How to start a painting contest?
Posted 13 September 2011 - 03:53 PM
My Flgs has never run a painting contest. I think it is time this changed. So I need some advice. As I have never run a paint contest before either, I was thinking of trying to keep it simple. I thought if everyone entered the contest with having painted the same model it would be interesting to see the different results everyone comes up with and possibly easier to judge.
So to the advice, which reaper fig would give the greatest ability for painters of all levels to showcase their talents? Also if at all possible to keep the figure under $10 so I could get the store to charge $15 to build a prize pool.
What do you guys think? Would this be a contest that would interest you if run in your local area? Is $15 to high a price? If you have any advice I would appreciate it as I want it to be fun and hopefully build up some more interest in the painting side of the hobby at my LGS.
Posted 13 September 2011 - 09:04 PM
Figs that would be a toughy. I would suggest something generic that you could play in any game but I would also suggest not choose one fig. If I was to give you a suggestion I recomend something from the Knight Templar range. (fig finder) All are pretty similar but there are some slight changes that could draw in broader crowd.
As for prizes, well you might want to aim low for the first one just to see if there is an interest first. Nothing kills it like having to pay for something that might be over before its started. So have them by the figure there (keep the receipt) and have a $10 gift cert for the store if they win. Only if you get a couple under your belt would I think of charging for the contest.
One other thing, try to see if the store will hold a paint day there. This can really show if there is painters among the crowds that go. If anything people can possibly other people with similar interests in painting that may not have been known previously.
Hope it gets going for you.
No EBAY auctions
Posted 13 September 2011 - 09:25 PM
I ran a paint contest for my old local store. They didn't have any and we did it every Halloween to coordinate with the special edition Sophie or Artistcon mini, so the winner would get the special edition figure, and second and third would get a humanoid fig and then every participant got tiny familiars as a participation prize. I advertised the paint contest about a month before with flyers in the store and the store folks also promoted it. I also did paint days the first sat of every month and offered free advice /help to help increase the interest.
I made it free to enter, and had the only real qualifications for the models be a Reaper figure as I was Black Lightening at the time and used points to get the prizes. Talk with your store and see maybe if they will give a voucher for the winner if everyone participating int he contest buys their fig from the store, if you want to open the figures up to whatever your store carries. They may help out as it is a bonus for them for promotion and helps people try out a hobby they may not get into otherwise, and hopefully leading to more sales for the store. You can also try chatting with the folks at Reaper to see if they will give you prize support, they may.
I don't think I would participate if I had to pay 15 bucks. Seems high.
Posted 14 September 2011 - 05:56 AM
I agree with Dargrin that a Paint Day (or some equivalent) to gauge local painting interest is a good starting point.
I also agree with Fruggs to keep it simple and try to offer a small prize for starters.
The first few would do better if there was no entry fee, other than the receipt to show you patronized the store (if you buy the mini here, you can enter it in the contest).
I suggest you keep your frequency down, don't try for contests too often.
Efficiency is intelligent laziness.
Posted 14 September 2011 - 06:54 AM
To compensate the store, make the entrants buy their mini there, and either sign up when they buy it, or turn in the receipt with their entry.
Instead of requiring everyone to paint the same model, I suggest selecting a theme and model size instead (e.g., 28mm female warrior, 52mm knight, etc.). No one likes to paint a mini they don't like, and you can't possibly find one that everyone likes. You might do that for a later contest, once you get a regular group of painters interested and involved, but for the first, they need to be inspired, and choosing your own model for that is a must.
I also suggest requiring a standard gaming base, so that display basing doesn't distract from the paint jobs. You could expand to allow display bases in later contests, but keep it simple for the first.
It is also critical that you have good judges, that they don't know who painted what, and that the minis are evaluated in person, not by photograph.
Posted 14 September 2011 - 09:50 AM
As for painters I think I could reasonably expect around 10 - 12 participants. I did a mini exchange around a year ago and got 8 people who participated and the store population has grown since then. As for judges I am not sure who I could get. I am considered one of the better painters in the store and I don't know if I would feel all that comfortable critiquing others work as I don't feel that my own skill is high enough to give appropriate feedback on the model. Plus the people I can count on to enter have very distinct styles that I would be reasonably sure most of the people from the store would recognize. I don't want to have judging done by a poll because I really don't want it to be a popularity contest.
I was thinking for a theme to do a Demoness or are they just not a type of model people would be into? I was hoping to eliminate having every other entry be a space marine. How about no basing over a 1” base in size?
Any other logistical problems you more experienced members can think of? What would be a reasonable timeframe to run the contest? 2 weeks, 4 or 6? I was hoping to have it end in November so that gives me a little time to arrange everything with the store and do some local advertising.
I really appreciate all the feedback as I have found having all or most of the wrinkles for events like this ironed out before you try and do them makes for a smooth event that everyone has fun at.
Posted 14 September 2011 - 10:33 AM
If you know most of the people who would participate, then I suggest asking them about what theme they would like, and what timeframe they think they'd need.
The base size should be appropriate for the mini scale, so 1" for 28mm, etc., and flat gaming bases, not a plinth or other raised display base. (Although, like I said, make that an option for future contests. Just not for the first.)
Posted 14 September 2011 - 11:32 AM
For an FLGS event, no or very minor cost to enter. If the FLGS is going for pure PR (and they should) then it should be free to enter and they should be willing to provide some kind of prizes. Gift certificates/vouchers are the best as that keeps people in the store.
Do not require that people buy the miniature there. Odds are they will anyway but a requirement like this can keep people away. I think you would be better off running a theme contest rather than going with a specific miniature. My personal opinion is that just leave it open or maybe restrict it to miniatures under a specific height if you really feel that is necessary. There is nothing wrong with every other miniature being a space marine, space marines are miniatures too. Every restriction you put on an event reduces the number of people that are willing to enter. Remember you are trying to establish a new event that people will look forward to, restricting it will definitely turn people away (which also applies to making people purchase it in the store).
Give plenty of notice of the event and as Cheryl pointed out, advertise as widely as possible. Hopefully the store has a website that you can use to as well.
Once or twice a year for an event like this is tops, otherwise you will burn out your painters and your judges.
Judging; you have two options here and for an event like this option #1 is going to be your best choice
Trophy/Podium judging: For this 2 (or more) judges are going to sit down and discuss each piece and compare it against the others to determine a winner, straightforward and effective. It will rule out the judges from entering in the contest though. You will receive all kinds of complaints if you allow it. Perhaps you can have the FLGS owner or an employee help with the judging. Store employees shouldn't be allowed to enter the contest anyway. (most game conventions and FLGS events use this style whether they realize it or not). This system tends to pick on flaws and I find it to be somewhat negative in that respect.
Open/Chicago judging: For this to work you need a minimum of 3 judges and an alternate. In this style the judges will discuss all the entries made by a single individual and choose the best of your entries to judge. After that discussion there is no more discussion about that person's work and the judges score the piece on a scale of 0-4 ( 0 = no award, 1 = certificate of merit, 2= bronze, 3 = silver, 4 = gold). You add the three scores together to determine the results. If a judge has work in the competition in the alternate judge steps in and scores that piece instead. A full judging crew for this is 5 with up to 2 alternates. In full mode you throw out the high and the low score and add the three remaining scores. I might move to this system once you have established the competition and its working well. This allows you to recognize painters that are improving. It does require a experienced judging crew. I like this system because it encourages painters to work to get better and emphasizes the positives rather than the negatives of a painter's skill.
Unless you are going with open judging I wouldn't recommend working with a scoring system, a 1-10 scale sounds easy but will cause more problems than its worth. Just look at the up roar that is continually going on at CoMN about how people score miniatures on that scale.
* Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war - Shakespeare's Julius Caeser
* Artificial Intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
* We occasionally stumble over the truth but most of us pick ourselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. Winston Churchill
* Tardis Express: When it absolutely, positively, has to be there yesterday
* Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, ... - Shakespeare's Henry V
* My two hobby blog; Wargames and Railroads
Posted 15 September 2011 - 11:10 AM
I made up a standard card that had different categories on it : ie blending, neatness, overall appearance, then for each area I rated it 1- 5, 5 being highest. I had two sheets per model as I got one of the store employees to help judge, after we both gave our scores separately we averaged all scores together for each figure. The mini with the highest score was first and down the line. It seemed to work very well, we also didn't let the participants see the scores.
We had no model restrictions other than it being a reaper figure. I wouldn't necessarily limit it, let folks paint what they want and they will do a better job and you will probably have more participants.
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users