[Archive] Golden Hat random thoughts



I would like to give my two cents to improve/discuss my favourite web competition ever: Golden Hat.

I love this competition but being a great competition does not mean it could not be improved.

I wish this thread could help to make it even better.

There are a couple of things I dislike.

First: pictures.

Sometimes pictures are really bad. Moderators can’t do anything about original pictures, of course, but improving with Photoshops and similar programs. The real problem is that sometimes pictures are really bad in the competition I cannot judge properly the entry but, when they are posted in their original format on army blogs… they are awesome! I do not know why.

Maybe it’s the size. I know pictures shall be formatted to the proper size, other wise they would be too heavy, but I have a “normal” broadband and I do not feel they are too large in the army blogs threads.

Has any other person had the same problems with pics?

Is it possible to improve this aspect, being so important to judge a miniature? :slight_smile:

Second: Work in Progress and unpainted miniatures.

I already said I do not like to see Wips in army blogs of Golden hat entries. I think this gives an unfair advantage. But, well, I do not take things so seriously to discuss it further.

I just find a little disturbing to see unpainted miniatures in the “official” Golden Hat pictures.

I always believe this is a competition for “complete” miniatures. An unpainted mini, it doesn’t matter if “green” or casted, is not a complete miniature. It could be compared to a miniature without basing…

Some people discussed about the importance of conversion/scratch builds and painting to properly judge a miniature. I am not talking about this, I’m just pointing out it’s a non-sense to post an unpainted miniature in such a contest.

I think sometimes this could distract people from properly judging a mini, thanks to the “WOW factor” to see a complete scratchbuild miniature.

I wish M3lvin does not take it wrong if I point his miniature (well, you got my vote, this means my speculations does not interfere with my judgements :wink: ), but I found weirdo to see a cast of his mini as an “official” picture of a painting competition. I was tempted to not give him my vote because he posted a miniature with manifest defects in its painting… lol :smiley:

What’s the point?

I think if we had only painted pictures would be better to an over all judgement of the miniature. It would also naturally balance the importance of painting and converting/scratchbuilding.

We can even better judge conversions.

I do not think people have problem to recognize complete scratchbuilt miniatures, even if completely painted.

Said this I love conversions, all my entries are heavily converted, but I found a non sense to post my greens.

There will be place in my blog for that!

What do you think?



I fully agree on both of your points!


I also agree in both points with you! :hat off



Not so random I think!

I’d also like clearer pictures, but it is sort of a question for the person taking them. Besides pointing this out what can we do?

I also would say only painted pics, though I’ve never scored someone up because the model has been converted. Down has occurred.


<------ he agrees

This message was automatically appended because it was too short.


I like seeing ‘bare’ pictures of converted models, to see what has been done to the mini. In fact, I love seeing well converted miniatures, and I think it would take away from my enjoyment of GH if there were no such pictures.

In my last entry, I posted such a shot, because I wanted to show the extent of work I had put into the miniature itself, and not just into the painting. My thinking was that without the bare shot, people may just think it was a stock miniature from some random company. I naturally want my efforts to be appreciated in their full extent.

So, for me, it’s far from nonsense to post one picture of the unpainted miniature, if that picture shows of an aspect of work that may not be obvious from the other pictures. There is the distinction however, it must show of an aspect of the work that went into the mini. A bare metal model tells nothing. In M3lvins case, a green would have made much clearer that it was his own sculpt, something I didn’t immediately grasp. Still, it was his own sculpt, and it’s presence was merited.

In the end, I reckon that adding more rules to a simple online contest will only serve to limit creativity and participation from the community, not encourage it. I’d rather see more entires then better entries. I can search through CMON with the filter set to 8+ if I want to see fantastic works.

Hashut’s Blessing:

My personal opinion (not the staff’s one), is that the pictures are down to entrants, so quality is up to them (although we won’t allow ones wehre the model can;t be seen of course, lol).

In the same vein, if people wanted to show the progression of the miniature, why shouldn’t they be allowed to? Personally, more than 2 shots of pre-painting are too many. However, one, MAYBE 2 seems like a nice way of showing the work that went into the model (even if just a stock figure). It allows for a contrast and can help to show which techniques were used and sometimes inspire other people with how to make and paint their own models.

Having said that, I would never suggest that people would NOT be allowed any pre-painted pictures as it seems unfair and unnecessary. I would suggest and agree that there can’t be more than 2 unpainted and I would probably prefer only one unpainted. After all, 4 pictures allows you to take 2 before and 2 after, which can capture an entire model with ease.

I also wonder what the problem is if people don’t mark others UP because of it, but only downwards? In the same vein, I’m curious as to why people vote them down, considering it doesn’t make the final result any worse and so should be voted the same as if there was only one picture sent in (as it is UP to 4 pictures allowed).

Just some thoughts.


If I get this right, Bassman’s point is - that the merge/manipulated photos done by the staff isn’t showing the models the best way. As I read it - he would like to see ‘the originals’ - rather than the unified photoshop’ed ones. I kind of agree - but the alternatives could easily be size restrictions, resulution etc. - and this shouldn’t be turned into a photo comp.

Regarding the ‘unpainted’ photos?? - I really don’t know - but now that you brought it up … :smiley: My biggest problem with this is, that GH isn’t a painting competition anymore. If you go back, you’ll see that GH always were annonced as our ‘painting competition’ - but we don’t see that anymore. And using the term like Create an unmounted ‘Chaos Dwarf Sorcerer’ indicates - that part of the competition could be about sculpting/converting as well. And if that’s the case - by al means - lets see those greens and greys.

But if it was a painting competion :rolleyes: - it’ was completly different story.

Don’t want to start another discussion about this - as I tend to get ‘to excited’ about it - but I would personally, like to see this go back to be about painting skills - and the leave the extreme sculpting/conversion to comps like the AC - where we could judge the scupting skills on it’s own. And ‘no’ - I’m not saying you can’t enter a 100% DIY dwarf - but the task is … can you paint it?.. and if so, show us your painting skills - and not your sculpting ones.


Some good points have been raised here. If we allow pre-painted pictures then it is modelling competition too, rather than just a painting competition. The very first GH was a conversion as specified in the rules. This is complicated by the fact that there are no currently available CD models for most of the categories, so conversions are inevitable from most participants (and that has been the case even for the GHs that has easily available models).

So that leaves the question: do you want it to be purely a painting competition?

Time of Madness:

Is it possible to create two competitions? One for purely painting and the other for purely converting?

Time of Madness


The topic of what exactly the Golden Hat competition is has cropped up a few times.

If I had to give it a proper name, it would likely be a Miniature Aesthetics Competition. But who the heck would even know what I am talking about? The name “Painting Contest” or “Painting Competition” is used out of convenience. It’s cause some confusion as to what exactly GH is for.

From its inception, the point of the Golden Hat was to inspire creativity in CDO members and give them a reason to produce uniquely crafted figures for all to see. Whether stunningly modeled, amazingly painted, or extremely well-executed, the only criteria for judging entries was which one you liked best. That’s all.

If we wanted to judge on technical painting skill, we’d have qualified judges. If we wanted to judge creativity, or modeling-expertise, we could do that too. But we have no need of such things. In the Golden Hat, you craft a model to the best of your skills that hopefully matches what you envision Chaos Dwarfs to be about. If people think you’ve created a miniature that has some combination of either good painting, good modeling, or original thinking, they might just vote for you.

Everyone has their own criteria for what they like and dislike. Trying to control or guide how people ought to vote is an exercise in futility.


I would really like to see a pure sculpting contest run at CDO - but I can only see it as an annual competition. A sculpting competition is (to me) quite different from a painting comp. It takes so much more to do a sculpt that ‘just’ paint a model.

But I could see us run something like they do at FU UK! - a prize comp where the best sculpts are moulded and casted and sold for a limited period to members. The sculptor recieves a few master casts for the effort - and can take his sculpt anywhere they likes afterwards. This would need funds of course - but I think that could be worked out :wink:

Hashut’s Blessing:

Xander has summarised the competition perfectly.

As to saying that a sculpting/converting competition is wanted, we had asked previously (and originally planned for) the AC to be exactly this, but people kept saying that it was too similar to the GH (which was cited by people as a modelling competition: meaning what Xander has said), amongst other things. (P.S. It did originate as having thoughts for conversions etc be a part of the voting, but this isn’t what we’re talking about here :wink: )

clam: Ah, thanks for clearing that up. I wasn’t 100% sure, lol. In that case, I apologise for my misunderstanding and, thusly, my useless answer :smiley: In that case, members could simply take pictures, make them a decent size (not too big or small), stick them into one picture file (via paint or something if need be) in a basic one-picture-to-a-corner grid style frame and enter that way?

cornixt has asked what I think the key question is: would you all want GH to be purely painting, AC to continue as it has the last few times being all non-painting/sculpting (unless non-Fantasy: I.E. Mordheim etc) items, then create a third competition for sculpting/converting? Or would you rather GH was modelling and AC the miscellaneous or non-core system stuff?

This begs another question: would we be asking people to vote on what they think is the best looking painting or which is the most technically gifted out of the painting? If it were the latter, it would, as Xander said, needa panel of judges, made up from some sort of qualified team. This creates a form of elitism that the website has always tried to avoid and then it’s working out how to choose the judging panel and on top of that: could the judging panel enter? (E.G. A few past winners of GH are selected because of their ability. If they then couldn’t enter, it seems unfair on them, since they probably enjoying taking part…)

EDIT: I’m not trying to dissuade the ideas, I’m trying to get logistical answers and practicalities sorted so they can be weighed up. I’m trying to encourage the ideas, but make sure that they are considered fully :wink: On another note, I was also trying to explain the history of GH and AC briefly :stuck_out_tongue:

Thommy H:

Just vote for the best entry. God, all this stuff is enough to make me not want to vote in any more Golden Hats. Why do we have to over think this so much? Why does it have to be analysed to death? It’s not rocket science, people and - you know what? - it doesn’t matter anyway. It’s a toy making contest on an internet website. Yes, it’s an accolade anyone should be proud of winning and it’s fun for the community, but it isn’t worth picking apart and studying like this.

1) People get a model. They either buy it or make it from bits of other models they buy or sculpt it from scratch.

2) People paint the model.

3) People photograph the model.

4) The photographs are posted.

5) Everyone picks the ones they like the best.

6) The one that is picked most wins a prize.

Is that such a flawed system? Does it really, really need to be changed? At all? It’s fine. And the winners have all been deserving. If it ain’t broke etc. etc.

Hashut’s Blessing:

Thommy H, I agree, but if so many members find it as a problem, it’s kind of up to the staff to make it more appealling to them. It’s what we’re here for: make the website, fun, enjoyable, simple, problem-free (as best we can, lol) for as many as we can.

Thommy H:

Nah, screw 'em. Democracy doesn’t work. Why should we be subject to the tyranny of the masses?


Nah, screw 'em. Democracy doesn't work. Why should we be subject to the tyranny of the masses?

Thommy H
How do you know those complaining are nessicarily "the masses".

I  love golden hat the way it is. The way it is why I actually want to enter, mostly because its about participating.

Lets face it there are a handfull of people on this site with amazing skills be they for sculpting, painting...all of the before mentioned. If we made this only about being the best of the best I for one would not be interested in the slightest. I would feel as though my very limited modelling and crappy painting skills would not be up to scratch and would just never enter. To me this would look nice on the outside, what with all the pretty pictures, but the community feeling would be completely missing. I believe it would lead to the same few people putting in their models everytime with their same armies and ideas everytime until people got tired and stopped being interested as no fresh ideas would come through. The piont is not nessicarily to be the best but to be involved and get new ideas. When I finally do enter my execution might suck but then someone better than me might see it and make one better. That is the piont.

Why should I with just as much passion for Chaos Dwarfs, with just as many valid ideas as anyone else be exculded from participating in an in-house competition for the site simply because I'm not golden demeon quality. That is NOT what this site is about and if it was I wouldn't be here.

This is a misfit army full of fans which have to learn to do things most other armies will never have to worry about, like converting. This is simply because we have no models that are easily available. I never thought I would ever be able to have my CD army at all until I saw Xanders conversions on You-tube. Thats why I love golden hat. I love that us amaturs can enter into the competition and have our models which we are intensly proud of seen by the other members of the CDO community. If it was not for all the information here and encouragement I don't think alot of us would have really bothered collecting CD's in the first place. Golden hat is a place where we can be proud of what we have tried to achieve. And yes I am intensly proud of my CD's. I never dreamt I would ever convert anything let alone do it for my one and only army. That is why when I do vote it is for the model I deem have the coolest ideas on it. If it just so happens it looks pro painted then bonus.

For me an attack on the funadamentals of the golden hat is like an attack on the values of the site. Do we really want to be elitist?

Besides if you don't like it don't vote for it (democracy in action) no doubt there will be entries up to your standards.

Hashut’s Blessing:

Thommy H: I really wanted to say “that’s debatable”, just to be amusing (as well as a smart arse, I guess :smiley: ), but you’re right, democracy can cause failures. Having said that, it’s why not all of the suggested changes by ‘the masses’ come into effect, although we allow people to voice their concerns so that we may address them and work things out to be fairly satisfactory.

Ronshank: all very valid points. The competitions ARE for fun and community, with a little friendly joslting for first place, as opposed to be the ultimate in decision of who is the best, regardless of fun-factor.

The main thing that Ronshank has raised for me here is:

If you would prefer to keep GH as it is (maybe with a change to the picture formatting, maybe not), then please say so, otherwise it appears that (other than Ronshank, Thommy H and, to a lesser extent, myself) everybody would like it to be changed, in which case, it is more likely to.



I want to clarify a point: I started this discussion not because I wanted the staff to put limitations to the rules. As I dislike everything that put limits to creativity.

My idea would be more like “let’s start a discussion and see what other people think. Maybe something good will come for GH”. Of course I would prefer people to enter only complete miniatures but I do not want to force anyone to do that.

Back to the point:

I appreciated Ogrob post:

In my last entry, I posted such a shot, because I wanted to show the extent of work I had put into the miniature itself, and not just into the painting. My thinking was that without the bare shot, people may just think it was a stock miniature from some random company. I naturally want my efforts to be appreciated in their full extent.

I do agree with the following about posting a cast, it would be better if M3lvin posted a green. But think about that: are you going to judge the final result or the effort in getting it? My opinion is that if a person understand in a specific situation that a simple conversion make a great difference, well I appreciate! If a person is able to sculpt an arm exactly like a GW arm, good for him! But this is not a real improvement… not always a massive work means a better work.

But again, I understand your point and it makes sense. That’s why green images shall not be banned.

But just think about this: if a sculptor feels necessary to show his massive work on modelling what prevents me to show, as an “official” GH picture, a WIP picture of my miniature showing the progress of zillion (I do :wink: ) of thin layers, one over the other, I like to paint to reach a smooth color transition? What’s the dfference in you posting the greens? Do you want to see a contest like that?

I would prefer to see the complete pictures because I think it’s the final result what is important.

About pictures: well, I do not really know what to do. I do not want to judge only original pictures as it would push people to make enormous files to show every thiny detail and this crazy!

I hope mods could find a way to show us the best of every entry. I am pretty sure they already do :wink:

About separate contests I think it is a bad idea. A good miniature is a balance between conversion/sculpting and painting!

Keep them together :slight_smile:

Tommy H: this discussion is a part of the fun! Let us, geeks that waste time online, discuss about our toys :hat off


I love the competition just to see a showcase of what amazing ideas and things are out there. They are part of the thing that drew me here to this site and got me interested, all of them.
Thinking about the point if you should vote more for the conversion or more for the painting, i think you can easily solve that.
Just state in the contest which one people should decide upon, or give them an value, say maybe state this round is more a conversion contest so give more consideration to the conversion. In the end its easy i think, the best mini is the best mini.
I can only speak for me, i would not vote anything up or down just because someone didnt convert something but painted brilliant, or someone converted it excellent but couldnt paint it better.
As stated before you can over think things :slight_smile:
I also love to see WIP and lots of pictures, dont think theres anything wrong with greens to see what has been done if the contestant wants to show it, or how much effort you put in to get to the final result, in the end the final result will make the difference.

But in the end its not really about the winning or voting, its more a showcase for this community then anything else.
And its a great community with lots of ideas! So lets see the whole thing as a celebration and dont put to many strict rules in there that take out more variety and fun.