La Bricole painting competition
Posted by Martin on December 31, 2011
Regular BfK‘ers will know that I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions or entering painting competitions but coincidence has thrown something seasonal into my path. Over at the La Bricole discussion forum ran by my virtual friend in Tokyo, Robert Swan, (previously founded by Iannick Martin), there’s going to be a friendly Napoleonic painting competition running through the the end of the first quarter of 2012.
Given my pre-disposition against resolutions and entering painting competitions, why would I bother with this one?
Well, it has several interesting features to recommend it. Firstly, it comes at a time when my painting motivation needs a kick-start after an end to 2011 that saw my time heavily committed to the day job and my involvement with school governorship to the complete exclusion of hobby activities. Secondly, La Bricole is a small and friendly forum where a group of people with similar hobby values to my own hang out, so I almost feel a duty of camaraderie to participate. Lastly, the rules of the competition have been designed in a way that really appeals to me. There’s a goodly length of time to get entries completed (until 31 March 2012) and the scope of what’s required for a valid entry fits in nicely – the theme is militia and line units and we can opt for infantry, cavalry or artillery. I’m going for the former which, for 28mm scale, means I need only produce an entry of 18 figures.
And that’s the main attraction – this competition will, hopefully, give me sufficient motivation to make some real painting headway as we hurtle into the New Year. Doing 18 figures will get me halfway to my first completed battalion of French line infantry using the Calpe Route March figures. Once I get up momentum, I’m hoping it’ll carry me over into even more productivity as the year progresses. My plan is to complete at least one six-figure base per month of the competition and I’m hoping to throw in a couple of surprises as we go along.
Each entrant has been offered the opportunity to show work-in-progress updates in a special thread on the La Bricole forum and to offer encouragement to fellow participants as we go along. Of course, as well as doing that, I’ll be posting updates here too. I’ve already prepped and primed the figures for the first base and that’s where the first couple of interesting little surprises come into play. Firstly, I’ve done a head-swap on the drummer to give him a shouting barehead stolen from a Calpe Saxon infantryman; secondly, for a bit of scenic enhancement, I’ve added some putty straps to a backpack from the Perry plastic French infantry box to represent some discarded kit on the groundwork. The idea is that these touches will keep up my interest levels in the project and give my fellow competitors something to think about.
I’ve got some more sneaky ideas in mind to up the ante on the second base 🙂
I’m also going to use this competition for some experiments I’ve had in mind for a while. Having prepped the figures for the first base, I’ve primed them grey (a continuation of an ongoing experiment) but this time I’ve used Army Painter Uniform Grey spray paint for the job. It was certainly a quick job but somewhat smelly and you do need to be careful that details don’t get obscured by overspraying. Looking at the photo above, it would be easy to believe that these grey figures were Perry plastics rather than primed Calpe metals (well, apart from the backpack). More about other experiments as we progress.