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Dark Age Painting Competition - Report
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Dark Age Painting Competition - Report
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On the 19th November 2005, a Painting Competition was held at Wolfs Game Shop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Miniatures were kindly donated by Dark Age Games.


Prizes kindly sponsored by Wolf.


The event started off a couple of months ago, as a sudden thought in my mind. Basically I was trying to think of ways to vary the Dark Age demonstration sessions we run. Its good to run games where people can try the rules with different armies and the like, but what about something new, something......*errrr* creative?? A Dark Age painting competition!!

Huh?? Did you say........
...... an entirely free Painting Competition???

The initial plan was to purchase a whole bunch of figures from Dark Age Games, and then charge the entrants the figure cost to enter. I was sure that my good buddy and local games shop owner, Wolf, would sponsor the Prize...... he he he........ so I contacted Dark Age to ask whether this form of activity would count towards our Demo quota. A very nice reply came scooting through the virtual post route from the Dark Age Krew, saying that they would provide the figures for the Competition free of charge (and that it would count towards our demos *grin*)......... on one condition....... that we write a report and include lots of pretty pics.
How cool is that. Three thumbs up and a complimentary Tom Yam/ Nasi Lemak/ Murtabak to the Dark Age boyz when they visit us *cheesy grin*.
So, a free painting competition.......... now to organise.
Shortly after we were told about the free figures, they arrived on our hot, humid door step. A little parcel filled with Dark Age gribblyness. Now for the next step, marketing the event and preparing the miniatures.
Well, the event was raised on a number of forums, plus with posters and by word-of-mouth. A maximum of 12 participants was set, due to space constraints at the shop. So 12 figures had to be cleaned up (cutting, filing, glueing, pinning etc) and glued to their bases, ready for the paintsters to let loose with their brushes........ and no, I didn't undercoat them, as one local of the shop asked..... I dunno, you arrange a free competition with free figs and a great prize, and they ask you to undercoat the figure as well as cleaning and assembling........ cheeky sod!!!!

Malaysian Outcasts
Shinobi (left) and Art-de-Vivre (right)

*ahem* Anyhoo, along came Saturday 19th November, and the Malaysian Outcasts (official Dark Age Demo Team) meet up at the usual congregation location at the Shopping Mall where Wolfs shop is located...... Starbucks, and have our traditional cuppa Java.
We start talking about our plans for GAMECON-1 (Malaysia's first Gaming Convention - where Dark Age is gonna have a wicked time converting the masses, and corrupting the competition), about the terrain we'll be using, about the bulk of metal we still have to paint for the event, when at last we realise that the time is upon us. We move upstairs to the shop, and find half-a-dozen people, looking high on adrenaline, standing inside the shop. As we enter we are greeted by: "When do we start", "What figures do we paint", "Sure its free, ah???".
As we set up the tables, get the cups of water and paper towels ready, another bunch of painters turn up, repeating the same questions with big smiles on their faces....... LUVVIN' IT!!!!
The participants write their details down on the entry form, and get given a random Dark Age Forsaken Bane miniature. Movement to the tables gets a bit hectic as they jostle for the chairs directly under the lights, and then THEY"RE OFF!!!!!!
Up to a maximum of 5 hours painting, all of them looking really determined to win.

Gently does it!!
Some of the painters did some very fine details.

The amount of concentration and effort was amazing, with some excellent work being produced.
The age range of the participants was also very positive, the youngest being 10 years old (painting his first ever miniature!), and the oldest 40. We also had a lady participating, doing a really nice job, and showing that the hobby can be enjoyed by all.
Of course, 5 hours is a fair amount of time, so there were plenty of refreshment breaks (and lung pollution breaks for the more senior entrants.....).
The first miniature was completed after about an hour, the last miniature finished seconds before the deadline.

Look out behind you!!!!
Bane being chased by lethal bottle of Gold Paint

Ian uses a toothpick to do the eyes.
Careful now Ian, you don't wanna blind him!

The judges inspect the finished figures.
Wolf (left) and Shinobi (right)

At 7.00pm the competition came to a halt, and the miniatures were taken to one side for the judges to make their decisions.
It was at this point that the effort and quality really showed. In fact both judges were so impressed (especially with the Youngbloods) that it was decided that another prize was to be given.
You see, initially there was only going to be one prize, the St Mark starter army for the overall winner, but we were so impressed by the youngsters work, that Wolf offered to give the best Youngblood a couple of WizKid Pirates packs. He's a good geezer ain't he!!!
The judging took about 20minutes, with close inspection of the work done. We were looking at three main criteria:
1. Painting Quality
2. Creativity
3. Relevance to Dark Age background
In the end, from all the excellent entries, we decided on three to make the final cut: Brian, Mark and Mathias.
Mathias did some excellent detailing on the cloak trim and made the armour plates look wonderfully like bone. He also went for a slightly different skin colour....... blue/grey!!
Mark went for a more simple scheme, but did it brilliantly with some superb shading and highlighting effects.
Brian went for a more down and dirty brown scheme, and even used a fine-tip pen to do some excellent writing and detail on the cloak edges.
It really wasn't easy to choose amongst these three for the overall winner, but in the end we had to make the final assessment with the relevance to the Dark Age Game background, in which Brians was much more in line with the 'fluff'....... and so Brian became the overall winner.

The Overall Winner:
BRIAN (Yellow T-Shirt)

Brian recieves his prize from Dark Age Outcast "Shinobi". Brian has spent many, many (some may say, too many) hours painting a number of GW armies, with a small Rackham contingent, but this was his first Dark Age miniature. He has already expressed an interest in building a Brood army, but I'm sure he won't mind having a Forsaken army as well (he's a Tyrannid player, so the gribby alien looking Brood should be right up his alley)!!!
And, yes, the picture is fuzzy...... all the pictures we took with Brian in them came out fuzzy....... something strange is going on!!

Youngblood Winner
Young MrJ. Fradet is circled in Blue in the photo.

We were particulary impressed by the efforts of our younger participants. But Mr J. Fradet's work caught our eye as being particularly neat and coordinated. His prize being well deserved.
If it was possible, we would have liked to have given everyone a prize since the effort and work was so good, but we didn't, and the participants got a free miniature just for competing anyway, so nobody left empty-handed.
Lets hope that this is the start of a healthy Dark Age addiction.
Many thanks once again, to Dark Age Games, and to Wolf for a hugely successful event......... and don't forget to see us at GAMECON-1.
For pictures of the Winner's figures, click HERE.
For pictures of the other entries, click HERE.

Dark Age shall be at GAMECON-1, Malaysia's first Gaming Convention. Come join us for a game using the new rules, to have a look at the superb figures, or simply to have a chat about the game.