Making Artisan's Contest A Hybrid Art/Miniature Contest As Default?

Some years back, @forgefire asked for art contests to have the chance to doodle once in a while for CDO. As a result, we began running a yearly art comp Artisan’s Contest.

Since many of the art themes were topical and deserved a modelling painting competition as well, we have run a couple of Artisan’s Contest/Golden Hat competitions on the same theme, back to back (Hobgoblins and Giants, if memory serves). @Jackswift pointed out that this should be avoided. After all, there are only a limited number of contest slots per year, and we don’t run parallell competitions.

With the latest Artisan’s Contest, we tried out an art/miniature competition hybrid for the first time. It seems to have worked well. Both modelling and art entries did well.

The question now is if we should try and make Artisan’s Contest a hybrid miniature/art competition as its default mode. After all, that plays into the concept exploration side of Artisan’s Contest.

What do you think?

Thanks to @Vapo for raising the question.


Since I have no artistic talent at all, I would welcome a hybrid contest. Because when it comes to modeling, drawing, painting, computer design, etc., I’m just always out.


My bad Admiral, maybe I didn’t phrase my question well. I was wondering if the Artisan Contest could be non-miniature entries only? My guess is that it would be an unpopular decision as last contest had 8/12 entires of minis.

Perhaps a new contest could be added for non-minis?

I’d be a vote for including both by default. I’m not sure if there would be enough entrants for a separate contest as miniatures are definitely the most common, but I love to see drawings and paintings as they can be so much more inspiring imo.


So there were artisan contests for non-minis only before, and were they that unpopular?

Because I’d prefer to somehow enforce the opportunity of doing something different than the usual miniature painting in a miniature wargame forum (what naturally creates a standard genre for contests) but instead the thing that makes the contest special.

As you can tell from the above sentence, I probably wouldn’t try to win anything in a story writing contest in English, but I still wouldn’t wish to be able to enter it with a painted miniature. :wink:

If the Artisan Contest without minis would be too unpopular, maybe we could combine it with something else that is not already the topic of the Golden Hat?

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There are 3 types of contests @Vapo @Kuanor,

Golden hat
Artisans contest
Scribes contest

The golden hat is the painting contest. It is semi regular (every other contest is a GH one)
The scribes contest is short story writing. This one happens only once a year or something in that order.
The artisans contest is whatever @Admiral makes of it. There have been drawing only AC’s, though usually they are converting and sculpting minis, as this is a miniature forum after all. The sculpting has already been expanded to digital sculpting to allow for our awsome digitsl sculptors to join the fun.

The scribe and non-mini ac’s arent unpopular… but they arent as popular as the mini ones.

GH and scribes contest should be what they are, painting and writing. No need tk change those.

Except for maybe some specific themes where a drawing only or mini only ac contest fits better i am 100% on board for the mixed AC entries. It could even be expanded to general artsy stuff. Like if @denelian or @Admiral made a wood carving (or the xmas themed stuff @reaver made) or i would forge something out of steel…


It seems the Artisans as a non-mini only option definitely has its supporters. I am mostly indifferent, though I have primarily entered the mini inclusive Artisans when those come up, mostly because I prefer contests that can in some way advance finished models for my army. Perfectly fine proceeding as you have.

Just throwing out ideas here, definitely fine if this is not reasonable, but…Perhaps a hybrid… Though it does come up against the no parallel contest precedent a bit… I propose a combination Artisans and GH contest on a single topic (allows you to run the topic for both without taking up another contest slot). The thought would be to accept minis or art in separate concurrent streams with separate medals for both. Entrants can enter in one or both.
Still takes a single thread to run and announce, but it would be extra work to setup the voting thread. I can offer to help manipulate photos for that if help is needed as long as someone offered guidelines on size and resolution). Perhaps even a new trophy… One Hat to Rule Them All, sort of a best in show across both. Though that would require some added voting rules, so maybe not feasible. Just some thoughts. Please take with the requisite box of salt.


The idea of a non-miniature Artisans contest was so that people with talents that aren’t miniature-related could have something they could reasonably win at - whether that was drawing, story writing, or game design, etc. This is naturally going to produce fewer entries since fewer people are inspired by these arts than the miniatures since this is primarily a miniatures site.

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To be honest I’m not a huge fan of the current breakup. If I had my way Artisans would be no miniatures or Golden Hat would be no conversions. It’s always seemed to me that there’s too much overlap with conversions happening in Golden Hat and the paint job heavily influencing Artisans.

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One possibility might be not to paint miniatures in the AC, but (besides painting, drawing, computer designing) also to build and paint landscapes, buildings, etc. Then there would be no miniatures in the AC, but for the not drawing talented and not computer skilled among us to get involved in the AC. I think there are enough topics that could be comprehensively covered. Like houses, castles, slave markets, forests of all kinds, special monsters, etc.


So… if GH focusses solely on painting conversion should be out… i can agree with that. But that means AC would have to include minis and other stuff. So either we have to define the scope of AC per contest or do it beforehand. This AC allows every kind of art, or this one is sculpting only ( no paint allowed), this one is any kind of drawing,…

The latter is basically what we have now, but more strict.

I think the AC should be any type of art related to the topic set by @Admiral. Wheter its minis, drawing, pai ting, terrain, wood carvings or a mural painted in virgin blood.

Excluding conversions from GH contests could make it more fair, but I’m ambivalent on the topic.


Ain’t broke

Don’t fix it

I like the way the comps are organised

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I dunno Chitz. Always worth discussing these things. Good to air different points of view etc.


I think categorisation is fairer. If you want my two cents, it needs more rigidity and structure. If I could categorise the Artisans and close it down away from freestyle, I would, because I think it’s fairer on different types of creative expression, but APPARENTLY I’m not in charge?!

Seriously though. Golden Hat is really special and has become so huge and popular. I’m just saying, status quo is fine by me.


To put it another way, I think it should be apparent what contest an entry is for simply by looking at it.

For the Golden Hat, as an extension of the Golden Daemon it makes sense for it to include conversions. I think the primary issue is that the Artisans lacks definition. Whether it comes unpainted, is something other than a single model, or is something other than modeling itself it should somehow be distinguishable from a Golden Hat of the same theme.


Speaking as someone who has never won (and to be honest never will win) either of these two august competitions, you need to decide what you want from the competitions before you set the rules.

The more precise the entry criteria the fairer the competition will be. Probably the average quality level of entry will also increase. However the number of entries will correspondingly likely decrease.

I enter the GH hoping that my conversions will distract the eye from the painting quality (they never do but self delusion is a wonderful thing). I suspect there are painters out there who enter the AC hoping their paint job will do the same for their conversions.Would either of us enter if forced to ‘compete’ in our weaker areas? Would us not entering be a good thing or not.

Interestingly this simple question actually goes to what the community wants to be. The competitions are the showcase for the community in many ways.

Personally, I would argue for more relaxed criteria, more hybrid competitions etc. That allows us dreamers to dream (I always THINK I am in with a chance) and the competitors to compete. Quality, will (most annoyingly) always win out.


I think @Uther.the.unhinged hits the nail on the head. The competitions have always been as inclusive as possible and the rules have been as loosely defined as possible to facilitate that. The rule change suggested by admiral would maybe increase entries by a bit which is not a bad thing. Id prefer 30 random art entries over 5 conversions.

As the last comp shows, you can win with a drawing and a mini, i dont think we (the community) only like minis. I think terrain and other stuff has a fair chance too.


Thanks for good input, everyone. And thank you for the kind offer, @Jackswift . We’ll keep it simple for the time being, but I’ll keep your proposal in mind if we wish to try it out later.

Including craftsman entries such as forging, wood carving, clay sculpting, knitting or what have you, would be a natural for a hybrid Artisan’s. Most entries would as a rule be miniature, but it also opens up for art and crafts. There is untapped potential in crafts.

Given the limited contest slots in a year, and the wish to keep contests useful for people’s armies and terrain collections, the idea with going hybrid for Artisan’s Contest would be to open up for both art and crafts entries without taking away miniature painting opportunities.

I’m sure we’d get a good number of entries in a focused crafts competition just as we’ve got for focused art competitions in the past, but going hybrid would mean that craft entries would be welcome on more contest occasions than just once in a good while.

Speaking of rare contest occasions, we’ve yet to have a music Artisan’s Contest (as in audio, not just written song lyrics). That one has been on my to-do-list for eight years now, but I’m still not sure if any people would enter if we tried one out. And I need to learn where to upload audio files, and what file types would work.

We could run hybrid Artisan’s Contests as an experiment over next year and see how it pans out. Best case, it opens up for some wacky oddball creations we otherwise would not get to see. Worst case, voting gets skewed and we drop hybrids, returning instead to yearly dedicated art & crafts competitions.

As to no conversions in Golden Hat, experience from following CDO’s established contest model (and then modifying it) has taught me that the desire for fairness across the board tends to introduce unnecessary restrictions. For instance, we once had restrictions on base size, which did create friction for a previous artillery contest (before I started running competitions in 2014). An excellent member of CDO quit over it.

But more to the point, we want to encourage the creation of beautiful things, not hamper them. The most we could hope for, is that people bring some marvellous photos to a contest, of converted and painted miniatures in a diorama complete with background and scenery, that becomes a classic display picture pulling more people into the Chaos Dwarf niche by force of sheer gorgeousness and wow-factor.

I’ve never stopped tinkering with the contests since taking up those reins, so trying out hybrid ACs is business as usual from my point of view. Let’s see how it works out. :smile:

Member feedback has helped steer many modifications. For instance, advice from @Skink made us shift gear from niche themes to broader contest themes which would be useful for anyone building up an army.



So this means the AC would be the same as the GH, but watered down with everything else optionally to enter with as well?

@Admiral Sounds like a good plan! I can get on board with the greater flexibility for both contests; definitely fuels the spread of the unusual and creative entries that we tend to get. I am far more likely to enter a contest if I have a good conversion in mind.

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