So, it's that time of year. Golden Demon approaches so I must prepare to take yet another stab at winning that elusive Slayer Sword...
... oh wait, hang on. Nope, can't do that anymore as staff can't enter. Fair enough.
This leaves me with the Open competition and it's reputation for being fiendishly difficult bringing in many of the ludicrously talented Eavy Metal painters and Citadel Design Team. Time is fairly short and I'm considerably busier than I was. Tempting to just say 'don't bother' this year. But, I like a challenge so I'm going to try and get something done.
And so we get to the point of this post. How does one approach a painting contest? Obviously there's fun to be had but contests are a lot of work and personally I enter to win (though always prepared to lose without a major strop. I'm usually fairly calm when I get brutalised by better painters).
I always like the targeted approach to such things. I break things down and try to come at it from the right angle. This year I have the Open to contend with and this has it's own challenges. If I assume that I want a shot at winning I immediately can't just enter an unconverted single figure on a slotted base. Last year, Kornel Kozak won third place doing exactly that but I'm not that good at painting. And there are multiple regular entrants who are ridiculously better at painting than me. So, how do you proceed? Well, you look at the fact that it's not all about painting.
I can sculpt a bit so I will bring that particular part of my arsenal to my assault. I would make the immediate plan for there to be something that is an obvious demonstration of my sculpting (rather than lots of subtle details).
And the second prong of the assault is to be appropriate to the imagery of the system you are painting for. I would try to make the judges think 'that's so Warhammer' or 'that's so 40K'. For me, the master of this is multiple Slayer Sword winner Jakob Nielson who produces entries that just ooze with the atmosphere of GW's worlds.
I think doing both of these along with the best I can manage painting wise hopefully offsets the fact that there are better painters. As said, I can live with not winning (and it's a bad idea to enter anything if you can't handle losing) but don't want to put all that time in without at least having a shot.
So, what am I going to do? Sorry, not telling. As is traditional for me, I don't publically show my entries until the day. You want a clue? Okay... Squelch, squelch, crack, squeek, MOOOOO!