amazing. There was numerous instances where I thought I was looking at beautifully painted 28mm figures and it made me think twice (but only twice :) ) about whether I should have gone in for a smaller scale. 

Second place, at 111 points, was taken by my good friend Greg from Winnipeg who was using the Challenge to get his Austrian brigade completed - and a very beautiful collection it is! The majority of his points came from painting two regiments of 28mm cavalry which is no mean feat in of itself, especially when a good portion of them were the very colourful and intricate uniforms of the 10th Hussars. Great job Greg!

Last but certainly not least, in First place is JohnM, who with 134 points demonstrated to us all that it is possible to have both a high output combined with an excellent level of quality. Even with the very funny (well, to me) 'uniform malfunction' of the Green Cuirassiers he recovered with aplomb and steamed on to victory. Bravo John and congratulations!

I also want to take this opportunity to thank Sylvain and Tim who put in excellent showings with their Russians and Brits. Thanks a bunch guys! You can check out all of the entries at this gallery.

For the five in the DFL category I will only say, "Guys, not one bloody figure to even get out of the gate? Really? Really?"  Nuff said.

Finally, thanks to all you out there in the interweb who took the time to leave encouraging comments. I think I can speak for all of us to say that its so great to get positive feedback from others in the hobby - it really helps to keep up the enthusiasm during those late night painting sessions. So a big thanks to you all!

Postscript: Some have contacted me to ask if I'll run another Challenge. Absolutely! But I think we'll let everyone enjoy the summer season (well, for those above the equator) and then we'll see about a Challenge for the autumn!