While my blolleague Millsy is an old hand at this event, it was my first entry into the lists (thanks to the encouragement of painting blog luminaries such as Anne, Michael, Paul, and Dave, as well as Millsy), so I set myself a modest target of 200 points.
Well, I wasn't going to set the world on fire on my first outing, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that I ended up with 241 points. The key here seems to be the bonus rounds, and my word, didn't the Challengers pull out all the stops for those!
C&G's own Millsy was one of the leaders in this field, with a podium finish in each of the bonus rounds, and a well-deserved win in the 'Defensive Terrain' category for his insanely detailed motte-and-bailey castle.
Trust me, anyone bloody-minded enough to sharpen nearly two hundred individual twigs gathered from the backyard to make a palisade is not a person to be trifled with.
My own showing in the bonus rounds was modest, as befits a debutant. I did score an honourable mention in the 'Nautical' category, which was more than I had dared expect - old Thadrak Krakenbane is possibly the silliest figure I've ever painted, but he generated a backstory which went from silly to sad in a most unexpected manner.
Towards the end of the Challenge, it was as though Millsy and I remembered that we had a bunch of unpainted figs for something called Frostgrave (as did a good many other Challengers - it was almost uncanny!), and there was a bit of a (snow) flurry as we all swung into action. I rustled up a couple of beasties and two soldiers, while Millsy went for some superbly-rendered Wights and Constructs.
I'm glad we're getting some traction on Frostgrave again (after all, we did buy the ruleset for a reason), and I've been inspired to carry on in the wake of the Challenge. Better late than never for the painting mojo to kick in - though three months ago would have been nice!
So here's the latest from the Drummoyne workbench; two golems (or constructs, in Frostgrave parlance), one Stone, one Flesh. They're impulse buys from my FLGS, Reaper Bones figs, and I'm surprised at how easily they painted up (though I'll leave it to you to make your own judgement on the final effect).
Here's the Stone Golem, based on a Renedra 40mm round with some rocks, some resin basing bits from an old GW basing set, and lots of white pumice to build up the area around the moulded base of the fig. It was finished with the 50/50 bicarb/PVA glue snow mix, given a wash in the recesses with the OOP GW Ice Blue.
I decided to go with something other than the bog standard GWSWGG colour scheme, working up instead from a base of the now-discontinued GW Foundation colour Orkhide Shade, a very dark green at the blue end of the spectrum. Successive layers of drybrushing went up from the old Dark Angels Green to the lighter grey-greens of the final edge highlights.
I was going for a greenstone/dark jade effect, and I think staying away from the warmer, yellower greens was the way to go. The fine cracks evident in the sculpt called for a lighter touch, and I think that lining in the lower edges of the flaws with the paler tones has helped me here.
The next one is almost a diametric opposite; the sharp edges of the first sculpt have no counterpart in the Reaper Bones Flesh Golem. I started with a purple basecoat, thinking to work it up to a pale mauve-grey, for a dead and sallow look. As I added paler layers, striping in the direction of the muscle, I found myself moving back towards the red end of the purple spectrum. As you can see, one thing led to another, with a pretty disturbing end result.
He's made of flesh, alright, but it's as though some careless magician neglected to give him skin. He looks like he's just stepped off the set of one of the Hellraiser films. I'm not entirely sure what happened there...
The bulging muscles of his back and shoulders really lent themselves to the 'anatomical model' style of painting, with the striation of the tissue picked out in purple, red and bone with a dark red wash. His base is the usual snow mix, with a rusty helmet from the Frostgrave Soldiers sprue thrown in for good measure.
His bloody chest and hands have been given a splash of GW's 'Blood for the Blood God', from their technical paint range, with a few drops and bloody footprints in the snow as well. Ordinarily, I avoid such overly gory effects, but something about this sculpt brought out my inner B-movie horror impresario. All a bit Grand Guignol, really - I'd better not make too much of a habit of it...
That's all for now - stay tuned!