Monday, May 25, 2009

KublaCon 2009 (part 3)

And KublaCon comes to a close (for me). There's more stuff going on today, but I'm used up, plus I have other commitments for today anyway. But, here's a recap of yesterday which was a very very good day...

First up was the 350pt Warmachine/Hordes Multiplayer event. Each table was set up with a control point in the middle and a 10"x10" deployment zone in each corner. Players were placed completely randomly for 3 rounds. We had 12 total players so there were 3 tables, for 3 rounds with each game lasting 75 minutes (at which point it was strictly dice down. Only VPs mattered, and in addition to scoring VPs for killing stuff, 1 VP was awarded for each successful power attack against an enemy model, and 15 VPs for having a model completely within the control point area at the end of your turn if no enemy models were on the control point (starting round 2).

I played a pretty well tuned list for this match. I had Broadsides Bart, a Mariner, a Freebooter, Gudrun and a Bokur.

Round 1 went very well. I won the initiative and went first. By my second turn, Gudrun was on the control point (a small spiral staircase) and was pretty much dug in. Bart had charged up and feated which pretty much locked down the middle too. Gudrun then proceeded to ward of complete destruction for 2 additional rounds. In the mean time Bard was busy slaying an Avatar and clearing out a Protectorate menace to one side while Circle and Trolls clashes on the other side. I scored a whopping 53 VPs that first game.

Round 2 also went well. I came up second in the starting rotation and thus was able to secure the same point again with Gudrun. This time I had the Bokur attached to him and the two of them once again held the point for 3 rounds worth. You can see in this shot how Gudrun mercilessly taunts the Behemoth, shaking his fist at it, right before falling down drunk at the top of the stairs (to prevent being shot at).
Eventually they cleared Gudrun off the top, and by then I was down to just Bart. The center of the table turned into a nasty little scrum between Hexeris, Bart, and the Old Witch. At the end of this one I came up with 47 VPs, again mostly due to Gudrun who was the real star of the show. I should also mention that the other players on this table were very cool and this was probably the most fun of all 3 matches that I played.

Round 3 I didn't fare so well. At this point I was the clear leader in the tournament with 100 VPs (19 ahead of the next player) and was instantly made a target. This map also had a small sump in the middle instead of a staircase which made for a bit more challenge. Gudrun was only able to secure the center for 1 round before being mercilessly ganged up on. However, the Bokur and the Freebooter both rocked the house in this game. The Bokur slammed an Ironclad, knocking him down in the water and putting out his hearfire. Then the Freebooter, taking advantage of a knocked down Avatar, proceeds to trash it pretty heavily and then chain attack throw it into Mulg, where it lands in the water, also extinguishing its heartfire as well. At that point the control pond was clogged up with inert jacks, blocking all attemts to control the point. Sorry there's no good photo of it, every one I took was blurry except for this one of Bart in melee with Striker, who he failed to kill by exactly 1 point! In the end I scored a mere 15 VPs, unable to actually get the credit for killing anything.

At the end of the tournament I had scored 115 VPs and (amazingly) placed 1st! I was as shocked as anyone, as I rarely even place at all. The multiplayer event was awesome, and the format with 75 minutes (which was kept secret) really kept people playing fast and rushing to the middle to punch face. Seriously, two thumbs up to the TO Jimmy for putting this one together.

After all this (and then dinner) I cruised down for the painting awards. Without belaboring the point, I had entered eSeverius, eSkarre, and the Cephalyx Drudges. eSeverius and eSkarre placed as bronze, and the Drudges placed as silver! I was extremely happy and quite honestly surprised about the Drudges since I didn't think they were that great. However one of the judges actually spoke to me right after the ceremony was over to tell me how good he thought they were which blew me away. Needless to say I am invigorated with a new sense of excitement to paint.

I should note that I entered the "Open" category rather than the Masterclass. Quite honestly I don't consider myself that good, and I also wanted to get a baseline for how tough the judging would be. In the Masterclass category there were a few entries and Ryder Gaddis took the best of show award (quite deservedly) with an Anima Tactics model that he'd painted (which apparently will appear as the studio paintjob). Perhaps next year I'll put one entry in the Masterclass level.

The new open judging system is great, and there were many awards given out to models that really deserved them. Hats off to Wayne for doing a great job with it. Next year is the 10 year anniversary of KublaCon and Wayne is pushing everyone to enter to have a big showing for the competition. I'm determined to spend a good chunk of my painting time over this next year working specifically on models for next year to make a really good showing.

Well, that's it for KublaCon 2009. I had a great time and am seriously looking forward to next year. Now it's time to catch up on home stuff and continue practicing my painting skills. To all of you painters out there, I hope the inspiration of the brush strikes you and that you continue to paint like you have a pair!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

KublaCon 2009 (part 2)

Last night was the Steamroller 4 tournament. There were 25 people signed up which was ridiculous. Overall it was a pile of fun, but unfortunately it started around 9:00. It was meant to be 4 rounds, but after losing my first two games it was past midnight and I drew the by for the third (shocker!) so I decided to just drop out and get some sleep. On the plus side I got a lot of comments about my painting and played 2 very enjoyable matches.

My list was Reznik again, with the amusing loadout from a previous SR4 event at Game Kastle: Reznik, Fire of Salvation, Blessing of Vengeance, Hierophant, Revenger, Vassal, Chior (6), 2x Seneschals, 3x Wracks.

Battle 1 was against Cygnar: Striker, Longgunners, Storm Blades, GMCA, Squire, Lancer, Journeyman Warcaster, Stormsmith and Rhupert. The mission was speed assassination, which my opponent just barely missed getting. All things considered it was a seriously fun battle, despite my opponent hiding like a little girl way back near his deployment zone. I had fun throwing Firestarter on the Longgunners and watching them go up in flames. Unfortunately his whole "pop and drop" tactic by using Earthquake was enough to stall me out. My opponent was a lot of fun to play against though and we had many a laugh during the battle.

Battle 2 was against trolls: Grissel, Champs, Krielstones (4+UA), Impaler, Pyre, Fell Caller, Hero, Gobbers and Gudrun. The mission was Mosh Pit which I nearly pulled out at the top of turn 3. Unfortunately he had Gudrun who I hadn't managed to peel out and then the Champs got stuck in. Again though, fun opponent and we did a lot of punching each other in the face. I was trying to get some damage applied to Grissel but my attack rolls for spells really failed me in this battle. In the end I lost of VPs.

Overall the tournament was fun and I'm glad I went, despite the late hour of it. The guys that were running it did an incredible job of organizing. I'm looking forward to the 350pt multiplayer battle that they are running today.

One last pic to display the majesty of KublaCon. This was a shot of an Aliens vs Marines game that was being played. The picture isn't great, but there's one group with green helmets and another group with white shirts and they were playing on a taped-out grid on the floor. It was a pretty crazy looking things. Unfortunately I didn't get to watch much of it since it was running at the same time as the SR4 tournament.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

KublaCon 2009 (part 1)

KUBLA!!!! That's right, it's the weekend of KublaCon. I dropped by earlier today for a bit and got a Monsterpocalypse demo. A very knowledgable and friendly local player named Aaron introduced my wife and I to the rules of the game and then Jeff from Game Kastle (as heard on the Tabletop Quality podcast) showed up and gave me a firsthand introduction to the game. it was a blast. Likely when I drop by tonight to play in the 500pt SR4 tournament I will pick up a starter pack for it. The game plays fast, the rules are easy, and of course it has giant monsters throwing each other into buildings. Anyway, just a quick post. There will be more over the next couple days.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Strider Musician

Whew! And that wraps up the Striders! Doing them all as a group (including Lylyth) really helped. They look consistent and although the solos didn't get my normal level of special treatment, I'm really happy with the uniformity of the whole Strider set. My painting velocity will probably drop back down now, especially with KublaCon this coming weekend. Now the big question is whether I want to enter the Striders for the painting competition or the Drudges like I had planned. There will definitely be some serious pondering tonight.

What went well:
* Runes... seriously, I'm starting to enjoy them more. And the practice at doing them is very useful.
* Speed, again, was refreshing. I'm looking forward to having a 350pt force painted and ready to go soon.
* Breaking out the Musician, Officer and Deathstalker from the rest of the Striders to do at the end worked out great. The large work of cloaks, armor, skin and feathers was mostly done, so last night was mostly just detail work on these last two.

What could have been better:
* Same as the others... quality. Having wrapped them up though, I'm pretty happy given the speed.

This brings me close to 350pts now. Next up will be the Incubi. I should point out that I have yet to field any Legion force yet in a battle. It's going to be fun to see how this stuff actually performs.

Strider Officer

Posting this guy separately from the Musician who I will post in just a moment. Nothing specific to note about this guy over the Musician except that I like how this rune turned out better than most of the others. I was able to put a little glow effect on the surrounding feathers and metal which helped the effect.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Strider Deathstalker

Now this is a rockin model. I really enjoyed painting it. Lots of interesting surfaces to work with, and a good blend of details and large surfaces. Anyway, this will be a quick update since I'm doing it on break at work.

What worked well:
* Doing this model along with the Striders really helped keep her consistent with them. Although painting squads is sometimes soul-crushing to grind through, these weren't so bad since it was the 6 Striders, Lylyth, this Deathstalker, the Musician and the Officer, so it broke up the group a bit to do it this way. Plus I just like that they all match.
* Glowing rune on the back worked out better than I was expecting, and helps bring that theme element of the army more into this particular model.
* Details turned out fairly well overall, especially the hair, eyes, and leg wraps.

What could have been better:
* More time spent on quality would have helped. It's not a premium paint job, but again, I'm practicing speed.
* Skin could have used a bit more work.
* Black armor blending is pretty poor. I almost went back to touch it up, but honestly the surfaces were small and would have required a pile more effort for a small amount of change.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Despite a recent heat wave here, I managed to get an early morning sealing done and wrap these guys up. The unit attachment is still in progress along with the Deathstalker.

What worked well:
* The bows actually worked out better than I expected. I did sort of a fake wood grain patterning on them and then buried it in a couple wash layers. The end result doesn't look like thin wood grain, but does provide sort of a marbled-wood sort of effect. For the amount of time spent on it, I can't complain.
* Basing turned out nice with the bits of orange lichen on them. It helped bring some unity to the basing and overall color scheme. I'm pretty happy with how this basing scheme is coming along.
* Washes worked pretty effectively. Part of my challenge to myself is to use more washes and work with green to expand my abilities. I've had lots of challenges in the past with wash consistency and getting "rings" around the edges of washes, so hopefully I can continue to get better at this.

What could have been better:
* Sharper details would have helped a lot I think. All my recent speed painting has left me realizing that sharpness of details is one serious area of improvement for me. It's hard to point out specific things, but there's lots of spots where I don't get nice crisp details and it reduces the readability of the model.
* Feathers are just not something I've practiced much. I felt like these could have been much better, but I just don't have the experience with them. Rather than dwell on them too much, I decided to just move on.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lylyth, Herald of Everblight

Gasp! A painted Warlock for Legion! I feel like I've completed an important step on my Legion army.

This model was plagued with challenges. I got it second hand and had to strip it, disassemble it, remove some putty, clean it, and get it reassembled. The whole battle box was second hand, but this model was really the bigger job. Plus, I had my first dremel accident with her. I was drilling a pin hole in her foot and it went right through. Fortunately I didn't hit anything critical like the cloak or, say, my finger.

What went well:
* Cloak - The green worked out ok. The overall color scheme is fine.
* Pink glow - The photo doesn't really show it, but I painted the danglies on the end of her belt-thing to have a pink glow to tie her in with the Shredders and the glow worked out pretty well.
* Speed - Pretty fast for the quality, and the Striders will match her fairly well as well since I did the flesh and cloaks at the same time.

What could be better:
* Quality - It's definitely not my best work, and I partially wish I had spent more time on her.
* Metals - The metals didn't work out so great. I think instead of basing them with a metal and then trying to wash and shade and work back up, I should have just started from the black base coat and just worked up from there.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Last Tourney Before KublaCon

Today was the last SR4 tournament at my LGS before KublaCon. I pulled out my typical 1 win and 2 losses record. I only played one army for all three matches (that's right, no by this time!) and again have no regrets doing so.

My List: eSeverius, Blessing of Vengeance, Fire of Salvation, Revenger, Devout, Hierophant, Vassal, Chior (6), Zealots (10+MB), 2x Seneschals, Aiyana&Holt, Orin Midwinter, Rupert, 2x Wracks.

Match 1: Circle: eKaya, Warpwolf, Woldwarden, Woldwyrd, Gnarlhorn, Shifting Stones, Brun&Lug, Blackclad Wayfarer, Druids. (probably something else too, but I forget)

The first battle was against Marco, who was the tournament organizer. Last tournament I had mentioned how he and I still hadn't gotten to play each other and "magically" this time we drew that match. I was stoked. This battle was awesome. It was a brutal punch-each-other-in-the-nose battle. Marco did a fantastic job of leveraging his army against me and supressing key elements. I on the other hand did a better than average job of keeping eSevvy inaccessible and mucking up his plans. I laid out some serious damage and tore things up, but in the end Marco executed a complex set of maneuvering and jiggery-pokery, throwing the Blessing into eSevvy, then running Laris up and using the animus to put Kaya right in next to the knocked down eSevvy. With the combination of a bunch of models in melee and 4 remaining Fury, the math was academic. Even though I lost, I give this battle a hearty 2 thumbs up for entertainment value.

Battle 2: Menoth: Severius, Hierophant, 3x Redeemer, Blessing, TFG (10+UA), Zealots (10+MB), Knights Exemplar, Seneschal, Rupert.

The second battle was against a newer Menoth player. This game almost ended very early. He won the initiative and went first. After his initial advance, I ran the Blessing up, then charged it in the back with eSevvy. My opponent was a little confused until I then popped my feat and terror struck him. I managed to get control of a Seneschal which I walked over into melee with Severius and took a couple swings. Unfortunately I missed with the first one, otherwise the battle might have been over on turn 1. I then got one of his Zealots loose to throw a bomb and apply a bit more damage. The rest of the battle was a brutal trading of blows and leveraging of denial abilities. In the end I pulled out the victory by orchestrating a series of ranged attacks against a cowardly Severius who was hiding well back.

Battle 3: Skorne: eMorghoul, Rhinodon, Cyclops Shaman, Cyclops Savage, Krea, 2x Ancestral Guardians, Pratorians (10+UA), Venators (10), Paingivers (6), 2x Extolers, Swamp Gobbers.

Ah, my old arch-enemy: Lance. Playing eMorghoul in a Mosh Pit scenario is like those nasty tire spikes they put on parking lots to stop you from getting out without paying: You either back up and suffer irrevocable consequences (lose the scenario) or you move forward and pay the price (eMorghoul's feat). This time though I managed to keep him contained enough to prevent the assassination run. Aiyana put the threat on the table of never getting to use his feat, so he used it top of round 2 when I was not really expecting him to. If he hadn't, he'd never have gotten a chance. This battle was almost close actually, but I had some key problems. First, when I use eSevvy's feat and take control of a Paingiver, it is no longer friendly to the Skorne warbeasts and can't just add Fury, otherwise I would have put eMorghoul in a horrible position by loading all his beasts up to max. Second, eMorghoul's 17 DEF is brutal to overcome. This battle was particularly painful due to a forest sitting right in the middle, which brings me to the third point of Lance masterfully leveraging that forest and dramatically limiting my options. Oh yeah, and Extolers make eMorghoul's feat completely ridiculous. I hates it! In the end, I lost on scenario after a failed assassination run on eMorghoul. If he hadn't had fury to transfer, he'd have been toast, but that's the way of Hordes. At least I didn't get jacked by him and merely lost by scenario, so I count that a mini-victory.

Lance walked away with the 2nd place trophy though which was rockin for him. I got to chat with more people about painting which was rockin for me, plus all 3 games were enjoyable.


One more step closer to a fieldable (is that a word?) Legion army. These guys were mostly done almost a week ago, but I wanted to paint glyphs on them and needed to pick up some additional paint. It's nice to feel like I've made some significant progress on getting my Legion started.
What went well:
* Skin tons are fine - I was worried they would look "smurfy", but overall I like the look.
* Chitin worked out good - I really like the look of the chitin.
* Gums/tongues stand out well - Oddly enough, this was something that jumped out at me afterwards as having worked well.
* Time - It didn't take a huge amount of time to paint these. I think the longest part was painting all the little chitin spots.

What could have been better:
* Glyphs - There will be more below about the glyphs, but overall I feel like the execution was not super great. I've done tattoos before, but these didn't feel like they are really "glowing". I'm not completely disappointed, but just wish I could have figured out how to execute them a bit better. Perhaps a splash of paint on gloss.
* Claws/horns - Not terrible, but I used a different technique this time and they claws and horns just don't quite have the smoothness I'd like.

I used the GW washes for a couple things here (the skin being most notable) and overall I'm starting to like them more and more. They require a little caution in their application since they go on like a combination of a wash and a glaze. They will heavily color a surface, especially if put on too thick. However they are easy to apply and stay contained to a particular area very well. For actual "washes" I still will use just paint and water, but these GW Washes are now finding a particular niche in my painting arsenal.

I wanted to find a way to differentiate each of the Shredders so that I could track them during games easily. To that end I opted to paint glowing glyphs on them. Amy Brehm painted an incredible Coven battlegroup for the P3 Grand Masters last year that I really liked and used pink for the glowing items (pictures can be seen in NQ #21). I wanted to use that same pink theme, primarily because I liked the look of it. It's probably not a great color theory match, but I'll chalk that up to still learning. After some searching around, my buddy Lance pointed out the omniglot website which has a bunch of information about various written languages. I poked around in there and found a section on Nushu and loved the look of the characters. Why not just make up my own? Well, honestly, everytime I make up my own glyphs, they end up looking like the troll runes. Anyway, the long and short of it is that the glyphs worked out ok, but not fabulous. Hopefully I can refine the process on future models.

Chitin Formula:
* Base with Bloodtracker Brown
* Streak with Beast Hide
* Streak with Jack Bone
* Wash with Umbral Umber
* Wash with Umbral Umber + Armor Wash

Skin Formula:
* Base with slightly thinned Liquitex Light Blue over white primer
* Controlled Wash with Exile Blue
* Highlight with Frostbite
* Wash with GW Asurmen Blue
* Highlight with Liquitex Light Blue

Sunday, May 03, 2009

From the Desk: Random Updates

Tonight's post is sponsored by a screwed up sleeping schedule, being ahead on my to-do list, and continued playtesting of MKII.

First up in my random thoughts for tonight is my display case. Long ago (probably 4 years now) I bought the "classic" Ikea glass display case. I believe it's called Detolf. When I first got it, I was just getting into Warmachine and put a bunch of my old Warhammer Fantasy miniatures in it that I had enjoyed painting, despite never really playing it. Today, as you can see, the case has evolved. All of the Warhammer models have been demoted to closet storage, and I added 2 additional shelves to it. Only the very bottom has resisted infestation. At present, it stores my entire Warmachine and Hordes collections, but it's getting tight. I'm now starting to ponder how to better store my collection, and if that includes demoting some stuff out of the case.

Next is the Shredders I'm working on. This in-progress shot gives you a rough idea. I've opted for something similar to the studio scheme. I'm going with darker blue skin, brown for the chiton, and typical bone colors for claws, teeth and horns. Overall I'm liking how these are turning out. My current conundrum is how to differentiate them easily for battle purposes. My leading theory right now is to put glowing runes on them. However, despite pouring through all the books, I haven't found any sort of Legion runes or glyphs of any kind. So I'll probably just end up making up runes as I go.

Ah, and where would I be without my paints. I'm back to my age old debate of how to store my paints conveniently. My wife found a couple paint storage things, but they are more designed for the larger paint tubes. I'm starting to think that something along the lines of a spice rack would be best, but with the number of paint pots I have, it would take a lot of rack space. Odds are I won't do anything about it, but if anyone has suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

And lastly, a quick battle report...

I played another MKII game last night. 35pts of Protectorate vs Cryx. Pardon the abbreviations but it's getting late. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures despite bringing my camera.

Me: eSeverius, Blessing, Fire, Zealots (10+MB), Chior (6), Vilmon, Paladin, Vassal, 3x Wracks, Hierophant.
Cryx: Asphyxious, Soulhunters (5), Mechanithralls (10+Necrosurgeon+3 Brutes), Reaper, 2x Deathrippers, Necrotech, 1x Scrap Thrall, Skarlock, Withershadow.

Summary: Asphyxious pulled out the win after a failed assassination run on eSeverius, and then a failed counter-assassination run back at him. It turned out afterwards that we missed an effect of Asphyxious' spell that would have left a cloud effect and thus blocked the first run on eSeverius, but it was an interesting stress test for both casters.

* eSeverius is pretty badass, and his changes are very welcome. His spells are simplified but he retains his frightening support caster capabilities. This time I actually got him into melee with stuff and he is every bit the old man his fluff portrays him to be.
* Soulhunters are badass at clearing infantry.
* The new Unit Formation rules are very cool, but create some slightly strange effects. This battle resulted in a Soulhunter being cut off from his leader and stuck "cowering" by himself.
* Mechanithralls seem fairly priced. They are cheap, but they also don't have a very good MAT.
* The new Zealots and Monolith Bearer are rockin. I love the changes. They are much more reasonable and at the same time slightly more flexible than before. I like the simplification that their prayers and abilities are not *Actions anymore.
* The Reaper is pretty awesome. His DEF 13 made him remarkably difficult to deal with. I'd say he will start seeing occasional table time in the future.

Further Impressions: The Reaper is actually a good example of why I'm liking MKII so far. Before the Reaper was totally sidelined. Now it's something fairly priced and can have a key role in an army. It's now viable but not overly powerful. A great many things are now in this boat. So far, I'm still loving MKII. I'm actually going to be sad to play MKI in the tournament coming up this next weekend.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Spawning Vessel

Hooray! I've started painting my Legion models! It was sort of disconcerting to realize that I had more unpainted Legion than painted Trolls. So, given that I only have 2 Protectorate models left to paint, and one is the Avatar which will be a huge project, I decided to switch over for the time being. I painted the Spawning Vessel here because I'm also doing the 4 Shredders at the same time and it seemed a logical combination to work on them together. This model has officially solidified a major portion of my color scheme.

What went well:
* Metals - I feel like I got good contrast on the metals, really making them pop.
* Flesh - He's a little smurfy, but I'm fine with that. I'm trying out some other paints in the process of doing this. I primed in white, then used Liquitex Light Blue as a fairly thick wash, then did some highlighting. After that I hit it with GW Asurmen Blue Wash pretty thick, and then did some further shading using thinned P3 Exile Blue and VMC Black. I also applied a couple quick highlights over the wash with the Liquitex.
* Blood Pool - The red of the blood pool worked out nicely, despite not showing it off well in the picture. I started with Khador Red base, then used the GW Baal Red Wash, then hit it with some focused thick washes of Bloodstone, then Umbral Umber. After that I highlighted back up using a mix of Ryn Flesh and Khador Red, and some final point highlights of Carnal Pink.
* Speed - It didn't take very long at all do to this little guy. I'm probably going to adopt a similar plan as I did with Cryx and focus on getting the army painted to my own tabletop quality standard, focusing more on color scheme and overall army unity instead of individual model quality.

What could have been better:
* Quality - Yeah, the shading is a little rough, but like I said above, that's not the focus.
* Claws/Horns - I'm not sure I like them or not. Time will tell. I used various layers of Jack Bone, MWB, MWH, White, GW Devlun Mud Wash, Armor Wash, and Battlefield Brown. I feel like I got close to the effect that I wanted, but I'm not completely happy with it. The one downside to the GW washes is that they have a tendency to glaze the entire surface in the process since the medium is so thick. It'll take me a while to get used to them. I'm betting I'm going to end up transferring them into droppers.

Well, that's it for now. Back to the 4 Shredders that are currently half done.

Friday, May 01, 2009

KublaCon Painting Competition

This is reproduced from the SF Bay Area Mini Painters yahoo group. I can't express how excited I am about this change in the judging. I'm hoping to provide some good representation for the PP line of miniatures at the competition. I honestly think this will encourage more people to enter the competition which is good for the art in general. Entering last year was both exciting and disappointing: it was great to enter and not feel like the worst thing in the case, but it was disappointing to be judge against professional painters. I'm really looking forward to seeing how I do this year.

Greetings! Kublacon '09 is almost upon us! The KublaAwards Mini-Painting Competition has exciting new changes this year!

We are pleased to announce the new "Open" style judging for the KublaAwards. "What is 'Open judging', you might ask? Well, allow me to explain:

The old familiar style of judging was commonly known as "Podium" judging, and has been a mainstay of competitions such as Games Workshop's "Golden Demon Awards", where entries are divided up by many categories and genres, and in each category there are three winners in the order of Gold, Silver, and Bronze. This is a reputable and time-honored judging system, but is not the only one, and is not without its drawbacks.

Common problems with Podium Judging involve under and over represented categories. For example: Fantasy Single is often the most highly contested category...dozens of entries may in fact be Gold-worthy, but the hard choices must be made, and wonderful entries must be weeded out to just the top three. Often, the same well-known high-end painters walk away with the trophies year after year, discouraging new painters from entering. While in another category, there may not be even enough entries to fill out the top three, thereby granting automatic trophy status to whatever happens to have been entered. This tends to cheapen the trophy.

Now, enter the Open Judging System! This style of competition is *merit-based*. The panel of judges critique the entries based on quality of artistry and technique. You are not judged against your neighbor, but against a 'standard'. If your entry is Gold-worthy, then you will in fact win a Gold trophy! This style of judging has been practiced for many years at Historical conventions and European competitions. This year, many American painting competitions have adopted variations of the Open System, including GenghisCon, ReaperCon, and our very own KublaCon!

Genres will be eliminated. There are now two main categories: the Open Category is the main competition, and the Masterclass category is for high-end prestige competition. Masterclass will be judged to a more stringent standard. Those who place in Masterclass are indeed the Best of the Best! Both categories are judged according to Open rules.

Rules for entry:
Each competitor may enter a max total of 4 entries. For entry purposes, these will be restricted to 2 Singles, 1 Squad, and 1 Large. You may choose to enter any entry into either the main Open, or the Masterclass category.

Single is defined as any normal-sized mini under 3" in any dimension.
Squad is a themed grouping of at least 3 miniatures.
Large is any miniature larger than 3" in any dimension.

There are additional awards that will be handed out for Best of Reaper, Best of GW, Best of Privateer Press....and a single award for the Best of Show "KublaSword".

We will also carry on our traditional KublaKids category for painters 15 years old and under. This category will continue using the Podium System.

Members of the Judging panel ARE allowed to enter the competition, but of course will not be judging their own entries.

To celebrate our new KublaAwards system, we also have NEW TROPHIES! Our very own local celebrity sculptor, Matt Gubser (of Prophet Miniatures) has been commissioned to sculpt 3 new trophies. And they are beauties! The Open category will be receiving medallions with the face of our Kubla mascot. The Masterclass will get a bust of Kubla trophy. And the Best of Show is a stunning, and GIANT, arm holding the coveted KublaSword. These are beautiful and exciting new trophies! Be sure to catch Matt Gubsers popular sculpting classes at KublaCon this year.

Entries will be accepted anytime at the Paint-n-Take area in the main foyer, on Fri, Sat, and Sun till noon. Every care will be taken by Kubla staff to ensure the safety of competition entries, but Kublacon staff, volunteers, and hotel cannot be held responsible for lost, damaged or unclaimed entries. Please reclaim entries anytime after 5pm Sunday, or Monday morning. Entry implies consent for Kublacon to photograph and display entries during convention and online. Previous KublaAwards winning entries are ineligible for further entry. Judges decisions are considered final.

Come to KublaCon '09 and enjoy the new improved KublaAwards Competition, the Paint-n-Take tables, Speedpainting contests, and seminars.

See you at KublaCon! May 22-25, 2009, at the Hyatt Regency, Burlingame, next to the SF airport.

Wayne Rogers,
Kublacon Mini-Painting director