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Author Topic: Captain Blood's picks of LPL5 - the team of teams  (Read 16575 times)

Offline Captain Blood

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Captain Blood's picks of LPL5 - the team of teams
« on: May 22, 2011, 08:05:43 PM »
Well as I’ve largely kept my own counsel and refrained from commenting too much on entries during the course of the league, I hope you’ll allow me this small indulgence: my personal picks from the 10 rounds of LPL5. And why I rate them  :)


Round 1 - Firebroadside: ‘Intrepid Mars Explorers’



Like many people, I thought these were pretty good for 28mm figures when I first saw them. When I realised they were only 15mm I revised my opinion up from good to splendid. The sheer contrast of the white spacesuits against the dark red earth; the enigma of the figures themselves - set off by those beautifully painted visors. Fire Broadside! did not disappoint with his parade of 15mm Martian offerings throughout the first few rounds of the LPL. But these little astronauts set the standard. I’m looking forward to seeing the entire collection in more detail.


Round 2 - Remgain: ‘FRIDA’s smugglers’



You can’t go far wrong with Mike Owen’s ‘Thrilling Tales’ figures – some of the most characterful sculpts on the market. And it’s always a pleasure to see them painted as well as this. But whilst the painting of the figures is good, the composition of the overall image is spectacular. I know some people have issues with the use of background images added in photoshop, but for me, if it sets off great figures to such wonderful effect as this, then I can live with it. It really is quite a cinematic scene. I can feel the chill off that ocean. I can smell the rust and the salt on the railings. Bravo Marco.


Round 3 - D@rth J@ymZ: ‘Batteries Not Included’



Everyone loves a good retro robot, and this whole scene is just brilliant. Brilliant miniatures, brilliantly painted, and brilliantly realised as diorama. With just a few items of scenery, D@rth has managed to conjur up an entire world. I actually think the most successful element here is the lighting, which strikes not just the robots but also the rivet-decked metal wall behind the mad doctor, causing it to glow like real burnished metal. The composition of the shot is also spot on – the inter-relationship of the various figures and scenery items. And let’s not forget great attention to detail with the bases matching the embossed floor tiling. D@rth had many excellent entries in this LPL – I also loved his Graeco-Roman arena scene, and of course ‘There Will Be Blood’. But for me, at least, this is as good as anything we saw in the league.


Round 4 - Lt Hazel: ‘The Hills have Eyes’



For my money, the 20 or so Afghan hill tribesmen the Perrys made for Foundry all those years ago, remain amongst their finest work as miniatures sculptors. They totally capture and evoke their subject, oozing with character, and surely fulfil every colonial wargamer’s ideal of the hawk-faced Pathan, perched on his hilltop cradling a long-barrelled jezail… Add to that Lt Hazel’s customary, expertly handled muted palette, the oh-so-flat-matt finish, and the simple yet effective arrangement of a few pieces of rock and an expanse of deep blue sky to provide an evocative setting for these figures, and for me it’s a prize-winning combination.
And it goes to show that you can make a winning entry even with a figure or two out of focus  ;)


Round 5 - Dr Mathias: ‘Disarmed in Algeria’



A very unlucky draw for Valleyboy’s excellent Moorish spearmen to come up against this wonderful scene from Dr Mathias. I like everything about this entry. Of course the figures are extremely well painted, and who can fail to be beguiled by those superb Hasslefree nymphets? But it also tells an intriguing and surprising story. What are those Francs-Tiralleurs doing there? Is it a rescue mission or rapacious assault? And the scenic setting, simply realised with printed paper cut-outs, is just extremely effective. A highly original and well-executed entry.


Round 6 - Blackwolf1066: ‘The Wild Hunt’



Several people made comments during the course of the league, that Blackwolf1066’s photography was indistinct, with details sometimes hard to make out. I can only assume this is what Guy intended, because for me, his stunning sequence of grainy, washed-out images, showing sometimes inexplicable, sometimes weird, always strangely affecting scenes, was one of the highlights of the LPL. This entry in particular, I adore. Goodness knows why, because the assembly of subjects seems completely random - and yet they manage to convey a distinct otherworldly unity against the beautifully created terrain. I honestly think you have to call this art. It’s not only beautifully executed, but provokes, intrigues, and raises more questions than it answers.  Also notice how well framed the shot is. Framing / cropping your subject to show it to best effect is hugely important, but overlooked by many people. This entry has it spot on.


Round 7 - Mancha: ‘The Ghost that Walks’



I don’t actually have a clue what this is all about, but in terms of pure paint application, it has to be one of the smoothest entries of the LPL. The contrast of the superhero’s vivid purple suit with the beautifully executed African skintones and more subdued hues of the pygmies’ garb, is simply very pleasing on the eye. Excellent subtle-yet-dramatic highlighting on all the miniatures, showing real technical and artistic skill. And cleanly, crisply shot in perfect focus. Proof that you don’t always need scenery, pasted-in backdrops, or a graphic design degree to concoct a stunning entry. (I also love the fact that the pygmies appear to have violet lips. I don’t know why they do - but like so much else about this picture, it just works).


Round 8 - Rapscallion: ‘The shrine in the woods’



Really vivid colours on interesting, rarely-seen Copplestone figures against the sheer weirdess of the fallen statue / shrine. All beautifully framed by realistic looking trees overhanging the dark brooding presence of the wild wood. The intense contrast between the green of the low hanging boughs and the dark interior of the wood gives the scene real depth. It has a lot of great elements going for it - plus the whole thing just hangs together extremely well. That’s down to unity of colour. Because apart from a few well-chosen splashes of colour on one or two of the figures, almost everything else in the picture sits somewhere along a pleasing green-blue-grey spectrum which creates the pervasive sylvan mood. And it didn’t even win its match! It’s one of my favourite pics of the entire competition nevertheless.


Round 9 – Frank: ‘Winter is coming’



I wasn’t familiar with ‘A Game of Thrones’ until I started reading the book a couple of weeks back. But I’m certainly familiar with these Perry medieval plastic figures, and salute Frank’s hybridisation with Gripping Beast’s plastic Viking heads, to create these archetypal warriors of the Northlands, trudging grimly through the snow to war. It’s an image straight out of Nordic myth or the Brothers Grimm. That or some kind of deviant Christmas card.
Frank - as we all know by now - is a genius, and some people will be thinking, ‘well that’s not Frank’s best from the LPL: what about his samurai? Or his Gordon at Khartoum?’ And truthfully (sorry Frank) looking at a few of the details here, I can’t even say the painting on these figures is his tip top best… But the overall composition: the unity of tone, the restricted palette, the glittering spearpoints and silver pennants fluttering against skeletal conifers, the tufts of winter grass peeping through the snow… It’s just wonderful visual storytelling.


Round 10 – Stevedaccs: ‘Just One Look’



I hope Steve won’t mind me saying that he probably doesn’t regard himself as one of the big hitters of the LPL, but he certainly raised his game this time round, and this marvellous entry stood out for me in Round 10. Again, it’s framing and composition that’s at the heart of this entry’s appeal. It takes real confidence to crop your subjects, but it totally pays off in this case. Positively cinematic. Bold colours. Lush vegetation. This was the ‘movie round’ entry which, for me, most closely captured the feel of the movie it represents. The figures are all great of course, which helps. That Reaper Kong is the best looking ape I’ve seen, the Copplestone Ngoni serve brilliantly as the deranged inhabitants of Skull Island, and the Pulp heroine-in-peril is perfectly cast. I don’t know if you’re seeing Fay Wray, but personally I never tire of watching scantily-clad Naomi Watts scampering through the jungle, tumbling from one unspeakable predicament to the next - so this provokes happy feelings. Yum. (Just don’t mention Jessica Lange…)

I’d also like to give Steve a special mention for his ingenious titling throughout LPL5. Did anyone notice that every single entry bore the title of a rock or pop classic? Kept me amused. Thanks Steve.

And that's it. There were lots of other entries I was taken with, so no disrespect intended if I didn't include one of yours. But these were the ones that made me sit back and smile. Which is what it's all about really  ;)

Offline Fire Broadside!

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Re: Captain Blood's picks of LPL5 - the team of teams
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2011, 09:06:04 PM »
I'm honoured I made it in there! It's been a lot of fun painting my 15mm Martians for the LPL. Admittedly I got a little sidetracked towards the end when my gaming group got into Infinity, but there is definitely more 15mm sci fi-stuff on the horizon.  :)

I really like your selection. There's a lot of atmosphere in all of them!
Follow my (mostly) gaming related ramblings at Fire Broadside!

Offline Pil

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Re: Captain Blood's picks of LPL5 - the team of teams
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2011, 09:35:27 PM »
Wow captain, thanks for posting! It's great to see some of those older excellent entries again, the amount of inspiring entries every week is so overwhelming it's very easy to forget all the good stuff we've seen  :-*
Let me hear the battle cry
Calling on the wind
Let me see the banners fly
Before the storm begins

Offline Admiral Benbow

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Re: Captain Blood's picks of LPL5 - the team of teams
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2011, 10:09:35 PM »
Captain, thanks for your tasteful selection. All of your favourites have already been copied into my personal highlight album of LPL5, and a lot more: 116 pics made it to my personal collection, more than ever before. That shows the very high level of entries this year, and I'm really inspired to think about another participation next time, whenever this will be ...

Offline Blackwolf

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Re: Captain Blood's picks of LPL5 - the team of teams
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2011, 07:02:13 AM »
Brilliant choices Capt. (if I don't say so myself :)),I believe I erm,ah blushed when I read your comments about mine :)
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Offline Mad Doc Morris

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Re: Captain Blood's picks of LPL5 - the team of teams
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2011, 09:42:36 AM »
Thanks for your afterthoughts. It's how I would imagine a "gentleman's selection" and really some of the finest - the more as you included my own favourite. lol I admit being totally in love with the "Disarmed in Algeria" entry. Absolutely stunning each and every time I look at it.

Offline stevedaccs

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Re: Captain Blood's picks of LPL5 - the team of teams
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2011, 12:47:01 PM »
Thank you very much for including my Kong entry Captain - I consider it a real honour to be included in such talented company. Incidentally I definitely had Naomi Watts in mind when I painted her - that seemed to help a lot!

Offline Lt. Hazel

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Re: Captain Blood's picks of LPL5 - the team of teams
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2011, 04:09:50 PM »
Thanks for including my Pathans! And of course I wanted the jezzail bearers out of focus (has nothing to do with my poor photographing skills).

Offline Mancha

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Re: Captain Blood's picks of LPL5 - the team of teams
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2011, 12:42:35 AM »
I've tried contributing to this thread twice now, but each time my response got eaten up somehow.  Here's my third effort:

I very much like your picks.  Firebroadside's 15mm Martian setting provided some excellent entries, which I say despite having been beaten by one of them.  You pointed out all the best parts of them, including the contrasting bases and the inspiring face shields.  Frank's Winter is coming entry made my jaw drop at the time.  The whole scene almost made me feel that I was hiding in the trees, watching this troop trudging past on the way to burning and looting my village.  Dr. Mathias was my favorite new entrant; not only because he did a great job on some Hinterland minis, but also because he's responsible for one of my very favorite VSF contraptions on the Internet.  I think he knows what I'm talking about, and I hope he'll post pictures soon.

As for my entry: I have to admit that I stole the idea of the violet lips from an earlier entry by another contributor (alas, I can't remember whose).  The Phantom lived with a group of pygmies, hence that particular collection of five minis.  I thought about adding a wolf, but had sort of run out of time.  One of the pygmies is converted to look like Guran, the pygmy leader from the strips.  He's looking somewhat more jolly here:


Offline D@rth J@ymZ

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Re: Captain Blood's picks of LPL5 - the team of teams
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2011, 11:32:56 PM »
That is the most comprehensive feedback that I have ever received on one of my entries.  Thank-you! I am flattered it has been chosen along with all of these other fantastic entries.  This thread provides a great guide for those looking to coax a few more votes out of their entries for next LPL and some excellent pointers too for those thinking about throwing their hat into the arena. 
Now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb...
- Dark Helmet

Offline Dr Mathias

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Re: Captain Blood's picks of LPL5 - the team of teams
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2011, 03:42:11 PM »
Thanks for the personal observations Captain, and your selections are pretty much aligned with mine- although I wish I could pick Gamer Mac's 'Nemo's Army' along with Lt. Hazel's 'The Hills Have Eyes' for round 4. Both are very memorable.

I still can't figure out why Rapscallion's entry didn't win round 8... ???

Dr. Mathias was my favorite new entrant; not only because he did a great job on some Hinterland minis, but also because he's responsible for one of my very favorite VSF contraptions on the Internet.  I think he knows what I'm talking about, and I hope he'll post pictures soon.

Thanks for the compliment Mancha, now I almost feel obligated to post some pics :)
« Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 06:50:22 PM by Dr Mathias »
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Offline Remgain

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Re: Captain Blood's picks of LPL5 - the team of teams
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2011, 04:00:02 PM »
Thank you very much, Captain. :)

I really appreciate your opinion, and I'm very proud of it.

Grazie,

Marco


We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

George Bernard Shaw

 

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