By: , about 182 days ago
131 Gaming Club Crusade - Painting Awards!

Awards? Who and what?

One of our Bolters at Dawn clubhouse members lives in the hills of western Massachusetts. From his hilltop abode, he remotely followed along with our very fun Echoes from the Void crusade. The hype was too much for him, so he corralled a couple of local game stores to run EftV for his 131 Gaming Club members in September of 2022.

His merry band of crusaders has forged on, growing armies and playing games. They’ve reached the end of the road and now is the time for everyone to be judged. Well to be judged to determine the single best painted model and the best painted army!

Before handing out the awards, let’s talk a bit about our rubric for selecting winners. In no particular order, we use the following yes/no questions to do our first pass across the field of contestants (for single model and army):

  1. Is there a unifying theme that makes sense?
  2. Are the models painted to at least Battle Ready?
  3. Are paints applied with care – minimal spillover, shading in shadows, highlights where light will hit?

For models and armies that pass the above test, we move on to more difficult questions:

  1. Has personalization been applied above and beyond the basic kit? Decals, markings, kit bashing, etc.
  2. Is the paint palette purposely chosen to bring the models to life and make them impressive up close and during a game?
  3. Are there ancient Chinese techniques used that demonstrate a dedication to hobby glory?

We have our rubric, we have pictures of the contestants / belligerents, and we have decisions to share. Ed and Jesse will share some notes along the way and at the end of the article we’ll cover some of the runners-up. Please note that Albert was involved in the judging but is incapable of using a computer of any form factor.

Best Painted Army

It was a close one, but we settled on Beef’s Genestealer Cults as the winning army! Congrats!

Ed : Beef’s Genestealer Cult army has a lot of great things going for it. The clean lines and details on the vehicles brought back down to a more grim dark look really set the foundation for the rest of the army. Alongside that there are some vibrant colors on the infantry to contrast that grim dark look and give the army a ‘pop’ off the table. I would have loved to see a consistent basing scheme across the army but the bases were well done and clearly given some love. A well deserved victory to Beef!

Jesse: The vehicles really sell this one. While the bases aren’t 100% consistent across the army, the bikes and ridge runners have an impressive amount of effort put into them with the green water and other debris. Additionally, the hazard stripes and wheelies are just fun and that touch of personalization that conveys effort and care. Well done, Beef!

Best Painted Model

This one was pretty obvious from the start: J’s Black Templar Chaplain! WOOT!

Ed: I’m a sucker for someone pulling off an old school Goblin Green basing scheme. I love them and I don’t care who knows it. The model is pretty great also though, black is a challenge to bring to life and J did a good job of hitting those edge highlights on the armor. The details have been given that shading and highlighting love to allow them to pop and sell that miniature both close up and on the table. Well done J!

Jesse: Nicely done, J! This model has a Goblin Green base so it wins automatically. I would have preferred a black rim on the base but I have been informed that is an incorrect opinion. The model itself is cleanly done, attention was paid to which edges needed highlights and what parts needed shadow, and there is even a painted eyeball (which I refuse to do for the most part). This Chappy looks good up close and on the table during the game, so check all those boxes and get the dub.



The runner up in the army category was Shawn’s Kroot. A very close competition here with only one vote keeping this army from taking the podium!

Ed: Kroot, kroot, kroot. This force rocks, the conversions are dope. I love the laser chicken and pod racer models. Shawn has done a great job getting this force together and was a strong contender for the title.

Jesse: What a mind blowing Kroot force. With all the customizations and kit bashing it’s hard to really understand it all in a single pass across the images. The more I looked, the more I was wowed. The Kroot drones had me absolutely rolling. Excellent work Shawn and looking forward to seeing more of these dudes.

Single Model

The runner up in the single model category was Drew’s Master of Possession in another extremely close competition.

Ed: There are a lot of great things to say about Drew’s Master of Possession and with some edge highlighting on the armor and details this model would have likely been chosen the winner. We’re often viewing this models from feet away and seeing nice vibrant details like Drew’s fire can really help tell a story.

Jesse: Sooooooooo close to winning it isn’t funny. Clean base coats, nice glowy orbs… so many nice things to say. But in the end, it was the somewhat flat armor that put the Chappy on top. AND ALSO the Goblin Green base but again I am not allowed to have incorrect opinions.

Wrapping up

We’re honored to be a part of the 131 Gaming Club’s implementation of Echoes from the Void. The crusade itself is a blast and layering on a painting competition just adds to the hype! All the contestants should be proud of getting their hobby on and should press onward to even greater heights of hobby glory.

If you have questions and/or want more detailed feedback on the judging process, please hit us up in our Discord . We are more than happy to give pointers, link up tutorials, and livestream the evening away.

In case you missed it, there is an ongoing Goonhammer series you should check out that is covering the crusade from the inside. Head on over and read the whole series by PantsOptional, starting with Part 6: An Exercise in Indulgence !