Monday, 2 June 2014

Special Give-Away Competition

I've previously mentioned that I was working on a special (mainly because it's my first ever) give-away competition to reward the long suffering followers of this blog. After a great deal of thought I've finally managed to work out the details. So to put it simply:

The winner of this special give-away competition will receive a model of a 13th century style mounted medieval knight miniature painted in the follower's own personal coat of arms. 

To win this prize all you have to do is be a public follower of this blog and leave a comment below, even if it's something like, "Hi my blog is 'Garry's Blog' and I like winning free stuff, regards Garry." No tricky questions to answer (like how do you actually produce 'Ubique'), it really is as simple as that. 
Image for reference only. Unless the winner's real name is actually
Peter of Dreux then they won't be getting anything looking like this.
The winner will however win a model painted and finished to the same standard.
I have to admit that the idea for this comp isn't entirely original. The initial idea for all this came about having a chat, during a demo, to the makers of a new'ish medieval tournament game Crossed Lances at a recent show. They have started to introduce, in conjunction with Curteys Miniatures and  Battle Flag, branded sets of figures for their game and mentioned in passing that they'd eventually like to produce individual transfers for their customers (it is also mentioned somewhere in the rulebook). I thought I could use this idea to make and paint a unique figure for one of followers of my blog. I'd like to point out that I have no personal connection to the Crossed Lances game or to the creators of the game, two nice and very knowledgeable gents called Peter Bradford and Martin Knight. So if they happen to enter and win there has been no sneaky deals or tricks behind the scenes, honest.

I'm currently working on a similar project for my dad which I know is destined to go straight into his display cabinet. So even if you don't play medieval games or use different size figures then I still hope you will take part, even if the model will simply end up in a display cabinet or given away as a gift to a member of your family.

Now then the all important Terms & Conditions which I recommend you actually read in full because (most of) it will be relevant: 
  • This competition is free to enter. 
  • One entry per follower. 
  • Entries (i.e. comments below) must be in before 1st July 2014. 
  • This competition is open to all followers of the blog, so whether you've been following since the start (blimey, way back in late 2008) or from just a few minutes before midnight on 30th June 2014 GMT all are welcome to take part.
  • The winning entry will be chosen at random by myself or by a glamorous assistant (if I can find one). 
  • I will paint for the winner a single 13th century style mounted medieval knight miniature. Either a plastic or medal 28mm sized model will be used, depending on what I think is suitable for the winner's heraldry but probably a plastic FireForge model (see model above). 
  • The model will painted especially for you and finished to my own usual standard i.e. one I'd be happy to display online as one of my own collection (again see model above). It won't be a rushed job so it might take a while to complete (so don't moan if you have't received it within a few days of the close of the comp). 
  • I will be painting the model by hand, by this I mean I won't be using transfers for any of the heraldry details. 
  • The heraldry will be displayed on the shield and on the horses barding but, unless it is a very simple design, not of the figure's surcoat. I will produce a model based on a similar format to that seen on the Great Seal of Edward I. 
  • I will finish the base to my normal standard (painted sand, tufts and grass) if required. If you'd prefer an unfinished base and would rather it left blank in order that you can match your own models, no problem (less work for me). 
  • The model will be varnished to a matte finish. If you prefer high gloss, again no problem, just let me know.
  • The prize cannot be exchanged for a cash equivalent (which I think would be quite rude and probably get you blocked if you even asked, cheeky bugger). 
  • As I realise that not everyone is not fortunate to live in the Black Country, or even the English Midlands (I know blimey, you poor souls, you only get to drink stuff like Fosters, Carling or Stella) so if you win and you don't happen to live in this blessed region, don't worry, I will post the prize internationally and it still won't cost you a penny (nor a nickel, peso or euro). 
  • If you play fantasy games you may, if you wish, have a fantasy style heraldry pattern such as a half ogre/half flying trout combo etc. but the figure used will be still be a 13th century style model. 
  • There is one special rule - if a lady wins then the I'll throw in an extra prize mainly because I like ladies and they generally smell nicer than blokes. I'd prefer to call this positive discrimination, rather than being sexist. After a few unpleasant experiences at some shows and in a number of GW and independent hobby shops (such as walking into a solid 'wall of stink') I'd like to encourage more women to share in our hobby if only to encourage better general hygiene levels. 
  • Speaking of poor hygiene, my nephew young Barry is not allowed to enter. 
  • I will announce the winner in the first week of July (the best month the year - obviously). 
  • The winner, and only the winner, will need to provide me with some of their personal details e.g. only the obvious and nothing too personal (I don't really need to know your inside leg measurement or your mother's maiden name for example) but surname (unless they want a fantasy scheme), email and postal address spring immediately to mind. Only enough information so I can paint the figure with a suitable heraldic design, keep you informed of the stages of progress and finally, of course, know exactly where to send the model to. This information will not be passed on to anyone else nor will it be sold to an annoying marketing company.
  • If you leave a comment and enter the comp then you agree to the above Terms & Conditions. 
Now to deal with the potentially tricky/fun part: The vast majority of people do not have a personal or family coat of arms. You may have an image printed out from one of those commercial companies that will sell you the history of your family name and a rather nice picture of your family heraldry. I've seen at least three totally different images presented for my own family name, so I personally suspect they simply make a lot of these things up (apologies if you already have one of these). If in any doubt about that statement, enter your own surname into Google Images and see how many different results you get. 

On my travels wandering around many old medieval churches, often in tiny villages in the middle of nowhere, one thing I've noticed is that the coat of arms of the great medieval families are normally very simple/geometric patterns. For instance the Beauchamp, Mortimer, de Clare, de Vere, Hastings, Woodville families etc. all had very simple, and the important bit, easily identifiable coat of arms. Is this an attempt at a cop out of painting complex heraldry, again no. If the lucky winner wants me to use one of these commercial available images as a design reference that's no problem. If the winner doesn't have a particular design in mind then I'm quite prepared to research it for them and come up with a few suggestions. 

Free feel to advertise this comp/give-away on your own blogs. It would be jolly nice of you and it would of course be greatly appreciated. However you will still only get one entry as I like to think of my online blogging empire, my own Ubiquetopia, as an loosely democracy-based benevolent dictatorship rather than some kind of banana republic with crazy multiple voting options. As stated above - one entry per follower. You will of course be technically decreasing your odds of winning by promoting the competition but you will also be acting 'nice' and being 'nice' is good thing.

There may (note the use of the word 'may') be a runners up prize but which will depend on the number of entries (it's my blog = my rules. It's my 'loosely democracy-based benevolent dictatorship' remember). This runner up prize will be triggered after a reasonable number of entries (I know, it's almost like a Kickstarter style comp), I'm thinking once around twenty/thirty entries but I'm going to be flexible with this. If only two people enter for instance then I'm not going to be particularly inclined to paint another prize but if all the blog followers enter (200+) I may even produce several runner-up prizes (my dictatorial benevolence knows no bounds).

In the near future I will also be running a similar competition/give away type thingy to promote the new medieval skirmish game Lion Rampant which is being released be Osprey Publishing but that competition will have slightly different T&C's, entry conditions and very likely a far broader scope for potential contestants, with use of various social media with multiple entries allowed for and you won't need to be a follower of this particular blog. 

So this personal coat-of-arms comp/give-away is more of a reward scheme for followers of this blog (and this competition, in my opinion, has a better prize because it will be a personalised, unique model for the winner) plus you'll have a potentially far better chance of winning. 

Now hopefully you will have realised that I won't be making a penny from all this, quite the opposite in fact. So why, you may reasonably ask, do it at all? Well the answer is simple. I've had an awful lot of enjoyment and entertainment from all the other blogs that I follow and read so I'd like to give something back to the online community and 'pay it forward'. This may all sound a bit Hollywood/soap opera spiel (or "a load of old cobblers" as my granddad would have said) but I think the users of the Bloggosphere (all the other online blogger systems such as Wordpress and the like, not just Blogspot, are included in this) are quite special in their approach and spirit. Online forums and YouTube, although very useful at times, can often deteriorate into an aggressive bun fight or echo the antics of an unruly schoolyard. Bloggers always seem to be universally positive (apart from the occasional rants) and very generous in their comments and advice, plus they always seem to be giving goodies away. So if you can't beat them, join them.

So anyway thanks for reading down to this bit, thanks for entering (if you do) and good luck.