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Monday, 18 April 2016

Salute 2016, The Painting Diatribe.

Any regular followers of my blogs, know that I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about the Salute Painting competition. For a show of this magnitude it really should showcase the best of the painters around Britain and probably all of Europe as well. Over the years, it is clear that this is the case regarding fantasy and sci fi entries. The standard is very high, and probably on a par with the old Games Workshop Golden Demon competitions.
 In the historical classes this is not the case. Usually there will be two or three top class entries, and that will be about it.
 Its as if most historical wargamers either can't be arsed to put a unit in the competition, or perhaps they feel that the judging is just not up to a decent standard and there is no point.
 I think this year hit an all time low for naming a winner of the historical classes.
 Again I have to apologise about the images, as it is very hard to get a decent photograph of the entries. The following three stood out for me as top quality painting, I know it is a subjective thing, but I have a bit of experience about what is what.
                    The following were entered in the Class two, 3 to 40 historical figures.
                                       Some very nice Napoleonic hussars. [ 12 in fact]
Confederates entered by Tony Runkee.  [ 24 infantrymen]

                                      Seven Years War French entered by Dave Jarvis. [ 30 infantrymen]
                                  One of the entries in the single figure class, it wasn't placed by the way?                                                        Unfortunately I couldn't see who won this class.
                             
                              The winner of Class Two Historical unit, 3 to 40 figures [ 5!]
                        The second place in the Class Two historical unit 3 to 40 figures?.
                                        This was first in the Historical wargames unit other.

I will let others make their own judgement, and hopefully when the winners are properly photographed then it may be easier to decide if they were worthy winners, personally I think whoever judges, and I use that word carefully, the historical painting competition, doesn't know shit from clay.
 So anyone seriously wanting to enter the Salute Historical painting competition, be prepared for some serious disappointment.
 So how was Salute, apart from my usual gripe about the painting farce. I genuinely loved the day, brash, tiring, very expensive but also a great way to recharge one's wargames batteries and come away inspired.






24 comments:

  1. the painting competition is at best questionable. Apart from that unit by Tony & Dave how many of those historical entries are on bases for gaming? A two inch thick base with pedastal is not destined to be used on the wargames table.

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    1. I know Paul, the strange thing is, the fantasy stuff was mainly on wonderful and artistic bases. But then our wargaming cousins in the USA do use very big bases, so it could have been an American.

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  2. A travesty as usual and one that should be shunned. Maybe try a FOI request for the judges qualifications, judging notes and 'guidance'. I am only joking of course.

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    1. 'Six' please feel free to comment, I enjoy most views.

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  4. Hi Robbie good show reports however we in Gods Country are a bit more descriptive we would say "Shit from Yellow Clay"!!.

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    1. Brian,
      I dont know if you travel to London often, actually thinking about it, I dont think you should ever visit the country's capital. I go there a few times a year and I feel its like visiting a different country, so our descriptions of the judging would be viewed with a lot of horror.

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    2. Good few Years since I went to London you know how Tribal we are up here anything South of the Tyne Bridge is Abroad to us!!!!

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  5. Robbie,

    The chap taking the photo's want's shooting for a start! :D (Joking! )

    It would appear somewhat of a questionable outcome, certainly the pre-requisite for "victory" appears to be mounting on a large plinth etc.

    I'd describe the winning "units" as decently painted, but that's about as far as I would go. With results like that is it questionable why more painters don't enter?

    John

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    1. You're correct John, why bother carting a carefully wrapped unit across the country if there is very little chance of an informed judging at the end of it.

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  6. Hi Robbie I have always found that painting comps are always a hit and miss issue...because it all depends on the actual nature of the interests in wargaming of the judges...and as we all know within wargaming there are a few different techniques used by many of the well knowns and this sometimes can cause a tunnelled view in wargaming as aposed to modelling comps.

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  7. Shaun,
    I have thought something similar for a while regarding Salute, given the Warlords emphasis on fantasy etc; it is a long time since the likes of Bill Brewer had an influence at the club. Still, given the high standard of fantasy painters then you would think they could judge a historical unit on a similar standard.

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  8. Hi,

    I would like to provide a different viewpoint, although my opinions could be a bit subjective, as I am the painter of the DAK FoW platoon and the 28mm Mortar team (Kharkov); the two entries with a wooden base.

    About the pedestals or wooden bases, we should distinguish between a vignette or scene, where the miniatures are perfectly integrated with the base (the most common case for fantasy entries) and a wooden base to enhance the presentation of the entry, where the miniatures used to play are shown. Take a look at the 28mm German guys with the Sdkfz. It is a mortar team to play Bolt Action or Chain of Command, where figures are based on rounded bases. Or the DAK Flames of War soft skins. The wooden base doesn´t provide any “scenery” or extra element; but the platoon looks like a proper and cohesive unit, as all the miniatures have independent bases.

    About the size of the platoons, how many Diana trucks fought in Africa? Only 3. So, if you want to participate in a historical competition…you cannot paint 40 Diana trucks, can you? Furthermore, if you want to play Chain of Command, a support weapon team is formed by 6 guys (5 crews + leader). Therefore, if you want to enter a mortar team in the competition, there is no sense on painting 40 crews.

    Apologies in advance in case these comments look like a “defensive stand”, and please comment! :D

    P.S. Robbie, as you claimed, if you want you can see here better pics of these two entries:

    DAK: http://www.wargames-spain.com/foros/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=31357

    Kharkov: http://www.wargames-spain.com/foros/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=31962

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    1. I actually know of yourself, and the high standard that you attain. I used to compete in many wargaming painting competitions at the shows, when it was always a feature. I actually won quite a few, but I realsised many years ago that I couldnt improve past proficient, and stopped entering after I got a second place at Salute, but that was when Bill Brewer was still alive. I honestly believe that the historical part of the painting competition at Salute is now seen as almost an inconvenience,and the judging is not taken as seriously as when the fantasy exhibits are judged.
      I may be wrong, I often am, but either it should taken seriously or they should just scrap the damn thing.

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  9. Hi Robbie. Needless to say I didn't see any of this stuff but as to painting comps in general I'm pretty ambivillent. My big problem is the classes - they don't differentiate between professionals and amateurs- not sure how they could mind you but the BMSS certainly used to. Alsop pedestal bases- I see you point but that could be sorted out by classes again as the BMSS and other "Model Soldier" competitions do .
    Chaps who wish to"compete" will ALWAYS bend the rules to best advantage whatever the competiton from Wargaming to chicken sexing.

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    1. Andy,
      I seem to get vocal about this every year, I shouldnt let this bother me, as I dont even compete, but there are wargamers who like the kudos of entering and perhaps winning at Britain's largest wargames show. So it shouldnt be beyond the wit of man to sort out the classes correctly and then perhaps sorting out the judging. Perhaps they could start by identifying the actual judges, and even why they are fit to judge people's efforts.

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  10. I'd certainly agree that part of the issue would appear to be classification. Ruben's 15mm Diana's and associated A/C's are certainly nicely done, but I note they came runner up in the "Historical Wargames unit Infantry or Cavalry" group, is it me, or am I not seeing either infantry or Cavalry in this entry? Surely they should have been entered into the "Historical Wargames unit other" Class?

    I think the problem is that if you mix things like vehicles and armour in classes that have say infantry figures then you really are looking at very different things in terms of painting techniques (like modulation and weathering on armour) vs say skin tones, horse flesh etc.

    It's hard enough to make a reasonable judgement on what's "best" out of things that have similar painting "challenges" vs things that are so diverse. And all that isn't taking into account varying scales either.

    In the end, it should really always be "this unit was liked best by whoever was doing the judging" beyond that it's all subjective. We all have different likes and dislikes.

    John

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    1. John D, IMO the problem is where to put the limit. Or the baseline. Can you compare individually-based miniatures for Bolt Action with a big base (a vignette!!!) for Impetus? Furthermore, how important is the decoration of the base: an amazing mud effect vs common grass? What about flags? Has a poor WWII unit with no flags something to do against a hand-painted flags from a 30YW pikemen unit? Would I be cheating if I paint some fancy tattoos on my Gaul guys? Or even more difficult: can you compare 15mm or 20mm with 28mm miniatures? The history is really enormous, and in our tiny wargaming world there are thousands of different options to paint and show.

      The fairest competition is that where all of the participants paint the same miniature and show it on the same base. But take a look at the Salute exclusive miniature category…even there you can see very different bases! (…and wooden pedestals) :-/

      Actually, vehicles are the new cavalry in modern times, aren’t they? (= armored cavalry; we are still using that category in modern armies, such as the famous US 7th Cavalry Regiment that was fighting in Afganistan 3 years ago). Otherwise, you would be excluding a huuuuge wargaming theme from that category. Anyone could also say that that is totally unfair.

      Nevertheless, I totally agree. More categories would be needed. Taking this vehicle issue as an example, one category for historical vehicles would be nice; or just add “…and vehicles” to the other historical categories -like in the sci-fi and fantasy categories- to avoid this kind of different interpretations.

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  11. Ruben,

    I think part of the problem is that the categorisation of the classes is just an "aye been" (excuse the use of my "local dialect", roughly it means we do it like this because we always have, not because it makes any sense.

    It would make much more sense to have the categories divided by scale, then by type of figure (i.e. infantryman, cavalry, vehicle). Whether its' "sci-fi", "Fantasy" or historical is actually less relevant. At least you'd then get some idea of folks respective painting styles and techniques when faced with at least a similar type of challenge.

    Likewise basing should be discounted as much as possible, it's the "frame" for the picture, not the art itself.

    John

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    1. Definitely, you are right. Although I doubt that that will happen :( –at least for the enhancement of the historical categories or entries-, because It seems that Salute is the new Golden Demon and only fantasy and Sci-Fi categories are taken into account; as it has been previously mentioned :(

      Anyways, I would like to “romper una lanza / break a spear” (= say something in support of someone) in support of the judges. I think that the role of a painting conquest judge is veeeeery difficult; and it is almost impossible to make happy everyone. I wouldn’t like to be a judge in this kind of competition!

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  12. Ruben,

    I absolutely agree, anything judged is always going to be very subjective and down to individual tastes and bias, and you'll never please everyone.

    I think the point that sums up the current "nonsense" of the classes is that if you took the unit that I think won the historical class? (the 5 "men at arms" types) and put them in the fantasy class and said they were "Bretonnian mercenaries" or some such, would there be any difference?

    John

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    1. None at all John, and I think that hits the nail on its head.

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    2. Yeah, actually those miniatures are from Warhammer (Braganza's Besiegers) and are painted with Non-Metal metallic... My brother commented that it seemed that someone wanted to have a free price! :-/

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    3. Now that I have taken a closer look at the figures, I realise that I actually used to have these in my Dogs of War army, doh! Which actually makes it even more sad, a non historical unit [5] wins the historical unit category. Maybe next year some space marines can enter and win,what a bollocks.

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My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
Smoggycon 2012

Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating