Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Armies On Parade - a look back


A few of you have noticed that despite all the excited build-up before Games Day, I haven't mentioned how things went for my Mechanicum army and its massive display board (seen above).

I've been mulling over the many possible ways to describe the disappointment I felt on the day when my army failed to place, but haven't really been able to put it into words properly. If I was to give you a full rundown of the conversations I had on the day, it might sound like sour grapes.

One thing I will say is that at the show, I did point out three armies that I thought would score well with the general public, and pointed out the particular reasons for their popularity. Surprise, surprise, those three armies took the trophies. At least I can pick a winner ; )

With all the work that went into this year's army, and the over the top display board, and the money involved in shipping it around the country, etc etc etc, I'm going to take a break from the AOP competition for a while. I can certainly then concentrate on the quality of my painting and see if I can succeed again at the Golden Demons (which improve in quality every year).


Here's a look at my army from 2012 - my Procession of Morr.


And my 2011 entry - The Artillery Train of Nuln.

Cheers
Dave

47 comments:

  1. Looks like you put a lot of heart and soul into it. Sorry to hear that it didnt place. Competitions are like that at times. Better luck next year, I guess!

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    1. Thanks Tim, I think I'll take a break next year though.

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    2. I'm fine with that as long as you bring your game-face to NOVA painting competition. It will be awesome to see your figs in person!

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    3. I'll bring a bunch of stuff, as I'm still not 100% sure how the painting comp works. So...

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  2. I am shocked to hear you didn't even place! I was there and I did see some of the other armies and I was afraid that the "flashiness" of the armies would overcome what you had done for your army.

    The problem I believe is that people don't take the time to look at the armies, and don't get a chance to see all of the hard work that went into them. Was there anyone else there that had one of a kind minis in their display?

    Anyway. I hope you don't feel too bad. I thought your army was just as awesome in person as it was on your blog. For me, the best part was watching it being put together.

    In the end, I hope you realize that your amazing work is an inspiration to those of us that don't have half your skill, so please keep up with the blog so you can, at the very least, help us to be better hobbyists!

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  3. Sorry to hear of your disappointment, If it helps I've really enjoyed watching each entry's progress on your blog.

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  4. I was literally outraged when I looked at the results, especially the winner, which I didn't like one bit. You deserved to place, and in my opinion win it outright. I am aware that you didn't post this to encourage people to react in this way, but I am going to do so anyway, because your entry was absolutely stunning and a big inspiration to me.
    I look forward to seeing what you come up with next, be a mighty project or tiny single mini.

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    1. Thanks Atreides. I wasn't outraged, just disappointed. Don't worry though, I'll paint more toy soldiers ; )

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  5. Dave, I completely agree with how these events are run when it's crowd chosen. You know how the "tricks" go that get flashiness out there to grab attention, but the actual quality of the work isn't great.

    Sorry to hear it was a disappointing event. I'm in the same boat for trying to bring my "A" game to army painting events. Usually it's the home-town favorite or a out of date checklist that I feel rewards the wrong armies.

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    1. The event wasn't disappointing BC, just the result of the AOP for me ; )

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  6. Wow, what a disappointment. Your Adeptus army is far and above the best of its kind (that I have come across anyway), and it was a joy to see your progress on it these last few months. Although it is difficult, try not to get too down about it, no one questions your skill, and I think most would agree that you are one of the most talented miniature painters/makers in the world, with a broad creative scope that is not limited by the models GW produces.

    It has been my experience that all of GW's competitions, Golden Daemon included, that the judging can be pretty underwhelming, as though it is done by people who have rarely painted before. Often resulting in the flashiest models winning, not necessarily the best painted. Just my thoughts. Keep up the fantastic work; I cannot wait to see what you are working on next!

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    1. Thanks GF, hopefully I'll have something new up on the blog very soon.

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  7. Dave,
    I'm sorry to hear you did not place. I know that must have been a huge disappointment. However, I thought your Mechanicum army was a brilliant piece of work. I've lost count of the number of times I've been inspired by what you have painted over the years, the way in which you approach our hobby and the work you've produced. You're one of the hobbyists I have looked up to in awe for years now - so keep the faith, Sir, and come back stronger!

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    1. Thanks Sidney, don't worry, I'll bounce back ; )

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  8. I had a similar sense of sour grapes becoming the runner up at my games workshop store. I've tried to steer away from it as well because it is definitely sour grapes. I think what we need to remember is that serious painters are not selecting AoP winners. It is a cross section of the hobby as a whole. This means that flashing lights, smoke, and other things play more into the event than solid painting of the miniatures. I am struggling with AoP versus single entries for GD as well. You and I both paint armies at a time. I can't remember a year that I have not painted three armies. I hope you find a way to have your AoP mojo back. I mean after all I voted for your army with all three of my gamesday tickets. ;)

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    1. Vote early, vote often, right John? ; ) thanks mate, I'll be fine. I just needed to wallow for a while. See you at NOVA.

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  9. I was shocked when saw the winner for AOP on the internet. I thought something had happened and you didn't make to GD. You are an inspiration to many people with your armies. Heck my wife is using what you did with your artillery train of nuln as basis for what she is doing with her new empire army.

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    1. Thanks Todd, and be sure to get your wife to send me some photos of her Empire.

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  10. Sorry to hear of your disappointment as your entry sure is a show stopper! Awesome work as usual on all three!

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks Christopher, much appreciated.

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    1. Thanks Ana. I've been loving your latest posts, by the way.

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  12. Two things: one is feedback on your entry, the other is a commentary on crowd-sourced voting.

    FEEDBACK: Seeing your three entries together like this underlines something for me - your previous two were more 'intimate'. Looking at them again the armies harmonise with the display board; your bridge sadly overwhelms the models and I simply don't notice them. The individual components are terrific, but the composition doesn't work as well as 2011 & 2012.

    COMMENTARY: A local tournament we run has a single painting award: Best Army. That's not 'best painted', but simply put is the army that the gamers would like to take home for their own reason. Is it picked on painting, conversions, coherency, or Wow? Who can say. The alternative award is Judges Choice, which goes to Best Painted. Sound similar to AoP vs. Golden Demon?

    Next time, Gadget...

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    1. I didn't go to Games Day so I can't comment on the competition you were facing, but I can say that I was concerned you had overdid it when you were in progress.

      1) Everything about your Mechanicus is gorgeous, but there are so many models on the display base that its overwhelming. I think some of your best conversions and painting got buried in the sheer volume of stuff to look at.

      2) The army was dwarfed by the base itself. Instead of framing your work and giving it context, you are drawn away from your fantastic painting to focus on the details of the base itself. Its like having a frame so elaborate and detailed that it overshadows the art it holds.

      I absolutely love your Mechanicus but as a stand alone composition, your Knights of Morr were superior because the base is awesome but it doesn't overshadow the models themselves.

      I'd be disappointed to see you drop out of the AoP competition for fear that you'd stop completing gorgeous theme armies. I look forward to them - they are a huge source of inspiration. I can understand wanting to take a break though if its a bum out though.

      Great work as always though Dave.

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    2. Thanks Andy and Nick for your thoughts, perhaps you have the nub of it. I forced the idea/gimmick I had for the display onto my army and that may have made the difference.

      Cheers
      Dave

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  13. Well, not placing sucks.

    But, selfishly, I don't care about the Armies on Parade crowd. I appreciated seeing yet another elevation of the hobby, particularly in creating a rare army with a helluva display.

    Pete Townshend commented that his success enabled the commission received from his fans to "please make more". Your fans are here. Thanks for the continued artistry and please make more!

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  14. I was surprised that you didn't place, and you were up there in the quality. I honestly think that you suffer a bit from your status in the community. You are tremendously respected and your work is inspirational, and I don't think that there's a person out there that would disagree with me. I think there is a segment of the community that view you as a professional modeler and painter (as if that somehow diminishes the quality of your work), and somehow think it's unfair for you to win. I personally don't agree with that point of view. The quality of the work should speak for itself, and yours is top-notch. I personally think your votes suffered because some people had already seen your army on this blog and you lose some of that "wow" factor that comes with seeing something for the first time. It totally sucks to put so much time and energy into a project and not place (I have three finalist pins and only one bronze demon), but competing just forces us to push our skills to the next level. I have tremendous respect for your work, and I can't wait to see what you come up with next. Keep hobbying! - Chris

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  15. My experiece with AOP is, that the guy with the biggest "fanclub" or lots of gaming club friends who came to gamesday pulls of the win.
    so sometimes displays that are much better don´t get anything.

    keep painting, your stuff is great.

    hrld

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    1. I would tend to agree with you but I went solo with my wife no fan club...

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    2. Thanks hrld, not sure if that was the case at Games Day (I tend to think not), but I've seen that sort of thing happen at the store level.

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  16. Yours was literally the only display that gave me pause and caused me to take pictures. I didn't take any pictures of anything else at Gamesday aside from the hilarity of the pile of Marco Columbo models that no one was buying.

    Seriously, your display was easily the best thing I saw at the show. I noticed the 'White Marsh' note on the card so I'm guessing you're local to the Baltimore area.

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    1. I am local Mr Keenbean. Where do you game at?

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  17. I was worried when you came back from GD and there was no mention of AOP. Sorry to hear about your frustrations.

    That was a ton of work, and definitely pricey to ship! I would not be surprised if 90% of the people walking by didn't notice all the depth of the conversions.

    It's bound to happen, I suppose, since the people who are voting are in a hurry to be elsewhere, or have people behind them who are pushing them along.

    Just getting people to acknowledge all the story behind my last army was a nearly impossible task. I had to create a special sign so that they would look at all the Hieroglyphs to see that they were real, and that they told the story of the army, and so on.

    That is why I prefer the Adepticon system, where judges actually pick up the minis to compare them from one army to the next, and weight each element... board, conversion, blending, scratch builds, freehand and so on. They look for common 'shortcuts' as tiebreakers.

    Anyway, when I create my armies, I make sure they are something I would be playing with, just in case tragedy strikes. I know you play more often than I do :-) Perhaps some day Morr will venture into Luustria or Khemri...

    Congrats on a spectacular piece of art, in any case!

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    1. Thanks James, much appreciated. I think that if my Morr army would venture too close to Lustria or Khemri it would have its ass handed to it ; )

      Cheers
      Dave

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    2. I think that Morr would be bringing some unusual artifacts back home with them :-)

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  18. I said the same thing that you did Dave I knew it was you the wood elves, the imperial fists, and mine... I was proud to even be competing and I would have been happy just placing. I spent a number of months I my full display and it cost me more money then I care to talk about... But I worked hard and the story that I was trying to tell I felt was accomplished... Personally I've known you for a few years and I have always been inspired by your work... I still think of white dwarf 300 Adeptus Custodes and am completely taken by it...

    I think the one thing that people don't understand is that it was for a display not just the army... I feel that all of the people that were in the top 4 understood it was not just about the army but the display as well. I planned my board for months, and painted for months.

    I am sorry you didn't get it this year but I was truly proud to just enter... I'll see you around Dave hopefully soon

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    1. You did an amazing job, very inspiring concept!

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    2. Thanks for jumping in Ray. Congrats again on your entry and win, I know how stoked you are to win : )

      I won't to be clear, I think all the winners were deserving, and I harbor no ill will to any of them, or even the Armies on Parade event and "system", I just needed to vent my disappointment ; )

      Cheers
      Dave

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  19. Dave your entry was amazing! No doubt that was a cool bridge and the army is very unique. Having seen the winning entry, though I have got to say there are some cool innovations and concepts displayed in the Necron Army. The sleeping Necrons, man that is brilliant. He took it to another level. Obviously I can't see details on the internet. I follow the Dave Taylor blog, and have been a fan for years. But, you should be inspired! Take a year off then bring it! Pick something different and blow us away with the composition, change the game. Evolve the art form and push the boundaries in new ways, inspire us all!

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    1. I think that's why I need a year off, to be inspired by something and then have the time to evolve it properly. Otherwise I'm just spitting into the wind.

      No doubt inspiration will strike. I'm looking forward to when it does.

      Cheers
      Dave

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  20. I hear you man. The immense disappointment is sometimes just too much, especially with AOP. After my last ridiculous experience I refused to participate myself. I know I could present an army full of Golden Demon models and not make it past my closest GW store. :) Besides, I know I would be up against the likes of you at Gamesday, and you and the other guys at the to dwarf and humble me. Chris

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  21. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8OipmKFDeM

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  22. I can't believe I have only just found the blog of THE Dave Taylor. Holy hell I always loved your work and used to pour over it in White Dwarf. My favourite was your beastmen army (guys with the green hair I think) and the fort you built for them. It immediately made me want to build one of my own. Huge beastmen fan. Anyway I digress (blame star struckness???) I can Imagine the disappointment but as someone said above keep up the exceptional work and inspiring those of us since before White Dwarf 225!!!

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